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..

25 Comments

  • Seoul City Sue says:

    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.

    • Andrew Hass says:

      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.

      • Maggie Hoolihan says:

        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.

  • I’ve never seen the episode, but I haven’t heard a single positive thing about it, and frankly, what I do know about the plot, it almost sounds like a very clumsy episode anyway.

  • Larry P. says:

    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.

    • 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.

  • Joe says:

    I haven’t seen the episode since it first aired in 1982, but I can remember not being overly impressed with it.

  • Tuttle says:

    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?

  • Priz says:

    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.

  • Doc Funnypants says:

    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.

  • jgf says:

    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.

  • 007 says:

    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.

  • Fran says:

    It’s an episode I never forgot. I’d love to see it again.

  • Radar says:

    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

    • NurseRox says:

      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.

  • Latrinogram says:

    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.

    • Teacher in Tejas says:

      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.

  • Rosemarie says:

    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.

  • Maggie Hoolihan says:

    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.

  • Maggie Hoolihan says:

    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.

  • Sparky says:

    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.

  • Sophie says:

    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!

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