Sunday, March 21, 2010

AfterM*A*S*H Episode 22 - Calling Doctor Habibi

Season 2, Episode 22: Calling Dr. Habibi
Original Air Date: 9/25/84
Written by: Dennis Keonig, David Isaacs & Ken Levine

Directed by: Hy Averback

Alma Cox is in a tizzy over the imminent arrival of General General's new administrator, Wallace Wainwright (Peter Michael Goetz). Col. Potter, Father Mulcahy, and Soon-Lee have other things on their mind, though: namely, Klinger, who is still hiding. Luckily, with a friend in supply, he's able to borrow various outfits--like a doctor's coat--t
o stay around the hospital and see his wife and baby.

Wainwright introduces himself to Potter and Dr. Boyer while they're examining a patient. After he notices Boyer walk away, he's shocked to see that General General has is missing a leg. He thinks Boyer isn't up to the task, but Potter staunchly defends him. Wainwright is unmoved, and flatly states he plans to be stuck at General General for six months--not a day more--and then, "Move on to bigger and better things."

Klinger finds Father Mulchay, who tells him that Soon-Lee has moved in with the Potters. Mulcahy begs Klinger to turn himself in, but Klinger refuses. He then bumps into Wally Wainwright, who believes Klinger is a doctor ("Dr. Habibi"), who insists on getting a tour of place, led by Dr. Habibi.

They end up in the surgeon's changing room, and Col. Potter asks to have a private confab with "Dr. Habibi." While they're outside, Wainwright is open and direct with Dr. Boyer: he's sure Boyer, because of his missing leg, is not up to the job, and even mocks him as a cripple. Boyer, understandably, is enraged.

Boyer and Potter go in to perform surgery, and it's a long, complex procedure, hitting the three-hour mark. Potter, assisting, advises he step in so Boyer can take a break. But Boyer, having something to prove, keeps working.

Wainwright meets with Alma Cox, and her loyalty to Mike D'Angelo is quickly forgotten when she sees a chance to be Wainwright's executive secretary. Wainwright has no interest in her in that capacity, and assigns her to be Col. Potter's assistant (now that Klinger is gone). Cox is upset, but accepts the demotion.

Back at Potter's house, they, Father Mulcahy, and Soon-Lee are shocked to see Klinger show up, in the outfit of an employee of the gas company. When the doorbell rings, Klinger is sure its the cops and goes to leave.

Father Mulcahy tries to stop him, even threatening to knock Klinger out. But when push comes to shove, he can't do it, and Klinger departs. To be continued!

Fun Facts: Clearly the powers-that-be thought the show needed more of a villain, so the ineffectual and dim-witted Mike D'Angelo was replaced by Wally Wainwright, who's a jerk from the get-go. With Dr. Boyer more of a Hawkeye-esque character, AfterM*A*S*H was settling into a format more reminiscent of M*A*S*H--the noble doctors trying to carry on, even though the brass is trying to control them.

Favorite Line: Potter, defending Dr. Boyer: "I've worked with good doctors, I've worked with bad doctors. Even worked with a witch doctor named Frank Burns."

1 comment:

What the Parrot Saw said...

I think that Wainwright is an improvement over D'Anegelo. I agree that the stage (as it were) seems to be set for an ongoing Boyer/Wainwright personality clash: fact is, that would have been fine with me. Both characters are interesting in their own right, and would have given the show some needed grit over the long haul.

It would have brought out a little fire in Potter as well- his initial scene with Wainwright shows enough tension that one almost wonders if the two actors didn't like each other off-camera!

Good stuff, but I wonder if the MASH principals might have wondered if they were about to become 'second bananas' again.

Alma Cox driving Potter crazy is already old by the end of these 25 odd minutes. Still, this is another good episode within the context.

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