Sunday, July 5, 2009

Episode 102 - The Abduction of Margaret Houlihan

Season 5, Episode 102: The Abduction of Margaret Houlihan
Original Air Date: 10/26/76
Written by: Allan Katz & Don Reo, and Gene Reynolds

Directed by: Gene Reynolds

In the middle of night, Hot Lips and Klinger (who is on guard duty) are met by a young Korean girl, who is in distress and asks for help.

Hot Lips, understanding a certain amount of Korean, explains that the young girl says her mother is giving birth, and needs her delivering. She grabs her medical bag and takes off with the girl.

The next morning, Hot Lips is nowhere to be seen. Radar looks everywhere, but can't find her. Frank decides to go find her himself, loading his gun with macho pride.

Unfortunately, as Hawkeye says, "Frank's as good a marksman as he is a doctor", and he accidentally fires the gun, with the bullet nicking B.J. in the leg.

Col. Potter, not knowing what else to do, brings in Army Intelligence. Unfortunately, that means...Col. Flagg.

Flagg does some investigation, including mistaking Hawkeye for B.J., and insisting that Frank's reading material--Reader's Digest--is, in fact, a Commie rag, Red's Digest.

Flagg turns up nothing on Hot Lips, and in Col. Potter's office he has Radar order some artillery strikes! Potter is aghast, but Flagg is not deterred.

But suddenly, Hot Lips wanders in--wondering why everyone is so shocked to see her. She tells them where she was (having successfully delivered the baby) and Potter has Flagg call off all his elaborate plans.

Flagg, though, won't depart until everyone closes their eyes so he can leave mysteriously--like his codename, "The Wind." Everyone initially refuses, but when Flagg says he won't leave unless they do, they shut their eyes immediately.

They hear a grunt and a crash, and see that Flagg has jumped out the window! Hawkeye looks out the hole, and says, dismissively, "'The Wind' just broke its leg."

Fun Facts: A very, very funny episode, featuring one great laugh line after the other, and that's even before Col. Flagg arrives!

Previous episodes have shown Hot Lips learning the Korean language, a nice little character touch that pays off in this episode.

The scene where Frank accidentally shoots B.J. is hilarious. As they drag him to the hospital, he demands that Hawkeye and B.J. not tell Potter who it was that shot him. They promise Frank, just to shut him up.

When Potter asks what happened, Hawkeye doesn't pause for a moment before answering: "Frank shot B.J."

Favorite Line: Radar reveals he's searched for Hot Lips everywhere, except...the Nurses' Showers.

Potter insists he check there, too, but Radar refuses. He thinks for a moment and says, "Can't we find somebody Captain Pierce?"

Potter retorts, "No, we'd never get him out of there."

There's another line just too good to not mention: when Potter is asking Burns what happened, Frank tries to blow past his incompetence and says: "Sir, I think the Chinese have captured Major Houlihan."

Potter replies, deadpan: "I see. So naturally, you shot Captain Hunnicutt."

Okay, one more. Col. Flagg enters Col. Potter's office, not knocking, dressed in some ridiculous costume. Potter, signing some papers, looks up, and without breaking stride, says: "Be with you in a minute, Flagg."

Flagg looks a little disappointed he's been so easily recognized, and then Potter rubs salt in the wound: "Nice suit. Your clown outfit in the cleaners?"


wiestika said...

That is also one of my favorite lines. You got it right for sure.

"Sir, I think the Chinese have captured Major Houlihan."

Potter replies, deadpan: "I see. So naturally, you shot Captain Hunnicutt."

Brilliant writing I think. I love good humor. I enjoy most episodes with Col. Flagg and the way the entire unit seems to handle his confused personality.

Radar Hat said...

"'The Wind' just broke its leg."

The night this episode first aired, I thought that line was one of the funniest things I'd ever heard. All these years later, I still do - and to this day, it's still the very first thing that comes to mind whenever Flagg comes up in conversation.
Strange what an impression it made on me. It's a fantastic episode.

Domino said...

That part where Hawkeye immediately said, "Frank shot BJ", is in fact really hilarious. I could watch it again and again and still laugh.

Alastair said...

I can't be the only one who finds Col Flagg incredibly annoying. Any episode with him in it has an uphill struggle on its hands.

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