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Recap / M*A*S*H S3 E18: House Arrest

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These tropes are restricted to house arrest. (In short, they're on display for reading)

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Colonel Reese is smitten when she sees Hawkeye under MP escort and Major Houlihan explains to her that he's under house arrest awaiting court-martial.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Frank is unamused by Hawkeye taking the idea of being placed under house arrest lightly and tries to pull a The Not-So-Harmless Punishment on him. Hawkeye's reply leaves him at a loss for words.
    Frank: You think it's funny now. But what are you going to do during five years in Leavenworth?
    Hawkeye: I don't know. Maybe I'll get married.
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  • Being Good Sucks: Averted in Hawkeye's case. The camp sees him punching Frank as something that was a long time coming and they treat him as a hero for it.
  • Berserk Button: Radar hates it when people are being innocently insensitive about his height.
  • Black Comedy Rape: When she is discovered making out with Frank by Margaret, Colonel Reese hollers out the word 'rape' for all the camp to hear and come rushing to the rescue. She quickly frames Frank, who is left bewildered by the run of events so much that he cannot verbally defend himself properly.
  • Blatant Lies: Trapper crafts a cover story exonerating Hawkeye by stating Frank instead slipped on a bar of soap and fell. Henry lampshades the ridiculousness of it.
  • Bothering by the Book: Henry wants to avoid this at the start of the episode when Frank wants Hawkeye court-martialled.
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  • Brutal Honesty: Frank complains in The Tag that the mess sergeant gave him C rations for dinner while Hawkeye got steak. Hawkeye implies that it's because of the difference in the crimes either of them were being accused of.
    Hawkeye: Well, Frank, I was just a puncher. You're a jumper.
    Frank: This is terrible. What am I going to tell my wife?
    Hawkeye: The truth is always best, Frank. You were waiting for your mistress, and you got impatient and attacked a woman.
    Frank: You're a creep.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • In response to Frank's claim that Colonel Reese is the most decorated nurse in the army, Trapper says:
      Great. We can put our Christmas presents under her.
    • When Henry boos the character played by Vincent Price at Movie Night, Father Mulcahy advises him not to judge the character too harshly as one of the other male characters is coveting his neighbour's wife. Hawkeye smiles, quietly snarking:
      Father Hollywood
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male:
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    • A visiting female colonal from the Pentagon attempts to make a pass at Frank Burns. When he refuses Colonal Reese's advances, she lies to Colonal Blake that FRANK raped HER, calling him savage and even pulling down a corner of her robe as evidence. EVERYONE, including MARGARET sides with Colonal Reese, and poor Frank is punished with house arrest. Not even a RACIST deserves THAT!
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Colonel Reese arrives, she groans and roughly dusts off her jacket before going to examine her Jeep, stopping only for a moment to return Margaret's salute.
    Margaret: Colonel Reese? Major Houlihan.
    Resse: They haven't lubed this clunker since Pershing was a pup.
    Margaret: Colonel Blake would be here himself to greet you, but he's involved with a court-martial and glazed fruit.
    Reese: Glazed fruit? That'll tear your partial.
    Margaret: Oh, I'll have an enlisted man get your bag.
    Reese: Ah, it's light. All I got in here is fatigues, skivvies, and an extra garter belt in case you guys have a dance.
  • Get Out!: Henry tries to broker a peace between Frank and Hawkeye after the altercation in the hospital washroom, partly because of a desire to avoid the paperwork involved in arranging an investigation and subsequent court-martial. Radar seemingly ignores him and spouts the first part of the procedure out loud, causing Hawkeye to be gleeful with the punishment and Frank satisfied that things appear to be going his way for once. Henry, of course, is steamed.
    Henry: Radar?
    Radar: Sir?
    Henry: Get out.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Margaret reacts with appalled shock when Colonel Reese flirts with Frank in the OR.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Margaret acquits Hawkeye after Frank betrays her by cheating on her with Colonel Reese. Frank responds with a near-speechless Et Tu, Brute?.
  • Implacable Man: Not even an apology from Hawkeye can get Frank to back down from demanding that the former be court-martialled for punching him.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The mess sergeant gifts Hawkeye with a real steak dinner made from water buffalo. Hawkeye finds it so good that he shares it with Trapper and Father Mulcahy.
  • Insistent Terminology: Henry tries to think of a word to describe how Frank got injured in Trapper's witness statement that the Army would find appropriate. After considering 'whammo' and 'socko', he settles on 'bam'.
  • Jaw Drop: Margaret is rendered shocked and speechless when she returns to her tent after a shift and finds Frank and Colonel Reese making out.
  • The Klutz: Margaret, unexpectedly, in the opening scene.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Subverted. While a direct punch to the face is no small matter, Frank blubbers like his entire face had been smashed in.
  • Motive Rant: Radar lets off a quiet and restrained but nonetheless tearjerking one to Hawkeye, explaining his need for the elevated shoes.
    Radar: Listen, you don't know what it's like being short. I mean, always being the last one to be picked for the team. Looking girls straight in the throat. Never being able to see over the crowd. Do you know that the only parade I've ever seen was one I was in? Everybody's always making fun of me. Even you.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: In the opening scene, Hawkeye is disturbed by how slow the usually competent Margaret Houlihan is performing while assisting him in surgery. Instead of flying off the handle at him, she explains she's nervous because of Colonel Reese's impending arrival.
  • Restrained Revenge:
    • Frank uses a towel snap on Hawkeye as a means of getting back at him for insulting Margaret.
    • The trope is spectacularly averted by Hawkeye a moment later when he infamously retaliates by punching Frank in the face.
  • The Reveal: The subplot involving Radar shoes that he has in fact been waiting for a pair of elevated shoes so he can look taller to other people.
  • Right Behind Me: Radar uses Henry Blake's identity to get an order of his to the camp, unaware the colonel was walking through the room right at that moment.
    Henry: Radar?
    Radar: Sir?
    Henry: Since when have you been promoted to me?
  • Running Gag: The bar of soap
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Colonel Reese uses the latter side of this trope to convince Frank to make out with her.
  • Shout-Out: The film being shown at Movie Night is Leave Her to Heaven.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Frank goes into this mode upon learning that because Colonel Reese is bunking in Margaret's tent, he and the major will be having less alone time.
  • Special Guest: Mary Wickes as Colonel Reese
  • Standard Snippet:
    • Hawkeye casually sings Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread) after punching Frank in the washroom
    • Colonel Reese quotes the famous line from Back in the Saddle Again.
  • The Tease: Colonel Reese flirts with Frank Burns
  • Too Much Information: Henry Blake mentions to Frank that the war's been making everyone at the 4077 a little buggy and confesses he's been wearing his underwear backwards for a month.
  • Troll:
    • Hawkeye and Trapper both mercilessly criticize Margaret for her less-than-stellar service in the OR and her nursing and military experience.
    • Frank tries to do this to Hawkeye while the latter is under house arrest by demonstrating what being a free man is like. It backfires because of how childish Hawkeye finds the presentation.
    Frank: I can step out. I can step in. Out, in, out, in. That's a free man.
  • Unishment: Hawkeye reacts happily to the apparent perks of being under house arrest.
    Radar: "Pending a completion of preliminary investigation by the CO, the accused officer is relieved of duty and placed under house arrest". He can't leave his tent.
    Hawkeye: You mean I just get to stay in and sleep and eat meals and read?
    Radar nods in answer. Hawkeye turns to Frank.
    Hawkeye: Take me, I'm yours. I surrender. And I'll fight to the death any chance to set me free.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Hawkeye tells Radar that he does not have to be physically tall to feel tall.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Frank is already cheating on his wife with Margaret. Then, when Colonel Reese propositions him, he appears to be seriously considering her offer (a transfer and a promotion in exchange for sex) before she forces herself on him.
  • You're Insane!: Frank calls the entire unit this for treating Hawkeye with praise and respect rather than as a prisoner awaiting court-martial.
    Frank: This whole post is potty. The man's a prisoner and he's treated like the Aga Khan.
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