Friday, May 8, 2009

Episode 57 - Alcoholics Unanimous

Season 3, Episode 57: Alcoholics Unanimous
Original Air Date: 11/12/74
Written by: Everett Greenbaum & Jim Fritzell

Directed by: Hy Averback

While Henry is in Seoul giving a lecture ("The U.S. Army's Position on the Hemroid"), things couldn't be more depressing at the 4077th. Rain is falling in buckets, the sound from the movie has gone out, and
Frank is in charge.

After Hawkeye and Trapper get back to The Swamp in a surly mood, Frank gets the bright idea to ban drinking from the 4077th--total prohibition!

Of course, no one takes too well to the news, driving Hawkeye and Trapper to even attend Father Mulcahy's morning service just to see if they can get a nip of some of the sacrificial wine!

Frank turns to Hot Lips for support, but he's troubled by the fact that she drinks, too--from a flask she calls her "Little Nippy Bottle." Frank, as always, makes an exception when it involves him and/or Hot Lips.

Hawkeye and Trapper then decide to break into the camp's medicine supply to get some alcohol. When they hear a noise, they hide, but are surprised to see Hot Lips is there for the same reason, too.

Cut to: Hawkeye, Trapper, and Hot Lips in The Swamp, partying together, totally drunk. Frank tries to restore order, but he storms out when even Hot Lips joins in on the teasing of their "Commanding Officer."

He then asks Father Mulcahy to give a real "fire and brimstone" lecture about the evils of drink, and makes attendance mandatory.

The next morning, Hawkeye and Trapper are hung over and surly, even squabbling with one another. Their fighting continues all the way into a session in O.R., and Father Mulcahy's service.

But when Mulcahy--a little tipsy from taking a few shots from a flask to calm himself down over the idea of having so many people in the pews--forgets where he is, it turns the service into a shambles. Arguments break out, and the pressure finally gets to Frank, who starts drinking from Margaret's flask like a baby with a bottle.

Hawkeye and Trapper realize that the era of prohibition at the 4077th is now over!

Fun Facts: Yet another episode where Henry does not appear.

There's a scene where Hawkeye and Trapper squabble in The Swamp, and it escalates to the point where they're about to start hitting one another. It stops just before it comes to blows, but its a genuinely tense scene.

Favorite Line: When Hawkeye and Trapper are trying to break into a locker of medical supplies, Trapper fumbles with some keys. Hawkeye points to one in particular, and Trapper dismisses him, saying "It's for my wife's car."

Hawkeye, smart-ass as always, points to another and says, "What's that for, her chastity belt?"

Trapper then mutters something inaudible (yet clearly annoyed), leading Hawkeye to retort with "Well, you won't let her drive."


Russell said...

Iron Guts,
Do you know if these episodes without Henry were because McLean Stevenson was angry at the management, or were these because of some other commitment he had, or was it so that the writers could put Frank in charge??? Seems like if it was the latter, we would still have seen a scene or two of Henry away so he would appear in the episode, ya know....?

rob! said...


At this point, Stevenson was having a lot of problems, mostly with 20th Century Fox, and I believe his intention to leave the show was already known.

So my guess would be the writers thought it might be a good idea to start weaning the audience off of having the character around so much. But that's just a guess! said...

Not that it really adds to the scene - but - the inaudible line that Trapper says is "Get off it."
I checked the subtitles.

By the way, FANTASTIC blog. Who knew that the guy with the great comic books blogs (which I love) also was a fan of M*A*S*H? Lucky me!

rob! said...


Thanks for the line! I never knew that!

Glad you like the blog(s)! Thanks for commenting.

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