Recap / M*A*S*H S1 E11: Germ Warfare

Hawkeye and Trapper move a North Korean P.O.W. patient into the Swamp, rather than have him shipped out early. They discover that the P.O.W. has a rare blood type. Since Frank has the same blood type, they furtively steal some of Frank's blood in the night. However when the patient develops hepatitis, they suspect Frank is the carrier, and have to keep him away from Margaret and patients.

This is the last episode in which Spearchucker Jones appeared.

This episode contains examples of:

  • AB Negative: While it's never actually specified what blood type Frank and the prisoner are, it's implied to be AB-, although it also could be O-, which, unlike AB-, can only take transfusions of O-.
  • Becoming the Mask: Hawkeye claims Henry is turning into an army guy.
  • Befriending the Enemy: Inverted with Frank. He tries to have a North Korean patient imprisoned before he can fully recover.
  • Big Eater: This is the first episode where the audience sees just how much food Radar puts on his platter at mealtimes.
  • Blatant Lies: Radar tells Frank the various reasons why the officer's latrine is closed.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Spearchucker Jones disappears with no explanation after this episode. Fox had him removed because they didn't have any evidence there were black doctors, but in actuality, it was a double case of research failure, since Spearchucker Jones was based on a black doctor Robert Hooker heard about at the 8055, but had been sent home only a month before Hooker's arrival in Korea.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Frank has an interesting case of this.
  • Curse of the Ancients: Frank treats one of Trapper's remarks in the post-op as a dirty word.
    Trapper: Frank, I'm sorry about that. But you know how it is,war is heck.
    Frank: What have you got against writing clearly?
    Trapper: If I could do that, I'd have become a lawyer.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The P.A. Announcer in the opening scene.
    Announcer: Attention, all MASH personnel. Tonight's War Department film on how to lead a good, clean life has been cancelled . . . due to unusually heavy indifference.
    • Frank warns Hawkeye not to get on his bad side.
      Hawkeye: I can't improve on nature, Frank.
    • Margaret has a quip of her own.
      Lieutenant Dish: Everything's under control.
      Margaret: That's when this place is the most dangerous.
  • Erotic Dream: Hawkeye has been having these about Lieutenant Dish, whether he's asleep or awake.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A literal example. To prove whether Frank has hepatitis or not, Hawkeye and Trapper have to get a urine sample from him.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Frank doesn't ever feel being tapped for blood as he sleeps. Lampshaded by Hawkeye.
  • I Have No Choice: Henry feels this way about transferring the North Korean patient.
    • When Frank is about to go into the O.R. to operate, Hawkeye and Trapper decide it's time to admit they stole a pint of his blood from him.
  • It's All About Us: Margaret begins to believe the camp is keeping her and Frank separated because they're jealous of their relationship.
  • Nature Documentary: Played with. Hawkeye humorously narrates his analysis of Frank and Margaret's signals to each other in arranging a rendezvous.
  • P.O.V. Cam: We get a slightly censored look of one of Hawkeye's fantasies about Lieutenant Dish.
  • Properly Paranoid: Frank gets more nervous when Hawkeye and Trapper start asking him about his health. Given what happened without his knowledge, it's hard to blame the guy.
  • Role Reprisal: This is the only other episode where Karen Philipp plays Lt. Dish.
  • Running Gag: Henry Blake is caught off guard by Radar's ability to sense whenever the colonel needs him.
    Radar: Yes sir.
    Henry: [had started to call out Radar's name] Damn it, Radar. How many times have I told you not to come in here before I call you?
    Radar: I don't like to be late.
    Henry: How can you be late if you come in here before I even know I want you?
    • It happens again when Hawkeye and the others have to keep Frank and Margaret apart until the results of Frank's blood and urine samples arrive.
  • Ship Tease: Margaret mistakes Hawkeye for Frank and embraces him from behind.
  • Shout-Out: To the Universal Horror movies.
    Hawkeye: [imitating Bela Lugosi as Dracula] Good work, Igor. Very good. In the morning, he will be one of my brides.
    Trapper: [shushing]: Not so loud, my count.
  • Uncanny Atmosphere: When Hawkeye and Trapper are stealing Frank's blood from him, the scene is perpetuated by unsettling music that sounds very much like a ghostly wail.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Frank and Margaret are both gobsmacked to Hawkeye confessing he and Trapper drew blood out of Frank.
    • Henry does the same thing when Frank blurts it out.
  • Wrong Insult Offence: Hawkeye is insulted to be called a ghoul. He prefers to be called a vampire.