M*A*S*HCast - Season 4, Episode 22: The More I See You
Special Guest Star: Amanda Reyes
Air Date: February 10, 1976
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10 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #94 – The More I See You”
I saw this first run in ’76. I really related to it because a woman that I dated for two years and never had lost the flame for had just posted her engagement announcement in our local rural paper. I still have a copy of that paper in my file. I was feeling down and could really put myself in this relationship. (So glad my wife doesn’t read this board)
I had never seen anything that Blythe Danner had acted in at this time but immediately fell in love with her. The bouncy unruly hair, the gravelly voice, the overall beauty.
I have read that Mike Farrell really fought with the line “Have you ever been tempted? . . No but it’s another subject.” He thought it made BJ look pious and wanted it changed. This is probably the reason why BJ had the affair episode in the next season.
About the only thing in the episode I didn’t like was Hawkeye walking into a corner. I guess for lack of a better word I found it hokey. They could have accomplished this stronger though words and acting rather than going for a visual “joke”.
So much great stuff in this episode of MASH, and the chemistry between Alda and Danner tops the list.
I think we can get a feel for how Trapper would have responded to Hawkeye and Carlye’s relationship from the season 2 episode Radar’s Report. In that episode, Hawkeye was attracted to Nurse Johnson, but was put off by the fact that she was (apparently) married. At one point, he goes to Trapper for advice. If my memory is correct, Trapper bluntly tells Hawkeye that he’s already invested a lot of time and effort into pursuing Johnson, and he can either see it through or start all over again with another nurse. That’s very different advice than what BJ probably would have given, and delivered in a much more straightforward manner.
On a related note, Radar’s Report also shows us that fooling around with married women is a line Hawkeye is unwilling (or at least very reluctant) to cross. Yes, Hawkeye was in a long term relationship with Carlye before she married, but the fact that he doesn’t show such reluctance here may be an indication of how strongly he feels about her. If BJ was aware of Hawkeye’s normal stance on married women, then he may have been trying to subtly remind Hawkeye of Hawkeye’s own principles, during their heart-to-hear talk.
It was great to hear Amanda back on the show. Thanks for another excellent episode.
Amazing episode on an amazing episode. Always great to hear Amanda on the show, as she always provides thoughtful and insightful observations combined with an encyclopedic knowledge of TV history. Regarding the episode, most definitely a top 5 all timer for me, and it goes without saying, a standout in a season of standouts. I don’t recall seeing it when I was very young, so perhaps that’s why I’ve always enjoyed it, I never had to “mature” into it. As has been said, Blythe Danner is effervescent and I will admit, I’ve had a crush on her since this episode. You truly buy into her relationship with Hawkeye, and yes, her chemistry with Alda is a thing to behold. I think this episode is the tipping point in Hawkeye’s slow march to treating women as equals and not as playthings. In fact, I’ve headcanoned the HELL out of this episode, basically filling in the backstory to explain Hawkeye’s attitudinal development over the course of the series. As I see it: When Hawkeye and Carlye broke up, he was obviously destroyed, and reverted to his pre-Carlye bachelor days of drinking and womanizing. Sent to Korea, he hooks up with Trapper, an old college and residency acquaintance (not the same college or hospital but they ran in the same circle). Hawkeye can entertain the worst of his personality, drinking and fooling around to dull the pain of his loss. But then, the war gets REAL. He loses Trapper and Henry. Then he meets BJ and reunites with Carlye. And we see him start to change, or at least change back into his truer self. At least, that how I’ve no prized it. Fan fic, here I come! Anyway, regarding Radar’s Report, I do think that Hawkeye would not fool around with a married woman, but regarding Carlye, it was more personal and he was desperate. I do also like that Hawkeye mentions Carlye again, in a later episode to Margret, citing her as an example of how he can’t commit to a relationship. Gotta love that MASH (sliding) continuity. Well, I’ve rambled long enough, but thanks again for a great episode, looking forward to the finale of season 4, even though I don’t really want it to end. At least we have 7 seasons left! Kepp up the great work….that is all!
Truly wonderful commentary on the episode – you’re giving me a new appreciation for BJ! I already liked him anyway, but you voice a lot of stuff that I’ve maybe absorbed, but haven’t consciously thought about – like all the ways Hawkeye and BJ model a complex adult friendship, where they support and care for each other in a way that wasn’t (and isn’t) very prevalent on television.
Last year I was doing a re-watch of my MASH DVDs and when I hit this episode, I realized that they were able to fit this story into 23 minutes (or whatever the time is). I just couldn’t believe it – my memory of the episode is that there’s SO MUCH that happens between Hawkeye and Carly that it must be an hour-long episode. But I watched and realized how rich and condensed every moment is – how we’re able to see an entire history in just a look. The economy of writing, the skilled direction and of course the brilliant acting all allowed them to tell a story that spanned years in 23 minutes (less with breaks for Potter’s paintings). This episode deserves the spot in your top five. (or was it three? I’ll have to listen to the podcast episode again. I don’t mind – like the MASH episode, it’s rich and condensed with amazing content.) Kudos for yet another fine podcast episode!
I hate to say this, but I’m one of those MASH fans who doesn’t put this episode on my Top Ten list. (On the other hand….I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to *make* a MASH Top Ten list…..). My reasons are easy to understand, though: one of my criteria for what I think makes a great MASH episode is excellent use of the main cast. So obviously, episodes like this one that has no appearance by Frank and Margaret, is lower down on my “list.” I would have loved to have seen the complications that Margaret might have thrown into this situation. Or maybe if Carly had thought the way Hawkeye ragged on Frank was overdone, and she took Frank’s side in something? (Yeah, OK, that scenario is a stretch…)
Still, there are different dynamics in each relationship, and I think this story/episode suffers somewhat because it is SO Carly-Hawkeye centric.
That being said, I LOVE Blythe Danner and had a huge crush on her as a boy. She is absolutely fabulous in this episode. Likewise, I LOVE the conversation between Hawkeye and BJ. I often wonder if this episode was actually written to illustrate the differences between BJ and Trapper as characters, because I agree with you when you say, if Carly had shown up during the Trapper Years the episode would have been very, very different.
This definitely isn’t a leftover script they had where they crossed out Trapper and wrote in BJ and nothing else.
I don’t have access to individual episodes (you’d have to e-mail me a copy if I were a guest) so I am replying them in my mind as you recap them. But this isn’t really one of my favorites.
First, no Margaret. I get this may have been during Swit’s Broadway shows they had to write around. But Hawkeye causing a nurse to leave definitely is something she would have spoken to him about. I could also see Frank saying something about the sanctity of marriage.
BJ going along on a “double date” with Hawkeye, Carlye, and the other nurse was a little odd and seemed un-BJ like. He didn’t cross a line or even come close but was a tad flirtatious. The other nurse’s comment showed she saw something.
I don’t know how things were in the 1940s. But Hawkeye saying they lived together was a bit shocking. Even when I first saw this in the late 1970s (as a 12 year old), I thought of living together as a young free wheeling sex craved hippie kind of thing. It probably drew some gasps in 1976.
So many great comments, as always. My only thought is this episode puts a stake in the ground that “this is not the same M*A*S*H.” Before this season, 3 of the 4 doctors are married *and* being unfaithful. (Not judging, that’s just exactly how those characters were written from the beginning.) Now we have just Frank in that category. Both BJ and Potter are married and faithful to their wives. This completely changes the kind of response Hawkeye will get from his closest confidantes. Is it a sign of the show maturing away from as Rob said “horndog” men? Or other pressures by the network since the show is definitely sticking around for the long haul? No idea, but it’s fascinating to see.
What else? Well everybody’s already said Blythe was great, but what the heck, she sure was!
Always great to hear Amanda on the show!
Amanda & Rob, great episode (of course). You two have the knowledge and the insights and you’re pros at communicating them. That said, I agree with some of the other commenters in that I don’t enjoy this episode as much as some others, even though it’s obviously very well done. Watching Hawkeye and Carlye restart their relationship when they both seem pretty certain it’s the wrong thing to do feels like watching them lose a fight, and it’s a fight I’m familiar with.
Remember the Bible story about David’s adultery with Bathsheba, which had a series of horrible consequences? On my last deployment, I was ribbing the chaplain and asked him why I had to hear the David and Bathsheba sermon every time I deployed. “Because you need it!”, he immediately responded. That wasn’t the only time he beat me in verbal sparring, but it was the only shutout.
In the great exchange between BJ and Hawkeye, BJ says he’s never been tempted. We know that changes later at least a couple times. At that point, though, I believe his assertion and his reasons behind it. I, on the other hand, can say I have been tempted (though never succumbed, by the grace of God). My total deployed time is several months shy of a whole Korean War (which lasted 37 months). Once you add in training and temporary duty assignments, my total time away from my family while in service is well over twice that. The military flying community has a saying, “Honor the threat.” That means take the threat seriously, whatever it is. As a threat to the sanctity of marriage, loneliness is no joke, and that goes for both sides of the separation. Excluding casualties, separation from family was always the number one thing I hated about deployments.
Over time, I learned that there was a practical side and a spiritual side to avoiding this trap. I’ll address each in turn, so people can skip any part they don’t want to hear.
These were some of the practical steps I picked up:
– Don’t be alone with someone of the gender you’re attracted to. This has the added benefit of avoiding the appearance of wrongdoing, which can be problematic even if nothing’s going on. You can still have private conversations, but doing it at the picnic table in full view of half the camp works as well as a private room.
– Talk freely about your significant other and your children (as applicable). It lets people know not only your status, but what’s important to you, and it sets a standard for you to live up to. Also, if there’s someone you feel uncomfortable mentioning your spouse around, ask yourself why.
– If you want to have a shot at staying healthy, you form a deployed family every time you go away. Fill it with men and women who will support you and hold you accountable in your pursuit of faithfulness. They don’t necessarily have to believe the same things you do, they just have to care about you and know what you’re striving for. The exchange between BJ and Hawkeye approached this. Of course, Hawkeye hadn’t explicitly said, “Hey, help me stay out of the supply tent with married women.” But when he went to BJ for advice, BJ gently encouraged him to do the right thing without being judgmental. I think BJ was also a walking reminder that Doug was a real human being.
– Make sure that your closest friend of your target gender is still your spouse, despite the separation. Do what you can to stay engaged in each other’s lives and even have fun together. In the Korean War, they wrote letters and sent care packages. Those are still powerful techniques, but now we have many more. Once mostly consistent internet access became a thing, my wife and I would play online games. Even if there was no time to email or call, I could let her know I was thinking of her and that I remained alive and free just by making a move in Words with Friends.
– Find ways that are meaningful to them to show them you love them. My wife’s “love language” is acts of service. This is especially true when she’s working, raising children, and running a household without me. When two(!) air conditioners went out while I was gone, I gave up some sleep and some work time to research what we needed, how many estimates to get, and how to distinguish the honest brokers from the flimflam men. I think it helped her. I know for a fact it made me feel more connected with and useful to my family.
The next two paragraphs are specific to my experience of my faith, so please take them with that caveat. The spiritual side is about transformation of character, or getting to where you want to do the right thing more and more, and the wrong thing less and less (like BJ does). In Christianity, it looks like this: The purpose of Christ’s sacrifice is to pay your penalty. By accepting and trusting that sacrifice, “being sent to Hell without an electric fan” is taken off the table. That’s the start point for a relationship with God, and through that relationship, the actual work of getting better. The objective, which is unattainable in this life, is to always feel as uninterested in any immoral act as BJ is in adultery in the moment he talks with Hawkeye. Conversely and positively, it means wanting to do the right thing more and more.
Getting there means dying to self and, as we grow in our relationship, giving God sway in more and more of our lives. That’s a slow process. God refuses to coerce us, and even as people of faith, we struggle to give up our prerogative in any area of our lives. This is despite our acknowledgment of God’s authority, His love for us, the fact that His way is better for us, and the fact that He provides the power to do it. The Apostle Paul described the struggle in Romans 7: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.…For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing….So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.” I know; that’s a heck of a pep talk. Paul gets much more encouraging in the next chapter. And God makes progress in us as the journey continues.
Thank you as always for tolerating my long commentary and especially my expressions of faith. This isn’t communication in real time, so it’s difficult to know if I’m crossing a line until someone tells me I have. I don’t mean to be discourteous to anyone, and I will of course especially defer to Rob. It’s his podcast.
On a different topic, you may be wondering what else made the list of things I hated about deployments. Second was the combo of work stress and no time off. In distant third – but still important – was the distance between where I slept and where I went to the bathroom. You might expect the threat of enemy action would be higher, but I was usually lucky enough to avoid the worst neighborhoods. Enemy action would only break the top three when it was actually happening. Of course, then, I was super glad my family wasn’t around.
I always say this, but it’s especially true for the next episode: Looking forward to Wednesday!
Thank you Rob! Your infectious enthusiasm enabled me to see and appreciate this episode much more, and I have seen it, like all others, dozens of times. That’s another reason why I love this podcast !
Medicine is a genuinely fascinating career, but it can also be a demanding and all-consuming one. There’s the need to keep up to date (never more important than in the fast-changing pandemic landscape of the last 18 months!), and the professional commitment to keep meeting the needs of your patients – that can make it difficult to step away and maintain perspective. I tend to think of medicine as more of a vocation than a job, and that puts a lot of pressure on a relationship. Like Hawkeye, there is a risk that doctors can become… self-righteous about our role in society and we can start to believe in our own hype.
My partner & I met up with married friends a few weekends ago – we hadn’t seen them for a year, thanks to Covid. Both couples have been together for over 20 years… but we were commenting that – amongst our friends in the medical profession – we’re something of an anomaly; the intensity & passion for medicine has done for many a relationship amongst our colleagues.
So, hats off and a big Thank You for the love and patience of those who support us medics – we couldn’t do what we do without you!