M*A*S*H episode
“Out of Gas”
MASH episode 7x13 - Out of Gas
Hawkeye treats a wounded soldier who has from an Indiana town similar to his hometown in Maine in "Out of Gas" in Season 7.
Season 7, Episode # 13
Number (#160) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Johnny Haymer
Justin Lord
Byron Chung
George Claiborne
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: T-411
Writer(s) Tom Reeder
Director Mel Damski
Original airdate December 4, 1978
IMDb logo IMDB Out of Gas
Episode chronology
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"Dear Comrade" (T‑413) "An Eye For a Tooth" (T‑414)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"None Like It Hot (T‑410) "Major Ego" (T‑412)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 7 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

Out of Gas was the 13th episode of Season 7  of the M*A*S*H TV series, also the 160th overall series episode. The episode, which was written by Tom Reeder, was directed by Mel Damski. The episode originally aired on CBS-TV on December 4, 1978.


When the camp copes with a critical shortage of sodium pentathol, a vital anesthetic, Father Mulcahy must use his black market contacts to get some.

Full episode summaryEdit

The 4077th is suffering through another cold snap, and the poker game is being played for winter gear instead of money.

Potter breaks the game up by telling them they can expect a huge load of wounded, soon. A big problem arises when they learn they are out of Sodium Pentothal, which was traded away with the 8063rd by Sgt. Zale for other supplies. They ask Zale if they can get it back, but the Pentothal has been traded so many times its irretrievable.

Without it, surgery slows to a crawl, since it takes so much longer to put wounded to sleep. To make matters worse, some of the nurses have never given ether (the replacement anesthetic) so directly, which causes some of the patients to choke. And on top of that, the fumes from the ether are so strong they knock some people out - it leaves Margaret on the floor.

Father Mulcahy decides he might be able to trade with the Black Market for some Pentothal, and he collects items from everyone in exchange. Mulcahy asks Winchester for a vintage bottle of wine and some gourmet food, which he agrees to - but only if he comes along for the ride to make sure they get the best possible deal.

They meet with the Black Marketeers, who are of course not impressed by Winchester's idea of driving a hard bargain. At gunpoint, they take his wine, his food, even his uniform (including the polarized jacket and pants he flaunted in "Baby, It’s Cold Outside"), leaving Winchester looking ridiculous in his long underwear - and, to make matters worse, not even giving up the Pentothal!

As they drive off, they realize that the thieves are probably getting blasted on the wine and gorging on the food. They sneak back, grabbing the truck, loaded with the Pentothal. They barely get away when the truck won't start and the Black Marketeers start firing at them, but finally Mulcahy gets the engine to turn over and they drive off.

They arrive at the 4077th with the Sodium Pentothal, saving the day. Later, in OR, everyone is content that they're back operating at full speed...except for Winchester, who is still bemoaning the loss of his precious wine.

Research notes/FactsEdit

  • There's an uncredited (and unidentified) nurse who has a speaking part in the O.R. She is assisting Winchester when he tells her she is applying too much ether. She tells him she has never done it before.
  • There's another unidentified nurse whom Margaret addresses as "Caldman".
  • This is quite similar to an earlier MASH episode where Mulcahy and Klinger retrieved some stolen drugs for MASH 4077-except Klinger has to sacrifice his skirt-after they are shot at by black marketers. Tea and Empathy (TV series episode)
  • If Winchester really needed a case of wine to get through the OR sessions, he would have been too drunk to operate!
  • It would have been funnier if it had been Major Frank Burns who loses his parka and clothing to the Black marketeers!

Great lines/quotesEdit

  • There's a great sequence where Hawkeye makes small talk with a patient from a small town named Idaville. Hawkeye correctly relates detail after detail about the town.
Patient: "Hey, when were you in Idaville?"
Hawkeye: "Never - I grew up in the same small town in Maine."
  • While being reprimanded by Potter for trading away the sodium pentathol, Zale lets it slip that he worked out a trade to get Margaret some leather boots with spiked heels.
Potter (confused): "Spiked heels? How do you fish with those on?"

Guest starringEdit

External linksEdit

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