MASH4077TV.com

All About M*A*S*H Since 1999

Name That Episode III #86

The Name That Episode game is played Tuesdays and Thursdays, with images posted randomly between 12PM and 6PM Eastern. Players can participate as often as they like. An archive of past rounds can be found here. Today’s image can be found below. Can you name the episode it’s from? Feel free to post guesses in the comments section. As always, the winner gets bragging rights.

And the Winner Is: Big Daddy O’Reilly, who correctly identified “Big Mac” from Season 3.

Name That Episode

The Smell of Music Voted Favorite Episode from Season 6

Last month visitors to MASH4077TV.com voted “The Smell of Music” their favorite episode from Season 6, with “The M*A*S*H Olympics” a close second. “Fallen Idol” was third.

A total of 165 votes were cast, a big drop from the 229 votes for May. Every single episode received at least one vote. Here are the complete results:

  1. The Smell of Music (17%, 28 Votes)
  2. The M*A*S*H Olympics (15%, 24 Votes)
  3. Fallen Idol (10%, 16 Votes)
  4. Your Hit Parade (9%, 15 Votes)
  5. Fade Out, Fade In (7%, 12 Votes)
  6. Potter’s Retirement (6%, 10 Votes)
  7. The Winchester Tapes (5%, 9 Votes)
  8. Patent 4077 (4%, 7 Votes)
  9. In Love and War (4%, 6 Votes)
  10. Temporary Duty (3%, 5 Votes)
  11. The Light That Failed (3%, 5 Votes)
  12. The Grim Reaper (2%, 4 Votes)
  13. War of Nerves (2%, 4 Votes)
  14. Major Topper (2%, 3 Votes)
  15. The Merchant of Korea (2%, 3 Votes)
  16. Comrades in Arms (Part 1) (2%, 3 Votes)
  17. Last Laugh (1%, 2 Votes)
  18. Tea and Empathy (1%, 2 Votes)
  19. Dr. Winchester and Mr. Hyde (1%, 2 Votes)
  20. Change Day (1%, 1 Votes)
  21. Mail Call Three (1%, 1 Votes)
  22. What’s Up, Doc? (1%, 1 Votes)
  23. Images (1%, 1 Votes)
  24. Comrades in Arms (Part 2) (0%, 1 Votes)

I had trouble again this month figuring out which episode to vote for. I probably could have voted for “The Smell of Music” because it is indeed a great episode. My March 2015 review of “The Smell of Music” can be found here. Ultimately, however, I decided to cast my vote for the season premiere: “Fade Out, Fade In.” I’ve become such a fan of Charles over the past few years that I felt I had to vote for his debut episode.

Hit the comments with your reactions to the results. Which episode did you vote for and why?

And don’t forget to vote in this month’s poll, which asks visitors to chose their favorite episode from Season 7.

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen Added to Netflix

Netflix has quietly added “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” to its streaming service today, meaning every single episode is now available for viewing on televisions, computers, and other devices. When Seasons 6-11 were added on April 1st, the series finale was mysteriously not included.

What’s more, Seasons 6-11 are now listed in broadcast order rather than production order. That means episodes produced for Season 9 but held until Season 10 (like “That’s Show Biz” and “Identify Crisis”) are now included in Season 10. Previously, Netflix considered them part of Season 9. But all the hour-long episodes (“Welcome to Korea,” “That’s Show Biz,” etc.) are still split into two half-hour episodes.

(Thanks to Anirban Sen.)

Name That Episode III #85

The Name That Episode game is played Tuesdays and Thursdays, with images posted randomly between 12PM and 6PM Eastern. Players can participate as often as they like. An archive of past rounds can be found here. Today’s image can be found below. Can you name the episode it’s from? Feel free to post guesses in the comments section. As always, the winner gets bragging rights.

And the Winner Is: Chauncey Uppercrust, who correctly identified “Run for the Money” from Season 11.

Name That Episode

Episode Spotlight: Private Charles Lamb

Every Monday, I spotlight a random episode of M*A*S*H, providing a brief review and asking readers to offer their thoughts.

“Private Charles Lamb” (#62, 3×14)
Originally Broadcast: Tuesday, December 31st, 1974
Written by Sid Dorfman
Directed by Hy Averback

Capsule Summary: Radar works to save the life of a lamb airlifted from Greece for an Easter celebration. Meanwhile, Frank learns that a soldier shot himself to try to get shipped back home.

I love this episode. It’s nutty and outlandish and involves Spam, which I have enjoyed on occasion (never in the form of a lamb, however). It doesn’t bother me that Radar was somehow able to ship a lamb back to the States, which I’m sure is slightly more difficult than mailing a jeep home piece by piece.

At this point in the series, Radar hadn’t fully developed into an innocent, naive character. In various early episodes he’s seen drinking and smoking. Here he claims to be a vegetarian, despite eating meat in episodes before and after this. That might have just been a lie he told Frank. At the party he gets very, very drunk and apparently stays up all night partying.

Yet we also see a glimpse of the naive Radar when he realizes that the cook plans on cooking the lamb. It’s almost too naive, actually. “He isn’t going to kill him, is he?” Perhaps Radar was too shocked to be rational.

Frank’s B story is classic Frank. He rants and raves and accuses and demands punishment for others only to slink off at the first sign that he himself might get in trouble. It’s unlikely the military would have actually charged Frank with impersonating a priest. He never claimed to be one. He could argue he had a perfectly legitimate reason to be in Father Mulcahy’s tent. And of course, after all his ranting and raving about the debauchery and degradation of the Greek Easter celebration, he proceeds to get drunk and enjoy it himself. What a fink.

The Spam lamb

The famous Spam lamb is a little disturbing to look at, especially the close-up shot that shows a little tongue. We never see the tongue again. People must have enjoyed it, though, because at least half of it seems to be missing the morning after the party.

There’s a famous photograph of Radar holding the lamb in front of the Swamp. We never see that in the episode, suggesting it was a staged promotional photo.

Is that Igor asleep atop a table near the coffee dispenser in the Mess Tent the morning after the party?

I never thought about it until rewatching this episode the other day, but are rabbits, skunks, and whatever other animals Radar has in his menagerie native to South Korea?

Margaret does not appear in this episode but is mentioned by name. Neither Klinger nor Father Mulcahy are in this episode either, although the good father is mentioned by name as well.

Does This Chopper Scene Exist?

Noel is trying to determine if any episode of M*A*S*H included the following scene:

Was there a scene in M*A*S*H wherein the characters were watching for the arrival of a helicopter from one direction as the helicopter approached from the opposite direction?

Personally, I can’t recall such a scene but to be honest a lot of the chopper scenes are so similar they don’t really stand out. Hit the comments if you recall seeing a scene like this one.

Name That Episode III #84

The Name That Episode game is played Tuesdays and Thursdays, with images posted randomly between 12PM and 6PM Eastern. Players can participate as often as they like. An archive of past rounds can be found here. Today’s image can be found below. Can you name the episode it’s from? Feel free to post guesses in the comments section. As always, the winner gets bragging rights.

And the Winner Is: Seoul City Sue, who correctly identified “Souvenirs” from Season 5.

Name That Episode

M*A*S*H Broadcast History Completed

It’s been over a decade since I started compiling on my broadcast history of M*A*S*H. I can still vividly remember going through hundreds of issues of TV Guide at a library and taking notes way back in 2004. As with so many projects, I’ve meant to get back to it for years but only recently did I have the time.

The broadcast history is now complete, with one exception (more on that later). It includes every single original CBS broadcast, every repeat, and every time the network pre-empted the series for some other programming during its 1972-1983 run.

What’s particularly useful about this broadcast history is tracking how M*A*S*H moved time slots. During Season 4, for example, it started on Fridays at 8PM for the one-hour premiere, moved to Fridays at 8:30PM the following week, aired once on Tuesday at 8:30PM, went back to Fridays at 8:30PM, then moved to Tuesdays at 9PM. During Season 7, M*A*S*H moved around 14 times. I’m sure viewers quickly tired of trying to figure out where the show was airing.

It’s also interesting to see how CBS handled the hour-long episodes. “Fade Out, Fade In” was originally an hour-long episode but was later repeated in two parts. Three of the other hour-long episodes (“Welcome to Korea,” Bug Out,” and “That’s Show Biz”) were repeated as hour-long episodes. The fifth, “Our Finest Hour,” was never repeated.

As for the three two-part episodes, both parts of “Good-Bye, Radar” were repeated as a one-hour special. The other two-parters (“Comrades in Arms” and “Snap Judgement”/”Snappier Judgement”) were repeated as two parts.

There is still one repeat that hasn’t been identified. On Monday, March 30th, 1981 CBS planned to air “The Life You Save” but pulled it after the attempted assassination of President Reagan. I wrote about this back in February 2009. CBS aired an hour-long special on the assassination from 8-9PM and then aired an unknown M*A*S*H repeat from 9-9:30PM. “The Life You Save” ultimately aired on May 5th.

If you haven’t taken a look at my broadcast history, please do so. I’d like to think it’s a valuable resource but I may be the only one interested in this sort of thing.

Also, if anyone knows what episode was repeated on March 30th, please let me know.

Name That Episode III #83

The Name That Episode game is played Tuesdays and Thursdays, with images posted randomly between 12PM and 6PM Eastern. Players can participate as often as they like. An archive of past rounds can be found here. Today’s image can be found below. Can you name the episode it’s from? Feel free to post guesses in the comments section. As always, the winner gets bragging rights.

And the Winner Is: Chauncey Uppercrust, who correctly identified “Operation Friendship” from Season 9.

Name That Episode

Episode Spotlight: End Run

Every Monday, I spotlight a random episode of M*A*S*H, providing a brief review and asking readers to offer their thoughts.

“End Run” (#113, 5×17)
Originally Broadcast: Tuesday, January 25th, 1977
Written by John D. Hess
Directed by Harry Morgan

Capsule Summary: Hawkeye is forced to amputate the leg of a soldier who in civilian life was a star football player. Frank, meanwhile, cooks up a boxing match between Klinger and Zale.

This is an episode where I am split right down the middle in terms of how I feel about it. The A story involving Sgt. Billy Tyler is incredibly well done and M*A*S*H at its finest. The Klinger/Zale B story is corny at best and just plain lousy at worst.

As is often the case, I wish less time had been devoted to the B story so there would have been more time to flesh out Billy’s story even more. For example, it would have been interesting (and potentially dramatic) had the soldier Billy tried to get to on the battlefield had ended up at the 4077th as well. Would Billy have blamed him for losing his leg? That could have added another dimension to the blame game, with Billy forgiving Hawkeye but finding another person to blame. Perhaps Hawkeye or Radar would have had to help him realize nobody was to blame.

This wasn’t the first episode to involve a wounded soldier wanting to commit suicide. What was unusual here was for Billy to tell Hawkeye not to save him if his leg couldn’t be saved. It wasn’t just losing the leg but what losing the leg represented and how it would impact his life. Most soldiers would be angry and depressed over losing a leg. To Billy, it meant losing his career, his passion, his livelihood. This would be revisited to a degree in “Morale Victory” in Season 8.

The feud between Klinger and Zale was never explained, which of course makes it more amusing. Unless I missed something Klinger never points out that Zale wasn’t participating in the fight at Rosie’s Bar. Despite what he told Frank about being great at eye gauging, I doubt very much he got his hands dirty. That could have defused the situation quickly. Of course, it’s possible Klinger didn’t want to defuse the situation.

There were a few good bits in the B story, though. Klinger’s retort to Zale’s “buzzard beak” comment is priceless: “If my dog had your face, I’d shave his butt and teach him to walk backwards.” And Frank’s comeuppance was nice to see as always. Still, the manner in which Klinger and Zale collectively redirected their anger at Frank made no sense. When Hawkeye went to try to talk them out of fighting one another, they almost came to blows. Yet when the bout started they had agreed to turn against Frank? When did that happen? Why did that happen?

Billy is depressed

Colonel Potter is noticeably absent from the bulk of the episode, no doubt due to the fact that Harry Morgan was directing. This was the second of nine episodes he directed; the first was “The Novocaine Mutiny” in Season 4.

I’m not sure I like the opening sequence in which Billy being wounded is intercut with the right in Rosie’s Bar. I understand why it was done, to juxtapose the senseless reality of war with an even more senseless bar fight, but seeing Billy wounded, treated and shipped off to the 4077th while Klinger is crawling around under tables trying to keep his hat on somehow feels wrong. Which is probably the point.

When Billy is being loaded onto the ambulance at the end of the episode he clearly has two legs.

The fight in Rosie’s Bar is a little overdone if you ask me. The stuntmen went all out. Granted, I’ve never been in a bar fight but this one didn’t seem realistic at all, especially that one who very obviously jumps into the air so he can be “thrown” across the room by another soldier.

Can anyone with eagle eyes identify the issue of LIFE that Radar shows Billy? Actually, is there any way of knowing if it is really an issue of LIFE at all?