"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.