Friday, May 15, 2009

Episode 64 - Bulletin Board

Season 3, Episode 64: Bulletin Board
Original Air Date: 1/14/75
Written by: Larry Gelbart & Simon Muntner

Directed by: Alan Alda

This episode revolves, informally, around the camp bulletin board, as we see some of the various events taking place at the 4077th that are announced on the board.

Henry gives the camp a lecture about sex, and a pledge for people to buy war bonds is posted.

Hot Lips asks Frank to borrow some money for her sister, and he refuses, causing all kinds of problems between them.

Trapper writes a letter home to his daughter Becky, telling her about his life at the 4077th, including just how bad a doctor Frank is (he writes off a patient as dead, one that Trapper saves when he realizes he's suffering from Hypothermia).

The night's movie is announced--a Shirley Temple picture--and a fight between Klinger and Zale breaks out during it.

Later, Henry has trouble with a patient, and his mood sours. When Hawkeye and Trapper show him the announcement about a picnic to raise money for Sister Theresa's orphanage, he initially refuses.

But he eventually changes his mind, and the 4077th actually manages to have fun during the picnic--playing music, performing a puppet show for the kids, having an egg race, a sack race, and then finally a tug of war contest, officers vs. enlisted. (In the meantime, Hot Lips doesn't take too well to Frank's offer of a a small, "very reasonable" interest rate)

Just as everyone ends up in the pile of mud, Radar hears the sound of choppers, ending everyone's fun.

Later, in surgery, Henry quietly suggests that having the picnic was a good idea. Hawkeye and Trapper, happy to hear Henry not sounding so down, agree.

Fun Facts: Hot Lips mentions that her father is dead in this episode, something that conflicts slightly with his appearance in a 9th season episode. She also mentions her sister, a character never referred to again.

The portion of the episode with Trapper writing a letter to Becky is the closest the series got to a "Dear..." episode, narrated this time by Trapper.

Watch the tug of war scene, especially when everyone ends up in the mud. Everyone--even Frank Burns--starts to laugh, and it looks like at a certain point the scene became entirely ad-libbed.

Speaking of that scene, in the original version, everyone watches Radar as he seems to sense chopper approaching. Covered in mud, he simply nods his head, and then starts to walk towards the camp. With his back to the camera, we hear him say "Choppers!", which gets everyone else moving.

In the syndicated edit, someone has taken Radar's "Choppers!" line, and dropped it over the previous shot, even though its clear that Radar's mouth isn't moving.

Favorite Line: The episode opens with Hawkeye and Trapper playing with one of those rubber ball and paddle sets, and Hawkeye, going first, hits the ball about 70 times in a row.

Trapper then boasts he can do it better than that, and takes paddle. After one and a half hits, the ball misses and flops to the side, causing Hawkeye to laugh.

Trapper, angrily says, "What'd you do, change balls on me?", which causes Hawkeye to laugh even louder. Me too.


Russell said...

Rob, are you watching 30 ROCK that features Alan Alda as Alec Baldwin's father? He made some comment last night about the SNL type show, dead-panning, "Children being confused with chickens, and crying about it?! And I thought this was a comedy!" I laughed out loud.

rob! said...

"A guy crying about a chicken and a baby? I thought this was a comedy show."What an amazing, bizarre, brilliant line.

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