AfterMASH Episode Spotlight: Fever Pitch

I’m reviewing every episode of AfterMASH, in original broadcast order, and asking fans to add their memories and opinions.

“Fever Pitch” (#20, 1×20)
Originally Broadcast: Monday, February 27th, 1984 from 9-9:30PM ET
Written by Dennis Koenig
Directed by Burt Metcalfe

TV Guide Summary

A heat wave causes a rise in temperatures, especially in Dr. Boyer, who’s steamed because he can’t obtain a cooling blanket for a feverish patient.

The Hartford Courant Summary

Dr. Boyer becomes irate when he must wade through endless red tape to secure a cooling blanket for a patient during a blistering heat wave.

Review

After stepping away from the hospital and medical stories for the most part over the past two or three episodes, it’s a nice change of pace to watch an episode that involves multiple storylines set at General General.

The main storyline features Potter, Dr. Boyer and Mike D’Angelo, and involves a heat wave. Dr. Boyer wants to help a patient with a high temperature with a cooling blanket (“an air conditioner for the insides”) but the hospital doesn’t have one. Dr. Boyer flirts his way past Alma Cox and angrily asks D’Angelo to purchase a cooling blanket.

D’Angelo refuses. He isn’t allowed to use equipment that hasn’t been evaluated by Washington. Fortunately for Dr. Boyer, Klinger offers to help. The two scheme to swap D’Angelo’s air conditioner for a cooling blanket at another hospital. The two don’t know Potter, with D’Angelo’s permission, has made his own arrangements to acquire the very same blanket.

Still from the AfterMASH episode Fever Pitch showing Klinger and Dr. Boyer.

Klinger and Dr. Boyer successfully scheme to help a patient.

Potter, of course, realizes Klinger must be involved with the theft of the cooling blanket and D’Angelo’s air conditioner.

Meanwhile, Father Mulcahy is sick of living at the rectory. Sarah suggests he move into her apartment building. Despite higher than expected rent, a crummy room, and depraved neighbors, Father Mulcahy decides to stay after a talk with Sarah. She reminds him how he “undegraded” her. As long as he doesn’t get shot, Sarah says, living in the apartment will be fun.

Of the two storylines, I like Klinger and Dr. Boyer teaming up to find a cooling blanket far more than Father Mulcahy looking for a new place to live. AfterMASH has often struggled with how to find a role for Father Mulcahy.

Still from the AfterMASH episode Fever Pitch showing Father Mulcahy and Sarah.

Father Mulcahy agrees to stay in the apartment building.

I can’t help but think how Dr. Pfeiffer could just as easily have taken Dr. Boyer’s place in this episode. True, Dr. Pfeiffer was less of a hothead than Dr. Boyer but he cared just as much about his patients and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. In my opinion, replacing Pfeiffer with Boyer was a mistake.

Notes

Klinger’s radio show returns for the first time since its introduction in “Little Broadcast of ’53” earlier in the season.

References to the 4077th

To convince Dr. Boyer he can be trusted, Klinger tells him about wearing dresses in Korea, insisting he never did anything by the book.

M*A*S*H Connections

This is the seventh of 13 episodes directed by Burt Metcalfe.

This is the seventh of 12 episodes written or co-written by Dennis Koenig.

Guest star Alan Toy previously appeared in the M*A*S*H episode “Cementing Relationships” during Season 9.

5 Comments

  • RedArrow says:

    Um..something’s not quite right here. I’m seeing most of the review of “It Had To Be You” until right at the end.

  • David G. says:

    I remember this one being a particularly good standout episode when it first aired and, while watching it, it struck me as one that seemed very much in line with the tone and execution of those first three years of “M*A*S*H.” This one fit right in line with the “swapping stuff” episodes of the original series — even though the number of trades weren’t as extensive as, say, those involved with Hawkeye’s long johns. The resolution here very much reminded me of Henry Blake looking up to see his desk hanging from the end of a rope under a flying helicopter.

    And, in agreement here regarding Boyer. His role in this episode was one of the few where he came off as a likable, “one of the guys” part of the group.

    (Looking forward to seeing how you’re going to tackle NEXT week’s episode …. which currently is only available on YouTube in goodness-knows-what-foreign-language-that-is!)

  • BDOR says:

    Wait, there’s such a thing as a cooling blanket? I’ve heard of heating blankets, but not cooling blankets . . . where can I get one of those?

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