Season 7 Episode 25

The Party

Aired Unknown Mar 12, 1979 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
60 votes

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Episode Summary

The Party
Talk of a post-war reunion gives BJ an idea- planning a present-day stateside gathering of 4077th families. He continues to obsess with the idea even under the duress of bug-out instigated by a Chinese breakthrough. Also, Klinger fears that the party will blow his cover, as his mother doesn't know he's stationed in Korea.moreless

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  • A reunion for those back home.

    What a clever idea for an episode. If the M*A*S*H unit can't have a good time, perhaps their families can. This is a classic example of how much we care for an ensemble who performs as well as this one does. "The Party" is one of the finest half-hours of this series.

    As Season 7's theme continues, it's the same old war, time and time again, at the 4077th. B.J. is fed up but begins to have an idea about how to cope. He wants to get the M*A*S*H unit's families together for a big old party. But as he is about to find out, this is no small task. First, he has to get the approval of everyone else in the M*A*S*H unit -- Winchester, Houlihan, and Klinger being particularly difficult. Winchester doesn't believe his family would converse with "their kind". Houlihan reveals that her parents have separated and probably would not be able to overcome their differences. Klinger is worried that his mother will find out about his being in Korea, rather than New Jersey.

    But they send their letters anyway to uplift B.J.'s spirits. And one by one, they learn that all of them are intrigued/excited by the idea. But now the hard part. What weekend will work for them? It takes week after week, but they finally find the right time (about two months later). So the party is set.

    And then the party goes on while the camp is in surgery mode, as per usual. And a few weeks later -- the mail comes in, and each family has sent a letter to speak of the party. B.J.'s wife tells the tale:

    The Winchesters and the O'Reillys hit it off quite well.

    Mrs. Potter and Mr. Pierce danced quite a few times that night.

    The Houlihans danced all night long.

    Father Mulcahy's sister was a fantastic saxophone player.

    And Klinger's mother revealed that she knew all along Klinger was in Korea.

    No one wanted to leave.

    The episode is so touching because it is a great example of how isolated this M*A*S*H unit is. They each lived vicariously through the party. And they had as good of a time learning of the party's events as the families did themselves. Truly a magical moment for the show.

    The episode was well acted and directed. I thought Jamie Farr, Harry Morgan, and Mike Farrell were especially on target in this one. And Loretta Witt was also pitch perfect, especially as she reveals her parents' separation.

    This is the M*A*S*H I know and love. Season 7 ends on a very good note.moreless
Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers

Major Charles Emerson Winchester III (Season 6-11)

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

Loretta Swit

Loretta Swit

Major Margaret J. "Hot Lips" Houlihan

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • It isn't mentioned in the script, but the story must have taken place in 1953. That's the only year during the Korean War when Valentine's Day and March 28 both fell on a weekend.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Klinger: Captain, we gotta take that picture somewhere else. Anywhere but the sign post.
      BJ: What do you mean?
      Hawkeye: Klinger, the sign post shows our families how much we miss them. How far we are from where we really wanna be.
      Klinger: (angry) Alright then, my parents can't come!
      Hawkeye: What?!
      BJ: Wait a minute. Why?
      Klinger: (sad) It's my mother. She doesn't know I'm here.
      Hawkeye: (confused) She doesn't know you're in Korea?
      Klinger: She thinks I'm in New Jersey.
      (Hawkeye and BJ look dumbfounded)
      Klinger: I told her I was at Fort Dix. I didn't want her to worry! Every day, she'd wake up with the fear I was gonna die!
      BJ: (unable to believe what he's hearing) All this time, she thought you were in New Jersey?
      Klinger: Like I said, she doesn't speak English. All she knows is what the family tells her. When I was stationed at Fort Dix, I took almost a hundred snapshots of myself and I've been sending them to her each month. You know, me peeling Fort Dix potatoes, me at the Fort Dix motor pool, me getting thrown out of the Fort Dix officer's club...

    • Charles (Reading a letter from Radar's mother): "Dear Walter, Your Uncle Ed and me were real excited about the get-together. We love the whole ideer."
      Radar: Hey, that's great!
      Charles: Lord, this grammar is atrocious. First of all, it should be your Uncle Ed and I are very excited or terribly excited. We won't even discuss ideer.
      Radar: Major, you don't have to translate for me. That's how she talks when she writes.
      Charles: Well, anyway, they intends to come.

    • Hawkeye (unpacking): This brings back fond memories. When I was in pre-med, I worked part-time for a moving company. I could pack a 30-piece set of china in ten minutes. Less if they didn't mind having a 60-piece set.

    • Hawkeye: Do you realize what time it is? It's a quarter to dead!

    • Col. Potter: (upon hearing about Mrs. Potter dancing with Hawkeye's dad at the party) Pierce, if your father is anything like you, we're going to have a long talk.

  • NOTES (7)

    • In a previous mention of Margaret's dad, it was implied that he was dead. However, he is alive and separated from his wife in this episode.

    • Klinger reveals that his non-English speaking mother thinks he is in Fort Dix, not Korea. This strains credibility a bit as, previously, he had been married to Laverne, a ceremony that had to be performed over the radio, due to the time difference. Also, you would think Mrs. Klinger would have learned the news from Laverne, due to the bond that usually develops between women, whose husbands are deployed, and their mothers-in-law.

    • We learn in this episode that Klinger's mother and father only speak Arabic, while his Uncle Abdul can speak both Arabic and English.

    • M*A*S*H received an Emmy nomiantion for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 1979 Emmy Awards. Alan Alda received an Emmy nomiantion for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Also Gary Burghoff and Harry Morgan received an Emmy nomiantion for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and Loretta Swit received an Emmy nomiantion for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

    • Series director Burt Metcalfe makes a cameo in this episode as the Driver.

    • For the first time, M*A*S*H finishes the season with 25 episodes instead of 24.

    • This was one of two episodes co-written by Burt Metcalfe. The other one was the final episode.


    • When it is suggested that the party be held on February 14th, Winchester alludes to the Saint Valentine's Day Masacre when he says that the party could be held in a garage in Chicago.

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