Sunday, April 5, 2009

Episode 30 - Kim

Season 2, Episode 30: Kim
Original Air Date: 10/20/73
Written by: Marc Mandel, Larry Gelbart & Laurence Marks
Directed by: William Wiard

One of the wounded in surgery is an angel-faced five year old boy named Kim. They ask Radar if he's can track down his parents.

In the meantime, Hawkeye and Trapper try and care for the kid, including reading to him from a trashy paperback and giving him a jar of pickled onions.

As Trapper makes toy balloons for him (made from rubber gloves), he grows attached to the boy. Meanwhile, Henry talks to a local orphanage, making plans for them to take Kim if his parents can't be found.

Radar draws a blank on finding Kim's parents, and Trapper decides he can't stand the idea of Kim going to the orphanage. He writes his wife, asking her if she'd be willing to adopt Kim. He wonders whether its a mistake, but Hawkeye assures him, "How can it be a mistake giving a kid his life?"

In the meantime, they all spend time with Kim--Trapper teaches him magic tricks, Hawkeye takes him to the movies, Hot Lips reads to him, Klinger plays catch with him.

Finally, a letter from Trapper's wife arrives, and she's agreed to adopt Kim! Hawkeye, Trapper, and Father Mulcahy enjoy a celebratory cigar.

That same day, Frank and Hot Lips take Kim on a picnic, but they're so busy making moon-eyes at each other they don't notice Kim has wandered into a nearby mine field!

Trapper runs into the mine field to rescue him, but stops halfway when he realizes what's he's doing. Hot Lips yells at Kim, sitting on a rock, in Korean telling him not to move.

Hawkeye grabs the maps for the mine fields, and Henry directs Trapper through it. But halfway through, they realize its the wrong map--its a World War II surplus map!

Just as they find the right one, a chopper pilot arrives, and lowers a rope to Trapper, lifting him up, over to Kim. He scoops Kim up, and they are carried to safety.

As they celebrate, Sister Theresa unexpectedly shows up, along with Kim's mother, who showed up at the orphanage looking for her son. They embrace, and Kim leaves along with them.

Trapper stands in the road, watching the truck leave. He tries to make the best of it, suggesting back home, he'd be the kind of kid who crosses against the lights. Hawkeye offers him a drink, and they walk back to The Swamp.

Later, Radar tells them Kim will come back for visits, which makes both Hawkeye and Trapper feel better.

Fun Facts: This episode's a nice change of pace, in that its Trapper who takes center stage in the second and third acts. Offering to adopt the boy is such a generous, kind, loving act, its amazing that Frank and Hot Lips would continually brand him a moral degenerate.

There's a scene in the Mess Tent where Hawkeye and Trapper goof on Radar for how much food he's eating, and it goes on so long that it becomes pretty mean. Radar finally storms off, and I would have, too!

Hot Lips makes an attempt to learn--and then teach--Kim the Korean language, not English. Her knowledge of Korean would come in to play in several future episodes, which I always thought was a nice touch, especially in contrast to Frank, who always insisted on speaking English, in some weird form of patriotic protest.

Favorite Line:The book Hawkeye is reading to Kim has no cover, so you can't see what it is. There's an amazing, hard-boiled line from it: "Margo smiled at me, and four hundred angels sang 'You Made Me Wanna Do It', the Cole Porter arrangement. Then she came close, and I could smell her perfume. It made me want to leave my wife and children, and I'm not even married. 'Hi, gorgeous, I said, then somebody hit me with a piano and the floor came up and smothered me.'"

I assume that passage was written by the show, since its so over-the-top hard-boiled that it can't be from a real paperback. But if it is, I really wanna read that book!

1 comment:

Russell said...

Ah, yes, I remember this episode fondly. One of my favorites.

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