Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Episode 169 - The Party

Season 7, Episode 169: The Party
Original Air Date: 3/12/78
Written by: Alan Alda and Burt Metcalfe

Directed by: Burt Metcalfe

After a long session in OR, B.J. reads a letter from Peg where she mentions her difficulties making some preserves.

Radar mentions that his mother has a good recipe for them, as does Mildred Potter. B.J. offers to round up the advice of Mrs. Potter and Mother O'Reilly, but Potter has a better idea: why not have Mildred write Peg directly?

Back at the Swamp, B.J. gets the idea to have a party back in the states, featuring the family members of the everyone at the 4077th. This energizes him, and its all he can talk about, even during a bug out after I-Corps tells them that the Chinese army is headed their way.

He tries to get Hawkeye, Margaret, Winchester, and Klinger to participate too, but they all seem skeptical, for various reasons.

By the time they arrive at the new location for the 4077th, B.J. is demoralized--the party seems like its not going to happen, and a patient of his might be permanently paralyzed due to the unexpected trip.

The next morning, Hawkeye sits down with everyone and tells them how much this party means to B.J., and insists they all write their relatives and ask them about the party.

A couple of weeks pass, and just as the mail starts arriving again, Gen. Embry calls and says the 4077th is bugging out again, and they have to back to their original location.

On the ride back, everyone opens up mail from their relatives about the party. To everyone's shock and/or delight, they all plan on attending--the Klingers, the Winchesters, the Houlihans, and Dr. Pierce--everyone!

B.J. is over the moon excited about the party, the only problem is finding a date that will work for everyone. After date after date getting rejected for one reason after another, they finally settle on March 28th.

They pose for a picture out on the compound in front of the signpost, but Klinger has a problem: his mother doesn't know he's in Korea! He reveals that since his mother doesn't speak English, everyone else has kept Klinger's secret for fear that she would worry every day he was going to die. B.J. finds a way around it--see above picture.

A week or so after the party, during a session in OR, Radar reads a letter from Peg about the party. Everyone got along amazingly well: Margaret's parents (who are going through a separation) spent the whole evening dancing together, Mrs. Potter and Mr. Pierce took a real shine to one another, Klinger's mother revealed she always knew her son was in Korea, but didn't let on because she didn't want him to worry about her.

The biggest news is that the Winchesters took to the O'Reillys, so much so that they invited them to their home in Cape Cod during Radar's first summer back after the war!

After OR, B.J. is all smiles after hearing how well the party went. Radar comes in, eager to discuss his potential visit with the Winchesters. Winchester himself says Radar can bring anyone or anything he would like--even his goat--because he plans to turn himself over to the Chinese.

Fun Facts: The final episode of the seventh season.

I wonder how some of the other members of the 4077th, like Nurse Bigelow, Nurse Kellye, and Sgt. Zale felt not being asked to participate in the get together?

The sequence featuring all the different trucks, carrying different members of the cast, is a lot of fun. I love Potter's response to looking at Klinger's letter, which is all in Arabic: "Oh...sure is a pretty-looking language!"

Favorite Line: Klinger isn't sure about inviting his family to the party, since most of his family don't speak English. B.J. asks isn't anyone in his family bi-lingual?

Klinger says his Uncle Abdul does, and B.J. says: "Well, invite him along! He can translate for the Winchesters, too."


Russell said...

Maybe because I've lived abroad away from loved ones, but this episode hits a specific place in my heart every time I watch it. I tear up every time Radar reads Peg's letter. This is just a great episode! I agree with you, Rob, about both your comments: WHY were only "the leads" asked to the party, and the sequences in the various trucks is very well done.

Dr. Eric said...

I always get teary (in a good way) when Klinger says about his mom that he could never fool her on anything!

Dave said...

The whole story about Klinger never telling his mom he was in Korea is lame though. In The episode from year four where all the characters are interviewed by Clete Roberts. Klinger says hi to his mom!!! I can't stand it when they did not keep track of past storylines or just changed them like that. Insulting the viewers intelligence.

Bryan W. Frazier said...

I agree about Klinger's " Hi , Mom !! " line . But , the whole idea was nonsensical !! Klinger does not want to be posed in front of the signpost , and wants the picture to be taken in front of a " Fort Dix " sign . But !! -- Klinger said earlier in the episode , that his Mother does not understand ENGLISH !! So , why would it matter if they DID take the picture in front of the signpost ?!?!

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