Monday, August 10, 2009

Episode 132 - Comrades in Arms, Part 1

Season 6, Episode 132: Comrades in Arms, Part 1
Original Air Date: 12/6/77
Written by: Alan Alda

Directed by: Burt Metcalfe and Alan Alda

Col. Potter tells his doctors that the 8063rd wants to see a demonstration of the 4077th's arterial transplant procedure, and since it was Hawkeye who first performed it, he's assigned to go.

Hawkeye also gets to pick a nurse to go with him, but Margaret picks herself, to keep Hawkeye from treating the nursing staff "like a harem."

Just before they leave, Margaret gets a letter from Donald Penobscott, which seems to upset her greatly. She's surly and short-tempered during the whole trip to the 8063rd, and she has no time for Hawkeye's joking around.

Things get even worse when they arrive at the 8063rd, only to find they have bugged out! The Chinese and the North Koreans started getting too close, so the whole camp packed up and left before they had a chance to call the 4077th and tell them not to send Hawkeye and Margaret.

On the way back home, bombs start to fall, and they get thrown off their course. Then the jeep breaks down, and Margaret is aghast that Hawkeye has no idea how to fix it.

They hide in the brush when they hear some North Koreans approaching, and watch helplessly as the four soldiers fix the jeep, get it going, and drive off.

Lost in enemy territory, Hawkeye and Margaret wander around and find a small, abandoned hut. Margaret is temporarily impressed when Hawkeye explains the logic of staying in the hut using actual military protocol, which he chalks up to having seen the movie Abbott & Costello Meet Hitler.

More bombs start to fall, causing part of the hut to collapse. Hawkeye takes a piece of sharp wood in the back of his leg, and he screams like a baby as Margaret removes it.

Back at the 4077th, Potter and B.J. are trying desperately to get some of the higher-ups to send out some search planes to look for Hawkeye and Margaret, but due to a combination of stupidity and incompetence, it takes forever just to get some of the brass on the phone.

Hours pass, and night falls, leaving Hawkeye and Margaret still stuck in their hut. They talk, and Margaret reveals what's upsetting her: the letter from her husband was written--and meant for--another woman named Darlene. Its gentle and romantic, and top of that it mentions Margaret as "a hard worker" and "sturdy", underscoring just how little she means to her husband.

Hawkeye tries to comfort her, but Margaret insists she's fine (although she does down most of Hawkeye'e expensive Japanese scotch, which he brought along).

They go to sleep on other sides of the tent, but in the middle of the night bombs start to fall again. Margaret breaks into hysterical panic, and Hawkeye tries to calm her down. They embrace, look into each other's eyes...and share a passionate kiss.

To be continued!

Fun Facts: This is M*A*S*H's first two-part episode, as opposed to their previous one-hour shows.

Margaret, when selecting herself to go with Hawkeye, adds, "If you remember, Captain, I assisted you when Dr. Borelli taught you that operation", a reference, of course, to the Third Season episode "The Consultant."

I like how off-handed that reference is--usually TV shows are so scared of mentioning something all their viewers might not understand they contrive all sorts of ungainly dialog to explain the reference ("Betty, you're my sister. You of course remember that time when we both went to the zoo..."). Here, you have to have seen that episode to know who Dr. Borelli was. If not, well then too bad.

As a life-long Abbott & Costello fan, I would've loved to have seen an
Abbott & Costello Meet Hitler movie!

Radar not appear in this episode.

Favorite Line: Hawkeye, less than thrilled about his assignment, says, "I'm not so sure I like this."

Potter adds, "And pick a nurse to go with you."

Hawkeye: "...I'm not so sure I hate it, either."


Russell said...

I hate this episode. Need I say more? It just seems SO...plotted. Except for the eventual sex between the two leads, it seems totally "been there, done that." The old, funny MASH is now officially gone.

What the Parrot Saw said...

They (presumably) did it.

I still wish they hadn’t; this still seems like a sop to audience expectations. Sexual tension between a male and female lead? Bingo!

Anonymous said...

this was a good episode. Margaret and Hawkeye had sexual tension. They're both similar in that their careers in medicine come before anything else in their lives, and they're the strongest in the camp.

I prefer common sitcom plot here. All the stories on MASH are stories from multitudes of other people who have been in war. Let these characters be themselves for a change and have sexual tension.

This kind of tension most likely occurred somewhere on the battlefield. So it fits with the war stuff.

"the old funny MASH"? the later episodes are the best for Margaret, and Frank was gone! Winchester's character was a much more honorable antagonist.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...