M*A*S*H

Season 9 Episode 2

Letters

3
Aired Unknown Nov 24, 1980 on CBS
8.1
out of 10
User Rating
48 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Letters
AIRED:
Members of the 4077th share their impressions of war in response to letters from fourth graders in Hawkeye's hometown. Margaret writes about how there are some patients she will never forget, whilst the Colonel tells of his days as 'Hoops' Potter. Hawkeye has trouble deciding how to answer an angry letter.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Friends with the teacher of the 4th Grade class of his hometown, Crabapple Cove, Maine, Hawkeye is surprised to receive dozens of letters from the entire class. The students were assigned to write a letter asking about the 4077, or being in the Army.moreless

    7.5
    Hawkeye splits the letters among B.J., Charles, Col. Potter, Margaret, Father Mulcahy, and himself, making the rule that there was to be no trading of letters, no matter what. The episode turns out to be one of the stronger episodes for the Mulcahy character. Even though Hawkeye gets the toughest letter by far, it is Father Mulcahy who not only gets to reminisce about training a dog to swear off liquor, but later, Mulcahy also gets to remind Pierce of the old adage, "Physician, Heal Thyself". When Hawkeye has no idea of how to answer a letter which describes how a 10 year old now hates all Army doctors for saving his brother's life, just so the young soldier could later be sent back to the front and killed anyway, it is up to Mulcahy to simply and sternly tell Pierce that he must find a way to answer the letter, not only for the child, but for himself. Or else, Pierce could forget about ever easily falling asleep again. This is the crux of Hawkeye's problem for the entire series, and somehow Mulcahy gets through to Pierce like no one else ever really could.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)

Larry Cedar

Larry Cedar

The Soldier

Guest Star

Michael Currie

Michael Currie

Dr. Brewer

Guest Star

Shari Saba

Shari Saba

Nurse

Recurring Role

Eileen Saki

Eileen Saki

Rosie

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • While he wasn't responsible for saving this soldier's life, in Season 11's "Trick or Treatment", Father Mucahy notices that a man who was tagged as deceased was actually alive when he notices a tear coming from the soldier's eye.  This man's life was truly saved by the good Father as without him, he surely would never have survived!

    • Father Mulcahy says he never saved a life. He forgot that he saved a soldier's life by operating on his throat so he can breathe in the episode 'Mulcahy's War.'

    • In this episode Hawkeye said that Crabapple Cove only has 400 people. It had 3976 in "Hawk's Nightmare".

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Girl's voice: (letter to Charles) Dear Doctor or Nurse, right now it is autumn in Maine. Everything seems very beautiful. I don't know if you have autumn in Korea, so I'm sending you a leaf from a birch tree. I hope you like it.
      Charles: Autumn in New England.
      B.J.: What's that, Charles?
      Charles: Hmm? Nothing. It's more...childishness. (begins to write reply) Dear Virginia. It is with indescribable joy that I accept your gift. It is indeed a testimony to the beauty that exists in all creation, but perhaps nowhere more than in a young girl's heart.

    • Hawkeye: (reading a letter) Doctor, my brother was a soldier in Korea. He got hurt, but some doctors fixed him up so he could go back and fight some more. Than he got killed. Now I'll never see Keith again. You doctors just make people better so they can end up dead. I hate you all. Signed Ronnie Hawkins.

    • Hawkeye: (writing) Dear Ronnie, it's a shame to let the love you have for your brother turn to hate for others. Hate makes war, and war is what killed Keith. I understand how you feel. Sometimes I hate myself for being here. But sometimes in the midst of all this insanity, the smallest thing can make my being here seem worthwhile. Maybe the best answer I have for you is that you look for good wherever you can find it.

    • Klinger: As these chinchillas multiply, so does my bank roll. And they're very affectionate sir, if you get my drift.
      Col. Potter: You get this drift. If my brogans meet up with just one chinchilla chip, it's the hanging tree for the whole clan!

    • Winchester: (recording) And in conclusion Peter, I think it's perfectly normal for you to want to dress like a grown-up. In fact, I suggest you take your father's best suit down to the tailor shop and have it altered to fit your little body to a T.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • After coming back to The Swamp after walking through a downpour, BJ calls Hawkeye Captain Nemo. This is an allusion to the captain of the submarine Nautilus in Jules Verne's book "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

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