Thursday, December 3, 2009

Episode 223 - 'Twas The Day After Christmas

Season 10, Episode 223: 'Twas The Day After Christmas
Original Air Date: 12/28/81
Written by: Elias Davis & David Pollock

Directed by: Burt Metcalfe

The 4077th is celebrating Christmas with a regiment of British troops. When they mention their Boxing Day tradition,
Klinger is all for trying at the 4077th. Col. Potter is initially against it, but when he sees it will boost morale, he goes for it, and has the officers and enlisted men trade places for a day.

Col. Potter becomes the company clerk, putting Klinger in charge. Winchester ends up working as the cook's assistant, and Hawkeye and Father Mulcahy take up nursing duties in Post Op. He assigns B.J. and Margaret to KP duties, and makes Kellye Head Nurse.

Winchester prepares an ambitious menu, but the cook, Sgt. Pernelli (Val Bisoglio) isn't interested in complicated meals that inquire esoteric ingredients. He tries to convey to Winchester the urgency of getting the food cooked fast--with the volume of people about to come into the Mess Tent, they don't have time for fancy meals.

Col. Potter has a steep learning curve, too--he finds out firsthand how much work Klinger has to wade through each day, and he goofs when he arranges a trade for gasoline by giving up ten pounds of peanut brittle which is as valuable as gold. Klinger tries to be comforting, and tells Potter to check with him the next time.

A patient of Hawkeye's takes a turn for the worse, but because of a bad storm I-Corps can't send a chopper to take him to Tokyo. The patient's thyroid gets set off, and his temperature shoots dangerously high.

They need to find a way to cool him down, but there's no ice in the freezers--it all melted when they were turned off to save on gasoline. The patient is taken into the OR, and Hawkeye gets an idea how to cool him down--he takes a scalpel and cuts a giant hole in one of the windows, letting the frigid weather inside.

The next day, everyone is back in their normal positions, each of them now with a better understanding of one another. Winchester even suggests the food isn't that bad!

Fun Facts: The only members of the officers who doesn't complain about the new workload is Father Mulcahy, a recurring trait he's shown in previous episodes--a nice character touch.

Favorite Line: Klinger has Potter wake everyone up extra early so his one day in command lasts as long as possible. Potter tries to wake up Winchester, who barks: "Winchesters only recognize one 5:30 per day, and this is not it!"


What the Parrot Saw said...

I could have done with more Pernelli in these last three seasons; his is a hysterically deadpan character when the series was decidedly downplaying deadpan humor.

(His line last season where Hawk is morale officer in charge of the mess tent and is trying to get Pernelli to make some involved French toast recipe cracks me up to this day:

Pernelli (gesturing towards an Amry regulation barrel of soggy bread in powdered egg mixture):
"Shall you pinch it [one beat]
or shall I?")

This is a fun episode with a premise that doesn't overstay its welcome.

Robert Gross said...

Who doesn't love the sight of Col. Potter wearing a Toledo Mud Hens uniform?

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