Henry Please Come Home was the 9th episode of Season 1 of the TV series M*A*S*H, also the 9th overall in the series. Written by Laurence Marks and directed by William Wiard, it originally aired on November 19, 1972. Although it was 9th in broadcast order, this episode was actually the 2nd to be produced.


Henry receives a citation for the camp achieving the best efficiency rating, and then General Hammond reassigns him to Tokyo. Frank then changes the 4077th to make it more military and becomes a tyrant. But then he goes further and confiscates Hawkeye's and Trapper's still. The two then use forged passes to go to Tokyo to convince Henry to come back. They succeed by having Radar pretend he is sick.

Full episode summaryEdit

In the O.R. Frank has an argument with Ginger Bayliss again (like the one he had in the "Pilot episode"). This time it is over the type of suture to use.

Coming out of the O.R., Frank tells Henry he wants to file insubordination charges against Ginger. The other doctors protest but before the discussion gets any further, Radar comes with news that General Hammond has awarded the 4077th a special citation for achieving a 90% efficiency rating, the highest by any medical unit in Korea.

Hammond visits the camp to present the award to Henry and then shocks everyone by announcing that Henry is being transferred to Tokyo for training and administrative duties.

Frank takes over as commander and becomes a tyrant. He institutes unnecessary military routines like early reveille and early morning calisthenics. The other doctors go along half-heartedly but then Frank goes too far and confiscates the still in the Swamp.

Hawkeye, Trapper and a few others gather in the mess tent to discuss what to do with Frank. Hawkeye concludes that the only solution is to bring Henry back, using his ego to entice him. The resourceful Radar goes through his stack and produces two passes to Tokyo that he has somehow "obtained".

Hawkeye and Trapper find Henry in Tokyo but he is enjoying himself too much to want to go back to the 4077th. Even mention of Scorch being "a basket case' doesn't move him. But then, according to plan, Radar puts through a call about himself being seriously sick with something which Hawkeye describes as a "tough case", "a diagnostic problem."

Henry decides to rush back to the 4077th but then stuns everyone by wanting to do exploratory surgery on Radar! Frank resists this, and even Hawkeye and Trapper agree with Frank. However Henry insists and wants to put through a call to General Hammond to override Frank. Radar gets up a little too eagerly to put the call through, thereby blowing the cover.

Henry demands to know what is going on. Hawkeye explains that they just wanted him back and Radar's fake illness was designed to make him feel wanted. Frank wants to call the M.P.s to arrest Hawkeye and Trapper but Henry stops him - he has decided to take over!

Research notes/Fun factsEdit

  • In this episode, Henry is transferred to Tokyo, which he would have had to pass the Sea of Japan to get to Tokyo. He is later forced by Hawkeye and Trapper to return to MASH. In Season 3, Henry would then be later discharged and sent home. However, on his way to Tokyo to catch his next flight, his plane from Korea was shot down. This would mean had Hawkeye and Trapper just left Henry alone, he most likely would have made it home alive when he finally was discharged.
  • This is the first of a number of episodes in which Frank Burns becomes the commanding officer of the 4077th.
  • It is not clear which nurse is played by Jean Pleet:
    • According to the script, there is a nurse in the O.R. assisting Hawkeye with lines like "clamp" and "rib cutter".
    • Coming out of the O.R., Hawkeye catches a nurse in his arms but she manages to extricate herself. This is a scripted interaction with a main cast member but she has no lines. This same nurse is seen at the gathering listening to Hammond announcing the unit's citation.
  • Bill Svanoe is credited as aide but he doesn't seem to be anywhere. There are two possibilities:
    • In the scene where Hammond is announcing Henry's new appointment to Tokyo Headquarters, the shoulders of an aide can sometimes be seen next to the General. In one brief instance, his nose and part of his face can just be seen. Another other scene with speaking part much have been lost during editing.
    • Ho-Jon rushes into the Swamp to tell the doctors that Frank Burns is approaching with an M.P. and an aide. That could be Bill Svanoe. It's plausible that he's the aide. Even though this character has no lines, he has a scripted action in producing the pistol.
  • Anachronisms
    • While faking his illness, Radar is shown to be reading Captain Savage #10, a comic from January 1969. The episode, of course, is set in 1951.
    • The helicopter Henry uses to get back to the 4077th is a French Aérospatiale Alouette II which only came out in 1955 was never used by the US armed forces.

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit


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