M*A*S*H episode
“Mail Call Three”
MASH episode 6x21 - Mail Call Three
Klinger, hurt and angry that wife Laverne has found another man and wants a divorce, tells Potter, interrupting a movie showing in the mess tent in the episode "Mail Call Three".
Season 6, Episode # 21
Number (#143) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Oliver Clark
Oliver J. Grapes
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: Y-121
Writer(s) Everett Greenbaum & Jim Fritzell
Director Charles S. Dubin
Original airdate February 6, 1978
IMDb logo IMDB Mail Call Three
Episode chronology
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"What's Up, Doc?" (Y‑119) "Temporary Duty" (Y‑125)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"Potter's Retirement" (Y‑120) "Dr. Winchester and Mr. Hyde" (Y‑122)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 6 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

Mail Call Three was the 143rd overall episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 21st episode of Season 6 of the series. Written by Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell and directed by Charles S. Dubin, it originally aired on February 6, 1978.

Plot synopsisEdit

After three weeks, a load of mail arrives for the staff members: Radar discovers his mother now has a new boyfriend, Colonel Potter receives new snapshots of his grandson Cory, Klinger learns his wife fell in love with another man and wants a divorce, B.J. finds out a neighbor has been hitting on Peg, and Hawkeye has been receiving love-letters meant for different Benjamin Pierce.

Full episode summaryEdit

It's Mail Call again, and everyone is dying to see if they got anything--none more than Klinger, who hasn't heard from his wife Laverne in months, and he's clearly worried about the state of his marriage.

Hawkeye gets a letter from a woman, except that it's addressed to another Benjamin Pierce. And we learn that this isn't the first time it's happened--apparently this other Benjamin Pierce is quite the lothario, judging by all the passionate letters "he" receives.

B.J. gets a letter from Peg, where she mentions a neighbor made a pass at her, which she laughed off. Hawkeye tries to assure B.J. that Peg can handle it, but B.J. is angered all over again that he's away from his family.

Radar gets a letter from his mother, mentioning that she is dating again. Radar is confused and stunned at the news, even after Col. Potter tries to tell him that it'll be good for her, since, as he notes, "The poor woman's been alone a long time."

At that night's movie, Klinger's bad mood spills over, and when everyone thinks he's pulling another fast one, he tears off his dress in anger and tells everyone that Laverne stole all his allotment checks, and now has run off with another guy. He storms out of the tent, leaving everyone stunned. Except for Winchester, who is only interested in seeing the rest of the movie.

Potter comforts Klinger in his office, willing to place a call to Laverne back in Ohio, but Klinger can't bring himself to do it. He wants a discharge, something Potter just can't do.

Later that night, Klinger decides to go AWOL, and asks Father Mulcahy for a loan. Mulcahy gives him the money, but demands Klinger not go AWOL, threatening to tell Potter if he does. Klinger says he won't go anywhere, and takes Mulcahy's advice to sleep on it.

Radar turns to Hawkeye for advice about his mother and her new boyfriend, and Hawkeye shares a story from his past about how his father dated a woman after Hawkeye's mother passed away. Hawkeye's father wanted his son to like this woman, but he refused. Hawkeye observes that "He didn't marry her--and he's alone to this day. And loneliness is everything it's cracked up to be." Radar calms down a bit, agreeing to give his mother some space, offering up the idea that maybe his mother could be introduced to Hawkeye's father.

B.J., in the middle of the night, is so scared that his wife no longer needs him that he asks Radar to place a call to Peg. Radar tries to say no, but he finally relents. At the same time, Father Mulcahy tells Potter what has happened with Klinger, seeing that Klinger has in fact left camp. They head to Radar's office to try and track Klinger down, only to find B.J. tying up the phone lines. B.J. gets some reassuring words from Peg, and then Potter and Radar try and track down Klinger, asking any MPs who find Klinger not to arrest him, just bring him back to the 4077th.

The next morning, the "other" Captain Pierce arrives to pick up his mail, carrying with him mail meant for Hawkeye. The other Pierce isn't happy to see Hawkeye opened all his mail, and insists that he's not even interested in all these women, but they won't leave him alone. Hawkeye and B.J. demand to know how he "does it"--i.e., get the women to go crazy for him? He says it's because he's very funny, a fact not in evidence from his humorless, awkward demeanor. He says he makes the women laugh, leaving Hawkeye and B.J. confused and in disbelief.

Klinger returns to the 4077th, admitting that, just before he was about to stow away on a plane headed out of Korea, he realized he was doing the wrong thing, and came home. Potter was mad, but now he's just happy to have Klinger back. Klinger declares that he will only leave the Army the honorable way--"with a Section 8!"

Recurring cast/GuestsEdit

External linksEdit

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