B.J. Papa San was the 16th episode of Season 7  of the M*A*S*H TV series, also the 163rd overall series episode. The episode, which was written by Larry Balmagia and directed by James Sheldon. The episode originally aired on CBS-TV on January 1, 1979.


B.J. gets caught up in the needs of a local Korean family when the daughter comes to him for help with her sick father. An accident prone general comes to the 4077th for treatment.

Detailed episode summaryEdit

B.J. gets another letter from home that Hawkeye calls "the weekly gut wrencher." When Radar comes in with a young Korean girl whose father is very sick, B.J., needing something to take his mind off his troubles, volunteers to go with the girl and visit the father.

They drive to the young girl's hut, and it's clear the elderly father has pneumonia. B.J. distributes medicine, and suggests that the father be moved to the 4077th. But the family doesn't want to split up, explaining that they lost their eldest son, who was taken by the South Korean Army and hasn't been seen since. They ask B.J. to help find him - an impossible task - but they're so desperate he agrees to see what he can do.

He tries getting some supplies from Sgt. Zale, who coldly refuses. B.J. offers to pay Zale, who still refuses, more out of greed than principle. He then resorts to blackmail, which makes Zale fold.

Later that day, Hawkeye sees B.J. carrying the jeep-full of supplies, and warns him that, despite his best efforts, he won't be able to solve this family's problems. B.J. says he knows that, but his glowing talk about the young kids and how amazing they are suggests otherwise.

B.J. ends up staying with the family all night, fixing their roof. When he tries to leave and go back to the camp, the kid tearfully beg him to stay. Not wanting to hurt them, he agrees.

Meanwhile, at the 4077th, a klutzy, ornery visiting general named Prescott (Dick O'Neill) can't seem to leave. He arrives with a sprained ankle, but falls off his crutches as soon as Hawkeye fixes him up. Now he has broken wrist, which doesn't stop Winchester from seeing if he can finagle himself as Prescott's personal doctor. It doesn't work - neither does Klinger's obvious attempt at a Section 8.

B.J. asks Radar to see if he can find the eldest son - named Cho Duk Sing - but all the Army red tape keeps them from getting anywhere, even after Potter steps in.

Later, Prescott is allowed to leave again, but a pet bee of Radar's stings him in the neck. Prescott is, of course, allergic, and within seconds a giant welt develops. Hawkeye wheels Prescott right back into the hospital.

During a session in OR, shelling starts. B.J. is so worried about Kim and her family that his mind isn't on his patients, and he's snippy and humorless to the others. Later, in the changing room, he admits to Hawkeye that the family's enormous needs are greater than what B.J. can provide.

But things look up when Radar tells him that he got their son Cho Duk transferred to an American unit just down the road - Radar craftily got Gen. Prescott to sign a transfer order amid the flurry of paperwork he was forced to fill out during his numerous stays as a patient.

B.J. and Hawkeye drive to Kim's family's hut with the good news, but they find it deserted. Scared of the shelling, they packed up and left, heading further south - with no clue of what happened to their son, and no way of B.J. finding them.

B.J. is devastated. He wanders off, muttering, "It isn't right." He then screams, to no one in particular, "Damn it, it isn't right!" Wandering around for a few more moments, he climbs back in the jeep, and he and Hawkeye drive home.

General Prescott once again tries to leave the unit after having his various maladies attended to. As his Jeep pulls away, it gets a flat tire. Prescott bellows at the driver to keep going.

Fun FactsEdit

  • General Prescott is played by veteran character actor Dick O'Neill, who previously appeared in Season Five's "38 Across" and would appear again in a Season 11 episode. Each time he played a different character.

Guest starring Edit

  • Dick O'Neill as General Marian Prescott
  • Shizuko Hoshi as Korean Mother
  • Chao Li Chi as Korean Father (as Chao-Li-Chi)
  • Johnny Haymer as Sergeant Zelmo Zale
  • Stephen Keep Mills as General's Aide (as Stephen Keep)
  • Mariel Aragon as Kim Sing

External linksEdit

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