Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Episode 68 - Love & Marriage

Season 3, Episode 68: Love & Marriage
Original Air Date: 2/18/75
Written by: Arthur Julian

Directed by: Lee Phillips

During surgery, Frank snaps at medic Mr. Kwang (Soon-Tek Oh), adding some racial insults in the process. Hawkeye and Trapper set him straight, which of course causes an argument.

They try and console Mr. Kwang, and Frank gets mad again, when he perceives Hawkeye and Trapper save all their compliments for "them", and not a clean-cut boy like McShane (Dennis Dugan), another medic.

Hawkeye and Trapper have Mr. Kwang in The Swamp for a drink to cheer him up, but its more than Frank's insults that are bringing him down. He was grabbed by some South Korean military officers and forcibly enlisted. He hasn't seen his pregnant wife in weeks, and he is miserable. Hawkeye and Trapper promise to see what they can do.

Meanwhile, the doctors are asked to perform medical check-ups for enlisted men who wish to marry Korean locals. They are shocked to see that one of the prospective grooms is McShane, who wants to a marry a Korean woman who they know is hardly the "barely eighteen" innocent young girl McShane claims her to be. They initially try and talk him out of it, but he gets angry and refuses. They finally reach a compromise, and get him to wait two weeks.

During a poker game, some of the enlisted men (like Sgt. Zale) tell Hawkeye and Trapper to back off, and mind their own business. So what if McShane's being taken in by a professional? Beats being lonely...

Meanwhile, Frank accosts Mr. Kwang trying to leave camp. He has a pass (signed unknowingly by Henry via Radar), but Frank doesn't care. Mr. Kwang takes off, prompting Frank to fire a "warning shot" after him.

Later, Hawkeye and Trapper are visited by the so-dapper-he's-sleazy Dr. Pak (Jerry Fujikawa), who tells them that if they approve McShane's marriage certificate, there's money in it for them. The plan is, the bride gets sent to America, where she works as a prostitute. She then sends the money back over to Dr. Pak, who is willing to cut Hawkeye and Trapper in on the deal.

Pak then mentions the money would've been more, but McShane insisted on a big cut himself. Hawkeye and Trapper, disgusted at both Pak and McShane, offer to give Dr. Pak an interesting medical case--setting two broken legs, both of them his own! Dr. Pak runs out of The Swamp at top speed.

Later, Dr. Kawng is picked up by the MPs, and returned to the 4077th. Hawkeye and Trapper get him out of trouble with Henry, but he still won't along Kwang to leave to get his pregnant wife. Hawkeye offers to go with Radar and get Mrs. Kwang and bring her back to the 4077th.

They pick her up, but of course on the way Mrs. Kwang goes into labor. Hawkeye delivers the baby, with screaming, panicked "assistance" from Radar.

Back at the camp, Trapper has McShane into The Swamp for a drink. Trapper tells McShane they know the score, but at first McShane plays dumb. Finally, he relents, and admits to wanting to "get in on the gravy."

Trapper is disgusted, but he doesn't have to worry about the plan going through--an X-ray reveals the "Former Future Mrs. McShane" has tuberculosis, blowing the deal. McShane storms out.

Hawkeye and Radar arrive back home, with Mrs. Kwang and the baby--named Radar Benjaming Frankling Trapper John Henry Kwang.

Fun Facts: This episode features two interesting supporting actors--the first is actor Soon Tek-Oh, who would return the show over and over, always playing someone different.

The second is Dennis Dugan, who the show mined for his all-american looks, then turned around and had him play an oily heel. He gets the virtually the same role--a guy not who he seems to be--in an episode in the 11th season. What about Dennis Dugan made the producers think he was perfect--twice--to play a lying slimeball?

Related to that, the scene with Wayne Rogers and Dennis Dugan--just the two of them--is masterful. There's a real tension, and Trapper displays more anger and authority than we really got to see before. I get the feeling if Rogers had gotten more scenes like this to play, he wouldn't have left the show.

Is there any show that can resist the "unexpected birth" storyline, especially when it has the chance to put the least-equipped-to-deal-with-it character in the mix?

This is the only episode of the series written by credited writer Arthur Julian. Too bad, since I think its one of their best written shows.

Favorite Line: After Frank yells at Hawkeye and Trapper for complimenting a Korean medical assistant instead of a "clean-cut boy like McShane", Trapper sarcastically says, "Good job, clean-cut boy", to which Hawkeye adds, "Take two Norman Rockwells out of petty cash."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Radar's reactions are priceless.

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