M*A*S*H (1978) – Peace On Us, Lil, and Our Finest Hour Part 1

Bad news on the peace talks front leads Hawkeye (Alan Alda) to drastic action in Peace On Us. Written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs, this episode first aired on 25 September, 1978.

Along with that news, is the reveal that they’ve upped the number of rotation points that need to be earned before surgeons, and nurses can go home. Hawkeye, and the rest of the camp are pushed to the point of rebellion, all while Houlihan (Loretta Swit) deals with the breakdown of her marriage, and a life-changing decision. .

Hawkeye is sick of everything being drab green, and the war going on interminably. So he heads to interfere, and make his opinion heard at the peace talks, risking everything to do so, while those at the camp await his fate with bated breath.

When Hawkeye makes his voice heard, the camp celebrates in style!

It’s interesting to see how the characters will clash with one another, and get on one another’s nerves, but always unite in their efforts for each other.

And while it’s horrific that the war is going to continue, and some of those who were close to going home are stuck a little longer, the fact that they are in it together provides some comfort for them, and the viewers.

Lil was written by Sheldon Bull, and was first broadcast on 2 October, 1978.

When a female colonel, Lil (Carmen Mathews) shows up at the 4077th for a tour and an inspection, Potter (Harry Morgan) is delighted to be able to connect with a woman his own age, and he finds himself having a grand old time in her company, much to Radar’s (Gary Burghoff) chagrin, as he fears that the two are going too close, and that something romantic will happen between the two, jeopardizing Potter’s marriage.

While Potter acknowledges Radar’s worry, he’s dedicated to his wife, but what about Lil and her intentions and feelings?

While in the camp, Lil and Houlihan have a chat together about careers and love, which inspires both of them, and is a really nice moment.

Meanwhile, Hawkeye and B.J. (Mike Farrell) are having some trouble, as B.J. won’t tell Hawk what his initials stand for, and Hawkeye, no matter what strings and favors he pulls, can’t seem to find out what it is.

It’s a really good episode, and it’s wonderful to see one with Potter in the limelight, and dealing with love, life, war, and connection.

Our Finest Hour is a clip show spread over an hour which features segments from all the seasons to date, which means we get glimpses of cast members who have left the series, and great moments, laughs, and tears that have comprised the series.

There’s not much in the way of a storyline for this episode, but it features segments written by Ken Levine, David Isaacs, Larry Balmagia, Ronny Graham, and David Lawrence, and had an original airdate of 9 October, 1978.

It’s shot in black and white to look like a movie-tone newsreel with interviews featuring the surgeon, nurses and staff of the 4077th, which spin off into clips to highlight their comments. Consequently, it’s a great opportunity to showcase some of the best writing and moments of the series to date.

It shows how the show has grown, changed, developed, and stayed fresh with the introduction of new characters, while still being true to its heart, and telling human stories.

I’m not always a fan of clip shows, as it always seems like an easy way out for an episode, but I also really enjoy revisiting some of these moments, and getting caught up in the emotion of them again.

I’ll dig into the story’s conclusion next time, as I continue my time with the 4077th!

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