Monday, January 4, 2010

Episode 249 - Give and Take

Season 11, Episode 249: Give and Take
Original Air Date: 2/14/83
Written by: Dennis Keonig

Directed by: Charles S. Dubin

Among the newly-arrived wounded is a North Korean solider, shot by one of the G.I.s also at the 4077th. Before he goes under the knife, the G.I., named Kurland (Craig Wasson) tells B.J. the story--he had been shot, and while lying their wounded, he caught the North Korean trying to steal his boots.

Waking up in time, Kurland shot the North Korean soldier at point blank range, delivering a severe wound, something Kurland is proud of.

In Post Op, the North Korean is put alongside Kurland, who is aghast at a commie being allowed in the hospital. He softens when he sees how wounded the young man is, especially when he sees that the North Korean is suffering from severe frostbite--he was found, wounded, with his feet wrapped in bandages. Kurland offers the wounded man his extra blanket to help keep him warm. Margaret thanks him for the act of charity, but Kurland dismisses it, saying "Anything to shut him up."

Later, Klinger gives out candy bars to all the wounded, even the North Korean. The young man takes it, then offers it to Kurland, as a way to say thanks. Kurland accepts.

The next day, the North Korean solider takes a severe turn for the worse. Despite Hawkeye working on him a second time, he dies in Post Op a few hours later--right in front of Kurland.

Later, Kurland is ready to ship out, and Col. Potter hands him his boots. Upon touching them, Kurland begins to choke up, saying he now understands what the young man was trying to do--stealing Kurland's boots just to keep from freezing to death. Realizing he "would have done the same thing", he wonders how he'll ever be able to look at a pair of shoes again without thinking of this.

Potter tries to comfort Kurland, putting him arm around him, apologizing for their being "some wounds I just can't treat."

Fun Facts: The B-plot is about Winchester, stuck with the monthly charity fund-raising job, pawning it off on someone else, and then each successive person trades it away once they learn how tough it is to raise the money.

There's a great moment where
Winchester, desperate to trade the job away, tries to get Margaret to do it. In response, Margaret laughs, "Ha! I wouldn't do that weenie job again if you boiled me in oil!"

The line's not all that great, but there's something about how informal Margaret is that makes me laugh. Can you picture the old "Hot Lips" Houlihan using a term like weenie?

Actor Craig Wasson also appeared in Nightmare on Elm Street 3, a cable staple when I was a teenager. Sometime around early 1988, he walked into the Roy Rogers restaurant I was working at. A bunch of us made a fuss, since we recognized him, and he was very gracious with us and all the attention. True story!

Favorite Line: Father Mulcahy returns the charity ledger, having made its way through the camp, to the original owner, Winchester. He mentions that the general in charge of the effort will go to the person whose name is in the book, and that's Winchester.

Slapping the book down, he says that once the general sees the empty ledger, "You'll be busted so low you'll be saying 'Yes, sir' to Klinger!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great blog, Rob! I like the B plot a lot in the episode, and I think it has to be one of Major Winchester's greatest unsung episode. I know Winchester isn't the complete center of either plots, but the audience is able to see the snobby and tender side of Winchester.
In the beginning, Winchester is his arrogant self who desperately tries to get rid of being charity officer. It goes around camp and eventually comes back to him. In the end, when Major Winchester brings the book back to Colonel Potter, the book says everyone contributed. We soon find out that the snobby Major himself donated his money and put it in so it looked like everyone contributed - a truly selfless act.
Now, I'm not sure if he did that so he wouldn't be saying "'Yes, sir' to Klinger", or out of the kindness in hi heart. Either way, it is a great Winchester episode and one of his best.

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