Wednesday, March 24, 2010

AfterM*A*S*H Episode 25 - Madness To His Method

Season 2, Episode 25: Madness To His Method
Original Air Date: 10/16/84
Written by: Tom Straw

Directed by: Burt Metcalfe

We find Col. Potter up in the middle of the night writing a letter to...Dr. Sidney Freedman!

In the letter, Col. Potter is catching Sidney up on all that's been going on at General General. He admits having a very tough time adjusting to the idea of Klinger being a patient in the hospital's mental ward.

General General's old psychiatrist--one that Klinger could easily fool--passed away unexpectedly, so a replacement is brought in: a young, female psychiatrist, named Dr. Xxxx Dudziak (Wendy Girard). She seems on to Klinger's fake crazy act, and she rebuffs Dr. Boyer's romantic advances with a tart comment.

Col. Potter is also concerned with a patient named Carl, who once went through the 4077th, but is now at General General's psych ward, unable (or unwilling) to talk, preferring to just stare off into space.

Potter is also stressed over Wally Wainwright, who is planning to upgrade the hospital's food by providing deluxe meals in the cafeteria. Potter's concern that will empty General General's food budget in less than six months is ignored, since Wainwright has no plans to be still be at the hospital in six months' time: he'll take the credit for fixing the place up, and then be gone when it all collapses.

Klinger is determined to convince Dr. Dudziak he is crazy, by running around the hospital halls, grabbing Alma Cox and giving her a passionate kiss, as well as dressing up in various, 4077th-era outfits (a dress, combat fatigues).

Col. Potter has a breakthrough with Carl in the cafeteria, when he sees Klinger dressed in Amy fatigues. His first instinct is get up and run away, but Potter tells Carl to express himself, anyway he wants--which he does, by grabbing a handful of food and throwing it at Klinger!

This kicks off a food fight, filling the cafeteria will laughter. Col. Potter finishes his letter to Sidney as the food flies around him.

Fun Facts: Like Season One's "Yours Truly, Max Klinger", this episode is a neat twist of the classic "Dear..." episode format, this time with a letter being written to one of the members of 4077th (sort of). Too bad Allan Arbus didn't make an appearance.

There's a wonderful sequence with Col. Potter, playing chess (again, sort of) with Carl. As he tells Carl a story about WWI, the camera pans around the two of them, doing a complete 360 degree turn, all in one unbroken shot.

Favorite Line: Alma Cox complains to Col. Potter, saying she can't wander the halls of General General without being leered at and commented on by the lascivious--and lonely--patients.

After Potter rebuffs her, she wanders around the corner, only to go screaming the other way, being chased by a bunch of patients having some sort of wheelchair race. In the middle of the pack is Father Mulchay, who exclaims, "Make way for the Holy Roller!"

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