M*A*S*H

Season 11 Episode 16

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

13
Aired Unknown Feb 28, 1983 on CBS
9.5
out of 10
User Rating
171 votes
19

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Goodbye, Farewell and Amen
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Hawkeye is sent to a mental hospital; a freak accident causes Father Mulcahy to lose his hearing; Margaret worries about her post-war plans; Charles runs across a band of Chinese musicians; BJ is sent home, much to Hawkeye's dismay; Klinger decides to stay in Korea to marry Soon-Li; a ceasefire is declared, ending the war.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Very Enjoyable

    5.5
    M*A*S*H was one of my favorite series. I never tired of it. McLean Stevenson, Harry Morgan, Alan Alda,Wayne Rodgers, Mike Farrell, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, David Ogden Stiers, and all the other cast members were very fine actors. The production staff and everything that went on behind the scenes that we never saw deserved a lot of credit. I remember the Vietnam War, but I do not remember the Korean Conflict. But both of these wars were a very terrible time in history and I hope that we never see another battle like these again. Thanks.moreless
  • Disappointing (Yes, disappointing)

    7.0
    First off, let me just say that M*A*S*H is one of my favorite shows and you can often catch me wathcing those two-hour marathons every day on the Hallmark Channel. But there's one episode I rarely watch and it's "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen". I know it's blasphemy among most fans to consider this series finale to be anything less than perfect, but I find it little more than a pandering rehash of ideas better explored in other episodes. What really kills it for me is the overdose of irony. Back in season three, "Abyssinia Henry" used irony for devastating effect. After that, the show used it over and over again. Margaret's getting married? Here comes the wounded. Radar's farewell party? Here comes the wounded. In this episode, we have Maragaret ditching the army, Klinger staying in Korea, and Charles' love of music destroyed. Admittedly, Charles' tragic story is extremely touching and provides the strongest (and, oddly enough, the funniest) subplot, but it's still part of the problem. However, I don't find any irony in Hawkeye's breakdown. After all, Sidney Freedman had already made two visits with Hawkeye in "Hawk's Nightmare" and "Bless You Hawkeye". And in "Heal Thyself", when the temporary surgeon goes insane, Hawkeye admits that the temp's then-apparent strength of mind scares him. He knows he could be next, so it wasn't any big surprise to find him locked up. And when he got out, I hated the bit with the tank. First of all, that's exactly the kind of behavior one would expect from the always impulsive Hawkeye. For Potter to question his sanity is appaling, especially if you remember that the colonel actually requested a tank to act as a "watchdog" in "Hey Doc". The only reason I rate "GF&A" a 7 rather than a 2 is because even with all its faults, you can't deny the effort put into this by the cast. They buy into into the emotional hokum, so we accept it, no matter how contrived. I also give props to the final shot. In itself, a great finish to a magnificent series. Too bad most of what preceded it was hackwork.moreless
  • A great ending to a great show

    10
    Hawkeye cracking up, The 4077th bugging out, Charles teaching chinese POW Bach, Sydney gluing Hawkeye together and making him face his ultimate fear. This is an episode with food for thought. It shows the gruesomeness of war, but also the hope and the will to survive even madness and death. The episode also teaches us that home is where the heart is. Something that Klinger learns when he chooses to stay in Korea after finding his true soulmate. And even if you leave a place, you never leave that place all together.. Some of it remains with you, as some of you remains in it..moreless
  • Remarkable, but not perfect.

    9.0
    This is the touchstone with which the quality of other finales is measured, and it is a remarkable show, but not a perfect one. MASH was a success because it had wonderful characters, great comedy and its satire made some good points. There is plenty to laugh at in this episode. But what makes it so special is the way the relationship between the characters struck the viewer with such power. Rarely have you empathized so much with the emotions the characters went through as they said goodbye to a horrible situation, and to each other. The emotions felt real, for which we should applaud the actors' talents. Potter's goodbye to Klinger stands out as a good example.



    The writers didn't always take the easy way out. Charles Winchester's apparent coldness and ingratitude make sense, and bring tension to the story, but would have been avoided by lesser writers.



    At the heart of the episode there is of course the relationship between B.J. and Hawkeye. The idea of B.J. leaving during Hawkeye's absence, without saying goodbye, brought the show back to the reality of military life. These things happen; relationships that seem meant for life are more fleeting that expected, and it's hard for people to accept that.



    My only problem with the episode is the first half hour. Hawkeye's breakdown was not necessary. As an example of the horrors of war it seemed over the top. (Winchester's experiences with the Chinese musicians achieved the same goal a lot better.) Worse, it weakened a character who, for eleven seasons, had stood up to army and the war. It felt as if the war won in the end.moreless
  • A Great episode I had tears in my eyes when the episode was over the best show ever written .

    10
    I think this episode was sad because the father lost his hearing and hackeye went insane it was a sad episode but i am glad klinger decided to stay with his wife in korea the war is over but nothing will ever be the same agin i will miss mash it was a good show now life will begin anew for the mash unit with klinger getting married , margret divorceing her husband bj holding his girls agin and Potter seeing his wife mildred but hackeye wont be the same agin the war cracked his mind and he still screams at night from the terrors of war .moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers

Major Charles Emerson Winchester III (Season 6-11)

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

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell

Captain BJ Hunnicut (Season 4-11)

Rosalind Chao

Rosalind Chao

Soon-Li Klinger

Guest Star

Mark Casella

Mark Casella

Jeep driver

Guest Star

Herb Mitchell

Herb Mitchell

1st M.P.

Guest Star

Bill Snider

Bill Snider

Corpsman

Recurring Role

Shari Saba

Shari Saba

Nurse

Recurring Role

Gwen Farrell

Gwen Farrell

Nurse

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (14)

    • The M*A*S*H timeline takes another hit. Margaret sends a telegram saying she knew Charles for two years which means he arrived in 1951 however Colonel Potter and BJ arrived by September 1952.

    • At the final get-together before everyone leaves, the nurse that says "I'm gonna be the best darn nurse Oklahoma's ever seen" is played by Judy Farrell, ex-wife of Mike Farrell (BJ). Incidentally, Judy is from Oklahoma, born in Quapaw in 1938.

    • When everyone is in the mess tent discussing what they're going to do when they get home, Nurse Kellye is shown with her rank and medical insignia on the opposite and incorrect collars.

    • Alan Alda had a different idea for the series finale; after a typical half-hour episode, a "breaking the fourth wall" routine would happen: the director would yell 'cut,' the actors would walk off screen, and Alan Alda would say, 'Well, for the last 11 years we tried to show you what war was like, but it's not as much fun.'

    • When saying goodbye to Col. Potter Hawkeye and BJ gives him a parting gift from the heart: a salute.

    • By the end of this season, BJ Hunnicut, Col. Potter and Charles Winchester are the only characters to last longer than the characters they replaced (Trapper John McIntyre, Col. Blake, Frank Burns).

    • This is the second time Klinger got married.

    • When B.J. and Margaret are operating on the soldier that drove the out-of control tank into the compound, somehow he has grown a mustache between the time he was pulled out of the tank and gotten on the operating table.

    • In the mess tent scene with the Chinese musicians, Margaret brings up the 'nose-touching' incident again to Winchester. This incident occured in 'War of Nerves' from season 6.

    • Towards the end, Col. Potter reminisces about the time Hawkeye and B.J. dropped Winchester's drawers in the OR. This actually happened in "Bottoms Up" from season 9.

    • Each of the main characters made their final departure from the 4077th in a different mode of transportation. They are in order of departure:

      Klinger: in an ox cart
      Mulcahy: in an ambulance
      Margaret: in a jeep
      Winchester: in a garbage truck
      Col. Potter: on horseback (Sophie)
      BJ: on a motorcycle
      Hawkeye: in a helicopter

    • Although it works dramatically, and allows us to say good bye to another beloved occasional character, I don't think Sidney Freedman would have been permitted, or allowed himself, to adminster therapy to Hawkeye. They are friends and Sidney would probably have trouble maintaning his objectivity.

    • In the final scene with Col. Potter, Hawkeye and B.J. (last three cast members left in camp), there is a someone holding the horse's reigns. Potter left by horse, BJ by motorbike and Hawkeye by chopper. Rizzo said earlier telling Winchester, "this is the last vehicle I got". How did the person holding the horse leave?

    • Sidney arrives at the camp for the birthday party in a jeep - which clearly says "4077th MASH" on it. If he is coming *into* the camp, and he is not part of the 4077th, where did he get the jeep?

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Winchester: (at the final banquet) For me, music was always a refuge from this horrible place. And now it will always be a reminder.

    • Hawkeye: (as compound is being shelled because of a stalled tank) Okay, boys and girls, time to do something intelligent. Since I seem to be the only intelligent person here I nominate me! All in favor say aye.
      Potter: Take your seat, Pierce.
      Hawkeye: Sorry, sorry...I can take umbrage, I can take the cake, I can take the A-Train, I can take two and call me in the morning, but I cannot take this sitting down! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna take five.

    • Winchester: Just a minute! You handle our food AND dig LATRINES?
      Igor: Don't worry sir, I always wash my hands before I dig the latrines.

    • (Klinger is on the phone to Chorwon looking for Soon-Li's family)
      Soon-Li: Tell them my father is short, dark hair...
      Klinger: Mr. Han is a short man with dark hair...
      Soon-Li: Mother, short, dark hair...
      Klinger: Right. The mother also isn't too tall.
      Margaret: Klinger, get off the phone, I need to send a telegram.
      Soon-Li: And brother, short, dark hair...
      Klinger: I think they get the picture. (on phone) Okay, could you- whoa! That did sound close! (hangs up) They gotta get outta there, they're gonna be overrun any minute!
      Margaret: Klinger!
      Klinger: Working on it Major, go.
      Margaret: This goes to Robert Harwell-
      Soon-Li: Why you not tell them about my brother?!?
      Klinger: I tried!
      Margaret: Klinger, pay attention! To Robert Harwell, Chief of Staff, Boston Mercy Hospital. Dear Uncle Bob...
      Klinger: Oh, your uncle runs a hospital.
      Margaret: Well, he's not really my uncle.
      Klinger: Oh, that kind of uncle!
      Margaret: He's a friend of the family, I've been calling him that for years, now BE QUIET!
      (Col. Potter enters)
      Potter: Sergeant, get on the phone to I-Corps.
      Margaret: In a minute Colonel, I'm sending a telegram.
      Soon-Li: Now they be looking for two people, not three!
      Klinger: They're not looking for anybody, they're leaving.
      Potter: Klinger, I've got North Koreans up to my southern border, I want to get rid of them!
      Margaret: Been working with Major Winchester two years. Stop. His two years experience in Korea is equal to ten years at any stateside hospital. Stop.
      Potter: STOP! Tell I-Corps that tank is still out there, and this is not a parking lot.
      (clamoring still continues)
      Potter: Don't you have a piece of paper that proves I'm in charge here?

    • Winchester: (to Hawkeye and BJ) I want to thank you both. You've made me realize what going home is all about.

    • Dr Sidney Freedman: Ladies and gentleman, take my advice. Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.

    • Col. Potter: (To Klinger) Boy, you must think I'm the biggest dunce since the monkey wrapped his tail around the flagpole!

    • (Hawkeye, in a session with Sidney, is finally allowing himself to remember what he really witnessed on the bus.)
      Hawkeye: She...she killed it!
      Sidney: She killed the chicken?
      Hawkeye: (begins to break down and sob) Oh, my God! OH, MY GOD! (sobs even more) I DIDN'T MEAN FOR HER TO KILL IT! I JUST WANTED IT TO BE QUIET! IT WAS A BABY! SHE SMOTHERED HER OWN BABY!
      Hawkeye: (after calming down) You son of a bitch! Why did you make me remember that?
      Sidney: You had to get it out in the open. Now we're halfway home.

    • Potter: (at the final gathering) There's a woman back in Hannibal, Missouri, who's spent the better part of thirty years waiting for me to come home from one tour of duty or another. She's had to learn how to do a lot of things, and I'm gonna see if I can learn how to do them with her. So, part of the time, I'll be a semi-retired country doctor, but most of the time, I'll be Mrs. Potter's Mr. Potter.

    • Newscaster: (on radio in OR) This is Robert Pierpoint speaking to you from nearby Panmunjom. It is one minute before ten p.m. We can still hear the sound of nearby artillery. At some point during the next few seconds, the guns should go silent, as the cease-fire officially goes into effect.
      (Shooting stops, silence)
      There it is. That's the sound of peace.

    • (Last lines of this episode, and of M*A*S*H)
      B.J: (To Hawkeye as they leave, they can't hear each other because of the chopper noise) I'LL MEET YOU BACK IN THE STATES, I PROMISE! BUT, JUST IN CASE, I LEFT YOU A NOTE.
      Hawkeye: WHAT?
      (B.J. rides off on his motorcycle. Hawkeye lifts off in a chopper, and sees some rocks arranged in the word "GOODBYE.")

    • Hawkeye: I can't say I loved all of you either... (devilishly) ...but I've loved as many of you as I could!

    • Colonel Potter: Major, I think there's a definite medal in capturing 5 Chinese in your bathrobe!
      (after Winchester returned from bathroom break with 5 musician POW's in tow)

    • Klinger: Well, I planned something, but it kind of fell through. I guess you noticed Soon-Li isn't here tonight. It's because she had a lot of things to take care of....'cause we've decided to get married!
      Hawkeye: Yay!
      B.J.: Congratulations!
      Klinger: I had to cut through a lot of red tape, but I got permission. The only problem is, she won't leave Korea until she finds her family. So...boy, I don't believe I'm saying this...I'm STAYING in Korea!
      Hawkeye: You don't have to act crazy NOW! We're all getting out!

    • (Charles' farewell words.)
      Charles: Gentlemen.
      (He and Rizzo ride off in the garbage truck.)

    • PA System Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, five minutes ago, at 10:01 this morning, the truce was signed in Panmunjon. The hostilities will end twelve hours from now at ten o'clock. THE WAR IS OVER!

    • Father Mulcahy: (to God) Dear Lord, I know there must be some reason for this. But what is it? I've answered the call to do your work, I've devoted my life to it, and now how am I supposed to do it? What...what good am I now? What good is a deaf priest? I pray to you to help me...and every day I get worse. Are you deaf too?

    • Benjamin Franklin Pierce, MD: Nice war we had. Of course every war has its cute things. World War II had nice songs. The War of the Roses had nice flowers. We've got booms, they had blooms. Actually, every war has its 'ooms. You've got doom, gloom, everybody ends in a tomb, the planes go zoom, and they bomb your room.

    • (Hawkeye and B.J. bid farewell to each other)
      Hawkeye: Look, I know how tough it is for you to say goodbye, so I'll say it. Maybe you're right, maybe we will see each other again, but just in case we don't, I want you to know how much you've meant to me. I'll never be able to shake you; whenever I see a pair of big feet or a cheesy mustache, I'll think of you.
      B.J.: Whenever I smell month-old socks, I'll think of you.
      Hawkeye: Or the next time somebody nails my shoe to the floor...
      B.J.: ...or when somebody gives me a martini that tastes like lighter fluid.
      Hawkeye: I'll miss you.
      B.J.: I'll miss you--a lot. I can't imagine what this place would've been like if I hadn't found you here!

    • (Col. Potter bids farewell to Hawkeye and B.J.)
      Col. Potter: Well, boys, it would be hard to call what we've been through fun, but I'm sure glad we went through it together. You boys always managed to give me a good laugh, right when I needed it most. Never forget the time you dropped Winchester's drawers in the O.R. 'Course I had to pretend I was mad at you but, inside... (emotionally) I was laughin' to beat all Hell!
      Hawkeye: Yeah. I'm laughing just thinking about it.
      B.J.: I'd love a good laugh like this.

    • Dr. Sidney Freedman: Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice.

  • NOTES (21)

    • When the time came for the series finale of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Creator Joss Whedon mentioned the M*A*S*H finale, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", citing it as the reason why his finale was only one hour long. While speaking admiringly of it and acknowledging "GFA"'s place in TV history, Whedon called the episode too sprawling and unwieldy, and a case of an event taking over from the plot.

    • With the completion of the episode, it was honor and a privilege Alan Alda (Hawkeye) is the only actor to have appeared in all 251 episodes.

    • Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr and William Christopher are the only four original cast members to appear in all 11 seasons of the series. Jamie Farr and William Christopher were supporting cast members until the fourth and fifth seasons.

    • M*A*S*H received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 1983 Emmy Awards. Alan Alda received Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Also Harry Morgan received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and Loretta Swit received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

    • This episode received an Emmy nominations for Outstanding Film Editing in a Series, Outstanding Sound Editing in a Series and Outstanding Costumers.

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

    • There is a brief reference to the conflict in Vietnam during the final session in the OR.


      Vietnam is also mentioned in the newsreel footage in season 4's episode 23, "Deluge".

    • This can also be seen as a continuation of the previous episode as Soon-Li continues the search for her family. In fact, they won't be found until just before the start of the M*A*S*H sequel AfterMASH.

    • Even though the fighting ended, the Korean War never officially ended. As of this writing, tensions between North and South Korea are still high and as recently as the 1970's there were still outbreaks of violence.

    • The scenes in which the camp is dismantling for the bug out in this episode are reused scenes where the camp is dismantling for the bug out in the season 5 episode 'Bug Out'.

    • Just before filming began on this episode, a fire in the Malibu canyon destroyed most area where the exterior scenes were shot. It was then decided to write the fire into the story by having the North Koreans start an attack using incendiary devices to explain why most of the camp was burned out.

    • Listen for a rendition of "The Time Has Come For Us To Say Sayonara," first heard in the 1970 MASH movie.

    • M*A*S*H finished up 11 seasons on CBS with a repeat of "GF&A" on September 19, 1983. It was repeated again in summer 1984.

    • Klinger reveals to have an Uncle Jameel. Jamie Farr's right name is Jameel Joseph Farah.

    • The name of the piece Charles taught to the Chinese musicians is the "Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, K. 581" by Mozart. After this episode was telecast, it became the most requested musical piece on the radio!

    • In the finale's closing moments, listen closely for references to Episode #Z415, "Bottoms Up" (3/2/81), and #1G24, "The Joker Is Wild" (11/15/82).

    • This was the very first episode of the M*A*S*H TV Series to be released on home video. It was released to rental outlets by CBS/FOX Video in 1983. DVD season sets would begin release in January 2002.

    • Alan Alda and Loretta Swit are the only 2 original cast members of M*A*S*H to appear in the 1972 series pilot and 1983 series finale.

    • This was the only episode in the entire run of M*A*S*H to show the title of an episode.

    • Rosalind Chao who guest stars in this episode as Soon-Li went on to play semi-regular character Keiko O'Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-99).

    • Advertising for the final episode garnered $450,000 per half-minute; CBS grossed $13.6 million for the finale and attracted an estimated audience of 125 million viewers--a 60 rating and a 77 share, breaking ratings records for that year's Super Bowl as well as the 1977 Roots miniseries! To date, this is still one of the most watched television events ever on U.S. network television.

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