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M*A*S*H episode
“Mail Call...Again”
MASH Episode -4x15 Mail Call Again
Radar delivers mail to the Swamp for Hawkeye and B.J. in scene from "Mail Call...Again" in Season 4 of M*A*S*H.
Season 4, Episode # 15
Number (#87) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s)
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: G-518
Writer(s) Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell
Director George Tyne
Original airdate December 9, 1975
IMDb logo IMDB Mail Call...Again
Episode chronology
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"The Gun" (G‑517) "The Price of Tomato Juice" (G‑519)

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"The Gun" (G‑517) "The Price of Tomato Juice" (G‑519)

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(production order)

Season 4 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

  

Mail Call...Again was the 87th episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, and, also the 15th episode of the fourth season of the series. Written by Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell, and directed by George Tyne, it first aired on December 9, 1975.

SynopsisEdit

Colonel Potter finds out that he's about to become a grandfather, and Major Burns learns that his wife knows about his affair with Margaret--and wants a divorce.

Full episode summaryEdit

It's Mail Call at the 4077th, bringing it with all kinds of news.

Col. Potter gets a letter from his son, telling him that soon he will be a grandfather. Potter is so delighted that he goes along with Radar's idea of having a baby pool, where people guess when the baby will be born.

Hot Lips gets a new nightie from Frederick's of Hollywood, paid for by Frank, which she figures ought to drive him crazy. But Frank gets a letter from his wife--which Radar "accidentally" read--saying she wants a divorce! Someone who was in Korea came back home, and told Mrs. Burns about Frank and Hot Lips' relationship.

Col. Potter has Radar call back home, trying to get news about his grandchild, but Frank asks to interrupt so he can talk to his wife.

Col. Potter agrees, and Frank calls his wife, being as oily and insincere as possible. He professes his love to his wife (while insulting Hot Lips' looks ["Army mule with bosoms"], which she overhears), but sneaks in a question about making sure he hasn't been removed from his father-in-law's will. Unbelievably, it works--at least until Hot Lips, enraged, nearly takes Frank's head off for his nasty comments regarding her looks. Frank tries to explain his actions to Margaret, even going so far as to suggest she put her new nightie, which she then throws at him.

Later, Hawkeye, B.J., Col. Potter, Klinger, Father Mulcahy, and Radar watch some home movies that Radar's family sent him of life back in Iowa. We see Radar's mother (played by Gary Burghoff himself, in drag), plus his Uncle Ed, and some others.

At the end, Radar's mother mouths "I love you, Walter" to the camera, nearly causing everyone watching to break out in tears.

The moment is interrupted by a call from Potter's son, telling him he now has a granddaughter! Her name is Sherry Pershing Potter. Father Mulcahy winds up the winner of the baby pool. Later, we see the doctors throw a celebratory party in The Swamp, where Klinger is modeling a new nightie he found in the garbage.

Fun factsEdit

Col. Potter's family is strangely inconsistent throughout the years. Here he has a son, but in later episodes he seems only to have a daughter. Also, this seems to be his first grandchild, but in later episodes, he has an older grandson (who he buys a "Shmoo" doll for).

Hawkeye spends some of the episode reading stories from his hometown newspaper aloud, including a bit about "shaving mugs", a line he seems to flub. But he keeps going, trying variations on the correct pluralization--"shavings mugs, shavings mug," etc.

Having Burghoff in drag play his mother seems an insane, cartoony idea, but it somehow works, and is even very touching. (This is the third member of the 4077th whose home life we got to see via home movies--the first being Henry, the second being Frank.)

This is the beginning of the break up between Burns and Houlihan, although it doesn't become final until Season 5, Episode 3 "Margaret's Engagement."

Guests stars/Recurring castEdit