44. As You Were

February 2, 1974 (K-420)

Written by: Larry Gelbart and Laurence Marks
Directed by: Hy Averback.
Semi-regulars: William Christopher as Father Mulcahy, Jamie Farr as Corporal Klinger, Kellye Nakahara as Nurse Able, Bobbie Mitchell as Nurse Murphy, Patricia Stevens as Nurse Baker.

Plot: No casualties, everyone's bored. Klinger's sending pictures of his Rita-Hayworth-in-Gilda-dressed self to General Mitchell. Henry's sunbathing. Burns is trying to line up condiments in the mess tent. Trapper and Hawkeye lock Burns in a crate. Henry gives a lecture that could be about veneral disease, but it's hard to tell. Hot Lips persuades Burns to ask Trapper and Hawkeye to operate on his hernia. The boys order and wear gorilla costumes (while discussing the hernia with Burns!). Then some casualties come and everything's back in business - Burns's hernia has to wait. The hospital runs out of blood and they set up an in-camp drive. Meanwhile, shelling from their side is happening all around. Radar tries to get the shelling stopped. Burns's hernia plays up, taking him out of the action. Hawkeye operates on Burns while Trapper delivers a civilian's baby.

Glitches: At the VD lecture, it seems that Hawkeye gives off one of his trademark huge laughs without moving his head or body for a couple of seconds. (At least it sounds like Hawk's laugh.)
Hee! I like this one. Burns's gestures when he's saying he and Hot Lips should talk nurse-to-doctor make him the nurse and her the doctor!

Great Lines: Mulcahy: 'Klinger, the Lord moves in mysterious ways, but you take the cake.'
Henry: 'Guys, some of you are going back home to your wives. Some of you are going back home to your sweethearts. And some, for all I know, are going back to both.'
Henry concludes his vague VD lecture: 'Whatever you do, don't run the risk of catching today's subject.'
Burns rates the boys: 'I mean, so they save their patients. Neither one of them owns his own car.'
Radar gets annoyed with friendly fire around the camp and snaps, 'Listen, buddy, we're a hospital! How would you like it if we fired patients at you?'
Henry: '[sigh] Now we're delivering babies.' Hawkeye: 'Hope it's not a boy; they'll draft him.'
The PA: 'AFRS announces the release of Nazi war criminal Alfred Krupp. Everybody's goin' home but us.'

The Klinger Collection: A light blue scarf/hat tops off a pink frill-edged dress, with long white gloves. A bright red number at the sex lecture. When he's dropping off the mail, a more pastelly pink and green outfit with white high-heels (he made it himself). Appropriately, he's wearing red (with silver) when he's donating blood. At the end, we see many of his creations as he sits in his tent, happily sewing away.

Continuity is for Wimps: Isn't it usually Radar who drops off the mail?
More of those pod-people, name-swapping nurses! The Bobbie Mitchell one is now Nurse Murphy, apparently nothing to do with the Nurse Murphy from 41. For Want of a Boot. Patricia Stevenson looked like she'd settled into being Nurse Mitchell earlier, but now she's become Nurse Baker. Kellye Nakahara, who'll end up a nurse with a very consistent name and character (Kellye), here gets her turn at being Nurse Able! (Admittedly, none of these names are in the episode, only the credits. But still...)

Notes: Hawkeye and Trapper's pranks on Burns have also included putting oatmeal in his gas mask, and stapling his toilet paper.
Burns has had a hernia for about ten years.
The gorilla suits came from the Peerless Costume Company in Philadelphia.
Radar is nineteen years old. For the moment, that would mean he was born in 1931 or 1932.
This week's episode comes to us from 1951, according to the PA at the end. Alfred Krupp was a real war criminal, and was, as the announcement says, released this year. With some of the references this season, I'm wondering if someone didn't just have their Big Book of 1951 open when they were adding the history bits.

Comments: Like a couple of other episodes this season, this episode starts off one way, then changes direction. At first we're in for an amusing if inconsequential series of vignettes showing us what our favourite MASH gets up to without the fun of wounded people, strange civilians or humourous bureaucracy. Then, a half-plot starts about Burns's hernia, to be leapt on by some more patients arriving at the end. I can't tell if the writers are getting a bit confused, or if it's deliberately showing us how things can change at a place like a MASH. (32. The Trial of Henry Blake, makes a similar jump from clip show to courtroom drama.) It could have been done smoother. That said, though, the short pieces in the first half were quite funny.

Previous episode
Next episode
Back to the Virgin's Guide to M*A*S*H main page
Back to episode listings