Friday, October 2, 2009

Episode 173 - Good-Bye Radar, Part 1

Season 8, Episode 173: Good-Bye Radar, Part 1
Original Air Date: 10/8/79
Written by: Ken Levine & David Isaacs

Directed by: Charles S. Dubin

During a session O.R., the generator goes out, leaving all of them trying to operate in darkness.

Klinger finds Zale, who's in charge of the generators, and asks him to crank up the back-up generator. The only problem with that is--the back-up generator's been stolen!

Zale tries to fix the main generator, but after a few seconds of it chugging along sparks and smoke begin to fly from it, and it breaks down again.

Meanwhile, Radar is stuck at an airport, trying to get back from R&R to the 4077th. But his spot on a plane is taken by a general who travels with a life-size cut-out of himself ("It's his Christmas present to his troops", the clerk unhelpfully adds), stranding Radar in the airport's lobby, with nowhere to go.

Radar is angry at being stuck, but things start to look up when he meets a young, pretty nurse named Patty (Marilyn Jones) who is also waiting for a flight, except hers is bound for home. Turns out she's from Missouri, in a town just a short drive away from Radar's beloved Otumwa. They start to talk.

Back at the 4077th, the lack of electricity really starts to affect the camp, and the doctors have to find old-school workarounds to deal with the wounded. Klinger has assumed all of Radar's clerical duties, but he's hopelessly in over his head.

With the food about to go bad, Potter has everyone double up on their portions. He even invites all the local villagers to share, and they hungrily gobble up all the food they can get their hands on.

Eventually, Radar gets a flight back to the 4077th, although now he doesn't want one--he spent all night talking to Patty, and they've hit it off. She even likes Grape Nehi!

He tries to get out of the flight, but the airport clerk is having none of it. He orders Radar aboard, and, grumbling, he goes. But not before promising to see Patty when he gets home. He even gently kisses her goodbye.

He arrives back at the 4077th like a hero, since everyone assumes he can find them a new generator. Radar is cranky, clearly still angry about being separated from Patty. To make matters worse, everyone is so eager for him to find them a generator that he has to go right to work, not even taking a moment to relax after his long trip.

Things get even worse when Radar sees what Klinger has done to his office--i.e., destroyed it. Papers are everywhere, and the office is in total chaos.

Radar, furious, orders Klinger out, refusing to let him watch how someone trades for a generator. He calls his old friend Sparky but...there's no generators to be found, anywhere. Radar wanders into the Officers Club, now even more despondent. He admits to Klinger he's failed, leaving no one quite sure what to do.

Meanwhile, Col. Potter visits the Swamp, looking for Radar, with some bad news: Radar's Uncle Ed has died.

Hours later, Hawkeye, B.J., Potter, and Father Mulcahy wait outside Potter's office. Radar emerges, just having talked to his mother on the phone. They talk about what's happened, and how tough things are going to be on the O'Reilly farm now that Radar's Uncle Ed has died.

Potter agrees, and tells Radar that its time for him to return home. He tells Radar to get out a Hardship Discharge form, and put his name on it. Everyone congratulates Radar, but he's so stunned he doesn't know how to respond.

Hawkeye says he's very happy for Radar, and he responds, "Yeah, I'm happy for me, too...I guess."

To be continued!

Fun Facts: Part one of a two-part episode. This was originally supposed to be the first two episodes of the season, but were pushed back.

This episode features the last appearance of Johnny Haymer as Sgt. Zale.

Hawkeye hurts his finger during surgery, so badly he has to wear a small cast on it. Since this has no relation to the main plot, I'm assuming that Alda hurt his finger in real life, so they had to find a justification for the bandage and work the injury into the show.

Favorite Line: Potter has to use up all the food since without electricity its going to spoil. He has everyone load up their tray, and Margaret asks how she's expected to eat all this food.

Potter says: "C'mon, Margaret, I can always count on you to pack it away."

Margaret, enraged: "What?!?"

Potter, trying to recover: "Yet you still maintain that girlish figure."

Margaret, barely mollified: "That's better."

Not only is that sequence funny, but look at Potter's face after Margaret walks away--its priceless.

Even better--watch Winchester's body language after Potter makes his careless remark. Even though you can't see his face (the camera is behind him), you can see he's smiling broadly, enjoying watching Potter get himself out of this jam.

1 comment:

Robert Gross said...

I always thought that the purpose of Hawkeye hurting his finger was to show that Hawkeye would always rise to the occasion and do his job no matter how adverse the circumstances, and that's what Radar feels he must do as well. In Part 2, Radar says, "I saw you working with your hurt finger... you'd stay!"

Though Alan Alda may have indeed hurt his finger, I do think they found a way to make it relevant.

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