M*A*S*HCast #66 – House Arrest

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 3, Episode 18: House Arrest

Special Guest Star: Dr. Anj

Air Date: February 4, 1975

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12 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #66 – House Arrest

  1. Found this on the episode’s IMDB page:

    “This episode is cited as a main reason why other cast members were resentful towards Alan Alda, since his Hawkeye character is clearly in the wrong, first for antagonizing Major Houlihan unfairly, then punching a superior officer, having Blake reluctant to file charges because he likes him, Trapper falsifying evidence and claiming Burns fell even though he witnessed the assault and treating Hawkeye to steak (something that no one else in camp gets to enjoy) and having the whole camp attend the evening’s movie in the Swamp instead of in the Mess Hall so that Hawkeye can watch the film since he cannot leave his quarters.

    Subsequently, when Burns is under house arrest at the end of the episode, he has to eat C-rations and gets no special privileges.

    Soon after this episode was written, both McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers decided to leave the show, both actors citing their resentment toward the Hawkeye character.”

  2. I view the fake “rape” scene with different eyes. The part of the scene that irritates me is not the jokes made by the MASH staff but rather Colonel Reese sexually attacking Frank (you can hear him protesting as she climbs on him and falls out of camera range) and then yelling rape and trying to act as the victim when she is caught. She’s very bad at it too because while he is verbally accusing him she has to awkwardly move her clothes down to bare her shoulder. Very amateurish. It’s also so out of character that Hot Lips, who has already seen that Reese is a hound dog, immediately believes the Colonel and not Frank. She’s smarter than that.

    The jokes that Hawkeye and Trapper make outside the tent never bothered me because it appears that they both immediately realize that this is a con. In fact my favorite line in the program is Hawkeye stating “What a night. A movie and vaudeville.” He catches on instantaneously that this is a fake.

    The porcelain plates make quite a few appearances in the MASH mess tent. Henry gets his chops served on them in “The Cowboy”. Later episodes show them when the visiting boxer comes to the 4077 and when the clumsy soldier who cooks like a dream serves a meal to visiting dignitary. I’m sure there are others.

    1. Randall, I think Margaret knew the accusation was false, too. I think she probably sussed out what really happened — Colonel Reese put the quid pro quo moves on Frank, and fickle, opportunistic Frank was at the very least weighing His options. So he was no rapist, but neither was he innocent.

      I think she spent the whole war looking for a man who a) had as much grit and sheer competence as she did, b) wasn’t married or 25 years older than her, and c) didn’t buck the U.S. Army, which she considered her calling, at every opportunity. I really hope she found that guy someday.

  3. This episode makes me feel sorry for Frank Burns and I HATE Frank Burns. I’m not sure why I hate him – I love Ted Baxter, Dan Fielding and other classic workplace sitcom jerks but I have despised Burns since I was a child. So here he gets punched because Hawkeye absurdly escalates a situation that Hawkeye himself initiated by needlessly insulting Margaret. Then he’s sexually assaulted and then finds himself accused of rape by his assaulter. I just can’t enjoy an episode that makes me sympathize with Major Burns.

  4. Sorry, I wasn’t a big fan of this one. Hawkeye punching Frank for getting popped in the butt by a towel was totally out of line.

    He was right to confront Margaret for having trouble in OR but that should have been done in private and without commenting on her sex life.

    I just thought this episode made him out to be a bigger dick and bully than normal.

  5. A big thank you to Film and Water for introducing me to Gene Tierney, and increasing my appreciation of this episode.

    One of my favorite scenes in this episode (at least, I’m pretty sure it’s this one) is when Hawkeye is being escorted to the latrine by two MPs. Someone (Radar?) stops to talk with him, and Hawkeye sends the MPs on ahead with instructions to wait for him. The MPs return a few moments later to report that they waited as long as they could.

  6. I agree with everybody. This episode contained some sublime comedy, but it also made light of reprehensible behavior. My biggest problems were with the two false accusations, Hawkeye’s against Margaret and Colonel Reese’s against Frank. Both play to common and especially malignant misogynist myths, first that women can only succeed by using their sexuality, and the second that false accusations of sexual assault are common.

    So, as is my wont within the MASHcast comments section, I will gloss over the art we’re here to discuss and make this all about me — or in this case, my brother. See, he joined the Navy, ‘cause he was always the dark blue sheep of the family, and during one shore leave about thirty years ago, he played the part of Hawkeye in a similar incident.

    Nobody liked my brother’s roommate, whom we’ll call Lieutenant Junior Grade Burns for the purpose of this story — least of all my brother, Ensign Entropy at the time, or perhaps Ensign Pierce. Anyway, the ensign was serving as the shore patrol officer in Rota, Spain. As I understand it (and I never served at sea), shore patrol consists of an officer and an NCO or two who get stuck with policing up the rowdiest of their shipmates. The intent is to save the city from the Sailors and Marines, the Sailors and Marines from themselves, and the Navy from being denied future entry into port.

    My brother came across his roommate in a bar. He had previously warned the roommate that it would be best if they never met away from the ship. But honestly, how could the roommate know where my brother was going to be? Anyway, certain words were exchanged, one punch was thrown (cue JLI sound effect), and the roommate’s head hit a table leg, ending the “fight.” One of the NCOs with my brother asked him, “Well sir, are you ready to go?”

    The roommate was okay, but my brother was shore patrol’s only arrest that night. The captain laid down the law and confined my brother to the ship for the next month — a month in which they did not again intend to come into port. But if they had, by some fluke chain of events, needed to come into port, my brother would not have not have been allowed to come into port. Thus, the rule of law was upheld!

    1. “So, as is my wont within the MASHcast comments section, I will gloss over the art we’re here to discuss and make this all about me.” Hey, that’s my move! Dang it, Cap E!

      Seriously, I get a kick out of your stories. Thanks for sharing them.

      1. Tim, who do you think I learned it from? I am merely an acolyte of the Time Priest.

        Thanks! Glad to hear I’m not stinkin’ up the joint, conversation-wise.

  7. This episode isn’t one of my favorites, but I can never remember why I don’t like it until I get about half-way through. Not only is Hawkeye being a true jerk to Margaret, the ending just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I agree that Hawkeye and Trapper probably knew Burns wasn’t guilty of actual rape, but the situation just isn’t funny. Plus neither Rob or Anj brought it up, but Henry was harassing the nurse sitting next to him at the movie! That isn’t funny now, either.

    Also no one else asked, but….what do you suppose ever happened to Frank? Did Col Reese withdraw the charges? They are never brought up again. Seems like this should have been a two-parter.

    And except for that scene in Henry’s office, another episode with very little for Trapper to do. 🙁

    Because the name of the film was never mentioned in the script, I wonder if Fox settled (?) on “Leave Her To Heaven” at the last moment, and then had to add scenes of that film kinda ad-hoc to make the scenes work?

    I have a possibly interesting experience with Gene Tierney. As a kid I had never heard of her until I read Agatha Christie’s book “The Mirror Cracked.” Reading about the book and its history, I found out that it was based on/suggested by what actually happened to Gene Tierney. Intrigued, I went and rented “The Ghost and Mrs Muir” and “Leave Her To Heaven.” I still need to see “Laura.”

  8. I’m afraid the nice development between Radar and Hawkeye over height jokes doesn’t quite balance out the rest of this episode. Oy.

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