Klinger vs. Klinger was the 3rd episode of Season 1 of the AfterMASH TV series, also the 3rd episode overall. The episode, which was written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs, was directed by Will Mackenzie. The episode originally aired on CBS-TV on October 3, 1983.
Klinger and his wife, Soon-Lee get into an argument when she wants to take a job in order to earn the money to bring her family to the U.S. and Father Mulcahy struggles to put together his first monthly report. Meanwhile, Potter and Dr. Gene Pfeiffer stick their necks and operate on a patient who was brought in without the proper papers identifying him as a veteran.
Full episode summaryEdit
(spoiler alert - click on expand to read)
Soon-Lee misses her family and wants to bring them over to America but Klinger tells her they do not have the money to support them. Soon Lee's solution to the problem is to go out and get a job but this upsets Klinger because the women in the Klinger family don't work and they argue over it.
Mr. and Mrs. Sutter bring in their neighbor (Henry Smith) who collapsed at their doorway. He does not have any papers identifying him as a veteran eligible for treatment at the hospital but the Sutters are certain he is a veteran because he was always talking about World War 2. Pfeiffer diagnoses a gall bladder problem and wants to operate but D'Angelo, the hospital administrator, hesitates because he might get into trouble. Pfeiffer offers a more practical argument: what if the man turns out to be a war hero and it became known that D'Angelo refused to help him? D'Angelo says he can't take the responsibility, so Potter offers to do so and they go ahead.
Potter and Pfeiffer operate on Henry Smith and find a lot of old shrapnel wounds, proving that he had been a soldier but Klinger has so far failed to trace his surface records. When the patient wakes up, the doctors ask him who he is and it turns out he was a soldier but for the German Army! He had been a prisoner of war in the U.S. and had settled down and changed his name when released. There might be trouble for the doctors but just then D'Angelo rushes in with a reporter. He has heard of the shrapnel wounds and wants to take a photo with the "war hero". He is impressed to hear Smith tell him he took part in various famous battles, "Monte Cassino, Normandy, Bastogne." Pfeiffer wants to clarify but Potter tells him, "A picture is worth a thousand explanations." D'Angelo has his photo with Smith snapped. This is later given front page coverage in the local newspaper headlined "D'Angelo Praises Vet" and Smith's position in the hospital is safe.
Meanwhile, Klinger has been helping a patient whom he has befriended, McGee, to get a picture of a Cardinals play he has always wanted. This arrives, and Klinger brings it to him. While he is with McGee, Soon Lee comes to see Klinger to deliver his lunch. "That's all I'm supposed to do," she says. McGee doesn't know she is Klinger's wife and insensitively calls her a "gook". Soon Lee is upset and rushes out of the ward. Klinger angrily grabs McGee by the collar and defends Soon Lee. He rans after Soon Lee but find that she has overhead him by the doorway speaking out for her. They are reconciled and the episode ends with her writing to her mother telling her she is happy.
There is a side-plot involving Father Mulcahy desperately putting together his first monthly report for hospital administration. D'Angelo's secretary, Alma Cox, tells her boss that the new chaplain is "a little holier than thou" but certainly "rollover-able". However Mulcahy proves to be nothing of the sort. When he finds out from the hospital administrator that his report, which he has slaved over, is simply going to be filed away without being read, he angrily demands that someone read it. "I'll find someone," D'Angelo says, and later tells Alma, "You're all wrong about that fellow, Alma. He's a fanatic!"
Research notes/Fun factsEdit
- Jay O. Sanders as Dr Pfeiffer has a large speaking part and a lot of screentime in this episode but surprisingly does not get credited.
- Dypsinski plays the accordion and has his daughter Doris put up a dance number to entertain the hospital patients. The character of Doris has a lot of screentime but no lines and is not credited.
- Harry Morgan as Sherman T. Potter
- Jamie Farr as Maxwell Q. Klinger
- William Christopher as Father John Patrick Francis Mulcahy
- Rosalind Chao as Soon-Lee Klinger
- John Chappell as Michael D'Angelo
- Barbara Townsend as Mildred Potter
- Brandis Kemp as Alma Cox
Guest stars/Recurring castEdit
- Wendy Schaal as Bonnie Hornback
- Norbert Weisser as Henry Smith
- Randal Patrick as McGee
- Brian Lane Green as Dypsinski (as Brian Green)
- Lois Foraker as Nurse Coleman
- Edith Fields as Mrs. Sutter
- Ken Hill as Gosden
- Gavin Mooney as Mr. Sutter
- Lee Weaver as Jones