Thursday, September 17, 2009

Episode 164 - C*A*V*E

Season 7, Episode 164: C*A*V*E
Original Air Date: 2/5/79
Written by: Larry Balmagia and Ronny Graham

Directed by: William Jurgensen

The 4077th is caught in a crossfire between the Army and a Chinese battalion, and it gets so bad that Col. Potter calls I-Corps to try and get them to stop firing.

I-Corps thinks the 4077th is in another location, but Potter tries to tell them that they were there briefly, but are now back to their original location. They are "Mobile", after all.

I-Corps asks for the proper code word to verify Potter is who he says he is, but they have an out-of-date book and I-Corps rejects them, hanging up. Potter tries to call General Embry, but the bombs have cut the phone lines so the 4077th is stranded!

Potter calls a meeting and decides that for the duration the whole unit will move to a nearby cave, protecting them from the shelling. Everyone goes along with the plan, except for Hawkeye, who has several objections. But he's overruled, and they all pack up and head for the cave.

Once they get there, Hawkeye refuses to go inside, and it dawns on Potter what's going on: Hawkeye suffers from claustrophobia, something he's never told anyone before.

Hawkeye tries to carry on inside, but he just can't do it--his heart races, he sweats profusely, and he has to run outside to the cave's entrance just to catch his breath.

A bigger problem is one of Hawkeye's patients, who is getting worse and being stuck in a damp cave isn't helping. He needs to be operated on again, and there's only one place that can happen--the 4077th.

Hawkeye offers to drive the patient back and operate on him there. Margaret, revealing her terror over loud noises to help comfort Hawkeye, volunteers to accompany Hawkeye back to the 4077th.

In the OR, its Hawkeye's turn to comfort Margaret to keep her mind off all the loud explosions, and he tries to pass the time playing a game of 20 Questions, kidding along the way.

Just as they're finishing up the surgery, the bombs stop falling and its quiet again. Hawkeye finally guesses Margaret's been thinking of Joan of Arc. Amazed, she asks, "How did you know?"

Hawkeye says: "That's easy--who else would you be thinking of the past five minutes?"

The next morning, everyone else returns, finding Hawkeye and Margaret passed out in Post Op. They try to get up to help, only to pass out again.

Fun Facts: A nice change of pace, having an episode that spends so much time away from the usual 4077th sets.

Radar does not appear in this episode.

The scenes of the 4077th heading for the cave are shot day-for-night, and its fairly obvious that its not night time!

Favorite Line: Potter request is rejected by I-Corps, since they don't believe he is who he says he is. Potter states, in disbelief: "He thinks I'm Chinese."

Hawkeye: "I don't see it, myself."


Russell said...

I never cared for this episode as a kid, and as an adult I think I understand why: Hawkeye, who is OH-So-Perfect, suddenly has a character flaw that leads him to be heroic. Isn't that nifty!! And Margaret admits that she is scared to death of shelling... something I would have thought would have come out sometime before this, ya know? Blah. I think this episode would have been so much better if it had simply been about the unit moving to a cave and all the problems that would have caused, and not having Hawkeye's Claustrophia to trip itself over. Or perhaps if Charles or BJ would have had to have gone back to operate. As it is, it feels too much like the Season 5 Bugging Out opener. Blah again.

What the Parrot Saw said...

I tend to enjoy any episode with a bug-out- not sure why.

I also agree with Russell here regarding Margaret's fear of loud noises- I mean, by now we KNOW she can be tough as nails but it seems like this is something would have surfaced somewhere in the first six seasons! In a war zone??
While nicely played, I do tend to roll my eyes a bit at it still.

Hawkeye's claustrophobia strikes me as more believable and his panic is intriguing. His attempts to allay it with humor doesn't quite come off fully...

Favorite line: Potter telling an arguing BJ and Charles that "these modern caves have wonderful acoustics [...] so, zip it!"

Pepper said...

actually i thought the same thing about margeret's fear, but then i watched "BUGOUT" from season 5, and she says something...It's just her, hawk and radar. They are working, and she says "Why does the war have to be so noisy?" and also in the episode where her and Hawkeye are trapped in a hut, she is FLIPPING out with the shells falling down. so i do believe her fears been exposed before but not really played on until now, but Hawkeye's is just silly it seems.

Nick Chaney said...

I thought this episode was pretty well considering the tropes it utilizes. It might seem a little silly to introduce Hawkeye's irrational flaw in this one episode, but the thing to take note of that his heroic moment derives from him being a coward. Sure, he saves the patient, but he still could not even spend a second in that cave long enough to perform a routine diagnostic on a patient. So it's not entirely unbelievable for me. Solid episode in my book, especially for season 7.

Nick Chaney said...

did I say "was pretty well?" Wow, it really should read "worked pretty well."

mark said...

A whimsical thought: I wonder what Sidney Freedman's pet fear is. I should think Potter would have had him come to the 4077th after they bugged back in for a talk with Hawkeye and Margaret.

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