Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Episode 178 - Mr. And Mrs. Who?

Season 8, Episode 178: Mr. and Mrs. Who?
Original Air Date: 11/12/79
Written by: Ronny Graham

Directed by: Burt Metcalfe

Winchester returns from R&R in wretched shape: hung over, unshaven, totally disheveled. Hawkeye and B.J. pester him with questions about just what he did while he was in Tokyo when he was supposed to be at a medical conference.

The problem is, Winchester has absolutely no memory of his entire weekend, save getting caught up with the hospital's "rowdy" medical staff, which ended with the manager of a nearby hotel ordering Winchester to stay away from the establishment: "In perpetuity."

But there's no rest for the hung over: Hawkeye and B.J. drag Winchester to Post Op, where a few of their patients are suffering from Korean Hemmorrhagic Fever, a mysterious disease that attacks the kidneys.

While trying to deal with that, Klinger develops some rolls of film found in Winchester's bag, which Hawkeye and B.J. find hilarious--there's shots of Winchester walking around with a lampshade on his head, romantic dancing with a unknown woman, and more.

A few hours later, the 4077th gets a call from a woman who says she's on her way to visit. Her name? Mrs. Charles Emerson Winchester!

While Winchester is in a panic over this mystery woman's imminent arrival, Hawkeye and B.J. try and figure out a way to treat the young men sick with the fever. One of them takes a turn for the worse, and they realize that if they just stand around and do nothing--essentially the official directive from the Army--the young man will die.

Hawkeye and B.J., after extensive reading on the subject, come up with a possible solution, involving a low-saline IV solution. Its a risky move, since it sort of goes against the Army directive, but Potter decides it worth the risk, since they know the boy will die if they don't do something.

Meanwhile, "Mrs." Winchester arrives, a gregarious woman named Donna (Claudette Nevins), and it quickly dawns on her that her erstwhile husband doesn't remember any of the weekend, even the marriage ceremony!

But Winchester is relieved when she tells him that the ceremony wasn't an official one--it was performed by the hotel bartender--so they aren't really married. They both collapse into laughter--one out of disbelief, the other in relief. They spend the next few hours catching up on what happened, and Winchester admits that he likes this woman Donna quite a bit--even planting a gentle kiss on her.

The next morning, Hawkeye and B.J. see that their solution to the Fever seems to have worked--the young man is stable, and his kidney output seems to have normalized. They did it!

Later that day, the 4077 throws a party to celebrate the medical victory, and to officially dissolve the ersatz marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Winchester. Margaret is the flower girl, and B.J.--whom Hawkeye refers to as "The Rev. J.B. Honeydue"--performs the ceremony, reading from a comic book.

Fun Facts: I used to watch M*A*S*H re-runs on my local station, known as Channel 29. They regularly ran promos over the end credits, but with this episode they really broke the mold: they ran a voice-over, promoting some other show, over the dialog in the final scene--so you could see Hawkeye, B.J., et al, but you couldn't hear what they were saying. Gee, thanks guys--I never would've known when Joan Rivers' late night Fox talk show was on without you.

Favorite Line: Hawkeye and B.J. are examining all the evidence in Winchester's suitcase, and B.J. digs out a woman's stocking: "He probably had to do an emergency operation: saving some poor chorus girl from sweating to death."


What the Parrot Saw said...

rob! - all I can say is thank goodness for the DVDs so I can watch MASH commercial free, uncut (and usually sans laugh track- a godsend) but also without annoying promos not only at the end of the episodes, but during as well!

Anonymous said...

MY favorite line is at the end of B.J.'s "vows": Then, by the Power Vested in Me... by the State of Intoxication..." This is a favorite episode of all the 251. Oh, and Klinger's revelation that Charles received "...a call for you. A lady. Said she'd be here in two hours."

Charles [still severly hung over!]: "Oh? She have a name?"

Klinger: "She certainly did: Mrs. CHUCK Winchester, the Third!"

Charles' little "Urrp." after that is classic!

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