Eextremely Monday, I spotlight a random episode of M*A*S*H, offering a brief testimonial and also asking readers to sell their thoughts.

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“Abyssinia, Henry” (#72, 3×24)Originally Broadcast: Tuesday, March 18th, 1975Written by Everett Greenbaum & Jim FritzellDirected by Larry Gelbart

Capsule Summary: Colonel Blake is going residence and also Hawkeye and Trapper decide to throw him a party to say goodbye.

This is probably the second the majority of famous episode of M*A*S*H after the series finale. If by some opportunity you’re analysis this and you haven’t watched “Abyssinia, Henry” and you don’t know what happens at the end, speak reading immediately and also go watch the episode.

Everyone else, save analysis.

For those of us that didn’t watch “Abyssinia, Henry” when it originally aired in March 1975, it’s a pretty safe bet we had actually the episode spoiled for us, robbing us of the possibility to react to the shocking twist finishing. It’s unfortunate but that’s how these things go (that among us doesn’t recognize the twist finishing to The Sixth Sense even if we haven’t checked out the movie?).

Of course, as I discussed earlier in July 2011, there’s a opportunity viewers watching the episode in 1975 had additionally been spoiled thanks to assorted newspaper write-ups publiburned as beforehand as November 1974 that revealed Colonel Blake’s fate.

There are so many type of stories neighboring this episode that someone might compose a totality book just around it. The conflict neighboring Henry’s fatality and also the fact that both CBS and also 20th Century-Fox were versus it. The angry letters sent out by iprice viewers. McLean Stevenson’s reaction. The last scene having actually to be reshot because of some sort of problem via the initially take. The rumored appearance by Stevenchild on The Carol Burnett Show quickly after “Abyssinia, Henry” first aired.

As an episode, removed from its iconic status, “Abyssinia, Henry” functions pretty well. I do feel the party scene lasts a tiny as well lengthy while Henry’s last evaluation of the troops was also brief (he claims goodbye to one or 2 registered nurses by name yet ignores the rest?). If it had ended via Henry getting on the chopper without Henry dying, it would certainly have been a memorable farewell to the character. Henry never making it home, as so many type of during the Korean War never did, provides the episode unforgettable.

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A few minor things:

Henry, after determining when to contact the States to tell his household he’s coming house, looks at a snapshot of his household and also says to Radar, “Lorraine and the children are going to die.” Foreshadowing or just a turn of phrase?

Poor Frank. Notice that when Margaret asks him if he doubts his ability, he renders a sound indicting he just could.

This episode takes location in 1952 and mentions the previous fourth of July.

Near the finish of the episode, after Henry tells Radar to behave himself, Radar says something yet there’s no audible dialogue. It looks favor he’s saying “thank you.”

Aaccording to Larry Gelbart in the 1981 documentary “Making M*A*S*H,” during a rebroadcast of “Abyssinia, Henry” CBS reduced out the last scene. I’ve never before been able to confirm that. Anyone remember watching it without Radar’s announcement that Henry had actually been killed?


When I observed this episode for the initially time, I was floored… and I had actually just been watching M*A*S*H for a brief time: I began as soon as Hallnote Channel went ago to the pilot in its rotation of 4-episodes a day reruns, and kept watching all the means through. Henry had actually become among my favorite characters of the original actors, bereason he was so funny, especially in those scenes as soon as he was drunk (from this episode, the conversation around which tree is the toidy, and which tree is for which number cracks me up)… him going house was bittersweet sufficient, but to learn that he was killed, I was not prepared for that, and I obtained quite choked up. I ended up taping this episode.

One thing that gets me though is that today’s viewers don’t even appreciate this episode, at all, in fact, there was a conversation at the IMDb boards talking about, “Stupid” Radar was in this episode for springing the news on everyone while they were still in surgery… THAT WAS THE POINT! Larry Gelbart and also Gene Reynolds both sassist that was the totality point! That Henry was dead, and also there was nothing they can carry out around it, yet they could maybe conserve the life of those who are on the tables. Plus, Radar was simply as shocked as everyone, do you think he’s going to be able to think right after learning that was as soon as his father number was killed?

Another point that requirements to be pointed out as well is the metropolitan legends that surround this episode, and were even touched on in a documentary series about TV sitcom scandals: was Henry Blake’s fatality really around mirroring the harsh realities of war, or, was it a plot cooked up by Larry Gelbart, Gene Reynolds, and CBS to remove Mac Stevenkid when and also for all, bereason he was such a meddler on the set? They spoke through Loretta Swit, Larry Linville, and Gary Burghoff, and also Gary pointed out that Mac constantly stood up and voiced complaints around imappropriate and insufferable functioning problems while other actors were also afraid to soptimal up themselves, and also that having his very own display was never before the reason behind his leaving; yet, Loretta painted a various picture, saying that Mac told her, point-blank, sooner or later that, “I can’t be number three, I need to be number one”, and also that many of his motive behind leave was indeed so he might star in his very own mirrors (I have additionally read from different resources that Mac really wanted the role of Hawkeye, but was provided Henry instead).

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To touch on what was stated in the review, I type of think that Henry’s line of, “Lorraine and also the youngsters are going to die” was foreshadowing, but then aget, someone on an additional forum when discussed that the fact that Henry’s skeleton was in eextremely shot in his office, particularly as soon as he was on the phone, was intended to be foreshadowing too. As for what Radar shelp after Henry intimidated to come back and kick his butt, I constantly assumed he was saying, “Yes sir.”


Reply
CrabappleCove says:
December 23, 2013 at 2:09PM

I agree with all the comments hence far around the influence of this episode. I think it works much better for me than any various other “war is a damaging thing” episode of M*A*S*H.

I feel this episode brings residence the harsh reality of war and also the tragic loss of life without being the leftist-preachy “all battle is always bad” that comes throughout in so many episodes. War is a damaging, horrible thing that have to be avoided when feasible, yet it is sometimes a crucial point. Any society that forgets that is doomed to fail.