Sunday, October 11, 2009

Episode 182 - Captains Outrageous

Season 8, Episode 182: Captains Outrageous
Original Air Date: 12/10/79
Written by: Thad Mumford & Dan Wilcox

Directed by: Burt Metcalfe

There's another round of promotions coming, and Father Mulcahy has his hopes up he will finally get promoted to Captain. Col. Potter writes Mulcahy a glowing letter, bursting at the seams with praise.

Meanwhile, during a drinking session in Rosie's Bar, a fight breaks out, accidentally sort of started by Winchester, of all people. The fight gets so out of control that even Rosie is injured, having to rest up in Post Op with cracked ribs.

With Rosie out of commission, it leaves her bar vulnerable to the thievery of her shifty waitresses, who Rosie claims will rob her blind if given the opportunity.

Margaret offers that they should all run the bar while Rosie recuperates, and after some hesitancy Hawkeye, B.J., and Winchester agree to help out. They have Rosie teach them the tricks of the trade, like shaking down the waitresses and watering down the drinks.

Meanwhile, the new Captains List comes out, and once again Mulchay isn't on it. The normally meek Mulcahy is enraged--he's furious at the "dunderheads" in the Pentagon who passed him over once again. He storms out of his tent, leaving Col. Potter alone.

Instead of calming down, Mulcahy's anger grows, and when he's asked to break up a fight between two patients in Post Op (the ones who started the fight in Rosie's), he does so by threatening to beat them both to a pulp. It works.

Back in Rosie's Bar, Winchester gets in a argument with a drunken Sgt. Rizzo, which leads to Rizzo wanting to deck Winchester. Rizzo is arrested by an Australian MP named Muldoon (John Orchard), who walks in expecting his usual free drink, an "arrangement" with Rosie that Winchester knows nothing about. This causes another row, and Muldoon storms out.

A few days later, everyone meets at Rosie's, celebrating her return to the bar. But there's another reason to celebrate: Col. Potter is here to announce that, thanks to some calls he placed to the actual Pentagon, Father Mulcahy has indeed been promoted to Captain!

Later, Muldoon returns to shut down Rosie's Bar for various penny-ante reasons, blaming Winchester, whom he snidely calls "Chauncy Uppercrust." Mulcahy, full of brio thanks to his new Captains bars, steps in to try and settle the dispute.

Fun Facts: This episode features actor John Orchard, who played Ugly John during the show's first season. I wonder, as actor, does someone like Orchard look at actors like Farrell, Morgan, and Steirs and think to himself, oh, what could have been?

G.W. Bailey plays Sgt. Rizzo in this episode. And even though we've seen the character of Rizzo before (in the earlier Eighth Season episode "The Yalu Brick Road"), this episode seems to be the actual debut of the character, at least in an early form--he doesn't seem to be a member of the 4077th here, and this Rizzo is also clearly not from Louisiana.

The name "Chauncy Uppercrust" makes me laugh every time I hear it.

Favorite Line: Rosie is horrified at the meager profits Margaret and the other have managed while they're running the bar. Margaret defends herself with, "Rosie, we're doing our best!"

Rosie: "How you people got to be a world power beats me."


What the Parrot Saw said...

I've had the same thought about John Orchard. Ugly John was probably written out of the series. I recall reading that the creators thought that there were too many characters for a sitcom, which is a pity because I think that a somewhat larger ensemble might have worked equally well.

In any event, I've always thought it neat to see him pop up out of nowhere this episode. Even his character here is not all that different!

mark said...

If they ran low on Scotch, they could always mix some "Ch√Ęteau Roberts", like Henry Fonda and William Powell in "Mister Roberts": a grain alcohol base, Coke for color, iodine for taste, and hair tonic for age.

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