M*A*S*H (1978) – They Call the Wind Korea, Major Ego, and Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Ken Levine and David Isaacs pen They Call the Wind Korea, which first aired on 30 October, 1978, and sees Charles (David Ogden Stiers) getting ready to leave the 4077 on his first vacation (in Tokyo no less) since he arrived. Unfortunately there’s a major storm coming in, and he can’t get a chopper out.

When Potter (Harry Morgan) okays Klinger (Jamie Farr) to drive Charles in a jeep to Seoul, with the understanding that Klinger can stay overnight, the pair head out, racing to beat the wind.

Meanwhile in the camp, everyone is battening the place down, and Radar (Gary Burghoff) is upset to learn that one of his guinea pigs has gotten loose and is somewhere in the camp, even as the storm shrieks around them. Houlihan (Loretta Swit) blames herself when one of her nurses is injured on a detail she ordered, but she and Hawk (Alan Alda) pull her through.

Charles and Klinger end up taking a circuitous route, lost because neither listened to the directions, and soon come across a wounded platoon of Greek soldiers who need their help. Charles getaway is gone, and despite his initial misgivings, works to save the men.

And when sun up arrives the next morning, the storm has passed, and Klinger makes a hilarious discovery…

Major Ego was directed by Alda, and written by Larry Balmagia. It first aired on 6 November, 1978. When Charles saves a man’s life, literally resuscitating him back from the dead, the Army newspaper, Stars & Stripes, sends a reporter, Greenleigh (Greg Mullavey) to do a story on him.

With his ego swelling, Charles becomes unbearable, though Hawkeye and B.J. (Mike Farrell) keep sniping at him to keep him level-headed. It’s not until he makes a mistake on the same patient he saved which Hawkeye resolves that he realizes that he may have let his ego get the better of him.

Elsewhere in the camp, Houlihan is stuck in a divorce battle with her soon to be ex-husband, and needs an outlet, which she finally clues in on, when she realizes that Greenleigh has been trying to get to know her since he came to camp.

Klinger, meanwhile, sees the Stars & Stripes reporter as an opportunity to prove he’s a loon, and suggests a series of photographs of him dressed as Hollywood actresses.

Alda knows how to balance the comedy and the drama, and once again, it’s fun to see character growth for Houlihan, and a not unfriendly interaction between Hawkeye and Charles.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside was penned by Gary David Goldberg, and first hit the airwaves on 13 November, 1978.

It’s a cold, cold winter, and the wounded coming into the OR are suffering from severe hypothermia, and the camp and its residents are struggling to stay warm. Charles receives a polar suit from home to help him stay warm, but foolishly trades his gloves away to Houlihan, and spends the episode trying to get them back.

Hawkeye, meanwhile, is fretting over a patient who’s core temperature isn’t rising, and his life is at risk. Can they find a way to save him, and elevate his body heat? They are running out of ideas fast.

Klinger suffers a sudden onset of deafness when a mine explodes nearby while he’s on duty. He’s terrified, and isn’t sure what to do, while B.J. works over him. If it’s permanent, he’s found his way out of the Army… what do you think the odds of that being the case are?

This is just one of those fast moving episodes that is entertaining, but doesn’t have a lot going on beneath the surface. It’s just one of the weekly romps that makes it fun to hang out with the camp, even as they struggle with the low, low, oh so low temperatures.

More from the 4077th next week!

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