Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Episode 55 - Check-Up

Season 3, Episode 55: Check-Up
Original Air Date: 10/22/74
Written by: Laurence Marks

Directed by: Don Weis

Because of a new regulation, routine medical check-ups are now mandatory. Each of the officers have to examine each other, with Hawkeye examining Hot Lips ("The house call of a lifetime"), and Frank examining Trapper.

Except that Trapper won't let Frank do it, and is very surly about the whole thing. When Hawkeye asks Trapper why, he reveals its because he has an ulcer, has had one for a few weeks--but he doesn't want it diagnosed officially because he's afraid of the treatment he'd receive.

Hawkeye, though, is overjoyed: an ulcer is a ticket home! Trapper, responding to the news, is suddenly thrilled as well!

The camp reacts to Trapper leaving--everyone is feeling bittersweet about it, except for Frank of course, who is giddy over the idea of just having Hawkeye to deal with.

They throw a big goodbye party for Trapper in the Officers Club, but just before Trapper heads over there, Radar tells him that while HQ approved the ulcer, they will not be sending him home: in fact, he'll be treated in Tokyo, then shipped to another unit!

Trapper is left with the option of staying at the 4077th and being cured there, which he decides to do, it being the best of two bad choices. He shows up at his party, and announces he's not going anywhere--but not before a drunken Hot Lips tells Trapper she's always had a crush on him.

Trapper ends his not-farewell speech with a comment for Margaret: "I'll see you tomorrow night."

Fun Facts: I was never quite sure what went wrong here: Hawkeye and Henry seem to believe an ulcer earns you a ticket home, but they don't seem to check with anyone at HQ about it. Trapper's bags are packed when HQ says he's not going home--why did everyone wait so long to find that out?

The scene with Hawkeye and Trapper as they unofficially say goodbye is wonderful, sweet and touching, and a decent stand-in for the real goodbye they never got have on the show.

Favorite Line: Hawkeye and Henry give Trapper advice about giving his wife advance warning he's coming home.

Henry: "Riiight--you don't want to walk in on anything."

Hawkeye: "Some of those 4Fs run pretty big."


What the Parrot Saw said...

The not checking with HQ angle here is deliberate, I've always thought: why ruin a good thing? Henry wasn't Regular Army like Potter, and he might well have hoped that another quality surgeon could replace Trapper.

I'm on less sure ground (perhaps) later, but I've suspected the same dynamic was at work in GF&A when BJ leaves mid-episode and Klinger tries to tell Potter that BJ's travel orders have been rescinded: seems like Potter is purposefully ignoring Klinger over the sound of the helicopter leaving... maybe not. :-)

rob! said...


first, thanks for all the comments. you had a late night!

i understand Potter and BJ not double-checking with HQ in the final episode, because he did have some sort of official paperwork saying he's being sent home.

i never got the impression Henry did in this episode, so it still seems weird to me they just assumed Trapper was going home without finding out for sure. but Henry drank a lot.

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