China Beach (1989): S03E06 – Ghosts


Introduction

China Beach is an American dramatic television series set at an evacuation hospital during the Vietnam War.

The title refers to My Khe beach in the city of Đà Nẵng, Vietnam, nicknamed “China Beach” in English by American and Australian soldiers during the Vietnam War. The ABC TV drama aired for four seasons, from 1988 to 1991.

Outline

Dodger tells his unit of elite Viet Cong squads who move like ghosts, including his experiences being hunted by one such squad and early in his tour. Around China Beach, the staff and soldiers are haunted by their relationships. Dr. Richard is again despondent when he receives a wedding invitation from his ex-wife and her new lover. He organises a “black wedding” to celebrate the end of his marriage. Mai visits Beckett, who she has grown distant from since he returned to active duty, and brings him clothes he had left in her home. Inspired by Holly, Beckett tries to pair a found ring with the deceased soldier who owned it but is unsuccessful. K.C. receives a package of her father’s remaining possessions after his death. She considers it junk and refuses to sort through it, although McMurphy encourages her to forgive her father, leading K.C. to watch one of the old home movies. On a visit to the orphanage, McMurphy and Dr. Bernard discuss Dodger, who has earned the doctor’s respect by continuing to visit his son and bringing medicine and supplies there. She turns down his advances, still unsure about his children and their differences, but is surprised by Vinnie the next day on the beach and agrees to attend the black wedding with him. Dodger seeks supplies from K.C., telling her he intends on his son bringing to the US, and she retorts that his son will always be a reminder of the war and their inequality. At his “bachelor party,” Richard tells Beckett about the first night spent with his wife and the moment he fell in love with her. After an argument with Bernard, McMurphy stands up Vinnie for the black wedding, where Richard leads the group in burning effigies of his ex-wife and her new husband. Beckett returns to Mai, who tells him her village is being moved and she will not see him again. Beckett proposes to her with the found ring, but she declines. McMurphy returns to Bernard, where she explains her hesitance to get close to him and the two spend the night together. In the base’s cemetery, K.C. symbolically buries the box of her father’s possessions.

China Beach Series

You can find a full index and overview of China Beach here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 08 November 1989.
  • Running Time: 46-47 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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