Dr. Winchester and Mr. Hyde was the 24th episode of Season 6 of the M*A*S*H TV series, also the 146th overall series episode. Co-written by Ken Levine & David Isaacs & Ronny Graham, it was directed by Charles S. Dubin. It first aired on February 27, 1978.
While dealing with a long stretch of surgery duty, Winchester gets addicted to amphetamines. Radar sets up a mouse race competition between the 4077th and a group of cocky Marine patients.
Full episode summary
The 4077th is in the middle of a grueling, over-24 hour-session in O.R. Hawkeye, B.J., and Col. Potter warn Winchester he has to pace himself - he's been going without sleep, drinking lots of coffee instead - but he won't listen. His performance is starting to slip - a suture he tied came loose, and he's so busy yawning he can barely ask Margaret for the right instruments.
In the lab, Klinger complains to Winchester of being tired, and wonders if there isn't some pill that he can take as a pick-me-up? Winchester explains to him the concept of amphetamines, but wisely refuses to give any to Klinger after explaining the negative side effects.
Klinger gets mad and storms off, despite Winchester's warnings that they're habit-forming. But, when he finds himself nearly falling asleep in front of his microscope, he breaks down and takes some himself.
Meanwhile, in Post-Op, Radar gets razzed on by some Marines when he mentions he would have one if not for his eyeglasses. When their sergeant visits, he mentions that they need to be better in time for an upcoming mouse race they're having with another unit. Eager to show the Marines up, Radar insists his mouse Daisy can run circles around the Marines' Sluggo, leading Hawkeye to sense a chance to make some quick money by challenging the Marines' mouse to a race against Daisy and placing bets. Hawkeye isn't reassured when he learns Radar was mostly talking through his hat, just to feel tough around the Marines.
In the Mess Tent, the effects of the amphetamines are starting to show on Winchester - he's chatty, scattered, and starts talking about a long-form article he plans to write for the AMA. Hawkeye and B.J. show up and try and get other people to bet on Daisy, and they get Potter, Mulcahy, and Winchester to throw in.
Later in the Swamp, Winchester shows Hawkeye his paper for the AMA, which is 27 single-spaced pages, written in just two hours - and it's all one run-on sentence.
Wounded arrive, and we see that Winchester is now, in a word, "hooked" - he's gulping amphetamines by the handful, all the time making sure no one sees him. In O.R., Winchester drives everyone crazy, bragging about his prowess and running from table to table offering assistance.
Later that night, Winchester can't sleep, and his constant pacing and chattering is keeping Hawkeye and B.J. up. He promises to lay down and be quiet so his bunkmates can get some sleep.
The next day, Winchester gives Daisy a tiny dose of the amphetamines when Radar mentions she seems sluggish and tense just before the big race. At the race itself, Winchester is so confident he antes up more money, which the Marines gladly accept.
The race starts, and indeed Daisy is lightning fast - she beats Sluggo easily. Everyone who bet is thrilled, but Radar is uneasy, feeling Daisy isn't acting like herself. He announces she's retiring from racing.
As everyone heads to the Officers Club for drinks, Hawkeye and B.J. pass Winchester, who is hiding off to the side, crying inexplicably. They notice how awful Winchester looks - he's pale, sweating profusely, and his pulse is running like a train.
They take him back to the Swamp, and his blood pressure is through the roof. They guess what's going on, and search through his footlocker. They find the amphetamines, and despite Winchester's protestations that he's handling it, they put a mirror up to his face, showing him that he's falling apart.
Radar shows up, telling them that Daisy is acting "funny." Winchester owns up to what he did, and Radar is deeply offended, threatening Winchester to never do that again, superior rank or no. After Radar storms out, Winchester meekly apologizes, gives Hawkeye and B.J. the cash equivalent of their winnings to give to the Marines before they find out about the cheating themselves, then heads outside to throw up.
A few days later, Winchester seems back to normal. Hawkeye tries to comfort him, saying there's nothing to be ashamed of. Winchester blows him off, insulting Hawkeye every step of the way, proving to both Hawkeye and B.J. that Winchester is indeed his old self.
Research notes/Fun facts
- Continuity issues: Winchester mentions that his sister Honoria ran off and married a farmer, then left him to live with a shoe salesman and the family ostracized her. In the very next episode, "Major Topper", he says he attended his sister's wedding, which he couldn't have if his family had ostracized her. Furthermore, in a later episode (Season 8 "Bottle Fatigue"), his sister is unmarried and about to marry an Italian. Admittedly, in this episode, Winchester is acting under the influence of amphetamines and prone to exaggerate.
- Former cast-member Larry Linville enjoyed this particular episode, stating that it was "great" in an interview not long before he passed away in April 2000.
Guest stars/Recurring cast
- Chris Murney as Remy
- Joe Tornatore as Sergeant Solita
- Ron Max as Grich
- Rod Gist as Chalk
- Uncredited appearances: