M*A*S*H episode
“The Grim Reaper”
Hawk pushes Colonel Bloodworth
Upset at and disliking of Col. Bloodworth of his enjoyment of his job of tallying casualty statistics, pushes him in the "O" Club in "The Grim Reaper" episode in Season 6.
Season 6, Episode # 12
Number (#134) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Charles Aidman
Jerry Houser
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: Y-110
Writer(s) Ken Levine & David Isaacs
Director Don Weis
Original airdate November 29, 1977
IMDb logo IMDB The Grim Reaper
Episode chronology
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"The M*A*S*H Olympics" (Y‑111) "Comrades in Arms: Part 1" (Y‑116)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"Tea and Empathy" (Y‑109) "The M*A*S*H Olympics" (Y‑111)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 6 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

The Grim Reaper was the 134th episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H. The episode, which was the 12th episode of Season 6, was written by Ken Levine and David Issacs and directed by Don Weis. It originally aired on November 29, 1977.


Hawkeye is furious with a colonel, aptly named Colonel Bloodworth, who seems to actually enjoy predicting casualties, until he becomes one himself, after he pursued pressing military charges against an angry Hawkeye, who, when he confronted him at the Officer's Club days before, grabbed and pushed him.

Full episode summaryEdit

Col. Potter, Hawkeye, and B.J. are in Potter's office listening to a report by the appropriately-named Col. Bloodworth (Charles Aidman), who is telling them of an impending assault on a hill, and exactly how many casualties it will result in.

Hawkeye and B.J. find it difficult not to interrupt and mock Bloodworth, because of his casualness over how many young men will be killed, just to get a hill, "Because the other side has it."

Potter tells them to quite down, but Hawkeye just can't contain himself. He belittles Bloodworth, and the meeting ends abruptly when Bloodworth has had enough.

Later that day, the promised wounded arrive, but its 77 short of the total Bloodworth promised. Hawkeye heads off to the Officers Club to gloat, but it turns ugly when, after the P.A. announces more wounded are coming, Bloodworth smugly promises that's the remaining 77 soldiers. Hawkeye wonders if Bloodworth shot them himself, and gets so worked up he grabs the Colonel and throws him against a wall. Other members of the 4077 separate them, and Hawkeye walks out.

Bloodworth brings Hawkeye up on charges, which Potter, after yelling at Hawkeye for pushing Bloodworth around, says he'll try and head off.

Meanwhile, Klinger is happy to talk to one of the wounded, a Private Danker (Jerry Hauser), who is from Toledo and knows all the same haunts as Klinger, like the local dance hall and Tony Packo's.

Potter meets with Bloodworth, asking him to drop the charges. Bloodworth refuses, and throws in an insult to Potter for "coddling" his doctors in the process. He drives off, leaving Potter saying, "Pierce shouldn't have pushed you--he should have decked you!"

Later that night, more wounded arrive, one of whom is Bloodworth. In O.R., he lies on a table, watching Hawkeye operate on a patient. He sees Hawkeye stay calm and cool as blood shoots out of his patient's wound, hitting Hawkeye right in the face.

Near morning, Bloodworth asks to speak to Hawkeye. He tells Hawkeye that he watched him perform as a doctor, and was deeply impressed. He also realized how callous he was about death, and how scared he was when he thought he was the one who was about to die. Bloodworth informs Hawkeye that "a push in a bar" doesn't add up to all that, and the charges are dropped.

A few days later, Klinger shares a package from Tony Packo's, sent to him by Private Danker, with Hawkeye and B.J. They at first refuse to share with Winchester (as revenge for him not sharing food he had sent to him from home), but eventually let him pull up a chair and enjoy.

Research notes/Fun factsEdit

  • Klinger and Private Danker talk about several places which actually exist in Toledo.
    • The Trianon Ballroom was opened in 1925. It was demolished in 1954 but was still around, though probably in decline at the time Klinger and Danker were discussing it.
    • Tony Packo's Cafe, also mentioned in other episodes, opened in 1932 and still exists.
  • Col. Potter is reading a western called "Ride the Man Down" which he says is by Zane Grey. The book's author is actually Frederick D. Glidden better known by the pseudonym Luke Short. "Ride the Man Down" is copyrighted 1942, and the copy that Potter is holding is either one of the 3 Bantam reprints of 1947 (#82), or the 1952 printing (#063). It is appropriate that Potter is reading this (in bed), as in 1952 the movie was released by Republic (with same title) starring Brian Donlevy, Rod Cameron, Forrest Tucker, Ella Raines, etc. However, to believe that Col. Potter would confuse the two authors is a stretch.

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

External linksEdit