M*A*S*H episode
“Requiem for a Lightweight”
Trapper wtih Flacker-requiem
"Killer" Flacker boxes "Kid Doctor" Trapper. If Trapper can survive 3 rounds, Henry will bring Nurse Margie Cutler back to the 4077th.
Season 1, Episode # 3
Number (#3) in series (256 episodes)
Guest star(s) Sorrell Booke
John Orchard
Marcia Strassman
Mike McGirr (uncredited)
Network: CBS-TV
Production code: J308
Writer(s) Robert Klane
Director Hy Averback
Original airdate October 1, 1972
IMDb logo IMDB Requiem for a Lightweight
Episode chronology
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"To Market, to Market" (J‑303) "Chief Surgeon Who?" (J‑308)

(broadcast order)

(broadcast order)

"Chief Surgeon Who?" (J‑307) "Cowboy" (J‑309)

(production order)

(production order)

Season 1 episodes
List of all M*A*S*H episodes

Requiem for a Lightweight was the third episode to be aired (and the eighth episode to be produced) in Season 1 of the M*A*S*H TV series. It is also the third overall episode in the series. Directed by Hy Averback and written by Robert Klane, it first aired on CBS-TV on October 1, 1972.

Synopsis Edit

New nurse Margie Cutler arrives at the 4077th and draws the attention of Hawkeye and Trapper. The gloves are put on as the two must find a way to get her back after she is transferred by Houlihan for being a distraction.

Full episode summaryEdit

An announcement comes in over the PA that all shifts are to report to the O.R. Men and women start running around the compound. A group of the nurses come out of the shower heading for their tents. Hawkeye, Trapper and Radar leave the Mess Tent with the two surgeons still playing cards. The last nurse from the shower is Cutler, the new transfer. She runs into the three, knocking Radar down. As she runs off Hawkeye accidentally ends up with her towel, both Hawkeye and Trapper salute.

The whole staff is working in the O.R. with Cutler working with Hawkeye. The two work well together and Hawkeye hits on her in his usual manner. Burns and Houlihan hear the comment and Burns wants him on report for disrespectful behavior.

After the session, Hawkeye, Trapper, and Cutler are in the Mess Tent getting coffee. The two are talking shop until Cutler asks if they want to be left alone. Both continue to flirt with her in their own ways until Houlihan yells at Cutler to meet her in her office. Houlihan gets after them both for their behavior and tells them to leave the nurses alone. Hawkeye and Trapper then give each other excuses about being tired and each heads off in their own direction. Each grabs a gift and heads to Cutler's tent, where they run into one another. They both become upset when they find out that Houlihan has transferred her out of the unit.

Blake and Radar are at work in the office when the phone rings. General Barker is interested in getting the 4077th to put a fighter for the inter-unit boxing tournament. After the call Hawkeye and Trapper try to get Blake to keep Cutler. Blake decides that if one of them will fight in the match against Barker's fighter he will see what he can do. They leave the office laughing until they see Cutler being driven away. Hawkeye then tries to convince Trapper that he should fight.

The Mess Tent has been converted into the boxing ring for the match. Trapper is set to spar against Radar. Hawkeye gives Trapper advice as he dances around the ring. Radar lands a lucky shot to his stomach which knocks him to the ground. They continue to work Trapper in preparation for the fight.

In the Swamp, Hawkeye and Trapper are having a prefight drink when Radar enters and tells them about the fighter Barker has brought. After learning that he is big, mean, and punches out jeeps Trapper wants out of the fight.

Hawkeye comes up with an idea for beating him. Hawkeye takes Trapper to see Ugly John who has a trick for winning. He coats Trapper's right glove in ether and tells him to stick it in his opponents face. While showing Trapper how to keep his glove up he takes too many whiffs of the glove and passes out from the ether. Hawkeye proclaims Trapper the champ.

In the mess hall Blake is talking to Hawkeye and Trapper about what this fighter has done to a previous opponent. Burns joins the group just as General Barker and his fighter come in. After a brief introduction the two walk off leaving the group in shock. Blake isn't sure that Trapper should go into the ring with the guy. Hawkeye tells him that not only will Trapper be OK, but that he is going to win. Hawkeye shows them the bottle of ether. Burns and Blake both show reluctance to knowing about this tactic.

Trapper enters the ring as the mess hall fills up with personnel. Houlihan joins Burns and hands over the real bottle of ether which she has switched with water. The introduction for the two fighters is made by Mulcahy with the crowd cheering for Trapper and booing Barker's man. Hawkeye pours the ether on Trappers glove undercover of the spit bucket and reminds him to keep it away from himself. The fight begins and Trapper does not look good against his much larger opponent. Trapper keeps his glove in the other mans face but it does not do anything to him.

Hawkeye wondering what is going on checks the bottle and realizes that it is water and not ether. Trapper is knocked down and Hawkeye tells him that the bottles were switched and that he needs to stall. He quickly returns to the ring with a real bottle of ether. Trapper gets into a clinch and knocks him out quickly with the ether. As the man falls he lands on Burns and Houlihan.

Trapper ends up with a black eye from the fight. As he and Hawkeye are talking Cutler is brought in by Blake who has lived up to his end of the bargain. Hawkeye tries to get her attention but she is more concerned with Trapper and how he fought for her.

Research notes/Fun factsEdit

  • First appearance of William Christopher as Father Mulcahy. George Morgan played Mulcahy in the Pilot. Christopher would play Mulcahy for the remainder of the series and in the short-lived spin-off After Mash.
  • First appearance of Lieutenant Margie Cutler, who would become a recurring cast member throughout the first series.
  • Trapper's weight is announced as 175 lbs., which would make him a Light heavyweight.
  • Culture references:
    • Henry refers to Hawkeye and Trapper as "dr. Jekyll and dr. Jekyll" - a reference to Robert Louis Stevenson's story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where Hyde represented the evil part of the good Dr. Jekyll's personality. Therefore, it could be interpreted as both of them being the good guy or the reason is simply that they're both doctors.

Great lines/QuotesEdit

(Trapper and Hawkeye want Henry to keep Margie Cutler in the unit.)

  • Trapper: Henry if you say no we'll tell everyone that your brother's in jail.
  • Henry: My brother is a warden.
  • Hawkeye: We won't say that part.

(Father Mulcahy watches Trapper train for the boxing match.)

  • Hawkeye: You got any advice for Trapper?
  • Mulcahy: Prayer - I don't think he's got one.

Guest stars/Recurring castEdit