Season 9 Episode 8

Tell it To the Marines

Aired Unknown Jan 12, 1981 on CBS

Episode Recap

The medical staff just got off from a rough session in OR. Klinger walks in and informs Colonel Potter that a medical conference he was scheduled to attend in a week has been moved to tomrrow. When Hawkeye is offered the position as temporary CO, Winchester disagrees and Hawkeye refuses, saying he is too tired to deal with the job. Potter gives a Winchester the job, annoying him slightly and terrifying Klinger.

Later in Post Op, Margaret and Father Mulcahy are talking to a Dutch patient named Jost. Hawkeye is called over because Jost has a problem: he moved to the USA after his mother married an american two years ago. He joined the marines right after that so he could serve his new country. But his mother just divorced her husband, and the government is deporting her because she is no longer married to an american citizen. Hawkeye asks what the problem is, and Father Mulcahy says Jost is scheduled to be discharged in three weeks, and that he wants to leave a week early so he can see his mother before she is deported, a courtesy that his CO, a Colonel Mulholland, is unwilling to give.

Hawkeye goes to Klinger and finds him doing extra jobs. Winchester, as the new CO, is having Klinger take care of his personal agenda (getting him fancy records, silk bed sheets, good food, etc...). Klinger is being paid for his services, but is not very happy with his new duties. After confronting Winchester on his abuse of power, Hawkeye has Klinger call Mulholland. After telling him Jost told them about his request, Mulholland angrily tells Hawkeye to stay out of the matter and rudely hangs up on him.

Hawkeye and Bj attempt to find a solution to the problem. After reading a story about a soldier in Stars and Stripes, Hawkeye realises the newspaper may be the way to help Jost. He has Klinger write up a story about Jost, and sends it to Stars and Stripes. Sometime later, a pair of MPs arrive with an arrest warrant for Hawkeye. While Winchester tries to prevent them from taking Hawkeye, he backs down when told he will also face charges is he tries to interfere. Hawkeye is brought to Mulholland. Mulholland is furious that he tried to discredit him in the paper, and tells Hawkeye he killed the story. After telling Hawkeye that he is not letting Jost out early and there is nothing he can do about it, Mulholland has Hawkeye thrown out of his office.

Hawkeye refuses to back down, but doesn't see anything he can do since Mulholland can block off every military channel of news. Bj then suggests that Hawkeye take the story to the civilian press train at Munsan. They do, and the press sends the story all across the USA's west coast.

Colonel Potter returns to find Klinger drying Winchester's clothes. After finding out about Winchester's abuse of power, Potter retakes command and sends Winchester back to his tent without his pants.

Later in the mess tent, Hawkeye, Bj and Potter are talking when Mulholland arrives with the two MPs. He furiously accuses Hawkeye of getting Jost's story out, and tells him that he'll be taking his anger out on Jost when he gets him back. Hawkeye, Bj and Potter then make a "medical" decision that Jost is too sick to return to his unit and will stay that way until it is time for him to be discharged. Defeated, Mulholland leaves saying that Jost stil won't get home in time to see his mother.

Later in Post Op, Jost is grieving over the thought of never seeing his mother again. But as Margaret and Father Mulcahy try to comfort him, Hawkeye and Bj gleefully burst into the room. Hawkeye tells Jost that the Dutch Consolate General in San Francisco read his story in the paper and was so moved that he sought his mother out and hired her as a secretary. Now that Jost's mother has a job, the government can no longer deport her. Everyone, especially Jost, is overjoyed.

Sometime after Jost has been discharged and sent home, Klinger comes to Colonel Potter (this is his FINAL attempt to get out of the army). He says his parents are divorcing and his mother will be deported to Lebanon, so he wants to go home before she leaves. While Hawkeye and Bj find this funny, Colonel Potter gives Klinger a break, saying its nice that he's applying for a compassionate discharge. He says he'll get the form filled out, and calls out "BOY!" Winchester walks in, having been reduced to Potter's servant like he once did to Klinger.
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