Season 9 Episode 6

A War for all Seasons

Aired Unknown Dec 29, 1980 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

A War for all Seasons
On New Year's Eve, the staff looks back on the highlights of 1951: The doctors invent an artificial kidney machine; Mulcahy plants a garden; Margaret takes up knitting; and Klinger and Winchester bet on which baseball team will win the pennant.

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  • A year passes at the 4077th, with ingenious developments, a lot of knitting, money changing hands, but an overall feeling of sadness.

    In the mess tent, the staff of the 4077th commemorate the end of 1950. "Here's to the new year. May she be a damn sight better thatn the old one, and may we all be home before it's over."

    The episode carries the central thread of the seasonal Sears and Roebuck catalogue. The Doctors buy warm clothing, a radio, a fake fire, and parts for an artificial kidney(made up of a bathtub and sausage casing from Packo's Hungarian Hot Dogs (of Toledo)); Klinger buys baseball gloves and chocolates; Potter buys Zane Gray novels, and Margaret buys wool for knitting. Her knitting project starts as a pot holder, turns into a scarf, then a sweater, finally a blanket, having changed her mind through the year. Mulcahy buys gardening gear and grows corn. Looking forward to corn on the cob on July 4, he is dismayed to find the cook has creamed it!

    Klinger gets Winchester caught up in gambling on the 1951 baseball pennant. Incidentally, this is based on the real life 1951 season where the Dodgers took a huge lead into the last few weeks, only to be chased down in the last innings of the last playoff game, by the Giants. Winchester loses over $600.

    The episode ends on New Years Eve 1951, as they are about to welcome 1952. "Here's to the new year. May she be a damn sight better thatn the old one, and may we all be home before it's over." The significance of the ongoing war dampens the mood.

    The episode ends with film footage of the years highlights in the States, which Potter got to show the camp. It starts with the shot of Bobby Thompson hitting the winning homer to win the pennant for the Giants. Winchester takes a kitchen knife to the screen, screaming: "Where is that Lebanese mongoose?"moreless
  • Old Masher

    It would have been more funnier-if it had been frank Burns who gets burned by losing all these bets.....
  • A great episode, even if it messes with the MASH timeline a bit...

    A good story is more important than good continuity, but I always find myself wishing that Maclean Stevenson had been asked to do a cameo at the start of this ep, doing the 1951-2 New Year's toast, maybe with Burghoff and Rogers chiming in. No matter how well you stretch and twist the MASH timeline, no way in Sweet Fanny's Horse Hocky was Potter there for New Year's 1952. Double Ditto for Charles.

    That aside, A Year In The Life Of The 4077th proceeds well, having high spots and low spots, the funniest of the low spots being Igor's infamous creaming of Father Mulcahy's corn. We see Margaret playing the field with her usual luck, the Doctors improvising their hearts out for want of a kidney machine, and just plain getting through a war that chops up more than just young men. While creative as hell, the ep still has those historical holes, and falls just short of being perfect as a result.moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers

Major Charles Emerson Winchester III (Season 6-11)

Harry Morgan

Harry Morgan

Colonel Sherman T. Potter (Season 4-11)

Jamie Farr

Jamie Farr

Corporal/Sergeant Maxwell Q. Klinger

Loretta Swit

Loretta Swit

Major Margaret J. "Hot Lips" Houlihan

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell

Captain BJ Hunnicut (Season 4-11)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Finally Igor's incompetence even makes Father Mulcahy to lose his temper. On the Fourth Of July everybody looked for eating corn on the cob that Mulcahy grew but Igor creamed it.

    • Winchester told Klinger "how do you think my family amassed our huge family fortune" after trying to get people to bet more money. This probably means that his family got their fortune by gambling.

    • When Winchester hears "The Giants win the pennant," he drops the Dodger cap he had in his hand onto the ground, then the scene switches. When we cut back, he appears to have fainted, but he's holding cap on his chest like a funeral lily. Although it's technically possible that he picked it up in the interim, why would a devastated man do this?

    • The start of the episode shows the 4077 bringing in 1951, but in the third season finale, "Abyssinia Henry," Radar's gift to Henry has the year 1952 inscribed in it. Also according to the episode where Potter enters the unit, the date is September 19, 1952.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • (As the baseball starts to wind down, Winchester confronts Klinger about the state of the Brooklyn Dodgers.)
      Winchester: I'm warning you, Klinger. I've been reading the sports pages and I do not like what I'm reading.
      Klinger: Not to worry, sir. The Dodgers are still up by eight and a half games. They can't possibly blow that in a month.
      Winchester: I can't believe you actually talked me into giving away my hard-earned money to a bunch of grown men named Nook, Duke and Pee-Wee!

    • (At the Fourth Of July picnic, everyone is waiting to try Father Mulcahy's corn on the cob. When Igor is about to give it to them, though...)
      Mulcahy: Where's the corn?
      (Igor points to a huge pan of creamed corn.)
      Igor: You're looking at it. The creamy stuff.
      (Everybody is shocked and angry.)
      Mulcahy: You...you...creamed it! You NINNY!
      Igor: Hey, I was trying to helpful! Next time, you can eat it on the COB for all I care!

    • B.J.: You should send to Sears for a man. It is a male-order catalog.
      Hawkeye: That's it!
      B.J.: Don't be ridiculous, Hawk, she can't order a man. By the time he got here he'd be stale.

    • (Winchester is trying to get people to raise the amount they are betting on baseball)
      Klinger: Major, we stand to win alot of loot. Let us not be piggish.
      Winchester: This is not piggish Klinger, this is bullish. How do you think we Winchesters amassed our huge family fortune?

    • (Hawkeye and BJ are huddling near their new electric fire place wrapped in blankets)
      Hawkeye: The numbness is leaving my toes.
      BJ: Yeah. Mine are all wiggly again.
      Hawkeye: Boy. There is nothing like a real fake fire.
      BJ: Thanks to this, now it's like summer in here.
      (Winchester sits up in his cot wearing summer clothes)
      Winchester: Gentlemen, the snow pageant is fatuous and unamusing. It serves only as a reminder that it is hot.
      (Hawkeye and BJ take the blankets off and move away from the fire)
      Hawkeye: You know, he's right. It doesn't work without the plastic marshmallows.

    • (The entire camp is listening to a baseball game)
      Father Mulcahy: KILL THE UMP!!! (Everyone stares at him) God rest his soul.

    • Radio: R-a-g-g-m-o-p-p-m, I say m.
      Winchester: I can not stand this! The world has gone truly mad. Those people can neither sing nor spell!
      Hawkeye: Hey daddy-o, if you don't dig our new radi-o, get off our pati-o.
      B.J.: Fatty-o.

    • Winchester: (after watching the baseball team he was betting on lose) WHERE IS THAT LEBANESE MONGOOSE!?

    • B.J.: Go get 'em, Bobby!
      Hawkeye: Come on, Thompson!
      Klinger: Thompson, hell! Come on, Branca!

    • Potter: Here's to The New Year. May she be a damn sight better than the old one, and may we all be home before she's over.

  • NOTES (0)


    • The baseball game which Winchester and Klinger are listening to is the final game of the 1951 season between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1951 National League Pennant. The name "Bobby Thomson" is mentioned at least once; this is the real name of the player who, in the ninth inning of the game, hit a three-run homer to win the game and the pennant for the Giants. This event is commonly referred to by sports fans as "The Shot Heard Round the World."