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Recap / M*A*S*H S4 E16: Dear Ma

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Radar writes home to his mother about the goings-on in the camp, including the monthly foot inspection and Potter being wounded while bringing supplies to locals.

Attention all personnel! Please prepare for inspection of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Tickle Torture: Potter reacts this way to Hawkeye's foot inspection.
  • Con Man: The patient who sells BJ a watch with no works, claiming he needs to send the money home for his wife's medical bills.
  • Continuity Drift:
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    • Klinger makes a reference to General Ridgeway as supreme commander; however, BJ arrived in September 1952, several months after Ridgeway passed command on to someone else.
    • Hawkeye requires Radar to stay in Margaret's tent while the former performs her foot inspection, explaining that two people must be present when examining an opposite-sex patient. However, he examines her on his own in other episodes both before and after this one.
  • Crushing Handshake: The judo move that General Park performs on Frank when the latter offers him a handshake as an apology for tackling him.
  • Foreshadowing: When Frank claims he could have taken on the North Korean soldier, Radar warns him that they know judo. Sure enough, when he tackles a South Korean general after mistaking him for a North Korean, he is nearly reduced to tears by a judo move.
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  • Friend to All Living Things: Radar adds to his menagerie by mail-ordering a Guinea pig.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Hawkeye claims that Potter having ticklish feet means he's oversexed.
  • Kick the Dog: A nurse tells Radar that nobody's sitting next to her when he asks...and promptly gets up and leaves him without a word.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Guess whose table the patient who scammed BJ ends up on after he's wounded again.
  • Shot in the Ass: Potter gets a bullet to the behind thanks to a sniper. He insists on only getting a local anaesthetic so he can watch the surgeons work.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Batman when Hawkeye tells Radar "Come along Robin"
    • To Macbeth when Hawkeye says "Lead on Macduff" (actually a Beam Me Up, Scotty! quote; the proper line is "Lay on, Macduff.''
    • Radar names his Guinea pig "Dopey".
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A North Korean soldier lines up in the mess tent for food, has a conversation with Radar, and leaves without anyone noticing until after he's gone.
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  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Frank, who has been avoiding his foot inspection for the duration of the episode, is finally pinned down by Hawkeye and BJ, who remove his boots to reveal he's wearing nail polish. He explains that he and Margaret had been discussing trench foot and got a little silly.
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