Monster M*A*S*H
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Bombed was the 15th episode of Season 3 of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 63rd overall series episode. Written by Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum, and directed by Hy Averback, it first aired on January 7, 1975.

Synopsis[]

The camp is under fire and is swamped with wounded. Maj. Burns is driven with jealousy of Trapper into proposing to Houlihan.

Full episode summary[]

In the middle of an intense artillery barrage, the 4077th has lost a generator, their water tank, and suffered three casualties. Wounded are arriving in camp, and the PA is piping The Bob Hope Show over the speakers to try and help with morale, but it isn't working.

Radar calls HQ to complain about the shelling, but a (2nd) Lieutenant tells him there are no enemy units nearby so he must be mistaken. To prove his point, Radar dangles the phone outside Henry's blown-out office window for the Lieutenant to hear, and the phone promptly gets blown to pieces.

The endless fusillade only exacerbates the stress of surgery: Frank's hands are trembling, and when a North Korean is brought in as his next patient, Frank refuses to operate on him, especially after the patient punches him from the gurney. Hawkeye takes the NK patient while Henry takes a quick break and goes to the latrine, but moments later the latrine gets hit by a shell. The surgeons, Radar, Klinger and Igor rush to get Henry (and Father Mulcahy who was in the stall next to him) out of the rubble. The Father is dazed, but Henry's left arm is broken.

Back in OR, another patient is brought in, but when Margaret notices a wire strung across his chest, Hawkeye realizes it is booby-trapped. Trapper cuts the wire, and Hawkeye throws the grenade through the blown-out OR window toward the minefield where it quickly explodes.

Radar is back on the phone with HQ explaining what happened, and the 2nd Lieutenant (the same one Radar talked to before) admits that intel was wrong and the 4077th is indeed being shelled, but he then tells Radar that "there's nothing to worry about-- you're being hit by your own artillery." Radar asks what he can do about it, but when the Lieutenant sheepishly tells him that he can't get hold of anyone directing the firing because "they're all at the Bob Hope show", Radar angrily hangs up on him.

Margaret needs help getting into the supply room to restock the OR, but the door is jammed. Trapper helps her get in, but they get trapped inside when another shell blast jams the door again. When Margaret breaks down sobbing Trapper tries to calm her down. They are "conserving body warmth" beneath the same blanket when Frank and Hawkeye break open the door; Frank is alarmed, but Hawkeye is greatly amused.

Henry orders the camp to prepare survival kits in case they need to evacuate. As the doctors pack, a jealous Frank pesters Trapper about what happened in the supply room. Trapper tries to tell him nothing happened, but Frank goes to question Margaret who says the same thing. Jealousy gets the better of Frank and he blurts out that he wants to marry Margaret, but when she asks him to say it again, they are interrupted by another barrage of shell fire; Frank loses his nerve and runs out of Margaret's tent.

More wounded arrive, and Seoul City Sue is now being piped over the PA system; she keeps telling American forces that their women back home are cheating on them until Henry orders Radar to put something else on the radio. When Frank becomes too distracted to operate, Hawkeye pulls him aside and tells him that Trapper tried and failed to seduce Margaret in the supply tent. Emboldened by the news, Frank goes back to his irritating self just as the shelling stops. Radar turns off Seoul City Sue to read a letter from home over the P.A. system, but stops when a new round of shelling begins.

Later, after the shelling is finally over, Margaret comes to the Swamp to speak to Frank about what they “discussed” earlier in her tent. Frank, now sporting a bad case of cold feet, gets Hawkeye and Trapper to cover for him and tell her he's not there. Margaret tells Hawkeye and Trapper to warn Frank that "he's not going to welch out on it!"

Research notes/Fun facts[]

  • Tribute to Korean War allies: Hawkeye says Nurse Sanchez comes from Costa Rica. Actually the government of Costa Rica did not send any units, military or medical to Korea. The only South/Central American country to send units was Colombia, which sent an infantry battalion. Sanchez could however have been a Red Cross nurse who volunteered to serve in Korea on a personal basis.
  • Tribute to Korean War allies: In the O.R. Frank says that the wounded soldier who had been booby-trapped was probably Italian. Italy sent a medical unit, the Italian Red Cross Hospital 68 to the Korean War. It comprised 131 personal and treated over 17,000 military casualties and numerous civilians within the first eight months of the war. The Italian personnel did not suffer any casualties. See also Season 9:  Cementing Relationships.
  • Hawkeye specifically calls over "Leland" to assist him with anesthetizing a patient. This would suggest the extra called over to do this was Leland Sun, and that the character he plays, normally called Mister Kwang, has a first name of Leland. It's difficult to be sure, as the character is masked and not seen clearly, but the actor's build is very similar to that of the actor in Mr. Kwang's previous appearances.
  • Trapper omits one of his own middle names when talking to Margaret. He calls himself "John Xavier McIntyre", even though he had been previously established as "John Francis Xavier McIntyre".
  • When Hawkeye and Frank finally break open the Supply Room door, they notice Trapper and Margaret sitting on the floor sharing the same blanket; Hawkeye quips, "A trip to the moon on Gossamer wings", which is a lyric from the 1935 Cole Porter song "Just One of Those Things".
  • The actor playing the role of "George" is unknown. George has one line of dialogue; he is an orderly who briefly interacts with Hawkeye outside the O.R.
  • This was around the point in Season 3 where the writes began developing Trapper's character out more, as a way for Wayne Rogers to change his mind about leaving the series since this was around the time that he wanted to leave if they didn't develop Trapper's character more.

Recurring/Guest cast[]

Uncredited

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