Discuss: Imagine an Episode With Only Trapper


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.

Today’s topic is: Imagine an episode with only Trapper.

Trapper’s Trapped

We’re in the third week of our “Imagine an Episode with Only…” journey. We’ve already imagined episodes with only Margaret and Potter. Today, let’s share our ideas for an episode featuring Trapper. He doesn’t have to be literally the only character but he should be the primary focus and any other characters probably shouldn’t be speaking English. That’s how “Hawkeye” worked and we’re trying to think of similiar experimental episodes for the rest of the characters.

I think the perfect way to isolate Trapper would be to somehow trap him in the supply room. Ideally, he’d be stuck waiting for rescue with at least one other person but that person is either unconscious or doesn’t speak English.

Maybe Trapper was in the supply room with a nurse when the camp came under enemy fire, which is exactly what happened to Trapper and Margaret in “Bombed” during Season 3. Only this time, the nurse is knocked out and Trapper has to wait for rescue with no one to talk to.

Or maybe Trapper was in giving a South Korean doctor who doesn’t speak English a tour of the 4077th and the doctor’s translator is the one knocked out. Trapper and the doctor have to work together to free themselves without being able to communicate.

Hit the comments with your thoughts.

10 Replies to “Discuss: Imagine an Episode With Only Trapper”

  1. Well, Trapper was already gone by that point in the series, so, heh, I don’t know how that would have possibly worked.

    Okay, in all seriousness though, Trapper should have had the ability to carry the show himself, as he and Hawkeye were initially meant to be interchangable leads, but with that in mind, the writers did so little for him, it’s hard to imagine a kind of scenario where he carries the whole show by himself, and what he would do about it. Just about the most he ever shined was “Kim,” and even so, that was still an ensemble episode. We also see he has a dark, gutsy side where he nearly kills that patient who contaminated his patient’s IV, so this could possibly give us another look at that side of Trapper, depending on what kind of situation he’s thrown into.

    Still, I just don’t know. . . .

  2. I’m thinking RJ’s idea for Margaret (to be on the phone) would work better for Trapper.

    He would be talking to his wife and daughters, which would draw out a more personal, vulnerable side of Trapper. I could also see a range of emotions as we learn more about him as a family man, his family and home life. Perhaps a change in his perspective in his cheating ways, like Henry when he learnt his wife was cheating.

    1. I can see that working quite well.

      To be honest, I only put Margaret on the phone because I couldn’t think of any other ideas for her. With few exceptions, like Colonel Potter taking a long ride on Sophie, most of my ideas could work for multiple characters. It’s tough but I’m trying my best to come up with a unique idea for every character.

  3. Hi, RJ! I don’t have an idea for Trapper, but I do have a question: Is showing a person’s back, such as a person opening a door with the view being from behind them so the viewer sees a main character standing on the homeowner’s doorstep, breaking the rules of this game?

    1. JocularityGirl, your comment gave me an idea for a Trapper only episode. Trapper has gone home, he is there long enough to spend time with his wife and daughters. One day he is home alone and decides to call the 4077th to say goodbye to Hawkeye. But Hawkeye is unavailable, maybe in surgery. Trapper spends the episode talking to Radar and maybe Father Mulcahy. This is all seen as Trapper at home and his responses. At the end of the episode he finally gets to talk to his best friend and the last line of the episode is Trapper saying “Hello, Hawkeye”.

      1. Sorry, Chauncey Uppercrust, meant to send you a smiley emoji. Glad I could help!

    2. There aren’t really any rules to break, just the vague guideline that our ideas should try to only feature the one main character (in this case Trapper). Or, if there are other characters, they shouldn’t speak English (like in “Hawkeye”).

  4. Trapper calling the 4077th from stateside is a good idea. He initially calls to talk with Hawkeye but ends up talking to B.J. instead as Hawk is in surgery. We see Trapper home alone on the phone discussing his life stateside while learning about his replacement B.J. and through their conversation we get insight into Trapper’s marriage to Louise. their family, and work.

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