Peace on Us was the second episode of Season 7 of the M*A*S*H TV series, also the 149th overall series episode. The episode, which was written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs, was directed by George Tyne. The episode originally aired on CBS-TV on September 25, 1978 and repeated on May 28, 1979.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
With no end to the war in sight, the Army changing the rules again, and Margaret tearfully revealing that her marriage is over, Hawkeye blows a fuse and drives to the Peace Talks in Panmunjom to try and stop the war.
Plot Summary[edit | edit source]
In the wake of a lull-inspired three-day party, Potter has bad news to deliver the camp at morning muster: the current round of peace talks have collapsed, leaving them "back at square one", which agitates everyone, especially the surgeons, who are now verbally at one another's throats through breakfast and later through surgery. Hawkeye has the shortest fuse, but Charles reminds him that he has the most rotation points, and therefore will be the first to be sent home. Potter orders a stop to the bickering, and after surgery orders the three frustrated surgeons to start smiling more, and to shave and put on a fresh uniform in the hope that they might feel a little better.
Later in the Swamp, B.J. has cleaned up and shaved his grizzled beard down to just a mustache (which Hawkeye and Potter both call "cheezy"). When Charles remarks that "Nurse Carvelli has a better looking mustache", B.J. accuses them both of having no taste, but Hawkeye, feigning offense, proclaims himself to be the best dresser in camp. He then looks down his nose at "this bilious schmatte", his olive drab shirt, and wishes that just for once he could see some other color besides green, randomly choosing red, a "rosy and cheery" color, just to break things up.
Potter comes into the Swamp with even more bad news: with the war trudging on, and with their difficulty replacing surgeons, the Army has increased the rotation points; a surgeon now needs 45 points instead of 36 to be rotated home. B.J. is despondent, Charles protestingly barks out that they've been had ("...again!"), and Hawkeye wordlessly storms out of the Swamp.
Outside, Hawkeye explodes, screaming to the heavens while throwing a jeep bench. then kicking a gas can and a jeep tire. He then crosses paths with Margaret, who is furious for her own reason: she tells Hawkeye that she just found out that her husband Donald permanently transferred himself stateside, effectively ending any further attempts to reconcile their marriage. Hawkeye pities Margaret and asks what she's going to do; she responds with angry tears that she's going to divorce Donald. Having had enough, Hawkeye climbs into a jeep and takes off for the Peace Talks in Panmunjom "to stop the war".
Margaret goes to visit Potter for advice on what to do about Donald. Potter tells her to go with her gut feeling; when he asks her what her gut tells her to do she says "Divorce him!", so Potter tells her "Then, do it!"
Radar finally gets the guard shack at Panmunjom on the phone, only to find out that Hawkeye has already been there-- and has gotten through! In disbelief, Potter muses, "Thirty-five years in the Army, I thought I'd seen it all!"
Hawkeye makes it past the guard post claiming that there is a very sick man at the Peace Talks and that he was was ordered to proceed immediately to the Peace Talks. He bluffs his way through the post, and finally to the tents where the talks are being held. When one of the MPs guesses he is there to see General Tomlin who always complains of gastritis, Hawkeye latches on to it and lets himself into the tent. After checking on the General and then drawing stares from all the diplomats, he makes his point: "People are dying out there, you gotta stop it! You can't wait anymore - you can't!" He's then escorted out of the tent by the MPs.
Back at the 4077th, morale skyrockets when word spreads of Hawkeye's trip to Panmunjom. As B.J. and Charles are in the OR doing a follow-up on one of Hawkeye's patients, Mulcahy informs them that the whole camp has crowded into Radar's office awaiting news, and then Potter comes in and announces that Hawkeye has said his piece at the talks and is on his way back to camp. B.J. asks Potter's permission to throw a wild welcome-home bash for Hawkeye, which is quickly granted. B.J. cautions him that the camp may not be the same again, to which Potter replies, "I'm counting on it."
When Hawkeye finally returns, the camp appears abandoned, but B.J. soon emerges from the Mess Tent alone and decked out entirely in red, including his hair and mustache. He escorts Hawkeye back into the Mess Tent where everyone is "waiting for their peace delegate". When Hawkeye asks about the "Red Skelton look", B.J. reminds him that he wanted to see something anti-green, something "rosy and cheery", so in Hawkeye's honor, the camp has designed "a new uniform, right down to the hair".
Hawkeye is treated to a hero's welcome as he giddily walks into the Mess Tent which is decked out in red balloons and streamers, and where everyone, everyone, is wearing red outfits with matching dyed hair. When Hawkeye talks to Margaret about her pending divorce she proclaims that "it's the best thing that ever happened to me". Potter gives Hawkeye a glass of red wine and remarks on his "bonehead play", adding, "you sure did something for this motley crew". Moments later, when B.J. points out that Hawkeye is the only one who looks out of place, he is grabbed and held upside down over a pan of red dye to recolor his hair.
They are soon visited by a Major Goss from I Corps. Most of them think that Goss is there to arrest Hawkeye, but Potter, slightly inebriated, comes to his defense saying that what Hawkeye did might not have been the brightest idea, but it was "a shot in the arm for all of us". Goss reveals that he didn't come to arrest Hawkeye, but to deliver a personal message from General Tomlin: For the record, if Tomlin catches Hawkeye within twenty miles of Panmunjom he will "toss you into the stockade and throw away the key". Goss then tells him off the record that Tomlin "wishes he were a crazy doctor so he could get away with what you did". Finally, Tomlin has also requested that Hawkeye write out a diet he can follow to get him through the sessions, to which Hawkeye agrees. With that business concluded, B.J. asks if Goss would like to join the party. Goss, taking off his helmet, asks "Do you think I'd fit in?" revealing his natural red hair, to everyone's delight.
Epilogue[edit | edit source]
At the next muster, Radar calls attendance. B.J. rolls a sleeping Hawkeye out to formation in a wheelchair. But the roll call is cut short by the sound of arriving choppers, and as B.J. drags the wheelchair towards the OR, Hawkeye wakes up and reluctantly walks there on his own.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- Hawkeye (angrily): Forty-five points. Why not fifty? Sixty?? Why not a million??!
- B.J. (at the party as they are about to dye Hawkeye's hair): Any last words?
- Hawkeye: We who are about to "dye" salute you!
Fun Facts[edit | edit source]
- This episode features a recurring factual mistake the series made - the subject of "rotation points." By the Korean War, the Army had given up that system, and in any case, it was never used for medical personnel.
- Major Goss is played by Kevin Hagen, who previously appeared as Col. Coner in Season 4's "Some 38th Parallels."
- Hawkeye refers to Army clothing as "bilious schmatte". "Bilious" means "pertaining to bile or to an excess secretion of bile," and "schmatte" is a Yiddish term for an old/ragged piece of clothing. So, basically, he says it's a puke-colored rag.
- B.J. starts this episode with facial hair before shaving it, leaving only what would become his signature mustache. He even wears a special mustache-adorned mask over his face in the OR during surgery.
- This is also the first episode in production order for Season 7, which would make sense since B.J. starts off with facial hair. In the previous episode, the Season 7 opener, no facial hair besides his mustache is seen.
- This episode stars off with an abrasive Season 2-style laugh track, which was almost obscure at this point in the series.
- Despite Hawkeye not being fond of B.J.'s mustache it was actually cast-member Alan Alda, who played Hawkeye, who requested the mustache for Hunnicutt.
Recurring cast/Guests[edit | edit source]
- Kevin Hagen as Major Goss
- Hugh Gillin as General Tomlin (as Hugh Gillan)
- Michael Payne as MP Guard
- Michael LaGuardia as MP Guard
- Don Cummins as MP Guard
- Rollin Moriyama as Korean Delegate
- Perren Page as Driver
- Uncredited appearances:
- Laurie Bates - party scene (see Lieutenant Laurie)
- Jennifer Davis - party scene, in red Japanese top