Sunday, October 18, 2009

Episode 189 - Lend A Hand

Season 8, Episode 189: Lend A Hand
Original Air Date: 2/4/80
Written by: Alan Alda

Directed by: Alan Alda

Everyone's cold and bored at the 4077th, which leads to crankiness. When a bunch of people ask Hawkeye strange questions about his favorite this or that, he finds out that B.J. told them all that Hawkeye's birthday is coming up--just to give them all something to distract themselves with. Hawkeye isn't amused.

But the boredom is broken when they get a visitor, Dr. Anthony Borelli (Robert Alda), who was previously visited the camp a year or two earlier. He's at the 4077th to show the doctors some new surgical techniques, including a graft procedure.

Borelli tends to be a bit pushy, especially Hawkeye, insisting he knows the best way to do nearly everything, from where Hawkeye should sit and what he should drink.

The next day, Borelli is about to start his lecture (after telling everyone where they should sit) when a call comes in from an aid station about a patient that needs major surgery immediately. Potter agrees to send someone, and Hawkeye offers to go, thankful to escape his impending birthday party. In the process, he throws B.J. under the buys by letting it "slip" that its B.J.'s anniversary.

At the aid station, Hawkeye and Borelli immediately start to argue about the best way to approach the operation. Borelli thinks he should start with the chest, but Hawkeye insists the man's collapsed lung is the most important.

The argument spills over to how Hawkeye washes his hands, which leads the medic (Antony Alda) to break it up and wonder what the problem is. They ease down, but it flares up again when Borelli suggests to Hawkeye that the patient will need the kind of graft he was there to talk about.

Bombs start to fall right outside, one of them landing close enough that part of the roof caves in on them. It leaves Hawkeye with a sprained wrist and Borelli with a broken what?

With no other options, Hawkeye and Borelli are forced to work together, literally leaning on one another to complete the surgery. Later, they bring the patient back to the 4077th, and they perform the new graft procedure, which is a complete success.

Fun Facts: This is a sequel episode, a follow up to the Third Season show "The Consultant."

This episode features another installment of The Young Sherman Potter Chronicles: in this episode, he tells a story about a time in WWI when it got so cold all the tanks froze shut and they had to feed the guys inside through the cannons.

This episode features an Alda Family triumverate--Alan, Robert, and Antony.

Favorite Line: Winchester and Klinger have an argument over Klinger's misspelling of the message "Happy Birthhday" on Hawkeye's cake, adding an extra H. Father Mulchay wanders in, and Winchester drops a hint: "What do you think of the cake, Father Mulcahahy?"


Russell said...

I remember seeing this episode when it first came out and HATING it. Maybe it was because the previous week they had just done an episode about morale and a party? Or maybe because the whole Alda clan was here, and the nepotism was blatantly obvious? Or maybe it was the "gosh aren't we cool" ending that I couldn't stand? I don't know...I just have always hated it. Blech.

What the Parrot Saw said...

The Alda family reunion is, I must admit, rather trite. Borelli always struck me as an interesting character, continually met by a strange antipathy from Hawk (paging Dr. Freud...)

RobAsWell said...

I cannot watch either of the episodes with this Bordelli. I cannot stand everything about his character! I hope his real life personality is not like this. Him being Alan Alda's dad makes it all the more strange.

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