Monster M*A*S*H

 Who Knew? is the 245th episode of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 5th episode of Season 11 of the series. Written by Elias Davis and David Pollock, and directed by Harry Morgan, it originally aired on November 22, 1982.


After a new nurse Hawkeye was dating is killed by a landmine, Hawkeye finds himself doing some serious self-examining when he finds out she was too shy to reveal she had serious feelings for him.

Full episode summary[]

Hawkeye returns to the Swamp in the middle of the night, waking B.J. to brag about the great date he just had with a new nurse, Lt. Millie Carpenter. But the next morning, during breakfast in the Mess Tent, Potter grimly announces that Millie was found dead by the road; she had apparently gone for a walk during the night, wandered off the road, and stepped on a landmine. Everyone is shocked and saddened, but when Potter asks for a volunteer to do the eulogy at Millie's memorial service, nobody speaks up. Noticing this, Hawkeye later goes to Father Mulcahy while he is filing Millie's personal effects and volunteers to do the eulogy. Later to B.J., Hawkeye contrasts Millie's death to her being shipped out, the latter in which Hawkeye felt he would just toss off a joke or two and then forget about her after a few days, but in this case, he feels as though he owes something to Millie.

Hawkeye starts gathering what information he can about Millie by talking to the others in camp, mainly Margaret and the other nurses, but outside of being a good nurse, none of them have anything to say about Millie because they didn't really know her, as she was particularly quiet and kept to herself. In frustration, Hawkeye is about to turn the eulogy back over to Father Mulcahy, who suggests Hawkeye read Millie's diary, which he found hidden underneath her mattress. Hawkeye is reluctant, but Mulcahy felt obliged to read it and feels that Hawkeye should do likewise as a final gesture to Millie. Hawkeye finally agrees.

While reading her diary, Hawkeye learns much more about Millie: she was head nurse of the thoracic surgery unit at Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, and then put in for a transfer to a MASH unit in the hope that she could do more good at the front- which culminated only in her untimely death. But on a much more personal level, Millie wrote in essence that she was falling in love with Hawkeye, remarking on how his kindness and warmth made her forget how lonely she was. She then wrote at 3 o'clock in the morning that Hawkeye is weighing so heavily on her mind that she cannot sleep and decides to take a walk to clear her head; this was her last entry.

Hawkeye is troubled by Millie's words and blames himself for her reluctance to open up to him about her feelings; convinced that their relationship would have been the same at six months as it was after the first two dates, Hawkeye reflects on the fact that he has always made it a point to keep things casual between himself and nearly all the women he has dated, including Millie, and surmises that he never really gave Millie a chance to tell him how she felt.

The next morning at Millie's memorial service, Hawkeye shares some little-known facts about Millie, starting with a large box of fudge that Millie had hoarded, giving only one piece to each of the other nurses; Hawkeye found out that, while on night shift and with no one else watching, Millie had given the rest of the fudge to the wounded in Post Op. Hawkeye revealed to everyone what he learned about Millie: that a lot of people had misjudged her to be distant and unfriendly, but in reality she was very shy and, outside of her diary entries, felt that she couldn't open up about herself to anyone else.

With what he knows about her now, Hawkeye admits that he regrets not allowing himself to get to know Millie better, or vice versa. But he decides to use this moment to do something Millie never got the chance to do - to try and not be so reserved about his own feelings, and to do a better job of letting those closest to him know what they mean to him. He singles out Margaret, Potter, Mulcahy, Charles, Klinger, and "Beej", telling each of them how much he loves them. He ends the eulogy by saying "Goodbye, Millie."


Klinger tries to convince Charles to invest in his latest get-rich-quick scheme: the invention of the hula hoop. Klinger shows him a demonstration with a Korean child playing with one, and at first Charles brushes it off as nonsense. But after seeing an stuffed Shmoo doll in Potter's office, and hearing how extremely popular they are, he reconsiders and agrees to go in on Klinger's deal. But later, when some locals laugh at Charles as he tries unsuccessfully to use the hula hoop, his foolish pride motivates him to back out of the deal, causing Klinger to give up his scheme.

Later, Klinger tries once again to get Charles to invest in another soon-to-be-popular fad: the Frisbee, which Charles dismisses outright, believing that if it was Klinger's idea, it cannot work. ("Will you urchins take your mindless recreation elsewhere?").

Guest stars/Recurring cast[]

Research notes/Fun facts[]

  • There are at least two occasions (that we know of) where Hawkeye did allow himself to get closer to the woman he was with at the time: Carlye Breslin ("The More I See You"), his one-time common-law wife whom he left to continue his career, and Kyung Soon ("In Love and War") whom he falls for, but they part permanently when, after her mother dies, she decides to move further south to get herself and her extended refugee family away from all the fighting.
  • The "Shmoo" was first introduced in August of 1948 and hit the heights of popularity shortly after and well into the following year. Since this episode of "M*A*S*H*" takes place roughly close to the end of the war (July 1953), it's difficult to gauge just how popular the Shmoo would have been at that time.
  • The specially-made flying plastic discs were initially manufactured in 1948. The name "Frisbee" was ascribed to the discs in 1957, having been derived from the name of a pie company in Bridgeport, Connecticut (the Frisbie Pie Company), whose tins were being used as flying discs.
  • Like the Hula Hoop, the Frisbee did not become popular until later in the 1950s. Though in this case, Klinger was more of a visionary than a scammer; it is probable that Charles' investment, had he made it, might have become a loss.