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Private Finance (TV series episode)

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M*A*S*H episode
“Private Finance”
Oksun Li Deneice Kumagai MASH
Oksun Li, played by actress Deneice Kumagai.
Season 8, Episode # 8
Number (#181) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Shizuko Hoshi
Denice Kumagai
Mark Kologi
Art Evans
*Joey DePinto
Phillip Simms
Mark Harrison
James Emery
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: S-605
Writer(s) Dennis Koenig
Director Charles S. Dubin
Original airdate November 5, 1979
IMDb logo IMDB Private Finance
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Nurse Doctor" (S‑608) "Mr. and Mrs. Who?" (S‑606)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"Period of Adjustment" (S‑604) "Mr. and Mrs. Who?" (S‑606)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 8 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

Private Finance is the eighth episode of the eighth season of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H; Directed by Charles S. Dubin, the episode was written by Dennis Koenig. W.C. Heinz, Richard Hooker, Ring Lardner, Jr., who all were co-writers for the 1970 M*A*S*H* film, who were uncredited, also contributed as writers on the episode, which originally aired on November 5, 1979.

SynopsisEdit

Klinger (Jamie Farr) offers financial help to a poor Korean girl, Oksun Li (Denice Kumagai), who he knows, only to have the offer mistaken as a proposal of prostitution by her angry mother (Shizuko Hoshi); Colonel Potter (Harry Morgan) and Margaret (Loretta Swit) try to help smooth things out between Klinger and the irate Mrs. Li, while Hawkeye struggles to keep his promise to a dead soldier named Corporal Eddie Hastings (Mark Kologi), who arrived as one of the wounded, leaves a windfall of ill-gotten gains behind which he wished to be sent to his parents in the States.

Full episode summaryEdit

Klinger has a drink at Rosie's Bar when he spots a local laundry girl named Oksun Li attempting to preposition a soldier for money. In an attempt to stop her from walking down that path, Klinger takes the girl away from the bar and asks why she is approaching the soldiers. Oksun Li reveals that she is desperate for money to try & move her mother away from the fighting, and the pittance they receive from washing clothes is not nearly enough to help. Klinger offers Oksun Li nearly all the money he is carrying to help her, but Mrs. Li arrives and (upon seeing this exchange) assumes Klinger is trying to "purchase" her daughter- and immediately tries to attack Klinger! The corporal escapes thanks to some incoming choppers.

Wounded have arrived, and one of the patients--Cpl. Eddie Hastings (Mark Kologi)--has an odd request: he demands that, before he goes in for surgery, Hawkeye promise that the contents of his money belt go to his parents if he doesn't make it. Hawkeye, concerned about the young man's injuries, doesn't really take him seriously, but Hastings insists. Hawkeye agrees.

During O.R., Hastings' injuries are so severe it requires both Hawkeye and B.J. work on him, all to no avail. Hastings dies on the table.

Afterwards, Klinger follows up with the doctors about Hastings. Hawkeye and B.J. are depressed over losing him, but they're snapped out of that when Klinger reveals Eddie had almost $9,000 in his belt--a veritable fortune, and all of it in American currency, not military scrip. Which probably means it was "earned" illegally.

Hawkeye can't believe that, since Hastings looked like a clean-cut, all-american boy. They decide to look into it with some of Hastings' comrades in Post Op. They're shocked to hear them ask, when told Hastings has died, "Oh yeah, who got him? Their side...or ours?"

The wounded soldiers confirm Hastings was actually a crook: cheating everyone he could right and left. And if you owed him money, he thought nothing of getting some local Korean leg-breakers to force you to cough up. One man admits that Hastings was actually decent when they met back in basic training, but fell in with a bad crowd and never looked back.

Now Hawkeye is stuck with what to do with the money: SRO is to return it to I-Corps, but Hawkeye wants to fulfill the promise he made and return the money to Hastings' parents. But since its such a huge wad of cash, he has to write a "carefully worded" letter to them, trying to explain it.

Meanwhile, Klinger is still trying to dodge the vindictive Mrs. Li (even returning to women's clothing briefly to avoid her). When the angry mother confronts him with a pitchfork inside the office, Colonel Potter intervenes. Finally, Oksun Li admits that Klinger actually stopped her from working at the bar and was only trying to help. Colonel Potter (and later Margaret) sympathize with the Li's plight and agree to try & find a way to help.

After a bunch of false starts, Hawkeye puts a letter together (carefully avoiding any major description of Hastings' money-making ventures), and he runs it by Father Mulcahy, who's impressed with the results.

A few weeks later, everyone is having a drink at the Officers Club. Hawkeye comes in with a letter from Hastings parents, who write that they heard about their son's activities in Korea, and are not interested in keeping the money. They return it to Hawkeye to give to someone there.

Hawkeye is frustrated, still stuck with the money, and not knowing what to do with. Col. Potter, Margaret, and Klinger realize that this is the ideal way to help the Li family, giving them enough money to travel south to Pusan and get away from the war. Both women are immensely thankful, with Mrs. Li even giving Klinger a brief kiss goodbye to show her appreciation.

With some money left over, Hawkeye, B.J., Winchester, and Klinger all argue over to give the rest of the money to. Hawkeye decides he'll split it up, giving a little bit to everyone. That makes everyone happy, and they toast a drink in Eddie's honor.

Fun FactsEdit

  • This episode also features credits that say "Also Starring Gary Burghoff as Radar."
  • Considering the episode's title, odd that the character that this show revolves around is Corporal Eddie Hastings, as opposed to Private Eddie Hastings.
  • In the syndicated edited version, the detailing of Hastings' crooked ways are edited out, so all you heard was "...then he started hanging around some of the crumbs of the outfit & next thing you know he was stealing from everyone blind..", which hardly seemed to justify his comrades' enmity. But the regular, unedited version of the episode gives you the whole story.
  • Accounting for inflation, the $8,873 would be $80,838.72 in 2017. This seems like a ridiculous amount, especially to be carrying around in a money belt in combat.

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

External linksEdit

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