Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Episode 221 - Snap Judgment

Season 10, Episode 221: Snap Judgment
Original Air Date: 12/7/81
Written by: Paul Perlove

Directed by: Hy Averback

Hawkeye and B.J. receive a gift from the grateful father of a patient of theirs--a brand new, super expensive Polaroid camera. As much as they appreciate the gift, they're worried its going to get stolen, since at the moment the 4077th is suffering from a crime wave of pilfering.

After a series of failed attempts to get the camera to work, it is, in fact, stolen during a session in OR. This enrages everyone, no one more than Col. Potter, who nevertheless is confused as to what to do about it.

He instructs Klinger to fill out a stolen goods report, but after a week or so when there's no news, Hawkeye and B.J. look into it. They are told by HQ that they never got the report Klinger filed--turns out he screwed up and sent them an empty envelope.

Hawkeye and B.J. are furious at Klinger for messing up, and now are convinced they'll never get the camera back, since the crook or crooks had has a week's head start.

Klinger, feeling guilty over his screw up, decides to do some investigating of his own: he goes to Rosie's Bar, and bribes Rosie to find out about any black marketeers in the area. Rosie tells him about "Little Chicago", a roving band of thieves selling stolen merchandise.

Klinger secretly drives to Little Chicago, and finds the camera. He buys it back with his own money, driving back delighted he fixed his mistake. But he's stopped by some MPs, who think Klinger stole it.

Back at the 4077th, the MPs return the camera to Hawkeye and B.J., and tell them the culprit is Klinger. They laugh at this, insisting Klinger is innocent, but the MPs won't listen, and go ahead with their case.

The Army's CID sends an investigator named Capt. Triplett (Peter Jurasik) to the 4077th to see if there's strong enough evidence to put Klinger on trial. Everyone lays on the white wash to protect Klinger, so much so that Jurasik tells Hawkeye, B.J., and Potter over drinks that "No one's tried to insult my intelligence this badly since Basic Training."

But they are relieved when Triplett says that while Klinger is clearly a first class scrounger, there's no evidence he stole the camera. Until Rosie arrives, and tells them to send a message to Klinger about Little Chicago if he's looking to fence stolen merchandise. Triplett, hearing this, re-opens his investigation.

Triplett recommends a court martial and a trial is scheduled. Klinger tries to see the upside of being found guilty, thinking it would mean he'd at least be sprung from Korea.

But Col. Potter has to break the bad news to him: if he is found guilty, Klinger is looking at a dishonorable discharge, a criminal record in his private life, and six months of hard labor.

To be continued!

Fun Facts: This M*A*S*H's first two-part episode (as opposed to a one-hour show) since the eighth season.

Favorite Line: Klinger doesn't believe he screwed up, and pulls a sheath of papers from his files to prove it.

As he fumbles, Hawkeye says, "You can always spot a Kelly Girl."

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