M*A*S*HCast #112 – Ping Pong

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 5, Episode 16: Ping Pong

Special Guest Star: Shawn M. Myers

Air Date: January 18, 1977

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8 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #112 – Ping Pong

  1. Great discussion, Rob and Shawn! I’ve always known Frank Maxwell from General Hospital. He was a regular cast member when it was the number one daytime soap opera from the late 70s through the 80s. He had a memorable distinctive voice. He and Harry Morgan had chemistry – they seemed like old friends.

  2. Great episode, men. My only quibble: I thought you were going to talk more about MASH’s reuse of the B plot. If you did, I missed it. I really hope Potter had some old friends who were competent battlefield commanders and also not glory-seeking careerists.

    Rob, don’t ever beat yourself up about missing a prescient insight of Shawn’s. He guested on a number of things before he and Paul took on the Reunion, but he first really stood out to me as the guy who saw things in MASH I’d never seen before. And once he explained them, they made perfect sense. It’s a gift, and we should just be grateful he shares it with us.

  3. Lovely episode, thank you for a great discussion!
    I love that you mentioned Margaret’s “To each his own”. It’s such a quick little throwaway line, easy to miss, but it really is quite important. I love that under Margaret’s hard exterior and military discipline, there is this woman who is actually quite open and accepting of other people lifestyles. It goes hand in hand with her learning a bit of Korean, and doing yoga, she is open to other cultures even though they are far from the ideals she grew up with. It gives her so much depth and complexity.

  4. Remember the episode with the guy who wanted Hawkeye to sign a paper saying he had an ear infection so he would go home on a ship, thus letting him take home all the loot he stole? Cho was his mule, selling his stuff for him on the black market. With this stream of revenue dried up, Cho had to start hustling ping pong in order to support his fiancée. Oh, the episodes we never saw.

    Here’s my theory on Blanchard knowing about Baldwin going for his Combat Infantry Badge. A sergeant for a combat unit has probably been around long enough to be “in the know”. And since the whole unit didn’t respect Baldwin, possibly a lieutenant in the unit confided in Blanchard.

    I’d imagine a guy wearing a dress in Iowa in the late 1940s would be the subject of ridicule. Good on Margaret being open minded when she could have just laughed it off.

    As I’ve said before, I wish they had tried to reform Frank after Margaret got engaged. But if they knew he was leaving I guess it was easier to do it the way they did.

    Mike Farrell is a guest on this week’s MASH Matters. He said “The world has too many Frank Burnses and not enough Larry Linvilles”.

    1. I concur on this theory. Every unit has a Radar equivalent who sees almost every piece of paper. There no secrets from the two-striped mafia, and it pays to be their friend, as this sergeant may have been.

      I can confirm that the CIB is a big, hairy deal in the Army, though I’m speaking as an outsider to the ways of that tribe. I looked around to find the minimum numbers of days in combat for a CIB in The Korean War and couldn’t do it. I did find this about the Vietnam Conflict (the phrase used in the text) that matches up with what I remember of this episode:

      “1) During the Vietnam Conflict, any officer whose branch is other than infantry who, under appropriate orders, has commanded a line infantry (other than a headquarters unit) unit of brigade, regimental, or smaller size for at least 30 consecutive days is deemed to have been detailed in infantry and is eligible for award of the CIB notwithstanding absence of a written directive detailing that Soldier in the infantry, provided all other requirements for the award have been met. Orders directing the officer to assume command will be confirmed in writing at the earliest practicable date.”

      It’s from this site: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2008-title32-vol3/xml/CFR-2008-title32-vol3-sec578-69.xml

  5. I remember and admired the wedding scene and how it played out in almost real time, when I saw this episode on its first run. And having been a mash baby ( I was born the day before mash aired) that must mean I first watched it at age 5. What a great episode

  6. Frank just has no redeeming human qualities left at this point. As a study into one man’s descent into a nervous breakdown, it’s fascinating. But I can most certainly see why Larry Linville was feeling trapped in a role that seemed to have more and more limits placed on it.

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