Monday M*A*S*H Discussions offers fans the opportunity to offer their opinions on a wide variety of topics relating to M*A*S*H. Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. My hope is these discussion posts will continue to elicit comments in the weeks and months after they’re initially published. Have a suggestion about something you think might be worth discussing? Let me know and maybe it will become my next Monday M*A*S*H Discussion topic.
Doug suggested today’s topic: Episodes that could’ve served as the series finale.
Any Other Potential Final Episodes?
I’ll let Doug share his thoughts on this topic:
What would be a fitting finale had the series not gone 11 seasons? We’re aware that there is an alternate ending to Season 1’s “Ceasefire,” which had the truce be the actual one. This was in the event that CBS cancelled the series. Would that be fitting? Would a series that only lasted a season need a final episode? What about “Abyssinia, Henry”? Too much of a downer? Not enough closure? Or “The Party” at the end of Season 7? Or “Goodbye, Radar”? Or another episode?
As I mentioned in my Episode Spotlight review of “Ceasefire,” Larry Gelbart debunked the rumor that the episode was written as a possible series finale, with an alternate ending, in the event CBS cancelled M*A*S*H after its first season. Yet it’s still interesting to ponder the episode serving as the final episode of M*A*S*H. While there’s no closure for any of the characters, in a way that’s what could’ve made it an imperfect series finale. Viewers are left wondering what happened to everyone at the 4077th, just as the characters were left wondering if they’d ever get home.
Doug suggests several other episodes with series finale potential: “Abyssinia, Henry” from Season 3; “The Party” from Season 7,” and the two-part “Good-Bye, Radar” from Season 8. Do you agree with him? Would any of these episodes work as a series finale? What about other episodes?
I’ll add “The Interview” from Season 4 and “As Time Goes By” from Season 11. I think “The Interview” would’ve made a fine ending for M*A*S*H in terms of quality and impact but not a very good series finale. “As Time Goes By,” on the other hand, does work pretty well as a final episode. Had CBS refused to order a true series finale, I think “As Time Goes By” would’ve done a good job wrapping up the show.
Hit the comments with your thoughts.