M*A*S*HCast #97 – Bug Out

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 5, Episode 1: Bug Out

Special Guest Star: Dan Greenfield

Air Date: September 21, 1976

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11 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #97 – Bug Out

  1. Yay! I am so happy you are back! Season five is such a great one, and I am looking forward to every episode of the podcast.
    And Bug Out – what an amazing episode it is! It’s easy a top five episode for me, I think the balance between drama and comedy works so incredibly well, and there are stellar performances by every actor.
    Such a great episode for my girl Margaret. I adore her journey through the seasons. I love how brave she is, always volunteering- here, in “Cave”, in “Aid Station” and in “Hawkeye get your gun” even though a nurse was not needed in that one. Even though she is terrified she stays on. One of my favourite moments is the one with her and Hawkeye when she asks him if the enemy rapes female prisoners. Her eyes in that scene! So scared, and also that she lets herself be that vulnerable in front of her old arch nemesis. And that he is serious too, and not makes a joke about it like he has before, in “The Sniper” for example. It such a great contrast too – her frightened eyes, how she is trying to hold it together, to Hawkeye and Radar at Rosies, talkning about BJ’s racing cockroach.
    And then the hilarious scene with the prayer, and Frank being so exciteted about the yummie, yummie tarts, that is just comedy gold!
    I love the scene with Margaret and Potter on Sophie, the way she just beams behind him. I can see the little girl in that smile, the one always looking for her father’s approval, who have finally found a father figure she can feel safe with, who doesn’t want anything from her except to be a supportive friend.
    Thanks for a great episode!

  2. Hallelujah! MASHCast is BACK! All is right with the world, getting to hear Rob and a myriad of guests discuss one of the best seasons of the show. Regarding “Bugout”, this was always an episode I found “meh”, but after listening to Rob and Dan discuss it in full, and their obvious delight and enjoyment in re-watching it, I’ve decided to watch it tonight to reassess. It was never an episode I disliked, just one I’d usually skip over. I look forward to revisiting it. Wonderful episode gentlemen, your joy and appreciation for the episode was more than apparent. Can’t wait to go through season 5 over the next few months….and maybe even contribute! That is all!

  3. One of my favorite podcasts, with one of my favorite guests, talking about a great, double-length episode — this was truly a treat! I agree, this was MASH at its most military — the way they (almost) all pitched in and got things done on the positive side, and the need to react to a rapidly changing situation and the resulting flip-flopping direction on the other side. Great job covering it to both of you! It’s clear how comfortable you are with one another, and it’s a boon to the podcast.

    Looking forward to the rest of the season!

  4. So glad you’re back, Rob! I hesitate to post before I’m done listening, but I have to share with you, after listening to the first maybe third of your awesome Bug Out breakdown, I really wanted to get into it and refresh my memory, so I started watching MASH on Hulu this morning. I immediately noticed part of Klinger’s cigar convo was cut – so was Radar’s reference to the dog act. My understanding was that Hulu was mostly uncut, though I’ve noticed a few tiny cuts here and there in the past. I brought out my DVDs and saw that Hulu also cut Father Mulcahy visiting the latrine digging! Sure enough, the DVD total is 50+ minutes for the episode, Hulu’s count is 22 and 25 over 2 episodes. Subtract the redundant credits and that’s a whopping 5 minutes cut! I’m thankful for the convenience of Hulu, but with this and the cropped screen, I’ll be sticking to my DVDs.

    Second thing that jumped out at me was Mulcahy in the shower during the Valencia bit. When Potter starts playing his armpit and Mulcahy starts bopping along with him, the Padre starts his shower, but almost nothing comes out. He seems to struggle to get the shower going, and JUST before the cut, you see the handle come off in his hand. I can’t tell, but he ALMOST seems to start breaking character. Whether intentional or not, it was hilarious and I’d never noticed it before.

    Looking forward to the rest of the episode – you and Dan are doing a great job on this one, especially highlighting how Margaret begins to change here and throughout the season. Keep up the great work!!

  5. Great to have MASHcast back! Unfortunately we are entering a season that I consider to be the weakest of the first eight (I’ve always thought seasons 9 to 11 represented MASH running out of gas). There are a couple of episodes that are OK but for me on the whole this season didn’t quite make it.

    I agree with Ken Levine that hour long episodes are filled with padding. And there is a lot of padding here. The collapse of the unit (I sure hope the people collapsing the tents and moving the hardware were prop department employees), the parade with the camp coming back, even the visit to Rosie’s feels like they were trying to find something to fill an hour.

    Three other items that seem clumsy. 1) Even when I watched this in first run and saw the scene where the camp leaves but Radar uncharacteristically came back I said “That’s either a demand from the actor or the agent.” If you’re in the same scene with Alan, you’re going to get more screen time. There’s no commuication equipment left, Radar is queasy around medical stuff. What help could he be? 2) When the group is told that they are standing on the front, an explosion happens less than two seconds after the annoucement. We never hear another close explosion for the rest of the episode. Not a very active front. 3) Running into an already collapsed tent to hide is more akin to the Three Stooges than to MASH.

    Sorry to be so negative but after having four years of quality scripts a certain level of expectation has been built. And most of season 5’s episodes do not deliver.

  6. Life has been crazy so just listened to this episode.

    I very much like this episode because I felt this was the turning point where BJ and Potter became cast and not newcomers. Everyone was settled into their roles.

    For me the joke of the episode is ‘A bakery?’ and the moment of the episode is Margaret jumping on Sophie.

    But this does bring me to the one part of the episode that bothers me. It bothered me as a kid and even now. We hear they are on the front and the things are going to go crazy. The next minute the staff is rolling back into town. In like 5 minutes the front of the war changed so dramatically and certainly that they told the hospital that for sure they would hold on to it and not have to bug out again? Seemed almost too quick. I don’t know how much time I want for it to feel more real. But the troops who said ‘you’re standing on it’ probably passed Potter on the road.

    Anyways, a minor nitpick. Great episode of MASH and great episode of MASHCast

    1. I’d chalk it up to the fog of war, Anj. What anyone “knows” in a fluid battlespace is at best an approximation of reality — more likely a view significantly narrowed by glaucoma and distorted by myopia, hallucinations, and lingering after-images. Most reports are a little bit wrong, first reports almost completely so. And back then, “near real time” was rare.

      Of course, with modern technology, it’s different. Now, the truth is often in the reporting somewhere, but best of luck finding it in all the noise.

  7. Welcome back. I was especially moved that your first guest was concerned I might have a bend in my erection.

    Seriously, glad S5 is underway. Some random thoughts:

    Frank was hilariously inept running the bug out.

    I had also noticed Radar in the final episode. Wonder if Gary Burghoff gets royalties from it.

    Potter’s Italian sissy line probably wouldn’t fly today. Certainly not coming from a character we are supposed to like, the writers wouldn’t paint him as a homophobe. But I’m not one to get too upset over a line from a TV show filmed when Gerald Ford was president set when Harry Truman was president and spoken by a character born when Benjamin Harrison was president.

    I also liked the precision of the troops breaking down the camp.

    Frank shouting out the prayer to the convoy and BJ joining in just cracks me up.

    I think Radar stayed behind because he was worried about Hawkeye. And while he didn’t do any surgery, Radar certainly helped out. He made sure all the supplies were there and would carry stretchers.

    The show gets a rap for being anti-military but this episode certainly wasn’t. Potter truly showed leadership here and even the biggest bleeding heart pacifist would have gotten a rush hearing Potter celebrate our troops victory which let them come home. And seeing him leading the camp back on his horse was pretty damn cool. Loved seeing Margaret climb aboard.

    Definitely not an episode you could plug Henry in.

    Anyway, glad you are back.

  8. Adding this note to explain my opening comment in my above post referred to an ad came on before the podcast started.

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