Thursday, July 23, 2009

Episode 120 - Margaret's Marriage

Season 5, Episode 120: Margaret's Marriage
Original Air Date: 3/15/77
Written by: Everett Greenbaum & Jim Fritzell

Directed by: Gene Reynolds

After Margaret's not-yet-scheduled marriage becomes the topic of discussion in the O.R., Hot Lips calls Donald Penobscott, wanting to set the date. Penobscott agrees, and says he is on his way to the 4077th. Hot Lips is thrilled, Frank is worried.

A day later, Penobscott (Beeson Carroll) arrives, and announces they want to get married as soon as possible. Frank walks in, and when he takes one look at the tall, strapping Penobscott, he runs in the other direction.

Penobscott gives chase, eventually pinning Frank to the compound. In the middle of kicking and screaming, Penobscott surprises everyone by thanking Frank for inspiring Margaret to finally ask about getting married, and he wants Frank to the best man.

The nurses throw Hot Lips a shower, and at the bachelor party everyone gets hammered, even Father Mulcahy and Radar. When Penobscott passes out on B.J.'s bunk, B.J. gets a devilish idea--he suggests he and Hawkeye put Penobscott in a full body cast, and tell him he broke his leg overnight. Hawkeye says "That's cruel--that's vicious!" B.J. agrees: "I know--it's perfect!"

The next morning, Penobscott waits at the altar (in the Mess Tent) in, yes, a full body cast. Hot Lips looks beautiful in a white wedding gown (given to her by Klinger). The ceremony starts off fine, but has to be rushed to its conclusion when wounded arrive.

Hot Lips does triage in her wedding gown, and then assists Col. Potter in O.R., who comments "Hell of a wedding for you, kid." Penobscott asks to watch his wife at work, so he is propped up by Father Mulcahy so he can see. But even though he's a self-described "combat veteran", he gets sick when he sees a patient spurt blood all over B.J. during an operation.

After surgery is over, everyone gathers on the chopper pad to see Margaret and Penobscott off. After the rotors start whirring, Hawkeye and B.J. admit the whole "breaking a leg" thing was a joke--but Hot Lips can't hear what they're saying. They decide to call her in Tokyo and tell her the truth, so as not to ruin their honeymoon.

Everyone wanders off, except for Frank, who watches Hot Lips' chopper fly off. All by himself, he says, to no one in particular, a quiet "Bye, Margaret."

Fun Facts: This is one of those episodes that I actually think works better in the syndicated edited version. In the syndicated version, the last scene--involving Hawkeye, B.J., Potter, and Frank getting a little too worked up thinking about Hot Lips' honeymoon--is cut. Instead, the episode ends with Frank (above) and his gentle "Bye, Margaret"--a perfect final scene for the character.

Odessa Cleveland, as Nurse Ginger Bayliss, makes the second of two appearances this season, after not appearing on the show at all since the third season. This is her last appearance on the show (though she would do a guest-spot on Trapper John, M.D.!).

This is the last episode of the Fifth Season, and of course the final episode featuring Larry Linville as Frank Burns. Its also the last episode of Gene Reynolds as the show's executive producer.

Favorite Line: Col. Potter asks Radar how the plans for the wedding ceremony are coming along, and Radar says Hawkeye and B.J. are planning a Bachelor Party for Penobscott. Also, Hawkeye will be on his best behavior for the wedding, "but he won't wear pants."

Col. Potter: "You tell him No Pants, No Champagne. You gotta know how to handle these guys."


Russell said...

Nice plot synopsis, Rob. My favorite part is probably when Klinger gives Margaret his Uncle Gus' wedding dress. It's a really nice scene between the two of them. I also like how Radar rattles off the Army regulations for soldiers to get married; it makes me smile every time when he says, "Gosh, that's easy..." and then rattles off a half-dozen regulations. :-)

As for Larry Linville...I loved to hate Frank, and I never felt the same towards Charles. I did eventually warm up to him as a character, but he simply was never as funny as Frank was.

Bye, Frank...

What The Parrot Saw said...

The bachelor party scene is quite amusing. We really get a feel for Penobscott's character here; good-natured, a bit of a doofus but quite the regular guy. Wonder if the creators were hedging their bets a little at this early date? What we see of him here does not contradict that fact that he in the end would prove to be enough of a cad that Margaret would be justified in seeking a divorce...

and poor Frank. Penobscott's entry in the camp and his subsequent playing with Frank's ...utter terror... is nonetheless funny. As a married man (and consummate hypocrite) who had his fun playing around, Frank gets his final comeuppance here. (Could there be anyone in the camp left unaware of the once-torrid relationship between Frank and Margaret after Frank literally flees from Penobscott?)

I agree- his final goodbye is perfectly done. Frank seems like a boy-man finally realizing that his favorite toy is now out of reach for good. A long soliloquy would be out of character (but potentially hilarious).

Bye, Larry and thanks for all the laughs! :-) It's hard to say whether I prefer Burns or Winchester. I love them both for the different things they brought to the unit.

Lynette said...

I completely agree about the syndicated version being the superior one. I always stop the DVD at the end of the helipad scene, because the final scene awful. It's nothing but junk and filler, that completely undercuts the beautifully executed moment just before it.

As far as I'm concerned, "Bye, Margaret" is Frank's final moment. The chopper flying out of sight paired with his wistful gaze and quiet goodbye comprise a wonderful farewell for the audience... to both Frank and the first half of the series. For my viewing, Season 5 ends on the helipad.

So long, Ferret Face!

Anonymous said...

Larry Linville leaving was the last of the Funny years of MASH...too bad it had to drag on for 6 more boring seasons...It should have been stopped
right then and there...such as when Hawkeye is accidently reported dead...should have been Hawkeye farwell to the series..just as this was Frank's farewell,,,,

Tuttle said...

Hey Rob-

Odessa Cleveland is not in this episode...I just watched it.

Totally agree with you about the ending-would've been an nice farewell for Larry Linville.

Dave said...

I agree. After this episode i don't enjoy the show as much. Never liked Winchester and it's for the best that Larry Linville left. I don't think they would have been able to change Franks character to fit the melodrama that was to come in the next couple of years.

Anonymous said...

There's a great moment in this episode which captures a moment that always appeared between Burns and Potter. Margeret tells Frank that Penobscott's coming, and in dead panic Burns bursts into Potter's office "can i have 2 weeks two week furlow?"

Potter dead pan with out glancing up: "no."

I missed the Burns vs Commander in the last seasons.

Robert Gross said...

I can't be too unhappy about this. I think Winchester is a vastly more interesting character and a more formidable foil for Hawkeye and B.J. End of the "funny" years? Maybe, but every single practical joke episode still to come is comedy gold as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

This should have been Houlihan Swan song last epsiode-but of course they cant cut the characther....just as HAwkeye sawan song last epsiode should have been The Late CapTain Pierce

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