(08x23) 196 - War Co-Respondant

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Big Daddy O'Reilly
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(08x23) 196 - War Co-Respondant

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:15 pm

I mean, I KNOW Mike Farrell wanted to show that despite the fact that B.J. is a devoted and faithful family man, he too isn't above temptation, and I think that's why this story is at fault, he seemed to try too hard to show this in this story, that the plot itself didn't entirely add up. I mean, first of all, why exactly is Aggie so interested in B.J. to begin with? I didn't quite pick up on that... she said he was quiet, is she interested in men who come off as reclusive and aloof (even Beej appeared, to me, to be just being himself)? Not only that, but she correctly guessed that he was married during their first conversation in the Officer's Club, so why did she continue to pursue him? Did she think she could manipulate him into hooking up with her instead, and either not tell Peggy about it, or he send her a Dear Jane?

Also, was there more going on that didn't happen on screen that we didn't know about? Because up until B.J. confesses to Hawkeye that he does have desires and feelings for Aggie, all the others witness was her trying to sketch him, yet they all began gossiping in the Mess Tent, like they knew something was going on between them.

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Re: (08x23) 196 - War Co-Respondant

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:44 am

I actually watched this episode again last night: it's still terrible. Everybody's dialogue is absolutely painful to listen to (Father Mulcahy's "Pitching Woo" line is especially cringeworth). I even noticed something this time around that I hadn't previously: the audio quality in this episode is really poor - there's too much clipping whenever somebody makes an 'S' sound, making 'S'-words and 'S'-sounds rather staticy. Still, Mike tried way too hard with this, it comes off as nothing more than a B.J. vehicle about fedility.

So, why did I even watch this episode again? Well, I wanted to revisit it, because I actually find myself in a very similar situation right now (don't worry, no marriages are being threatened or anything). There's a girl who I've been absolutely in love with for the longest time, and even though she does not return my feelings, we continue to remain very good friends - even though I can't help but shake my head whenever she hooks up with other guys because they turn out to be losers and the relationships never last anyway. Nevertheless, even though there's too many problems that would prevent anything from working out between us, for the longest time, I still felt like she the only one for me.

But, I'm finding that changing lately for reasons unknown. Lately, for whatever reason, I'm finding I'm becoming more and more attracted to another platonic female friend of mine, even though at times, her personality can be very off-putting, and we never became particularly close friends in the first place anyway. On top of that, both girls happen to have known each other for a while as well, and they despise each other, which makes this feel all the more awkward and crazy. But like B.J. with Aggie, I find myself torn between the newfound attraction I have for lady friend #2, even though I still feel like lady friend #1 is the one my heart really, truly loves.

I'm such a weirdo, lol.

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Re: (08x23) 196 - War Co-Respondant

Post by Ferret Face » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:25 am

There were moments in this episode that were kind of ok for me. Most notably, I did kind of like Hawkeye's desperate attempts at getting Maggie's attention. And I thought BJ's explanation to Aggie at the end was pretty well done. But those semi-decent moments were few and far between. I wouldn't say that I hate the story in this one, but it was just... there. I don't really know how else to explain it, except that I had no investment in BJ's relationship to Aggie, and his conflicting emotions were handled better in "Hanky Panky" (which in itself wasn't the best episode, but was at least more interesting than this one).

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Re: (08x23) 196 - War Co-Respondant

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:23 am

Something else that's struck me about this episode is the awfully under-developed subplot regarding the patient Scotty: did he have feelings for Aggie too? It's implied that he does - he gives B.J. the third degree about how there's gossip going on in the hospital about the two of them, but then tells him he's crazy when he denies them. Then, there's also Hawkeye's comment during Scotty's emergency surgery that once back in the states, Aggie would probably be going around charming other people while Scotty cockeyed waits back at the soda shop for her, or some crap like that, I don't know, it wasn't well-done. . . . I guess it's supposed to suggest that Aggie may have been something of a drifter and that it's not uncommon for her to become attracted to a passing male (B.J. in this case) and then break their hearts or something? I don't know. Again, it's all just poorly-executed.

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Re: (08x23) 196 - War Co-Respondant

Post by BeccaLeo1972 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:23 pm

An episode that comes across as forced and unnatural. If B.J. were going to stumble/be tempted again it seems that one of the nurses he works with on a regular basis is the natural choice. I like a lot of Season 8 but not this episode. Aggie did come across as a drifter who did not want romantic attachment to anyone long term just brief relationships. Hawkeye should've been her guy for this episode not B.J.

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Re: (08x23) 196 - War Co-Respondant

Post by kkt » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:20 am

BeccaLeo1972 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:23 pm
An episode that comes across as forced and unnatural. If B.J. were going to stumble/be tempted again it seems that one of the nurses he works with on a regular basis is the natural choice. I like a lot of Season 8 but not this episode. Aggie did come across as a drifter who did not want romantic attachment to anyone long term just brief relationships. Hawkeye should've been her guy for this episode not B.J.
Maybe Aggie wanted someone a little more grown up than Hawkeye, riding his bicycle through postop. Not everyone wants the class clown.

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Re: (08x23) 196 - War Co-Respondant

Post by HotLipsy » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:07 pm

I agree with BeccaLeo; if B.J.'s fidelity was going to be tempted, it was more likely to occur with one of the nurses that he works with on a regular basis (as it was in Hanky Panky). Aggie came across as a flake, Hawkeye was acting like a child, and everything seemed off-kilter in this episode. I appreciate that they were trying to show the difficulties of married soldiers in a war setting, far from home, but I don't think that this episode really did that.

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Re: (08x23) 196 - War Co-Respondant

Post by Moe_Hawk » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:00 am

In my opinion they’ve absolutely nailed this episode and the feedback here has really surprised me. This episode is very well considered and has a lot of depth to it... and here’s why (IMO of course):

Aggie is exactly and the only type of person that can properly cause BJ to question his life-decisions... it’s not about fidelity as Hotlipsy suggested it’s about the type of life he wants.

For that reason, the idea that another nurse would be more appropriate, appealing etc is incorrect. The nurses’ on MASH are generally portrayed as regular ppl... not unlike BJ. So why would he trade his wife and kid in here to set up a similar life somewhere else with someone else. It doesn’t make sense and it’s outside his character.
If BJ had any relations with another nurse... it was always going to be either a fling or more likely a misstep ala Hanky Panky. Quite literally that’s the show demonstrating that this is the case.

The significance of Aggie is that she represents a different life for BJ... he can’t just be with her, if he goes down this path it’s about spending his life with her.

BJ is the safest and most predictable character in the show perhaps with the exception of Potter (who is not an even comparison)... excluding the AFTER MASH canon... what happens to them all
Hawkeye is an emotional wreck and has to deal with his drinking
Houlihan who loved the army her whole life is suddenly working in a hospital looking to become a wife, mother and professional
Radar probably outlives his mum on the farm and has the skills and confidence to venture out into the world
Winchester is in the life he always wanted but doesn’t necessarily want it that way anymore
Klinger is in Korea looking for his in-laws

Quite literally there’s is mystery and doubt in all of their futures... but BJ?
He goes home to his family, pbly has more kids, works in a hospital until he sets up his private practice... it’s completely mapped out.

Peg to him, represents the picket fence.

But and here’s the rub... there is a part of BJ that really wants to make a difference out in the world. It’s the Mike Farrell influence. That’s why BJ takes the moral stands and rushes out to Aid Stations against orders, and can’t live with himself for cutting the rope on the chopper possibly dooming that guy.
Aggie represents that life to him. Go into dangerous areas, help people, be there for significant moments, experience them... be the person that makes the difference where it’s needed most.

That’s why BJ finds her captivating... the experiences that she lives, her compassion, intelligence, bravery etc. he quite literally hangs on her every word... hence why he’s so bothered about the whole thing.

It’s a life decision... keep what you have or risk it for something that could be more.

Hence the point is, BJ decides what is more important to him

So yeah, for me it was on point and it very clearly has Mike Farrell’s finger prints all over it... it almost kind of feels like this is perhaps the life that he wanted. Go read read his book

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