Angry that his plans always seem to fall into enemy hands, General Melchett asks Captain Blackadder to "winkle out" the spy he suspects is housed in the hospital. Blackadder immediately suspects the the patient with the thick German accent and a burning curiosity about troop movements, but decides to embark on an extremely thorough (and more importantly: long) investigation as a way of staying out of the trenches. Written by
General Hospital's opening scene in the trench was one of the funniest things Blackadder has ever shown to us - Baldrick's unbelievable stupidity is at its worst here. But as the first 10 minutes are generally light-hearted, the rest of the episode becomes dark and mysterious - rooting out a German spy is the main event in this episode. Nurse Mary is probably the most complex single-episode character in Blackadder - she is a woman of many faces, and one that is deceitful and frank. Blackadder once again begins to get to know and fancy her, but this episode is his best relationship - better than anything The Queen of Spain's Beard (Series 1) or Amy and Amiability (Series 3) have to offer - only because it is dark, mysterious and rather subtle - unlike the two aforementioned episodes. That said, this episode delivers more hilarious lines and is once again another riotous comedy fest (a great line is said by Blackadder when Baldrick says that he has a girlfriend (Miss Wright) back home who wants to gather him up in her arms: "Yes, I wouldn't be too hopeful - we'd have to get her arms out of her strait-jacket first.") This is probably the most complex and intelligent of all the Blackadder episodes, and is one that actually has a sense of mystery to it, and is also one that offers a surprising resolution. The episode offers very subtle clues during the hospital scenes that will eventually lead to the resolution - you probably won't catch them, but thankfully, Blackadder recaps us at the end and tells us all. It is this reason that makes General Hospital unique, and a must see Blackadder episode. But it is the next episode, Goodbyeee, that will be the greatest.
On the whole - General Hospital is a great episode, and easily the smartest of all the Blackadders, as well as being one of the funniest. A must-see. 10/10
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