Saturday, July 18, 2009

Episode 115 - Hepatitis

Season 5, Episode 115: Hepatitis
Original Air Date: 2/8/77
Written by: Alan Alda

Directed by: Alan Alda

Father Mulcahy comes down with Hepatitis, so the doctors snap into action, to make sure it doesn't sweep through the camp.

Col. Potter talks to the cook, B.J. tends to Father Mulcahy, and Hawkeye has to give everyone in camp a shot of Gamma Globulin.

That's a big enough job, but its made more complicated by the fact that Hawkeye is having back trouble--the pain is getting worse and worse, leaving Hawkeye stooped over.

First, he gives a shot to Frank (who is nothing but trouble, of course), then Hot Lips, where he drools over her exposed tush. This, understandably, enrages Hot Lips, and barks at Hawkeye for ogling her. Hawkeye, realizing he was out of line, apologizes.

Wounded arrive, and a particularly difficult case is among them--one soldier's stomach is almost entirely gone. Hawkeye recommends B.J. take the case, since he has been reading up on the necessary procedure, which puts him one up over the rest of them.

Working from a text book, B.J. pulls the solider through, the surgery having gone flawlessly.

Hawkeye continues giving the camp shots, moving from Klinger then to Radar. While with Radar, he confides that he's been feeling insecure about how he's different than most of his other friends, who like to get drunk and consort with the various girls in town.

Hawkeye gives him some wonderful, tender advice, telling him he carries "a piece of Iowa with you wherever you go", and how he'll meet the one special woman he's been waiting for his whole life. Radar is comforted, and thanks Hawkeye, only to have Hawkeye ask him to drop his pants.

Later, Hawkeye finds B.J.--still in need of a shot--celebrating in the Officers Club, drunk and giddy he pulled off the surgery. B.J. gets so tipsy he collapses over a table, so Hawkeye pulls his shorts down in front of everyone, and gives B.J. the shot.

Even later, Hawkeye and Col. Potter have drinks in his office, and Potter gives him some advice about Hawkeye's back trouble: he believes Hawkeye is angry about news from home. A local Crabapple Cove doctor who, despite his average medical skills, is cleaning up back home because he has no real competition.

Potter reminds Hawkeye that he only really has to worry about competing with himself. Potter kindly adds, "And for you, that's tough enough."

Potter then suggests sending the quack back home an anonymous letter. Hawkeye busts out laughing, his imagination running wild with ideas, immediately starting to feel better.

Fun Facts: The Young Sherman Potter Adventures: Col. Potter mentions one time in WWI, he ate turnpis every day for a week: "My tongue smelled like Arthur Murray's foot bath."

Favorite Line: Hakweye is disappointed that he didn't get any mail, especially his beloved nudie magazines.

Radar meekly offers him one of Frank's issues of Popular Mechanics: "Some of the ads go pretty far."

Hawkeye: "Radar, a picture of a three-way toilet valve does not go 'pretty far.'"


Russell said...

I enjoy this episode because of the interaction between Hawkeye and Margaret ("Simple respect!")and because BJ is the star surgeon in it, but otherwise it's too much Alan Alda, and as the characterization of Margaret improves, Frank's begins to deteriorate. "Feel my glands" indeed.

What the Parrot Saw said...

Have always liked this one; not sure why as it is a fairly typical entry in this season. There is a nice ebb and flow of events present as opposed to the more set 'two-track' plots which would come to dominate in later years. There are some wonderful moments (funny and serious) as Hawkeye makes his rounds; this must be first time in which Margaret demands respect from Hawkeye and he truly understands what what she is getting at. Even she seems momentarily surprised when he admits, "You got me good with that one." It is a clear indication that Margaret could no longer be viewed as something of a bimbo. A welcome development.

Hawkeye's disgust at the "incredibly average" doctor back home progressing in his career is understandable given the sacrifices draftees made when leaving their Stateside lives behind. This idea would be returned to in S8's "Back Pay' to equally good effect.

Pepper said...

The opening scene with BJ working out and Hawkeye sleeping is great...
Hawkeye complains: His back is killing him...BJ: You want me to give you a massage.
Hawk: Not unless you put your shirt back on

Anonymous said...

This show is one of my top 10. Simply because so many great moments between charcters. Hawkeye and Hotlips (respect!), Hawkeye and Radar, Potter and Hawkeye. And as Russell mentioned, the main OR scene doesnt even include Hawkeye but BJ and Potter. Great story line and i also enjoy Mulcahy's and Pierce's moment now that i think of it. Mulcahy is so adament to do his duty, he finally kind of 'calls out' Hawkeye's back ... so many great character interactions happen.

Anonymous said...

I've always liked this episode with the exception of a really glaring, error: When Hawkeye goes to Fr. Mulcahy's tent with juice and confirmation that the good Father does have hepatitis... And an admonishment to rest at the expense of Mulcahy's duties. The Father rebells with one realization, “How can I give anyone Last Rites?” Uh... If someone is dying anyway, I don't think a dose of hepatitis is going to complicate things, y'know? He does make a valid point that he “...can't put the Eucharist on their tongues, I'll infect them all!” However, being in a hospital, I'm sure the Holy See could *see* it's way to him using rubber gloves. But the ultimate inconsistency is when the Father says to Hawkeye, “Look at your back. That's not stopping you from doing what you have to do!” Well, Father, Hawkeye's strained/psychosomatic back is NOT the contagion that is hepatitis; no one else is going to catch it! What's even more irritating is that Hawkeye goes along with the comparison!

The exchange between Margaret and Hawkeye regarding Margaret's mother-in-law is priceless. “Simple respect. I'll bet that would work with Donald's mother.”

Favorite Line: B.J. Observing Fr. Mulcahy at breakfast... “You keep pulling at your fingers, are they too close to your hands?”

Blake2903 said...

This episode was based on real-life. Bill Christopher was out for some of Season 5 due to hepatitis.

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