Season 11 Episode 16

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

Aired Unknown Feb 28, 1983 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

Write A Review
out of 10
183 votes
  • MASH at its best

    A true to life hell at war with a cast as real as can possibly be. Best friends from their vast backgrounds has always captivated me through the years. I'm 61 and truly watch MASH as much as I can. Best show ever.

  • Long overdue

    This episode was tedious and too long. The entire series should have ended at least three years earlier, if not more. It definitely jumped the shark when Alan Alda took creative control. The writing was horrible. The acting was horrible. Harry Morgan and Jamie Farr were overacting so badly it was difficult to watch at times. Not every line had to be some pithy, hyperbolized retort.
  • My review

    This was one of the best episodes that aired during M*A*S*H's run. Made my eyes water.
  • Very Enjoyable

    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.
  • Disappointing (Yes, disappointing)

    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.
  • A great ending to a great show

    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..
  • Remarkable, but not perfect.

    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.
  • A Great episode I had tears in my eyes when the episode was over the best show ever written .

    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 .
  • It was so sad at the end. The part where they all said goodbye was so sad to watch because they knew eachother for gosh who knows how long and now they have to say goodbye to eachother for good.

    I liked the part when Charles's private latrine was mowed down and Potter told him he had to use the ravine latrine like everyone else. It was so funny to see his facial expression. It was like, "You've got to be kidding me." Then Charles met the five Chinese musicians on his way back from the latrine and it was so funny when he brought them back to the camp in his bathrobe. I also like the part at the very end when Margaret is getting ready to leave and Hawkeye kisses her and Charles, BJ, and Potter look away.
  • All good things must come to an end.

    M*A*S*H is unique among television programming. There wasn't anything like it before it aired, and there hasn't really been anything like it since. IT was a pinnacle of television history, and remains among people's favorite programs to this day. But, nothing lasts forever. After a run of 11 seasons (more than three times longer than the actual war this show portrayed), everyone- cast, crew and creators- decided that the time had come to say goodbye. Rather than the simplistic, straightforward ending originally outlined by early cast members, the folks in charge decided that after all this time a great deal of closure was needed. So, an elaborate farewell was planned to give a proper send-off to the crew of 4077th. Everyone got a chance to shine one last time while announcing their plans after the conclusion of the war:

    *Col. Potter, after guiding the camp through yet another bug-out, bids a fond farewell to his faithful steed Sophie before heading home to his wife at long last. *BJ Hunnicutt receives a preliminary discharge order and eagerly heads out in the hope of coming back to Mill Valley in time for his daughter Erin's 2nd birthday- only to be sent right back for one last round of surgery and chaos in Korea before he finally gets sent home to his beloved family. *Margaret Houlihan, after so long spending time running the chaos of an army hospital, decides to follow through with her heart's desire- being a REGULAR nurse, away from all the frantic horrors of war. *Charles Winchester is at last granted the position Chief of Thoracic Surgery at a prestigious Boston hospital (due in part to help from Margaret, something Winchester is not initially thrilled by). Charles ventures out early one morning and encounters a group of Chinese musicians. After witnessing some potential in their playing, Winchester begins teaching these POW's to play Mozart. Tragically, the musicians are killed soon after their departure from the 4077th, and Charles finds that his one true solace-music-irrevocably stained with blood. Humbled by this final experience, Charles makes amends with Margaret and his bunkmates before departing with an air of dignity. *Father Mulcahy, trying to save a few remaining prisoners, is injured by an explosive blast and faces permanent hearing loss. Disillusioned, Mulcahey decides to stay behind after the war has ended, to care for other deaf souls. *Hawkeye, who has experienced war longer than virtually anyone else, suffers a nervous breakdown brought on by a traumatic experience one night on an ambulance with some refugees. Thanks to the aid of ever-loyal Dr. Sidney Freeman, Hawkeye brings himself back to reality in time for one last party at 4077th. With the war over, Hawekeye can finally live out his dream career- being a typical civilian doctor who talks with and cares about his patients, rather than enduring an endless stream of casualties. Finally, Klinger winds up in a position nobody could've expected- he's fallen in love with a Korean refugee named Soon-Lee. After a lot of soul-searching, Klinger proposes marriages. Soon-Lee accepts, but still intends to search Korea until finding her family. Which means that, after all this time trying to leave, Klinger will be STAYING in Korea longer than everyone else! All of this and more happens as the final shots of the Korean War are fired and the camp we have grown so fond of is broken apart. As the last helicopter flies over the horizon for good, a single word is spelled out with the remaining rocks on the ground- "GOOODBYE," bidding a fond farewell to M*A*S*H 4077, and the people who called it home.
  • The Korean war comes to an end.So is ending the time the people of the 4077 being together.Lives are in turmoil as Hawkeye has seen something that has made him lose reality.Fighting is heavy right before the war ends and the Mobile in MASH is tested again

    This is in my opinion the finest television show off all time. It has been 25 years since I sat in my parents house watching it. I didn't remember the details and now after all of these years (25) in re-runs the series comes once again to a close for me. I didn't remember about Hawkeye and the baby or maybe I was just a teenager and I didn't have the emotional character then that I do now. If you liked this show much less loved it then this is the benchmark that all shows will be tested against. For me the war comes abruptly to an end and 3 years of war is 11 seasons of M*A*S*H. This show will make you laugh and cry and if you are sentimental and you were a fan then it will make a lasting impression on you. This is the one episode that presents the horrors of war without pushing an agenda.

    It was difficult watching everyone say goodbye. I would have preferred that Charles & Margaret not have the spat. I liked it that they had to "big" out but was sad to know the fire was real. I liked the way each character left in a different way. I sat last night wondering if any of the cast was watching? I only missed Radar & would have liked to see him worked in the show somehow. Maybe showing him back in his hometown working on the farm hearing the war was over on his radio. Now that its ended all we can do is think of stories of what these characters lives would be like after the war. What happened to Kawkeye, Hot Lips, Col. Potter, Klinger, Charles, BJ, and even Radar after the war. Did any end in Vietnam ? The show will live on in re-runs and I can only hope younger people will find it and enjoy it as I have as this show is timeless.
  • Ending a Series 101

    There have been many classic TV shows that have tried to go out with a bang, go out with controversy, or just plain go out in style. Some end their series well, others are very disappointing. When a series comes to an end, many empotions are felt. There is a sense of nostalgia, so series finales often have a trip down memory lane due to returning characters, flashbacks, etc. There is a feeling of loss, even mourning as you realise that this is the last new episode of the series you will see. Ultimately, there is a sense of excitement, because it is almost as if the gloves come off in the last episode, and anything can happen. Too often, the disappointing series finales come from too much of one or another of the usual requirements. In the world of television series, however, there is one that ended in a fashion above all the rest, and no series has been able to match or surpass it. That series, of course, is MASH.

    The nostalgia is very subtle, and not contrived in the least. The characters are pushed to their limits, and we see them as we haven't seen them before. Many unanswered questions are answered, and we the audience are not left hanging. There is excitement, anticipation, and tour-de-force performances from the cast that we have come to know and love oh so much. Most importantly, the story is compelling, and we care about what happens. Finally, the show has closure. Too many shows try to leave things open-ended, as if there is a snowball's chance that they will be back. No, MASH had entertained us for 11 years, and this was the best way to end it. If you want to know how to end a series, this is where you should start your lessons.
  • could not have been better

    The final episode was very hard to watch. The writers, for the most part, toned down the humor and foccused on the drama. It showed that in war, even the most innocent are not safe. The episode opens with Hawkeye talking to Sidney in a dark room. After a while it reveals that Hawkeye had snapped, the question was why? Eventually, Sidney gets Hawkeye to remember more and more of the events that lead to his mental breakdown. Meanwhile, back at the 4077, news that the war is nearing its end reaches the others who begin preparing for their return home. However, the news also reaches the front line where both sides double their efforts to gain as much territiory as they can before the treaty is signed. This of course leads to twice the wounded. While this is happening, Sidney manages to restore Hawkeyes memory and discovers that the entire camp, along with some wounded and some civilians are forced to hide while an enemy patrol passes by. Suddenly, a baby starts crying and Hawkeye, fearing that the enemy would hear, tells the mother to keep her baby quiet. The other was forced to smother the baby, and Hawkeye blamed himself. Having found the source, Sidney sends Hawkeye back to the 4077. While the baby scene was very sad, I have to say it was much harder to watch the characters say goodbye. Klinger leaves first with his new bride. Then Father Mulcahey, followed by Margaret and Charles. Next, BJ and Hawkeye Give Colonel Potter one last salute as he rides sophie for the last time to his jeep. Finally, BJ and Hawkeye share a heartwarming moment as Hawkeye prepares to leave in his chopper. As the Chopper takes off, Hawkeye watche BJ ride away on his motercycle, and as he looks down for the last time at the camp he see's a final note from BJ, a group of rocks forming the words Goodbye. The final episode of MASH was the most watched event on televisionand anyone who has watched it knows why. MASH was a great show and the finale did it justice.
  • This was a very tuff episode to watch at the end, with this show you almost forgot they were just actors.

    We watched them all the way through, some of us younger folk, saw all of the other episodes in re-runs, after we saw the series finale. There were some parts were it was a tad cheesy, and I mean like the jokes, not the goodbye stuff, it was earlier in the show, it seemed almost like there should have been a laugh track or something. The whole episode was done great, with all the different things each main character was dealing with right before they left. Father losing his hearing, BJ almost going home, Winchester, teaching the prisoners music, and then them getting killed, Pierce going crazy etc. It was a good episode, and I think most people agree the end with the goodbye written in rocks was great. This show was amazing, if they had a little less of Hawkeye it would have been even better in my opinion.
  • A fitting conclusion to a superb series!

    I have loved M*A*S*H ever since living in New Zealand where there is nothing else to watch. It manages to be hilarious and very serious all at once and much of that is due to the genius of Alan Alda. That genius comes through completely in this final episode- a testament to his acting, writing, AND directing abilities! I would be remiss if I failed to also acknowledge the amazing performances given by the entire cast...the final goodbyes were moving, to say the least.
  • truly one the most heartfelt show ever made

    this is a show that will always be rerun not for time slot filler but one that has change they way we all think about a show,human being or the world.
    it was a sad moment in history that mash had to end. yet it show that you have to go along with your life even if had allot of bumps or sadness.
    we have to go around thu or just simple jump over it.
    words will never justified this show you have ti simple watch it to know what it means to know about war or just simple life. itself
  • Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen

    I remember watching the final episode when I was in 2nd grade. I remember staying up late that night watching the final episode of this show. I think that there I acrually cried when it was over (this was one of them). I still cry when I watch it.

    This was one of the best shows created
  • Classic show that will be missed.

    M*A*S*H is a classic show that is sadly missed but now that they are out on DVD I can still watch them over and over again. I really loved this episode, it was sad and funny.
    Hawkeye and the Chicken was so good and done very well. It doesn't surprise me that he went a bit crazy after everything that they had seen.
    A big thing that I loved in this final was the fact that Hawkeye kisses Margaret (a long kiss).
    I loved their relationship.
  • We enter with Hawkeye in a mental hospital being treated by Sidney. With the flashbacks shown we see it is brought on by a mother smothering her baby to death to keep it quiet. Meanwhile, peace was declared and it is bittersweet as they must say goodbye t

    The greatest finale to any series. I was a bit worried about them starting with Hawkeye being nuts, but leave it to the brilliant writers and directors to make it into a perfect ending to a perfect series. Filled with all of this emotion of the news of going home we see changes in characters and feelings finally coming to the surface. Charles is devastated after a grop of Chinese musicians he taught die and we finally see him show a side other the being a self important egotist. The goodbyes are filled with passion as Klinger stays in Korea to be with his new wife Soon-lee, Hakeye and Margret have a long kiss as she leaves, and BJ can finally say goodbye as he drives off Hawkeye sees his message in stone. It was the perfect ending as the camera view also makes it as though it is the final good bye from its cast and crew to the many fans that made it so great. You will never find a finale quite like this one ever again.
  • hawkeye was the best surgeon and he was there through the beginning to the end. a lot of fine actors were on the show and they left and wished they didnt after the years. but hawkeye stayed thru thick and thin. potter was better than blake in my opinion s

    the best episode ever and it makes you cry. the image of a woman with a chicken making noise and then she kills it and you realize it was a baby hits you in the gut. this show was three times longer than the actual war and this funnier one
  • The best show to ever be created!

    An absolutely fitting farewell to a show that united millions. It made me cry, it made me happy and it made me laugh. M*A*S*H will live on forever in television. The best show ever created! It had the best cast and the funniest and the most heartfelt episodes. Nobody will ever be able to beat Alan Alda and Mike Farrell, who are the ultimate actors and funny men. Long live Hawkeye and BJ! In this episode, when they said their goodbyes, we weren't just farewelling the characters and televison show, we were saying adios to 11 years of joy for people all across the world. I think it necessary to express that there will NEVER be another show like M*A*S*H.
  • The war that Hawkeye, Beej, Klinger, and the rest is finally coming to an end. Strangely, it isn't a very warming conclusion.

    I have to say that this last episode of MASH, isn\'t really an episode. It\'s more like a movie. I\'ve been a fan a MASH for a long time. I\'ve laughed like everyone else who loved, and still loves, this show to this very day.

    I always get choked up when I see that departure scene, where everyone goes their separate ways, especially the words GOODBYE.

    Great show with a magnificent ending, enough said.