Archive for the ‘Spearchucker Jones episodes’ Category

Germ Warfare (1×11)

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Season 1, Episode 11

Broadcast 12/10/1972

Written by:  Larry Gelbart

Directed by:  Terry Becker




The episode opens with Frank reviewing patients in post-op, determining who will stay for extra rest and who is well enough to transfer.  Frank wants a North Korean POW shipped out, but Hawkeye objects, stating he needs more blood and time to recuperate.

The issue is brought to Henry, who sides with Frank.  When Hawkeye appeals for more time, he accuses Henry of turning into a “regular army clown.”  Henry relents and allows the POW to stay in camp, but he cannot stay in post-op nor receive any of the unit’s highly coveted AB- blood.

Not a problem.  Hawkeye lets the North Korean recuperate in his own cot in the Swamp (Frank is thrilled) and the captains learn a certain Frank Burns just happens to have AB- blood.  That night, while Frank sleeps, Hawkeye and Trapper tap him for a pint of blood and give it to the North Korean.

When the North Korean starts getting ill and showing effects of hepatitis, Hawkeye and Trapper try to get Frank to provide a blood sample, stating he doesn’t look well.  Frank refuses, so plan B is to obtain a urine sample.  They try to get Frank loaded on beer.  Frank, who admits he can’t hold his beer, is true to his word and bolts for the latrine after just a few swallows.

Radar has conveniently boarded up the latrine and has a make-shift teepee for Frank’s relief.  The sample is collected and given to Boone to take to Seoul for analysis.  Hawkeye and Trapper now must keep Frank isolated from patients (easy enough) and Margaret (not so easy.)  They end up handcuffing the two majors together when Frank insists on performing surgery.  Just then, Frank’s lab results arrive:  no hepatitis, but he has anemia from improperly donating his blood.   That will teach him!



P.A. System:  Attention, all personnel. Tonight’s war department film on how to lead a good clean life has been cancelled due to unusually heavy indifference.


Henry:  I don’t want any more static from Frank Burns.  That man is a raw nerve.

Hawkeye:  I couldn’t agree more.

Henry:  You know, if I didn’t know better, I’d say the guy was my wife in Army drag.


Frank:  I ordered him [the POW] shipped out.  What’s he doing here?

Hawkeye:  Easy, Frank.  Henry OK’d it.  He’s not taking up anyone’s space but mine.  Why don’t you buzz off, Frank.  Go review your hypocritical oath.


Hawkeye:  Frank, don’t be paranoid.

Frank:  I’m only paranoid because everyone’s against me.


Hawkeye (gifting flowers to Frank as peace offering):  We didn’t forget our star patient.

Trapper:  No hard feelings, Frank?

Frank:  (softens and smiles):  Well…

Hawkeye:  That’s good because there’s a heart transplant we’d like to experiment with and you’re the right type.



Last Spearchucker sighting!  This is the last episode in which Spearchucker appears.  He was removed from the show when the producers learned that there were no black surgeons in the Korean war.  This episode also marks the last appearance of Private Boone.

One more goodbye:  Lt. Dish makes her second and final appearance on M*A*S*H.  She is not wearing her engagement ring during either scene in post-op, but has it on at dinner in the mess tent.

The Hunt Breakfast:  a sumptuous feast associated with fox hunting, typically eaten after the morning’s hunt

Typhoid Mary:  Mary Mallon, a 37-year-old personal cook who contracted typhoid fever around 1906 and was presumed to have infected some 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career.

Hawkeye’s narration of Frank and Margaret trying to arrange a tête-à-tête is an homage to Pete Smith.  During the 1930s and 1940s, Pete Smith made a number of film shorts for MGM entitled “Pete Smith Specialties” and narrated them himself in his distinctively nasal tone.  These comedic shorts were shown before main features in movie theaters.

In the epilogue, Frank is playing checkers with the North Korean patient.  Yeah, right – like that would really happen.



I Hate A Mystery (1×10)

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Season 1, Episode 10

Broadcast 11/26/1972

Written by:  Hal Dresner

Directed by:  Hy Averback



There is a rash of petty thefts at the 4077th.  Frank has lost his sterling silver frame; Margaret has lost her hairbrushes; Henry has lost a fishing reel; Trapper has lost his watch; Hawkeye has lost his swizzle stick.

Henry and Radar conduct a tent by tent search for the stolen loot, ultimately finding it in Hawkeye’s footlocker.  An irate Hawkeye pleads his innocence while Frank and Margaret deliver court martial papers.

Radar is assigned to keep constant surveillance on Hawkeye, even in the OR.

Tired of getting the cold shoulder from everyone, Hawkeye takes action.  First, he gets Henry to state over the PA all the stolen goods are locked away in Henry’s desk.  Hawkeye then checks Henry’s desk in the middle of the night, and sure enough, all the goods are gone.

Hawkeye immediately calls a late night meeting in the mess tent, announcing all required attendees over the PA system.  Like the scene from the final pages of a dime-store novel, Hawkeye states everyone’s motives for wanting him framed and spins a yarn resulting in Ho Jon admitting to the thievery, claiming he stole the items to bribe the border guards so his family can escape the North.



Frank:  My own mother’s picture frame.  To think that those animals laid their hands on it.

Margaret:  Will you hand me my brushes?

Frank:  Well, I don’t think spanking them will do any good!


Henry:  I assume you’ve all read my notice concerning the recent crime wave.

Hawkeye:  I would’ve read it, but the notice was stolen.



Frank has a bottle of Old Spice by his bed

Henry’s gift to Leslie is a fishing reel (it’s hard to hear him say what the gift is)

The shower tent only has one stall when it usually has two.

One of the best MASH visual gags is in this episode:  Henry shakes the stove pipe, his face is covered in soot, and he barely breaks expression while Trapper and Hawkeye laugh hysterically.

Mulchahy’s tent has no bed.

The view out of Margaret’s tent’s door is the same as the view from Leslie’s tent and the same as Mulchahy’s tent.  All show the mess tent sign.  Later, in a scene showing the compound, we see the Swamp is directly across from the mess tent sign.

During Hawkeye’s role call of people, the attendees are staggering into the tent before their names are read.  And Ho Jon shows up despite not being asked.  Pretty dumb criminal.

Henry and Leslie have matching bath robes

Spearchucker sighting…one for episode left!


Henry, Please Come Home (1×09)

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Season 1, Episode 9

Broadcast 11/19/1972

Written by:  Laurence Marks

Directed by:  William Wiard





The 4077th is awarded a citation for 90% efficiency.  General Hammond arrives in camp to give the award to Henry personally, and at the ceremony, drops a bombshell that Henry’s experience is needed at Tokyo Medical HQ, effective immediately.  With Henry gone, Frank assumes command of the unit, and naturally, nobody is happy.

Life will be a different kettle of fish with Frank in command.  The first morning begins with reveille, calisthenics, and surprise inspections…with the Swamp first on the list.  Frank is disgusted with his former quarters (he quickly took over Henry’s tent) and along with an MP and aide, confiscates the captains’ still at gunpoint.  Upon leaving, he threatens the captains to straighten up and fly right, else there will be hell to pay.

Hawkeye calls a group meeting to discuss how to get rid of Frank.  Some imaginative suggestions are made, but it’s agreed Henry has to be brought back to assume command.  Thanks to some forged passes from Radar, Trapper and Hawkeye go to Tokyo to talk their old boss into returning to the 4077th.

Henry is living the high life (see photo above!) and his only duty seems to be giving a lecture three times a week.  Trapper and Hawkeye visit him at a geisha house.  Henry, naturally, doesn’t want to return to the “rat hole” despite hearing Nurse Leslie is a “basket case” without him and Frank is ruining the camp Henry built.

Part of Hawkeye’s plan, Leslie and Radar place a call to the captains and they hastily make their exit, telling Henry “accidentally” Radar is very sick.  Henry takes the bait and returns to the 4077th with Trapper and Hawkeye.

Radar puts on a good act of being sick, but blows his cover when he instinctively gets out of bed to telephone General Hammond for Henry.  Hawkeye’s scheme is exposed, but it works, for Henry announces he is going to stay and resume command.





Hammond:  It is my personal pride to award to Lt. Colonel Henry Blake this special citation of merit…uh, 4th class.


Hawkeye (listening to reveille):  I could swear I heard a bugle.  It is a bugle.  Hey!  I think we’re in the Army!


Henry:  I give three lectures per week and then my time is my own.  I don’t exactly sit around my room playing a kazoo…


The interaction between Henry and Frank at episode’s end is highly dramatic and neither man wants to give an inch:

Henry:  Frank, I’m examining this patient [Radar]

Frank:  Sorry, Henry, not until you sign a transient medic form…

Henry:  Do me a favor – stuff it!

Frank:  …and I’ll need your initials on visiting physician in a combat zone.

Henry:  Stuff that too!


Frank:  Henry, I’m in command here and nobody does an exploratory without my OK.

Henry:  I’ll explore anybody I want to.

Frank:  You back off!  This happens to be MY responsibility!

Henry:  Get out of my way, Frank, or I’ll have you busted down to male nurse.



Hawkeye:  Welcome home, Henry.

Henry:  Hey, what am I going to do for massages around here?

Hawkeye:  Oh, I’ll be glad to walk all over you.





When Hawkeye arrives to hear General Hammond’s commendation for Henry, he is standing directly behind an African-American corpsman.  Next scene, the camera angle changes and now the corpsman is gone and nobody is in front of Hawkeye.


Henry’s goodbye to Radar is awkward and incoherent.  He’d do much better 2 1/2 years later.


Radar’s library of passes:  Hardship leave, sister pregnant, transfer to Germany, passes to Tokyo.


Nothing like singing geisha to liven up an episode!


Who was that Private joining in the strategy session to depose Frank?  According to the credits, his name is Boone and he appears in three episodes in season 1.  He, along with many other side characters, will be phased out soon.


As mentioned earlier, the dialogue between Henry and Frank is heated, like nothing seen before.  Frank is downright nasty this episode.  He takes a most dramatic turn as he morphs into a Hitler-esque commandant.  There is almost a streak of evil to Larry Linville’s portrayal of Frank.


Spearchucker sighting!  Only a few more episodes and he will be gone.  Talk about an unnecessary character…he is narrowly ahead of Ugly John for the title.


Really, why would Henry stay?  He had an extremely cushy job in Tokyo and there is no way he would give that up to return to the front and resume command of a MASH unit.  Especially a draftee doctor.  Maybe a regular Army surgeon would elect to take the MASH post, but no chance someone like Henry would.  Why, even in the next episode he is hoping for a transfer, so the honeymoon ended quickly.



The Moose (1×05)

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Season 1, Episode 5

Broadcast 10/15/1972

Written by:  Laurence Marks

Directed by:  Hy Averback



A certain Sgt. Baker arrives in camp along with his “moose”, Yung Hi, his personal assistant…or slave, depending how you look at it.  Ho Jon tells Hawkeye and Trapper that Baker bought Yung Hi from her family for $500.  The captains try telling Yung Hi about the immorality of this arrangement, but she is not unhappy in her role and states she cannot run away because it will dishonor her family.

Hawkeye dons his dress uniform to look more official and tries to order Baker to release Yung Hi, but he calls their bluff.  The captains then try to get Baker drunk and buy the girl’s freedom, but Baker refuses.

Trapper and Hawkeye organize a rigged poker game with Baker as the mark.  Radar sets up in the showers with a telescope and spies on Baker’s cards, relaying the information to Hawkeye via an earpiece.  Hawkeye cleans Baker out of $2,200 and then offers all the money back if Baker will release Yung Hi.  He reluctantly agrees.

Hawkeye gives Yung Hi her freedom, but she is not interested in leaving, so Hawkeye arranges for Ho Jon to bring one of the girl’s relatives from Seoul to claim her.  In the meantime, Hawkeye gives Yung Hi the Eliza Doolittle treatment and turns her into a proper woman and hospital worker.  Yung Hi’s brother, Benny, a pint-size fast talker, arrives to claim his sister, but he only wants to sell her off again.  The siblings depart, but Yung Hi returns after a couple minutes.

Eventually, Yung Hi is placed in a Catholic convent (although she is a Buddhist!) and writes Hawkeye about her experiences.




Yung Hi:  Roger wilco Sergeant Baker-san!


Baker:  Gooks don’t mind working

Hawkeye:  I don’t care for that word.

Baker:  Gook?

Hawkeye:  Yeah

Baker:  Nothing personal…

Hawkeye:  Then knock it off!


Hawkeye:  You understand that it’s wrong for human beings to own each other?

Yung Hi:  Roger wilco captain-san!

Trapper:  Yeah, but do you really understand?

Yung Hi:  Yes!  I make English perfect!  Speak very goodly!  Hello Joe.  What do you know?  You got candy bar for mother?  She’s six.


Yung Hi:  I must work now.  Must wash more socks, press shirts and shine boots.

Trapper:  Where were you when I wanted to get married?


Yung Hi:  (speaking to many people in mess tent)  Hi, how do you do?  I am pleased to meet you.  My name is Yung Hi.


Yung Hi:  I am also beautiful!


Benny:  Hi’ya guys…how’s action?

Trapper (to Hawkeye):  An Eagle scout, he ain’t

Hawkeye:  Did Ho Jon explain why we sent for you?

Benny:  You bought Yung Hi from Baker, now you want to dump her.  What’s the beef?  She goofing off?

Hawkeye (to Trapper):  A Dead End Kid in Korea…


Yung Hi (bursting into Swamp):  I know how to make martini drinks!

Trapper:  You staying?

Yung Hi:  Not only staying, also not going!




No Frank or Margaret in this episode

Spearchucker sighting…his orange fishing hat is a fashion nightmare.  No wonder he was written off the show

Great exchange between Hawkeye and Henry about Yung Hi’s slavery.  There is real tension when Hawkeye storms out of the tent.

Baker refers to Yung Hi as a “gook” which infuriates Hawkeye.

Virginia Lee and Craig Jue are outstanding as siblings Yung Hi and Benny, respectively.  Their humor makes an otherwise touchy subject less offensive

The incidental music has a decided Asian twang to it

Yung Hi has fillings in her teeth – not likely a poor Korean villager would have these

Radar’s telescope view always shows a person wearing a green long sleeve uniform, even when Baker is in short sleeves

Dead End Kids:  movie characters from 1930′s and 1940′s.  They were a petty gang of street urchins in the slums of New York City






Chief Surgeon Who? (1×04)

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Season 1, Episode 4

Broadcast 10/8/1972

Written by:  Larry Gelbart

Directed by:  E.W. Swackhamer



During a typically busy OR session, the doctors tend to rely on Hawkeye’s advice which infuriates Frank.  Hawkeye accuses Frank of being a year behind in his medical journals.

As usual, Frank wants to press charges and brings a laundry list for Henry’s review.  Frank is upset Hawkeye answers every question and calls every shot.  Frank thinks his rank, $35,000 house and 2 cars makes him the superior surgeon.  Henry decides to appoint a chief surgeon and names Hawkeye to the post.  Furious, Frank leaves and begins to compose a letter of complaint (with Margaret’s help) to General Barker.

A party for Hawkeye’s appointment is held in the mess tent and the guest of honor arrives like royalty, as Radar showers his path with confetti.

Having broken the typewriter during some amorous activity, the majors retreat to Henry’s office to surreptitiously telephone General Barker and insist he arrive at once to see this new chief surgeon.

Using another plot line from the M*A*S*H novel, the general arrives and is told by Frank and Margaret there is a wounded patient waiting for surgery and the chief surgeon is too busy playing poker.  Hawkeye has legitimate reasons for delaying the surgery, but instead gives Barker a good dressing down.

Barker storms off to Henry’s office but finds only Radar, who is enjoying the Colonel’s brandy and cigars.  Barker then runs into Corporal Klinger (Jamie Farr’s debut) pulling guard duty wearing a nurse’s dress uniform.

Surgery is finally ready and Barker scrubs in.  Hawkeye leads the session and schools the General, earning respect and confirmation as chief surgeon.

During the next OR session, Frank has come to grips with Hawkeye’s promotion and asks for Pierce’s help on a tricky procedure.




Hawkeye:  Swill gin?  Sir, I have sipped, lapped and taken gin intravenously but I have never swilled!


Frank:  I was in practice three years and I already had a $35,000 house and two cars.


Frank: Will you shut up, Pierce?

Hawkeye:  How would you like a spleen across the mouth?

Margaret:  Gentlemen, you’re doctors, remember?

Hawkeye:  Yeah, I’ve seen better surgeons operating on trees.


P.A. ANNOUNCEMENT:  Tonight’s movie is moved to tomorrow.  It’s the latest war department film on the dangers of VD.  Be sure to see it with someone you love!




Hawkeye credits Lorenzo Schwartz as the inventor of vermouth, when it was actually introduced by Italian merchant Antonio Benedetto Carpano in 1786

Margaret touches up her roots with peroxide, something she will be accused of (and deny) in “The Nurses” episode in season 5

Frank sends his domestic patients a form letter called “What’s Up Front, Doc?”  It starts, “Well, the fighting here goes on, but I must go along with MacArthur and agree that the beginning of the end is in sight.”

Frank says his house is $35,000.  The average house price in 1950 was $14,500 and the average car cost about $2,000.

Hawkeye helps Frank with his operation, but never changes his bloody gloves.  A major no no!

Spearchucker sighting!  He gets a few lines, but adds nothing to the episode, as usual.

Jamie Farr debuts as Corporal Klinger and is already bucking for a Section 8.

Sorrell Brooke, the future Boss Hogg of Hazzard County, reprises his role as General Barker.


The Pilot (1×01)

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Season 1, Episode 1

Broadcast 9/17/72

Written by:  Larry Gelbart

Directed by:  Gene Reynolds


Ah, the greatest series in TV history begins.  While more of a continuation of the M*A*S*H movie, early episodes relied on movie characterizations before finding their own way.

We start in the OR where Hawkeye is dictating a letter to his Dad, describing what the role of a M*A*S*H is.  The antagonism between Hawkeye/Trapper and Frank/Margaret is introduced within the first two minutes, setting the stage for three years worth of fireworks.  The banter in the OR leads to Frank Burns berating Hawkeye and Trapper for unbecoming behavior, which is dismissed sarcastically by the Captains.  Back at the Swamp, we are introduced to Ho-Jon (houseboy) and Spearchucker (surgeon.)  Mail arrives and Hawkeye learns his alma mater will accept Ho Jon as a student but $1000 is needed for tuition.  The idea for a raffle is conceived, with a weekend in Tokyo with a 4077 nurse as the prize.

Hawkeye and Trapper outline the plan to Colonel Henry Blake who wants to know what nurse is going to be raffled off.  Hawkeye suggests the beautiful Lt. Dish, a willowy blonde who he has a relationship (?) with.

While counting the raffle monies in the Swamp, Frank enters, accuses the Captains of turning the camp into a brothel, and proceeds to smash their still on the floor.  For this act of kindness, Frank gets a duffel bag pulled over his head and shoved out the door.  The Major complains to Henry, who withdraws the Tokyo passes and cancels the raffle, then admits he’s unhappy he would be in Seoul during the event!

Henry leaves for Seoul and Frank assumes command.  Before Henry’s chopper is out of sight, Frank’s order that confines everyone to duty in the admitting ward is read over the PA, therefore putting the kibosh on the raffle.  Later that evening, Hawkeye gets his revenge by injecting Frank with a sedative and wrapping him like a mummy.  Sedation is called for every hour on the hour!

With Frank incapacitated, the raffle is back on and the men are excited about winning Lt. Dish.  Meanwhile, Margaret telephones General Hammond about the raffle and searches for Frank, finally discovering him comatose in post-op.  Both Majors arrive at the raffle just as Hammond and Colonel Blake arrive at the 4077 (they must have had a tailwind) to confront Hawkeye and Trapper.  The winner of the (rigged) raffle is announced:  Father John P. Mulchahy!

Hammond wants Trapper and Hawkeye arrested, but wounded arrive, and after witnessing their surgical skills, decides to drop the charges.  The finest kind of ending to a frantic day.



Margaret:  “Everything under control?”

Hawkeye:  “Yeah, fine, but if you don’t move, I’m gonna have to cut around your B-cups”


Hawkeye:  “What do all these people want more than anything else?”

Trapper:  “To go home, or Tokyo, whichever comes first.”

Hawkeye:  (grinning) “What do they REALLY want?”

Trapper:  (smiling) “Sex!”

Hawkeye:  “Aaah…”

Trapper:  “Except for those baseball perverts!”


Frank:  “Since when are you interested in the Bible?”

Trapper:  “I peeked at the end, Frank.  The devil did it!”


Hawkeye:  “Frank’s gone over to the enemy.  They offered him $100 more per week and a royalty on bedpans.”


Hammond:  “Do I understand that the priest of this outfit has just won a weekend with a nurse in Tokyo?”

Hawkeye:  “It’s a prayer come true.”


(Margaret leads a still-wrapped Frank into the raffle)

Hawkeye:  “The mummy strikes!!”

Margaret:  “Those two!  They’re ruining this war…for all of us!!”



This is the only episode to open straight to first scene rather than opening theme.  The episode opens with a few quick shots of all the major players.  Radar is shown tossing a football when he hears choppers.  He stops, looks up, and the opening shot of the main titles is born.  The opening theme begins to play and the PA system orders teams to surgery.  The familiar scenes of Hawkeye and Trapper tending to the choppers’ wounded are extended and include dialogue.  Hawkeye’s closeup also includes Lt. Dish, who will be edited out of main titles starting next episode.

Margaret served with General Hammond at Fort Benning and we glimpse a quick scene of her in nurses whites

Father Mulchahy is played by George Morgan, has red hair like the book’s chaplain, and doesn’t have any lines, but gets a chance to gasp really loud!

Trapper has sideburns, parted hair and a red bathrobe like Hawkeye’s

The still smashed by Frank looks like a Civil War relic rather than the glass, modern version used later

G (stands for George) Wood plays General Hammond in the film M*A*S*H and in three TV episodes

The Ho Jon storyline where he leaves for Hawkeye’s college  is lifted from Richard Hooker’s M*A*S*H novel, but the raffle is a less “spiritual” way of raising the money!

The chopper taking Henry to Seoul looks much to modern for 1950 Korea.

Elmer Gantry:  1927 Sinclair Lewis novel about a false minister

The Mummy:  1932 horror film starring Boris Karloff

The epilogue is a roll-call of those assigned to the 4077, although 5 of the 12 characters will be phased out quickly (Hammond, Dish, Ho Jon, Spearchucker and Ginger.)

Ugly John, the chief anesthesiologist in the novel and movie, has a brief scene and the dentist, Painless Pole, is mentioned, but both of them will be phased out, too.