M*A*S*HCast #21 – Sticky Wicket

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 1, Episode 21: Sticky Wicket

Special Guest Star: Max Romero

Air Date: March 4, 1973

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8 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #21 – Sticky Wicket

  1. I’ve always remembered that bit where Frank admits ‘anyone could have missed that’…and Hawkeye thanks him for that rare moment of understanding. I’ve often felt that’s where the writers could have turned a corner with Frank’s character, and allowed some growth. Alas, it didn’t happen. They just went back to formula.

  2. Thank you for another entertaining episode, gentlemen. I can buy your argument that Sticky Wicket (I now have the image of an Ewok with honey stuck in its fur stuck in my head) may have been shot well before the episode was actually aired. The give away for me is the reconciliation between Frank and Hawkeye, especially given that it is initiated by Frank. Those glimmers of decency from Frank were only seen early in the first season. I also have to agree with Gord that it’s a shame they didn’t allow Frank’s character to develop as they did with Margret. Perhaps, the creators feared that humanizing Frank too much would cost them their antagonist?

  3. Regarding glimpses of Frank being an actual human being, for me the character was at his most interesting after Margaret’s engagement to Donald Penobscot. He was still a jerk, but viewers could tell he was heartbroken by losing Margaret once and for all. Frank would constantly fly off the handle, but his simmering anger during the breakup was different, and Hawkeye would return the favor of simple kindness and respect every now and then during this period.

    It would’ve been nice to see more of that earlier, but it might’ve had less impact later if we did.

    Here’s where I create a scandal: I actually preferred Frank to Winchester.

  4. This is one of top 10 favorites in all of MASH. It has laughs in the right places to cut the tension, and boy, you can feel for Hawkeye the whole way. This patient’s decline is something he’s not prepared for, like a kid who coasts through school, then has his first challenging class and doesn’t know how to handle it. I also see that Hawkeye (and Trapper) as the schemers of the outfit are always two steps ahead of everyone else, and they know it. In his mind, it’s not arrogance if it’s true. So this story shows that confidence steadily erode away.

    But the rest of the cast gets some nice ways to shine. Trapper trying to get Hawkeye to let it go. Henry giving some very appropo insight (even though Hawkeye doesn’t want to hear it). Margaret sincerely trying to help, as it’s her patient too. Even Frank taking his chance at knocking Hawkeye down a peg or two. With all of the abuse Frank gets, it’s hard not to understand wanting to get his own licks in, even though he goes too far.

    The final surgical scene is just glorious. Incredibly short for all of the build-up, the O.R. feels so different with just one patient rather than the usual crowd. “Anyone could have missed that.” “Thanks, Frank.” An actual sincere moment for Hawkeye and Frank. It won’t and couldn’t last, but the scene would not have been as impactful if Frank hadn’t come in to observe. Quickly followed by the Hawkeye-Margaret moment. This was the beginning of humanizing Hot Lips. Such a great scene.

    Great to hear you here, Max! Nice job as always, Cpl Capt Kelly!

  5. There is an excellent book called “TV’s MASH: The Ultimate Guide Book” by Ed Solomonson and Mark O’Neil. One thing they list is broadcast order and production order. It shows that this is the 21st episode broadcast and the 21st episode produced.

    I’ve always had problem interpreting the “Anyone could have missed that” line. Hawkeye’s look to Frank looks like he’s irritated that Frank voiced an opinion. And then after the line is delivered Frank jerks his head slightly and leaves which makes it look like he believes that he and his comment have been dismissed.

  6. In the mess hall Frank ask Hawkeye why he always puts him down and one of his reasons is that he asked for help 3 times. The tone he said it in made it sound like Frank asked Hawkeye for the help but what I’ve wondered is if not Hawkeye than who should he have been asking Hawkeye is suppose to be chief surgeon at this time.

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