M*A*S*HCast #41 – For Want of a Boot

M*A*S*HCast –  Season 2, Episode 17: For Want of a Boot

Special Guest Star: Shawn M. Myers

Air Date: January 12, 1974

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10 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #41 – For Want of a Boot

  1. I’m rushing to be first to comment before they close the doors on the plane home!

    Zale – yeah, Potter would’ve straightened that criminal out. As I understood his twisted ethic, he’ll go through Army channels (I.e., the bare minimum) for his monthly salary, but additional effort cost extra.

    Nurses signing the Section 8 papers — yeah, I thought the same thing; never held water that he couldn’t go home. Of course, Frank flip-flopped on whether he wanted to grant Klinger his wish (to make him go away) or forever deny it. If Klinger had gotten a Section 8 (without post-Army consequences), a lot of guys might have learned to sew like he did.

    Murphy — with that build-up, she should’ve been the size of Sigourney Weaver or Lucy Lawless.

    I liked the “cracked eggs” line. I bet the attendees would’ve chuckled if anyone else had delivered it.

    I agree with Sean’s interpretation of the, “Isn’t that sad?” line. Glimpses like this into Frank’s head (and his history) are why I prefer Charles. He could be the antagonist without being such an object of overwhelming pity, because he had redeeming qualities. Any close examination of Frank leaves anyone with empathy bereft.

  2. Maybe the dentist gets his own tent because he also uses it as his office. Also, isn’t there a later episode where a dentist is about to be shipped home and is paranoid he is going to get hurt before he leaves?

    The whole deal where anyone can sign off on a Section 8 never made sense to me. Sidney would seem to be the only one who could do that.

    Putting Frank’s card in his boot was rude of Hawkeye. If Frank had done that with a card from Hawkeye’s dad Hawkeye would have gone ballistic.

    I also like episodes like this. I agree it was better than the long johns because we got to see other characters outside of the main cast. We also got to meet Zale and see what a weasel he could be. But I did like him better than Rizzo.

  3. Sensational episode, gentlemen. I don’t enjoy these “domino effect” episodes as much as other MASH episode archetypes. When the domino-like chain of transactions inevitably topples, the resulting hurt feelings and recriminations tend to make me cringe, rather than laugh. My reaction probably says more about my own hangups regarding interpersonal conflict than about the quality of the episode. My neuroses aside, I still enjoyed your discussion a great deal.

  4. Count me in for loving this “house of cards” style story. The build up all the way to the collapse was hilarious. Great stuff.

    Not to question Trapper’s sincerity as a friend, but was he a little too willing to agree to anyone’s terms? He didn’t have to fulfill any of the obligations, Hawkeye did. So was Trapper having just a little bit of fun at Hawkeye’s expense along the way? I don’t get that feeling from the performances except for that one time when Hawkeye tries to call things off. And Trapper is enough of a trickster that I could see him thinking “it’s to help Hawk, and if it doesn’t work, it’s still good for a laugh.” Thoughts?

  5. I was honored to be mentioned briefly at the beginning of this podcast. And, yes, I don’t like the structure of these types of episodes (they reek of agent interference) but this one is better that the longjohn episode.

  6. Tim, I partially agree. I think that he was motivated to participate because he wanted to help Hawkeye, but also because this was a fun diversion. In negotiations, I think Trap was just in that mode: “This is how this works. Someone makes a ridiculous demand, and we achieve their cooperation by agreeing to said ridiculous demand.”

    If memory serves, Hawkeye’s objections regarding the party for Frank we’re both practical and moral, as it smacked of hypocrisy. I don’t think Trap was hindered by the moral issue because he’s more pragmatic by nature, and I don’t think he was concerned about the practicality because as you point out, it wasn’t his boot. He genuinely wanted to help Hawkeye, but if they failed, it was no skin off his foot.

    It occurs to me that in real life, there might easily have been an enterprising Korean who would have resoled that boot with rubber from an old tire. People in the developing world have to be resourceful to survive, and their is mutual benefit when they share their resourcefulness with us strangers from another planet. I once purchased an Afghan elastic pistol holster — the likes of which I had not previously seen in the West — when the holster I showed up with failed. It worked long enough for Amazon to come through.

    Of course, the ROK is first world nowadays, and new boots or shoe repair are easily achieved.

  7. A few random comments….

    There was an episode later in the run where Charles has a tooth-ache and Col Potter has to have a dentist brought in. So by that point, atleast, there was no longer a dentist at the 4077th.

    I too am a fan of these “house of cards” episodes; I like to call them “negotiation” episodes. My favorite is from the 4th season.

    And perhaps a thrifty Korean merchant (Mr. Pak?) saw Hawkeye wearing his golf bag at the end of the episode and fixed his boot, OR Zale actually got the boots that they were expecting. This sort of dilemma did seem to go away after the first few seasons.

    Great podcast, guys~!

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