M*A*S*H

Season 9 Episode 20

The Life You Save

2
Aired Unknown May 04, 1981 on CBS
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
51 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
The Life You Save
AIRED:
After Charles is nearly felled by a sniper's bullet, he develops a philosophical obsession with death. Meanwhile, the officers have all been assigned new responsibilities.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Saturday
No results found.
Sunday
9:30pm
WZME
Monday
7:00pm
WZME
7:30pm
WZME
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • After having escaped death by only centemetres, Charles becomes obsessed with death. While searching for the answer to "What happens..." Charles puts himself right in death's path, an aid station on the line.moreless

    10
    This is one of the greatest and most depressing episodes,not only of MASH, but all of television. It is heartwrenching in Charles' inability to cope with a narrow survival and chilling in the search for the most haunting question in any person's life: what happens when you die? This one of the few episodes that is flawless and one of the few that can challenge "Abyssinnia, Henry" and "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" in depth, emotion, and drama. The scenes with Charles badgering a patient that had died for only a few moments on the experience and his manic dialogue with Rizzo about jeeps and humans, are engaging, eerie, and painful. No episode in Tv or any movie for that matter, has dealt so forcefully with death to the point that I cannot remove myself from Charles at any point during these passionate yet desperate 30 minutes. And the final scene, where Charles leaves his bullet hole stricken hat on a hanger and leaves the aid station with no answer and no comfort, is one of the most poignant and impactful of any TV series. This is the only scene that can rival the final moment in "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen". Charles: "Please, I have to know... what is happening to you?"...moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers

Major Charles Emerson Winchester III (Season 6-11)

Harry Morgan

Harry Morgan

Colonel Sherman T. Potter (Season 4-11)

Jamie Farr

Jamie Farr

Corporal/Sergeant Maxwell Q. Klinger

Loretta Swit

Loretta Swit

Major Margaret J. "Hot Lips" Houlihan

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell

Captain BJ Hunnicut (Season 4-11)

Meshach Taylor

Meshach Taylor

Orderly

Guest Star

Val Bisoglio

Val Bisoglio

The Cook

Guest Star

Jin Boeke

Jin Boeke

Sergeant Chiaverini

Guest Star

Dennis Troy

Dennis Troy

Dennis

Recurring Role

Gwen Farrell

Gwen Farrell

Gwen

Recurring Role

G.W. Bailey

G.W. Bailey

Rizzo

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Hawkeye and Pernelli are discussing breakfast, Klinger appears and calls Pernelli "Cookie." "Cookie" is slang term for a Navy cook; Army cooks are usually referred to as "mess cooks" or "mess sergeants."

    • This is the first of three appearances by Val Bisoglio as SSG Pernelli, the mess sergeant.

    • Charles revealed that he had a brother but he died which caused his obsession with death.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (3)

    • M*A*S*H received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 1981 Emmy Awards. Alan Alda received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Also Harry Morgan David Ogden Stiers received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and Loretta Swit received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

    • Alan Alda received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.

    • Hawkeye says of Mulcahy's assignment to trash duty: "Some men are born with garbage, others have garbage thrust upon them" -- Potter said the exact same thing to Frank Burns in Some 38th Parallels.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Hawkeye: Some men are born to garbage, some have garbage thrust on them.
      A paraphrasing of Shakespeare from Twelfth Night: "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them."

More
Less
  • 8:00 pm
    Bad Teacher Nix the Fat Week
    NEW
    CBS
  •  
    Bet on Your Baby
    NEW
    ABC
  • 8:30 pm
    Bad Teacher Life Science
    NEW
    CBS
  • 10:00 pm
    Nightline Prime
    NEW
    ABC