Sunday, May 17, 2009

Episode 66 - House Arrest

Season 3, Episode 66: House Arrest
Original Air Date: 2/4/75
Written by: Jim Fritzell & Everett Greenbaum

Directed by: Hy Averback

Hot Lips is making a lot of mistakes in O.R., which is unusual. Turns out she's nervous about the impending arrival of a Col. Reece, a highly-decorated nurse.

When Hawkeye dismisses Hot Lips after one too many mistakes, she is furious. She berates Hawkeye in the scrub room, but after he insinuates she got where she is by sleeping around, Hot Lips demands Frank defend her honor.

Frank's idea of that is to snap a towel at Hawkeye's butt, leading to Hawkeye belting Frank right in the eye!

Frank goes to Henry, demanding a court martial. Henry tries to talk him out of it, but Frank insists on going through with the paperwork. When Radar mentions that while the paperwork is being processed, the accused is under "house arrest"--meaning all Hawkeye gets to do is sleep, eat, and read! Hawkeye quickly confesses and places himself under arrest.

Later that night, Col. Reece (Mary Wickes) arrives, and she's not what Hot Lips expected--irreverent, flirty, and even a little foul-mouthed, Reece moves in to Hot Lips' tent, causing Frank no end of frustration.

As Henry works on the court martial, everyone in camp tries to make Hawkeye's house arrest more palatable--Father Mulcahy brings him a Red Cross care package, the cook sends him a steak (in thanks for punching Frank), and they even show the night's movie in The Swamp so Hawkeye can see it!

With The Swamp filled to capacity, Frank angrily wanders the camp, eventually running into Col. Reece in Hot Lips' tent. Reece puts the moves on Frank(!), offering him a promotion for roll in the hay. He sort of goes along, but when Hot Lips walks in on them, Reece starts yelling "Rape!"

That draws a crowd, and Reece insists on leveling charges. When Hawkeye says he doesn't want Frank sharing his house arrest, Hot Lips offers: "You're innocent, Captain--he slipped on a bar of soap!"

Fun Facts: Mary Wickes was a character actress whose career spanned seven decades. She appeared in one of my all-time favorite Abbott & Costello movies, 1942's Who Done It?

The film the 4077th watches is the 1945 film noir Leave Her To Heaven. The movie, unusual for the time and genre, was in color, but the version the 4077th sees is in black and white.

In this episode, there's a B plot involving Radar ordering shoes with lifts in them. Eventually, Radar lets Hawkeye know how much the cracks about his height hurt his feelings. Hawkeye promises not to do it again, and the writers had him keep that promise--except that some of these episodes were shown in a different order than how they were shot, so in just a few episodes after this one, Hawkeye makes fun of Radar's height again!

Favorite Line: When Radar first shows up in The Swamp sans lifts, Hawkeye quietly says, "Much better, Radar", with a sweet, fatherly delivery. Not a funny line, but a nice moment between the two characters.


What the Parrot Saw said...

Hawkeye and Trapper's non-plussed reactions to Reece's cry of rape was later referenced in an interview (I think it was either Metcalfe or Alda) in which the levity of the response here was described as being--in retrospect--in poor taste.
Certainly, it was not the sort of thing you'd ever expect in its last years.

For that matter, could you imagine Hawkeye slugging Winchester? (Imagining doing so, maybe...)

wiestika said...

I believe this is the episode that has one of my favorite quotes in it. Hawkeye is walking back to the swamp after going to the latrine and sees Col. Reece and says "Don't talk to me, I'm bad." For some reason I always find that to be about the funniest line. Good stuff as always.

Anonymous said...

This episode ranks as one of my least favorite. As a victim of rape, it angers me that she falsely accuses Frank of rape. Whenever I'm watching this season on DVD, I always skip this episode.

rob! said...

There's an interview with Larry Gelbart from the 80s where he looks back with some dismay about some of the jokes they threw in during the early years. He specifically mentions doing, as he calls them, "rape jokes" and its clear he was more than a little ashamed of them.

I can only assume that part of this episode is what he was referring to.

Robert Gross said...

Hey, Iron Guts (aka Rob), in some season 5 episode in the podcast you mention that Hawkeye and BJ talk about having both belted Frank off-screen and how you would like to have seen it. Well, here it is, at least with Hawkeye!

Years later, Winchester points out the hypocrisy of Hawkeye's general political pacifism and his violent temper. And he's right.

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