As You Were was the 20th episode of the 2nd season of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H series also the 44th overall episode; it was co-written by Laurence Marks and Larry Gelbart. Directed by Jackie Cooper, the episode originally aired on February 2, 1974.
A lull in the action enables the 4077th to take some time off. Frank reluctantly asks Hawkeye and Trapper to fix his hernia.
Full episode summary
To alleviate boredom, Frank takes to arranging the mess tent condiments in extreme fashion and Klinger writes a letter to General Mitchell, enclosing a photo of himself wearing a dress he claims is an exact copy (or as close to exact as he could get "sewing from memory") to Rita Hayworth's in the movie Gilda.
The pranks are getting more original: Frank awakens one morning to find himself inside a U.S. Army crate thanks to his tent mates. Henry resurrects the sex lecture in the mess tent, complete with the Figure A and Figure B charts, but the lecture dissolves into silly chaos complete with giggling and snickering. Hawkeye and Trapper receive a large package from the Peerless Costume Company of Philadelphia: gorilla costumes!
Frank has a hernia and needs surgery, but is reluctant to have Hawkeye or Trapper perform it due to his mistrust of them. Margaret reassures him, telling him they are the best surgeons she's ever seen, and after all, they're not inhuman. Ironically, Frank and Margaret go the Swamp to discuss the surgery only to find the captains in full simian costume playing cards. The gorillas hear the request, quickly consult each other and agree to do the surgery.
Just as Captain Pierce, his dirty fingernails and orchestra are about to commence surgery, wounded arrive and Frank's surgery has to wait.
O.R. brings four crises: intense shelling, a blood shortage, a Korean woman in labor, and Frank's hernia becomes strangulated, requiring surgery. Frank is prepped for the operation just as the Korean woman is brought into the O.R. As an artillery blast knocks out the generator, plunging the O.R. into darkness, the baby is delivered, and Frank and Margaret become the "proud parents of a five-pound hernia".
Guest stars/Recurring cast
- William Christopher as Father Mulcahy
- Jamie Farr as Corporal Klinger
- Patricia Stevens as Nurse Baker (named in credits, not in dialogue)
- Bobbie Mitchell as Nurse Murphy (named in credits, not in dialogue)
- Kellye Nakahara as Nurse Able (named in credits, not in dialogue)
- Among public announcements: "Attention. Attention all personnel. No casualties expected for indefinite period. AFRS announces the release of Nazi war criminal Alfred Krupp. Everybody's going home but us." FACT: Alfred Krupp was released January 31, 1951
- Radar states that he is 19 while on the phone with Regimental Headquarters. This is the only direct statement of his age in the TV series, and implies that he was drafted at the age of 18, right out of high school.
- When Hawkeye is called upon to operate on Frank, he asks "George" to take over for him. We never find out who this "George" is (another doctor? a nurse?). Coincidentally, the episode that airs two episodes later is called "George".
- This episode shows a rare use of the laugh track in the O.R. and in Post-Op, as we usually don´t hear the laugh track in both locations.