"The LongJohn Flap" is a bit silly but is based on one of the most critical aspects of warfare, the need to stay warm in the winter. For reasons that seem incomprehensible, most armies other than those of Russia are incapable of outfitting their soldiers with suitable winter gear. That was the case with the U. S. forces that fought in Korea and is the premise of this episode. It is bitterly cold in Korea and there is not enough fuel for the stoves or warm clothing for the people. Hawkeye is fortunate in that he has a pair of long johns, so he is warm while Trapper and everyone else is freezing. However, when Trapper starts exhibiting the signs of a cold, Hawkeye allows him to wear them. Later, Trapper is in a poker game and when he runs short of cash, offers the underwear as collateral. He loses them to Radar and the long johns then take a journey from person to person before Hawkeye is able to get them back over his body. The humor masks what was really a serious matter of not having enough warm clothing. While that is generally the theme of the show, in this case the humor is not enough to completely overcome the seriousness. "For Want of a Boot" is based on the same premise as the previous episode, the problem of adequate supplies getting to the troops. In this case Hawkeye has been waiting three months for a new pair of boots and the sole of his right boot has worn through. Desperate to get a new pair, Hawkeye approaches the supply sergeant, only to be told by the sergeant that he will get the boots if Hawkeye is able to arrange to have his tooth filled. The dentist wants a three-day pass to Tokyo before he will work on the tooth and this begins a complex series of this-for-that deals where any one of many things can go wrong. The silly sequence of deals that Hawkeye sets up just to get a new pair of boots is a bit of overkill, even in a series based on overstatements. I consider this to be one of the weakest episodes in this fantastic series. "Adam's Rib" is also an episode that I rank on the lower end of the scale. After having a meat course consisting of the options of liver or fish for 11 straight days, Hawkeye leads a protest in the mess tent that descends into a partial food fight. Desperate for a tasty meal, Hawkeye dreams about a place in Chicago that specializes in ribs and manages to phone in a take-out order. Getting them to Korea proves to be difficult, but he labels them as medical supplies and they finally get through. The joy of getting supplies from home, thereby reminding the soldiers of home, is a reality-based theme of every war. Hawkeye the conniver is almost successful in getting what he so desperately needs, a literal taste of home. The episode is good, but not exceptional, below average in the range of episodes of the series.
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