Episode Spotlight: They Call the Wind Korea

11 Comments

Every Monday, I spotlight a random episode of M*A*S*H, providing a brief review and asking readers to offer their thoughts.

“They Call the Wind Korea” (#151, 7×07)
Originally Broadcast: Monday, October 30th, 1978
Written by Ken Levine & David Isaacs
Directed by Charles Dubin

Capsule Summary: The 4077th batten down the hatches as heavy winds and freezing temperatures approach. Charles and Klinger, meanwhile, make a desperate attempt to reach Seoul before the storm hits.

This was a great episode from start to finish. It had some great jokes and a little character development, but more importantly it featured A and B stories that complemented one another while both feeling fleshed out.

I’m calling the storm hitting the 4077th the A story, since it was established first. There’s a nice moment during the opening scene in Colonel Potter’s office when Potter is able to catch Radar off-guard while discussing how to secure the camp for the approaching storm. It’s a very human moment. Potter painting his own thumb, while random and bizarre, is pretty funny, too.

That leaves Charles and Klinger’s mad dash for Seoul as the B story. Another nice moment comes during Klinger’s argument with Charles about driving him to Seoul. Klinger tells Charles he’s not crazy, then interrupts himself to tell Potter to ignore what he just said. I wonder if Charles ever paid Klinger the $300 he offered.

Image of Klinger standing on a hill looking out over the 4077th

So Close, Yet So Far

I suppose one could consider Radar and his missing guinea pig a C story but personally I feel it was just another part of the A story along with Bigelow’s injury while securing the water tower. If there was anything about the episode there’s one thing I’d criticize about the episode, it would be Radar and his guinea pig. It seemed far more juvenile than the rest of the episode, as is often the case with Radar, and thus felt a little out of place.

Margaret’s reaction to Bigelow’s injury was a brief reminder that she was not just a shrill harpy bent on enforcing rules and stomping out all signs of fun.

The best part of hearing Charles describe his childhood is when he says he was able to put frogs back together after dissecting them. The second best part was his utter contempt at the thought of listening to Klinger talk about his childhood.

The twist at the end of the episode in which Klinger learns that he and Charles were only a few hundred feet away from the 4077th reminded me a little of a 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone called “I Shot an Arrow into the Air.”

Is the 4077th’s water tower mentioned in any other episodes?

11 Replies to “Episode Spotlight: They Call the Wind Korea”

  1. The water tower isn’t mentioned but is seen in ‘The Colonel’s Horse’ also didn’t they request a water tower from Col. Ditka in ‘Give ‘Em Hell, Hawkeye??’

    This is a great episode and my favorite bits are the scenes between Charles and Klinger…..I have to commend whoever decided to put these two antagonistic characters together knowing they would generate the most laughs. Charles and Klinger had great chemistry.

    My favorite part:

    Charles: Klinger, I will pay you $20. My final offer….take it or leave it
    Klinger: No
    Charles: Alright, 300.

    LOL

    1. They requested a water heater in that episode. Col. Ditka made them beautify the camp to get the water heater.

  2. This was a good episode. Felt a little sorry for Klinger getting lost with Charles, and then come to find out that they were only 200 yards from camp all along.

    Like “Mail Call Three” (6×21), and “Temporary Duty” (6×22), I saw a glimpse of this episode one night before I actually started watching the series: where Radar discovers his guinea pig Babette goes missing, and starts searching for her, “Excuse me sirs, have any of you seen my guinea pig, I went out to check his cage and he wasn’t there, but he’s a she!”

  3. I’m not totally sure if it was this episode, but if so, my favorite part was Charles’ sacrifice of his shirts to make bandages for the wounded people. I always liked him for such moments.

  4. in answer to R.J.s question about whether the water tower was ever mentioned in any other episode, yes it was mentioned in “NURSE, DOCTOR” from season 8 when Klinger tells everyone at the end that the water tower is re-filled.

  5. One point – if Charles is heading for R&R in Tokyo, then they are headed for a military airbase well behind the lines to catch a plane to Japan. Why is he wearing his sidearm? It is clearly visible when he is tending the Greek soldiers.

  6. I never had guineapigs, do they actually make the clucking noise heard when Radar checks on them in this episode? You can really tell the one is startled when Gary puts his arm into the cage.

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