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D'Snowth's M*A*S*H Reviews

D'Snowth

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I hope you all don't mind, but I've been doing these for the past week or so at MySpace, but I felt like doing them here as well, seeing is how this is like my virtual home away from home.

Season One

Episode Number 1: "Pilot Episode"

Writer: Larry Gelbart
Director: Gene Reynolds
Original Airdate: September 17, 1972

Episode Overview: The pilot episode of a new, cutting-edge sitcom premiered in America on the night of September 17, 1972, but took place in Korea 1950... a hundred years ago... where an off-beat group of surgeons working in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (a M*A*S*H unit) do the one thing they do best: acting crazy in order to keep their sanity. Two surgeons named Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce, and Captain John Francis Xavier "Trapper John" McIntyre are shooting golf balls into the minefield from the helipad, the commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake, and his assisting nurse operate on a young Korean bottle of Champaign in his tent, the head nurse Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan, and the weasely surgeon Major Frank Burns appear to be Bible reading in the 4077th's library, but are really playing footsies, the company clerk Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly is playing football in the compound with staff surgeon Captain Spearchucker Jones, when all of the sudden, two choppers appear, carrying wounded. The P.A. buzzes with the announcement: "Attention, all personnel report immediately to the admitting ward and operating room. Attention, all personnel report immediately to the admitting ward and operating room."

The operating room is suddenly flooded with doctors and nurses, who do the best they can to save lives, though Frank Burns and Margaret are not too impressed with Hawkeye's, conduct in O.R. "Frank, I happen to be an officer only because I foolish accepted an invitation from President Truman to come to this costume party. Now as my abilities as a doctor, if you seriously question that, I'm afraid I'm just going to have to challenge you to a duel!" So as Hawkeye and Trapper lounge in their quarters, which is aptly entitled the Swamp, Radar delivers mail, and Hawkeye receives word that their Korean houseboy Ho-Jon had been accepted to Hawkeye's Alma Mater back home, but first, Hawkeye must come up with $1,000 for tuition, and another thousand for transportation back to the States. How are they going to do it? Easy: raffle off a free weekend for two in Tokyo: the winner of the raffle gets to spend the company with a gorgeous nurse. Hawkeye and Trapper relay their idea to Henry Blake, who gives them the go ahead, and they sell raffle tickets to camp members for ten dollars a ticket, while Hawkeye tries to con Lieutenant Dish into offering herself (but mostly her body) to the cause. Frank threatens to do something about it, so Henry cancels the raffle and the party. "It's just as well," he says "I have to leave for Seoul tomorrow, and I wasn't too keen on having the party take place in my absence". Naturally, this gives Hawkeye and Trapper a great idea: while Henry leaves for Seoul, and Frank is left in charge, Hawkeye slips him a shot filled a heavy sedative that knocks him out cold, and the party is on in the Mess Tent later that night, meanwhile Margaret goes on the look-out for Frank, whom she discovers in bed, out like a light. She reports this to General Hammond, who is attending a meeting in Seoul with Henry and two nurses, but they return to the 4077th just in time for Hawkeye to announce the winner of the raffle: Father Francis John Patrick Mulcahy! With that, General Hammond places Hawkeye and Trapper for having an unauthorized party, handing out unauthorized passes to Tokyo, and for mutiny. As Hammond plans to have the two surgeons court-martialed, helicopters bearing Canadians arrive at the 4077th, thus, breaking up the party, and all personnel reporting to the operating room for surgery. The next morning, General Hammond realize that while Hawkeye and Trapper may be maniacs, but they're the best surgeons he's ever seen, so he drops the charges, and tells Henry to make sure he doesn't loose them "not even to me!"

Trivia, Goofs, and Other Observations:
- This episode introduces regular characters: Hawkeye Pierce, Trapper John McIntyre, Henry Blake, Margaret Houlihan, Frank Burns, and Radar O'Reilly, as well as a host of supporting characters: General Hammond, Nurse Dish, Father Mulcahy, Ho-Jon, Spearchucker Jones, and nurse Ginger Bayliss - most of whom will be written out of the series by the end of Season One.

- Father Mulcahy is played by George Morgan in this episode, and doesn't say a single word. William Christopher initially auditioned for the part, but was rejected because he didn't follow the script that was provided for him, and completely ad-libbed his lines. When the producers saw they weren't pleased with George Morgan's performance, William Christopher was given another chance, as long as he promised to stick with the scripts.

- This is one of only two episodes in which Lieutenant Dish appears in, one of only three episodes General Hammond appears in, and one of ten episodes featuring Spearchucker Jones. Dish is written out when a new nurse, Margie Cutler arrives to the 4077th in "Requiem for a Lightweight", General Hammond is written out as the series goes through a host of different generals including: General Clayton, General Barker, another General Barker, and General Imbree to name a few. Spearchucker Jones is quietly written out of the series when the producers discovered no African-American served as a surgeon during the Korean War. Other recurring characters are written out to reduce the number of character to keep track of, but Father Mulcahy remains.

- Gary Burghoff has a slight deformed left hand, and he went to great pains to hide it during the series because that would've kept Radar out of the Army. However, in this episode, Gary's deformation can clearly be seen as Radar fumbles with the football as he hears the choppers arrive.

- Gary Burghoff, G. Wood, and Timothy Brown are the only actors on the show who were also in the original 1970 movie: Gary and G. reprise their roles on the series as Radar and General Hammond, while Timothy plays Spearchucker on the series, but played a corporal in the movie.

- Although the series was a sitcom, creator Larry Gelbart refused to have a laugh track on the show because he didn't want the series to seem like another laugh-fest, because the producers wanted to tackle some darker themes from the beginning. CBS didn't agree with this, so finally Gelbart and CBS came to an agreement: Gelbart will have a laugh track on the show, BUT, it will NOT be played during the scenes in O.R., no matter how funny the jokes or conversations carrying on in their on. "There's nothing funny about people fighting for their lives." For the first five seasons, the laugh track is featured heavily in most episodes (two episode, one from Season Three, and one from Season Four had no laugh track whatsoever), but by Season Six, the laugh track was toned way down when Todd-AO distributed new, more duller sounding laugh tracks, and there was an increase in episodes that didn't feature laugh tracks.

- Jamie Farr is in the episode, but doesn't play Corporal Klinger (as he hadn't been written yet); he serves as the P.A. announcer in this episode.

- Both Wayne Rogers and McLean Stevenson wanted the part of Hawkeye Pierce, but they were casted as Trapper and Henry. The producers were wanting Alan Alda for the part of Hawkeye Pierce, however, Alan was initially reluctant to take the part, as he wanted nothing to do with a series that would make the war seem like a good time had by all. After meeting with Larry Gelbart, and Gene Reynolds, he finally signed on, and the pilot began filming just hours later.

- The closing credits says this episode is "Based on the novel by Richard Hooker", but technically, the series was based on the original 1970 movie, which was based loosely on the original 1968 novel.

- The series did not do very well in it's first season due to a number of factors: too many people were watching All in the Family, most people also felt that the series seems a little insensitive since in real life the conflict in Vietnam was going on at the time. Another reason is because the network mettled too much, and didn't want any blasphemy, anything overtly sexual, or any blue streak of swearing. The series was about to be canceled when the reruns were aired that summer and rating shot up, and the series was renew for two more seasons at that point.

- GOOF: The sign above the Pre-Op doors read "Surgery" in this episode, and this episode only.

- GOOF: Every structure in this episode, including the hospital, all the tents, and even the helipad has a red cross on top, when for the rest of the series only the hospital has the Red Cross.

- GOOF: Margaret and Frank are depicted as being rather religious in this episode, though later on they weren't (though Frank continuously makes remarks about winning a white Bible for organ playing at his church, and that he lives down the street from his minister).

- GOOF: When Hawkeye and Dish start dancing in the Mess Tent, Hawkeye flings his flowered necklace behind him, though in other shots, it goes back and forth between being flung back, and dangling between them.

- GOOF: Father Mulcahy is refered to as "Red" in this episode. This is due to the fact that in the novel and the movie, Father Mulcahy earns the nickname "Dago Red" because it's the wine he gets drunk from. The nickname was later dropped when it was learned that Dago is considered an insult in Italian culture, and because they didn't want Father Mulcahy to seem like an alcoholic.

- GOOF: A surgeon arrives at the party wearing a tattered beach hat. This hat is later saved for the character B.J. Hunnicutt to wear from time to time.

- GOOF: The raffle isn't really a raffle: the tickets the other staff members had bough would've had numbers on them, and Hawkeye would've read a winning number, but instead, he just simply announced that the winner was Father Mulcahy.

- GOOF: Hawkeye make references to his parents in this episode, though it's later revealed that his mother had been dead for quite some time.

What Syndication Left Out:
- The entire extended opening scene has been cut from syndication, this includes Hawkeye and Trapper playing golf, Henry and his nurse operating on the Champaign bottle, Margaret and Frank Bible reading, and Radar playing football with Spearchucker. In syndication, the main Season One (and Two) opening credits are used for this episode as well.

- The opening sequence in O.R. has been nicked for time.

- Much of the party footage has been cut out, including Ho-Jon serving drinks to everyone, and Hawkeye asking Dish to dance with him.

- After Henry relates to a handcuffed Hawkeye and Trapper that Hammond was too impressed to arrest them, syndication fades to black then goes to the closing credits. This cuts out Hawkeye and Trapper talking about how they "screwed up in reverse" again, and the closing sequence where the P.A. announcer announces to the audience the cast members who will be playing the personnel of the unit for the series.

Overall Rating:
A fine way to start off what would become one of the longest-running series in TV history, but I felt it could've been done a bit better... like have the pilot tell the story of how the war got started, and show everyone actually being assigned to the 4077th, and how they have to get used to everyone, the unit, and the war. I also wasn't too thrilled with the way the extended opening, and the closing sequence were cut. I give it 3 out of 10 stars.
 

D'Snowth

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Season One

Episode Number 2: "To Market, To Market"

Writers: Burt Styler
Director: Michael O'Herlihy
Original Airdate: September 24, 1972

Episode Overview: Originally aired on September 24, 1972, Hawkeye and Trapper find themselves operating on a two-star general when they make a startling discovery: the 4077th is completely out of Hydrocortisone, as well as half of their other supplies, thanks to the sneaky efforts of the Black Market of Korea. Hawkeye and Trapper then devise a plan... offering Henry Blake's new 100-year-old desk as collateral, they make a deal with Black Marketeer Charlie Lee: he'll let them have all the Hydrocortisone he has in exchange for Henry's desk... but the desk has to be ready to be picked up by 600 hours the next morning, because if it isn't, then Charlie will kill the deal and sell to his other costumers. So that next morning, Hawkeye and Trapper get up early in an attempt to get Henry's desk outside, only to find themselves unwittingly locked in Henry's office by Frank Burns. To make matters worse, Frank finds Charlie's apprentice waiting outside with the truck, and runs him off, but will that stop them? Nope! Hawkeye and Trapper managed to break down the back wall of Henry's office, carry the desk down to the edge of camp, where everybody later see it flying through the air via chopper.

Trivia, Goofs, and Other Observations:
- Although this is the second episode of Season One, it was actually the third one produced.

- It is later revealed in the series that Father Mulcahy actually has connections with the Black Market; it's how he gets the medical supplies to the Korean Orphanage.

- GOOF: Hawkeye and Trapper operate without wearing their surgical masks.

- GOOF: When Hawkeye and Trapper check on the supply truck to find it's completely empty, Hawkeye says "whoops!" though his mouth never moves.

- GOOF: The set used for the 4077th supply room is clearly recycled for Charlie Lee's office.

- GOOF: Frank locks Hawkeye and Trapper in Henry's office, leaving them to knock the back wall down; however, when Henry and Frank run in to see if anyone has stolen Henry's booze, they run right in without having to do any unlocking or anything.

- GOOF: When Hawkeye starts pacing back and forth in Henry's office, he casts a shadow on the sky outside the window, clearly indicating the sky is just a backdrop.

- GOOF: If the desk was that big, and was really made of oak, then it would've been much too heavy for Hawkeye and Trapper to carry, let alone the chopper air lift it away.

What Syndication Left Out:
- The first scene to be cut from this episode is where Hawkeye meets up with Radar in the Mess Tent where he gives him information about Charlie Lee.

- The scene where Frank and Margaret suspect Hawkeye and Trapper are up to something when Charlie posing as a general leaves the 4077th is also cut.

- Margaret and Frank's encounter in Henry's office has been nicked for time.

- After Hawkeye discovers Frank locked them in, syndication cuts straight to Radar trying to unlock the padlock, thus cutting out Trapper actually making a phone call to Radar, and a shot of Charlie's apprentice leaving their headquarters for the 4077th.

- In syndication, after Frank runs off Charlie's apprentice and instructs Radar to get back to work, they fade to black for commercials, and when they fade back up, we find Frank having woken up Henry in his tent. This cuts out Frank walking over to what appears to be Hawkeye and Trapper having an early mast without Father Mulcahy, then Radar telling them about Frank chasing them off, so Hawkeye instructs Radar to get a hold of their chopper pilot, O'Brien.

- The entire closing sequence where Charlie returns to personally deliver the Hydrocortisone to Hawkeye and Trapper, and Henry walking by saying that his insurance company is willing to pay for his desk if he can come up with a logical explanation of what happened to it has been cut entirely; most early episodes of the series suffer this kind of cut, which makes for several episodes with cliff-hanger endings in syndication.

Overall Rating:
Funny episode, but when you really think about, for M*A*S*H it was WAY too silly, fluffy, and sitcomy... it was almost like watching an episode of Hogan's Heroes instead. Not to mention the excessive background music in this episode... I give it 3 out of 10 stars.
 

D'Snowth

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Season One

Episode Number 3: "Requiem for a Lightweight"

Writers: Robert Klane
Director: Hy Averback
Original Airdate: October 1, 1972

Episode Overview:

Trivia, Goofs, and Other Observations:
- Although this is the third episode of Season One, it was actually the eighth one produced.

- This episode marks the first appearances of: Nurse Cutler, General Barker, and Ugly John… all of which will be written out of the show by the end of this season; Nurse Cutler serves on the nursing staff for this season, and this season only, General Barker makes two appearances in this season as commander of the American troops in Korea, and Ugly John served as the Australian "gas-passer".

- This episode marks William Christopher's debut as Father Mulcahy; Mulcahy remains a semi-regular fixture on the series until Season Four when he (and Jamie Farr as Corporal Klinger) became a regular fixture on the series.

- Hawkeye and Trapper were both on their college boxing teams.

- Henry's brother is a warden in a prison back home.

- Trapper as a glass stomach.

- GOOF: There seems to be a technical difficulty with the cameras when filming takes place outdoors: the picture is rather hazy, and foggy as if the lenses are covered in condensation.

- GOOF: When Trapper is running behind the jeep, wide angle shots show his shirt wet with sweat around the collar and armpits, but whenever they cut to shots of him from the front of the jeep, his shirt is only wet around the armpits.

- GOOF: A corpsman can be seen in the Mess Tent wearing a jeep cap; during this first season, these wool caps were very common with background characters on the show, though shortly afterwards, it was fixed to wear only Radar would wear one, as it would later become his trademark (besides his glasses).

What Syndication Left Out:
- A lot of Trapper's training is cut out: Henry and Father Mulcahy watching him practice boxing with Radar has been edited out, and him running after the jeep has been completely cut as well.

- Radar actually walking into the Swamp for a drink has been cut out, so he just seems to magically appear in the Swamp talking about Barker's boxer.

- Hawkeye and Trapper spying on the practicing boxer has been nicked for time.

- The dinner scene in the Mess Tent where Barker introducers his boxer to Trapper has also been nicked for time.

Overall Rating:
It's a funny episode, but not one I would want to watch all the time. It has its moments, that's for sure. I give it 5 out of 10 stars.
 

D'Snowth

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Season One

Episode Number 4: "Chief Surgeon Who?"

Writers: Larry Gelbart
Director: E.W. Swackhamer
Original Airdate: October 8, 1972

Episode Overview: Frank isn't fond of Hawkeye and Trapper: he isn't too fond of how the spend their spare time just sitting around and drinking gin, and he especially isn't impressed with Hawkeye's performance in O.R... mainly because he's jealous of his expertise and quick mind; Frank then later decides to press charges against Hawkeye for Insubordination, failure to salute a superior officer, calling him by his first name... Henry realizes that in order for any progress for the 4077th, he needs to appoint a Chief Surgeon, and he appoints Hawkeye for the job, though Frank outranks him, Hawkeye is a better certified surgeon, and works better under pressure. This REALLY gets Frank upset, so while the rest of the staff throws Hawkeye a special ceremony in the Mess Tent, he and Margaret contact General Barker to have him to come down to the 4077th to see just what a mistake Henry has made, and for a while, General Barker agrees; this is because Hawkeye is simply sitting around in the Swamp playing poker, while a patient lies waiting in Pre-Op to be operated on. Hawkeye explains he gets a report every quarter hour, and the last time he checked he had a tube put into his chest for his wound, and he plans to operate in another hour, because by then, he would've had he blood, and his blood pressure should be stablized. Barker wasn't impressed, so he storms out in search for Henry, but he sees for himself just what a nut farm the 4077th is what with corpsmen sneaking off with nurses, company clerks sneaking the Colonel's brandy and cigar, a very hairy guard running around in a skirt, and Henry off collecting worms for fishing. By the time Barker grabs ahold of Henry, Hawkeye and Trapper are scrubbing up, ready to operate, and Barker and Henry scrub up as well. As Hawkeye predicted, the man's blood pressure is now stable, so they can operate safely without having to worry about any furthur complications; General Barker's opinion about Hawkeye being appointed Chief Surgeon is changed, as he realizes that Hawkeye actually DOES know what he's doing, and he doesn't plan to ever return to the 4077th unless they have "real problems".

Trivia, Goofs, and Other Observations:
- Although this is the fourth episode of Season One, it was actually the seventh one produced.

- From here on in, Hawkeye Pierce serves as Chief Surgeon for the the rest series.

- This episode includes illusions to Margaret having an affair with General Barker; early on in the series, the character of Margaret acted as if the only thing that could complete her life is a man, so whenever she's not fooling around with Frank, she is often seen "twitterpaited" in the presence of a general (or any officer that outranks her, with the except of Henry of course).

- General Barker catches Radar in Henry's office, not only drinking, but smoking a cigar... another example of how mischevious Radar was before Gary Burghoff changed the character to be a bit more naive.

- This episode marks the debut of the ever popular Corporal Klinger: a man so disgusted with being in the Army that he would do anything to get out... in most cases, he would try to prove he's crazy by parading around in women's dresses. Corporal Klinger was written to be just a one-time character in this episode, but ended up sticking around for the next eleven years! Jamie Farr would make Klinger famous by remaining a semi-regular fixture with the series for the next three season, and become a regular fixture by Season Four.

- The first time the entire set on Sound Stage 9 is used in an episode; originally, it was only used to shoot interiors, and shoot night-time scenes, however, a few years later, the stage would be renovated to where more filming could be on the Sound Stage for any occasion.

- GOOF: There's an extra tent in the compound, with a "Chaplain" sign on it. On Sound Stage 9, there's supposed to be four tents (other than the Swamp): the Colonel's tent, the Showers tent (occasionally used for the Latrine when a Latrine scene is needed, and they're not filming on the FOX Ranch where an actual Latrine shack had been built), a general purpose tent occupied by whoever needs it in a scene (the nurses, Klinger, Father Mulcahy, a V.I.P. tent, etc), and finally Margaret's tent.

- GOOF: A large trashcan magically appears outside the Swamp door for General Barker to trip over; the only trashcans in the 4077th are usually found in the Colonel's office, Radar's office, and the O.R.

What Syndication Left Out:
- The scene with Frank in Henry's office pressing charges against Hawkeye has been nicked for time.

- Frank walking in on Margaret, who is quietly bleaching her roots and relaying the news of Hawkeye being appointed Chief Surgeon has been cut.

- The poxer scene in the Swamp has also been nicked for time.

- The dinner scene in the Mess Tent where Barker introducers his boxer to Trapper has also been nicked for time.

- General Barker walking in on Spearchucker and Ginger Bayliss "just playing" has been edited out.

- This is yet another episode that lost it's closing sequence in syndication, where during another O.R. session, Frank actually asks Hawkeye for help.

Overall Rating:
Very wonderful episode, right amount of comedy, with the right amount of trouble mixed into the plot, and great way to have Hawkeye appointed Chief Surgeon, and of course, for most fans, including myself, the real highlight of this episode is the debut of Corpoal Klinger! I give this episode 10 stars all the way!
 

D'Snowth

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Aw crap, I forgot the ability to change font size has been disabled! That's kind of stupid, if you ask me, it actually can come in quite handy at times!
 

MartyMuppets

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Aw crap, I forgot the ability to change font size has been disabled! That's kind of stupid, if you ask me, it actually can come in quite handy at times!
:sympathy: That's a pity Snowthy. But I hope it won't hamper you from continuing your reviews in the long run. I think it's a very great idea. :big_grin:
 

D'Snowth

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Season One

Episode Number 5: "The Moose"

Writers: Laurence Marks
Director: Hy Averback
Original Airdate: October 15, 1972

Episode Overview: After a long session in O.R., the gang at the 4077th receive a visit from a sergeant named Baker; accompanying him is his female Korean servant, Young-Hi... otherwise known as his "moose". Hawkeye is outraged when he learns the details: the sergeant bought her from her family for $500, a tradition in Korean families, apparently when the children are old enough, they can be sold off as servants if the parents feel they have no use for them anymore. Hawkeye wants to do something about it, but how? He can't order Baker release her because he can pick her up five minutes later when he leaves camp... that's when Hawkeye comes up with a devious idea: with Radar spying from the Showers, Hawkeye treats Baker to a poker game, and comes out winning everytime, leaving Baker indebted to Hawkeye for over $1,000, but Hawkeye's a good sport, he gives Baker the option to leave collateral... namely Young-Hi! So now, with Young-Hi out of Baker's, she'd be free to go, except for one thing: Young-Hi assumes that Hawkeye bought her, and is now more than happy to serve Hawkeye in any way he wants: "I make shave for you, shine boots, clean laundry... you'll see, I be good moose for Hawkeye-san, you be happy like ****!" Now Hawkeye is faced with another challenge: how to get rid of Young-Hi. Hawkeye isn't sure what to do at first, because no matter how he tries to get rid of her, she willing comes home to him and serves him. So for now, he, Trapper, and Spearchucker decide to give her "People Lessons": teach her how to be sociable, and be someone other than a moose. It begins to work like a charm, Young-Hi's English improves, she knows how to properly meet and greet other people, and know how to be just a normal person. It isn't before long, Ho-Jon tracks down the man of Young-Hi's family: her little brother, Benny, who figures if Hawkeye is letting her go, that someone else can get a hold of her for $1,500 easy; once again, Hawkeye is outraged, but this is how Young-Hi was raised: to run away from her duties, she would be dishonoring her family, so with that, she and Benny leave, and Hawkeye is really disappointed, that is until Young-Hi returns in a flash, after she takes Hawkeye's most important lesson to heart: "who to tell 'shove-off'!" In the end, Young-Hi manages to find work at Sister Teresa's orphanage, though it goes against her religion, "I am Buddhist person" she says.

Trivia, Goofs, and Other Observations:
- Virginia Ann Lee, who plays Young-Hi, would later make another appearance on the show in Season Five as Kyong Ja, the grand-daughter of a Korean Whiplash Hustler.

- Frank Burns and Margaret do not appear in this episode; it is explain that Frank is on R&R, but Margaret's absence isn't explained.

- "Gook" is a slang term (and a rather derogatory one) for a Korean; it is also revealed that Hawkeye hates the term with a passion.

- GOOF: Hawkeye mentions having a sister in this episode. Hawkeye was, supposedly, an only child.

What Syndication Left Out:
- Much of the actually poker game between Hawkeye and Sergeant Baker has been cut for time.

- After Young-Hi assumes she now belongs to Hawkeye and runs off to get her gear, syndication fades out when the scene cuts to an overwhelmed Hawkeye. This cuts out Hawkeye walking to his cot, thinking of how he's going to explain this in his next letter to his father.

- The brief scene where Hawkeye is teaching Young-Hi how to properly greet other people (and Radar slightly messing her up) has been cut out.

- Also, the brief scene where Spearchucker teaches Young-Hi about eye-contact has also been cut.

Overall Rating:
I found this to be a rather enjoyable episode, this is probably the first look at Hawkeye's more serious side, outside of O.R., that is. I give it 9.5 out of 10 stars.
 

D'Snowth

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Season One

Episode Number 6: "Yankee Doodle Doctor"

Writers: Laurence Marks
Director: Lee Philips
Original Airdate: October 22, 1972

Episode Overview: Special Services sent to Korea Lieutenant Dwayne William Bricker, a movie director! The man who could possibly turn Korea into a new Hollywood! His film is a documentary about how a M*A*S*H unit works during the police action over in Korea, and it sent to the 4077th to film his documentary, and enlists the help of Hawkeye and Trapper to "star" in the documentary, and Frank Burns to "narrate" it. While Bricker films his documentary, he tries to add a bit of "glitz" and "glamour" to the "scene" to make things a bit more interesting, entertaining, and dramatic; this quickly annoys both Hawkeye and Trapper, especially after they hear Frank practice his opening narrative: "A group of brave men are hard at work in a makeshift operating room, struggling to save your sons and brothers, while outside, the dogs of war bark at the door of this sanctuary. These are the saints in surgical garb, dedicated surgeons, all volunteers... every red-blooded American knows when he is wounded, he will be in the capable hands of a Yankee Doodle Doctor." Hawkeye and Trapper feel that Bricker had used them all, so while in the middle of the night, while Radar keeps Bricker occupied in the Mess Tent by talking shop about show business, Hawkeye and Trapper sneak into the V.I.P. tent where Bricker is staying to expose the film. This outrages Henry Blake and Bricker, and though Bricker leaves, Hawkeye suddenly gets a wild idea that makes Henry feel better: keep Bricker's staff here and they can shoot the movie themselves, so it can be done right! So a few nights later, with General Clayton visiting, a movie party is held in the Mess Tent for the official premiere of "Yankee Doodle Doctor", which really shows just how the doctors and nurses of the 4077th work: acting crazy in order to keep their sanity; including Hawkeye and Trapper pretending to be Groucho and Harpo Marx while they operate on Radar (who wears a fake mustache) by sawing his stomach open with a rusty saw, then sew him back up only to discover they sewed up his watch inside him. They toast the war in the Mess Tent by drinking Champaign from their shoes, and finally, Hawkeye tells the truth about war in the end, as he tends to a patient recuperating in Post-Op: "Three hours ago this man was in battle. Two hours ago we operated on him. He's got a fifty-fifty chance. We win some, we lose some. That's what it's all about: no promises, no guaranteed survival, no 'saints in surgical garb'. Our willingness, our experience, our technique are not enough. Guns, and bombs, and anti-personnel minds have more power to take away life than we have to preserve it. Not a very happy ending for a movie, but then no war is a movie."

Trivia, Goofs, and Other Observations:
- Although this is the sixth episode of Season One, it was actually the tenth episode produced.

- This marks the first appearance of General Clayton, who will remain a recurring fixture for the rest of this season, and make a few more appearances in Season Two as commander of the American troops in Korea.

- Ed Flanders, who plays Lieutenant Bricker in this episode, will make another guest appearance in the next episode as Captain Sherman, a psychiatrist whose been called in for Hawkeye.

- GOOF: Because the series was set in the 1950s, color film was not common back then, hence why "Yankee Doodle Doctor" was completely black-and-white, however, while the closing credits were flashing over still shots from the episode, all footage from the film were completely in color.

What Syndication Left Out:
- After Bricker finishes filming General Clayton's introduction, syndication cuts straight to Henry entering the Swamp with Bricker; this makes for an awkward moment in syndication, as this cuts out Bricker conversing with the general about what M*A*S*H unit he should film his movie at, and Clayton's recommendation of the 4077th. Following after this is Hawkeye and Trapper waltzing in the Swamp, which annoys Frank as he tries to shave.

- The brief scene with Bricker continuously instructing Radar to look up at Henry, but keep his head down so his glasses won't reflect the lightning has been cut.

- Much of Hawkeye and Trapper breaking into Bricker's tent while Radar keeps him busy in the Mess Tent has been nicked for time.

- Hawkeye, Trapper, Radar, and Nurse Cutler rehearsing their bit when the medics arrive with a wounded Radar has been cut.

Overall Rating:
Very funny episode, it really shows just how everyone truly does act crazy in order to keep their sanity, and I must admit, I didn't even feel sore about the scenes that were cut out of syndication. 10 stars for this episode!
 

D'Snowth

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Season One

Episode 007: "Bananas, Crackers, and Nuts"

Writers: Burt Styler
Director: Bruce Bilson
Original Airdate: November 6, 1972

Episode Overview: The 4077th was just finishing up a deluge of casualties, and Hawkeye was sick of it, so sick that he's become very irritable, especially with the still gone dry. Trapper was feeling the same way, so they go to ask Henry Blake to sign them out a couple of three-day-passes for R&R in Tokyo, only to see him drive off for his own selfish relaxing game of golf... leaving Frank Burns in charge. This really made Hawkeye miffed, and he seems to slowly go crazy: hooking up stray dogs to oxygen tanks in Post-Op, acting repulsed at Nurse Cutler asking him out for a date, and then walking into the Mess Tent in his scrubs with what he claims is liver... from the North Korean he operated on... along with a stack of pancreas for breakfast tomorrow morning. Hawkeye finally flies off the handle when Frank touches his plate to examine it, to which he begins to beat him up, but Trapper slaps him out of it... literally. While Radar takes Hawkeye back to the Swamp to give him a sedative, Frank agrees that Hawkeye is behaving rather unusually, so he claims he'll make the arrangements for Hawkeye's R&R, only to discover that Frank and Margaret has had his placed under house-arrest for a psychiatric observation. Captain Sherman Sherman, Psychiatrist arrives the next day to try to understand why Hawkeye is acting weirdly; Hawkeye continues his act by claiming he's in love... with Frank... that after sharing quarters with him that he's come to harbor feelings for him, sleeping with his hair brush under his pillow, working on patients together, but he only has eyes for Margaret. Hawkeye is sure he'll be on his way to R&R now, but no such luck, his act was just a little TOO good, and Captain Sherman is convinced that Hawkeye is really is crazy, and plans to take him to Tokyo, not for R&R, but for several weeks of observations, to the pleasant surprise of Margaret and Frank, and the unpleasant dismay of Trapper, Henry, and Radar. Hawkeye manages to fight back, though, by having Radar join Sherman in the Mess Tent for dinner, where he acts like Margaret is trying to get his attention, convincing him that Margaret is still sweet on him, so while they converse, Trapper quietly switches the sign on Margaret's tent with her name on it with a sign that read "V.I.P. Tent", and disconnects the electricity in the tent. Once he steps inside, and prepares himself for bed, Trapper switches the sign back to read "Maj. M. Houlihan", so Margaret can enter her tent, and get undressed for bed, which wakes up Sherman, and he believes that she has snuck into his tent to have herself a good time, and give him some pleasure, so Sherman makes his move and pounces on Margaret, causing her to scream: cue Radar reconnecting the electricity to the tent, and Frank racing over and turning on the lights to discover Sherman "raping" Margaret, and nobody seems to know what's going on; Henry races over, sees the commotion, and orders for Sherman's removal from the 4077th. The next morning, Hawkeye and Trapper are finally on their way to Tokyo for R&R, except for one thing: choppers are arriving with another deluge of casualties.

Trivia, Goofs, and Other Observations:
- Although this is the seventh episode of Season One, it was actually the eleventh episode produced.

- Hawkeye and Trapper have their first fight.

- GOOF: In surgery when Margaret hands Hawkeye a bite of a sandwich, she wears a short-sleeved scrub, then when she wakes up Trapper to reglove him for his next patient, she's wearing a long-sleeved surgical gown, then when the doctors and nurses drop off their dirty laudry, she's back to wearing a short-sleeved scrub.

- GOOF: Hawkeye and Trapper walk exit surgery out the left wing door, but when they walk out, they exit from the doors leading to Radar's office.

- GOOF: Frank seems to be concerned at Hawkeye eating "liver from a North Korean", Frank usually habors a VERY deep hatred for the North Koreans.

- GOOF: The extra tent in camp re-appears in this episode, and serves as Margaret's tent, when her tent is supposed to be the fourth one in line down the compound.

What Syndication Left Out:
- Two scenes in a row: Hawkeye telling Ginger about the patient in bed five breathing awkwardly only for her to discover he hooked a stray dog up to the oxygen tank, then later meeting up with Nurse Cutler in the Compound and him actually turn her down for a date.

- A rather sexy scene with Margaret oiling up her arms in her tent, while Frank discusses to her about what they're going to do with Hawkeye, when she decides to have a friend of her's, who happens to be a psychiatrist, has been cut.

- The very brief scene where Hawkeye enlists Radar's help in having Sherman caught in a naughty scandel has been edited out in some syndicated prints.

Overall Rating:
Not really one of my favorite episodes, and it's not one that I usually like to watch all the time, especially with Hawkeye being a bit out-of-character in this episode; sure, everyone at the 4077th acts crazy to keep their sanity, but Hawkeye REALLY overdoes it in this episode. I give it 1 out of 10 stars.
 

Java

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Very good review so far Snowth. As a big M*A*S*H fan I enjoy them (I even started a group for the show on another forum...)
 
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