M*A*S*HCast #123 – Last Laugh

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 6, Episode 3: Last Laugh

Special Guest Star: Lisa Pomegranate

Air Date: October 4, 1977

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13 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #123 – Last Laugh

  1. It’s unsettling seeing the way Margaret treats Radar in this episode not just because it’s harsh, but also knowing how her marriage with Donald ends up, really doesn’t make Margaret’s plight in Season 6 satisfying to watch as a viewer.

    She never really had a great relationship with Radar, and after he leaves, there are episodes that show a more positive friendship between her and Kilnger.

  2. Very interesting discussion, thank you!
    One thing I really love about MASH is the thing you talk about, the male friendships that can be read in different ways. I love how comfortable Hawkeye and BJ are in their relationship, they really are like an old married couple in some ways, and it’s just so wonderful that they can hug each other when one is sad, and be very vulnerable in front of each other. Seems unusual for the time period, both when the show is set and when it was written.
    The same for Margaret, I love that they gave her this unapologetic sexuality. I don’t always like that a lot of the sexual humor is situated around her, but I love how she goes from being all about the men, to finding that her worth as a human being isn’t dependent on who’s arm she is on. Big fan of that!

    As for “Last Laugh”, though, I am not a fan… I don’t like practical jokes either, they are mean and only fun for the joker, so the premise of the episode isn’t great for me. I do like that we get to see a bit of who BJ was before, I always like when we get a glimpse of who the characters are outside of the 4077. I have mentioned before that I always feel like BJ has a mean streak, and here it is again.
    All respect to James Cromwell as an actor, but I can’t stand his character. So that whole storyline is a no thank you for me.

    And as much as I love Margaret, I don’t really like her in this one. I have always seen it as Margaret is just as sexually frustrated as Donald, and I like that the writers did that. Women have urges too. But I wish they hadn’t made it into yet another episode where Margaret is angry and yelling. They could have done it another way, I swear, sometimes I don’t think the writers realized what a gem they had in Loretta Swit – she can play anything! And they just waste her on so many occasions, just doing the same thing.
    But I also get it, Margaret was very high strung still in this season, and so obsessed with Donald. Still, I want better for my girl Margaret!
    I really hate that they make her so unprofessional, I mean come on – don’t mess up the files, those are important! I really hate every time they do that, in an upcoming episode they do it too, (*cough* Comrades in Arms Part 2 *cough*), and it’s not okay. If you have to write her upset and screaming, fine, but let her be professional!
    And kicking Radar is not okay, of course, she is a superior officer, she should know better. However, Radar was part of the whole set up that got her assaulted in season 1, and for that he, Trapper and Hawkeye all deserved a kick in the butt.

    One thing I do like about the episode is how accepting Potter is of Margaret. She is begging him for a chance to go get laid, and there is no judgement from him. Same thing in “The Price of Tomato Juice” when she gets the offer from that General to go to Seoul. Potter knows exactly what kind of offer that is, and he is okay with it because Margaret is okay with it. Very accepting!
    And I also like the change in Margaret when she comes back, when she is all mellow and relaxed. Sorry, Donald is relaxed. 🙂 It’s a very funny scene.

    So, not a great episode for me, but there are still some moments that really work.

  3. Welcome to the club Lisa! Rob as always the guests that come on board do such a great job that it makes it tough for yutz like me to live up to those standards.
    I also agree not in the best of this season but some good laughs including Klinger whole scam which I too never saw in the syndicated versions.
    As to Margaret, I like to think she was experiencing Pon Farr.

  4. Re: Charles not being in this episode, the Smithsonian Archives might have some insight to offer — according to their MASH script collection, Last Laugh was the very first episode filmed for S6. The collection dates it June 2 1977 with Fade Out, Fade In next in the order dated June 16 1977. So it’s possible David Ogden Stiers hadn’t officially joined the cast yet… which is too bad as imo he elevates every scene he’s ever been in.

    Another great, thoroughly enjoyable discussion. Always love some good BJ analysis. Looking forward to more MASHblr appearances over the season!

  5. What a terrific guest this week. She had very insightful perspectives on the show, and I’m happy to hear that MASH is living on with younger generations who were not even born yet when the show ended.

    I found this episode funny overall, but I have to agree that the scene of Margaret kicking Radar and throwing his paperwork was over the top. Also; while James Cromwell is a respected actor, I did not care for his character. Practical jokes are one thing (although I don’t care for them), but this guy actually got BJ falsely arrested when he was treating patients. I have to question BJ’s judgment in being friends with this guy, who seems to have no redeeming qualities. .

    Finally, I loved the scene of Potter and Radar doing their routine paperwork. When Potter says “keep your alphabet to yourself,” it reminded me of last season when Klinger was singing “you ought to be in pictures, wah wah,” and Potter told Klinger to “keep your wah wah’s to yourself.”

  6. Can anyone, even a Captain, just give away one of the camp’s jeeps, knowing it’s going to be abandoned at the air base and not returned?

    1. For accountability, jeeps must be signed out of the motor pool after all appropriate preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS) are complete, natch. But a one-way to the airport? As long as they weren’t short on vehicles, they could just send a couple people after it later.

  7. This one is one of my favorites, because I’m a sucker for anything not centered around Hawkeye. It’s just got so many funny bits! However, rewatching it recently I did notice that Leo is kind of a creep and Margaret IS over the top. Still, it made me laugh. BJ tried to give as good as he got. I don’t think we ever see any other of BJ’s friends, do we? It would have been nice to see more. Or how about an old friend of Charles’, or even of Frank’s! Can you imagine? LOL! We do see one of Margaret’s old friends later this season and that episode shows us a great new view of Margaret.

    I always thought Charles wasn’t in this episode because DOS hadn’t been cast yet (per Captain Flint’s comment above.) It still would have been nice if he were there. I always insert him in the Mess Hall, like this:
    Potter: The Provo office is saying BJ isn’t a real doctor!
    Mulcahy: Oh, my!
    Winchester: Well, he isn’t, really, of course. I mean, he DID graduate from a medical school in California, didn’t he?

    1. Russell, in a later season, in the episode where Hawkeye becomes a paranoid wreck waiting to see how BJ will pull a prank on him, an old military training buddy of BJ’s shows up. He seems to be a much better guy than Leo, but Hawkeye is convinced he’s part of BJ’s elaborate scam.

  8. Not a fan of this episode. That guy is just a big jerk.

    I always figured Charles had gone back to Tokyo to get the rest of his stuff.

  9. Rob, I just want to say great host, great guest, and great episode. They’ve all been terrific this season. I often have so much to say about MASHcast episodes that I never get around to saying it. I certainly have a lot to say this time, and I’ll try to come back to cover it in detail. I don’t want you or anyone else to interpret my silence as dissatisfaction. You and your guests continue to knock it out of the park!

  10. I do like this episode, even though it’s not one of my favorites of the season, and I do agree with your criticisms.

    I’m not really into pulling pranks myself, nor do I know anyone who is, but I feel like there should be some kind of code of honor with those who do. If it’s between two people who have a mutual understanding that this is what they do, then it’s mostly fine. However, there should be limits to just how far they go, and when to pull them. During a war, when patients’ lives might be on the lines, I do think they should adjust where they draw the line. I did just have the thought that Leo might have left the hat there on purpose, as a kind of lifeline so BJ wouldn’t actually get in trouble for the stuff at the hotel.

    And as for Margaret’s story, I agree with the take that Margaret really wanted to go for herself. I think that’s why she comes back exceptionally relaxed and happy.

  11. Hi

    You mentioned Bardanaro wasn’t a Doctor but he is wearing medical bars on his uniform when BJ returns from Seoul.

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