House Arrest was the 18th episode of Season 3 of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 66th overall series episode. Written by Jim Fritzell and Everett Greenbaum and directed by Hy Averback, it first aired on February 4, 1975. 


Frank Burns has Hawkeye placed under house arrest after Hawkeye punches him in the hospital change room. It takes Frank being falsely accused of rape by a visiting female Colonel, and Frank placed under house arrest, to get the charges dropped.

Full episode summaryEdit

Margaret is making a lot of mistakes in O.R., which is unusual. Turns out she's nervous about the impending arrival of Col. Reece, a highly decorated nurse.

When Hawkeye dismisses Margaret after one too many mistakes, she is furious. She berates Hawkeye in the scrub room, but after he insinuates she got where she is by sleeping around, Margaret demands Frank defend her honor. Frank's idea of that is to snap a towel at Hawkeye's back, resulting in Hawkeye punching Frank right in the eye.

Despite Henry's attempts to dissuade him, Frank demands that Hawkeye be court-martialed. When Radar informs them while the accused officer is investigated, he is to be placed under house arrest, meaning that he is to be relieved of all duty and confined to his tent. Hearing this, Hawkeye is thrilled at the idea. Trapper later tells Henry what he himself witnessed in the scrub room, concocting a story of Frank slipping on a bar of soap and hitting his face on the sink. Henry goes along with the lie and has Radar write it up.

Colonel Reese arrives and Margaret shows her to her tent, for they will be bunking together. Reese meets Frank, who is waiting in Margaret's tent and sporting a terrific shiner. Reese guesses correctly Frank is unhappy in his marriage and fooling around with Margaret.

Hawkeye is enjoying his house arrest, even thanking Frank for slipping on the bar of soap and blaming him for his injury. Trapper delivers Hawkeye's dinner: a water buffalo steak, compliments of the Mess Sergeant as a reward for decking Frank. Father Mulcahy delivers a POW package, and when he mentions tonight's movie stars Gene Tierney, Hawkeye asks him to intervene so he doesn't miss it. Mulcahy comes through, for the Swamp hosts over 50 people for a special screening of Leave Her To Heaven.

Radar receives a highly anticipated package in the mail – elevated shoes. He tries them on and feels like a “real person.” Frank arrives looking for Henry and is baffled by Radar's change in appearance. He can't quite figure it out (thinks he has new glasses), but Hawkeye immediately notices Radar is three inches taller, and gently advises he get rid of the shoes.

Frank goes to Margaret's tent during the movie but finds only Colonel Reese, alone and wearing just her robe. Reese starts massaging Frank's shoulders as he talks about the stresses in his life. She brings up his unhappy marriage, softens him up with blackberry brandy, and insinuates that, with her help, Frank could be a Colonel, serving at Walter Reed hospital in Washington, D.C. Flush with passion, she kisses Frank on the lips just as Margaret walks in.

MASH episode-3x18 Hawk taunts under arrest Frank

A now under arrest Frank gets taunted by a "free" Hawkeye in the closing scene of "House Arrest".

Caught in the act, Reese yells "Rape!", causing the whole movie audience to congregate outside Margaret's tent. She wants charges filed. Hawkeye doesn't want Frank sharing his house arrest, but then a jealous Margaret turns against Frank and declares Hawkeye to be innocent, saying that Frank indeed slipped on a bar of soap.

Frank is now under house arrest and is delivered a meal of C-rations by Radar, now back to his normal height. As Frank wonders how he will explain this to his wife, Hawkeye suggests he tell her he was “waiting for his mistress and got impatient and attacked another woman.”

Recurring/Guest castEdit

Memorable Quotes Edit

  • "What a night! Movie and vaudeville!" (~Hawkeye, after hearing Colonel Reese yelling "Rape!")


  • When Frank formally accuses Hawkeye of assault, he invokes the Articles of War, which at the time defined military regulations. The Articles of War would be supplanted by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) when it went into effect on May 31, 1951 after being signed into law by President Truman a year earlier The invocation of the Articles of War would place the timeline of this episode before May of 1951.
  • Hawkeye comments that the patient he is working on has a "gut full of shrapnel from a claymore." This line is anachronistic as claymore mines weren't introduced until 1960, seven years after the Korean War ended.
  • Army regulations actually prohibit the superior officer from pressing charges if they are the one who caused the person of lower rank to strike them.
  • It's never explained how Burns was acquitted...nor why Houlihan went back to him.
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