(07x26) 173 - The Party

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Big Daddy O'Reilly
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(07x26) 173 - The Party

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:57 pm

I'm pretty sure I've found a plothole in "The Party" (7x26): for starts, B.J. has a spinal patient that he's very worried about, the patient apparently had been in Post-Op since the last stint in surgery, and when they have to bug out, he's concerned about transporting the patient, because any sudden movement may permanently damage his spinal cord; after they arrive at their new location, the patient's signs turn up worse, so Potter arranges for the patient to be air lifting to the 121st evac hospital the next day so the neurosurgeon can take care of him.

Now, here's where things get confusing...

The beginning of act two mentions that the new camp has really taken shape, "After three endless weeks", when suddenly, they're given word to bug out again, and return to their original location in Uijongbu; once they finally start getting the 4077th re-established at their original location, Radar informs B.J. that the neurosurgeon just operated on his spinal patient, and that he's going to be alright.

Now then, if the patient was in such critical condition, and needed attention immediately, what in the world did they do with him for three weeks? If he needed surgery right away, why did they wait for three weeks?

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Re: (07x26) 173 - The Party

Post by divingrocks » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:53 pm

perhaps they were waiting for any inflamation to subside.
MASH site volunteer

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Re: (07x26) 173 - The Party

Post by kkt » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:26 am

The hole I see is that travel was slow and expensive back then. Jet planes were a decade away. It would be workable for Hawkeye's dad to come from Maine in a day each way, probably, and as a doctor he had pretty good income, and Charles' family could certainly make it down from Boston. But for instance for Peg to come it would be four days on the train each way, plus at least a day there. Not so much fun with a year-old baby, and not cheap either. Their family was already in reduced circumstances because of BJ getting army pay instead of what he'd be getting in practice. Radar's mom in Iowa would have had to be gone from the farm for at least a week and it would be a terribly expensive trip for poor farm folks.

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Re: (07x26) 173 - The Party

Post by Ferret Face » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:02 pm

Other than the plot holes (and there definitely were some), I'd say the biggest potential issue with this episode was the chaotic pacing, stemming from trying to pack so much into it. On top of having the preparations for the party, there was also the bug out and BJ's worry for his patient. But in a weird way, I feel like this was also one of its biggest strengths as well. Having so much content packed into a half hour, while potentially making it feel too hectic, also allowed them to have plenty of great material. I especially liked the parts where the different character read the letters accepting the idea of the party, and Peg's letter about the events of the party.

I can understand how someone may feel like the bug out was forced in there, and might have taken away from potentially having more fun scenes dealing with the actual party, but I do think it made a nice juxtaposition to BJ trying to plan the party, emphasizing just how desperately he wanted it. Also, I do like the idea that this was all a way for him to try and deal with his concern over the patient, and Hawkeye realizing that, and using it to get everyone else on board. It's a very nice, emotional backbone to the episode IMO.

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Re: (07x26) 173 - The Party

Post by Goldman » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:48 pm

The travel complications to New York are always a discussion at my house whenever this episode airs. As mentioned before, it would seem especially difficult for Radar's poor family to make it all the way to New York. We suggested that perhaps St. Louis or Chicago would have made more sense. Winchester and Hawkeye's families could probably make it from New England, and Father Mulcahy's sister from Philadelphia, likewise. Peg could probably make it much easier from San Francisco to the Midwest. Of course, the families of Radar, Klinger, and Col. Potter are already in the Midwest. My biggest concern is how Kellye's family would make it from Hawaii? :lol: Let's face it... Nobody else's family was relevant, apparently ;) .

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Re: (07x26) 173 - The Party

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:53 pm

Ferret Face, it sounds like you're doing what I do every summer: watch four episodes a day. When I started watching M*A*S*H regularly twelve years ago, Hallmark Channel used to show four straight episodes each weekday, and so I continue the ritual myself every summer to "commemorate" it, lol.

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Re: (07x26) 173 - The Party

Post by Ferret Face » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:10 am

It's mostly 3 episodes a day, with the occasional 4, and sometimes skipping days if I get too busy.

I don't do this every summer. It has actually been a few years since I last watched the series, and I thought I'd do my second full-series rewatch of the show. It will be interesting to see how I feel watching the last few seasons. Those are the ones I remember the least, since I only got those DVDs relatively recently (before my first time watching the full series a few years ago), though there are a fair amount of episodes I do remember from TV reruns. After this, I do plan to come back to the series a lot sooner than I did this time, though probably not 3 episodes a day, since that is a pretty big commitment.

But overall, while there are certain aspects of the show which I don't like quite as much this time (individual episodes, characters, etc.), I've actually grown to appreciate it even more than I already did before. Frank, for example, may still technically be my least favorite character on the show (despite my user name being based on him), but I've come to appreciate what he brought to the series, especially in the first 3 seasons. And Charles, as much as I loved him before, he's definitely grown on me a lot more this time, especially in the 7th season, when they started to nail down his character IMO.

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