|“Yessir, That’s Our Baby”|
Hawkeye, B.J., and Charles are surprised to see someone has left a baby, fathered by an American GI, on the doorstep of the Swamp, asking for someone to provide care for it, for "she", presumably a local Korean woman who is possibly the mother, could not take care of the child herself, in "Yessir, That's Our Baby", in Season 8 of M*A*S*H.
| Season 8, Episode # 15 |
Number (#188) in series (256 episodes)
|Guest star(s)||Howard Platt |
|Original airdate||December 31, 1979|
|IMDB||Yessir, That’s Our Baby|
|← Previous||Next →|
|"Stars and Stripes" (S‑615)||"Bottle Fatigue" (S‑618)|
|"Heal Thyself" (S‑616)||"Bottle Fatigue" (S‑618)|
Yessir, That's Our Baby is the fifteenth episode of the eighth season of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, as well as the 188th overall series episode. Directed by cast member Alan Alda, the episode was written by Jim Mulligan; it originally aired on December 31, 1979.
A young baby, the offspring of a Korean girl and an American soldier, is at risk of being shunned by the Korean locals for being of mixed race. The 4077th tries to have the child sent to the United States but fail and, in the end, find that only an isolated monastic order is willing to help.
Full episode summaryEdit
Hawkeye, B.J., and Winchester are surprised to see someone has left a baby on the doorstep of the Swamp, with a note attached saying the baby's father is an American G.I. The mother cannot care for the baby, so she is leaving it in the care of the doctors at the 4077th.
The baby quickly becomes the darling of everyone in camp, with everyone fighting to care for her. The only dark cloud is, ironically, when Father Mulcahy arrives from a day at the orphanage--he takes one look at the baby and realizes that she, being of mixed parentage, will be a virtual outcast among the other Korean children and could end up "a virtual slave" when she grows up.
The only alternative he says is to deliver her to an isolated monastery buried deep in the Korean hills, where the reclusive monks there will take her, no questions asked, and "in maybe 15 or 20 years will try and get her out of Korea".
Col. Potter offers, "With all due respect, padre, that's not much of a life." Mulcahy agrees, but says that's the only chance she has.
Hawkeye and the rest can't accept this, and they decide that since the baby is half-American, they're going to go through Army channels. Unfortunately, Hawkeye and B.J. are met with nothing but smug indifference from bureaucrat after bureaucrat, from the Red Cross to the Judge Advocate-General's office.
Hawkeye and Col. Potter then turn to the South Korean government, but the official they meet, one Chung Ho Kim (Yuki Shimoda), offers no help. But he does echo Father Mulcahy's assessment of the situation concerning the child's future life in Korea, that, in many cases, a mixed-race child is put into slavery, and, even in some cases, killed outright.
As nightmarish as this is, the man does point out that, out of all the countries fighting in the Korean War, it is only the United States which does not accept responsibility for the children fathered by their servicemen and offer them a road to citizenship.
The MASH personnel have one last try, this time with the U.S. consul in Seoul. For this, Potter needs someone who speaks "fluent hoi polloi" and sends Winchester, accompanied by Hawkeye. At the meeting, and after endless interruptions, showing the lack of attention he is giving their case, the diplomat (William Bogert) blithely dismisses them, refusing to lift a finger to help this little girl. Winchester has all along been restraining Hawkeye and keeping him well-behaved. But towards the end of the meeting, Winchester becomes so mad that he himself threatens to punch the man's lights out and has to be restrained by Hawkeye.
With no other options, Hawkeye, B.J., Winchester, and Father Mulcahy drive to the monastery with the baby, leaving her inside a small alcove with a rotating cradle built into it. They ring a bell, rotating platform with the baby inside the building, where the monks will greet it. They drive off.
Later, during a session in O.R., Hawkeye muses how much the child meant to them all, and how each of them will carry that memory the rest of their lives.
Research notes/Fun factsEdit
- Potterism: Mule muffins
- Timeline fix: Hawkeye calls the milk in the surgical glove "Chateau Moo 51" which places the events in 1951.
- Klinger wants to name the baby "Scheherazade". Scheherazade was a legendary Arabic queen and the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights.
- Trapper John McIntyre tried adopting a lost Korean child in Season 2 "Kim"--but he never got started tackling the bureaucratic process so we won't know if he would have succeeded.
- The 1989 American Homecoming Act provided passage for Amerasian Children from the Vietnam War-although not for children from Korea; Phillippines; Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. This episode is dated as it refers to the Pearl S Buck Foundation-it is now the Pearl S Buck International for americanasian Children of South Korea, Phillippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
- In one scene when Klinger helps with the baby, he talks about someday becoming a father. Although he said he'd get attach to a little girl, he predicts that he will have a son. He predicts correct. Sometime after the war in AfterMash, he and his future wife Soon Lee will have a baby boy.
Guest stars/Recurring castEdit
- Howard Platt as Major Ted Spector
- William Bogert as Roger Prescott
- Elizabeth Farley as Louise Harper
- Yuki Shimoda as Chung Ho Kim
- Uncredited appearances by Kellye Nakahara, Gwen Farrell, Jennifer Davis, Jo Ann Thompson , Shari Saba