|Nurse Janet Baker|
Janet Baker (center) assisting Frank Burns at the beginning of the Season 3 episode There is Nothing Like a Nurse'
|Rank:||1st Lieutenant (O-2), U.S. Army|
|Job/Role in Unit:||Nurse at the 4077th MASH|
|First appeared in:||"There is Nothing Like a Nurse" (Season 3)|
|Last appeared in:||N/A. Single appearance.|
|Appeared on/or in:||M*A*S*H|
Lieutenant Janet Baker is a nurse character who makes a one-time appearance in the Season 3 episode There is Nothing Like a Nurse. One of only two Bakers who are given a first name, she is being treated separately from the many Lieutenant Bakers in other episodes. Baker is a name of convenience frequently used for a generic nurse character. They may not refer to the same person, and there is no evidence these other Bakers also have the first name Janet. Janet Baker is also distinct from Lieutenant Mickey Baker who plays a large and central role in the Season 5 episode The Nurses.
About Nurse Janet BakerEdit
Janet Baker plays the central role in one of the plot lines in There is Nothing Like a Nurse and supplies the dramatic tension in the early part of the episode. At the beginning, she is assisting Frank Burns in the O.R. when Frank rebukes her saying he did not ask for a Kelly clamp. She insists that he did. Margaret chimes in to tell her not to argue with the surgeon.
Moments later, Frank does ask for a Kelly clamp. Janet now hands it to him with "Yes, doctor" in a smart-alecky tone. Frank is annoyed and tells Margaret that he wants a nurse who is not so smug. Margaret steps in to take over from Janet, telling her that she is tired. Janet says she is fine but Margaret barks: "I said you're tired. That's an order." Hawkeye asks Margaret to back off but Margaret insists that Janet is her nurse. Hawkeye now offers $500 for her - to which Janet responds: "Sold!" Margaret now tells Janet to report to her quarters later.
After the O.R. session, Margaret goes to see Henry. She wants to charge Janet with insubordination and wants to put her under bed arrest - which she defines as when "not on duty and other than at meal times she is to sit on the edge of her bed at attention for one month." Henry can't believe it and declines to implement this punishment, leading to an angry outburst by Margaret about Henry's incompetence.
Margaret stomps out of Henry's office but before anything else can happen, the nurses all have to be evacuated as there is the threat of an enemy paratroop attack against the 4077th.
The plotline is not resolved in the episode. We do not know what happened between Margaret and Janet. Margaret leaves with the nurses and comes back a few days later. She seems happy to be back and we do not hear about Janet again.
Who played Janet Baker?Edit
Despite the number of lines given to the character, and the central role in one of the plotlines, the character is, strangely enough, uncredited, thus creating one of the big M*A*S*H mysteries. Unfortunately, the character is only seen behind a surgical mask, and this makes identification even more difficult. See discussion at Unidentified Nurses. One possibility is Barbara M. Benson who is credited as "O.R. Nurse". Compare her picture there with the one below.