Season 5 General Discussion

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Big Daddy O'Reilly
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Season 5 General Discussion

Post by Big Daddy O'Reilly »

You know, I used to think of Seasons Four and Five as sort of interchangable seasons, but as I've gotten more familiar with them, I have to say that's not entirely the case, as it does feel somewhat different from Season Four.

I know Larry (Gelbart), Gene, and Burt always speak of it as the "stand alone" season, the one that doesn't feel like the first four, or the next six (like I feel about Season Seven), my guessing is because Larry was no longer in charge, and this was Gene's only season of being completely in charge before departing as well... but there's a little more than that.

For example, as far as stories go, Season Four seemed to get slightly more serious in tone as it progresses, particularly the last few episodes, but Season Five on the other hand seemed to do an about-face, and went back to being more light-hearted and comedic. That's not to say Season Five doesn't have it's share of some heavy episodes, but the season seemed to be made up mostly of some fine comedy moments.

And of course, we all know what the big highlight of the season was: Margaret getting engaged and later married to Donald Penobscott, while Frank further de-evolved into a one-dimensional psychopath.

The first time I ever saw that episode, my jaw nearly hit the floor as I could not believe what I was seeing: Margaret has FEELINGS!

It should also be noted that Season Five introduced some of the semi-regular nurses that would remain fixtures at the 4077th until the very end, including Bigelow, Able (played by Judy Farrell) and Baker (played by Jan Jorden)... though interestingly, in addition to Jan Jorden, there were three other different Bakers played by different actresses... and all those episodes were back-to-back as well! You also had the cute Mickie Baker married to Lieutenant Tony Baker, you had the somewhat homely Baker who tried coming onto Radar for some reason, then you had the Baker that was in the shower when Radar was searching the entire camp for Margaret.

One odd thing about Season Five is that at one point, an age-old visual gag is utilized that you wouldn't expect on M*A*S*H: the old subtitle gag.

The entire scene is cut from syndication, but in "Dear Sigmund" (5x08), Klinger tries to fake amnesia, and only speaks in Arabic, to which, everything he says to Potter comes with subtitles... even for that time, M*A*S*H seemed too smart and too sophisticated to rely on such a silly/fluffy little gag like that.

Mr Kwong
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Re: Season 5 General Discussion

Post by Mr Kwong »

For me season 5 is much more character driven than the previous seasons. In probably the most pivotal change of the series, Margaret drops Frank and gets engaged. While it could be seen as personal growth, Margaret is callous & incredibly self absorbed about it, not caring about Frank in the least. She would get a wake-up call of sorts a couple of episodes later in "the nurses". There is personal growth with Muicahy who performs emergency "surgery", Hawkeye dealing with temporary blindness & nightmares, BJ has a bout with infidelity, Even Sidney "coaxes a little bud to grow" in his letter to Sigmund Freud. On the opposite side, Franks descent into madness continues no doubt accelerated by Margaret's engagement.

The laughs are still there,with "Bug out' "Lt Walter O'reilly" & "Margaret's marriage" being some the best examples..

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Re: Season 5 General Discussion

Post by Mark7983 »

Received the MASH DVD set as a Christmas present in 2020. I’ve only been able to watch MASH in syndication, so I’m excited to watch the deleted scenes. In “Dear Sigmond” episode, I had never knew a segment with Klinger speaking in Arabic with subtitles was there?

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