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Recap / M*A*S*H S6 E14: The Merchant of Korea

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An accidental pay stoppage comes at an inconvenient time for B.J., who has just borrowed money for a down payment from Charles. Margaret is faring no better, as most of her pay goes into an account managed by Donald - who is in no hurry to kick some back her way. Fortunately for both, Charles can't resist a hot poker game.

Attention all personnel! Charles whistles louder at the following tropes:

  • Argument of Contradictions: B.J. and Hawkeye get into this *twice* when they accuse each other of being chicken and childish after Charles demands favors from each of them for lending them money.
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  • Comically Missing the Point: Radar, when Col. Potter asks to borrow money from him for the poker game:
    Radar: Gee, sir, can I get in the game too?
    Potter: Radar, back home at our dinner table, we always carved out the ham equally.
    Radar: That's great, sir. Can I get in the game too?
  • Eureka Moment: When the others realize Charles' tell; "He whistles louder when he's got nothing!"
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: B.J.'s phone call to Peg:
    B.J.: We'll start building the day I get home. [beat, then laugh] Okay, the second day.
  • Gone Horribly Right: They got Charles in the game all right...and until they cracked his tells he cleaned them out.
  • Heat Wave: The weather is making everyone uncomfortable, except Charles, who "does not perspire"...at first.
  • Hypocrite: Hawkeye criticizes B.J. for avoiding Charles, but is quick to be upset when Charles starts demanding favours from him.
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  • Loan Shark: Charles is quick to hold his loan over B.J.'s (and eventually Hawkeye's) head, asking for B.J. to close his patient and pour coffee for him. After the poker game, B.J. and Hawkeye are more than happy to return the favour.
  • Madness Mantra: After being cleaned out at poker, Charles switches from whistling opera to singing Mañana - which he hates.
  • Magic Poker Equation: Winchester gets a straight after asking to exchange four of his five cards for new ones on the first hand.
  • The Mark: Charles is set up to be this in the poker game. It takes a while to get there.
  • Moving the Goalposts: Charles starts extracting favours from B.J. and Hawkeye without giving any terms for his loans ahead of time.
  • Never Lend to a Friend:
    • B.J. learns not to borrow from a friend the hard way.
    • Potter's reason for asking his wife to wire money to him instead of borrowing from Radar.
    Potter: You I'd have to pay back.
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  • Shoutout: To Spike Jones and La Traviata.
  • Smug Snake: Charles all over.
  • Telegraph Gag Stop: Used in the opening scene:
    Radar: Dorman ready to sell us our acre in Stinson Beach. Stop. Need $200 by the 15th for down payment. Stop. Love, Peg. Stop.
    Hawkeye: Radar, stop.
  • Title Drop: "Who does he think he is, the Merchant of Korea?"
  • Tsundere: Margaret during her phone call with Donald.
  • Verbal Backspace: Radar isn't particularly amused by Potter's Never Lend to a Friend joke above, and mutters "You better believe it" under his breath. Unfortunately Potter hears him, which leads Radar to quickly add, "Uh, I mean, you're right again, sir."
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