Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Episode 148 - Our Finest Hour

Season 7, Episode 148: Our Finest Hour
Original Air Date: 10/9/78
Written by: Ken Levine & David Isaacs, Larry Balmagia & Ronny Graham and David Lawrence

Directed by: Burt Metcalfe

Reporter Clete Roberts returns to the 4077th, to check back in the medical unit with the best survival rate in all of Korea.

Amidst new interviews with the staff (including new arrival Major Winchester), we are treated to clips of previous episodes from the preceding six seasons, featuring departed characters Trapper John, Henry Blake, and Frank Burns.

Winchester offers that he tries to blot out the memory of what transpires at the 4077th as it happens, trying especially hard to forget some of the people he's met...knowing deep down that he never shall.

Father Mulcahy tries to say something nice about Winchester, since he was not at the 4077th when Clete Roberts came by the first time. The best, most polite answer he can muster is..."He's a very good doctor."

The final clip is from Season One's "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet", and Clete Roberts, talking directly to the camera, hopes that some day soon these people will be able to go home, and "No one will have to assemble for a duty like this ever again."

Fun Facts: M*A*S*H's first, and only, clip show, featuring the return of Clete Roberts from Season Four's brilliant "The Interview" and that show's black and white format.

Favorite Line: Radar is asked what he'll remember about his time in Korea the most, and he quietly but firmly responds: "One day...one very bad day." After that we are shown clips from the last Henry Blake episode, Season Three's "Abyssinia, Henry."

Cutting back to Radar, he swallows and says, "There are people here who suffer every day. And, uh...I don't really want to talk about this."


Russell said...

Rob, you picked the best part of this episode to talk about. The only thing I like about this cop-out is that Radar scene and the inclusion of Charles and Margaret, who were not around the first time. Everything else...blech.

I especially loathe (yes, HATE) the part where Col. Potter talks about spooning with his wife (!). For a guy who didn't even want to give Mildred a shout out last time, this is a total about face and just perfect proof that the current creative personnel didn't have the same grip on the characters that Larry Gelbart had. It's a cryin' shame. :-(

What the Parrot Saw said...

^^I just figured that Sherm had mellowed a bit between interviews. ;-)

The clip show is a weird phenomenon, anyway. The original interview worked so well, because it was only the interviews, which seemed marvelously revealing and off the cuff. I haven't watched this episode recently, and memory doesn't serve me well here- in other words, I can't remember any of these interviews! Except for Radar's sad recollection of Henry...

The clips look bad (the DVD finally explains this little mystery) and why was this episode was featured so early in the season?

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