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Recap / M*A*S*H S6 E1: Fade Out, Fade In

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While Margaret is on her honeymoon, Frank Burns goes AWOL (and crazy) in Seoul, leading to his return stateside. His replacement, Major Charles Emerson Winchester The Third arrives on a temporary basis, only to be made permanent thanks to his CO owing him six hundred dollars at cribbage. Meanwhile, one of B.J.'s patients is desperate to leave the war - as is Klinger, who recruits a lawyer from one of the wounded.


Attention all personnel! Colonel Baldwin owes Major Winchester the following tropes:

  • Bilingual Bonus: In the second scene of Part 1, Hawkeye spits game at a nurse in very good French.
  • Break the Haughty: Winchester's first OR session (aside from operation on Captain Berman) is overwhelming, leaving him feeling like an intern.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The Tag of Part 2 establishes that Winchester won't be a pushover like Frank.
    Winchester: Please, Mozart.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Winchester makes the mistake of discussing his commanding officer's gambling debts while said commanding officer is on the phone with a hospital requesting a surgeon.
  • Humiliation Conga: Winchester's temporary assignment starts with his jeep being blown up, leading to him being carried the rest of the way by oxcart. It ends with his assignment being made permanent.
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  • Informed Self-Diagnosis: Doctor Berman, a wounded physician, keeps diagnosing himself pessimistically (and not inaccurately, given that until Winchester arrived nobody knew how to operate on him adequately).
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Winchester is an alum of Harvard.
  • Karma Houdini: While in Seoul, Frank has a nervous breakdown, accosts several women, and gets in a public bath with a one-star general and his wife - both of whom are naked. After clearing his psychiatric evaluation, he's cleared of his charges, transferred to a veterans' hospital in Indiana, and promoted.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Also Frank. He may still be an army doctor and have a promotion, but he'll likely perform far fewer surgeries back home.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: The reason Margaret's honeymoon is cut short, after being confronted with Margaret's past at a party with some brass dulls his passions.
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  • Obfuscating Insanity: Klinger's "lawyer", who's actually a private with a history of impersonating officers.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: How Winchester arrives at the 4077th:
    Col. Potter: Orders are cut. It's final.
    Winchester: No! No. Colonel Baldwin assured me this is just temporary.
    Potter: Is this the same Colonel Baldwin who owes you $600?
    Winchester: [Laughs] Yes.
    Potter: Need I say more?
    • Inverted for Frank, who is promoted and transferred to a cushy stateside job near his home.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: B.J.'s patient, who wants to get out of the war - not out of fear of death, but out of a desire to stop killing people.
  • Tranquil Fury: Hawkeye's reaction to finding out about Frank's promotion (while on the phone with Frank) is to pick up the phone, walk to the exit doors, and throw the phone out onto the ground, then come back inside and calmly explain to B.J. why he's, as B.J. put it, a "trifle irked". B.J. attempts to do the same thing later, after Radar brings the phone back in, but Radar's too fast for him.

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