Monday, April 6, 2009

Episode 31 - L.I.P.

Season 2, Episode 30: L.I.P.
Original Air Date: 10/27/73
Written by: Carl Kleinschmitt, Larry Gelbart & Laurence Marks
Directed by: William Wiard

Hawkeye is busy trying to make time with a new nurse, Lt. Hoffman (Corrine Camacho). After the movie, they wander back to her tent, but she rebuffs him, offering him a handshake. Hawkeye looks at her hand in disbelief.

Back in The Swamp, Hawkeye is drowning his sorrows, when a Cpl. Walker comes by, asking for Hawkeye's help.

Walker has a "wife" (a Korean woman who would only sleep with him if they were married, so Walker had the cook perform the ceremony), and a baby. The baby is sick, and Hawkeye diagnoses it as colic.

Walker also tells him another problem he has--he's being shipped out in a few weeks, and he doesn't want to leave his wife and kid behind. He asks Hawkeye for help.

Hawkeye gets Henry involved, who warns Hawkeye that the Army takes forever to clear all the paperwork, and its a red-tape nightmare.

The next night, Hawkeye has another date with Lt. Hoffman, and he is smitten. She's flirty, talks about loves doing things outdoors, as well as golfing. Hawkeye's in love!

The next day, a Lt. Willis (Burt Young) from C.I.D. arrives to look into the Walker matter. He needs to talk to Hawkeye as well as Walker, and starts asking about Hawkeye's past.

This drags Hawkeye from another date with Lt. Hoffman, and he is none too happy about that. But he dutifully answers Willis' questions, and in so doing let's it slip that Walker and the woman have a baby. Willis flatly denies the marriage application on the spot.

Hawkeye makes apologies to Lt. Hoffman, asking to give him just a little more time. He and Trapper decide to frame Willis--they drug his drink, knocking him out. He wakes up covered in lipstick and women's undergarments, with Hawkeye and Trapper promising they took pictures.

Willis thinks they're bluffing, but he can't be sure. After suggesting they're going to make a case either way, Willis gives in to Hawkeye and Trapper, approves the marriage, and hot foots it out of the 4077th.

Hawkeye finally makes it back to Lt. Hoffman, and she asks him what kept him. He tells her about Walker, and his wife and baby. Hawkeye then wants to return to romance, but Hoffman keeps asking questions.

She finally asks, incredulously, "..and so you had to arrange for a marriage between one of or guys and a gook?"

Hawkeye, his romantic interest rapidly fading, tries to assuage her, but once she starts talking about "our people", Hawkeye pulls away. He then gives her a handshake, saying he wants the original one back. He tells her that, even with all her beauty and charm, "There are some pretty unappetizing ideas in there and I don't think I can take the mix."

Lt. Hoffman is incensed at this, and asks, "Is that all?" Hawkeye, while stealing back the bottle of wine he brought, says no, offering her a big fat raspberry as he leaves her tent.

Later, Walker and his "wife" are genuinely married by Father Mulcahy, with Klinger catching the bouquet.

Fun Facts: The final scene with Hawkeye and Lt. Hoffman has genuine tension, partly because you don't see it coming. But then when Lt. Hoffman says that one word, you react the same way Hawkeye does--one of shock.

The show gives Hawkeye the chance to tell off the racist Lt. Hoffman in very clear, crisp--yet funny--terms. I wish, when I've been faced with similar comments, I had had the guts and quick wits to say something similar.

There's a running gag in this episode about John Wayne movies that don't show up when they're supposed to, leaving the 4077th with just Bonzo movies to show over and over.

They also show The Thing That Ate The Bronx, which Henry says he could "Watch that every night." Sadly, there is no such movie, which is really too bad--it sounds like a lot of fun! (I hope Ray Harryhausen did the effects)

Favorite Line: When Hawkeye tells Walker he'll try to help out the marriage paperwork, he offers: "When it comes time for the circumcision, ask me, not the cook."


Anonymous said...

Rob! You're right about that scene with Hoffman, it does have tension

Domino said...

This was a good episode. Can you believe that it would take a long time just to marry a person. And I thought getting a marriage license was ridiculous. Not many tv shows have issues like this episode.

Robert Gross said...

Again, like "The Moose," this episode is progressive *for its time* but by today's standards not so much. Hawkeye protesting Lt. Hoffman's racism would ring truer if he wasn't simultaneously complimenting Hoffman's body, implying that her racism simply undermines nothing more than her otherwise status as a sack of desirable womanflesh.

Before you jump in and say, that's just Hawkeye, no, that was the early 1970s. Women were still essentially seen as sex objects first and people second. Hawkeye's comment that Hoffman would be a desirable sack of womanflesh but for her racism would slide by most men, and many women, as an entirely appropriate response in 1973-4.

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