Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Episode 163 - Hot Lips Is Back In Town

Season 7, Episode 163: Hot Lips is Back In Town
Original Air Date: 1/29/79
Written by: Larry Balmagia, Bernard Dilbert, and Gary Markowitz

Directed by: Charles Dubin

The medical staff is having a meeting in the Mess Tent, when its interrupted by a mail call. Everyone gets something, Margaret's being the biggest of all: her divorce is now official.

She seems stunned, and insists she's happy. But when wounded arrive, Hawkeye has to snap her out of her daze. During OR, she's a little short-tempered and all business. Hawkeye and B.J. offer to take her out for drinks in the O Club, which she accepts, and they all get pie-eyed.

In the middle of the night, a bubbly, cheery Margaret visits Col. Potter in his tent, rededicating herself to a career in the Army. She's got all kinds of ideas how to improve things at the 4077th, which Potter, desperate to go back to sleep, readily agrees to.

The next morning, Margaret announces that she has a new plan for the nurses to take over in Triage, freeing the doctors to get to work immediately. Also, she's invited an old friend, Gen. Lyle Weiskopf, to come to the 4077th and inspect the unit's new procedures. Potter flatly refuses to go along, but its too late: he's already on his way. Hawkeye mutters, "It's going to be a real fun weekend."

The next day, Gen. Weiskopf (Walter Brooke) arrives, just in time for wounded to arrive. The nurses perform their new tasks flawlessly.

Later, Weiskopf and Margaret meet for drinks back in her tent. He seems more interested in going back to the "good old days"--namely, when he and Margaret were an item, and Margaret was "Hot Lips."

Margaret is confused and angry, wanting to talk about her plans to improve medical procedures--not just at the 4077th, but maybe in the entire Theater of Operations. Weiskopf goes along, but he makes it clear that while he'd promote Margaret to Colonel, he expects her to go back to being his mistress, with her grandiose plans being much less important.

Margaret, realizing Weiskopf only wants one thing, demands he leave. He protests, saying she's making a big mistake, but Margaret insists. Alone in her tent, she raises a glass, and toasts herself for standing her ground: "Here's to me."

Fun Facts: Gen. Weiskopf is really a sleazebag here. He's willing to promote Margaret to Colonel, just as long as she's his mistress. Yeesh.

Hawkeye and B.J. interrupt Winchester's triage demonstration to the nurses with a comedy bit right out of the show's early years: they storm in, dressed in full costume, as "Gen. Lyle Dumbkopf" and his faithful aide.

Favorite Line: Radar comes to the nurses tent to express his interest in a new nurse, Lt. Nugent (Peggy Lee Brennan). Mustering up his courage, he tells the other nurse in the tent, Lt. Baker (Jan Jorden) that he's going to stay there and say his piece, despite what anyone says.

Baker finds all this amusing, sarcastically calling Radar "Corporal Hellcat." She turns to Lt. Nugent, and says, "I'll be outside if you need me."

Turning to Radar, she says, "That goes for you, too."


What the Parrot Saw said...

This episode almost has a whiff of nostalgia- you have the lecherous General, a Radar crush, and Hawk and BJ's "Dumbkopf" parody- all familiar tropes from earlier seasons. And it all works!

Radar's "beating [the nurse] to the ignore" is charming and, notwithstanding his besotted night-long conversation with the WAC in "Goodbye, Radar," the last time we see him in this mode.

And hooray for Margaret. I think that her character got more interesting after the divorce and one really sees her determination in not repeating past romantic mistakes.

Russell said...

I like the nostalgic bits, especially the BJ and Hawkeye comedy bit, but overall I thought the writing was a bit heavy here. Is Radar a naif or is he growing up? I can totally see Gary Burghoff's reluctance to play the same chraracter over and over again; we've seen Radar In Love atleast half a dozen times. Too bad we never saw Lt Nugent again; of course, we'll lose Radar pretty soon, regardless...

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