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"Pilot"
M*A*S*H episode
Mash pilot Pierce and McIntyre.jpg
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 1
Directed byGene Reynolds
Written byLarry Gelbart
Production codeJ301
Original air dateSeptember 17, 1972 (1972-09-17)
Guest appearance
G. Wood as General Hammond

Patrick Adiarte as Ho-Jon
Karen Philipp as Lt. Dish
George Morgan as Father Mulcahy
Timothy Brown as Spearchucker
Odessa Cleveland as Ginger
John Orchard as Ugly John
Linda Meiklejohn as Leslie Scorch
Laura Miller (actress) as Knocko

B. Kirby, Jr. as Pvt. Boone
Episode chronology
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The pilot episode of M*A*S*H, the first episode of the first season was broadcast on September 17, 1972; it was filmed and completed in December 1971.[citation needed] The episode was written by Larry Gelbart and directed by Gene Reynolds, who received the Directors Guild of America Award for it.[citation needed] It was also nominated for two Emmys for its direction and writing.[1][2]

In the episode, Ho-Jon, the houseboy of Captains Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John McIntyre, has been accepted to Hawkeye's college, but they must raise tuition for him if he is to attend. They hold a fund-raising party while their commanding officer, Lt. Col Henry Blake, is away. There, they raffle off a weekend's R & R in Tokyo along with the company of a nurse, much to the chagrin of Majors Frank Burns and Margaret Houlihan.

Plot

Timeline: 1950. Returning to the Swamp after a long session in the OR, Hawkeye receives a letter announcing that Ho-Jon has been accepted into his alma mater, though he and Trapper still have the task of coming up with $2,000 for travel and tuition. Hawkeye convinces Trapper that they can accomplish it by raffling off a weekend pass to Tokyo with the company of a gorgeous nurse. They go to Colonel Henry Blake's office to propose the idea to him, and he nervously gives them permission. Hawkeye convinces a nurse, Lt. "Dish", to agree to be the nurse who will accompany the winner to Tokyo, but he promises that she'll be able to get out of spending any time with the winner.

Later on, Hawkeye and Trapper get into an argument with Frank Burns, who, in a fit of rage, destroys their still. Furious with him, they put a bag over his head and throw him out of the tent. When Henry hears about it, he withdraws the passes and cancels the party they had planned to throw for fear that Frank will complain to General Hammond. He adds that he has to see Hammond in Seoul and was unhappy about the party taking place in his absence. However, as Henry is leaving, Radar reveals that he tricked him into signing two passes, so the party can take place. Unfortunately, Hawkeye's and Trapper's happiness is short lived as they discover that Frank was made temporary commander. To get rid of him so they can have their party, Hawkeye injects him with a sedative, wraps a bandage around his face, and puts him in a bed in post-op, prescribing a dose of sedative every hour.

An upset Margaret comes to the party in search of Frank, whom she has been unable to find. Suspicious of the activities of Hawkeye and Trapper, she calls General Hammond, a former lover, who is so excited to hear from her that he departs for the 4077 at once. Meanwhile, Hawkeye announces that they have raised $1800 and then has the nurse draw a name for the raffle. Hawkeye has fixed the raffle so that the winner is Father Mulcahy, but unfortunately, he announces this just as Hammond walks in.

While the infuriated general questions Hawkeye and Trapper, Margaret walks in with Frank, still sedated and with bandages around his head, and screams at the two of them. Hammond demands that they be arrested, but just in the nick of time, choppers arrive loaded with casualties. After the session, which Hammond participates in, he tells Henry that Hawkeye and Trapper are two of the best surgeons he has ever seen and, for that reason, he is dropping the charges.

References

  1. ^ Wittebols, James H. "Watching M*A*S*H, Watching America". pp. 161–166. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  2. ^ Diffrient, David Scott (2008). M*A*S*H. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3347-8.