M*A*S*HCast #109 – Hawk’s Nightmare

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 5, Episode 13: Hawk's Nightmare

Special Guest Star: Mike Jamison

Air Date: December 21, 1976

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9 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #109 – Hawk’s Nightmare

  1. Excellent episode, gentlemen. I’m especially glad you two highlighted Hawkeye’s comment about possibly wetting the bed. Not only does it reinforce Hawkeye’s concern and fear for his current state, but it also subtly showcases how close he and BJ are. At this point in the series can you see him willingly disclosing this without embarrassment to anyone other than BJ? Maybe Col. Potter, but only by necessity.

  2. My daughter used to sleep walk. Luckily she never hurt herself or anything, just got up, walked into a room, usually silent, then went back to her room as soon as you acknowledged her. The funniest instance was when we were watching Wes Craven’s New Nightmare with our son. During a scene where the heroine’s child is possesed by Freddy Kruger and acting very creepy, my daughter walked into the room and stood right behind her brother. He turned around and freaked out at her silent, blank stare. Perfect timing!

  3. I’ve been a sleep walker on and off for nearly 60 years. Early in my life our house didn’t have air conditioning and we kept a large window open. in the living room Apparently when my grandparents were baby sitting I walked from my bedroom, climbed on the couch and was getting ready to leave via the window until granddad stopped me, Other adventures have been walking into my step daughter’s room nude, walking on my bed and then stepping off cracking several ribs in the process, descending two flights of stairs to wind up in our in home library and only waking up after I had selected a book to read and turned the light on, and getting into a shouting match with my wife but calling her a former girlfriend’s name from 25 years ago.

    I went to a psychiatrist for three sessions when I was battling insomnia (another sleep problem). I found him to be utterly useless. I have always seen a psychiatrist / psychologist as nothing more than a rent-a-friend. So the scene with Friedman rang true for me. He really did nothing for Hawkeye. If someone would tell me that I was going to have nightmares and sleep walk events for the duration of a war I wouldn’t tell him he was “very reassuring”. I’m sure that if a patient came in with some virus and Hawkeye told him that it would just go away sometime,without treating him, I doubt if the patient would thank him

  4. As always, thanks for a great episode! 🙂
    I have always been fond of “Hawk’s Nightmare”, I think it’s really well written and performed. I love the look in Alan Alda’s eyes, he just looks so vulnerable.
    To watch this womanizing, joking character admit he is scared, and to see that fear and helplessness in his eyes is so very impactful. And it foreshadows what will happen to him farther down the road.
    And it’s always great to see Sidney. I have to say, I am quite happy they didn’t make him a regular on the show though, I think one of the resons he works so well is that outsider perspective he brings, and his insights have more weight because we don’t get to listen to them every episode.

  5. Great episode of MASH and great episode of MASHCast!

    I have not been a sleep walker. I find these sort of depictions of it (playing marbles and shooting hoops while ‘asleep’) almost too difficult to believe but I suppose there is some artistic license that can be applied here.

    I will say that nightmares are ‘common’ in my line of work. My nursing colleagues call them ‘nursemares’. I have gone through times where I have been plagued by them. But they are more intermittent now. The most common is that I am working a very busy shift trying to stay ahead of the ED volume. This usually happens after I work a bust shift trying to stay ahead of the ED volume. It isn’t fitful sleep. So this episode rings true more and more for me as I move forward in my career.

    But there is one very harsh nightmare I had which haunts me. Don’t know if it is worth repeating here in detail. But it did have me wake up screaming like Hawkeye.

  6. I guess I’m in the minority, but this isn’t one of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about this episode except the extended scenes of Hawkeye sleep-walking. They seem to go on too long, and I just prefer Mash CAST over extended Hawkeye solo. Maybe I would have liked it more if Sidney would have shown up sooner?

    As you and Mike mention, this might be the episode that starts the series on “Hawkeye really does have some mental issues….” trend, or down the drama-over-comedy road. Either way, it’s probably my least favorite season five episode. 🙁

  7. This episode was not originally on my radar (so to speak) as one of the best of the season, but upon watching it again, I agree with your positive view of it. I like how there is no easy resolution of what is happening to Hawkeye; it feels more realistic that way. And even though Sidney did not have a magic solution to end Hawkeye’s nightmares, I do think Sidney helped Hawkeye simply by putting everything in perspective in terms of why he was going through this. In other words, by explaining how the trauma of the war was invading Hawkeye’s dreams about simpler times back home, Sidney provided a broader context that might help Hawkeye to adjust and move forward.

    Also, I agree with others that this episode could be viewed as the beginning of an arc about Hawkeye’s psychological issues, continuing with the sneezing episode and then of course the series finale. (I confess that when I first started watching this episode, I had it confused with the sneezing episode, but I think this one is better because it feels more natural.) Anyway, great podcast episode; this is why I enjoy M*A*S*HCast; it gives me a fresh perspective on episodes that I sometimes did not appreciate fully.

  8. Never sleepwalked or been around someone who has. I did have a nightlight as a youngster. Also had a stuffed animal I slept with until I was about 12 or so.

    I agree Sydney as a regular character wouldn’t have worked as well as him dropping in once or twice a year.

  9. Kudos to Scooter Klinger and Stinky O’Reilly, who really shone in this episode. Although not having all that much to do, the actors definitely made the most of what they had.

    I can’t help but think that if it were Frank who was sleepwalking, Klinger would have turned him toward the direction of the North Korean border and let him keep on truckin’.

    And I’m really surprised that the $37 bit didn’t have a pay-off. Never having seen the button scene until the series landed uncut on Hulu, I went into it the first time expecting they would use the scene to circle back around to it; maybe Hawkeye would sit bolt upright in bed, eyes wide…but instead of screaming, he would simple say, “Wait, I do still owe him $37!” Without a follow-up, it just seems like a weird non sequitur.

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