Tuesday, March 2, 2010

AfterM*A*S*H Episode 3 - Snap, Crackle, Plop

Season 1, Episode 3: Snap, Crackle, Plop
Original Air Date: 10/10/83
Written by: Ken Levine & David Isaacs

Directed by: Nick Havinga

Klinger and Soon-Lee have a talk about possibly getting a car, an extravagance for a couple with their income. But Klinger is so in love with his new wife that he plans to try, and he leaves the house all smiles.

His good mood is quickly dissipated when Alma Cox tells him that he has to take the Civil Service Exam--something Klinger was unaware of--today, at 5pm. If he fails, he loses his job. Klinger tries to protest that he wasn't told about the test and has no time to prepare, but Cox doesn't care.

Klinger turns to Col. Potter for help, who in turn goes to D'Angelo to see if they can give Klinger more time. But D'Angelo is indifferent to Klinger's plight, and, with a schedule packed with meaningless PR functions, is happy to turn the responsibility for the decision to Alma Cox.

When Klinger learns of this, he goes into a panic, and has a tough time dealing with the new reality that Col. Potter no longer has the pull he had back in Korea. Potter is sure Klinger can pass the test, and sends Klinger home to study.

Potter meets up again with D'Angelo, and tells him they desperately need a new autoclave. Once again, D'Angelo is indifferent to Potter's plight, telling him the hospital's budget is bare. But what about this new canopy that's being built? D'Angelo says that's "beautification", which, in his mind, is more important than a medical expense.

Klinger crams for the test, and returns to the hospital to take it, Alma Cox is positively gleeful about Klinger's impending failure, so much so that she's brought in a younger man (her nephew) to take the test as well, so he can fill in for Klinger once he fails.

Meanwhile, Father Mulcahy is dealing with a patient who is constantly in the hospital due to clumsy--but serious--accidents. The patient, named Walt (Michael Huddleston) is starting to grow convinced God is trying to kill him. At first, Mulcahy dismisses this, but soon grows concerned when Walt states he's hearing messages from God.

Mulcahy does some research on the man, and finds he served in Korea. He also learns that Walt was serving on a ship when it was hit, and 80% of his fellow crewmen were killed. After that, Walt started volunteering for dangerous missions, seemingly trying to get killed.

Mulcahy finds Walt sitting alone in a room, staring out the window. Mulcahy tries to convince him that God is trying to kill him, and that he doesn't have to keep risking his life. Walt states that God talks to him, and he's being driven slowly mad.

Mulcahy tries to calm Walt down, but instead he decides he's going to ask God directly what He wants--he climbs onto a table, opens the window, and jumps!

At that same moment, D'Angelo is throwing a big party to celebrate the new canopy. As he's droning on, giving a speech about how humble he is, Walt plummets from through the air...crashing into the new canopy!

Everyone rushes to Walt's aide, and even though he has a few broken bones...he's alive. Father Mulcahy rushes down and tries to convince Walt that this was God's way of telling him He wants Walt to live. Walt, finally, seems convinced. D'Angelo is at first upset his new canopy is smashed, but when Col. Potter points out that the press will eat up the story, D'Angelo changes his tune.

Meanwhile, back inside, Klinger finishes the test. Alma Cox totals up the scores, and her nephew beats Klinger's score by four points. Klinger is dejected, until Cox sees that part of the rules of the Civil Service Exam is that anyone taking it who is a veteran gets a bonus five points, putting Klinger ahead and letting him keep his job.

Cox and her nephew are furious, and Klinger is delirious: "I can't believe it! The Army saved my bacon!"

After Cox throws out her nephew (who is happy to go back to being a rodeo clown), Klinger tries to make peace with her. But Cox is having none of it, convinced that, one day, she'll dance at his termination. But there's a slight humorous tone in both their barbs, as if Cox just might be lightening up.

Later, Klinger and Soon-Lee inspect a used car for sale, and makes plans to buy it...after Klinger passes the next Civil Service Exam level, the G4. Soon-Lee offers, "Cars should be much cheaper by then!"

Fun Facts: Another decent show, with the Mulcahy plotline being rather chilling, and something that would've worked well on M*A*S*H.

There's a cute bit of business with the used car: Klinger inspects it in the usual manner: kicking the tires, pressing up and down on the bumper. Soon-Lee, clearly not knowing what he husband is doing, simply mimics his actions, trying to figure out what they're supposed to learn from this.

Mrs. Potter and Dr. Pfeiffer do not appear in this episode.

Favorite Line: The barber asks D'Angelo for the 75 cents that the haircut costs. D'Angel hands him some money and says, "Here's three quarters...keep the change."

After he departs, Col. Potter asks, "I thought haircuts were fifty cents." The barber replies, "They are."

1 comment:

Tom said...

Glad to see you're covering this series too. It's been a while since I've seen an episode. Got all but one of the first season on tape and most of season two. The tapes are scattered in many boxes down in the basement. And believe me, I've got a lot of boxes. Would hope they would put this series out on dvd, mayve put both seasons out in one set, just to make sure that season two would see the light of day.

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