Monday, October 5, 2009

Episode 176 - Nurse Doctor

Season 8, Episode 176: Nurse Doctor
Original Air Date: 10/29/79
Written by: Sy Rosen, Thad Mumford & Dan Wilcox

Directed by: Charles S. Dubin

Father Mulcahy is busy helping a new nurse, Lt. Gail Harris (Alexandra Stoddart) study to take her medical exams in preparation to become a doctor.

During a session in O.R., we see that Nurse Harris' questions about how and why the doctors do things the way they do them has alienated her from the rest of the staff. When she angers Winchester, it drives Margaret to talk to her afterwards, where she tells Harris that, while she's a superb nurse, her people skills leave something to be desired.

Feeling frustrated, she vents later to Father Mulcahy, who bonds with her when he says its probably because, being something between a nurse and a doctor, people don't know how to treat her--something he can relate to.

In an unguarded moment, Harris hugs Father Mulcahy to say thanks, but the hug goes on so long it becomes awkward. After its over, she's embarrassed, and Father Mulcahy admits that maybe she needs more from him than the can give. When he casually suggests maybe she should study with one of the doctors, she breaks down in tears and runs out.

Mulcahy turns to Hawkeye for advice, and he's worried that he's hurt her feelings, so much so she may just give up on going to medical school. After finding the whole situation very funny, Hawkeye agrees to talk to her.

During a session in O.R., Hawkeye is assisted by Harris, and he tries hard to boost her confidence and offer help with her studying. Afterwards, she grows suspicious over Hawkeye's sudden interest, and then assumes that Father Mulcahy has told the whole camp about what happened.

Later, in Col. Potter's office, he calls in Hawkeye, Margaret, and Father Mulcahy to talk about Harris, who came in to ask for an immediate transfer, and giving Potter a not-quite-accurate version of the story. Potter, busy with a crisis over a water shortage at the 4077th, doesn't have time for this, so he asks the three of them to straighten it out amongst themselves.

Margaret confronts Harris, and cuts through Harris' self-pity party, assuming everyone at the 4077th hates her, and that's why she's giving up on being a doctor. Margaret tells her that she and Hawkeye will help Harris prepare for the medical exam--with her skills, she could really be a doctor. And, as long as Margaret has anything to say about it, "I'm not going to let you back out of it." Harris is relieved.

A couple of days later, Harris talks to Father Mulcahy, and apologizes for the whole thing. Mulcahy is, of course, sweet and forgiving, and congratulates her for resuming her studies.

Fun Facts: Oddly, this episode's credits feature "Also Starring Gary Burghoff as Radar." I think, then, we can safely assume this episode was intended to run before "Good-Bye Radar." Kind of amazing no one thought to make the correction.

Favorite Line: Potter, in another installment of The Young Sherman Potter Adventures, mentions that one time in WWII his unit was trapped in a small town in France and only had wine to cook with: "Men were running up for an extra plate of gravy."

B.J., somewhat sarcastically, "Gee, that was a war."


What the Parrot Saw said...

The scene where Mulcahy "confesses" to Hawkeye is quite amusing- both in Hawk's surprise ("I never took you for a love 'em and leave 'em kind of guy!") and Mulcahy's insistence that its a serious matter.

Still... the premise here is a little silly, no?

Dominic said...

This would be the last time Margret chews out one of her nurses. However, unlike the other times she did, this chewing out was deserved to stop Harris from her self-pity.

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