Episode Spotlight: The Kids


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

“The Kids” (#80, 4×08)
Originally Broadcast: Friday, October 31st, 1975
Written by Jim Fritzell & Everett Greenbaum
Directed by Alan Alda

Capsule Summary: Shelling forces an orphanage to move in with the 4077th temporarily, much to Frank’s disgust.

I enjoyed this episode more for the little moments. The reminder that Colonel Potter and B.J. were new to the 4077th and, in the case of B.J., new to war, was nice. There was a mention of Trapper going stateside and B.J. being fresh out of residency and still shocked by the horrors of war, specifically hearing that orphans lose limbs due to scavenging for brass.

M*A*S*H so rarely attempted any sort of continuity between episodes that it was actually a little surprising to see an episode like this. I will try to keep a closer eye on further episodes from Season Four to see how many other references to Colonel Potter and B.J. being new to Korea there were.

This episode featured another ill-gotten purple heart of Frank’s given to someone more deserving, after the one he received in “Sometimes You Hear The Bullet” that was given away by Hawkeye. I wonder if Frank was able to request replacement medals from the military.

Why wasn’t Frank in surgery immediately? He should have been called to the O.R. the minute wounded arrived.

Waving Goodbye to the Orphans

I looked up the term “slicky boy” and learned it refers to South Koreans who stole from the U.S. Army during the Korean War. I don’t recall it being used in any other episodes.

16 Replies to “Episode Spotlight: The Kids”

  1. I really like this episode, also for the scene in which a little girl is playing Mozart’s Sonata No. 16, I love it. I envy her, because I’m learning to play it and it’s so hard for me 🙁

  2. Not a good episode, not a bad episode, rather an okay episode.

    What I don’t understand is why everyone says Radar was out of character singing a lullaby to that little girl who couldn’t sleep… how was that out of character for him?

  3. My question is, if Col. Potter was new to Korea, how did he know Meg Cratty?? They greeted each other like they were old friends.

    Also, Col. Potter seemed very fluent in Korean when speaking with the new mother after the Purple Heart was given to her baby. He is literally a savant in this episode with all his skills.

    1. He wasn’t new to Korea; in “Change of Command” (4×03), Radar said he was mostly administration, likewise, Potter mentions sitting behind a desk for a couple of years, so he could have been assigned to a non-combat, non-surgical unit, maybe somewhere like HQ in Seoul or something.

      But it is interesting that B.J. doesn’t know who Meg Cratty is, but Potter does, yet conversely, in “Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler?”, B.J. knows who Sidney and Flagg are, but Potter doesn’t.

      1. Maybe Hawkeye told BJ about Sidney and Col. Flagg and didn’t tell Potter. It was especially touching when Potter awarded Frank’s Purple Heart to Sung Lee’s baby.

    2. Does anyone know what Potter said to the mother? I can translate that she said thank you, but I can’t make out what he said.

  4. An okay episode though it does contain one of my favourite scenes, where Col Potter is reading to the kids from the army manual as if it’s a bedtime story. Great acting from Harry Morgan there.

  5. I overall liked this episode, one of the run of the mill type MASH episodes. In the episode Lend a Hand, Hawkeye mentions to the actor, Robert Alan, that Trapper was replaced by B.J.

  6. “I wonder if Frank was able to request replacement medals from the military.”

    A soldier, or his family can get replacements for lost medals as long as they have proof they were properly awarded. I believe there is a small charge.

    OTOH, many medals are easily purchased from flea markets, ebay, collectors, etc. ….but you better not wear one unless you can prove its validity, lest you be ostracized by the community (a court has ruled it is not illegal to wear unearned medals …somehow that falls under “freedom of speech” …I don’t agree).

  7. Maybe my ears deceived, but didn’t Hawkeye say something about a wife and putting her through some kind of school as he was prepping cots for the kids?

  8. I’m watching MASH from the beginning for the first time having only seen random episodes on reruns in 2012/2013 while I was in the US (am from Brasil and am in Brasil, unfortunately). Funnily enough, right that time when the opening ends but the credits are still going I thought to myself “huh this looks like an Alda episode” and sure enough not even 3 seconds later it said “Directed by Alan Alda”! Thought it was funny. Loved this episode! Made me remember ‘Kim’, just love seeing everyone with the kids, just lovely. Also LOVED the scene where Potter awards the Purple Heart to the baby, such a nice scene! Made me happy seeing Margaret there and approving of it too, I love her and most of her scenes so far, as long as she’s not with Frank being all self righteous and everything. BJ telling that bedtime story made me want to cry, just soooo good! All in all, great episode with a lot of little moments that bring happiness!

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