Season 9, Episode 200: A War For All Seasons
Original Air Date: 12/29/80
Written by: Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford
Directed by: Burt Metcalfe
This episode opens with the 4077th closing out 1950 and welcoming in 1951. Col. Potter, as Father Time, offers a toast to the new year, and hoping that everyone will be home before its over.
We see a series of related events that took place over the course of 1951: everyone wants a shot at the Sears catalog: Margaret wants to order a winter jacket (something the Army unhelpfully didn't provide her with), Father Mulcahy orders some gardening supplies, Klinger orders a baseball glove, and Hawkeye and B.J. order parts to build their very own kidney dialysis machine.
Klinger and Potter enter in a bet about who's going to win the World Series. Klinger predicts the entire league against the Dodgers, 2-1 odds! When Potter says he's willing to offer up $50, Winchester, sensing the chance to make a lot of money, covers Klinger's side of the bet.
As the year progresses, Winchester is now suddenly interested in baseball, and keeps trying to rope more people into the bet, going so far as to offer 6-1 odds, which Potter can't resist, betting $100!
Come October, its the Dodgers versus the Giants in the National League playoffs. With everyone having so much money at stake, the final game of the series is broadcast across the P.A. It seems all but certain that the Dodgers are going to win, except--this is the famous game where Bobby Thompson hit the winning home run for the Giants: "The Shot Heard 'Round the World."
As the announcer yells the iconic cry, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!", Winchester is left laying on the ground, devastated, his Dodger hat laid across his chest.
The episode ends with the 4077th having yet another New Year's party, this time welcoming in 1952. Col. Potter makes another toast, and wishing, once again, that they all be home before its over.
Fun Facts: This is another format-busting episode: covering the events of an entire year in just one show.
The only problem is, the timeline on display makes my head explode: we see Potter, Winchester, and the rest welcoming in 1951--which means that the previous eight seasons of the show took place in just twelve months (less, actually, since the war didn't start until June)! How long were Trapper and Henry at the 4077th, two months?
When everyone is celebrating the Dodgers win, Father Mulcahy is so excited he plants a kiss on Margaret. The next time you watch the show, look how surprised she looks--part of me thinks it was an ad-lib on William Christopher's part!
Favorite Line: Margaret complains that the valuable Sears catalog is covered in chocolate smudges, and blames Klinger, who, in between shoving Valentine's Day chocolates into his mouth, exclaims, "Why am I the one always singled out for blame?!?"