AfterMASH Episode Spotlight: Ward Is Hell

I’m reviewing every episode of AfterMASH, in original broadcast order, and asking fans to add their memories and opinions.

“Ward Is Hell” (#29, 2×07)
Originally Broadcast: Tuesday, December 4th, 1984 from 8:30-9PM ET
Written by Ken Levine & David Isaacs & Dennis Koenig
Directed by Burt Metcalfe

TV Guide Summary

N/A

The Hartford Courant Summary

Boyer becomes the ward’s worst patient when he gets a staph infection; Klinger brings Las Vegas to Gen. Pershing.

Review

“Ward Is Hell” is an okay episode. Of the two storylines, Dr. Boyer’s is the better one. After developing and ignoring a staph infection, Dr. Boyer winds up recuperating in the ward at General General. He isn’t happy about it.

When Dr. Boyer interferes while Dr. Caldwell’s treats another patients, Father Mulcahy is forced to pick Boyer up and put him back in his bed. It’s part of Boyer’s plan to get kicked out of the ward and, presumably, put somewhere more private. But Potter is too smart to fall for it.

Still from the AfterMASH episode Ward Is Hell showing Father Mulcahy and Dr. Boyer.

Father Mulcahy carries Dr. Boyer back to his bed.

There’s a nice moment between Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Dudziak in which Dr. Caldwell tries to get Dr. Dudziak to help Dr. Boyer while Dr. Dudziak worries about Dr. Boyer being too rough on Dr. Caldwell.

Likewise, near the end of the episode there’s a very nice scene when Dr. Dudziak, Dr. Caldwell, Father Mulcahy, Potter and Mildred all drop by to see Dr. Boyer before heading home. They swap stories about their favorite comedians and it’s obvious Dr. Boyer is happy for the company, even if he won’t admit it.

I’m still not convinced writing Dr. Pfeiffer out of the series halfway through Season 1 was the right thing for AfterMASH. The character had a lot of potential. That said, Dr. Boyer has finally started to grow on me. It’s too bad it took so long.

Klinger’s storyline involves selling tickets for a lottery based on which numbers will be read out over the PA system. After Father Mulcahy refuses to help him run the lottery, Klinger gets Mildred and Soon-Lee to help him. It feels familiar, like something Klinger would’ve pulled on M*A*S*H.

Still from the AfterMASH episode Ward Is Hell showing Mildred and Soon-Lee.

Mildred and Soon-Lee help Klinger with his lottery.

Only it’s not a scam. It’s an honest lottery, with Klinger taking ten percent of the winning tickets. But things still fall apart for Klinger when Soon-Lee sells herself a ticket and wins, angering the other players.

Notes

After four weeks of pre-emptions throughout November 1984, AfterMASH returned to CBS with a new episode at a different time, 8:30PM instead of 8PM.

This was the last regularly-scheduled episode of AfterMASH. One additional episode aired almost six months later in May 1985; another never aired in the United States.

References to the 4077th

There were no references to the 4077th in this episode.

M*A*S*H Connections

This is the 12th of 13 episodes directed by Burt Metcalfe.

This is the 11th of 12 episodes written or co-written by Dennis Koenig.

This is the 12th of 13 episodes written or co-written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs.

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