Season 3 Episode 14

Private Charles Lamb

Aired Unknown Dec 31, 1974 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
56 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Private Charles Lamb
A Greek Colonel thanks the 4077th by giving them food and drink for an Easter celebration. Bu the feast is foiled when softhearted Radar saves the main course from the spit - a lamb, which Radar tricks Henry into giving a medical discharge and sends home to Ottumwa, Iowa. Thus, Hawkeye and Trapper invent the famed Spam Lamb! Meanwhile, a soldier who had shot himself to get out of the army confesses to Frank, thinking he is Father Mulcahy.moreless

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  • While setting up for a celebration of Greek Easter, Radar saves a lamb, Frank harasses a soldier who shot himself, and the 4077th has dance, drink, and fun.

    Since it excludes any major dramatic storylines, this episode is amazing for the sheer beauty of character interactions. Frank is still a by-the-numbers, deadwieght major but surprsingly "lets is all hang out" at the end of the episode. Radar shows his compassion and love for animals by tricking Henry into giving a discharge to Pvt. Charles Lamb, a sheep that was to be slaughtered for the Greek Easter festival, and Hawkeye and Trapper continue their unique duality: compassion and somber understanding of a suffering individual and antic lunacy that engulfs their every moment in order to survive the suffering themselves.

    It all culminates into a beautiful celebration of life and hope when the camp celebrates Greek Easter with a wild party. Just seeing Frank, Hawk, Trapper, Henry, and Radar come together to enjoy the moment. This is all the more poignant since it is essentially the final moment in which a majority of the 4077th celebrates as one family before the tragic "Abysinnia, Henry". The final moment of this episode, once completely fun and silly, is now bittersweet.moreless
  • Good episode!

    I have to admit, this episode is fun for me to watch with every viewing. The MASH unit treats a number of wounded Greek soldiers and when their commander arrives to check on his men as well as plan an Easter feast for his troops and the MASH personnel, the episode spirals out in an amusing manner. The look on Henry's face when he realizes he has been duped, thanks to Radar's well intentioned plans, is priceless to say the least. Even the background story, involving Frank and a soldier's moment of stupidity in the field of combat, lends a certain polish to the episode.

    An enjoyable episode ( who knew Frank was such a good dancer?...heh... ) to watch.moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff

Corporal Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly (Season 1-8)

Jamie Farr

Jamie Farr

Corporal/Sergeant Maxwell Q. Klinger

Larry Linville

Larry Linville

Major Franklin Delano Marion Burns (Season 1-5)

McLean Stevenson

McLean Stevenson

Lt. Colonel Henry Braymore Blake (Season 1-3)

Wayne Rogers

Wayne Rogers

Captain John Francis Xavier "Trapper" McIntyre (Season 1-3)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • This episode as much as any other shows how Radar's character evolved over the years. Back in the season 1 episode "Long John Flap" Radar was willing to trade a pair of long johns for a whole leg of lamb (with mint jelly of course).

    • When we first see the spam lamb, the face is featureless except for eyes. Then we cut to a close up and see more features such as lips. Finally, we cut back and see the featureless face again.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Radar: Uh, Sir?
      Henry: Not now, Radar.
      Radar: Uh, it's about the lamb, Colonel.
      Henry: Where is it?
      Radar: Well, I don't want you to get in trouble, Sir, but, uh, it's been set free.
      Henry: Well, what horse's patoot did that?
      Radar: Um, you did, sir.

    • Frank: I'm talking about Pvt. Chapman. His wound was self-inflicted. A first-year medical student would be able to detect that.
      Trapper: Then how did you find out?
      Frank: He told me. Chapman!
      Hawkeye: When?
      Trapper: Why?
      Frank: Not five minutes ago. Because he thought I was a priest.
      (Hawkeye and Trapper start laughing)
      Trapper: Slowly, Frank.
      Frank: I was in Father Mulcahy's tent to register a complaint.
      Hawkeye: Get a litte dirt on St. Christopher, Frank?
      Frank: I was leaving the good Father a note when this Chapman came in on his crutches--
      Hawkeye: And you tripped him.
      Trapper: Hold it. So?
      Frank: So, nothing! He confessed the fact that he shot himself. And now my duty's clear.
      Hawkeye: You get the rope, Frank, we'll bring the tree.
      Frank: Doing one's duty is not performing a lynching.
      Trapper: Frank, look, a lot of kids have made the same mistake. Let him go back and straighten himself out.
      Frank: Nerts!
      Hawkeye: Probably get ten years.
      Frank: Maybe twenty.
      Hawkeye: Oh, I don't think they'd give you that much, Frank.
      Frank: ... Me?
      Hawkeye: For impersonating a priest.
      Frank: A priest? I never!
      Trapper: Frank, you can fool some of the papal some of the time.
      Frank: Its a lie!
      Hawkeye: And you can count on us not to back you up, Frank. Very serious business this.
      Trapper: Posing as a priest.
      Hawkeye: They'll give you the electric pew.
      Frank: (defeated) One of these days. Boy!

    • Henry: I've got Command on my tail, and a hospital full of Greeks waiting for a lamb who's sitting on a plane on his way to Iowa to become Radar's little brother!

    • Hawkeye (writing home): Dear Dad, the wounded keep coming and coming. The latest batch were Greek soldiers. Greece is one of the seventeen UN countries fighting here in Korea. Greeks, Siamese, Ethiopians, Turks, you name 'em, we got 'em. The one common denominator is blood. It's all red, and there's an awful lot of it leaking out around here.

    • Trapper: Henry's not here.
      Hawkeye: Are you sure? Sometimes when he's here I get that feeling.

    • Radar: And you also signed an emergency leave.
      Henry: Oh.
      Radar: For one of the men.
      Henry: Which one of the men?
      Radar: Uh, Private Charles Lamb.
      Henry: I don't remember any Private Charles Lamb.
      Radar: Oh, yes you know him, Sir. Short, curly-haired guy?
      Henry: Short, curly-haired?
      Radar: Yes, had to take an emergency leave.
      Henry: Death in the family?
      Radar : Almost.

    • Henry: I gave a discharge to a sheep!
      Radar: He's on his way to Tokyo now.
      Hawkeye: On Bo-Peep Airlines!

  • NOTES (1)


    • The name Charles Lamb was not picked at random; rather, the lamb was named after a late 18th to early 19th century poet/writer with the same name.