Season 1, Episode 11
Written by: Larry Gelbart
Directed by: Terry Becker
WHAT EPISODE IS THIS?
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.
TRIVIA & OBSERVATIONS
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.