The Foresight Saga was the 19th episode of Season 9 of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 217th overall series episode. Written by Dennis Koenig and directed by Charles S. Dubin, it originally aired on April 13, 1981.
Klinger accidentally breaks Potter's eyeglasses, requiring a visit from traveling optometrist Dr. Bud Herzog. The 4077th receives fresh vegetables from a grateful Korean. Potter questions the authenticity of an upbeat letter from Radar.
Full episode summaryEdit
Col. Potter convenes a meeting of the staff in his office to deliver some nice news: in his hands is a letter from...Radar!
Radar says he's become quite a success as a farmer, how much he misses everyone, and how he all hopes they'll get to come home soon, too.
While handing the letter to Father Mulcahy, Klinger accidentally breaks Col. Potter's glasses. Potter, now sans both pairs (Klinger broke those, too), tells Klinger to get the I-Corps optometrist to the 4077th, pronto.
Afterwards, Hawkeye, B.J., and Col. Potter have lunch, and for once there's actually decent food to eat: fresh cole slaw, made by a young Korean boy named Park Sung (Rummel Mor), as a way to pay the doctors back for taking care of his grandmother.
Park Sung is a whiz at farming, and he even has a guide to growing crops given to him by a G.I. But Park Sung's glasses are so beaten up that its hard for him to read it, or anything. Hawkeye wonders if the optometrist can make Park Sung new glasses as long as he'll be at the camp.
The optometrist, Dr. Herzog (Phillip Sterling) arrives, and arranges for new pairs of glasses for both Potter and Park Sung. He's a bit flummoxed when Margaret bluntly flirts with him, but it turns out its all a ruse: Margaret has been having some trouble with her eyes, and she's sensitive about it, so she pretends she's there on romantic grounds.
Herzog comforts her that she's suffering from a mild allergy, nothing serious. Margaret is still concerned that her eyes aren't getting any better, that she's noticeably aging, but Herzog comforts her, and they become friends. They decide to twist the knife on Hawkeye and B.J., and spend an evening at the O Club together, only to leave early. When Margaret picks up a basket of pretzels, Hawkeye asks why she's taking them. "Because", she says, lustfully, "I don't smoke."
Meanwhile, Park Sung is wounded by artillery staying behind to defend his land, even after his family have left to go further south. Luckily, his wounds are minor, but now he has no family, no "home" to go home to. Hawkeye and B.J. put him up in the Swamp until he decides what to do next.
That night, everyone starts reminiscing about Radar, and they decide to give him a call. Col. Potter ends up speaking to Radar's mother, who admits that things, in fact, are not going all that well on the farm: crops are bad, and they don't have enough money to hire help, leaving Radar to do all the work himself, followed by a night job at the county store.
They all try to decide what they can do to help Radar, and then Park Sung walks in, asking about his pet rabbit, who appears sick. One by one, they all get the idea to send Park Sung to Iowa to go live with the O'Reillys. Park Sung loves the idea, and soon after they throw him a goodbye party, complete with gifts, one of them being a Korean-English dictionary, which Park Sung uses to say "all this is, how you say..."terrific."
Fun Facts Edit
When Hawkeye and B.J. invite Park Sung to stay in the Swamp for a few days to figure out what he's going to do next, Winchester is initially against the idea saying, "I'm a doctor! Not a social worker!". This might have been an unintentional friendly poke at Dr. Leonard McCoy, who often used the classic snowclone phrase "I'm a doctor, not a..." in the original Star Trek series.