M*A*S*H

Season 4 Episode 19

Some 38th Parallels

5
Aired Unknown Jan 20, 1976 on CBS

Episode Recap

Part One: During another OR session, Hawkeye estimates that has 'earned' a nickel an operation for all the time he's been in the army. Nurse Able, his assistant, admires his work. BJ and Father Mulcahy take a patient who has been finished and try to put him in post-op, but Klinger says it's all full. They then leave the patient on a table by the entrance. Klinger can't find an IV stand so BJ has it nailed to the wall. He tells Mulcahy that most of the wounded are from Col. Coner of the 43rd. His unit retrieves the bodies of dead soldiers from battlefields, and BJ is none too happy about it because most of Coner's men end up dead or wounded. Back in the OR, BJ assists Frank and Col. Potter on an operation, and Frank starts to ask Potter about a plan of his to sell the camp's trash to the locals instead of allowing them to steal it. Nurse Able and Hawkeye make a date for after the session. Radar tells BJ that the patient left in the hallway has had their IV tube was disconnected. BJ fixes it and tells Radar that he may have saved the patient's life. Later, Radar helps Klinger in the kitchen, and while Klinger tells about how he had soft hands when he was a kid, Radar tells about how he saved the life of the patient. Klinger complains about the food and the sanitary conditions, but Radar keeps smiling. Later, Frank goes over his plan to auction off the camp's garbage with the Colonel. Radar gives a sample of the garbage and Frank says that the locals would love to use it for themselves. Potter is not really interested until Frank comes up with a directive from the Pentagon about trash, which Potter is surprised to hear about and lets Frank go ahead. Meanwhile, Hawkeye is unable to perform with Nurse Able, and is very upset, even with her trying to comfort him. Radar interrupts with a message that BJ wants to see him in post-op. BJ says that the patient Radar helped him with is not doing well, pulse dropping and blood pressure getting higher. Hawk says to watch him and possibly have to operate again. BJ does have to operate and Radar watches from the hallway. Later, Hawkeye tells him about what happened with Nurse Able and BJ says it must be tension. Klinger says that more wounded are in pre-op and they are more from Col. Coner's unit, including Coner himself. Hawkeye and BJ tell him what they think of his activities and Coner says that every fallen soldier deserves an American coffin, which does not justify it to them. Hawkeye runs into Able and says he's okay now.

Part Two: Radar spends time with Pvt. Phelan, the patient he helped BJ with. They put together a jigsaw puzzle and talk about what they miss back home. Potter comes along and asks if he did his work, Radar says he did. Frank informs Potter that he's about to hold his first garbage auction. Frank shows the garbage to the locals and has them bid on it; Hawkeye and BJ come in and Hawkeye tells Beej to bid higher than the highest bid. Later, Radar is stunned to hear about Phelan's death. BJ tells him that there was too much damage to his brain, and that understanding doesn't help accepting it. Later, over a game of horseshoes, Hawkeye tells Potter about his problem and he says he needs to unwind. He also said he had the same problem in WWI, but didn't get over it until WWII. In the mess tent, Col. Coner talks with Hawk, Beej, and Potter. They tell him about Phelan dying and he says that they retrieved all the soldiers on the hill and killed 15 or 20 Chinese. Frank comes by and when Hawkeye cracks a joke, Frank says that he thought Hawk was clever until he bought all the garbage. Klinger then says that Coner's jeep and 'everything' is ready. They then go outside and watch as a chopper with a bag full of garbage is dropped on Coner just as he is about to leave. Everyone except Frank laughs; he says that's his garbage and Hawkeye says, 'No, it's my garbage, Frank, I got a receipt!' Afterwards, he spots Nurse Able and says that everything is fine; they go into the Swamp.

Epilogue: The following happens while a combat helmet full of popcorn is passed at a movie: BJ asks Hawkeye about his date; he first says he doesn't kiss and tell, then he says it was terrific. He passes it to Frank, who is telling Potter about his plan for chopper rides for the men. Potter doesn't like that idea; he passes the helmet to Radar, who is still stunned over Phelan's death.
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