M*A*S*H episode
“Out of Sight, Out of Mind”
MASH 5x4 Out of Sight Mind
B.J. and Radar help Hawkeye, who was temporarily blinded when a boiling furnace heater in the nurse's tent blows up in his face, around O.R. in the episode "Out of Sight, Out of Mind".
Season 5, Episode # 4
Number (#101) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Tom Sullivan
Judy Farrell
Enid Kent
Bobbie Mitchell
Dudley Knight
Kellye Nakahara
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: U-806
Writer(s) Ken Levine & David Isaacs
Director Gene Reynolds
Original airdate October 5, 1976
IMDb logo IMDB Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Episode chronology
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"Margaret's Engagement" (U‑803) "Lt. Radar O'Reilly" (U‑805)

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(broadcast order)

"Lt. Radar O'Reilly" (U‑805) "The General's Practitioner" (U‑807)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 5 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes


Out of Sight, Out of Mind was the 101st episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, and, also the fourth episode of the Season 5 of the series. Written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs, and directed by Gene Reynolds, it first aired on October 5, 1976.


Hawkeye is temporarily blinded while trying to fix the nurses' gas furnace, and Frank finds a sure-fire way to win bets on baseball games.

Full episode summaryEdit

In the middle of night, some of the nurses come to ask Hawkeye for help re-lighting their gas stove: it's gone out, leaving the nurses' tent without any heat. Hawkeye lights a match, causing a small explosion, which burns his face and blinds him. He staggers out onto the compound just as Col. PotterB.J., and Radar come to see what's happened. Potter recognizes what's happened, and orders Radar to get a nearby ophthalmologist, Major Overman, to the 4077th immediately. The doctor examines Hawkeye, and bandages him up. Hawkeye only has one question: is the blindness permanent? The doctor can't give him an answer, and says he'll be back in a week.

In the meantime, Hawkeye tries to adjust to his new condition. He bonds with a wounded solider who's been blinded in battle, gets Radar to read him his mail, short-sheets Frank's bed, has Klinger walk him to the latrine, and has Hot Lips walk him to the mess tent while singing "I'll Hear You In My Dreams". He notices that Frank is scamming some of the enlisted men, including Radar, betting on the outcome of a baseball game (Frank already knows the results of the game, having caught an early broadcast) and then cleaning up when they lose.

Later, he visits the blinded soldier before he ships out, offering moral support. He and B.J. have a conversation about what Hawkeye is going through, and Hawkeye reveals that he's going through something he didn't expect. Not being able to rely on his eyes, he feels like his other senses are heightened, and admits he's "never spent a more conscious day in my life". He visits the nurses' tent. Even though he can't see anything, Lieutenant Gage refuses to do what she'd normally do--get undressed--mostly because Hawkeye keeps goofing around while humming a slutty stripper-type tune.

The fun is interrupted when wounded arrive, and even though he can't operate, Hawkeye tries to help out. He helps B.J. when he smells something distinctive emanating from B.J.'s patient, leading to the discovery of a small wound.

Later, Hawkeye offers to help Radar get his money back. In the middle of the night he, B.J., Radar, and Klinger fake another game, and have it broadcast in the middle of the night so Frank, picking it up on his short-wave radio, thinks it's the real game. When the real game's score is announced later Frank claims it must be wrong because he heard the (faked) game earlier--tipping the camp off to his actions. Everyone furiously demands Frank refund their money.

The ophthalmologist returns, and takes off Hawkeye's bandages. The verdict? Hawkeye's sight has returned! He's relieved, of course, but also grateful for the chance to experience what life was like without having to rely on them.

Later, Hawkeye visits the nurses' tent again, with his eyes rebandaged. He claims he had a relapse and can't see again, and should be OK in a few days. The nurses allow him to sit down, where he explains they should not mind him and go about their regular business--including getting undressed. Suspicious, the nurses "cure" his relapse by tossing him a coffee mug. He catches it reflexively, and is soon hounded out of the tent by the nurses.

Fun factsEdit

During most of the episode, Alan Alda has a giant bandage over his eyes--an interesting visual "disruption" of what M*A*S*H viewers were used to. It's a constant, unspoken reminder that, for this episode at least, we're in very unfamiliar territory.

The character of the blinded soldier, Lt. Tom S. Straw, was played by actor Tom Sullivan, an American actor, singer, and writer who has been blind since shortly after birth.

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

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