M*A*S*HCast #106 – Hawkeye Get Your Gun

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 5, Episode 10: Hawkeye Get Your Gun

Special Guest Star: Nicholas Prom

Air Date: November 30, 1976

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7 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #106 – Hawkeye Get Your Gun

  1. When Frank starts commenting on Potter’s age, I think he was trying to kiss-up to Potter (i.e., trying to voice his concern, or his false approximation of it, for the Colonel), but just ended up exposing his ageism. While Frank’s ageism is the most blatant, he is not alone in his bias, as you pointed out (e.g., Klinger trying to trick Frank into taking Potter’s place, and Hawkeye assuming that Potter needed sleep). This episode really highlights how our unconscious biases can manifest as microaggressions (as demonstrated by how everyone’s “concern” actually hurt the Colonel), despite our best intentions (in the case of Hawkeye and Klinger), or not so best intentions (in the case of Frank). All ideas that are very timely and relevant for today. So, kudos to MASH for being ahead of the curve, once again.

    As for my favorite laugh line, Klinger/Zoltan drawing a straight flush tops the list, but Potter’s Clara Bow reference is a close second.

    Thanks for another remarkable episode.

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  2. Potter: Fire the gun Hawkeye. Hawkeye: Look Colonel, I’ll heal their wounds, treat their wounds, bind their wounds, but I will not inflict their wounds.

    After recent events, these words mean EVEN MORE to me. Like Rob, I looked to my childhood heroes when forming my beliefs, opinions and attitudes. Hawkeye’s aversion to violence, especially guns, imprinted on me as a child and is something I’ve carried with me into adulthood. As a parent, struggling to explain ANOTHER school shooting to 2 elementary aged children of my own, I turn to my heroes, I turn to Hawkeye, I turn to MASH, for guidance, for honesty and for comfort.

  3. I am not sure if Frank is a psychopath or an evil genius.

    Using the pop-psychology definitions, a psychopath (sociopath) is someone who does not have real emotions and has to attempt to mimic those of other people. If this is true, you can see Frank’s logic in the beginning. “Potter is ‘real army’.” “Hawkeye and B.J. don’t like the ‘real army’.” “If I make fun of Potter then they will like me.” Of course he lacks the ability to see what everyone else does. I am certain he cannot understand why people like Potter and hate him.

    However, if Frank did have an evil plan, it came pretty close to working: He goaded Potter into going on the mission, and Potter very nearly got himself killed/wounded/captured, which would have left Frank in command.

    Like last episode, this one foreshadows additional developments:

    First, it is revealed that Potter is in fact worried about his age. This brings up a pet peeve that many surgeons have that is a repeated trope in the series: that a surgeon’s skill is in his hands. A surgeon’s skill is in fact in his brain. To quote one, “I can train a Denny’s short-order cook in six months to do all the manual skills he needs to operate.” What takes years to learn his when to operate and when not to operate, where to cut, what to cut, what to do when things go wrong, and how to handle it when things do go wrong. However, it is true that after a certain age the body does wear down and it is more difficult to withstand the physical rigors of the job, and it takes longer to recover.

    Second, I always view this episode in parallel with the episode where B.J. cuts the line on the wounded man they are trying to hoist up into the helicopter. B.J. did the clearly rational thing. Hawkeye, I am certain, would have done the idealistic thing, which very likely would have resulted in three deaths. Putting the two situations in contrast highlights the difference between the two characters.

    The question I always have when I watch this episode is if Potter and Hawkeye (sort of) were actually firing at the enemy? Or were they firing at the American patrol? The sergeant only says “they all pulled out”, but he doesn’t say WHO pulled out. I take it to mean that the enemy who were present when they went to the aide station are long since gone. It doesn’t sound like the terminology you would use for a patrol that is merely seconds away. Physicians are the most valuable personnel resource in the military. I can’t imagine the patrol leaving them alone to walk home drunk if there was the slightest chance that the enemy was in the area.

    And for what it is worth, I once did hear a surgeon complain, “what did you wash this in, chicken noodle soup?”

  4. Another great episode as this season rolls on.

    A couple of comments.
    One, yes Rob, I did laugh at the ‘harder to get out of’ marriage line. Truth.

    Two, it is strange that Potter would head into the fray but I suppose sometimes leaders have to do things like this. They have to show they wouldn’t ask people to do something difficult that they wouldn’t do themselves. I always found this decision to be more level-headed than something like Kirk continually heading down to the planet for routine missions that other people were better served carrying out.

    Three, Klinger has the best subplot of the show. I love that Potter gives Klinger the stage time to act out his schemes. But I love that inevitably Klinger outs himself by breaking character (the drawing the straight is classic). This reminded me of some future episode where Klinger pretends he is a regular guy in Toledo and Potter gets himself to unintentionally break character by asking him his rank. Classic.

    Lastly, Mako is so great. I love him in Conan. But in my head, he always is the chinese general in the prisoner exchange episode where Frank carries the teeny weeny gun. ‘What are you going to do with that??’ Amazing.

    Thanks for another great show and great to hear Nicholas on the show.

  5. Mako always did well whenever he appeared. Usually serious, but he got a good line in on Frank. I guess Frank going to Mako’s aid clinic is one of the lost episodes we like to talk about.

    Gypsy is non-PC these days but Klinger in any getup is hilarious.

    As one who always hoped they’d try to reform
    Frank, I would have liked to see Potter tell Frank the two of them are going together. Maybe Frank sees Potter still has it and Frank actually does something smart.

    As one who will be 55 next month I understand getting older. Already having mobility issues but age jokes don’t bother me.

    Hawkeye’s egg foo young comment sounds icky even by 1976 standards. More of a Frank comment. Really, Hawkeye?

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  6. Passing the time at work listening to this episode.

    “Out of production order,” you say, “Couldn’t do long-form storytelling back then,” you say. What if showing the creation of this painting, an episode after showing it, was the producer’s way of indicating this episode took place between scenes of the other?

    “They listed the four surgeons available,” you say? Never mind, carry on as you were

  7. Great episode, and great to hear from another MASH-Cast supporter like myself. Hope you come back soon, Nicholas!
    I always loved this episode, but would have loved it more if it had been Potter and BJ or even, as George W (above) suggests, Frank and Potter. Except for the monologue about his gun, Hawkeye doesn’t add anything to the adventure that BJ wouldn’t. Or Frank would have been a very different dichotomy. Perhaps he might have started seeing Potter as more of a father figure, and less of a competitor? We’ll never know, but it’s nice to think about.
    I love MASH episodes that feature local characters, such as Soon-Tek Oh last episode and Mako this time. And Mako is just brilliant here, especially when he’s putting Hawkeye in his place. His real name is Makoto Iwamatsu, and he is Japanese-American, not Korean. Mako was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Sand Pepples, with Steve McQueen. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. By the way, “Mako” is pronounced with a short “a” as in Ma and Pa Kettle, not a long “a” like in the month of May. That’s your Japanese language lesson for the day. 😉

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