M*A*S*H

Season 5 Episode 23

Post Op

5
Aired Unknown Mar 08, 1977 on CBS

Episode Recap

Part One: Potter is on the phone to HQ in Seoul. He's telling a captain that they are running out of blood. He says that they had to get rid of all the blood they had in stock because a couple of their patients had contracted hepatitis after leaving camp. He tells the captain that if he can't help, then put someone on who can, but next he talks to a sergeant. Hawkeye comes in and says that either get more blood or call off the war. He tells Potter that he gave a Turkish captain 10 more units, bringing his total for 30. Potter then talks to a colonel. When he tells the colonel he's begging, Hawkeye grabs the phone and says that it they don't get 100 units then 'the boys and I are gonna come down there and alter the pants on all your dress uniforms!' The colonel hangs up and Hawk asks if he left his inseam. The PA announces that wounded are coming and Potter says that isn't what he ordered. On a bus, Hawkeye has trouble holding down a wounded solder, but the medic, a Corp. Moody, manages to calm him down. He tells Hawkeye he came down from Munsan, 20 miles to the north, although it isn't there anymore. Hawkeye remembers Moody from six months before, when he offered to stuff Hawk in his duffel bag. He tells Moody he thought that he'd be in the stockade. He says that before, Moody hated everyone and anything, but he says that lately he hasn't had time to do anything but keep himself and his buddies alive. Margaret comes in and yells why everyone is standing around. Moody asks her to help with a litter. She tells him she's a major. In the OR, at 4 PM, Hawk makes a comment and Frank asks if he has to talk when he works. Hawk then tells a nurse he'll blink his left eye for a clamp and his right for a sponge, then says when he wiggles his ears to meet him under a jeep in half an hour. Potter tells everyone to be quiet because his patient has a bullet near his heart; Margaret loudly shushes everyone. At 8 PM,  BJ finishes with a patient. He tells Potter that was the easy part, now he has to tell the patient he removed his leg. Potter says to start with 'Son, you're alive.' BJ turns and sees a new patient and says his break is over. Just past midnight, Potter tells an orderly to adjust his light. Hawk stretches, and Frank gets nervous, yelling at a nurse who is mopping his brow. BJ finishes one patient an gets another. At 7:22 AM, Frank gets upset that there are pits in his orange juice. Both Hawkeye and BJ yell at him, then Frank complains about working so long. Hawk and Beej threaten him and he threatens them, so Potter steps in and orders them to stop. Hawk has a nurse pull his mask down over his mouth so he can stick his tongue out at Frank. Margaret comes in and tells Potter they only have 10 units of whole blood left. Hawkeye asks it he should call Seoul but Potter says he will. Later, Hawkeye comes into post-op. BJ asks Potter what the blood situation is and he says Seoul says to wait. Frank makes a crack about those monkeys sparing a little blood. Hawkeye says that Frank hasn't donated yet. He says it's strategy, that one of the docs should always have a full tank. Hawk asks why he didn't think of that and Potter says ''Cause you're not an idiot.' Margaret talks to one of the wounded. He tells her that he was in a foxhole, thinking nothing was happening, so he was reading a Communist leaflet when he saw a Chinese soldier staring at him. He says they both wound up firing on each other; he got shot in the shoulder but the Chinese soldier was killed. He asks Margaret to write a letter to his mother to let her know he's okay. Klinger is asked by a soldier named Robelo who was shot in the cheek for a mirror. When he sees that his mustache has been shaved off he gets upset. Klinger says that they had to so they could stitch up his face. He says they should have left it alone, that he might as well be wearing a dress. He gives Klinger back his compact and hides his mouth under his blanket. BJ talks to his amputee. He tells BJ that he was clearing out land mines. He thought it was good because he wasn't get shot at. BJ asks what happened. He says that mines are laid in a pattern so they know how to pick them up, but they booby-trap some so that the enemy won't sneak in and snip the wires to deactivate them and he forgot about that. Frank is watching over a patient that is unconscious. He tells Potter that he isn't wounded and he can't find anything wrong. He tells Potter that it wasn't his fault, and when Potter calls a nurse over, he says the nurse is probably to blame. Hawkeye is talking to Whitney, who was shot in his backside. He says that it's embarrassing, that he doesn't know what to say when he goes home and people asks where he got hit. Hawkeye tells him to look them in the eye and say without blinking where he was hit and if they still bug him, to drop his pants and show them the scar. He tells Whitney that his wound is symbolic of the war: 'This whole thing has been one gigantic pain in the butt.' Frank whines that he's always handed the trouble patients. Potter tells Kellye he wants to see the unconscious patient's latest X rays. Margaret says there is an emergency, but Frank says she has to wait. She tells Potter that the Turkish captain needs a transfusion. Frank tells him he can go. She says that they don't have blood to do it. Potter tells her to get the captain into pre-op. He says they will remove his spleen and that may help his blood to clot. He then tells Hawkeye to call the colonel in Seoul that they need 100 pints of blood and 'I'm gonna come down there and take it all from him.'
Part Two: Hawkeye is treating Moody in pre-op. He is bandaging Moody's hand and face while he says that the night before in Rosie's bar, some rear echelon guys asked him if he could tap dance and he lost his cool. He says that he was surprised how he reacted. He says that he had the guts to get his friends to the aid station. He says that when he was a kid he was always fighting people who put him down because he believed them. He says the people surprised him the night before but they won't get him again because he has something they don't have: self-respect. In the OR, Potter says he doesn't know one reason why the patient is unconscious. He says the patient was discovered in a sleeping bag almost dead to the world. He then thinks that there may have been a snake in the sleeping bag. He asks Kellye if any of the wounded had bare feet when they came in and she says there were a couple of them. He tells her to tell Hawkeye to check the patient for a snake bite in the feet and if he does, to give him some antivenin. Margaret says that is brilliant. Potter asks if he's brilliant, why did he just put a stitch in his glove. Frank talks to a patient who wants to go home and not back to the lines. Frank is in his typical self-absorbed mode, going on about his wife and how he thinks she's cheating on him so he hired a detective to follow her until he thought he was one of her lovers so he hired a second detective. He says he could have hired more if the rash he spotted had come through, but the patient he spotted it on got better. He then asks the patient about him, and when he says he doesn't want to fight anymore, Frank calls him a chicken and leaves. Potter tells the patient who had the snake bite about what happened to him. Hawkeye tells BJ he wants to organize a football game. He says the nurses' shower will be the end zone and Hawk says he'll play end but BJ says no because the last time he didn't see Hawk again until the fourth quarter. BJ then tells a Sgt. McGill that he will be going home but he says he wants to stay because he is making a lot of money by selling things to soldiers and locals like booze. He also has the only Polaroid camera around and charges them for the pictures. He offers BJ deals to get him to stay but he refuses. Klinger, now wearing a nurse's outfit, gives Robelo a mustache made from his own hair. He says because it's Lebanese it might keep growing. Robelo likes it and says 'Hey, you're okay, man.' Klinger says 'I know, but don't spread it around.' Margaret has to deal with a patient who keeps flirting with her and says that he wants to start a relationship with her despite his being married.  After she leaves, he tries again with another nurse only to find it is Klinger. Potter announces that the need has arisen again for blood donors. He says anyone giving will be excused from his hygiene lessons for a month. BJ and Hawkeye drag Frank to the front of the line. He resists until Margaret sees him and he starts acting like he wants to until she leaves and Klinger drags him in. A truck full of Turkish soldiers pulls up. A Sgt. Attias says that he and his fellow soldiers want to give blood in appreciation of their taking care of their captain. As the Turks come in, everyone applauds. Attias says it is a small thing to do for such brave people. Just them Frank runs out with Klinger after him. Attias asks what that was and he says Frank is one of their brave people but he needs his mommy.
Epilogue: Potter talks to a patient who got a concussion from a grenade. He tells Potter he's from Chicago and Potter says he was stationed at Camp Grant for a time.  The patient says he's from the near North Side. Potter keeps getting things wrong, like saying he'd go to watch the White Sox play(they are on the South Side.) After he talks about a tavern at the corner of State and Dearborn, he says that they don't cross each other. Potter then tells him to get some rest because of the concussion.

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