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Season 4 Episode 2

Change of Command

Aired Unknown Sep 19, 1975 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
54 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Change of Command
Frank settles in as commanding officer, only to have a new one appointed over his head, one that, to his chagrin, fits in very well.

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  • remarks

    In a later epsiode BJ claims that he was under frank command for a week and that burns had the toilet seats at attention {In joke epsiode to Andy Griffith movie "No Time for Sergeants" when Griffith does this in the officers laterine during inspection!}

    HOulihan in 1952 was in service 10 years-thus she must have joined the service in 1942 after graduating from Nurses College-which means she went to the college in 1938-if she was 18 -she must have been born in 1920--and in 1952 she would have been 32 years old.

    {Ironically Sally Kellerman in the orginal movie and Loretta Swit in the orginal pilot were both in their early thirties!}moreless
  • Potter in, Burns out

    Change of Command

    Frank finds out he's being replaced as commanding officer and takes off. Hawkeye and B J have to dismatle the Henry Blake Memorial Bar to re-make room for Frank. I always found Radar's problems with the microphone a welcome bit of humor. Col. Potter insists the guys keep "their noses clean" yet by the end of the episode he's one of them. Guess old habits die hard. I love his story about the still in Guam blowing up and that's how he got his purple heart. Klinger can forget about his Section 8 but does look cute in the Shirley Temple outfit at the end.moreless
  • this was a great episode

    I was going to mention Potter and 1952 and then him being old year in 1951 for New Years eve but someone already listed it. The episode when they went through a whole year and had him at the end of 1951 but it said he came in 1952. I might have the years wrong. This episode and some of last season had the most changes, we had exit Trapper enter BJ, exit Colonel Blake and Major Burns enter Colonel Potter and Major Winchester that all seemed to happen quickly like in a season or so time. I like Trap better, than Winchester, but I think I liked Potter better than Blake but not by much. I liked Burns because he was the only one who actually was on the side of his country even though the liberal writers made him a sneaky jerk of a guy.moreless
  • Good episode.......showed the reality of the sitution.

    This episode contines with the introduction of BJ Honeycutt. His reactions to the situtations in this episode are very realistic. It is easy to see him as an idealistic, fresh out residency seeing the under developed conditions of Korea.

    Frank\'s \"Snot, snot, snot...\" Played for laughs....... not really all that funny.

    The roll call at the end was a nice added touch. Introducing Col. Potter was odd, considering that he was not there yet in the next episode.

    The two girls who were looking for land mines in the field were was sad. I wonder if that really happened in that era.moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff

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

Jamie Farr

Jamie Farr

Corporal/Sergeant Maxwell Q. Klinger

Larry Linville

Larry Linville

Major Franklin Delano Marion Burns (Season 1-5)

Harry Morgan

Harry Morgan

Colonel Sherman T. Potter (Season 4-11)

Loretta Swit

Loretta Swit

Major Margaret J. "Hot Lips" Houlihan

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • At the end of the previous episode, "Welcome to Korea", the P.A. announcement reports Col. Sherman Potter will arrive 19 Sept (1952). This episode, which introduces Potter, originally aired 19 Sept (1975).

    • Since there are 2 M*A*S*H timelines, one where Potter comes in late summer 1952 and one where he comes in late 1950, it's possible that in the 1950 universe, Hawkeye does report Frank for being AWOL. This explains how we so quickly get Winchester there for the start of 1951. This means seasons 4 & 5 must be squeezed into the time from Sept. 1952 to about Apr. 1953 to give time for Charles to be there for a few months of episodes and then for Radar to leave so Klinger can be in his job for a month or so before the July peace. But, it can be done by juggling episodes.

    • This shows that 2 different M*A*S*H timelines probably exist. One w/ Henry transfering early, then Frank, and most of the season 6-11 episodes taking place in 1951-3. The other timeline w/ seasons 1-3 taking place 1950-middle 1952, and Frank transfered maybe a couple months later, and some of the rest of 1952-3. This is understandable as they tried to cram 11 years of episodes into 3 years.

    • As Col Potter enters the camp for the first time, the PA announces the date as 19 September, 1952, but in Episode 200, Potter is seen at the end of 1950 as the old year?

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Col. Potter: Major Houlihan.
      Margaret: Yes, sir!
      Col. Potter: 10 years, spotless record.
      Margaret: Thank you, sir!
      Col. Potter: Major Burns.
      Margaret: Just friends, sir!

    • (Frank cries because he didn't get command of the camp)
      Frank: I already wrote mommy!
      Margaret: Oh, your mother will understand.
      Frank: I mean my wife.
      Margaret: Buzz off! (leaves)
      Frank: You'll all be sorry when I'm gone! You'll see! (holds his breath)

    • Hawkeye: Frank's run away from home?
      Margaret: (whispering) Shh. No. Not a word.
      Hawkeye: Oh, okay.
      BJ: My lips are sealed.
      Hawkeye: I won't say anything, really. Honest. Not a word. (picks up the PA microphone) Attention all personnel...
      Margaret: Oh, Pierce!
      Hawkeye: You won't believe this camp! (Margaret grabs the microphone) Hello, camp? Are you there, camp?

    • Radar: (giving mail to Frank) Oh. Um, nothing from Mrs. Burns, sir.
      Frank: I don't care what I didn't get.
      Radar: No, sir!
      Frank: What did I get? (after getting several other letters) Oh, what's this? It looks offical.
      Radar: Um...Oh. You're being replaced, sir.

    • (Colonel Potter's first meeting with Hawkeye and BJ)
      Colonel Potter: You two were reprimanded by Major Burns for setting fire to the latrine.
      Hawkeye: That was an accident.
      BJ: We were having a weenie roast.
      Colonel Potter: In the latrine?
      BJ: We're not allowed to cook in our tents, sir.
      Colonel Potter: Also, Pierce, it says you had a live chicken flown here by helicopter claiming it was a patient.
      Hawkeye: That was a rare bird, Colonel. It could tap dance.
      Colonel Potter: And a year ago, the Tokyo Provost Marshal claims you stole a steam shovel.
      Hawkeye: I couldn't get a cab.
      Colonel Potter: I gather you drink.
      Hawkeye: Only to excess.
      Colonel Potter: (to both Hawkeye and BJ) Colorful officers, I must say. Well, that is one thing I do not need! I would greatly appreciate it if for the next eighteen months you keep your noses clean. Dismissed!

    • Radar: (over the PA) Attention! By command of the new Commanding Officer, all officers report to the Commanding Officer's office, sirs!

    • Frank: Another week of command and I'd have had you out of that dress!
      Klinger: I'm not that easy!

    • (First Klinger conversation with Col. Potter)
      Klinger: (saluting) Col. Potter, Sir. Corporal Klinger. I'm Section Eight, head to toe. I'm wearing a Warner bra. I play with dolls! My last wish is to be buried in my mother's wedding gown. I'm nuts! I should be out. (Potter returns the salute)
      Col. Potter: Horse hockey! I've seen these dodges for forty years, all the tricks. Had a soldier pretend he was a mare. Carried a colt in his arms for weeks! Another fellow said he was a daisy. Insisted we water him every morning! No, no, corporal, it ain't gonna go with me. Now you get out of that froufrou and into a uniform, and you stay in uniform!
      Klinger: Er..
      Col. Potter: Dismissed!!

  • NOTES (5)

    • Another edit made to the show in syndication was the scene showing Frank sneaking back into camp; in the syndicated version, we don't see hide nor hair of him after hearing the news of Potter's arrival, until the end of the episode.

    • There were a few edits during the drinking scene with Hawkeye, BJ and Potter; one of which was right before they cut to the exterior. Just after Hawkeye says "seriously" (not "no, no really") about Klinger, the trio sing another verse of the song "There's a Long, Long Trail A-Winding" before the pan out and the singing continues.

    • The reason for the on-going joke about Fr. Mulcahy doing methodist services comes from the fact that William Christopher is really methodist.

    • Ironically, Harry Morgan would go on to play the man who he toasted, Harry Truman. He played him in the mini-series, Backstairs at the White House.

    • With Frank now sleeping in the CO's tent, Hawkeye and BJ try to start a bar in the swamp, which they name after Henry. With Rosie's and the Officer's Club nearby, was another watering hole really necessary? It was because Hawkeye and BJ had a still.