M*A*S*H episode
“Sons and Bowlers”
Season 10, Episode # 19
Number (#238) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Kellye Nakahara
Dick O'Neill
William Lucking
Roger Hampton
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: 1G16
Writer(s) Elias Davis and David Pollock
Director Hy Averback
Original airdate March 22, 1982
IMDb logo IMDB Sons and Bowlers
Episode chronology
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Sons and Bowlers was the 19th episode of Season 10 of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 238th overall series episode. Written by Elias Davis and David Pollock and directed by Hy Averback, it originally aired on March 22, 1982.


Colonel Potter and B.J. head a bowling team that plays in a championship match against the Marines. Meanwhile Hawkeye learns his father is having an operation back home and, feeling helpless, confides in Charles.

Full episode summaryEdit

The Marines are celebrating yet another victory over the 4077th, this time at softball, drinking heavily at the O Club, all on the 4077th's dime.

Col. Potter is sick of constantly losing to the Marines, and gets the idea to try another sport, one he thinks they can win at--bowling. He quickly assembles a team of himself, Klinger, and B.J., and starts a search for a fourth player. While Klinger is on the phone searching for the proper equipment, he hands a recently-arrived letter for Hawkeye. Hawkeye reads it then and there, and looks concerned. After Klinger leaves, Hawkeye picks up the phone and tries to place a call to his father back in Maine.

Getting a call through is a huge, complicated, frustrating process, so Hawkeye has to practically scream at the top of his lungs to be heard. Winchester, next door in Post Op, comes in and asks him to quiet down. Hawkeye brushes him off, and resumes his call within earshot of Winchester, who then turns on his heel and stays with Hawkeye, talking with him about what's going on--Hawkeye's father is going in for surgery, and even though his father doesn't say what it is, Hawkeye feels its serious.

Hawkeye eventually learns that, during a test (an IVP ),  his father has a mass pushing against his kidney (a pheochromocytoma , and by the time he gets a second call through his father has already gone in for surgery.

Hawkeye and Winchester, having nothing to do but wait, sit and talk about their fathers. Hawkeye expects the worst, and can't stand the idea his father would die without him having one last chance to tell his father how much he loves him.

Winchester tells Hawkeye that he should feel lucky that its only geographic distance keeping them apart--he and his father "have been 12,000 miles apart in the same room." He compares their respective relationships and says that, while he knows his father only wanted the best for him, while he has a Father, Hawkeye has a Dad.

Wounded arrive, and Hawkeye tries to take his mind off his worries and volunteers to play on the bowling team. But after only a few frames (in which he bowls well) another call from home comes in and he has to beg off. Hawkeye finally gets the chance to talk to his Dad, and everything went perfectly. Hawkeye is overjoyed, gently scolding his Dad for not telling him about all this earlier, but then tells him just to get some rest. Hawkeye hangs up, his eyes tearing up from happiness.

Later, in the O Club, the 4077th is celebrating their first win against the Marines (with the last-minute help of Margaret), and Hawkeye buys Winchester their first round. They share a toast to "Fathers...and their sons."

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

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