M*A*S*H

Season 5 Episode 7

Dear Sigmund

4
Aired Unknown Nov 09, 1976 on CBS
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
59 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Dear Sigmund
AIRED:
Sidney Freedman, feeling depressed, visits the 4077th to observe how they fare under the pressures of war. He begins a letter to Sigmund Freud as a form of self-therapy, and releases his tension in the form of a practical joke with B.J., aimed at Frank Burns.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • MASH Own "Sigmund Freud" coming visit and analysis of 4077th.

    9.5
    Psychiatrist Sydney Freedman,which name come from the famous Sigmund Freud. He pay his little visits the 4077th on R&R after he suffered a lost in his own(professionally) , it was "just" suppose to be for the poker games. He is actually writing a letter to Sigmund Freud about 4077th's peoples, how they deal with all the suffering and lost around them. After Hawkeye and B.J. find the letter, Sydney to explain to them the reason why he is actually there.



    MASH had many brilliant episodes, and many are quite moving. But this one somehow striked me the most, even in MASH's usual humor ways. Sydney's storyline is basically telling how the war is affecting the people, psychologically. Hawkeye is made as the prime example, as he is been over the top with his jokes(and tricks), which has always been his own way to deal with all the pain and suffering around him(Even with all the alcohols). Point is to make about how these terrible things is taking its toll on the soldiers. As a counter to 4077th people(which had all seen the terror side of war)and their struggle to live with what they see. This episode also bring us the side of the naive ways many people usually sees the war(any war, even as today). It's just something that is happing far far away. It's even "fun" or just another day in "office" for some. It was bring out as a young bomber pilot. He live in Japan(US base most likely, with his family). His "war" is only about 30min a day, fly over Korea, drop few bomb and back to base for some fun. Everything is pure, simple and clean for him. Unlike 4077th people, he has never seen the terror or the havoc of war at close. Until his reality was suddenly broke by Hawkeye, which had "trick" him to see a little Korean girl that was bring in to 4077th,that had been hit by a bomb. It was quite heartbreaking to see the pilot keep asking which side's bomb hit her, he break in to tears after Hawkeye and Potter(CO) tell him it does not really matter. Of all the episode of MASH, this one and the one about Henry Blake's sudden lost really gets me. It really bring out tears.moreless
  • Psychiatrist Major Sydney Freedman visits the 4077th on leave, calling it a \"spa\". He writes a letter to Sigmund Freud detailing how the people there deal with being in Korea. Of course, Hawkeye and B.J. find the letter, forcing Sydney to explain.moreless

    9.7
    This is one of my favorite episodes because of its balance between humor and seriousness. Hawkeye is up to his usual antics, and B.J. goes all out. On the other hand, Sydney Feedman tells how the war is taking its toll on the soldiers psycologically. And in reality, all the clowning around at the 4077th is \"anger turned sideways\". It is how Hawkeye, B.J., and the gang get through every day. Hawkeye also show his serious side when he forces a chopper pilot to see the damage he causes to Korean civilians. This epidsode includes all of the major characters nicely.moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff

Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly

Harry Morgan

Harry Morgan

Colonel Sherman T. Potter

Larry Linville

Larry Linville

Major Franklin Delano Marion Burns

Jamie Farr

Jamie Farr

Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger

Loretta Swit

Loretta Swit

Major Margaret J. "Hot Lips" Houlihan

Charles Frank

Charles Frank

Captain Hathaway

Guest Star

Bart Braverman

Bart Braverman

Private Habib

Guest Star

Sal Viscuso

Sal Viscuso

Patient John

Guest Star

Jennifer Davis

Jennifer Davis

Nurse

Recurring Role

Allan Arbus

Allan Arbus

Sidney Freedman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Nitpicks: Consider the only "air raid" 4077th every got was when "5'o clock Charlie" with very bad aim came in season 2, and even then he was aiming for the ammo dump near 4077th, not the MASH unit itself. It's quite odd that Frank is digging a foxhole (according to him, one of several) for that. And also why didn't him order enlist men to do that (he never had a problem ordering them around before)? It's also odd that person like Frank Burns didn't know or didn't believe the propaganda that US air force had air superiority over Korea. Historically Communist forces never really had air superiority over Korea. Even in the contested areas, Communist air forces (North Korean, Chinese and Soviet) were mostly Mig-15's and other fighters. They never really had bombers that could do "Air raid" on American side.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • (Sidney said he came out to the 4077th because he was losing patients)
      Hawkeye: Sidney, we all lose patients.
      Sidney: Actually, the straw that broke my back was a kid who was hearing voices telling him to kill himself. After some time with him, he got very quiet, sometimes that's a sign they've made up their minds. Only somehow, I missed it. And then that night, after we all went to sleep, that sweet, innocent, troubled kid... listened to the voices.

    • Sidney: As you pointed out, Sigmund, there's a link between anger and wit. Anger turned inward is depression. Anger turned sideways is Hawkeye.

    • (Capt. Hathaway gets a look at a surgical procedure in the O.R. on a little girl)
      Hathaway: What happened?
      Hawkeye: Somebody dropped a bomb on her village from an airplane.
      Hathaway: Who did it?
      Hawkeye: He just dropped it. He didn't autograph it.
      Hathaway: No, I mean, was it one of theirs or one of ours?
      Potter: What difference does that make?
      Hathaway: A lot. It makes a lot of difference.
      Potter: Not to her.
      (Hathaway walks out of the O.R. stunned, Hawkeye goes out to join him)
      Hathaway: You brought me in there on purpose, didn't you?
      Hawkeye: Yep.
      Hathaway: You're a real S.O.B., you know that?
      Hawkeye: Look, you seem like a decent guy, too decent to think that this can be anything like a clean war.
      Hathaway: From up there it is... (breaks down into tears) was. God, she's just a little baby!

    • Sidney: The inmates have an interesting defense against carnage. Insanity in the service of health.

    • (Sidney finds BJ filling an air raid shelter with water)
      Sidney: You? You're the practical joker?
      BJ: Certainly looks that way, doesn't it? Would you like to help?
      Sidney: (excited) Sure! What do I do?
      BJ: As loud as you can, shout, 'Air raid.'
      Sidney: (after a brief laugh) Air raid! Air Raid!
      Frank: Air raid!! (leaps out of bed and runs out of the Swamp in a panic) Air raid! Air raid! (falls into the hole filled with water)

    • (Sidney tells Hawkeye and BJ about his patient that committed suicide)
      Frank: (emerging from under his blanket) Well, well, well. So the doctor can't cure himself, huh?
      Hawkeye: Oh, God. I thought that lump under his blanket was dirty laundry.
      BJ: It is.

    • Klinger: (in Arabic to Potter after he refuses to accept his 'injury') May the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your armpit!

    • (Klinger tries to sell his hoop earrings at the poker game)
      BJ: Klinger, don't you think hoops are a little trashy before breakfast?
      Klinger: If I thought it'd get me out, I'd wear hula hoops in my ears.

    • Frank: (to Sidney) I happen to believe in the sanctity of marriage--no matter how ugly or disgusting it gets.

    • (Father Mulcahy has dozed off during a poker game)
      Mulcahy: I had the most extraordinay dream. I was a Cardinal in Rome, and the Pope had a bad cold.
      Hawkeye: What do you suppose that means, Sidney? You're the skull jockey.
      Sidney: Well, Freud said every dream is a wish.
      Radar: One time my uncle dreamt he was dancing with a whale and when he woke up, our cow had eaten his pants.
      BJ: Do you wanna bet, or do you want Sidney to tell you what that means?
      Radar: Oh geez, I'm sorry, I didn't know it meant anything.

    • (as Sidney is about to leave)
      BJ: See you at the game next week?
      Sidney: Yes, I'll be here with twenty dollars in my pants and three aces up my sleeve.
      Hawkeye: Show a little imagination, don't make 'em all spades.

    • (Sidney enters the Swamp stepping and steps over a huge pile of clothes)
      Sidney: I can't understand why you call this place the Swamp.
      Hawkeye: We were thinking of calling it the latrine, but that name was taken.
      Sidney: (sees Hawkeye reading his letter) That's a private letter.
      Hawkeye: Then why'd you leave it under your pillow?
      Sidney: Can I have that, please? I want to erase anything nice I said about you guys.

    • Frank: I should have known better than to tell something personal to a psychiatrist!

    • Sidney: If there's a way to preserve your sanity in wartime, they've found it. They slide their patched-up patients into the EVAC ambulance like loaves in a bread truck, and yet they never forget those packages are people.

  • NOTES (9)

    • This is the first of two guest appearances by Charles Frank (here, as the injured pilot, Captain Hathaway). He would next be seen in season 6's "What's Up, Doc?" as Major Winchester's would be kidnapper, Lt. Markinson.

    • In 2004 TVLand broadcast a special called "Emmy's Greatest Moments" which included a clip of Alan Alda accepting his award for directing 'Dear Sigmund'. In a current (2004) interview Alda recalls that he was shocked that anyone other than Mary Tyler Moore's "Last Show" episode would win. In the clip he tells the audience how he couldn't have done it without the fine acting, and the brilliant writer of the script "...Who as it happens was also me."

    • This episode received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Film Editing in a Comedy Series.

    • William Jurgensen received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Cinematography in a Series.

    • Alan Alda won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.

    • This episode marks the first time that Margaret joins Hawkeye, B.J., Klinger, Radar, Potter and Mulcahy for poker. This can be seen as a further sign of the softening of Margaret's character.

    • Bart Braverman would later appear on the private eye series Vegas as Dan Tanna's somewhat nerdy legman Bobby "Binzer" Borso.

    • Sal Viscuso who portrayed Patient John in this episode, actually appeared in this series quite a bit. He was the uncredited voice of the P.A. Announcer.

    • This is the first of 8 appearances by Jennifer Davis, as various Nurses. She also appeared in non-speaking roles in other episodes. Her last appearance was in the final episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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