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The Yalu Brick Road (TV series episode)

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M*A*S*H episode
“The Yalu Brick Road”
Yalu brick road
B.J. and Hawkeye try to return to the 4077th on a borrowed motorbike, taking along Ralph, their North Korean "prisoner".
Season 8, Episode # 10
Number (#183) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Soon-Tek Oh
G.W. Bailey
Byron Chung
Bob Okazaki
Jeff Maxwell
Kellye Nakahara
Roy Goldman
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: S-607
Writer(s) Mike Farrell
Director Charles S. Dubin
Original airdate November 19, 1979
IMDb logo IMDB The Yalu Brick Road
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Mr. and Mrs. Who?" (S‑606) "Life Time" (S‑609)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"[Mr. and Mrs. Who?" (S‑606) "Nurse Doctor" (S‑608)

(production order)

(production order)

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

The Yalu Brick Road was the 10th episode of Season 8 of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 183rd overall episode in the series. Written by series cast member Mike Farrell, and directed by Charles S. Dubin, it first aired on network TV on November 19, 1979.

Plot synopsisEdit

The day after Thanksgiving, almost everyone in the camp comes down with food poisoning. Hawkeye and BJ must retrieve some antibiotics from another unit. They become lost in enemy territory and have to deal with a North Korean who repeatedly insists on surrendering. Father Mulcahy, Margaret Houlihan and Major Winchester, the only other personnel unaffected by the food poisoning, must care for patients and do housekeeping duties at the same time.

Full episode summaryEdit

The camp is suffering from a brutal case of salmonella, which they all picked up from some bad turkeys Klinger scored from a shifty supply sergeant. With Hawkeye, B.J., Margaret, and Winchester all away (the latter two for medical conferences) and not yet back home, it's up to Potter and Mulcahy to try and take care of everyone.

Meanwhile, we see what's taking Hawkeye and B.J. so long: B.J. got them lost, and they can't find their way back to the main road. They get into an accident and crash the jeep, forcing them to walk. While hoofing it, they run into a North Korean soldier (Soon-Tek Oh, again) who is determined to surrender to them, despite Hawkeye and B.J.'s lack of interest in taking prisoners.

Margaret and Winchester make it back to the 4077th, and help out with all the sick personnel. Winchester tries to worm his way out of helping out, but Margaret threatens him if he takes one step outside.

Back out in the hills, Hawkeye and B.J. can't get rid of the North Korean, who they call Ralph, but he proves to be invaluable when he saves them from being imprisoned - or worse - by a group of passing, armed-to-the-teeth North Korean soldiers. He pretends they are his prisoners, which the others accept, and move on. After they're out of sight, Ralph surrenders again, and gets a giant hug from the two of them.

They keep walking, and come across an old man who has broken his ankle while moving a wooden cart down the road. He's so weak he can't walk at all, so B.J. has to carry him on his back until they find his hut, where his wife is.

Luckily, the old man and his wife own a beat-up, rusty motorcycle, which B.J. insists he can drive. He puts Hawkeye in the side car, and Ralph climbs on the back, and off they go - none too steadily - to the 4077th.

While Margaret, Winchester, Potter, and Mulcahy tend to the sick, Hawkeye and B.J. return, accidentally running over Winchester's freshly-cleaned sheets in the process.

They head off to Post Op to help out, and they bring Ralph with them: "There's a whole ward full of people you haven't surrendered to yet."

Later Klinger rings up the Supply Sgt to tell him off - and gets sick again from food poisoning.

Research notes/Fun factsEdit

  • Potterisms: "I feel like Snow White with a house full of sick dwarfs."
  • This episode features the first appearance of G.W. Bailey as Sgt. Rizzo, essentially the replacement character for Johnny Haymer's Sgt. Zale.
  • This episode is written by Mike Farrell, making him the fourth M*A*S*H cast member (after Alda, McLean Stevenson and Harry Morgan) to write for the series.
  • This is actor Soon-Tek Oh's fourth episode guest-starring on the series.

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit

Great lines/QuotesEdit

(Winchester is annoyed at having to wash the camp linen)

  • Winchester: So close to China and I am doing laundry.


(Rizzo telling Potter how he feels)

  • Rizzo:  You know how you feel after you've been out all weekend drinking cheap booze and eating chili dogs? I wish I felt that good.

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