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Recap / M*A*S*H S3 E17: The Consultant

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Paging Dr Borelli. Please consult the 4077th about these tropes:

  • Berserk Button: The clerk from Charlie Company accuses Radar of being a ghoul while he is searching for an artery graft for the transplant.
  • Bittersweet Ending: It looks like the end of Borelli and Hawkeye's friendship. The Tag, however, subverts it.
  • Broken Ace: Dr Anthony Borelli is an experienced frontline surgeon from both World Wars. In spite of his experience, or maybe because of it, he was just not ready to return to the life of a frontline medical unit.
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  • Broken Pedestal: Hawkeye is left sadly unimpressed when he comes to the Swamp towards the end of the episode and finds Borelli has been drinking just before an important, delicate and new form of surgery only the veteran doctor has experience with.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Hawkeye tells Borelli when they first meet that if he wants to know about doctoring near the frontline, he should be working at a MASH unit or an aid station. It backfires when Borelli responds that he's already served as a frontline doctor in World War One ... and Two.
    • Hawkeye justifiably does it again after Borelli drinks before a transplant surgery and he had to serve Borelli's role in the procedure to cover for him. However, he becomes too judgemental and proud of his own ability to stave off the want to drink that Borelli reverses it on him.
      Borelli: You have a great many gifts, Doctor. It's a pity you can't number compassion in among them. I'm suffering from the three sure signs of age; bit of a spread, grey hair, feet of clay. I wish you better luck on your third war.
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  • Cassandra Truth: Charlie Company does not believe Radar when he insists that he is calling from a hospital.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • When Henry Blake arrives to escort Hawkeye and Trapper to the helipad for their official trip to Japan, Hawkeye informs him very funnily that Trapper isn't ready. An unamused Henry tells him to can it.
    • Hawkeye adds on to Henry's recommendation to Dr Borelli that the unit's mess tent is a good place to eat.
      Hawkeye: The tent is terrific. The food puts you away.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Played for laughs in Who's on First? style when Hawkeye and Trapper meet Dr Borelli.
    Hawkeye: We operate in the filth.
    Trapper: In the mud.
    Hawkeye: In the muck.
    Trapper: Muck and mud.
    Hawkeye: Who'll ever forget them?
  • Drives Like Crazy: Radar
    Trapper: Where'd you learn to drive?
    Radar: The bumper cars.
    Trapper: Figures.
    Hawkeye: My kidneys' lawyer'll call you in the morning.
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  • Failed a Spot Check: In surgery, Trapper asks for a wipe to clear the sweat from his forehead. He thanks the nurse who does it, unaware that it was Dr Borelli. Cue Double Take.
    Trapper: Thanks, sweetheart.
    Borelli: You're welcome, darling.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Frank gets like this when he notices Margaret is staring amorously at Dr Borelli in the mess tent.
    Frank: A person doesn't have to be an eye doctor to see what's going on here.
  • I Am Very British: Joseph Maher as Major Taylor
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Henry remarks "You're supposed to be going to Japan to attend a surgical clinic" when he sees Hawkeye and Trapper are packing golf clubs.
    Henry: They're expecting you at Tokyo General Hospital.
    Trapper: Henry, I promise you we will drive right by the building.
  • Instructional Dialogue: Dr Borelli explains to the MASH doctors about the similarities of an arterial transplant, a surgical method the doctors are not yet aware of, to a coarctation of the aorta.
  • Mood Whiplash: This was a very funny episode until the influx of wounded came in and gets worse from there.
  • Not So Different: Borelli explains that his drinking before surgery was a momentary surrender to temptation. When the explanation is deemed not good enough by Hawkeye, Borelli then asks him sardonically if the gin distillery he is drinking from is a bubble-gum machine.
  • Oh, Crap!: After returning to the 4077th with the artery required for the transplant, Hawkeye tells Radar to get Borelli for the operation. The company clerk comes back to him with bad news.
  • Precision F-Strike: Trapper's response to seeing Dr Borelli arriving at the 4077th by chopper.
    Trapper: I'll be damned.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: It does not take long after Borelli's arrival for Frank and Margaret to start acting like sycophants.
  • Running Gag: Radar drives up to the administration office and meets Colonel Blake. He is then told to drive over to the Swamp. What he failed to recognise was that Henry meant for him to drive them both there, leaving Henry to walk. He does this again when Hawkeye and Trapper depart for Tokyo and leaves Henry behind at the helicopter landing pad.
  • Shout-Out: "Don't you know? That's The Lone Ranger"
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Hawkeye and Trapper treat their visit to Tokyo like a holiday rather than the official function it's meant to serve as.
    • Frank Burns cares more about avoiding legal trouble than using a new medical technique that's been proven to work to save a patient from having his leg amputated.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Major Taylor believes the 4077th is raising too much fuss over a soldier losing a leg, going on to tell Hawkeye and Trapper that his own father lost both legs and keeps to this trope regardless.
  • Tempting Fate: A case of Five-Second Foreshadowing as well. After a round of shelling stops, Trapper says it's going to martini. In three seconds, the 4077th gets a different kind of deluge.
    Attention, all personnel. Incoming wounded. Both shifts report to the OR on the double.
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