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Recap / M*A*S*H S3 E20: Love and Marriage

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Attention, all personnel! Please prepare for your premarital exam by reading the following tropes:

  • Aggressive Categorism: Frank will praise the fair-skinned American McShane for doing a fine job as an orderly but will not take a sincere apology from the Korean Mr Kwang for this reason.
  • Babies Ever After: Radar Benjamin Franklin Trapper John Henry Kwang is born at the episode's conclusion.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Dr Pak
    Hawkeye: Still doing those phoney operations with fake stitches?
    Trapper: And using hair cream for penicillin?
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  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Averted for McShane. The young orderly is nothing more than a greedy opportunist.
  • Berserk Button: Once again, Frank bursts into a fiery temper when Hawkeye insults his surgical ability.
    Frank: I don't need this abuse!
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Henry believes the Army has been keeping an eye on him through Frank.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Kwang wishes Hawkeye good luck in Korean after he and Radar volunteer to bring Kwang's pregnant wife to the 4077th.
  • Blatant Lies: Frank tries to cover his listening in at Henry's door as him just checking the locks.
  • Butt-Monkey: Radar, in the second half of the episode.
  • Card Games: Hawkeye, Radar, Trapper, Henry and Zale play a round of poker after the premarital exams.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Hawkeye asks Radar to get him a three-day pass for Mr Kwang in exchange for a book about reproduction. It works.
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  • Conscription: This is how Mr Kwang came to be part of the staff at MASH 4077.
    Kwang: I was a student at the University of Seoul when the war broke out.
    Hawkeye: So much for school.
    Kwang: Walking there one day, two soldiers jumped out of a truck and threw me into the back. At that moment, I realised I'd volunteered.
  • Foil: Despite the two rarely interacting, the episode presents Kwang and McShane as this. Kwang has been missing his beloved wife as he hasn't seen her since the war broke out and has become desperate to get back to her, especially upon knowing that she's about to give birth to their first child. McShane seems to be head-over-heels with Soong Hi, a Korean woman he wants to marry, but it's all a facade as he's done a deal with Pak's marriage racket for $1,000.
  • Gaslighting: Hawkeye, Trapper and even Radar pull this to make sure Henry doesn't realise they manipulated him into signing a pass for Kwang.
    • McShane thinks Trapper is trying to pull this on him when the doctor informs him Soong Hi has tuberculosis. Trapper proceeds to show him the medical report saying so.
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  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The whole scene involving Mrs Kwang giving birth to her son. Though Discretion Shot is heavily used, it's amazing this got past the censors of early 1970s television.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Sore Loser Zelmo Zale complains that officers always seem to have better luck at winning poker games.
    Zale: Why do the officers win the big pots when they got everything else going for them?
    Hawkeye: Don't give me that poor GI crapola, Zale. You mailed home three Jeeps and two-thirds of a truck.
    Henry: You're not doing that, are ya?
  • Laser-Guided Karma: McShane's deal with Pak and his marriage racket falls through when Soong Hi's medical exam reveals she has tuberculosis.
  • Never My Fault: An overwrought Frank blames Kwang for a mess-up in the OR.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When McShane introduces Hawkeye and Trapper to the Korean woman he wants to marry, the doctors recognise her as a middle-aged call girl from Rosie's Bar.
    • During a game of poker held at the Swamp, the players hear loud arguing outside, arguing that is followed by a gunshot.
    • Radar jawdrops when he sees on a map just how close Kwang's home village is to enemy lines.
    • Radar gets top billing in the naming of Kwang's newborn son as a thank you for the pass he let him have. This leads Henry to realise Radar was the one who manipulated him into signing the pass.
  • Only in It for the Money: It turns out McShane is only interested in getting married to Soong Hi for the money Dr Pak is offering him.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Radar during the birth-giving scene.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Kwang and McShane are both implied to have been at the 4077th for a while.
    • Apparently, Hawkey and Trapper have met the sleazy Dr Pak before.
  • Role Reprisal: Johnny Haymer as Zelmo Zale.
  • Running Gag: Becuase of the way Radar manipulated Henry into signing the three-day pass meant for Kwang, Henry cannot ever recall signing the pass, which would exonerate Kwang for possessing a forged pass. Even at the end with his Eureka Moment, he still doesn't get how his signature was on the pass, thinking Radar did the forgery.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Hawkeye illegally gets a three-day pass for Mr Kwang so the man can visit his wife by applying to Radar for help.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Dr Pak flees for his life when Hawkeye and Trapper threaten to break his legs for bribing them to go along with his marriage racket.
  • Shipper on Deck: Radar supports Danny McShane in his wanting to get married so much that he gives Hawkeye and Trapper a What the Hell, Hero? for interfering. Unfortunately, it turns out his support was misguided.
  • Shout-Out: Trapper mentions The Good Earth. This reminds Radar the unit is getting the 1937 film version for Movie Night next week.
  • Tempting Fate: Frank claims that he can handle a firearm as well as the best of them. Cue his pistol going off in his hand and shooting out a light.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Henry tries to console Frank with this after Hawkeye and Trapper's round of verbal jabs at him in the OR. It doesn't work so well because Frank's ego gets in the way.
    Henry: Frank, I don't know why you let them bother you. You know you're a good surgeon.
    Frank: Of course I'm a terrific surgeon.
    Henry: Who said terrific? I said fair.
    Frank: You said good.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Henry with the word 'signing'.
  • You're Insane!: Frank has a few choice words to say about the 4077th.
    Frank: I cannot work in this madhouse!
    Trapper: Find us a sane war somewhere, Frank.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When Kwang thanks Radar for the three-day pass by naming his son after him, Henry believes Radar has been forging his signature for said pass, never realising that Radar just manipulated him into signing the pass.

Example of: