Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Episode 61 - Mad Dogs and Servicemen

Season 3, Episode 61: Mad Dogs & Servicemen
Original Air Date: 12/10/74
Written by: Linda Bloodworth & Mary Kay Place

Directed by: Hy Averback

Hawkeye notices a small bite on Radar's hand, and asks him where he got it. When Radar off-handedly mentions it was from a dog bite, Hawkeye gets concerned--it could be rabies. He tells Radar he needs to find that dog.

Meanwhile, he and Trapper are having trouble with Frank over a patient. There's a corporal named Travis who is paralyzed, even though he doesn't show any wounds. Frank wants him transferred, but Hawkeye and Trapper disobey him and have Travis taken in.

Hawkeye calls Sidney Freedman for help, but Sidney says he's too busy to come. He tells Hawkeye to try and deal with Travis on his own--but it won't be easy: he can't treat Travis like he's physically wounded, lest the psychological trauma he suffered become real.

Travis thinks Hakweye is cruel, and protests that he wants to move, but can't. Hawkeye doesn't reveal its all an act, but confides to Trapper how sick it makes him having to act this way.

He tries to get Travis to talk about what happened, but he can't, or won't.

Meanwhile, Henry and Radar try and find the dog that bit him. The trail leads them to Rosie's Bar, where they ask Rosie (Shizuko Hoshi) for help. After they think they've found the right dog--one that ended up as an older Korean couple's meal (bleah!)--they realize its not the one they're looking for. With no time left, Henry tells Radar he needs to start getting the rabies shots.

Travis starts getting the initiative to crawl to the Mess Tent to get some food, which everyone takes as a good sign. But they realize he probably won't ever talk to Hawkeye, so Trapper volunteers.

He talks with Travis about their mutual home town of Boston, and eventually Travis is ready to talk about what happened: he saw a bunch of his buddies killed in front of him, and Travis got so petrified that he did nothing. Feeling guilty he couldn't defend his friends, his body essentially shut down.

Later, out on the compound, the dog that bit Radar wanders back into camp. Henry and Trapper chase it, eventually capturing it. They discover the dog isn't rabid, so Henry delivers the good news that Radar doesn't need any more shots!

Back in Henry's office, Frank and Hot Lips insist that Travis be shipped out. But they are all shocked when Travis wanders in, on his own two feet, smiling and cheerful. As Frank contemplates he was wrong--again--Henry, Hawkeye, and Trapper take Travis to the Mess Tent for a cup of coffee.

Fun Facts: Frank calls what's wrong with Travis "Shell Shock", which Trapper dismisses as cruel and old-school. While Trapper's heart is in the right place, its ironic to think that Shell Shock may have been the right term (listen to this routine by the late, great George Carlin on the subject).

This episode features the first appearance of Rosie, from Rosie's Bar. Over time, the Rosie character would be played by three different actresses.

There's a scene where Hot Lips, being unusually kind, reads a letter sent to Radar for him. Its from a young girl pen pal Radar has, and she mentions her favorite song is by Bo Diddley. Pretty hip for a mid-western farm girl in 1951!

Favorite Line: Hawkeye, Trapper, and Henry are hanging out in Henry's office when Frank asks to come in. Henry denies being in, but Frank insists he can hear Henry inside.

Trapper: "Very good, Frank! Now can you guess what he's wearing?"

1 comment:

Radar Hat said...

This is another one of my top ten episodes and, like a few of the others, it's because of one scene in particular - Margaret reading the letter from Radar's pen pal. There's something very interesting and realistic about her sort of uninterested, straight-forward reading...
"How do you like me so far - yes, no".

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