Season 3 Episode 24

Abyssinia, Henry

Aired Unknown Mar 18, 1975 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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  • Too bad no spinoff

    After the news of Colonel Blake's death shocked the world, the very next night on The Carol Burnett Show, the opening shot was of McLean Stevenson in a smoking raft, waving his arms, hollering, "I'm OK! I'm OK!" {Regreffully they never had a post MASH spinoff epsiode-in which Blake as surviving being shot got drunk and accidently opened the plane door but after being sucked out into space he hapeens to have grabbed a parachute and life raft and is shown to have driffted to a uncharted island in the Pacific occupied by silly "natives" who make Blake their "King" in which Blake chases after women and booze while taking no responibilty for anything beyond his own pleasure. They could have called it "The comic misadventures of the Late Col Henry Blake". The only thing he evers worries about is that he will be rescuded and have to got back to his wife!}
  • In truth THE comedy ep of a decade, quite possibly the century!

    Abyssinia Henry, the comedy ep fom a sweet, jesterly and insightful series that shook a world of fonzie and lucy is trully just as gut wrenching as ascribed. Ive allways been a lover of the beautiful hatemocking that M.A.S.H delivered, while basically all other series based comedy on the mocking of individuall traits, M.A.S.H developed a mocking of evil and unthoughtfulness. A series that would have been great from the start anyhow turned into an essential classic the second radar told a cheerful crowd that Henry, the lovable funloving goof of an officer died in a planecrash.
    Abyssinia Henry marked the turning point in where a more subtle, serious mode of black comedy entered TV opening up for such beauties as northern exposure, scrubs or earl.
  • This is what transformed M*A*S*H from a simple comedy show into a dramatic piece of television history.

    "There are certain rules in a war- Rule Number One is that young men die. Rule Number Two is that doctors can't change rule number one." ~ Henry Blake.

    If Henry only knew how prophetic that quote would be.

    This episode taught us that even the 4077th is not immune to the horrors of war. For some time now, we've been seeing them try hard to deal with the war as more of an inconvenience than anything else. This time, more than ever, the war became a reality-and a harsh one at that.

    A lot of people were upset at this ending. They found it a cruel way to remove one of the most beloved characters. But the decision is quite appropriate- the writers didn't want the fictional Henry Blake to come home because a lot of REAL people didn't come home in the same way. It wouldn't be fair for people to watch the televised happy ending that had been so unfairly denied to their sons or brothers or fathers.

    Truly one of the most influential moments in television history.
  • If you only watch a single episode of this series, watch this one.

    This is one of the most poignant, moving episodes of the series. McLean Stevenson was the first of the original TV cast to strike out on his own and leave the camp. (Wayne Rogers also split after this episode, but his departure was not so planned.)
    In season 1, ep 24 ("Showtime"), Henry's wife has a son - one he never gets to see, since he never makes it home. While the writers never mentioned the little boy again, that fact alone would make me cry. But Henry's plans to go dancing with his wife and a teary Radar watching the helicopter leave for the last time are some of the most heart-wrenching parts of this show - I cry because I know how it ends, and I cry for the family that waited for a loved one and instead got a messenger. This particular twist was a VERY risky move for the show's producers and writers, and the last scene of this episode was kept under wraps as much as possible.
    Watching the show, it is just impossible not to smile when Henry gets his orders, and when he talks to his wife on the phone, even though we all know what is up ahead. Walter Burghoff did an exceptional bit of acting in this episode, but everyone did well in this farewell to their lovable CO. While Harry Morgan was exceptional actor, and Sherman Potter became as close to the group as Henry did, the was no replacement to Henry Blake. Abyssinia, Henry.
  • Maybe the best episode of the entire series!

    This episode is perhaps the one episode that will always stand out in my mind whenever I think of this series. Henry Blake finally gets the news that every member of the 4077 wants to hear: he's going back to the US for good. The reactions from everyone in the camp of his imminent departure sums up a lot of what everyone thinks of their beloved camp commander in this episode.

    However, the scene at the end of this installment is maybe the most famous, and contrversial, of anything shown in this entire series. The fact that only a select few knew how the scene, involving Radar coming into the operating room with news about Henry Blake, heightens the genuine impact of how things play out.

    This is a landmark episode for the series as it marks the departure of actors McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers. For some fans of the show, their departures are ably filled by Harry Morgan and Mike Farrell in the following season. For others, this marked the end of a comedic run that was never approached for the rest of the series.

    Regardless of what you think about the episodes that follow this one, if you're a fan of MASH, you would do yourself a great disservice if you fail to watch this episode at least once. Simply put, it is one of the most memorable episodes ever to be produced for TV bar none!
  • Henry recieves his orders to be shipped stateside and the 4077th celebrates before he must depart. But the camp must say goodbye in a way that was never expected.

    (Spoilers Within)
    This is the episode that forever altered M*A*S*H. In one single moment, it twists everything around and the camp and the audience is left "shell-shocked". This is one of the most memorable episodes with one of the most memorable moment in television history. At first this episode was bittersweet. Sweet in that Henry escapes the war, bitter in that one of the most lovable characters is leaving the show. But as the show progresses and the camp celebrates Henry's good fortune, the bitterness fades and it is hard not to feel happy for Henry. This is extremely poignant in the bar scene with Hawkeye, Trapper, Henry, and Radar all drunk and then Henry being "drummed out" of the Army by Hawk and Trap. And when Henry is in the chopper and it flies out of view, all that is left is a sigh and smile, everyone glad that Henry escaped the war...

    ...but then reality cruelly smashes through the relief and joy. Henry did not escape the war. On his way home, Henry's plane is shot down and he is killed. The reaction of the camp is a perfect mirror of how the audience reacted. Shocked, despaired silence...
  • Goodbye, Farewell, and Omen Henry!

    I didn't really beging watching MASH until this episode. I was actually watching it with my mother and she was crying saying this was a sad one. I just said "Awww that's sad." because I never really "knew" Henry. Later on when I saw the episode on a Saturday I just started to cry. Not for Henry but for Hawkeye and the people at the 4077th. I think this is an excelent episode and a definite tear jerker. It had a lot of heart. The way that they got the characters to look so stunned was because they didn't tell them that Henry was going to die. They gave Radar the script just seconds before he wenbt on again. Unfortunatly someone screwed up and they had to do a double take, but the shock was still there and all natural. Brilliantly written..Bravo...Bravo
  • Amazing emotino is displayed in this episode.

    I hardly could believe it when Radar comes in to annouce the death of Blake. You fill such a great connection of him and you know how bad he wants to see his family again. It definelty an episode that will make you cry if you have watched all the previous epidodes.
  • One of the most famous episodes ever by any show!

    If you watched the series up to the point of this episode, they you had to have cried at the end of this episode. Nothing in this episode you expect to have happened: Henry Blake's discharge and death. Even the show was great after this, it never had the "godliness" that the first 3 seasons had.
  • In this episode Henery Blake leaves and then is killed on the ride home.

    Overall, this episode is a very good episode, but, i do think the directors, producers, and writers went overboard with having Henery killed. I have heard that Mclean has never gotten over that. The people that wrote the episode gave Mclean a very big narcistic injury. Overall, it was not necessary to have Henery killed.