Recap / M*A*S*H S1 E9: Henry, Please Come Home

Henry Blake receives a letter informing him that MASH 4077 has achieved the highest efficiency rating of all the MASH units in Korea. As such, he is awarded a medal by General Hammond and is told that he will be reassigned to Tokyo to perform duties as a medical lecturer. This leads to trouble as, after Henry leaves, Frank Burns takes control of the camp. And life at the 4077 suddenly turns sour as Frank gets to do everything he always wanted, until Hawkeye and the others cannot take it anymore...

Attention, Colonel Henry Blake! Please come home and provide the following tropes:

  • Batman Gambit: Hawkeye's plan to bring Henry back involves Radar being "deathly ill".
  • Blatant Lies: Henry in saying goodbye to Hawkeye and Trapper and telling them that everything will be okay, while the command of unit is transferred to Frank.
    Henry: Look, I know you guys are gonna be very happy. Now look, you're all surgeons and this is gonna work out fine.
  • Brick Joke: Frank tries not to be predicted by Radar. Although he is a mite successful, it doesn't last long.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Henry is unable to give Radar a proper goodbye.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Leslie Scorch happens to call Henry right after the time Hawkeye and Trapper are telling him how much of a basket case she is without him. This is an aversion as it's actually part of Hawkeye's plan.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • After being told to shut up while singing in the O.R., Hawkeye quips "Thank you, music lovers."
    • Henry tells Frank to stop talking back to Nurse Bayliss and get back to work. This is the result.
      Frank: Yes sir, I'm working.
      Hawkeye: Working? You could be arrested for loitering in front of an operating table.
    • When Frank has him working past two in the morning, Radar gets two lines of his own.
      Frank: You're not going to bed until this office is one hundred percent shipshape.
      Radar: Aye aye, sir.
      Frank: O'Reilly, I assure you all the goldbricking that went on here under Colonel Blake is going to stop under my command. Life is going to be a different kettle of fish.
      Radar: Are you sure you're in the right branch of the service?
    • Trapper and Radar have a short one-on-one as the latter is going through a set of passes.
      Trapper: Hey, uh, you got a bacon, lettuce and tomato on rye? Hold the mayo.
      Radar: Very funny.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Subverted. While Hawkeye and the others are plotting how to get rid of Frank, Radar points out that the army might send someone even more worse than Burns to take over.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Radar pretending to be sick works to well. Henry wants to do an exploratory to find out what's wrong with him. Everybody, even Frank, blanches in response.
  • Foreshadowing: Towards a later episode in the season. When Henry is being given the award, Trapper says he looks like he's going to have a baby.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Henry's "Oh fiddle faddle."
  • Hurricane of Puns: Frank compares the style of his command to running a naval vessel rather than a medical unit.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Even Frank thinks performing an exploratory on Radar is jumping the gun. He is also right that Radar is just faking.
    Frank: Henry, listen. Let's do some more studies. Enzymes, abdominal X-rays, the works. Find out where we're going.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: In the first scene, Hawkeye sings a few bars of "Cocktails for Two" as he operates on a wounded soldier.
  • Never Bring a Flyswatter To A Gunfight: Trapper's flyswatter against a military aide's revolver.
  • Off with His Head!: Jokingly suggested when the doctors are trying to figure out how to get rid of Frank.
    Hawkeye: What we need is something really basic.
    Someone else: How about pushing in front of a chopper when the blade's going?
    Hawkeye: That's basic enough.
    Trapper: Yeah, we haven't had a good decapitation in a long time!
  • Oh, Crap!: Hawkeye and Trapper have one when it's announced Henry is being reassigned to Tokyo and leaving the 4077. They get a worse one when they find out a certain someone will be taking command.
    • Hawkeye, Trapper and Spearchucker defend their gin distillery until the military aide Frank brought with him pulls out a gun.
    • Radar's mistake. Acting on impulse, he gets the plan to get Henry to return to commanding the 4077 blown out of the water. Or so it would seem...
  • Reality Ensues: Colonel Blake is reassigned to Tokyo as a reward for his efficient leadership. Of course this means the next-in-command will take over as the unit commander.
  • Refusal of the Call: When Hawkeye and Trapper go to Tokyo to bring him back, Henry does not feel like returning to the 4077.
  • Role Reprisal: G. Wood returns as General Hammond, who hasn't been seen since the pilot episode and not heard from since To Market, To Market.
  • Spanner in the Works: Who else but Frank Burns? Almost everything he does throughout the episode threatens to destroy the integrity of the camp rather than raise it to superior military-like heights. An early example was where he wanted to file charges against Lieutenant Ginger Bayliss for merely questioning his requests while in the O.R. Henry points out how ridiculous that is. Hawkeye delivers a trademark snark.
    Henry: Insubordination? On account of a suture?
    Hawkeye: You're kidding, doctor. And I use the term because it always gets a laugh.
    • That's nothing compared to the things he does when he becomes the camp commander.
  • This Means War!: Hawkeye and the gang reluctantly go along with Frank's militaristic regime until he has their still taken away.
    Hawkeye: [to Trapper and Spearchucker] Gentlemen, that man has got to go. It's either him or us. And that's final.
    Trapper: How we gonna do it? Shoot him?
    Spearchucker: Stab him!
    Trapper: Poison him.
    Hawkeye: No, no. We gotta think this over. We have it to give it careful, considered, intelligent thought.
    Trapper: Okay.
  • Throw the Book at Them: Henry mentions to Hawkeye and Trapper that this is what Frank would do to them if he wasn't around.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Frank taking over kicks off the plot of the episode.