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Recap / M*A*S*H S5 E7: Dear Sigmund

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After difficulties with a patient, Sidney seeks refuge at the 4077th, writing a letter to Sigmund Freud about how the camp is able to stay sane in the middle of carnage.

Attention, attention all personnel! Dr. Freedman has noted the following tropes in his letter. Given who he's writing it to, though, they'll all tie back to sex in some way:

  • All Psychology Is Freudian: A given considering who Sidney's writing to. Also mentioned in-episode:
    Mulcahy: Oh, I had the most extraordinary dream. I was a cardinal in Rome, and the pope had a bad cold.
    Hawkeye: What do you suppose that means, Sidney? You're the skull jockey.
    Sidney: Well, Freud said every dream is a wish.
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  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Frank mocks Sidney for not being able to cure his own depression.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Hawkeye meets a shot-down pilot with a cavalier approach to the war, having an off-base home with his wife in Japan and seeing the war as something that only lasts a few minutes a day. Hawkeye has him help bring a patient into the OR, where Col. Potter is operating on an eight year-old girl who was wounded when her village was bombed.
  • Despair Event Horizon: A patient of Sidney's kept hearing voices telling him to kill himself. One night after Sidney left, he listened to them, pushing Sidney dangerously close to his own.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Before committing suicide, Sidney's patient starts acting cheerful, a sign that he had made his choice. Sidney spent the rest of the episode berating himself for missing it.
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  • Foreshadowing: Margaret confides to Sidney her fiancee Donald had a celebration without her, and with another woman. This won't be the last time Margaret and Donald's relationship is shown to be less than it seems.
  • Heroic BSoD: The 4077 staff note that Sidney must be in the middle of one of these when they point out he came for the poker game and stayed for two weeks. They're not wrong.
  • Hypocritical Humor: One minute, Margaret is insisting to Sidney that she doesn't let the stress of her everyday life get to her; the next, she's getting upset at seeing an athletic supporter visible in the Swamp, calling Hawkeye and B.J. disgusting, and insisting Sidney cover it up - and when he does and apologizes for getting her upset, she insists she's not upset.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • The anonymous prankster is revealed to be B.J.
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    • Sidney himself when he joins in on the prank to get Frank to dive into a foxhole full of water by shouting "Air raid!"
  • Orphaned Punchline: When the episode is Edited for Syndication. While treating patients after an ambulance rolls over, Klinger speaks to Margaret in a foreign language. This is a Call-Back to an earlier scene (typically cut out) in which Klinger pretends to have been hit by a chopper blade and only speaks in Arabic.
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