69. Big Mac

February 25, 1975 (B-313)

Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Don Weis
Guest Stars: Graham Jarvis, as Colonel Whiteman.
Semi-regulars: Jamie Farr, as Corporal Klinger. Loudon Wainwright III, as Captain SpaSlding.

Plot: The gang are having the usual arguments and mayhem in surgery, when a piece of amazing news comes in: General Macarthur is coming! The 4077th have been the most effective medical unit in Korea, and the General will be passing through to see the outfit. Everyone is in a ferment, wanting to make the place suitable for the General. Klinger is asked not to be on guard duty (he surprises the General's aide with his blue floral frock). A very detailed programme is planned for the General, and amongst the honours will be a scrapbook presented by Burns, and a song from Captain Spalding. Burns burns a whole bunch of books because he doesn't want the General to see that they read things like Plato's Republic and Robinson Crusoe. The boys are determined that they're not going to over-red white and blue it just for the General. Colonel Blake tries to get Klinger to be in uniform for the General's visit, which makes Klinger very upset - if the General sees him in his usual outfit he'll probably discharge Klinger then and there. Burns and Hot Lips get very - ahem - inspired when inspecting the VIP tent set up for the General. They have a rehearsal for the visit (with Radar playing the General!), but they've just finished when the real Macarthur shows up. He doesn't stop as planned, though, but just drives through. Klinger dresses up as the Statue of Liberty and gets a salute!

Glitches: Hot Lips says that they operate every day, and that's not true - they operate very intensively for quite a while, then sit on their arses and do nothing for days at a time.
In the last OR scene before Macarthur shows up, Trapper is holding a piece of shrapnel in a pair of forceps in one shot and then not in the next.

Great Lines: Henry: 'Radar, this is the biggest thing that's ever happened to me since I did my first strangulated hernia!'
Burns: 'I think the Colonel might like to know that Major Houlihan's father was under General Macarthur in the cavalry.' Hawkeye: 'Her father was a horse! Did you know that?' Trapper: 'Our engagement is off!'
Trapper, while Colonel Whiteman is explaining how the troops are to address the General: 'God almighty...' Hawkeye: 'Close, very close.'
Trapper, after Hawkeye has taken the photo: 'I had my eyes shut!' Hawkeye: 'That's OK - so did I.'

The Klinger Collection: A white dress with blue flowers on it and a very nice wide-brimmed hat. And then, a riding skirt, jacket, hat and white blouse, including jewelled pin in his scarf. And a gorgeous pink dress with hat and matching sandals. And a lovely kimono with chrysanthemums on it. Finally, and very spectacularly, he dresses as the Statue of Liberty. He's really out-done himself this time.

Continuity is for Wimps: In Episode 53. OR the radio says that General Macarthur had been sent home from Korea and succeeded twice. Maybe he came back for a holiday.

Notes: I had wondered where the 4077th's 'Best Care Anywhere' sign came from, and now I know.

Comments: I did enjoy this episode, silly though it was. Henry getting gung ho about his charges for tonsillectomies is hilarious. Poor Colonel Whiteman's reaction to the boys' general attitude is hilarious. The panic that ensues with the impending visit is also very funny, although I think the General could have actually gone through with the itinerary which Colonel Whiteman arranged for him. I loved the look on Burns's face after Macarthur drives through the camp, as he holds out the scrapbook forlornly. The song Spalding was going to sing for Macarthur was, I thought, much better than the one they ended the episode on, and generally rather better than his usual offerings. I'm not a Spalding fan, as I believe I've mentioned before.

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