Friday, August 14, 2009

Episode 136 - Patent 4077

Season 6, Episode 136: Patent 4077
Original Air Date: 1/10/77
Written by: Ken Levine and David Isaacs

Directed by: Harry Morgan

Hawkeye is frustrated at trying to perform a tricky arterial operation without the proper tool...a vascular clamp that is delicate enough to hold an artery without crushing it.

The surgical staff decides to try and devise their own specially-made clamp, first by asking he Army Engineers. Whey the engineers turn them down, they try and make it themselves, but Hawkeye and B.J. are mechanically inept (it doesn't help that Winchester tags along just to sit and laugh at them).

In the Mess Tent, Sgt. Zale says he's a "master craftsman", and can make one himself. After some initial skepticism, they put him to work.

A day later, he produces his clamp. Hawkeye and B.J. test it out, but when it grips itself too tightly on Hawkeye's hand and can't be dislodged, it proves a failure. Zale, hurt, storms out, and Hawkeye and B.J. are back at square one.

Hawkeye, desperate, offers up the Army Engineers a bunch of the 4077's nurses as "guests" for their next unit party (B.J. is horrified), without checking with them first. They then have to go to the nurses and ask for this huge favor, but the nurses turn them down cold, explaining that the engineers are "animals." On top of that, they're exhausted from all the work Margaret is throwing at them--she's in a foul mood ever since Klinger lost her wedding ring, tossing it accidentally in the trash.

A Korean merchant named Mr. Shin (the legendary Keye Luke) comes by with his cart of hand-made items, and he mentions that he has a ring that bears a striking resemblance to the one Margaret had (its a cheap ring with an even cheaper diamond setting, typical of Donald Penobscott). They commission him to put in the original inscription and get Klinger off the hook.

When they notice some of the other custom-made stuff, they also ask him to try his hand at the new clamp. He offers them a deal on the clamp, since they're buying such a crappy ring.

A few days later, Klinger tries to pass off the new ring as the original, but Mr. Shin messed up the inscription, tipping Margaret off. She thinks its a joke on her expense, but Klinger tells her they were just trying to make her happy.

In surgery, Hawkeye breaks in the clamp with a patient with a crushed artery--and it works perfectly. The surgery goes off without a hitch, and the patient's leg is saved.

After showing off the clamp to the patient, they notice there's an inscription--"Over Hill, over Dale, Korean Clamp will never fail."

Fun Facts: Radar does not appear in this episode. Man, he gets a lot of R&R!

Hawkeye and B.J. are a little cruel and dismissive to Zale in the scene with his clamp. Sure, he screwed up, but he did try.

Ironic, then, that there's a serious scene where Klinger gently chides Margaret to at least try and "appreciate the effort" they all went to and get her her ring back, even though they screwed up. I think this episode needed a scene of them buying Zale a drink and apologizing.

Favorite Line: Hawkeye and B.J. are proud that they're going to be inventors. When Winchester scoffs, they respond with silly, absurd examples of other great inventors, B.J. asking where would they be if "Joseph Cotten hadn't invented the Cotton Gin?"


Russell said...

My favorite scenes are the one with Klinger and Margaret (obviously, Margaret has been the butt of many jokes, but now without Frank around and with the more gentle BJ, they are all turning into friends) and when Charles watches BJ and Hawkeye try to create a clamp. When BJ smashes Charles' eggs, it's just too funny. (Although, just as an aside, I thought eggs were hard to come by....?)

What the Parrot Saw said...

^^I'm sure Charles had no problem getting eggs! ;-)

Kilinger's scene with Margaret after she discovers the ring is a fake is one of the more memorable in the entire series. Kilinger's dignified, justified reproach of Margaret's anger (and her mistrust of the act as being another of the Swampmen's shenanigans is believable) is perfectly played.

Charlie Stanley said...

I'm working my way through the entire series again, having watched it about 30 years ago, and reading your splendid blog and the comments along with it.

I've discovered I really like Klinger this time round and don't really like Hawkeye! If I remember correctly he gets more painful to watch all the way to the end...

And isn't Hot Lips beautiful? I thought she was a bit of an old crone last time I watched it. Funny how your perspective changes over time.....

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