M*A*S*H (1976) – Mulcahy’s War, The Korean Surgeon, and Hawkeye Get Your Gun

Father Mulcahy (William Christopher) gets a moment or two to shine in Mulcahy’s War. Written by Charlie Hauck, this episode was first broadcast on 16 November, 1976. While Hawkeye (Alan Alda), B.J. (Mike Farrell) and Frank (Larry Linville) work on an injured corporal and his friend, Corporal Cupcake (a German Shephard) who set off a land mine so that his human friend wouldn’t, Mulcahy wrestles with the suspicion that he should go to the front and see what it is like if he is going to continue cancelling those who come into the surgery, injured, and not wanting to return to it.

Against Potter’s (Harry Morgan) orders, he jumps into a jeep with Radar (Gary Burghoff) in a desperate race to the front to get a patient that can’t be choppered out. Things get worse from there when the Father needs to perform emergency surgery on the soldier to keep him alive until he gets back to the 4077th.

It’s a solid story for Mulcahy, and watching Christopher and Burghoff together… they make a solid pairing, and it’s also great to see Mulcahy doing more. There’s also a great running gag with Radar believing that he is constantly interruptinbg the Father at prayer.

The Korean Doctor features another guest appearance by the wonderful Soon-Tek Oh. Written by Bill Idelson, this epidode was first broadcast on 23 November, 1976.

While Frank and Houlihan (Loretta Swit) keep her engagement storyline going, a Korean officer (Oh), who is also an American-trained doctor arrives with a number of injured, but instead of taking him as a prisoner of war once he’s in post-op, Hawk and B.J. wonder if they can get him appointed to staff instead.

Calling in some favors they get false papers created, and after a shave and a haircut, Dr. Syn Paik joins the 4077th, though Houlihan is suspicious. But when some North Korean imposters come in to steal supplies, Paik must decide what to do, especially when they take Frank with them.

Potter catches on, and has to place Paik under arrest, and Frank’s ceasless nattering causes his abductors to see him free, just so they can get away from him.

It’s a great episode, and rather poignant, considering how it plays out for Paik. He just wants to help out and do something he feels is right, and he is prevented by doing it, because he’s on what is deemed the wrong side.

Hawkeye Get Your Gun is the final episode for the week. Jay Folb, who served as Story Consultant, pens the teleplay for this episode from a story developed by Folb and Gene Reynolds, and it first hit the airwaves on 30 November, 1976.

After twenty-fout hours of meatball surgery, and Frank putting his foot in it constantly by commenting on how much older the colonel is than everyone else, Hawkeye and Potter head out to provide assistance at a Korean clinic. And much to Hawk’s chagrin, Potter orders him to be armed, as they take the supplies and their assistance to those who need it.

Heading back to camp they are exhausted, a little tipsy, and come under attack, where Potter orders Hawkeye to fire his gun, and the two confront Hawkeye’s pacificism wonderfully.

Back at the 4077th, Klinger (Jamie Farr) is still working on getting discharged, so he begins dressing as a gypsy, claiming his a king and must return to his people.

In terms of continuity, Potter continues his paintings of the staff, this week, working on Hawkeye.You can also see the other portraits hanging in his office.

Watch for the wonderful Mako to make an appearance as Major Choi!

This was a great episode and I loved seeing Hawkeye stick to his beliefs. I mean he’s not regular army, he was a drafted surgeon, and the thought of firing a gun goes against everything he practices medicine for. And I also loved seeing Potter and Hawkeye drunk together.

More next week!

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