Friday, August 21, 2009

Episode 143 - Dr. Winchester and Mr. Hyde

Season 6, Episode 143: Dr. Winchester and Mr. Hyde
Original Air Date: 2/27/78
Written by: Ken Levine & David Isaacs and Ronny Graham

Directed by: Charles Dubin

The 4077th is in the middle of a grueling, over-24 hour-session in O.R. Hawkeye, B.J., and Col. Potter warn Winchester he has to pace himself--he's been going without sleep, instead drinking lots of coffee--but he won't listen. But we can see his performance is starting to slip--a suture he tied came loose, and he's so busy yawning he can barely ask Margaret for the right instruments.

In the lab, Klinger complains to Winchester of being tired, and wonders if there isn't some pill that he can take as a pick-me-up? Winchester explains to him the concept of amphetamines, but wisely refuses to give any to Klinger.

Klinger gets mad and storms off, despite Wicnhester's warnings they're habit-forming. But, when he finds himself nearly falling asleep in front of his microscope, he breaks down and takes some himself.

Meanwhile, in Post-Op, Radar gets in a squabble with some Marines, over who has the fastest mouse. Radar insists his mouse Daisy can run circles around the Marines' Sluggo, leading Hawkeye to sense a chance to make some quick money by betting on the race. Hawkeye isn't reassured when he learns Radar was mostly talking through his hat, just to feel tough around the Marines.

In the Mess Tent, the effects of the amphetamines are starting to show on Winchester--he's chatty, scattered, and starts talking about a long-form article he plans to write for the AMA. Hawkeye and B.J. show up and try and get other people to bet on Daisy, and they get Potter, Mulcahy, and Winchester to throw in.

Later in the Swamp, Winchester shows Hawkeye his paper for the AMA, which is 27 single-spaced pages, written in just two hours--and its all one run-on sentence.

Wounded arrive, and we see that Winchester is now, in a word, "hooked"--he's gulping amphetamines by the handful, all the time making sure no one sees him. In O.R., Winchester drives everyone crazy, bragging about his prowess and running from table to table offering assistance.

Later that night, Winchester can't sleep, and his constant pacing and chattering is keeping Hawkeye and B.J. up. He promises to lay down and be quiet so his bunkmates can get some sleep.

The next day, Winchester gives Daisy a tiny dose of the amphetamines when Radar mentions she seems sluggish and tense just before the big race. At the race itself, Winchester is so confident he antes up more money, which the Marines gladly accept.

The race starts, and indeed Daisy is lightning fast--she beats Sluggo easily. Everyone who bet is thrilled, but Radar is uneasy, feeling Daisy isn't acting like herself. He announces she's retiring from racing.

As everyone heads to the Officers Club for drinks, Hawkeye and B.J. notice how awful Winchester looks--he's pale, sweating profusely, and his pulse is running like a train.

They take him back to the Swamp, and his pulse is through the roof. They guess what's going on, and search through his footlocker. They find the amphetamines, and despite Winchester's protestations that he's handling it, they put a mirror up to his face, showing him that he's falling apart.

Radar shows up, telling them that Daisy is acting "funny." Winchester owns up to what he did, and Radar is deeply offended, threatening Winchester to never do that again, superior rank or no. After Radar storms out, Winchester meekly apologizes, then heads outside to throw-up.

A few days later, Winchester seems back to normal. Hawkeye tries to comfort him, saying there's nothing to be ashamed of. Winchester blows him off, insulting Hawkeye every step of the way, proving to both Hawkeye and B.J. that Winchester is indeed his old self.

Fun Facts: The scene with Radar threatening Winchester is great--even though Radar is the pillar of meekness, he simply will not tolerate someone harming one of his animals.

There's a fun conversation between some of the Marines in Post-Op about their reading material. One of them is reading a Superman comic, and Radar says, "Is that the one where Lois Lane gets kidnapped?" The Marine answers, "Every one is the one where Lois Lane gets kidnapped."

Favorite Line: During a test-run, Daisy the mouse disappears from view. Hawkeye, B.J., and Radar wonder where she went, when they hear a high-pitched female scream from the next room.

Hawkeye, to no one in particular, "Found: One Daisy."


What the Parrot Saw said...

Love the photo, rob- brings to mind a Bizarro-world M*A*S*H where Andy Kaufman played Winchester (think on that for a moment!)

I hate to write this, but this episode--while certainly not bad--always held a bit too much of an ABC Afternoon Special vibe for me. The premise is not altogether far-fetched but it all seems a little pat...

Robert Gross said...

Remember, kids, drugs are bad!

mark said...

All that salt Charles dumped in his breakfast at the end...just watch his blood pressure in some later episode. Used it like he worked for the...what's Highways Department in Korean? Google translate is no help!

WestVirginiaRebel said...

favorite line from Hawkeye-"Charles on drugs. I've seen it all now."

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