Thursday, December 24, 2009

Episode 238 - Foreign Affairs

Season 11, Episode 238: Foreign Affairs
Original Air Date: 11/8/82
Written by: David Pollock & Elias Davis

Directed by: Charles S. Dubin

A French Red Cross volunteer named Martine LeClerc (Melinda Mullins) arrives in camp to visit some the wounded. Everyone takes a shine to her, none more so than Winchester, who seems immediately smitten.

Later that night, Margaret and Martine share drinks in the O Club, and Hawkeye immediately tries an all-art charm offensive on Martine. She's polite, but seems indifferent to his advances.

She is much more receptive to Winchester, whose class and intelligence immediately charms her. They quickly bond over their mutual love of all things French, leaving Margaret out of the loop. After a few awkward moments, she excuses herself leaving the two of them alone.

Winchester and Martine stay up all night talking, into the morning. Martine admits to a love of Spike Jones, which inspires Winchester to loosen up and admit something silliness he secretly loves: Tom & Jerry cartoons.

Everyone takes notice of the two of them, with Hawkeye and B.J. being kept busy with their own dilemma: one of their patients, a North Korean, is being bribed by an oily PR man (Jeffrey Tambor) to become a turncoat and come to America as a way to "sell" the war to the people back home. The North Korean flatly isn't interested, but the PR man won't take no for an answer.

Over the next couple of days, Winchester and Martine's relationship continues to deepen, and Winchester admits he feels as much for Martine as he has felt for anyone in his entire life. Martine admits that she, too, has never felt this way since the death of her beloved Robert. Sharing a bottle of wine in her tent, Winchester and Martine spend the night together.

The next day, the two of them go on a picnic, and Martine mentions the one time she posed nude for a painting. When Winchester innocently asks whether her husband Robert minded that, she says since they were never married, there wasn't any sort of jealousy.

As she continues her story, Winchester is thrown--he's getting a better sense of how "bohemian" (as he puts it) Martine is. While Martine talks of meeting his family, Winchester is deeply upset.

The next night, in the O Club, Winchester is cold and distant to Martine, and she's confused as to the change in his behavior. Back in the Swamp, they talk about it, and Winchester says his family is very conservative (in both definitions of that word) and would never be able to accept Martine's free-thinking ways.

Martine says what matters is whether he can accept her, not his family. He admits that, deep down, he cannot. Deeply saddened, she points out that she's even more sad for him. When Winchester asks why, she mentions that she wasn't attracted to Hawkeye because "He was too much the little boy", but now she sees that Winchester "is not enough of one."

She gets up to leave, planting a last gentle kiss on his lips before departing.

Fun Facts: Another installment of The Young Sherman Potter Adventures: he mentions a young mademoiselle he knew--seemingly intimately--back during WWI.

This is actor Soon-Tek Oh's final appearance on the series--he plays a South Korean translator helping the PR man get his message across to his would-be turncoat.

There's a great moment where, as Winchester leaves Martine in the O Club, he runs into Hawkeye and B.J. who goof on him for doing so. Without a trace of humor, Winchester spits out "Shut up" before blowing past them.

Favorite Line: The doctors are talking about the Winchester/Martine romance, and Potter observes: "That joie de vivre of her might be just the thing to oil his hinges."

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