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Recap / M*A*S*H S4 E9: Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler?

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The latest group of casualties includes an air force bombardier who claims he's Jesus Christ. Frank and Margaret think he's faking battle fatigue in order to get a discharge, and they bring in Colonel Flagg to help expose him. Hawkeye has Col. Potter bring in Sidney Freedman to analyze the patient and give his views.

Attention! Attention, all personnel! Our Lord and Savior will deliver these blessed tropes:

  • Blackmail: Col. Flagg attempts this with Sidney, but threatening to have him discharged for not signing a loyalty oath at the time of his recruitment if he doesn't back Flagg over Chandler.
  • Briar Patching: Col. Flagg accuses Sidney of this during his rant in Potter's office. By arguing for Chandler's discharge, Sidney will prompt Flagg to turn him in for not signing his loyalty oath - leading to Sidney's own discharge, which will send him home with no negative effect on his professional life whatsoever.
  • Call-Back: Col. Flagg introduces himself to Sidney with "We played poker once."
  • Companion Cube: Radar asks Chandler/"Jesus" to bless his teddy bear.
  • Given Name Reveal: This episode marks the first use of Radar's first name, Walter.
  • Heroic BSoD: Chandler's Jesus delusion is the result of suffering from heavy guilt over his bombing missions.
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  • Laugh Track: Like the earlier episode, "The Bus", this episode is laugh track-free throughout the entire episode.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Flagg is on the receiving end of two of these:
    • From Potter:
    Potter: I'm not fond of personal abuse, Colonel. I was in this man's army when the only thumb you cared about was the one you had in your mouth.
    • From Dr. Freedman:
    Sidney: You're a victim too, Flagg. But you're such an unbelievable example of walking fertilizer, it's hard for me to care.
  • The Oath-Breaker: Played with; Flagg blackmails Sidney by threatening to have him discharged for not signing his loyalty oath. Sidney points out that were he truly a Communist plant, he would not have hesitated to sign.
  • The Stool Pigeon: When Col. Potter refuses to have Chandler court-martialed for blasphemy and cowardice without evidence, Frank and Margaret call on Col. Flagg to give it to them. This is the last time the two ever go over a CO's head for the remainder of the series, as well as the only time they do to this to Potter.
  • The Tag: Hawkeye and B.J. are playing a game with city names when Klinger arrives dressed as Moses, complete with his own set of Ten Commandments tablets, hoping for a discharge.
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  • Unishment: Hawkeye and B.J. are quick to point out that Flagg's plan to blackmail Sidney (who in civilian life would be self-employed) with a dishonourable discharge is this.
    Hawkeye: Where do we go to not sign?

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