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The Consultant (TV series episode)

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M*A*S*H episode
“The Consultant”
MASH Episode 3x7 Hawkeye on Trapper meet Borelli
Hawkeye and Trapper persuade Major Borelli, a civilian surgeon with an honorary Army rank, to stop by and visit the 4077th in "The Consultant".
Season 3, Episode # 17
Number (#65) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Jamie Farr
William Christopher
Johnny Haymer
Kellye Nakahara
Patricia Stevens
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: B-318
Writer(s) Larry Gelbart & Simon Munter
Director Alan Alda
Original airdate January 14, 1975
IMDb logo IMDB The Consultant
Episode chronology
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List of all M*A*S*H episodes

The Consultant was the 17th episode of Season 3 of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 65th overall series episode. Written by Robert Klane and directed by Larry Gelbart, it first aired on January 21, 1975.

SynopsisEdit

Dr. Borelli visits to demonstrate his artery transplant technique. Unfortunately, being so close to the front at the 4077th causes Borelli's drinking problem to interfere at the Worst time--when a patient needs the transplant.

Full episode summaryEdit

Hawkeye and Trapper are off to Tokyo for a medical conference, but golf and geisha take a higher priority. On the Ginza, they meet Major Anthony Borelli (Robert Alda), a civilian medical consultant with an honorary rank. Borelli is attending the conference and chides the captains when he learns they’ll be skipping the lectures to chase girls. Hawkeye and Trapper explain they work at a M*A*S*H unit where technique takes a back seat to speed of service. Borelli, who has never been to Korea, is invited to the 4077th by Hawkeye and skip the “cozy locker room” of Tokyo. Borelli declines, citing his experience with the front lines of World Wars One and Two.

Back at camp, Henry is relaxing in a makeshift swimming pool and is joined by Hawkeye and Trapper who proudly admit they skipped the conference. A lone chopper arrives, producing the Lone Rang…oops, Major Borelli, who obviously changed his mind. Borelli bunks in the Swamp and Hawkeye and Trapper are genuinely happy he’s chosen to witness the real action of the war. Wounded arrive and Borelli, not exactly comfortable with front-line conditions, watches the doctors in action. Frank is about to amputate a leg with serious arterial damage, but Borelli steps in and claims the leg can be saved with an artery transplant.

Radar tracks down an artery for grafting at a British unit sixteen miles away, so Hawkeye and Trapper go pick it up. Dr. Borelli is paged to perform the surgery, which the medical staff is eager to witness, but he remains holed up in the Swamp. Irritated by the senseless delay, Hawkeye confronts him and learns Borelli is too “soused” to operate. Borelli tells Hawkeye he is good enough to perform the operation and he’ll help guide him through it.

A large crowd watches Hawkeye successfully perform the arterial transplant under Borelli’s direction, but Hawkeye gives the Major the cold shoulder, still incensed the doctor would be too drunk to operate. The two men meet up afterwards in the Swamp, where Hawkeye chastises Borelli for excessive drinking (like he should talk!) Borelli admits the carnage of war got to him, but gently reminds the Captain he is the one with a still in his tent and wishes him luck on his third war.

Borelli departs via chopper, saying goodbye to Henry, Frank, Margaret and Trapper. Hawkeye is absent, but shows up at the last second and tips his hat to Borelli, effectively burying the hatchet with the man he realizes he could soon become.

Research notes/Fun factsEdit

  • There is an uncredited nurse with a speaking part towards the end of the episode. Hawkeye and Trapper are scrubbing for the operation. Trapper tells Radar to find out which nurse he has a date with that night and tell her he can't make it. The nurse who has been assisting Trapper by taking his coat says, "It was me." See gallery below.

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

GalleryEdit

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