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Hogan's Heroes

Clearance Sale at the Black Market

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Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: Clearance Sale at the Black Market
Original Airdate: September 28, 1968
Production Number: 5784-96
Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Edward H. Feldman
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Schultz has been ordered to the Russian Front by a Gestapo officer after unwittingly witnessing a black market pay-off.

Plot Details Edit

It is a chilly winter's night in town and Schultz is enjoying a drink at the local tavern. In addition to his drink, he is also enjoying the company of Maria, a barmaid whom he has a soft spot for and who affectionately calls him 'teddy bear.' After some unpleasant words with the bartender, Schultz plucks up some courage and offers to take Maria out to dinner. She seems willing, but points out that to finish her work early would have to be cleared by Hermann, her boss. Schultz decides to ask him, and requests a kiss for luck, which Maria gives, declaring Schultz to be "irresistable" and all the while slipping a piece of paper into the back lining of his uniform. The now delighted Schultz boldly barges into Hermann's office without knocking, earning the ire of Hermann, and a plainclothed Gestapo officer (though indentifiable by his Nazi Party badge). Schultz asks if Maria can finish work early but Hermann irritably points out that they are shorthanded and refuses. Schultz quickly leaves and the two men get back to filling in books and counting money. The Gestapo officer asks who Schultz is and Hermann tells him he is sergeant of the guard at Stalag 13. Without skipping a beat, the officer declares that Schultz WAS the sergeant of the guard and is now on his way to the Russian Front. 

Later in the evening, the Heroes are playing blackjack and are being thoroughly trounced by Newkirk. Schultz soon enters the barracks and is in such a good mood that he offers to cover Carter's next loss before declaring that he is in love. LeBeau yells to Hogan that Schultz has seen "the girl at the Hofbrau" causing Hogan to join them. Hogan asks about the events of the evening and Schultz remarks how he and Maria kissed. Hogan soon predicts that Schultz and Maria will have a great romance if he loses some weight. Schultz tries to pass his bulk off as muscle, but Hogan dares him to try and touch his toes. Schultz declares that he can and tries to do so. Immediately Newkirk removes the sheaf of hidden paper from his uniform and Hogan tells Schultz to take it easy and not exhaust himself. The heavyset sergeant declares he will exercise more in the future before leaving. Hogan reads the information from the paper which concerns two military trains passing through town. Kinch leaves to relay the message to London, and LeBeau remarks that the arrangement with Maria and Schultz is an efficient one. Hogan agrees and goes on to say that in addition to military information, they are also contributing to military science by using the first ever 300 pound carrier pigeon.

The next day, Colonel Klink is in a meeting with Major Kiegel, the Gestapo officer Schultz has seen at the tavern. Kiegel is there ostensibly to recruit suitable soldiers to be transferred to front line combat, or more specifically, the Russian Front. Pointing out that this isn't the Gestapo's place, Klink tries to deny Kiegel and insists he will appeal the decision to Hitler if he must. Kiegel angrily points out that Hitler doesn't even know Klink is alive, and goes on to say that the Kommandant himself might not be if he doesn't cooperate. Sufficiently cowed, Klink gives in, but points out that none of his men are in fighting condition and are essentially dregs ("but the finest dregs in Germany"). Kiegel brushes off Klink's assertions, looks at the camp's personnel records and "decides" Schultz would be suitable, as there is a shortage of non-commissioned officers. Klink laughs at the idea of a "big fat tub of jelly" serving in a combat unit. Kiegel subtly threatens Klink by pointing out that officers are needed at the Russian Front too, which forces Klink to agree to Schultz' transfer.

Later as Klink is having lunch in his quarters, Schultz arrives and the Prussian colonel tells him he has "wonderful" news and offers him a drink. Schultz declines as he is on duty, thinking it is a test. Klink insists that it is not a test, but a special occasion and announces Schultz' transfer eastward. The hapless sergeant immediately starts drinking from the bottle and then asks what he did wrong. Klink denies that Schultz has done anything wrong and touts up the transfer as Schultz' way of contributing to Germany winning the war. The downtrodden Schultz asks if it would be so bad if Germany were to lose and tries to use every excuse he can think of to stop the transfer, to no avail. Klink asks if Schultz would rather fight for his country or be called a coward. Schultz replies that he'd rather be called a coward as that is what he can understand.

Later that night in the barracks, the greatly saddened Schultz is discussing his transfer with the Heroes. They are naturally suspicious as to why someone would want Schultz for combat duty at the Russian Front, even more so since they wanted him only. After some questioning as to whether he did anything to upset an officer who might have it in for him, Schultz insists he has no enemies and the only altercation was with this Gestapo officer, one Major Kiegel, whom he knows was in camp. Hogan is surprised by this and asks the Heroes why he wasn't informed of the Gestapo officer's arrival. Kinch reminds him that they were all in the tunnels listening to the World Series and couldn't possibly have known. Hogan asks if Kiegel would have any reason to want Schultz removed, to which he replies only that he interrupted him and Hermann the tavern owner in the middle of some transaction in Hermann's office. Sensing that they are onto something, Hogan questions Schultz further and learns of the books and money. With a better understanding, Hogan asks Kinch to add to their next message to Maria that they need all the information she has on Kiegel. The Heroes slip the paper into Schultz' uniform under the guise of seeing if he can touch his toes and make a few jokes about his weight before he leaves.

Later that night, as Schultz leaves the bar at closing time, he and Maria embrace once more and she sends her reply smuggled in the heavyset sergeant's uniform. As it turns out, Kiegel is believed to be a black market operative which leads Hogan to believe that Schultz witnessed a payoff and Kiegel is trying to silence Schultz via his transfer. Knowing that their operation cannot survive without Schultz, Hogan insists that they will save him. He asks for a camera and watches, which he describes as bait. He goes on to say that in addition to saving Schultz they will also save some of their Russian allies, as Schultz could easily slip on a frozen lake and wipe out a platoon.

At the tavern, when Kiegel is entertaining two young ladies, Hogan approaches him dressed in civilian clothes. He introduces himself as being a salesman and doesn't bother to disguise his accent, prompting Kiegel to send the girls away. Kiegel examines Hogan's watches and declares them to be junk, however his attention is caught when Hogan informs him that he knows full well who he is. After some discussion, Hogan makes a deal: Schultz' transfer revoked in exchange for Berlin not finding out about Kiegel's operation. The Gestapo officer is astounded, but seemingly agrees before leaving. He quickly finds Hermann and makes arrangements for all their illicit goods to be taken away before ordering Hogan to be killed. 

As Hogan leaves the bar, two armed men follow him but are overpowered by Kinch and Carter. The three Heroes move into a hiding spot as Kiegel arrives with a truck to load the goods. As they do this, LeBeau who was positioned inside the tavern, turns on the outside light, allowing Kinch to take some incriminating photos. As Kiegel and Hermann drive away, Kinch jokingly asks Hogan how many photos he wants developed, to which Hogan responds "five or six, nice and sharp. Something suitable for blackmail."

Later in Klink's office, the colonel finishes a phone call with General Burkhalter before announcing that Major Kiegel was arrested for black market activity and any orders he gave are officially revoked. The overjoyed Schultz boldly tries to have a drink from Klink's decanter but is stopped by the Kommandant, who points out that it wouldn't be difficult to paste the transfer orders he just tore up before dismissing Schultz. (The sergeant manages to sneak a drink under Klink's nose anyway). 

Schultz immediately goes to Hogan to tell him the good news. Hogan, LeBeau and Carter try to have Schultz do some bending exercises as they assume he will see Maria, however Schultz declares that he will never see Maria again as the trouble started with her. He furiously declares he will not do any bending exercises before leaving. Hogan remarks that they saved Schultz, but lost a carrier pigeon. 

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the ninety-sixth produced episode of the series, but is the ninety-third episode to be shown on television and the first episode shown for the Fourth Season.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

Quotes Edit

Trivia Edit

  • This episode is one of the very few instances where Colonel Hogan directly interacts with openly hostile enemy personnel outside of the camp in his role as a spy and saboteur without concealing the fact that he is American. The other instance is in the season two two-part episode "A Tiger Hunt in Paris".

Bloopers Edit

External links Edit


Previous episode:
Drums Along the Dusseldorf
Next episode:
Klink vs. The Gonculator

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