Monday, November 9, 2009

Episode 205 - No Sweat

Season 9, Episode 205: No Sweat
Original Air Date: 2/2/81
Written by: John Rappaport

Directed by: Burt Metcalfe

The 4077th is in the middle of a heat wave, keeping everyone from sleeping.

Col. Potter wanders into his office to get a sleeping pill, and is shocked to find Klinger having taken apart the P.A. system, in an attempt to learn a new trade: TV repair. Potter warns that the P.A.--now it dozens of parts all over the floor--had better be back together and ready by morning.

B.J. is keeping Hawkeye up by constantly reading and re-reading a letter from Peg, which he's clearly angry about. Winchester is also up, utilizing the large empty tables in the Mess Tent to figure out his family's taxes, thrown into chaos by their unscrupulous accountant.

Margaret, meanwhile, has a brutal case of prickly heat, causing a severe rash on her rear end. Normally she would just use medicinal lotion, but with all the cases the 4077th has had, they're fresh out.

A wounded solider arrives, and Hawkeye and B.J. tell Klinger to order a chopper to come pick the young man up in the morning and take him to an air-conditioned hospital. But since Col. Potter is the only one who can do that, Klinger has to wake him up from the first good night's sleep he's had in days.

Klinger is hesitant, and tries to gently wake Potter up. Turns out the sleeping pill has worked so well that Potter starts sleepwalking, and is actually able to order the chopper (upon Klinger's urging) while still being asleep.

B.J. reveals what's bugging him--their house's gutters are clogged, and Peg needs to handle it. Hawkeye can't believe that's what's causing B.J. such anguish ("That's grounds for a Hardship Discharge if I ever heard one"), but B.J. is humorless on the subject--he builds this minor problem up in his mind until he's imagining Peg having an affair with a neighborhood handyman!

As the night wears on, people have to keep waking up Col. Potter--Winchester needs the combination to the safe (to get some carbon paper to finish up his taxes), and then Margaret has him order some of the much-needed lotion, to be brought on the chopper on its way to pick up the wounded solider. Despite all these interruptions, Col. Potter never actually wakes up.

Igor wanders into the Mess Tent to start breakfast, and, in an attempt to cool Winchester off, stupidly turns on the giant fan, causing the reams of paper to fly all over the tent.

Margaret's rash on her rear end gets revealed to the whole unit when their conversation is accidentally broadcast over the P.A., finally fixed by Klinger. Its then broken again by an enraged Margaret when she hears laughter from all over the compound.

The next morning, Col. Potter is chipper from finally getting a good night's sleep, having no memory of all the interruptions. Margaret, unable to sit down during breakfast, is tired of all the butt jokes at her expense. When Potter mistakes this and says, "At ease, Margaret", she shoots him a look that could kill.

Fun Facts: This episode eschews the typical A-plot/B-plot structure in favor one of central idea (its way too hot), around which all the characters have their own storyline.

There's a lot of funny lines in this show--during a scene in the showers, Hawkeye convinces B.J. that Peg and the gutters will be fine. He agrees, but then goes off on another tangent, convincing himself that Peg is so self-sufficient she probably doesn't even need him at all. Hawkeye, following along this line of madness, finally yells: "You are a complete idiot! No wonder Peg is leaving you!"

There's another installment of The Young Sherman Potter Adventures when, still asleep, he tells Margaret about the time he was pinned down in a wet foxhole that gave him a brutal case of "fanny fungus" and, no matter what, "The fire on the back porch just keeps burning."

Favorite Line: When Klinger tells Winchester he keeps his carbon paper in the safe, Winchester can't help mock the idea: "Carbon paper, in the safe! What brilliant foresight--in only two million years, it will turn into diamonds!" I laugh at this line every single time I hear it.


Russell said...

I don't think I've ever seen this episode. :-(

Plaidstallions said...

everytime I think of sleeping pills, I think of Col. Potter keeping them in his safe.

The entire reason I keep mine in the basement.

What the Parrot Saw said...

I tend to cringe when I hear Potter's "fanny fungus." His dialogue really skirted being overly cutesy and folksy by this point in the series...

Hawkeye, for once, shares my irritation at BJ's preoccupation with home. Usually Beej is upset over something worthy, but Hawk's incredulity is perfect here. Of course, BJ's concern is exaggerated for comic effect, but... come on, fella!

Margaret being embarrassed by an inadvertent PA broadcast is an old nugget- this time, reaching back to the 1969 film!

The dazed Potter here is genuinely funny to me, as is Charles' heavy patience with Mulcahy.

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