M*A*S*H episode
“Major Ego”
Major ego
Winchester has called in Captain Greenleigh, a journalist from Stars and Stripes, to cover his surgical prowess. Unfortunately, he seems to be more interested in Margaret.
Season 7, Episode # 9
Number (#156) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Enid Kent
Phyllis Katz
David Dean
Patricia Stevens
Frank Pettinger
Roy Goldman
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: T-412
Writer(s) Larry Balmagia
Director Alan Alda
Original airdate November 6, 1978
IMDb logo IMDB Major Ego
Episode chronology
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"They Call the Wind Korea" (T‑407) "Baby, It’s Cold Outside" (T‑403)

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"Out of Gas" (T‑411) "Dear Comrade" (T‑413)

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Season 7 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

Major Ego was the ninth episode of Season 7 of the M*A*S*H TV series, also the 156th overall series episode. The episode, which was written by Larry Balmagia, was directed by Alan Alda. The episode originally aired on CBS-TV on November 6, 1978.


Major Winchester lets his surgical prowess go to his head when a Stars and Stripes journalist comes to interview him. But the journalist is more interested in making moves on Margaret than getting the story.

Detailed episode summaryEdit

During a session in OR, Winchester pulls off an extraordinary feat of surgical prowess, bringing a solider back to life when it seemed all but certain he was dead. Everyone else congratulates him, but Winchester acts unusually humble.

But we soon see it's just an act: Winchester actually called Stars and Stripes, calling in a story about himself.

Stars and Stripes sends a reporter, Capt. Tom Greenleigh (Greg Mullavey), to interview Winchester about the story. Winchester takes his as his cue to regale the reporter with his life story, starting all the way back to his childhood.

Greenleigh tries to gently suggest that they only have room for the facts of the case, but Winchester either can't or won't get the hint, and continues to go on and on about himself.

In OR, Winchester is so busy trying to impress Greenleigh that he shows off, but Greenleigh seems to only have time for Margaret. Margaret, mad at her soon-to-be ex-husband Donald Penobscott for tying up their joint savings account, lashes out at Greenleigh's less-than-subtle advances.

Winchester, so desperate to keep Greenleigh's attention, slips up during a difficult chest case. Hawkeye takes notice of the patient's slow recovery in Post Op, and tries to get Winchester's attention over it. Winchester ignores him, treating Hawkeye like a neophyte.

Hawkeye presses, and when Winchester suggests it's because Hawkeye wants some of the spotlight, too, he has to restrain himself from knocking Winchester's block off.

In the O Club, Margaret, lonely and a little drunk, finally gives Greenleigh the time of day, inviting him back to her tent. Greenleigh is thrilled, to say the least.

Later that night, as Winchester's patient deteriorates, Hawkeye takes it upon himself to open him back up. During the procedure, Winchester storms in, enraged at Hawkeye for his effrontery. But when Winchester sees that Hawkeye was right--he did indeed miss a bleeder--he realizes just how that happened.

Just before Greenleigh leaves, he runs over the details of the story with Winchester, painting him as a heroic, life-saving performer of miracles. Winchester, ashamed, tears up the article, saying he refuses to let a lie like that be printed in the newspaper.

Hawkeye, seeing all this, congratulates Winchester for coming through when it counted.

Later, Winchester and Margaret compare notes on Greenleigh and his "style", although Winchester doesn't realize it, wondering "Are we talking about the same thing?" Margaret assures him, "Oh, I'm sure we're not."

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

External linksEdit