M*A*S*H

Season 7 Episode 17

The Price

Aired Unknown Jan 15, 1979 on CBS

Episode Recap

Part One: Potter is riding Sophie but he is four hours late getting back and Radar is worried. He finally gets back and Radar helps him off with his clothes, including his satin boxers that his wife made for him. He offers to have her make Radar a pair; he requests white. Local Cho Pak and his daughter Sun come by for the laundry. Cho looks rather ill and Potter offers to give him a physical, but he refuses. Sun says her father was in the cavalry many years before and having to work in laundry is a disgrace. Radar says that he's honored to know him. Sun tell Radar her father was famous for fighting the Russians many years before. As they leave, Klinger comes in and says he wants to know the Colonel's price for a bribe, since his Section Eight attempts have failed. He starts by offering $100 dollars and Potter scoffs at that, but when he goes up to $10,000, Potter is amazed. When Potter threatens him with his boot, Klinger says he'll be back. That night, Hawkeye and BJ come out of the shower and Margaret is going in. They offer to scrub her back and she rejects them; as this happens, a young Korean man sneaks into the shower tent. She is singing as he tries to sneak out, but she finds him, they both scream and he runs off, but Hawkeye and BJ catch him as several members of the unit, including Father Mulcahy, come out to see what the problem is. They take the Korean boy to the Swamp, but he tries to leave repeatedly. With Radar's help, they find out his name is Ham, and some of his friends were taken by the ROK conscription unit earlier, but he ran away. Radar tells the docs that they grab young men off the street and force them into the military. Han says he was wrong to run and he should be a soldier, but he is afraid. BJ says that is what they are fighting against and Hawk says they should. In the O-Club, Klinger is raising funds for his bribe by selling most everything: cigarettes, gum(new and used), photographs, even renting hats and coats to be checked. The docs bring Ham over so he can make them a dress to hide in. He offers to make it for $75 but takes $20. Zale keeps insulting Klinger, but when he says he can use his nose as a warehouse, Klinger attacks him. The next day, Potter and Radar go to get Sophie so the Colonel can ride her. Klinger has set up a flea market in the compound as his latest scheme to get his bribe money together. Potter tells him to get it out of camp. Then he goes to Sophie's stall only to find her missing. The gate is open but all the riding gear is there. Radar thinks he left the gate open when he went to feed her the night before. Potter thinks he must have did it when he came out to see her. He has Radar get choppers together for a search.
Part Two: Radar is on the phone trying to get someone to look for Sophie, but they don't realize she's a horse. Potter comes back dejected because he hasn't found her. Radar tells him not to give up hope, but he says there's no hope to give up. He has Radar join him for a drink. He says that Sophie gave him a lot of pleasure, and she liked him too. Radar says he knows she did. They toast absent friends, but Radar can barely take the drink. Two ROK recruitment soldiers come into camp looking for 'escaped draftees.' Hawk and BJ hide Han, wearing the dress, in Charles' bunk with blankets covering him. The ROK soldiers come into the Swamp looking and Hawk and BJ are their usual sarcastic selves. One soldier calls BJ 'a regular Bob Hope.' The other is interested in the still. The first asks who is in the bunk and they tell him Charles had just come out of 25 straight hours of surgery. He demands they wake him but Hawkeye says they need permission from Potter. The soldiers start to leave, but Charles comes in. The first one throws off the covers and Charles yells at them for having a 'trollop' in his bed. The soldiers leave, then Charles yells at Hawk and Beej to get Ham out of his cot. The next day, Sun leads Sophie back to camp with her father riding him. Ham says his grandfather told him how he saved their village. Potter comes up and asks what is going on. Cho Pak is in full dress uniform. Sun tells Potter that he is nearing the end of his life and wanted to relive the time he was honored and respected as Potter is. She tells her father to get off, but as they leave, Potter allows Sun to take Sophie with them. After she tells him, Cho Pak stands up straight and bows; Potter returns the bow. Sun says her father will never forget this. As they leave, Radar tells Potter that it was the best thing he saw anyone do ever. That night, however, Han packs to leave to join his friends in the army. He tells Hawk and BJ that Cho Pak was brave and did not run away. They try to talk him out of it but he runs off. The next day, Klinger comes in to ask if the Colonel saw the note he slipped under the door. It was a promissory note for $5000. Potter calls this an official bribe, and says Klinger is on his way to 20 years at Leavenworth for bribing an officer. He offers him $10 to forget the whole thing. Radar comes in and tells the Colonel to come out. He tells Klinger not to be there when he comes back. Sun is back with Sophie. He tells Potter her father died overnight, and his last few hours were the happiest ones because of his gesture. She says he died with pride, honor and dignity. She kisses her cheek and gives Sophie back to him.
Epilogue: A drunk Klinger calls Potter over to the bar at the O-Club. He offers to buy him a drink for putting him out of the bribe business. Potter says he feels the hook dangling under his nose. Klinger insists it's 'pure kindness, 100 proof.' Potter offers to buy him a drink, but then realizes he's broke and asks him to loan him $10.