M*A*S*H

Season 8 Episode 11

Life Time

2
Aired Unknown Nov 26, 1979 on CBS
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
50 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Life Time
AIRED:
Hawkeye and BJ race against the clock to save a soldier from paralysis. BJ harvesting an aorta from a dead soldier doesn't sit well with the soldier's friend.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • In this episode Hawkeye and BJ are waiting for one soldier to die so they can save another soldier's life by replacing the aorta in one soldier with the aorta of the dead soldier. The trick is that they only have about 20 minutes to save this guy's life.moreless

    10
    I personally love this episode. God used one line in this episode in my life in a powerful way. About 2 years go, I lost my mom and dad. I lost my dad in January of 2006 and I lost my mom in October of 2006. And just before they passed away, as a sign of release in my heart and spirit, I used a paraphrased version of Father Mulcahy's prayer from this episode. This prayer is the hardest prayer that a child of any age ever has to pray for his/her parents. My version of the prayer was, "Dear God, if you must take my dad/mom, please take my dad/mom quickly." The actual prayer that Father Mulcahy prayed was, "Dear God, I've never asked You this before, and I don't know what You're going to think of me asking now, but if You're going to take him anyway, please take him quickly, so we can save the other boy".moreless
  • This episode was well written. Generally, it was not funny, but it was not really meant to be However, it was thoughtful. A young soldier comes in to the hospital with part of his aorta blown away. Hawkeye proceeds . . . .moreless

    9.5
    This episode was well written. Generally, it was not funny, but it was not really meant to be However, it was thoughtful. A young soldier comes in to the hospital with part of his aorta blown away. Hawkeye proceeds to save the young man’s life by performing an aorta transplant, but many in the unit help the surgery. Charles, who had given blood only five days before, provides blood as the blood supply dwindles. Hawkeye gets the piece of the aorta by BJ taking it from another young soldier who dies. Margaret provides her typical superior support as head nurse, assistant. Nurse Kellye keeps track of time and acts as the anesthesiologist. The time that it takes to get the aorta and to transplant it is shown in a clock that ticks away on the bottom right hand side of the screen. The ticking clock was an effective technique. The lack of the laugh track was brilliant. This is a program that is well worth viewing.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)

Kevin Brophy

Kevin Brophy

Roberts

Guest Star

J.J. Johnstone

J.J. Johnstone

Helicopter Pilot

Guest Star

Jo Ann Thompson

Jo Ann Thompson

Jo Ann

Guest Star

Kellye Nakahara

Kellye Nakahara

Kellye

Recurring Role

Jeff Maxwell

Jeff Maxwell

Igor

Recurring Role

Roy Goldman

Roy Goldman

Goldman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • After being forced to give up his canvas bathtub last season in "None Like it Hot", Hawkeye managed to acquire another one.

    • When Klinger mentions "Fifteen ways to a better vocabulary", he was probably meant to say days, not ways. Charles seems to confirm this by saying that he is "on day fourteen". A more recent title is Thirty Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary (By Funk, not Wagnall).

    • The time seems to be off from the clock on the screen. In the operating room Hawkeye said that he's had his hand in the wounded soldier's chest for ten minutes. The clock only said 1436.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Klinger: I'll be back in a trice with the ice.
      Charles: Trice?
      Klinger: Fifteen ways to a better vocabulary, Major. The keystone to executive advancement is enhanced by good verbiage.
      Charles: Funk and Wagnall are whirling dervishly in their mausoleum.
      B.J.: Great verbiage, Charles.
      Charles: I'm on day fourteen.

    • (Nurse Kellye brings Hawkeye some aortic grafts for his patient)
      Hawkeye: These are too small! These are like a piece of spagatini, we need rigatoni!
      Winchester: Spoken like a true meatball surgeon!
      Kellye: Rigatoni? Doctor, I'm part Chinese and part Hawaiian. Can you put that in ethnic measurements I can understand?
      Hawkeye: A small egg roll!
      Kellye: That I understand. We don't have any that big.

    • Klinger: Terrific phone call! No fighting in the area! The only thing due here in the next 24 hours is a case of Scotch and three dozen baklava.
      Hawkeye: How'd you get that?
      Klinger: They were very cooperative...(imitating Col. Potter) once I explained who I was!
      Potter: (walking in) What's up with your voice? You sound like a donkey in heat!
      Klinger: Post-nasal drip, sir.

    • (Klinger is on the phone trying to find out if any more casualties are coming from I-Corps.)
      Klinger: I gotta know, is there any fighting in your area?
      I-Corps Officer (On phone): I can only give that information to your commanding officer!
      Klinger: My CO's in surgery...he can't come on the radio!
      I-Corps: Sorry, Corporal!
      Klinger: Wait a minute, here he comes now!
      (Klinger takes the phone and holds it next to the OR door and slams it. He then stomps his feet holding the phone to the floor as if Col. Potter is walking in.)
      Klinger (On the phone imitating Potter): What in the name of Sweet Fanny Adams is going on? Can we expect casualties or NOT!?
      I-Corps Officer: Is that you, Col. Potter?
      Klinger: You bet your horse's hiney!
      I-Corps Officer: It's all clear, Colonel.
      Klinger: GOOD! And, the next time you get a phone call from Cpl. Klinger, COOPERATE! When you're talking to him, you're talking to me!
      I-Corps Officer: Yes, sir!
      Klinger: Now, while I have you on the phone, is there anything you guys have to trade? Got any baklava?

    • (The patient is wiggling his toes, proving he's not paralyzed. Hawkeye, BJ and Margaret jump for joy, a blood-drained Charles resting nearby)
      Margaret: WE DID IT! WE DID IT! Do you know what we DID?!
      B.J.: We made a man who's part George and part Harold!
      Charles: AND part Winchester.
      Hawkeye: That's right! When he wakes up, he won't know whether to be brave, generous or pompous!

    • (Hawkeye and BJ are operating on a patient who, if they don't finish fast enough, will be left paralyzed)
      Margaret: Kellye, the time.
      (Kellye looks at her watch and her face falls)
      Nurse Kellye: (sadly) Its 2:55 and 25 seconds.
      (Hawkeye and BJ look horrified)
      Hawkeye: We're 3 1/2 minutes over! Damn it!!
      B.J.: Maybe the hypothermia bought us some time.
      Hawkeye: (bitterly) Yeah, and on the other hand, maybe it didn't.
      B.J.: Hawk, we saved his life.
      Hawkeye: (unimpressed) Yeah, well I guess that's something.
      B.J.: (scornfully) It's more than something, it's everything.

    • Mulcahy: Dear God, I've never asked You this before, and I don't know what You're going to think of me for asking now, but if You're going to take him anyway, please take him quickly, so we can save the other boy.

  • NOTES (5)

    • This was the last episode, at least on the Season 8 DVD opening, that credited Gary Burghoff as Radar, even though his last episode was 'Goodbye Radar Part 2.'

    • Dishell actually kept a 1953 medical textbook in his office to ensure that the surgeons' procedures were never anachronistic, and a registered Army nurse was always on the set to oversee the accuracy of triage and O. R. sequences.

    • The episode proceeds in real time with a clock superimposed in the lower right corner of the screen for viewers to emphasize how quickly the doctors must work to avert impending paralysis.

    • No laugh track is used in this episode.

    • Walter Dishell was the medical consultant on the series. He provided Alda with help in making sure that this episode was as medically correct as possible.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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