|“Rally ‘Round the Flagg, Boys”|
Colonel Flagg begins to threaten, then watch Hawkeye, who he thinks may be a Communist sympathizer, in the episode "Rally 'Round the Flagg, Boys" in Season 7.
| Season 7, Episode # 22 |
Number (#169) in series (256 episodes)
|Guest star(s)||Jerry Fujikawa|
|Original airdate||February 14, 1979|
|IMDB||Rally ‘Round the Flagg, Boys|
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Rally 'Round the Flagg, Boys was the 22nd episode of Season 7 of the M*A*S*H TV series, also the 169th overall series episode. The episode was written by Mitch Markowitz, and directed by Harry Morgan. The episode originally aired on CBS-TV on Wednesday, February 14, 1979 (St. Valentine's Day!) at 9PM. It was repeated on September 10, 1979, the last official Season 7 telecast of M*A*S*H.
Col. Flagg attempts to recruit Winchester to spy on Hawkeye whom he suspects is a spy himself.
Detailed episode summaryEdit
After playing Bridge with two South Korean dignitaries, wounded arrive. One of them, a North Korean, has a severe head injury, and Hawkeye as Chief Surgeon overrules Winchester by taking him in first.
Another soldier, a Corporal Basgall, is furious as one of "them" being taken ahead of his buddy, and during OR he calls Hawkeye a commie. After some additional prodding by Winchester, Hawkeye loses his cool and walks over to the Corporal and threatens to shut his mouth for him.
Later, Col. Potter is dismayed to see Col. Flagg waiting for him in his office. Flagg heard about Hawkeye working on a North Korean ahead of an American, which is against protocol, and is here to investigate.
He confronts Hawkeye, calling him a commie, among other things. Hawkeye of course doesn't take any of Flagg's threats seriously, and after a minute or so he walks away.
Later, Flagg introduces himself to Winchester, and wants him to spy on Hawkeye for him. He insists to Winchester that Hawkeye's a commie spy, and that Winchester find some evidence. Winchester of course thinks this is all nonsense, but is willing to do Flagg's bidding when he offers Winchester a ticket home to Boston in return.
Winchester does some snooping, but of course he doesn't find anything. Hawkeye is sure that Flagg has bugged the Swamp, a lot more familiar with Flagg's methods than Winchester.
Winchester finds the spying distasteful, and tries to resign. Flagg switches from bribery to threats, saying if he doesn't help out Winchester could just "disappear." Winchester relents.
Meanwhile, in The Swamp, Corporal Basgall, so worked up over Hawkeye's treating the Korean over his pal that he attacks Hawkeye in his tent with a cane! B.J. enters and furiously intervenes, threatening to break the guy's neck, until Hawkeye dissuades him.
Later, in Post Op, Flagg questions the North Korean, but that quickly devolves into cutting off the patient's IV drip. Radar sees this, and is enraged. He tells Flagg he can't do that, and Winchester steps in. He then finds a "clue" on the North Korean, which looks like a map of the 4077th, with a meeting of some sort scheduled for 10pm.
Flagg camps outside the Swamp with some MPs, where Winchester joins them. They see two Koreans in suits enter, along with Hawkeye and Col. Potter. Thinking it's a spy ring so big it involves Potter, too, Flagg and the MPs charge in with gun in hand.
Turns out the two Korean gentlemen are Doo-Pak, the mayor of Ouijongbu, and his younger brother Hung-Pak, the chief of police, something of course Winchester knew all along! Flagg should be embarrassed, but, never one to know when to quit, he thinks it's an even bigger plot, and refuses to give an inch. For their part, the Korean officials are furious at this insult and vow to use their contacts at I Corps to make sure Flagg is punished. Hawkeye laughs that "You're going to lose your magic decoder ring for this one, Flagg!" After the MPs leave, Flagg suddenly does the light and "vanishes." Winchester sits down to play bridge with the others, and begins to regale them with the story of how he pulled one over on Flagg.
Later on, Mulcahy urges BJ to take his frustrations out on his punching bag. BJ takes a whack at the bag...so big and hard a whack, it deflates! Mulcahy then suggests BJ try needlepoint instead...
- This is not the first time Flagg has goofed up an intelligence assignment...hence the MP remark of "Another one of Col Flagg's red herrings."
- The parts where Winchester steals Hawkeye's letter and Flagg grinds Klinger's cigar into his palm and Baggsall talks to BJ and threatens Hawkeye if he is not released with his friend are usually not in the syndicated versions; however they are seen in restored version.
- Final appearance of Col. Samuel Flagg in the MASH series. We never see Flagg again after this episode. It most likely that he was punished for threatening a well-respected Colonel (Potter), Mayor of Uijeongbu (Doo Pak), and the Uijeongbu Chief of Police (Hung Pak), all of whom had connections to his superiors. He would appear in Season 2 of the spinoff series AfterMASH, episode "Trials" where he would testify at Klinger's trial. Evidence he brings against Klinger prove ridiculous and he's left tirading about how Klinger has them fooled.
- Episode title is based on that of a 1958 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Max Shulman, directed by Leo McCarey, starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and released by 20th Century Fox. The title comes from a line in the song "Battle Cry of Freedom".
- Continuity error: Winchester came to MASH 4077 after Potter (Who came Sept 19, 1952) yet Winchester refers in the present tense to Douglas MacArthur (Who was dismissed April 1951) by 1952 the US general in command of UN troops in Korea was Matthew Bunker Ridgeway.
- Edward Winter as Colonel Sam Flagg
- Neil Thompson as Corporal Basgall
- James Lough as M.P.
- Jerry Fujikawa as Hung Pak
- Bob Ozazaki as Doo Pak
- Roy Goldman as Private Roy Goldman