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Recap / M*A*S*H S6 E6: The Light That Failed

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A supply shortage has everyone feeling the blues. The only relief is a mystery novel mailed to B.J. that has everyone hanging on the next page...until they find the last page is missing.

Attention all personnel! "The Rooster Crowed at Midnight" is missing the following tropes:

  • Armed Farces: The camp gets a delivery of supplies early on: ice cream churns, salt tablets, and mosquito netting, all of which would have been perfect had it been summer and not winter.
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  • The Atoner: Winchester tries this, but Hawkeye rightly points out that it's for his own conscience and not to make things right.
  • Better Than Sex: Reading B.J.'s mystery novel after a long period without new books is evidently this, according to Hawkeye:
    Charles: It certainly takes longer around here.
    B.J.: How would you know?
  • Death of the Author: The camp resorts to calling the aged and evidently senile Abigail Porterfield, the author of the mystery novel, to get the ending from her after the last page is found to be missing. Minutes before the episode ends, Colonel Potter gets on the loudspeaker and announces to the whole camp that the person that the author named as the culprit couldn't be responsible, because he had an alibi, leaving the whole camp no better off than they were before.
  • It's All About Me:
    • After accidentally injecting a patient with curare instead of morphine, Charles' biggest worry is about how hit will affect him.
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    • When Hawkeye calls out his attitude, Charles accuses him of being jealous.
  • Karma Houdini: Giving a patient a wrong injection is medical malpractice, and could've resulted in Winchester being sued, court-martialed, or losing his license as a surgeon, yet he faced no actual penalties aside from a telling off from Hawkeye and B.J.
  • No Ending: "The Rooster Crowed at Midnight" thanks to its missing page. After the author's ending is revealed to be wrong because the guilty party had an alibi, Hawkeye declares himself the murderer.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Hawkeye lays into Winchester for his ego and his attitude towards his patients.
  • Serial Killer: The unknown murderer in the novel kills eleven people, two pigs, and a canary.
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts: Margaret and Charles find a sex scene in the novel makes them a bit too uncomfortable.
    Charles: It's just amazing how much heat one of those thingsnote  can give off.
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  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out how the book actually ended.
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