Season 7 Episode 10

Point of View

Aired Unknown Nov 20, 1978 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
65 votes
  • Nearly perfect, though not typical.

    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.
  • Could well be my favourite episode of the series.

    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!
  • One of the best episodes of the series

    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.
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