Season 4, Episode 14
Written by: Larry Gelbart and Gene Reynolds
Directed by: Burt Metcalfe
WHAT EPISODE IS THIS?
A nighttime wounded delivery brings Colonel Chaffey, who arrives with a broken ankle and a fancy 1884 Colt .45 as his side arm. Frank notices the Colt in the gun bin when he helps Radar lock up other patients’ guns and can’t help but handle and admire it. Radar gives the major a lame John Wayne impersonation before locking the gun back in the bin.
In post-op, Chaffey is grateful for the doctors patching him and his men up, but wants to make sure his prize sidearm is safe. Hawkeye and BJ assure him it is and show the Colonel his possessions bag containing the receipt. Well, maybe not. Frank pays a visit to a yoga-practicing Margaret in her tent to show off his “old pal,” the 1884 Colt. Margaret, impressed, insists he wear it as a sidearm, but Frank demurs, citing jealousy from others.
Meanwhile, Radar opens the gun bin to retrieve the rifle of a wounded soldier returning to duty, and to his horror, discovers Chaffey’s Colt is missing. He reports the theft to Colonel Potter, but once he says Frank helped him store some rifles, a red flag immediately goes off. Potter tells Radar he could get 15 years in the stockade for this, but pledges to help find the missing piece.
Potter informs Chaffey his gun is missing from the gun bin. An irate Chaffey demands to know who was in charge of the bin and wants the guilty man’s head on a platter.
Hawkeye and BJ corner Frank in the operating room and question him about the missing gun. Frank rambles and babbles his denial of knowing the gun’s whereabouts. The captains suggest Frank return the gun, knowing he couldn’t resist borrowing it, and remind Frank that Radar is facing jail time. Unconcerned, Frank escapes, still maintaining he is innocent until proven guilty, just like Radar.
As Radar sleeps off an evening of drowning his sorrows, Frank steals his keys and puts the gun back in the bin, but accidentally shoots himself in the foot. At the same time, a drunken Radar awakens and confronts Colonel Chaffey in post-op with another bad John Wayne impersonation and “shoots” the Colonel with his teddy bear (“My bear went off!”)
Chaffey is relieved to get his gun back, and because Radar was with him when the gun went off, proving his innocence, lets him off the hook. As Frank hobbles around, Hawkeye suggests he not bandage his foot because powder burns heal faster without them.
“My bear went off!!”
BULLETIN BOARD MATERIAL
Radar dominates the good lines in this episode…
Margaret [just awoken by Radar and her leg is exposed]: You don’t find it attractive?
Radar: Oh, yes, ma’am. It’s a beautiful leg.
Margaret: You think so?
Radar: It reminds me of my pony back home, only his hair is brown.
Klinger [exiting bus same time as Frank]: Move your can!
Klinger [mortified]: Move your can…sir.
Frank: I’ll remember that, doggie breath.
Potter: We’re not gonna let you spend fifteen years in the stockade.
Radar: Fifteen years?
Potter: Well, that’s what you can get for this.
Radar: I’ll be in my thirties. That’s almost dead.
Hawkeye: I’m very fond of Radar, Frank. He’s both the child and pet I never had.
Radar: Fifteen years! I’m going to jail in my puberty and I won’t come out till my adultery.
Chaffey: Corporal, you’re drunk.
Radar (points his teddy bear at him): You better believe it, mister, or I’m dead where you stand! (Gunshot heard – Radar stares at his teddy bear) My bear went off!
Frank: I have a low threshold of pain. A hemorrhoid can put me into a coma.
Hawkeye: I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Powder burns will heal fast, anyway.
Burns: Sure, I know that. Powder burns?!? What are you implying?
Hawkeye: Nothing, Frank. Just a shot in the dark…
TRIVIA & OBSERVATIONS
Radar rouses Margaret to scrub for an incoming ambulance bearing wounded, but when it arrives, she doesn’t scrub, for she is not seen in the O.R. assisting the doctors. Instead, she gets paged to the compound to assist with another ambulance. Potter was busy in O.R. – who gave the order to have her paged to the compound?
Some nitpicking…why does Frank have to wait for Hawkeye and BJ to “finish showing off in surgery” before he can start? Can he only operate in private, now? And how did he have time to accompany Radar to the gun bin? Shouldn’t he have been scrubbing up to operate?
Radar still has a sister. In later episodes, he is an only child.
Chaffey’s gun is (supposedly) an 1884 Colt .45. This single action revolver was an extremely popular gun with the military, outlaws and ranchers in the 19th century.
Another mention of Eisenhower being president and Nixon vice-president, and since nobody is wearing winter clothing, this episode can be placed in spring 1953, just a few months before the end of the war.
Potter mentions a lot of moonshine equipment was confiscated during the search for the gun. How did the captains’ still avoid capture?
The movie Kansas City Confidential is mentioned. This is a real movie from 1952 starring John Payne as an ex-soldier framed for a robbery.
There’s a certain chopper pilot in a yellow cap who appears in the Officers Club and later in the compound when Potter and Radar switch glasses. You don’t see his face, but he looks like “Smilin’” Jack Mitchell, the diabetic pilot who will show up later this season.
Radar’s high school: Ottumwa Central, 400 students. He allegedly spent $25 in a photo booth and took 16 hours taking pictures of himself in his corporal’s stripes for all of them. This scene is cut for syndication, which makes Radar’s reference of this to Chaffey slightly confusing.
Radar made corporal after basic training.
Another solid season 4 episode.