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M*A*S*H episode
“The Price”
Sophie-the price
Potter meets Mr. Pak riding on Sophie in Season 7 "The Price"-TV series M*A*S*H.
Season 7, Episode # 18
Number (#165) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Yuki Shimoda
Johnny Haymer
Ken Mochizuki
Miko Mayama
Dennis Sakamoto
Jeff Maxwell
Leigh C. Kim
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: T-418
Writer(s) Erik Tarloff
Director Charles S. Dubin
Original airdate January 15, 1979
IMDb logo IMDB The Price
Episode chronology
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"Inga" (T‑420) "The Young and the Restless" (T‑421)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"Dear Sis" (T‑417) "Hotlips is Back in Town" (T‑419)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 7 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

The Price was the 18th episode of Season 7  of the M*A*S*H TV series, also the 165th overall series episode. The episode, which was written by Erik Tarloff and directed by Charles S. Dubin. The episode originally aired on CBS-TV on January 15, 1979.

SynopsisEdit

Klinger tries to bribe Colonel Potter, but Potter is more concerned with the disappearance of his horse, Sophie. Meanwhile, Hawkeye and B.J. try to hide a man who is about to be drafted into the Korean army.

Full episode summaryEdit

Col. Potter rides back to camp, having spent a near-perfect day out with his horse Sophie. When he makes it back to his tent, he and Radar give the laundry to an elderly Korean gentleman, Mr. Pak (Yuki Shimoda) and his daughter Sun (Miko Mayama).

Col. Potter is a little concerned over how unhealthy Mr. Pak looks, and suggests he come to the hospital for an exam. Mr. Pak refuses, and his daughter explains he's a proud man--a former cavalry officer--and is not happy to be "reduced" to doing laundry. Col. Potter, a old cavalry man himself, understands.

Later that night, Margaret is taking a shower when she is startled by a young man hiding in the tent. She screams, and he runs out of the tent, into the arms of Hawkeye and B.J.

After calming everything down, Hawkeye and B.J. find out who the boy is--he's a young man named Ham (Ken Mochizuki), who ran away when the South Korean Army attempted to "draft" him into service. Hawkeye and B.J. are disgusted at the South Korean Army's strong arm tactics, and offer to hide Ham at the 4077th, turning to Klinger for a disguise. He offers a complete outfit for a few bucks, trying to raise enough capital to bribe Col. Potter into giving him a discharge.

The next morning, Col. Potter and Radar are shocked to see that Sophie is gone. Col. Potter assumes he left her coral open at the end of the night, and they quickly arrange a massive search to find her.

But all day passes with no luck. Col. Potter grows despondent, coming to grips with the idea he's never going to see Sophie again. He asks Radar to share a drink with him as a toast to "absent friends."

That night, two South Korean officials wander into camp, looking for Ham, who Hawkeye and B.J. are hiding under a blanket in Winchester's bed. The two officials ask for "Winchester" to be woken up, but Hawkeye and B.J. refuse.

The ruse is exposed when Winchester walks in, and the South Koreans demand to know who is in his bed--they pull the blanket back, to find a young...woman?

Winchester puts on a perfect act, accusing Hawkeye and B.J. of bringing one of their "doxies" into the tent. The two South Korean officials buy this, figuring it's a local prostitute (since Ham is wearing one of Klinger's outfits). They laugh and snigger, then leave.

Hawkeye and B.J. thank Winchester for going along. Winchester accepts their thanks, then demands Ham get out of his bed.

The next morning, Sophie returns to the 4077th, ridden by Mr. Pak, dressed in full military regalia. His daughter explains that her father was once a proud man--a respected colonel in the Army, just like Col. Potter--and couldn't help borrowing Sophie, so he could feel like a brave, young solider once again.

Col. Potter understands this motivation better than anyone, and actually offers to let Mr. Pak keep Sophie. He says that Sophie means the world to him, but, to Mr. Pak, "she means even more."

Mr. Pak's daughter tearfully thanks Col. Potter, and accepts for her father. They turn around and wander off, and Radar is stunned at Col. Potter's overwhelming gesture of kindness: "Colonel--that's just about the best thing I ever saw anybody do ever."

Klinger makes an ill-timed visit to Col. Potter's office, stating how touched he was by the Colonel's generosity, and did he get the promissory note for $5,000 Klinger slipped under his door last night? When Klinger confirms the bribe is legit, Col. Potter informs him that bribing an officer will get him 20 years hard labor at Levenworth Prison. Klinger quickly rescinds his offer, offering the Col. his last $10 "to forget the whole thing."

Later that night, Hawkeye and B.J. come back to the Swamp to find Ham packing this things, ready to enlist. They try and talk him out of it, but Ham saw Mr. Pak and how brave he was, and remembers how the people of his village told of Mr. Pak's bravery in wartime; he feels ashamed to have run away. He leaves, despite the protests of Hawkeye and B.J.

The next morning, Mr. Pak's daughter is back, with Sophie. She explains to Col. Potter that her father died over night. But, thanks to Col. Potter, he died with pride and dignity, something she never will forget. She plants a gentle kiss on Col. Potter's cheek, hands him Sophie's lead, and walks off.

Later, in the O Club, Col. Potter walks in on Klinger, who is drowning his sorrows over another failed attempt to get out of the Army. He offers to buy Col. Potter a drink, but the Col. offers to buy Klinger one instead. However, the Col. finds himself short on funds, and winds up taking money from Klinger after all (borrowing it to pay for the drinks).

Research notes/Fun factsEdit

  • Korea was occupied and exploited by the Japanese from 1910 to 1945; any Korean in the military during that period would have been serving in the Japanese army but any Korean national who was a patriot would not have worn a Japanese uniform. However Cho Pak's uniform certainly looks worn and moldy and it is entirely plausible that it was more than 40 years old when he put it on to ride on Sophie.
  • Judging from his surname, Leigh C. Kim could be an ethnic Korean (although he was born in Pennsylvania). If so, he would be one of only about three in M*A*S*H; the others were Soon Teck-Oh and Phillip Ahn. M*A*S*H used many non ethnic Asians to play Koreans: Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese; and even Filipinos.

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

GalleryEdit

Memorable QuotesEdit

(Hawkeye and B.J. ask Radar if they know who Ham is)

  • Hawkeye: We found him in Major Houlihan's shower.
  • Radar: Wow!
  • B.J.: You know him?
  • Radar: No, but he's sure got guts.

External linksEdit