M*A*S*H

Season 7 Episode 16

Inga

2
Aired Unknown Jan 08, 1979 on CBS
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
45 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Inga
AIRED:
It's instant attraction for Hawkeye when a beautiful Swedish doctor, called Inga, arrives to observe combat surgery. That is, until she upstages him in the operating room with a superior technique, and his ego is bruised.

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WZME
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Wednesday
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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Hawkeye relizes that women are more than just something for men to enjoy when a beautiful Swedish doctor named Inga comes to the 4077th and shows up Hawkeye with a quick percise leg operation.moreless

    9.0
    Hawkeye prepares himself for the arrival of a Swedish female doctor. He brags to BJ and Charles about how women love him and how he is “Life and Appetite.” When the Doctor arrives she takes over one of Hawkeye’s patient and badly bruises his ego. The he makes his move in his tent luring her in saying he wanted to talk about medical stuff. She is offended and rejects him. Later he realized how one-sided he is and how he looks as women as a toy. When he finally gets the doctor in his hands wounded comes in and she has to leave.moreless
  • Alan Alda writes, directs, and stars in this notable episode from Season 7.

    8.5
    Alan Alda is featured prominently in this episode. He not only holds the most screen time of any actor in the cast, but he also wrote and directed the episode.



    Although I like this episode a great deal, I think his earlier episode "Dear Sis" is the far superior work. It was certainly directed better than this episode, but I also think it "flowed" better than this one. "Inga" is an above average episode from the series, but it does not approach the masterpieces from this season ("Point of View" and "Dear Sis").



    This episode focuses on sexual discrimination and ego. When a Swedish doctor named Inga comes to the 4077th, Hawkeye is immediately attracted to her. But he fumbles and tumbles with her, generally because she's a female doctor who may, in fact, be a better one than he is. This is shown quite convincingly in the OR when Inga performs a quick, concise, and quite effective procedure on an injured soldier to the regret of Hawkeye's ego.



    But Hawkeye tries his best to be fair and open-minded, but he unfortunately slips again when talking to Inga. It only takes a sure-fire correction at the expense of Dr. Winchester's ego for Hawkeye to realize how unfair he has been -- and by then it is too late. Inga is due to leave the 4077th to tour other M*A*S*H units in the area.



    The episode focuses on the flaws of two important characters: Winchester and (especially) Hawkeye. The reality is, and actually has been for some time, that these two men are quite similar. Both are talented but arrogant. Both unfortunately act at the expense of others' feelings and maybe even more importantly their own pride and happiness.



    These doctors, and everyone at the 4077th, are flawed heroes. And there's nothing more effective than showing this fact, especially when a war is going on around them. The result is a quality episode centered on fine performances from the cast. What prevents the episode from being a cut above the rest is that the episode is quite predictable in nature and actually somewhat moralistic -- to the point where the message seems more important than the style of telling it.



    Yes, it is important for episodes like this to feed the viewers some viewpoints and ideas -- but predictability and anvil-like plot developments seem pretentious and contrived rather than poignant and thought-provoking. This would become a more prevalent "quality" of Alda's work, in acting, writing, and directing, as the series went on.moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers

Major Charles Emerson Winchester III (Season 6-11)

Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff

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

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

Mariette Hartley

Mariette Hartley

Dr. Inga Helversen

Guest Star

Phyllis Katz

Phyllis Katz

Nurse

Guest Star

Mark Favara

Mark Favara

Patient

Guest Star

Kellye Nakahara

Kellye Nakahara

Kellye

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Hawkeye: I am the essence of overconfidence. I am Speculation, Adventure, the spirit of Pursuit! The stag howling for its winsome yet anonymous mate. I am the love call of evolution. The perfume and color of the flowers as they offer their pollen to the gentle buzz of the bees. I am Sex itself, gentlemen! I am Life! I am Appetite!
      B.J.: And I'm not taking my clothes off 'til he leaves!

    • (A flustered Charles has just left Inga's tent)
      Inga: Where did you get him?
      Hawkeye: We're trying him out; we think he can replace dysentery.

    • Margaret: You think a woman is dead until she lives for you. Well, let me tell you something, Benjamin Franklin, we actually survive without you. We live, we breathe, we dream, we do our work, we earn our pay; sometimes we even have our little failures, and then we pull ourselves together, all without benefit of your fabulous electric lips. And let me tell you something else, Buster--I can walk into that kitchen any time I want, and replace those fabulous lips of yours with a soggy piece of liver!

    • (Various people have given their opinions to Hawkeye in the Mess Tent; Hawkeye walks out)
      Mulcahy: I also heard.
      Hawkeye: Why not?
      Mulcahy: Actually, my only advice would be that you'd try to avoid the occasion of sin. But, from what I hear, you seem to be avoiding it just fine.
      Hawkeye: Thank you.
      Mulcahy: Don't mention it.

  • NOTES (4)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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