Monday, March 2, 2009

Episode 2 - To Market, To Market

Season 1, Episode 2: To Market, To Market
Original Air Date: 9/24/72
Written by: Burt Styler
Directed by: Michael O'Herilhy

Hawkeye and Trapper are incensed when they learn--mid-operation--that they are out of Hydrocortisone. When the supply truck arrives with more, and they are even more mad when they see its all been stolen by the Black Market!

They try to turn to Henry for help, but he seems more involved in his brand new, antique oak desk. Amid his babbling about how nice the desk is, Hawkeye and Trapper get Henry to call General Hammond, asking him to send more Hydrocortisone, but Hammond refuses, indifferent to the doctor's plight--the 4077th is on its own until next month's regular shipment.

Hawkeye and Trapper figure maybe they can try and talk to the Black Market directly, so they take a trip into Seoul to visit their friend Sam, who is a top-level Black Marketeer. Sam (played by the wonderfully low-key actor Jack Soo) offers to sell them the drugs--cost!

But Hawkeye and Trapper can't afford that, so they try appeal to Sam's vanity, by offering him something he doesn't have--class. Class in the way of...a beautiful, antique oak desk.
Hawkeye, Trapper, and Sam (dressed as a cartoonish, English-mauling Korean general) come back to the camp, so he can get a first-hand look at the desk. Henry is all too willing to brag about his desk, and after Sam and the doctors leave, he agrees to the deal.

In the middle of the night, Hawkeye and Trapper (with an assist from Radar) sneak into Henry's office to make off with the desk, but are locked in when busybodies Frank and Hot Lips hear a noise and investigate. They don't discover Hawkeye and Trapper, but they do lock Henry's office doors,
inadvertently trapping the erstwhile desknappers inside!

As the truck arrives to pick up the desk, Hawkeye and Trapper are desperately trying to figure way to get out. With the clock ticking, they then think outside the box--using some surgical tools in the office, they saw the entire back wall off of the office, and carry the desk out that way.

Frank, having discovered the truck and its driver (who is in a heated discussion with Radar) orders the truck off camp, with no desk.

Henry and Frank enter his office, and are stunned to see the missing wall. They wander outside, where they see the desk being carted off by helicopter, leaving a flabbergasted Henry and Frank to wonder just what the heck has happened.

Hawkeye and Trapper wander by, and Hawkeye tries to reassure Henry, insisting that the desk "Is going to a far, far better place."

Fun Facts: I always found it funny and weird that Henry has to ask General Hammond specifically for more medical supplies--talk about micro-managing! And to make matters worse, Hammond turns them down!

Some TV shows establish a format where the characters only exist within the confines of the episodes presented. Obviously, M*A*S*H went the other way--Hawkeye and Trapper are having lots of adventures besides the ones we see. Otherwise, how are two new-to-Korea doctors already buddies with a black marketeer?

Favorite Line: Not a line, but a moment--while trapped inside Henry's office, Hawkeye and Trapper are forced to overhear Frank and Hot Lips make romantic talk with each other.

When Frank says his favorite part of Hot Lips are "her lobes", a sickened Hawkeye turns to Trapper, who silently drops his head in hysterical disgust. Its a great moment, easily missed unless you're watching the screen at that exact moment.


Richard said...

I've never admitted this to anyone, but while I haven't seen this episode once since its original airing...there are moments when I say to myself "Guess what this desk is made of. Oak? Nope, it's oak" and laugh to myself. 37 years later.

Anonymous said...

Haha! I am only 22 but I would laugh heartily at that. This show has made my day time and again.

PS-Love the webiste and episode recaps.

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