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M*A*S*H episode
“Who Knew?”
MASH episode - Who Knew - Hawkeye reads Millies Diary
Hawkeye has a tough time figuring out how to eulogize a new nurse he once had a date with, Nurse Millie Carpenter, who stepped on a landmine while taking a walk in the middle of the night in "Who Knew?" in Season 11.
Season 11, Episode # 5
Number (#245) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Kellye Nakahara
Enid Kent
Shari Saba
Jo Ann Thompson
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: 1G18
Writer(s) John Rappaport & Dennis Koenig
Director Burt Metcalfe
Original airdate November 22, 1982
IMDb logo IMDB Who Knew?
Episode chronology
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List of all M*A*S*H episodes

 Who Knew? is the 245th episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 5th episode of Season 11 of the series. Written by Elias Davis and David Pollock, and directed by Harry Morgan, it originally aired on November 22, 1982.

SynopsisEdit

When a nurse that Hawkeye is dating dies, he offers to deliver the eulogy. The problem is that he discovers that he didn't really know her.

Full episode summaryEdit

Hawkeye returns to the Swamp in the middle of the night, waking B.J. as he brags about the great night he just had with a new nurse, Lt. Millie Carpenter.

The next morning, during breakfast in the Mess Tent, Col. Potter delivers some grim news: Lt. Millie Carpenter has been killed. Apparently, she went for a stroll in the hills, and stepped on a landmine. Everyone is shocked and saddened, but none of them volunteer to say "a few words" at Millie's memorial service.

Later, Hawkeye finds Father Mulcahy as he goes through Millie's personal items, looking for information about her to prepare the service. After making small talk, he volunteers to deliver Millie's eulogy.

He starts asking people in camp about Millie, but no one has much to say about her: Margaret can only say "she was a good nurse", and even her fellow nurses don't have much to add other than commenting that when Millie got sent a big box of fudge from home, she only gave the other nurses one piece each.

Hawkeye grows so frustrated that he decides to give up trying to write a eulogy, turning the job back over to Father Mulcahy. But Mulcahy suggests he read Millie's diary, which he found among Millie's personal items.

Hawkeye takes it back to the Swamp and reads, and we hear Millie's words in a voice over. We learn that she felt a lot for Hawkeye, but never let on. She ends the diary mentioning she's going to go take a walk, the last thing she would ever do.

Hawkeye is deeply troubled over what he's read, knowing that he never would have let Millie get close, insistent as he is on keeping things casual. He's convinced that their relationship would have been the same at six months than it was after the first few dates.

The next day, Hawkeye delivers the eulogy, sharing a few facts about Millie: the big box of fudge that Millie was so stingy with was given out to the wounded in Post Op, during the night shift so no one ever saw what she was doing. Also, she bravely volunteered to work at a MASH because she was so in awe of the work everyone was doing.

Hawkeye decides to use this moment to learn something: to try and not be so reserved about his feelings, and to let people know what they mean to him--something Millie never got the chance to do.

Hawkeye singles out Margaret, Col. Potter, Father Mulcahy, Charles, Klinger, and "Beej", telling each of them how much he loves them. He ends with saying "Goodbye, Millie."

In the sub-plot, Klinger tries to convince Winchester to invest in his latest get-rich-quick scheme: the invention of the hula hoop. Klinger shows Winchester a Korean child playing with one, and at first the Major brushes it off as nonsense. But after seeing an inflatable "Shmoo" doll in Col. Potter's office, and hearing how insanely popular they are, he changes his mind and agrees to go in on Klinger's deal. However, when some locals laugh at Winchester when he tries to use the hula hoop, he reneges on the deal, causing Klinger to give up his scheme. Later, we see Klinger trying once again to get Winchester to invest some money in another soon-to-be-popular fad: the Frisbee, which Winchester dismisses outright in disgust.

Recurring/Guest castEdit

Research Notes/Fun Facts Edit

The Shmoo was first introduced in August of 1948 and hit the heights of popularity shortly after and well into the following year. Since this episode of "M*A*S*H*" takes place roughly close to the end of the war (July 1953), it's difficult to gauge just how popular the Shmoo would have been at that time.

  • This is a pretty dark episode...for one thing it doesn't even have a glimpse of Nurse Carpenter...and practically nothing about her background. As MASH 4077 is surrounded by a minefield..it strains common sense to think anyone would walk in the dark so close to destruction..
  • Burns would have made a better foil in refusing to invest in Klingers prototype Hula Hoops and Frisbee; it would have been hilarious to have had Hawkeye and BJ investing with Klinger and then at the end..the doctors have a good laugh at Burns missing an opportunity to get rich!