Thursday, March 12, 2009

Episode 12 - Dear Dad

Season 1, Episode 11: Dear Dad
Original Air Date: 12/17/72
Written by: Larry Gelbart
Directed by: Gene Reynolds

This episode opens with Hawkeye writing a letter to his Dad, as Christmas approaches at the 4077th.

There's no big storyline threading through this episode--rather, its a series of smaller scenes that Hawkeye describes to his Dad.

We see Trapper and Ginger Bayliss as they help dispense medicine (and lollipops) to local kids, a date between Frank and Hot Lips ruined by a series of escalating practical jokes pulled on them by Hawkeye and Trapper,
Henry gives the camp a lecture on sex, and a run-in between Klinger and Frank, which leads to Klinger decking him, and then returning with a grenade to blow them both up! Thankfully, Father Mulcahy intervenes and talks Klinger out of it.

Lastly, just as Hawkeye (dressed as Santa) is about to entertain some visiting Korean children, an emergency at the front pops up--a wounded solider requiring emergency surgery!

Hawkeye, still dressed as Santa, hops in a chopper and lands in the middle of a battle, to perform the most amazing house call of all time.

The episode ends with Hawkeye signing off, and reintroducing everyone at the 4077th one more time.

Comments: This is the first episode in the "Dear...." format, where a character will narrate the entire episode as they dictate a letter to someone back home.

Every single character in the series (in addition to Sidney Freedman and even an undercover North Korean spy) would get at least one episode to themselves doing this, except for Hot Lips and Frank. My imagination reels at the thought of an entire M*A*S*H episode narrated by Frank Burns.

Favorite Line: This early on, the show is still using the P.A. Announcer (who we never see) as a way to add random jokes, like when he reads off the list of men who "Have volunteered for the 10-mile physical fitness hike:"
Dead silence.


Anonymous said...

I, too, always wanted a "Dear..." episode narrated by Frank or Margaret. The closest we ever got to a Frank POV episode was Hawkeye's Court Martial in season 4, remember?

And the PA guy always threw me, since it really should have been Radar, but definitely wasn't. I remember reading that the voice was supplied by the actor who ended up playing (Father) Tim on SOAP. I don't remember his name right now, but it was definitely him.

Jim @ said...

M*A*S*H was one of my favorites. Monday nights I think. I was sad when the series came to an end. Interesting about the Dear format of the shows, not sure I was aware of that.

And yeah, why wasn't Radar on the loud speaker?

Albert Giesbrecht said...

Radar was a Corporal, so one of his duties was to order the Privates to do the announcements, with the exception of Klinger who was also a Corporal at that time.

Anonymous said...

One of the worst episode MASH epsiodes-in december 1950 the Front line was at the Chosin Resorevor near the Chinese Border-not near the 38th PArrallel! Also they keep showing this epsiode again and again-even when Odessa Cleveland left the Show!

Anonymous said...

The scene between Father Mulcahy and Klinger is one of my favorites! Of coarse both would morph into regular parts which makes it nice in hindsight,,,but just Mulcahy's "He's tired, we're all tired.",,,mulcahy read's it so well

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