M*A*S*H episode
“Stars and Stripes”
SSN08 183stars
Charles and B.J. begin to clash over writing of an article they're assigned write for "Stars and Stripes" in the so titled Season 7 M*A*S*H episode.
Season 8, Episode # 14
Number (#187) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Joshua Bryant
Jeff Maxwell
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: S-615
Writer(s) Dennis Koenig
Director Harry Morgan
Original airdate December 17, 1979
IMDb logo IMDB Stars and Stripes
Episode chronology
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"Captains Outrageous" (S‑614) "Yessir, That's Our Baby" (S‑617)

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"Captains Outrageous" (S‑614) "Heal Thyself" (S‑616)

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

Stars and Stripes is the fourteenth episode of the eighth season of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, as well as the 187th overall series episode. Directed by cast member Harry Morgan, the episode was written by Dennis Koenig; it originally aired on December 17, 1979.

Plot synopsisEdit

Major Houlihan finds that an old lover, Sergeant Scully, has been demoted to Private for misconduct, while Major Winchester and B.J. have to collaborate on a medical journal article about an operation they performed. Friction occurs when Winchester and B.J. are asked to write the article for the prestigious journal. Meanwhile, Margaret discovers more about herself through her visit from Scully.

Full episode summaryEdit

With no wounded to care for, everyone at the 4077th is bored to tears. But at least two of the staff have something to do--B.J. and Winchester have been asked to write a paper for the American College of Surgeons, after the successful recuperation of a patient they both worked on several weeks ago.

Everyone is impressed, none more so than Winchester himself, who takes this event as an opportunity to talk about himself in the most glowing of terms. This leads B.J. is fight for his own turf, and their attempt at writing the paper quickly devolves into an argument, each doctor refusing to budge.

With Hawkeye excluded, he's even more bored than usual. He's thrilled when Scully arrives back in camp, but Scully has to remind Hawkeye that, as entertaining as Hawkeye might be, he's here to visit Margaret. Hawkeye is aghast: "You'd rather spend time with a voluptuous blonde than a pale, skinny brunette?"

Margaret is happy to see Scully, but is dismayed to learn he's been demoted from Sergeant all the way to Private for insubordination. He feels it's no big deal, saying rank doesn't matter because the men still listen to him. Margaret is aghast, especially when Scully reveals his lack of respect for Margaret's rank, insisting that she "Gets to boss around a bunch of women", somehow insisting she's not a real Major. Margaret protests, and Scully storms out.

After a talk with Hawkeye, Margaret decides to try again with Scully. She has Klinger help her tailor a dress--a very feminine, puffy pink outfit--and she's wearing it in her tent when she has Scully visit her, on Klinger's orders (Scully's a lowly Private--at the moment). At first, Scully loves it, but within a few minutes their inherent differences come to the surface. Scully starts treating Margaret like a handmaiden, asking her to cook him an omelet and promising that after a romp with him in the sack she'll be a new woman.

They both realize that, as a couple, they just aren't compatible--Scully wants to be in charge, no questions asked, and can't abide a woman as strong and independent as Margaret. They decide to end their relationship, such as it is, and Scully heads back to his unit.

Meanwhile, the fights between Winchester and B.J. get so bad they decide to write their own papers and let Col. Potter decide which of them is the most accurate. When Potter gets wind of this, he sits them both down and reads them the riot act, reminding them both that it was a group effort--the other doctors, the nurses, the staff at Walter Reed--that helped pull the young man through. B.J. and Winchester, humbled, decide to rewrite the paper, crediting it to the entire staff of the 4077th.

Later, Margaret meets Hawkeye again in the O Club for some drinks, and she tells him Scully is gone for good. She talks about the kind of man she wants to meet, who is 20% her father, 10% Scully, 10% Hawkeye, 3% Frank Burns, and 2% her ex-husband. She then reconsiders and says, "...1% of my ex-husband."

Hawkeye tries to cheer Margaret up over a game of Scrabble, realizing they're two people "looking for an exact fit in an off-the-rack world."

Recurring cast/Guest starsEdit