Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Episode 104 - Mulcahy's War

Season 5, Episode 104: Mulcahy's War
Original Air Date: 11/16/76
Written by: Richard Cogan

Directed by: George Tyne

Some wounded arrive, and one of them has a wound that was clearly self-inflicted. Hawkeye and B.J. try to hide that fact from Frank, who would surely drum the young man up on charges.

So Hawkeye asks Father Mulcahy to talk to him in Post Op. He talks to Private Fitzsimons (Brian Byers), who come from the same stomping grounds, and even knew the same World War II Chaplain, Marty "Boom Boom" Gallagher. The chat is amiable, until the private says he's not sorry for what he did to get out of fighting, and he'd do it again.

Mulcahy tries to show him the error of his ways, but Fitzsimons is adamant. He even gets angry when Mulcahy reveals he's never been to the Front, and Fitzsimons refuses to talk anymore.

This leaves Mulcahy feeling insecure, and he asks Col. Potter if he can take a trip to the Front once in a while. Potter refuses, saying its too unsafe.

Meanwhile, an aid station calls the 4077th and says they have a soldier with a bad chest wound who needs immediate surgery. Hawkeye gets Radar and Igor to go get him, but Mulcahy takes Igor's place, without anyone's permission.

Mulcahy and Radar get the soldier, but on the way back, they see the soldier starts to choke, and can't breathe. They call the 4077th to find out what to do, and Hawkeye talks Mulcahy through a makeshift tracheotomy, which he performs perfectly, if a bit nervously.

They make it back to the 4077th, and the solider is rushed off to surgery. Potter is a little mad at Mulcahy, but lets it go.

Mulcahy, now having seen the war up close, goes back to visit Private Fitzsimons, who is impressed at the Father's bravery, and agrees to talk again.

Fun Facts: The first episode that really focuses on Father Mulcahy, and William Christopher rises to the occasion--his scenes with Radar while bombs are falling are wonderfully exciting yet funny.

The actor playing the aid station surgeon (Ric Mancini) is, for some reason, entirely dubbed by Johnny Haymer, who played Sgt. Zale.

Favorite Line: Mulcahy feels compelled to say a prayer before he cuts into the patient. But with all the pressure, his mind goes blank. Finally, all he can of think of is the one prayer most everyone has heard, whether they're Catholic or not.

Radar exclaims: "That's 'Grace'!", just as bomb falls and explodes a few feet away.


Russell said...

Another great episode, this time featuring Father Mulcahy (finally!).

I like all the interaction with Corporal Cupcake,the mine-sniffing German Shepherd, too. My favorite line is when Father Mulcahy is wondering what denomination he is, and Hawkeye I think says, "He's a German Shepherd, so he's probably Lutheran."

What the Parrot Saw said...

Mulcahy's scenes with Fitzsimmons strike me as a little cloying, but the premise is good. William Christopher had even greater comments to come, culminating in his moving soliloquy in S10's "Heroes"

Hawkeye's double-take when learning Cupcake's name is one of my favorite little moments ("...really??").

Pepper said...

i also like the scenes where Father Mulcahy is both in his tent and then later in Col Potter's office trying to use some eyedrops, and Radar comes in mistaking him for praying...Great timing and coordination carried out by Burghoff

Robert Gross said...

All I can say is... Chekov's Eyedrops.

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