Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Episode 84 - Soldier of the Month

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Season 4, Episode 84: Solider of the Month
Original Air Date: 11/28/75
Written by: Linda Bloodworth

Directed by: Gene Reynolds

Col. Potter holds a surgical staff meeting in the Mess Tent, giving doctors the latest news on Korean Hemoragic Fever, which some soldiers in Post Op are suffering from.

There's also a new directive--in a way to boost morale, there's a Soldier of the Month contest, where the top-rated enlisted man from each camp will win a trip to Tokyo, causing Radar, Klinger, and others to try and curry favor from the judge, Frank.

But Frank can't make the decision, because he comes down with the fever, as well. He ends up bed-ridden and delirious, convinced he's going to die.

Hawkeye and B.J. fill in, and hold a quiz for Radar, Klinger, Zale, and Igor, to see who knows the most about U.S. history. Klinger, having cheated by writing the answers all over his body, is revealed, and Radar--who seems actually prepared--wins the contest.

Frank, sure he's going to die, asks Father Mulcahy to write a will for him, and all his chicanery and dishonesty is revealed--prescription kickbacks, doctored books that hide his real income from the government, even another affair he's bee having back home.

The final straw for Hot Lips--overhearing all this--is when Frank tearfully leaves Hot Lips all his...clothes?

Eventually, Frank recovers (thanks to fine doctoring by Hawkeye and B.J.). Hot Lips takes him to the Latrine for the first time since getting sick, and when he emerges feeling normal, Hot Lips pays him back for the slight by slapping him across the face--"Next time leave your clothes to somebody your own size!"

A few days later, Radar comes back from Tokyo, totally drunk and in custody from the MPs for his "disorderly" conduct. His stumbling, slurring behavior in front of Col. Potter causes Hawkeye and B.J. to fall over in hysterics.


Fun Facts: Hawkeye makes a joke about "Albert Anastasia's doorman", a reference about his murder, which took place in 1957.

The level of Frank's hypocrisy is ramped up to 11 in this episode--despite his endless pronouncements of morality and patriotism, we learn he's been cheating on his wife at home with his receptionist, he gets kickbacks from drug manufacturers, and he lies to the government about his income. I think if Frank Burns was alive today, he'd have a show on FoxNews.


Favorite Line: When Hawkeye and B.J. pick Frank up off the ground, asking him what happened, Frank says: "She hit me--right in the chin!"

B.J.: "How'd she find it?"


6 comments:

What the Parrot Saw said...

Another telling episode that illustrates the shallowness of Frank and Margaret's relationship. This was obviously becoming a theme this season. He gets off another unwittingly vicious line when he (in his delirium) tells Margaret to act like she doesn't know him should they all end up in heaven!

The SoTM quiz scene is quite amusing. I recall an interview with Reynolds in which the reference here to "Miss Virgin Islands" in a question was a sly reference to an earlier episode in which network censors objected to the word "virgin" appearing as written. (David Reiss' book?)

What the Parrot Saw said...

^^ He gets off another unwittingly vicious line when he (in his delirium) tells Margaret to act like she doesn't know him should they all end up in heaven!

-that is, him, Margaret and Mrs. Burns... ;-)

Russell said...

I thought those moments with Frank (with, around, and for Margaret) were his funniest. Just reading about that death bed scene had me smiling in memorial.

Russell said...

Memory, I mean. oops! haha

Anonymous said...

"Uh, you may stand, just take your seats."

Jeroen Castelijns said...

Rob,

This isn't the episode where whe learn abour Franks affair whit is receptionist.

That is 2x11 Carry On, Hawkeye.

A Dutch M*A*S*Hfan.

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