M*A*S*H

Season 9 Episode 4

Father's Day

2
Aired Unknown Dec 08, 1980 on CBS

Episode Recap

The episode starts with Klinger announcing that Margaret has a phone call from her father ('Howitizer' Al Houlihan). Margaret bolts out of the shower in nothing but a towel and answers the call. She later goes into the mess tent to find BJ complaining about the food. She announces to BJ, Hawkeye, and Col.Potter that her father is coming to visit in two days. She requests that the camp be perfect for her father, and Col.Potter agrees.



Hawkeye later talks to a patient in post-op. The patient explains that he works in the department that distributes food. He was delivering a shipment of strawberries to a General Beswick up at the front when was wounded. He promises to repay Hawkeye by getting him some steak.



Later, Margaret has all her nurses lined up for her father to inspect. Al arrives, and also runs into Col.Potter, BJ and Hawkeye (who are as usual are in their bathrobes). After Margaret escorts her father to his tent, she accidentallymentions his divocre, and he says he wants to be alone. This makes Margaret feel bad.



Meanwhile, a huge package arrives for Hawkeye. As he and Klinger open it, BJ reads a letter that came with it. It was from the kid Hawkeye treated earlier, and he thanks Hawkeye by sending him a HUGE side of steak that was supposed to go to General Beswick. Realizing that it is packed in dry ice, they decide to throw a surprise party in the mess tent after Margaret's dad leaves.



Wounded arrive, and Al observes the OR. After certain doctors (Hawkeye and Winchester) start making jokes, Margaret get furious at them for joking in front of her father and accidently knocks over a container of blood. Al leaves, making her feel worse.



After talking to Margaret for a while, Al goes to the officer's club and strikes up a conversation with Col.Potter. Hawkeye and BJ arrive (dressed casual) and decide to be polite for Margaret. They sit down with Potter and Al. Al, however, starts chewing them out because of their clothes, saying they are a pair of clowns with no respect for the army. When Hawkeye retaliates, Al blows up at them and storms out.



The next morning, Klinger runs up to Hawkeye and BJ in the Swamp. He says that General Beswick is enraged that he didn't get his beef and has the MPs looking everywhere for it. Winchester overhears and pledges his support to preparing the party, wanting to eat some of the beef himself. Margaret runs into Hawkeye and BJ, and blows up at them for "humilliating" her father at the officer's club, and says that because of them her father is leaving today. Margaret also runs into Col.Potter and complains about Hawkeye and BJ's behavior. When Col.Potter tells her the truth (that her father started everything), Margaret concludes that her father's behavior is her fault because she has been screwing up ever since he arrived.



Col.Potter goes to talk to Al. After confronting him about how he walked out on Margaret in OR, Al says that had nothing to do with her. Potter eventually realizes that Al was disgusted by the spilled blood. But he also tells Al off for letting Margaret think she is a failure. Al realizes he is right, and gives Margaret some encouragement before he leaves.



Later, the steak praty is underway when an MP walks in and demands the beef for General Beswick. But after tasting the beef and being invited to the party, he doesn't complain and sits down to eat.
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