Col. Potter allows Cho Pak, who does the laundry for the camp, and who was himself a former South Korean infantry officer, the courtesy of riding Sophie in Season 7 of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H.
| Season 7, Episode # 18 |
Number (#165) in series (256 episodes)
|Guest star(s)||Yuki Shimoda|
Leigh C. Kim
|Director||Charles S. Dubin|
|Original airdate||January 15, 1979|
|← Previous||Next →|
|"Inga" (T‑420)||"The Young and the Restless" (T‑421)|
|"Dear Sis" (T‑417)||"Hotlips is Back in Town" (T‑419)|
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.
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 getting 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 its 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. The daughter explains that her father was once a proud man, and couldn't help claiming Sophie as his own, so he could feel like a young, brave 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, leaving Col. Potter standing there with Sophie's empty bridle. 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."
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 feels compelled not to run away any more. 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.
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. MASH used many non ethnic Asians to play Koreans: Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese; and even Filipinos!
Guest stars/Recurring castEdit
- Yuki Shimoda as Cho Pak
- Johnny Haymer as Sergeant Zelmo Zale
- Ken Mochizuki as Ham
- Miko Mayama as Sun
- Dennis Sakamoto as ROK Officer
- Jeff Maxwell as Igor Straminsky
- Leigh C. Kim as ROK Soldier (as Leigh Kim)
- Uncredited appearances:
(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.