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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of my favorite episodes. The focus on the nurses and their
relationship with Margaret worked to great effect; I particularly felt
the high-tension moments were excellently written and acted, and we're
shown a side of Hot Lips that we're not quite used to when she breaks
into tears. It's a truly moving moment.
It's episodes like this that make me wish that there were more like it, pulling away from the main characters and focusing on side characters or semi-returning ones like the nurses or Sidney Freedman. I feel like we learn more about main characters in this way; while most encounters between Hawkeye and Frank are sure to bring about fine comedy or a powerful moral clash, it's seeing them around the lesser-knows that truly brings out who they are. This episode did wonders for developing Margaret.
This is a terrific episode, but it's unusual in that it focuses on a
group of nurses who we've never seen before. The fact that these
characters are so strongly written, well defined and played by a good
cast suggests to me that this episode might have been a spin off pilot
for Margaret's character and the nurses. In addition, none of the usual
nurses are seen. Based on the quality of the episode, a series based on
these characters might have actually worked.
The main plot concerns Margaret's relationship with her nurses in general. The B-story focuses on Hawk and BJ helping one of the nurses to spend the night with her new soldier husband. There's even a C-story about another nurse becoming emotionally burned out.
The episode was written by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, so it's not surprising it contains strong female characters. And even if it wasn't meant to be spin off pilot, it still works as a great episode from a great series.
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