Episode Spotlight: Hey, Look Me Over


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

“Hey, Look Me Over” (#236, 11×01)
Originally Broadcast: Monday, October 25th, 1982
Written by Karen Hall
Directed by Burt Metcalfe

Capsule Summary: While Margaret prepares for an inspection, Hawkeye is forced to reevaluate how he sees one of the nurses at the 4077th.

I’m of two minds about this episode, specifically the main storyline involving Nurse Kellye and Hawkeye. The concept works in theory but in execution it falls flat. It was nice to see a minor character get a chance to shine and I suppose it was a fitting way to kick off the final season of M*A*S*H (even if this episode was filmed during the tenth season but held until the eleventh). But why would Kellye care so much that Hawkeye didn’t treat her like all the other nurses? If anything, she should have been happy he wasn’t constantly pursuing her.

Prior to this episode, we never saw any hint that Kellye was hurt to be overlooked by Hawkeye. Actually, we didn’t really know much about her at all. So to suddenly learn so much in one episode was a little overwhelming. Maybe it would have made more sense if she was just disgusted at the way Hawkeye continually hounded the nurses at the 4077th, rather than personally hurt that he wasn’t hounding her.

Hawkeye’s behavior in this episode was a reflection of the strain the series was under having been on the air so long. Although within the confines of the series the characters had only been in Korea for a year or two, at most, viewers had been watching them every week for over a decade. At some point, after a few years, Hawkeye’s skirt-chasing stopped being amusing and started being uncomfortable. The tuxedo only made things worse. It didn’t help that Alan Alda had aged a decade since the series began.

Dancing cheek to cheek

That said, the scene in which Kellye comforted the mortally wounded soldier was powerful. Powerful because we know there are men and women who die during war and there are men and women who are by their side as they do.

The B storyline featuring Margaret dealing with the unexpected inspection felt repetitive at best.

In “Memories of M*A*S*H,” Kellye Nakahara states that Burt Metcale and Alan Alda brought the script for this episode to her and asked if she was interested. She was.

This episode was the late Susan Oliver’s directorial debut and one of only a handful of episodes directed by a woman. Oliver is best known for her acting, including a role in the original, unaired pilot episode for Star Trek in 1964. Her only other directing credit is an episode of Trapper John, M.D..

32 Replies to “Episode Spotlight: Hey, Look Me Over”

  1. Meh episode at best. Did not like the storyline at all. Hawkeye, by now, had this reputation as a skirt chaser and I don’t know why any self respecting woman would want to become another notch on his cot post (or wherever he notched up his conquests).

    In ‘Too Many Cooks’, Kellye goes to the gourmet dinner in the mess tent with Maj. Winchester. Now, that would have been interesting to see. How Charles handled Kellye’s crush on him. All in all, glad that she got to shine in an episode after being in the background for 11 years but the story is very unmemorable and the scenery chewing by both Alan and Kellye is painful to watch.

    1. Maybe Kellye didn’t want to be another one of Hawkeye’s conquests but maybe she just wanted him to make a pass at her and then she could turn him down.

      1. That’s the point. She wanted to turn him down because she wanted to force him to be attracted to her which he wasn’t.

  2. This one’s a bit too preachy for my tastes, though not up the levels of “Inga.” It could’ve been worse, I don’t think it’s an awful installment, but still not an ep I revisit often. Seoul City Sue hit the nail on the head with the mention of scenery chewing; there’s a ton of it.

    A mediocre start to the final season.

    1. Apparently, even though this episode was the first to air for the final season, it wasn’t the first chronologically; that distinction appears to belong to “U.N., the Night, and the Music”, even though it originally aired halfway through.

  3. Had this show been done during the first few seasons, when Hawkeye’s womanizing was it’s height, it would’ve had for more impact.

    Does anyone know how many shows(besides the finale) they shot for Season11 that weren’t “leftovers” from Season 10?

    1. 16 episodes,including the series finale aired during season 11 but only 9 were shot specifically for the final session,including the finale.

  4. It was nice to get to see more of Kellye’s character, but wanting a date with Hawkeye didn’t make much sense knowing what a womanizer he was. Most women wouldn’t want a man like that in their lives and those who have had a man like that usually end up regretting it. My wife said the same thing.

    I do agree the scene in which she comforted the dying patient was powerful to say the least.

  5. A rather tepid episode to start the final season. After Margaret chews out Hawkeye and Kellye for their arguing,then threatens Pierce with a punch in the mouth, her smile re-entering post-op seemed very phony. I always thought the one thing Margaret learned while romancing Frank Burns was how to usurp authority every chance she got. Plus, her insanely neurotic attitude towards the inspection rubbed me the wrong way.

  6. I believe Kellye’s outburst was justified, truthful, and it’s always nice to see Hawkeye deflated. This wasn’t about a date; they were having a nice conversation when Hawkeye completely ignores her to ogle the other nurses. I think any woman in that situation would be offended, if not angry.

    Another stale Margaret-and-the-nurses-get-inspected plot. So Margaret gets to scream and yell through an episode. She should be accustomed by now, take it easy, and cut the histrionics; after all, this is supposedly the best MASH with the best record in the theater.

    And Alda’s age has been obvious for at least a season, no way he can still pass as a draftee doctor. But MASH has become “The Alan Alda Show”, he will be around til he is bald, toothless, and getting around with a walker.

    Not one of the better episodes, but it is fun to see Hawkeye chewed out, then see him go to Kellye’s tent only to find she already has company.

  7. Agree with most that this episode is not very good at all, although I loved Kelleye going off on Hawkeye. He deserves it for the way he treats Kellye in the officers club, and for pretty much everything else about his character when it comes to women.

    Random but during Kelleye’s rant, I find it hilarious when she spells raggmopp.

  8. This episode was about Kelleye. I loved her outburst at Hawkeye -she’s everything she says she is.
    However, I felt this episode was also about how people overlook the importance of nurses. They do the linens, the beds, sterilise the equipment, cleaning, washing patients, etc. which the doctors take for granted but when they are not there, everything falls apart.
    More importantly, the scene with Kelleye holding and soothing the mortally wounded soldier is powerful. It showed the unseen compassion that nurses give to their patients.
    If any MASH fans are also fans of China Beach (like me), you’ll be aware that that series focuses on Vietnam nurses and this aspect particularly. There is a great line in CB that the nurses are the only women soldiers see in war. They have wives, girlfriends, mothers and sisters back home but the nurses are there when they need them the most – telling them that they’re going to be fine when their injuries are horrific, and comforting them when they are dying. Or even just putting on some extra perfume to remind them of the comforts of home.
    Kelleye’s scene was definitely powerful and portrayed this well. It made me appreciate the work of nurses and all that they do for their patients

    1. Thank you Radar!
      Although you wrote this in August 2017, I am reading it in May 2018 (this episode happens to be on.) As a nurse, I appreciate the kind words. You’re right, I see this episode more as a reminder that Kellye is a person but Hawkeye treats her as a piece of furniture. She even says, “You’ve never seen me at all!”

      I’ve had Margaret Houlihan Charge Nurses, by the way. If they’re not screaming, they’re not communicating at all.

      My only question is, what is with the nose fitting in a bottlecap? Is that a 50s thing? I’ve never heard this outside of this episode.

  9. I’ve never found any reference to the nose fitting in a bottle cap comment either. It must be a writer’s invention. I can only assume that it’s a reference to her nose being too wide for Hawkeye’s standards of what a desirable woman should look like, just as she had noted that she wasn’t a slinky 5′ 9″ blonde.

    1. I have always loved the “Nose and bottlecap” comparison. My wife is Filipina and flat or wide noses is something Asian woman tend to be very self conscious about. Very fitting with Kelly’s Asian heritage.

  10. I saw this episode when it first aired. I was twelve years old and liked it. I think I could relate to Nurse Kelley on some level. I was becoming interested in boys and feeling like they only chased after certain girls while ignoring others. Hawkeye seemed to exemplify that so I appreciated his comeuppance; getting told off by Kelley and learning a lesson.

    I never questioned why she showed sudden interest in him after all this time; I just figured she developed a crush on him. Some girls are suckers for a funny guy, which Hawkeye generally was throughout the series (even if he started to lose his mind a bit toward the end). Anyway, I just rewatched it and still like this episode. Maybe it’s not in my “top 10” but I do enjoy it.

  11. I find it a bit strange that after all the time they had spent together Kellye is just now getting upset that Hawkeye isn’t attracted to her. This may not be the easiest thing accept, but the fact is it’s not just her body shape but that she rarely fixes herself up to look feminine. Pigtails were fine when she was 6 but she’s a woman now. And I couldn’t stop staring at her missing bottom tooth.

    Attraction is a strange thing. Some people are attracted to people who have similar cultural backgrounds or religions. Others a certain body type. Can Hawk help it if he’s not attracted to a frumpy nurse who has never shown interest before and is more like a buddy than a conquest? He was insensitive to ignore her to leer at other nurses but that speaks more to his seeing her as more of a sister. To get upset that someone isn’t attracted to you and then tell them about it is very embarrassing. Her comforting the dying patient was very touching and very like Kellye. The way he died so suddenly was kinda comical. It was like a bad silent film with his head flopping to the side.

    Why was Hawkeye wearing a tuxedo? How mortifying that he would dress up like that to hunt for a bed partner. What a creep to be so obvious. To sniff someone’s hair while she was dancing with someone else? Yuck.

    I didn’t understand why once again the doctors are being forced to clean up the OR. Where the hell were the enlisted men who made the mess in the first place? They had one room to clean and only 4 doctors to help? Margaret did a lot of ordering around and not much cleaning herself which annoyed me. Looking at a clipboard is not a full time job. She should not be asking a doctor to scrape plaster when his hands need to be protected for surgery. Another inspection by another ball busting female colonel? Sigh.

  12. Hawkeye seems to have his sneakers on again in the scene where he’s walking in his tuxedo next to Margaret. You can just see the bottoms of his white shoes which certainly weren’t dress shoes or boots.

  13. As an extremely superficial male teenager in the 80s, I have to say that Kellye is the only nurse I crushed on. Loved the pigtails.

  14. Can someone confirm that Nurse Kellye was the only consistent nurse throughout the series (besides Margaret)? I know Nakahara isn’t in every episode, but when she is, she’s always Nurse Kellye… I’m pretty sure “Able,” “Baker,” etc are not always played by the same person. Just a random thought! Love Nurse Kellye!

  15. They actually shot “Goodbye,Farewell,and Amen” first so as to avoid heavy press meddling during shooting,then 9 other regular episodes afterwards,the last being the second to last to air,”As Time Goes By”. Six episodes were held over from season 10,which probably goes back to the Hollywood actors strike 2 years earlier which caused a significant delay in the start of season 9,meaning CBS had to cut the original airing period short of airing all produced episodes for the season,wheras 4(I think?)episodes produced at the tail end of season 9 had to be rolled over to season 10 just like the last 6 of that season had to be moved over to season 11.

  16. I didn’t really have much more to add to the commentary except this:

    One thing that annoyed me about the episode is the aspect of the nurses being inspected by another tough-as-nails female head nurse.

    If I recall correctly, the episode started with everyone coming back (from a bug out?? not sure) and Potter springing on Margaret the news about the snap inspection. Margaret said she wasn’t ready, they have just come back from a bug out, etc why now? Then Potter said relax, the whole point of the inspection is that the head nurse wanted to specifically see how the nursing team performed after the bug out so as to provide pointers to other units and to how to do it better (that is my recollection, correct me if I am wrong).

    So far so good, and Potter goes along with it.

    The annoying part is that later in the episode this aspect is totally forgotten. The actual inspection that occurs focusses on a whole series of tinpot little nit picky criticisms of Margaret’s team with not one (not one!) remark or question by the inspecting head nurse about setting up the unit after a bug out or anything that even remotely linked back to the premise of why the inspection needed to occur just then.

    It just came across as one shrill nurse inspecting another shrill nurse and her team and everyone arguing for no reason – this argumentative approach does not bode well for the co-operation of a well-oiled team in a life and death situation.

    I feel that the writing of this episode, as far as the inspection aspect is concerned, is very superficial and frankly a retread of things done earlier better.

    1. Regarding: “Then Potter said relax, the whole point of the inspection is that the head nurse wanted to specifically see how the nursing team performed after the bug out so as to provide pointers to other units and to how to do it better (that is my recollection, correct me if I am wrong).”

      The only thing Potter said about why:
      “Colonel Bucholtz wants to see how long it takes you to get settled in.”

      No need to revisit the reason, Margaret was settled in before Bucholtz got there, there were only little things to nit-pick about (the point of the episode would be different if she had done anything else).

      * Great fun as we watch the guys make a big mess of OR during the five days the nurses are gone (only the nurses were evacuated).
      * The night the nurses get back they excitedly talk about having a celebration, and Margaret is told about the inspection (not so exciting); we hear how tough Bucholtz is, Potter suggesting Margaret start first thing in the morning and her saying “right now”; yep, like the inspector, Margaret is also tough . . .
      * Within 10 minutes she has the nurses in the OR, they work all night (we hear the nurses grumble about it, like we’d heard Margaret), no celebration until everything is as it should be; so yes, tough-as-nails and nitpicking until everything is perfect.
      * Margaret’s trip to Potter’s tent shows her only focus is getting the OR back in order; first she sarcastically offers to tuck him in, read him a story, or get him a glass of hot milk, then, “All the equipment is mislabeled, mismatched, or just plain missing.” Potter’s fun wording, “If we messed it up a bit then it’s only fair we help tidy up.” (such small words for the BIG mess), “Me and the other doctors will be there tomorrow morning at 8:30 sharp.” Margaret, “7:00.” to which Potter quickly agrees, “7 is better.”

      We watch/hear Margaret nitpick and be tough, just like how she complained Bucholtz is; so yes, one shrill nurse inspecting another … However, by the end Margaret understands this about herself; yes, it had been touched on before, very differently, and doesn’t change how fun this one is.

      How Margaret and Hawkeye’s shortcomings are highlighted is excellently done, as is their coming to terms with them.

      I see creative writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.