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Recap / M*A*S*H S2 E22: George

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Hawkeye is concerned when a wounded soldier, George Weston, has bruises from several beatdowns. At first, it is thought that Weston has just been getting into fights until it is revealed that Weston is a target at his unit simply for being homosexual. Hawkeye, the good guy that he is, wants to have something done about the assaults, but Weston does not want him to do anything as it means the army would investigate, find out about his orientation, and dishonourably discharge him. Unfortunately, Frank finds out about Weston's secret and is on the warpath for the army to do just that.

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Attention, Private Weston! In your defense, Captains Pierce and McIntyre have supplied the following tropes:

  • Batman Gambit: Hawkeye and Trapper's winning tactic to get Frank to lay off putting Weston up on a dishonourable discharge.
  • Big Bad: Frank gradually evolves into this. The volutions is completed halfway through the episode.
  • The Cast Showoff: Wayne Rogers as Trapper sings the entirety of "I've Got You Under My Skin" in the opening scene.
  • Cure Your Gays: Frank Burns is of the mindset about homosexuality being a perverted disease.
    • So is Margaret, but to a far lesser extreme.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In an inverse of their antagonistic relationship, Frank accuses Hawkeye of being slow and hesitant while operating.
    Frank: You getting paid by the hour, Pierce?
    Hawkeye: If I close him up before we remove those other fragments, we'll invalidate his warranty. Permanently.
  • Determinator: George Weston wants to fulfil his tour of duty, no matter what people think of him or his sexuality.
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  • Dude, Not Funny!: Hawkeye bizarrely does this to Trapper of all people when Frank yells at the latter to quit singing and Trapper increases his voice volume.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Trapper and Hawkeye believe that Henry has pulled a Face–Heel Turn and signed the forms Frank Burns wanted him to sign to get Private Weston dishonourably discharged.
    Trapper: Thanks a lot, Henry.
    Henry: For what?
    Hawkeye: For signing those forms for Frank.
    Trapper: For helping to ruin another man's life.
    Henry: Can I say one thing?
    Hawkeye: For once again winning the rubber backbone award.
    Henry: Pierce, I didn't sign.
    [Hawkeye does a Double Take]
  • Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": Despite the title, George Weston is never referred to by his first name, only by his rank or surname.
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  • Eye Take: Henry is shocked when he discovers Hawkeye has been rubbing his hands instead of his girlfriend.
    Henry: That was a dirty trick, Pierce.
  • Flat "What": Henry's response when Radar describes his inner ear during a checkup as being like a nativity scene.
  • Get Out!: Frank threatens Radar, after the clerk informs Hawkeye, Trapper and Margaret he wanted Private Weston left off his patient roster, to leave the mess tent.
    Margaret: You've taken Private Weston off your day sheet.
    Radar: He said it gave him the willies to be around him.
    Frank: You're an enlisted man, Corporal. This is an officers' mess. Do you read me?!
  • Lampshade Hanging: Frank gets annoyed that whenever he tries to do something or encourages something in a military fashion, Hawkeye is always there to subvert it.
    Frank: Pierce, why is it we always turn up in the same place?
    Hawkeye: It only happens when I go tourist.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Invoked by Hawkeye when Frank Burns insists that he doesn't have to take the kind of abuse he's been getting from him and Trapper.
    Hawkeye: Oh yes you do, Frank. You invite abuse. It would be impolite not to accept it.
  • Late to the Punchline: Frank is telling Hawkeye and Trapper that he found out something interesting about a certain someone. Hawkeye slides a Stealth Insult in.
    Hawkeye: Is this person a well-stacked US Army Major nurse, who's bigger than a breadbox that you're seeing on the side.
    Frank: no. [catches on] No!
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Trapper sings "I've Got You Under My Skin" while operating in the OR.
  • Mood Whiplash: We go from Trapper cheerily singing in the OR to a sour Hawkeye lamenting that he hates sunrise.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Hawkeye and Trapper in the shower stalls.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Hawkeye and Trapper recognise that Weston's injuries did not all come from fighting in the war.
  • Noodle Incident: Hawkeye once slipped a pancreas under Margaret's pillow.
  • Reflexive Response: Radar informs Hawkeye and Trapper while they're in the shower that Major Burns is giving Henry a lot of static.
    Hawkeye: Major Burns is loaded with static! He was born in a taxi with the radio on while it was stalled under a bridge.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Frank Burns is sending Ross back to active duty too soon after the man's recovery instead of letting him go and recuperate further at a military hospital in Tokyo because the war needs to be fought. Henry lets him know how dumb that reasoning is.
    Henry: Frank, you scheduled Ross for active duty?
    Frank: Yes sir. Tomorrow he'll have his cast off and I'll have him out of traction. I'm giving him a little rubber ball to squeeze.
    Henry: Frank, who's it going to hurt if he spends one week in Tokyo? I mean, you know, he could take his little rubber ball with him.
    Frank: May I remind you, sir, that we are fighting a war?
    Frank: This hospital is a vital cog in our fighting machine. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. That's why we can't allow any letdown, in command, or in the ranks.
    Henry: Frank. You are the only man I know who makes George Washington seem like a slacker.
  • Straight Gay: George Weston.
  • The Tag: A little gag punchline involving I Need a Freaking Drink as part of a playful lighthearted argument between Hawkeye and Trapper.
    Trapper: Would you like a drink before you go?
    Hawkeye: I thought you'd never ask.
  • Values Dissonance: Frank sets himself against Weston and wants him dismissed with a dishonourable discharge because the private is a homosexual. Weston's war buddies, and the term is used very loosely here, are much worse.
    • Values Resonance: Hawkeye and Trapper put up a valiant fight to stop Frank's attempts to out Weston.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Frank thinks that whenever Hawkeye and Trapper are talking about Hitler, they are really talking about him. What they're actually doing is covering up that they were just talking about the problems Private Weston has been enduring.
  • You're Insane!: Hawkeye is bewildered that Private Weston wants to go back to the front.
    Hawkeye: You want to go back? Keep talking like that, I'll give you a saliva test.
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