Most Fans Consider Goodbye, Farewell and Amen a Good Series Finale

Last month’s poll asked visitors whether or not “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” was a good series finale. The result was overwhelming. An incredible 90% of those voting said yes, it was a good series finale, leaving just 10% to disagree.

Here are the full results:

Yes (90%, 140 Votes)
No (10%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 156

I forgot to vote, to be totally honest, but the more I think about it the less sure I am about how I would have voted if I had remembered. I think there are many good and even great parts of “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.” It certainly brought closure to the characters and the series. In that respect it succeeded as a series finale. So I probably would’ve voted yes.

Hit the comments and explain how you voted, especially if you’re among the 10% of voters who don’t consider “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” a good series finale.

9 Comments

  • Crabapple Cove says:

    I was torn on how vote on this one. I ended up voting yes, but my actual answer is “sort of”. I was in high school when the original aired and my immediate reaction was “somewhat disappointed.” For wrapping up each character’s time in Korea, I give it an A grade — the war ended, those who had survived went home. As a proper conclusion to later seasons of M*A*S*H– the preachy, dramedy, hysterical Margaret years– I also give it an A grade. But as a finale to what I personally love about the show (Seasons 1-3), I would rate it a C.

  • Father Angus says:

    I voted yes, purely for the way it managed to wrap every character’s story up well. But the majority vote didn’t surprise me, when the result of the December 2015 poll was that GFA is our favourite episode. But I didn’t expect a 90/10 majority!

  • futurenurse says:

    I also voted yes. Overall, I think the episode was done very well. Each of the major characters had some sort of story arc, although I would have liked a larger story arc for Margaret. Also, the conclusion was heartwarming and sad all at the same time. The episode certainly isn’t as funny as other episodes of M*A*S*H, but there is still humor throughout it. The drama was superb in my opinion. All-in-all, a good episode. 🙂

  • Doc Funnypants says:

    Everything about this episode was great, from Hawkeye’s emotional collapse to Klinger helping Soon-Lee try to find her family. One thing I’ve always wondered was what exactly did Charles write inside “Sonnets from the Portuguese” to Margaret. It obviously moved Margaret visually.

    Robert Pierpoint: There it is, that’s the sound of peace.

    • futurenurse says:

      From what I’ve read, the inscription was actually from David Odgen Stiers to Loretta Swit. Apparently, Stiers was not as connected with the group as everybody else because in order to contact him, they had to reach his agent. In the inscription he gave her his personal phone number. So the reaction was Loretta’s. 🙂 I wish I could remember what book I read that in, but I can’t at the moment.

  • dhinla says:

    I have vivid memories of watching this when I was in high school as well, sitting at the foot of my parents’ bed as we all watched it. I can’t think of too many school nights when I stayed up to 11pm, voluntarily or involuntarily. By the end of the episode I was “emotionally exhausted”… but not morally bankrupt, to quote the toe tag that once adorned Frank’s foot. I remember being excited but a little nervous about the AfterMASH promo – would it be as good as the original? I definitely would give it a chance. I found it interesting about how CBS treated it – they reran it once the week before AfterMASH premiered and I think once again the following summer. Having a conclusion to the series – seen by everyone – never diminished the enjoyment of the series, perhaps because every other episode was basically completely self-contained.

  • Seoul City Sue says:

    It was definitely a good series finale. Wrapped up all storylines while still keeping an air of mystery about the eventual fate of all the characters…..does Hawkeye get treatment for his latent alcoholism? Does BJ ever stop thinking about the war? Will Charles love his music again? etc.

    This is probably the one series finale that still manages to make me sob each time towards the end. From the time, BJ drops off Hawkeye at the chopper, to the slow music beginning just as the chopper takes off, to the ‘GOODBYE’ written in rocks……the tears just begin to flow non stop. Happens each and every time I watch it. That is the true power of good writing and good characters. We are happy they are going home, but will they truly be happy after having seen such horrors?

  • BDOR says:

    I think so, considering back then, TV shows rarely did proper farewell episodes, mainly because of the superstition that it would kill a series’ chances in syndication (which apparently is what happened to THE FUGITIVE). More often than not, back then, a series’ final episode would usually be what they call a “backdoor pilot” for a spin-off.

    Come to think of it, prior to M*A*S*H, and besides THE FUGITIVE, the only other shows I can think of that did do proper farewell episodes were LEAVE IT TO BEAVER (this first time a series ever did a clip show) and THE ODD COUPLE (Felix finally remarried his beloved ex-wife, Gloria; and Oscar finally got his freedom back). I heartell that HOGAN’S HEROES intended on doing a final season, leading up to a proper finale where the prisoners of Stalag 13 are liberated and Klink and Schultz finally find out about Hogan’s operation, but that show fell victim to the Rural Purge before they could do that.

    But, like everybody else said, GFA pretty much gave each of the major characters an arc and wrapped up their individual stories quite nicely – Alan Alda made sure of that; he wanted each of the characters to experience some kind of personal loss as a result of the war (Hawkeye’s sanity, Mulcahy’s hearing, etc). Emotions run high too, so they did it quite nicely as well – after all these years, Hawkeye and B.J.’s final goodbye still makes me misty-eyed, and still makes me wish they did, indeed, get to see each other back in the states again after the war. Matter of fact, that’s probably my favorite quote from GFA, when B.J. calls out to Hawkeye, “I’ll see you back in the states! I promise!”

  • jgf says:

    Good, but not great. Overall, maudlin, predictable, and overacted (especially Hawkeye). I rarely watch it.

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