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Of Moose and Men (TV series episode)

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M*A*S*H episode
“Of Moose and Men”
MASH-4x12-Of Moose and Men Zale with BJ in Mess Tent
B.J. tries to console a jilted by his wife Zale in "Of Moose and Men".
Season 4, Episode # 12
Number (#84) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Johnny Haymer
Tim O'Connor
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: G-503
Writer(s) Jay Folb
Director John Erman
Original airdate November 21, 1975
IMDb logo IMDB Of Moose and Men
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Dear Peggy" (G‑509) "Soldier Of The Month" (G‑514)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"It Happened One Night" (G‑502) "Welcome to Korea, Pt 1" (G‑504)

(production order)

(production order)

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

  

Of Moose and Men was the 84th episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, and, also the 12th episode of the fourth season of the series. Written by Jay Folb, and directed by John Erman, it first aired on November 21, 1975.

SynopsisEdit

Hawkeye saves the life of a colonel who wants him reprimanded for disrespect. B.J. tries to save the marriage of a friend who found out his wife is cheating on him, and Frank is paranoid that all Koreans are hiding or burying bombs.

Full episode summaryEdit

On their way back from a Korean village, Hawkeye and Frank’s jeep is stopped at a military police checkpoint, where Hawkeye accidentally splashed Colonel Spiker with mud, ruining his uniform. As Spiker barks about a lack of military courtesy, Hawkeye informs him of their long surgical duties patching up civilians and speeds off for home.

Back at camp, BJ comforts Zale, who is crushed after getting a letter from is wife telling him she had an affair. Zale’s wife – Hillda (with two L’s) – is sorry and BJ thinks Zale should give her another chance. Instead, the drunken Zale punches the mess tent stove, breaking his hand.

Hawkeye and Frank return to the 4077th, but now with two wounded, including the terse Colonel Spiker. Spiker, still fuming over Pierce, demands to have his surgery at the 121st Evac Hospital, but Potter nixes the request. Hawkeye ends up operating on Spiker, for he is badly wounded with shrapnel in his heart muscle.

Since Zale’s hand is busted, BJ offers to write a letter or response to Hillda. Zelmo dictates a poison pen missive, but BJ talks him into a more conciliatory message. As Zale lists all the things he’s done for his wife, BJ gets called away to the hospital.

Meanwhile, a paranoid Frank thinks all the local Koreans are infiltrators out to kill Americans, so along with Radar, he inspects four locals who work around camp. With his usual bluster, he gives the locals a once-over, issues regulations that won’t be followed, and orders security to be “tight as a drum”. He also ends up being a tiny pistol from a Korean vendor that's been turned into a cigar lighter.

Spiker is recovering in post-op, with Hawkeye pulling a bedside vigil to make sure the Colonel’s chest tubes are clear and he survives the night. Margaret is so impressed with his skillful work and dedication, she offers her hand and congratulates Hawkeye on his fine work, which he returns, naturally, with sexual innuendo.

Spiker awakens and is mortified to hear it was Pierce and not Colonel Potter who operated on him. He tells Potter this “goof-off” needs to be disciplined for his lack of respect, but Potter tears into him, telling Spiker he’d be a dead man if it weren’t for the surgical skills of Pierce. Spiker calls for Pierce, who arrives expecting the typical thanks and gratitude, but is shocked to hear Spiker tell him he’s letting him off the hook and won’t “lower the boom ” on him. Hawkeye reacts with exaggerated thank-yous and sarcastically clasps and kisses Spiker’s hand.

BJ, who has completed Zale’s letter, finds the sergeant in the company of his Korean “moose.” He subtly calls out Zale on his hypocrisy and has him sign the letter.

Frank’s paranoia rages on as he checks the Swamp for booby traps (including in his toothpaste). However, his suspicions may be confirmed when he sees two locals burying a large container just outside camp limits. Frank rounds up some enlisted men as a makeshift bomb squad and searches out the buried container. Fearing a powerful explosive, the container turns out to be a kimchi pot, one of millions buried all over Korea.

As the episode draws to a close, Hawkeye and B.J. take advantage of Frank's paranoia one last time, popping paper bags in the swamp while he's sleeping and causing him to fire his pistol/lighter in shock, allowing them to label him as "the fastest lighter in the west".

Research notes/Fun factsEdit

  • When Margaret wakes Hawkeye in Post-Op, she mentions that Lt. Snyder is the nurse on duty. The identity of this nurse is unknown.
  • Colonel Potter mentions he is 1/4 Cherokee.
  • Lois Foraker plays the nurse who tells Hawkeye that Spiker wants to see him. Despite the number of lines she has, the part is not credited.
  • Sgt. Zale finds out in a letter from home that his wife cheated on him with a neighbor. He's clearly upset that injures himself over it. Later we discover that he, himself, has been cheating with a Korean Moose. His excuse that it being okay for him to cheat but not for his wife to is that he's a man and that it's different from men. A similiar situation happened in "Life With Father" were Henry Blake, whose also cheating on his wife with other women, finds out in a letter that his wife has been cheaitng on him. This could be a reference to how men thought and established their superior status over their wives in the 50s and before.

Guests stars/Recurring castEdit

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