M*A*S*H

Season 4 Episode 24

The Interview

5
Aired Unknown Feb 24, 1976 on CBS
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
59 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The Interview
AIRED:
Clete Roberts introduces this segment as his show; he's arrived at Korea to interview the staff of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital because of its high 97% efficiency rating. In Roberts' interviews with Hawkeye, BJ, Frank, Radar, Klinger, Mulcahy and Potter, they talk about how they cope with their situation, what they miss about home, how they feel about who they work with, and whether they see any good in coming from war.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A simple idea that is extremely well done.

    9.5
    This episode is one that will always stand out to me as one of the most unique, and most brilliant episodes of the series. It's based on the simple idea of having somebody interview the characters we know from the the series, and have them talk about their personal thoughts and experiences in the war.



    The producers of the show decided to have the actors ad-lib most of the responses in the episode according to what their characters would say. And in doing this, we get to see a new side to the different characters, with a much more intimate feeling than any other episode.



    The questions deal with the war, what it is like being away from home, how their experiences have changed them, and a few other questions along those lines. Some of the answers add a certain amount of humor which is much more subtle than most of the other episodes, and some of the answers add a subtle sense of drama. In fact, one of the answers given by Father Mulcahy about how his experiences have changed him (one of the only scripted responses in the episode) is also possibly the most haunting lines in the whole series.



    Overall, this was a great episode, that did so much with so little, and added a lot to the characters that we know and love.moreless
  • Excellent. The best MASH episode in all the series.

    10
    Absolutely brilliant! This is i think the best show ever... and one of the few shows with less or no humor. But still how they managed to reflect the effects of the war on civilian doctors dragged into it is stagaring. In a moment like this even Frank Burnes is honest and isn't making his usually silly comments. This is the real MASH the sadness behind the jokes, they way they can cope with young soldiers dying for their country with jokes and pranks, poker nights, alcohol, even dressing as women. I must say one of the finest MASH episodes ever made in all the seriesmoreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

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

Larry Linville

Larry Linville

Major Franklin Delano Marion Burns (Season 1-5)

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell

Captain BJ Hunnicut (Season 4-11)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • This just may a sequencing problem, but when Klinger says hi to all his buddies back home, he seemed as if he wasn't aware that people back in "the States" could see and hear his comments up to that point. But, earlier in the episode, when he talks about being bored and wishing something would happen to him, he makes a nod to his then-wife. He seemed pretty aware that he could be seen and heard then.

    • During his interview, Col. Potter (Harry Morgan) mentions former silent film star Francis X. Bushman. In real life, Morgan is married to Barbara Bushman, his granddaughter.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Clete Roberts: Is there anybody back home you'd like to say hello to? They'll see it.
      Col. Potter: There is, but...I just don't think that's dignified, so...uh...I won't do it.

    • Clete Roberts: Do you see anything good coming from this war?
      Hawkeye: Yeah, me...alive. That would be nice.

    • Father Mulchay: When the doctors cut into a patient and it's cold, the way it is now today...steam rises from the body...and the doctor will---will warm himself over the open wound. (takes a deep breath) Could anyone look on that and not feel changed?

    • (Clete Roberts asks Colonel Potter who his favorite hero is.)
      Potter: My great hero would be Abraham Lincoln, I think. 'Cause I think in so many ways, he was the most interesting American that ever lived. He would have been a great doctor. Such a gentle man, had such compassion, such humor, and yet, there was a terrific toughness about him. He was a real fighter right up to the very end. He was of the common people and he never lost that. A man like Harry Truman is that kind of man---decent and earthy, forthright, honest, not a buck-passer. Men like Lincoln and Truman, if they had an assignment, by God, they did it! They didn't assume---people are so inclined to do these days---sort of weasel a decision. They looked at the problem, acted and took the responsibility for it.

    • (Frank Burns is commenting to Clete Roberts on the problems at the 4077th)
      Burns: The almost-criminal lack of discipline and respect.
      Roberts: But, isn't that too much to expect from doctors in a combat zone?
      Burns: I don't see anything wrong with expecting doctors to behave patriotically.
      Roberts: But, doesn't patriotism have to come from the heart?
      Burns: I don't have that problem.

    • Roberts: Would you give up medicine?
      Frank: Some people think I could be more useful if I did.

    • Roberts: How would you describe yourself? Are you a Captain in the US Army Reserve or are you a civilian in uniform?
      BJ: I'm a temporarily mis-assigned civilian.

    • Hawkeye: A war is like when it rains in New York and everybody crowds into doorways, ya know? And they all get chummy together. Perfect strangers. The only difference, of course, is in a war it's also raining on the other side of the street, and the people who are chummy over there are trying to kill the people who are over here who are chums.

    • Radar: Can you say latrine on television?

    • Klinger: I think it's the most stupidest thing in the world. You call it a police action back home, right? Over here it's a war. A 'police action' sounds like we're over here arresting people, handing out parking tickets. War is just killing, that's all.

    • Hawkeye: I've seen so many people to whom...killing is a casual thing. I don't know how we manufacture people like that but it seems to me that we'll never run out of them.

    • Roberts: You've been here some time.
      Hawkeye: Somewhere between some time and eternity.
      Roberts: Is there anything from home that you brought over with you to set up for yourself? Creature comforts?
      Hawkeye: I brought a book over.
      Roberts: What book?
      Hawkeye: The dictionary. I figure it's got all the other books in it. I like to read the dictionary.

    • Roberts: What do you feel was the most difficult thing you had to adjust to over here?
      Hawkeye: I think it's that everything is painted green. The clothes are green, the food is green...except the vegetables, of course. The only thing that's not green is the blood...the blood is red. That's what you get the most of here.

  • NOTES (8)

    • On the M*A*S*H* 30th Anniversary Special Larry Gelbart indicated that he felt that Father Mulcahy's line about a surgeon warming himself over a patient's incision on a cold day (which was a quote from an actual Korean War surgeon) was the finest speech in any episode of M*A*S*H.

    • M*A*S*H received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 1976 Emmy Awards. In addition, Alan Alda received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Also Gary Burghoff and Harry Morgan received nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and Loretta Swit received a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

    • This was Larry Gelbart's last episode with M*A*S*H. He had finally decided that there was little more he could add to the series.

    • Clete Roberts was a real journalist during The Korean War; he turns up again in Episode #T408, 'Our Finest Hour'(10/9/78).

    • This episode was scripted in reverse---the interviews were done spontaneously and segments were edited for use in the final product.

    • This was M*A*S*H's own inimitable way of response to the end of The Vietnam War.

    • Shown in black and white, except for the end credits, which are in color!

    • Margaret does not appear in this episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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