Thursday, October 22, 2009

Episode 193 - Back Pay

Season 8, Episode 193: Back Pay
Original Air Date: 3/10/80
Written by: Thad Mumford & Dan Wilcox and Dennis Koenig

Directed by: Burt Metcalfe

Hawkeye gets enraged when he reads in a newspaper about a doctor back home charging the Army a fortune to x-ray young men about to be sent into the Army. Even though that's not entirely on the up-and-up, the Army's response seems to be one of indifference.

To get some sense of satisfaction, he sends an itemized bill to the Army, charging them for every surgery, x-ray, and examination, totaling over thirty-eight thousand bucks!

Potter is aghast when he learns of the bill, when the Army send a Captain Snyder (Richard Herd) to look into it. Snyder sneers at Hawkeye, calling it a bunch of "hot-headed, self-righteous nonsense", but Hawkeye refuses to give up.

He turns to B.J. for moral support, but B.J. thinks Hawkeye is wasting his time, trying to extract any sort of justice from the Army.

After asking some local Korean doctors visiting the unit (and driving Winchester crazy with questions) about what they do when a patient won't pay, Hawkeye gets the idea to take possession of one of jeeps in the motor pool as partial payment.

Potter yells at Hawkeye, to no avail. He figures he just has to ride Hawkeye's tirade out, so he allows him to keep the jeep for the moment. The only problem is, Hawkeye went so far as to tell Captain Snyder he's taken the jeep, prompting another visit to the 4077th.

Snyder and Hawkeye talk in Klinger's office, where Hawkeye still refuses to give in. Outside, he hears his jeep's engine start up, and runs outside just in time to see that someone has stolen it!

Hawkeye finds this all very funny, getting Snyder so mad that he starts physically threatening Hawkeye. In a fit of rage, he kicks Hawkeye's giant bag of x-rays, causing him to yowl in pain.

Hawkeye takes a look at it, and then does an x-ray. He agrees to find Snyder's jeep and return it...if, and only if, Snyder pays $4 for the x-ray. Snyder, furious, agrees, and Hawkeye tells him that his foot isn't broken, merely sprained. Snyder gets even more mad, but Hawkeye could care less.

We learn that it was B.J. who stole Snyder's jeep, in his own anonymous show of support for his pal. Hawkeye and B.J. share a drink at the O Club, and he leaves the $4 as a tip.

Fun Facts: A solid performance by guest actor Richard Herd--his Captain Snyder really seems to hate Hawkeye. Snyder would've fit in quite well in the Bush Administration, at one point telling Hawkeye, "Justice is what Uncle Sam tells you it is", following that up with "Who are you to question the government?"

Favorite Line: Sgt. Rizzo, complaining about carrying a heavy bag of x-rays: "Must all be pictures of fat people."


Donald said...

Great episode. I, too, like the whole "Fat people" comment by Rizzo.

I have only one complaint about your comments on the fun facts.
While I understand people don't like President Bush, but I think you made the wrong statement in believing that the Bush administration would say such a comment. Bush may not have been the best President but I highly doubt he'd agree with what Synder said.

mark said...

I love the subplot about Charles's bad back (which he shared with Burns, and which should have disqualified both from service) and how his ego the size of Boston got punctured (PTP!)

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