M*A*S*H

Season 7 Episode 15

B.J. Papa San

1
Aired Unknown Jan 01, 1979 on CBS
7.7
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes
1

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B.J. Papa San
AIRED:
B.J. almost becomes the surrogate father to a Korean family. Finding them a substitute for his own absent family, B.J. spends so much time with them that his medical efficiency begins to suffer, and Hawkeye worries about his health.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • B.J. takes center stage in an episode emphasizing the loss of family.

    8.0
    Mike Farrell gives a hushed and nuanced performance in an otherwise "standard fare" episode.



    As B.J. receives a letter for Peg, his homesickness becomes too great a burden. He then meets a Korean family with a sick father. B.J. helps the ailing father and the rest of the family. B.J.'s help becomes an obsession to make things better for a family he can see from time to time. So he fixes their roof, provides blankets and beds, and checks up on the family daily.



    Hawkeye knows what is really going on. He starts to confront B.J. about his obsession with the family and how it is beginning to negatively affect his life (sleeplessness, potential sloppy medical work, etc.). But B.J. tries everything to make things better. He finally finds a way to make their lives better. He finds their lost son, who has joined an American military unit. But war and injuries inundate the 4077th, and B.J. (and all others) are swamped with incoming wounded.



    As the marathon-surgery session ends, B.J. learns that the family's son is found and races to the family's abode -- to see that they have left and have taken everything. He comes too late.



    The best scene of the episode occurs here. B.J. just walks around and yells at the world: "It just isn't right!" Nope. It sure isn't. It's war.



    Although this storyline is certainly effective, really the show is standard fare. Most of the show is unfunny but not particularly poignant or dramatic, either. There were some meager but generally unsuccessful attempts at humor (especially given the general's string of injuries) which seemed tired about halfway into the episode. I almost wished for a "Dear Sis" episode that focused entirely on B.J. That's when the dramatic episodes of M*A*S*H succeeded. But when attempts to riddle the episode with comedy become repetitive and off-tone, the drama is dampened. Too bad given the great work from Farrell in this episode.



    Not a bad episode -- just not a noteworthy one either.moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers

Major Charles Emerson Winchester III (Season 6-11)

Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff

Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly (Season 1-8)

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

Dick O'Neill

Dick O'Neill

General Marion Prescott

Guest Star

Michael Aragon

Michael Aragon

Kim

Guest Star

Chao-Li Chi

Chao-Li Chi

Father

Guest Star

Johnny Haymer

Johnny Haymer

Zale

Recurring Role

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