Hawkeye and B.J. treat the British officer Lieutenant Chivers for an ingrown toenail, in exchange for two bottles of Scotch in "Hey, Doc".
| Season 4, Episode # 6 |
Number (#78) in series (256 episodes)
|Guest star(s)||Jamie Farr |
|Original airdate||October 10, 1975|
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|"The Late Captain Pierce" (G‑507)||"The Bus" (G‑512)|
|"Dear Peggy" (G‑509)||"The Kids" (G‑511)|
Hawkeye and B.J. agree to help a colleague trying to start a Korean restaurant when he gets home. But Frank refuses to cooperate--until he is involved in a ridiculous tank accident.
Full episode summaryEdit
Another full, rich day: a variety of maladies are presented to Hawkeye and BJ. First up is the departing motor pool sergeant, Kimble, who asks for a special favor. He is taking a lot of stuff home to open a restaurant (Kimble’s Korean Kafe) and he wants the doctors to sign a form stating he has an inner ear disorder so he can return to the States by ship. Three signatures are needed and the captains laugh at the thought of Colonel Potter (too honest) or Major Burns (too mean) signing the form, but they pledge their help.
Sniper trouble causes Potter to phone HQ for help, who oblige by sending a British patrol. Once in the camp, the patrol commander, Lieutenant Chivers, approaches Hawkeye and B.J. for a medical favor. As the three of them retire to the lab, Chivers informs them that British commanders place a high priority on foot care and he has been careless enough to get an ingrown toenail--a condition which if discovered could lead to punishment or even withholding of promotion. The captains agree to fix the digit and guarantee it won’t appear on Chivers’s service record in return for two bottles of high-end scotch.
Another visitor arrives – Colonel Griswald, tank Commander, 1st Cavalry, has dropped by to visit his men. After some insincere platitudes to the wounded (he can’t even tell his people apart), Griswald asks Hawkeye for a special favor. He has a “delicate problem” and doesn’t want it on his service record. Seems the Colonel has been bitten by the love bug and has a case of “carnal flu”, as Hawkeye puts it.
The camp’s microscope has been stolen, so BJ pays Kimble, a master horse-trader, a visit. He offers Kimble a deal: guaranteed passage home by ship if he can get them a new microscope. Kimble is irate, admitting he went to great lengths to steal the one they had (!) But since BJ has him by the Eustachian tubes, he agrees to the deal.
Hawkeye gives Griswald a shot of penicillin and the Colonel is grateful Hawkeye will keep this unrecorded. He tells Hawkeye if he can do anything for him, let him know.
Hawkeye and BJ approach Frank to sign Kimble’s discharge form, but he refuses to falsify information, even if it means getting a new microscope. Chivers arrives to pay his bill in scotch, but unfortunately, both bottles are immediately murdered by snipers. Potter suggests the sight of a tank would help, so Hawkeye quickly calls Colonel Griswald. After some subtle blackmail, Griswald soon arrives back at the 4077th with “today’s cavalry” - a Sherman tank.
Frank and Margaret admire the new tank, and Frank brags he took a week’s worth of tank training at Fort Benning and was told he had the same killer instincts as Patton. To show off to Margaret, he takes the tank for a joyride, but he turns out to be as good a tank driver as surgeon, for he pulverizes the shower tent, the Swamp, and Colonel Potter’s jeep. After finally stopping the tank, Frank emerges and gets pelted by garbage from an angry mob.
When Potter demands an explanation from a dazed Frank, Hawkeye and BJ cover for him, then use this as blackmail to get their third signature for Kimble’s discharge.
Research notes/Fun factsEdit
- Colonel Griswold is with the 1st Cavalry Division--which includes the 1st cavalry Regiment Potter claims to have been a part of-yet he and Colonel Potter don't talk shop! Perhaps Potter never was in the 1st Cavalry Regiment--the 1st Cavalry never went to France in World War 1, only the 2nd Cavalry did. Or else Potter had left the cavalry (say to go to medical school?) by 1921 when the 1st Cavalry Division was raised.
- During the Korean War, the 1st Cavalry Division was organised as a regular infantry division, not an armored division. However it did have the 71st and later the 70th Heavy Tank battalion. Two companies of the 70th were equipped with the M4A3E8 Sherman tank with a long 76mm gun. The Sherman tank in this episode is an earlier M4A2 variant, with the shorter 75mm gun.
- Tribute to Korean War allies. Chivers introduces himself as coming from 29th Brigade. The 29th Independent Infantry Brigade comprised battalions from Britain and some other elements such as a Belgian battalion. It came under the command of I Corps which is also the parent unit of the 4077th MASH so it is plausible that Chivers would be sent to help the 4077th. The 29th Brigade distinguished itself especially during the Battle of the Imjin River (April 1951), where its stubborn resistance, notably by the Gloucestershire Regiment, blunted and eventually halted an offensive by numerically superior Chinese forces, saving Seoul from capture.
- Chivers' uniform is a mystery. He is not wearing the uniform of any regiment that came under the 29th Brigade in Korea. See his photos and more detailed discussion in the article Lieutenant Chivers.
- Frank's driving forces the nurses to run out of the shower clad only in towels! (Twice in M*A*S*H this running gag was repeated-once Major Houlihan was the victim!)
- Frank's drive really takes him around the camp. He does at least a 180 turn and then a 360 turn. See images in the gallery below.
- The part where Potter shots his "jeep" is apparently based on a World War II cartoon by Sgt Bill Mauldin!
- Col Griswald wears both his rank and Divisional insignia quite openly-something an experienced combat soldier never does in the front lines! Likewise army brat HOulihan wears her hair long-real servicewoman would have had their hair trimmed!
- The parts of MASH being under sniper fire is ridiculous -since MASH 4077 is stationed near Uijonbu-which was 20 miles south of the 38th Parrell/DMZ line!
Col. Griswald: "Civilians!!" as he casually drives off under sniper fire while Hawkeye and Mulcahany dive for cover
Guest stars/Recurring castEdit
- Frank Marth as Colonel Griswald
- Bruce Kirby as Sergeant Kimble
- William Christopher as Father Mulcahy
- Ted Hamilton as Lieutenant Chivers