I’m reviewing every episode of AfterMASH, in original broadcast order, and asking fans to add their memories and opinions.
“Up and Down Payments” (#22, 1×22)
Originally Broadcast: Monday, March 12th, 1984 from 9-9:30PM ET
Written by Ken Levine & David Isaacs
Directed by Burt Metcalfe
TV Guide Summary
When Klinger goes house hunting, he winds up getting trapped by a slick real-estate agent.
The Hartford Courant Summary
The Klingers search frantically for a new apartment as Soon-Lee is about to deliver their first child.
The first season finale sees the Klingers decide it’s time to find a bigger place to live. Their tiny apartment is filled to the brim with baby things. They go to a real estate agent named Jay Utall for help finding a nice apartment. Instead, he convinces them to buy a house. Unfortunately, the whole thing is a scam. There’s a $2,800 payment due in two years, a payment the Klingers will never be able to afford. But the contract has been signed.
Dr. Boyer has to take the stairs after the elevator goes out. It’s an exercise in frustration and humiliation. The experience reminds him how much he hates his life and he takes it out on his coworkers and patients.
Meanwhile, Father Mulcahy gets new glasses. Everyone tells him he looks different but nobody can figure out why. Mike D’Angelo tries to get even with Dr. Boyer, who keeps making fun of his weight, by joking about Boyer’s artificial leg. It backfires.
The Potters invite the Klingers, Father Mulcahy, and Dr. Boyer over for dinner. Klinger shows up with a bandaged hand and forehead. He told Soon-Lee he fell down but the truth is he got into a fight with Jay Utall. Two policemen show up to arrest Klinger on charges of assault and battery and haul him off to jail, where Soon-Lee goes into labor.
Continued Next Season…
After 22 episodes, what have I learned about AfterMASH? The show isn’t as bad as its reputation suggests. “Up and Down Payments,” like so many other episodes of AfterMASH (and M*A*S*H) suffers from trying to include too many characters. Father Mulcahy’s minor storyline is pointless. Likewise, Mike D’Angelo appears in a handful of scenes but contributes nothing to the episode.
Otherwise, the episode is a decent end to an uneven season. Poor Klinger. He’s spent much of the season trying so hard to provide for his wife and future child. Despite his own history of scams and schemes, he let his guard down and allowed himself to be conned by a conman. It’s his own fault for listening to a real estate agent for advice about the G.I. Bill and, more importantly, for not reading the contract before signing it.
I’m still not a fan of Dr. Boyer, although at least here we’re given a glimpse of where his anger comes from. Watching him struggle to walk up a few flight of stairs is painful–which is the whole point. It’s too bad it took six episodes to see him as a human being and not just a sack of bitterness and contempt.
I don’t know how viewers reacted to the double cliffhanger ending, with Klinger behind bars and Soon-Lee in labor, but after watching it I was very curious to see how the Season 2 premiere unfolds.
Alma Cox doesn’t appear in this episode.
“Up and Down Payments” marks the final appearance of John Chappell as Mike D’Angelo. It’s also the last episode in which Barbara Townsend plays Mildred Potter.
Recurring character Nurse Parker, played by Joan Sweeny, makes her first appearance in this episode. She returns in three episodes during Season 2.
References to the 4077th
While talking about clothing, both Potter and Dr. Boyer refer to their time in Korea.
Klinger mentions leaving the service while chatting with the real estate agent. The two bond over being veterans.
This is the ninth of 14 episodes directed by Burt Metcalfe.
This is the eighth of 13 episodes written or co-written by Ken Levine & David Isaacs.