|“An Eye For a Tooth”|
Father Mulcahy volunteers to help out Capt. Hill, a chopper pilot who usually travels with a dummy weight "Little Mac", by accompanying him into battle to pick up a wounded soldier in "An Eye For a Tooth" in Season 7.
| Season 7, Episode # 14 |
Number (#161) in series (256 episodes)
|Guest star(s)||Robert Palmer|
|Director||Charles S. Dubin|
|Original airdate||December 11, 1978|
|IMDB||An Eye For a Tooth|
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|"Out of Gas" (T‑411)||"Dear Sis" (T‑417)|
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An Eye For a Tooth was the 14h episode of Season 7 of the M*A*S*H TV series, also the 160th overall series episode. The episode, which was written by Ronny Graham, was directed by Charles S. Dubin. The episode originally aired on CBS-TV on December 11, 1978.
Winchester encourages Hawkeye, B.J. and Margaret to raise the stakes in their practical joke battle, and Father Mulcahy is desperate to receive a promotion.
Detailed episode summaryEdit
Most of the doctors are hung over from a party the night before--but Margaret is thrilled, because her attorney has gotten her soon-to-be ex-husband to release her half of their joint savings.
Father Mulcahy gets some bad news: he was passed over--again--for promotion. As Hawkeye and B.J. try to cheer him up, Margaret pulls a practical joke by overloading Hawkeye's coffee with sugar, which turns into a mini-food fight. Normally, she'd be mad at the silliness, but she's so happy about her good news that she doesn't care.
Wounded arrive, including a chopper which lands directly onto the compound. The chopper pilot, Toby Hill (Robert Palmer) explains that the wounded man he was carrying woke up mid-flight, delirious, and tried to climb off the stretcher. Had Hill stayed in the air a few seconds longer, he would've fallen to his death--hence the quick landing.
During surgery, Winchester stokes the fire, suggesting that Margaret get revenge for the glob of oatmeal Hawkeye flung at her in the Mess Tent. She initially brushes it off, but he keeps prodding, until finally she gets back at them--sending them gag letters, filled with powder which gets all over B.J.'s face, and an electrically-charged one, sort of a joy envelope buzzer. Hawkeye declares war.
But it's Winchester who takes it upon himself to get revenge for them. He rigs it so it looks like the pilot is asking Margaret out. When the gag is revealed, Margaret is embarrassed. She turns in anger towards Hawkeye and B.J., who are laughing hysterically. Winchester, for his part, has snuck out of the tent before the gag's payoff, escaping any blame.
Margaret gets them back by stealing their clothes out of the showers, causing Hawkeye and B.J. to run home naked, only to be greeted by Margaret and the nurses, armed with popcorn and magnifying glasses.
Meanwhile, Col. Potter's efforts to secure a promotion for Father Mulcahy result in failure. He ashamedly tells this to Mulcahy, who is philosophical about it, and a little embarrassed that he wanted something like a promotion so badly.
In the middle of the night, Hawkeye and B.J. (with the help of Winchester again) get Margaret back by sneaking in Toby's stuffed mascot chopper counterweight, Little Mac, into her locker. It falls on her in bed, causing her to scream in terror.
Hawkeye and B.J. come in to take credit, but Margaret isn't finding any of this funny anymore. In her rage, she rips apart Little Mac, turning him into a pile of stuffing. Winchester comes in later, supposedly to comfort her, but really to plan revenge. Margaret refuses, saying she wants this war to end, but Winchester insists this last attack must be answered.
The next morning, Winchester is giggling uncontrollably over the previous night's events. Margaret comes in, and is furious, saying that Hawkeye and B.J. upped the ante to "cruel." Her revenge? A letter to Peg, telling her about the "year-long love affair" between her and B.J., and that it was Hawkeye who brought them together.
Everyone is stunned--this has gotten out of hand. B.J. gets so mad that he physically attacks Margaret, leading Winchester in a panic to admit the whole thing--all the jokes--were his idea. He apologizes profusely, then realizes that this whole thing was, itself, a practical joke played on him by the other three--overnight, they compared notes and realized it was Winchester setting them all up the whole time.
Father Mulcahy helps out the chopper pilot by serving as his chopper's counterweight to pick up a wounded soldier, now that Little Mac is out of commission. Hill refuses, but Mulcahy insists, and gets to go along.
Later, Hill returns with the wounded man, and a discombobulated Mulcahy. Potter is mad at first, but then says he fully intends to put Mulcahy up for promotion the next time around, and this time, it's going to go through.
Research notes/Fun factsEdit
- The plot involving the practical jokes was apparently based on a real-life spate of them between David Ogden Stiers, Mike Farrell, and Alan Alda.
- The party everyone participated in the night before is announced over the P.A. celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Officers Club. Since the O Club was introduced in Season Two's "Officers Only", that means only a year has transpired between Season Two and Season Seven.
- Toby Hill had to put down his helicopter in the camp compound next to the mess tent because he was in a great hurry. However, if you look carefully at his flight path, he had actually overflown the chopper pad before getting to the mess tent, so he could just as easily have used the regular chopper pad--unless, of course, it was already occupied by other choppers.
- Margaret gathers the nurses in the Swamp to wait for the captains who were forced to run from the showers without their clothes. This is a good opportunity to spot for extras who play nurses. Kellye is definitely there, and possibly Jan Jorden by the door.
- Gary Burghoff does not appear in this episode.
Guest stars/Recurring castEdit
- Robert Palmer as Captain Toby Hill
- Uncredited appearances: