M*A*S*H

Season 7 Episode 10

Point of View

1
Aired Unknown Nov 20, 1978 on CBS
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
64 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Point of View
AIRED:
In this unique episode, the camera becomes the eyes of a young wounded soldier. It records his sensory responses to being wounded, flown by helicopter to the 4077th, examined, operated on, and treated in post-operation.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Nearly perfect, though not typical.

    9.5
    MASH was always a hybrid of comedy and drama, and some say it swayed too much towards the drama in the final seasons. Yes, it could be preachy, but it also found the right tone at times, like in this episode.



    At first it seems a gimmick episode: everything is seen through the eyes of a wounded soldier (who can't talk). We get his entire stay at MASH 4007 from his arrival at the compound up until his departure. This shows us the familiar characters at their professional best: Radar, calming wounded down, the doctors finding a balance between reassuring flippancy and earnest bedside manner, etc. By sheer coincidence I saw this episode the day after spending several hours at an emergency room with an elderly family member. The clever way in which Margaret Houlihan distracted the patient with small talk while performing her (embarrassing) duties were extremely recognisable. That's what makes this episode special: you could believe that these professionals knew what they were doing. (In some episodes you wonder how those drunks could function properly.)



    Perhaps not the funniest of episodes and Colonel Potter's plot line was a tad predictable, but I felt glad I had seen it.moreless
  • Could well be my favourite episode of the series.

    10
    Most of my favourite episodes are in the first few seasons with the original cast.



    But out of the later episodes - this is definately my favourite. Its a very daring think to do to have the whole episode viewed from the eyes of one person.



    But the fact that this soldier can't talk because of his injuries makes it the perfect opportunity to see how the best doctors in the M*A*S*H unit reassure the soldiers that everything is going to be OK.



    You get a real graspof the kindness of so many of the characters in the show, and I especially loved how Potter was able to confide in this man on why he was so upset (Forgot his anniversary) while he could only take his anger out at everyone else!moreless
  • One of the best episodes of the series

    10
    In this wonderfully crafted episode, the camera takes the perspective of a wounded soldier, and we follow his experiences from combat to helicopter to surgery to post-op to exit from the 4077th.



    The photography was top-notch in this episode at clearly identifying the soldier's pain, irritation, amusement, etc. This is especially important given the soldier's wounds (which were to the neck, forbidding him from talking).



    Fortunately, this allows the stars of M*A*S*H to shine. Alan Alda, whom I frequently believe overacts on this series, had one of his best performances in this episode (His last scene alone with the soldier was especially superb). Loretta Swit has a great scene as well, comforting the wounded soldier while giving him a sponge bath. But it is Harry Morgan (as usual) who shines in this one. Angered because he forgot his anniversary, Colonel Potter takes it out on the personnel. But his comforting one-way chat with the soldier put him on the right track again. Just a tremendous sequence from Morgan here.



    When the private goes south in post-op and almost dies, this was cleverly displayed through character reaction and disturbing sounds (immitating a blocked airway). Riveting sequence here. Great stuff.



    Point of View is an episode "change-up". Something that differs from the mainstream episode. Often, change-ups are not well received by fans (This episode's rating is clear evidence of that in this case), but I'm usually a big fan of them since it allows us to look at the characters, and the actors, from a different perspective. No series has done change-ups better than M*A*S*H -- often, they were the show's best episodes. Point of View, written by comedic masterminds Ken Levine and David Isaacs (probably best known for their work on Cheers), is top-of-the-line, a masterpiece in a show full of standout episodes.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

Brad Gorman

Brad Gorman

Russell

Guest Star

Marc Baxley

Marc Baxley

The Sergeant

Guest Star

Edward Gallardo

Edward Gallardo

Medic 1

Guest Star

Jan Jorden

Jan Jorden

Baker

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In the closing credits of this episode, there are still shots of wounded Private Ferguson, Rich's fellow soldier (played by Hank Ross), and of Major Winchester that weren't in any scene of the episode. In fact, Major Winchester's looks like it was taken from Season 6's "The Winchester Tapes."

    • The writing on the notepaper Rich is using changes noticeably when he shows it to Hawkeye. The writing in the later shot is much more legible than in the previous shot.

    • Colonel Potter says he has been married for 35 years - but in "Dear Mildred" it is 27 years and in "Images" it is 38 years!

  • QUOTES (14)

    • (Winchester comes in angrily as Hawkeye talks with Private Rich)
      Winchester: Alright, Pierce, admit it, you were in my diary.
      Hawkeye: Charles, I have no idea what you're talking about. I haven't been in your diary.
      Winchester: Then how do you explain all the pictures?
      Hawkeye: What? It was all dry reading, it needed illustrations.
      Winchester: All right, Pierce, it's 2X4's at dawn!

    • (A wounded soldier, one of Winchester's patients, is trying to play up his injury.)
      Wounded Soldier: Boy, am I glad you're here, Doc. This thing's killin' me. The pain's shootin' through my body! You think you could've missed something?
      Winchester: Private, I do not miss things. You have a superficial laceration of the trapezius. Or, put into words you can understand...you've got a boo-boo on your shoulder. You can put it back now. If there's any pain, it will subside. By the way...that was the worst performance I've ever seen in here! It lacked sincerity, depth! You're lucky I stayed through the whole show!

    • (Hawkeye and Winchester are in Post-Op discussing why Col. Potter is in a bad mood)
      Winchester: I know what the problem is.
      Hawkeye: Hmmm?
      Winchester: Senility.
      Hawkeye: Senility?
      Winchester: Well, look at the symptoms. Chronic irritability, difficulty relating to others, uh, self-absorption...
      Hawkeye: That's not Potter, that's you!

    • Hawkeye: No, the whole blood is over there. Bring a unit for me. Straight up, no ice.

    • Radar (to Private Rich): Okay, I know everybody's telling you you're gonna be okay, but you're really going to.

    • Private Rich: So long, sirs.
      Hawkeye: Hey, what did I tell you? No unnecessary talking unless you meet a good looking nurse.

    • BJ: This meat is from the Civil War...blue on one side, grey on the other.

    • Hawkeye: I'm going to plug your tube and I want you to try to say a few words. Very slowly and carefully. Okay, talk.
      Private Rich (in a raspy voice): I don't know what to say.
      Hawkeye: You just spoke volumes.
      Colonel Potter: Loud and clear.

    • Hawkeye: I have to look under your bandage. Army regulations. You could be hiding a Jeep.

    • Ferguson: You know, if we were in a phone booth, the Sarge would still tell us to spread out.

    • (Margaret is giving Private Rich a sponge bath)
      Margaret: Just relax, private. I've done this hundreds of times and no one's ever died of embarrassment.

    • (Private Rich wakes up and sees Hawkeye looking at his chart)
      Hawkeye: Oh, you caught me. I was just eavesdropping on your condition. These charts come in handy, you know? Everybody ought to have one. Somebody asks how you're doing, you don't have to answer. Just show them your chart. So how are you doing?
      (Private Rich touches the chart)
      Hawkeye: Wise guy, huh?

    • Hawkeye (to Private Rich): I know what you're thinking. "This guy looks like he couldn't fix a bicycle tire." Well . . . I can't . But I'm gonna get you through this. You'll see.

    • Hawkeye: Klinger, you should know better. The Mess Tent is no place to bring a sick person!

  • NOTES (2)

    • Charles S. Dubin received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series and Ken Levine and David Isaacs received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.

    • Although this is his only appearance in a television series, Hank Ross contributed to television via his son Shavar Ross. Shavar played Dudley on the long running Diff'rent Strokes.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Hawkeye tells Private Rich to stay off his throat and not sing Pagliacci. Pagliacci is a tragic opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo.

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