M*A*S*H—Season 3

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 8/10

A classic comedy and a classic season, Abyssinia, Henry

The sets of M*A*S*H were always a bit weak


These women have been running for years…

The Korean War continues to rage, and the 4077 is just trying to patch up the soldiers while having some fun.  Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) and Trapper John (Wayne Rogers) continue to cause more problems for Henry (McLean Stevenson) who tries to keep them separated from “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit) and Frank Burns (Larry Linville).  Even with Klinger (Jamie Farr) causing problems and Radar (Gary Burghoff) trying to keep everything straight, the 4077 still manages to one of the safest places in the war…but even safe havens like the 4077 can suffer losses.


Alan Alda learns you’re never too old to get a lecture from your dad.

M*A*S*H—Season 3 ran from September 10, 1974 to March 18, 1975 on CBS and continued to be a smash hit.  The season won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Directing for “O.R.” with nominations for Cinematography (for “Bombed”), Comedy Series, Outstanding Continuing Performance in a Comedy Series Supporting for Actor Gary Burghoff, Outstanding Continuing Performance in a Comedy Series Supporting for Actor McLean Stevenson, Outstanding Comedy Performance for a Supporting Actress for Loretta Swit, Outstanding Directing for Alan Alda (“Bulletin Board”), Outstanding Directing for Hy Averback (“Alcoholics Unanimous”), Outstanding Editing (“The General Flipped at Dawn”), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy (Alan Alda), and Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor for Harry Morgan (“The General Flipped at Dawn”), plus a Golden Globe for Alan Alda.


The season starts to get a bit Klinger-y for me, but I love more non-set locations

This season of M*A*S*H is sometimes pointed to as M*A*S*H’s high point…despite the fact that the show ran for another eight seasons. The show has really meshed at this point and the characters all work great together. There is a nice balance of humor and bittersweet episodes which makes this sitcom a bit different than other sitcoms out there. Since it is a war, there doesn’t have to be a “very special episode” of M*A*S*H…every episode has the potential to be “very special”.

The reason many point to this season as M*A*S*H’s pinnacle is that the show went through some major changes following the season. Both McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers left the show following the season (Trapper’s storyline was wrapped up at the beginning of Season 4 though Rogers doesn’t appear). With Henry gone, Harry Morgan was brought in to replace him as Colonel Sherman T. Potter (which is ironic because he appears as Major General Bartford Hamilton Steel in 3.1 “The General Flipped at Dawn” in this season) and Mike Farrell was brought in to replace Trapper as Captain B.J. Honeycutt.


Radar with the announcement that no one expected…

The final episode of the season has the classic episode “Abyssinia, Henry” which has Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake headed home…but in a shocking twist, his plane is shot down, and he is killed. It is a great reminder that the show is a show about war and that people can die…it isn’t all jokes. It has some touching moments between the camp and Henry and especially Radar and Henry (who he saw a surrogate father). The surprise of the characters when they learned Blake’s fate was real for the most part because the ending was kept secret until right before it was shot (and pre-internet days really kept stuff like this secret). The result led to an immense reaction from fans and an appearance by McLean on The Carol Burnett Show pretending to be Henry Blake alive on a raft. The real reason behind the departure was McLean Stevenson wasn’t fan of playing second fiddle to Alda and Rogers (or really third fiddle behind Swit and Linville too). Rogers left due to a contract dispute (though he stated he regretted it later since the show went on another eight years).

M*A*S*H—Season 3 is a great season in a fun series. If you never got M*A*S*H, I recommend going back and trying it again (like I did). I can remember it being a big part of childhood but something I avoided. This season is a fun season with a nice touching coda to wrap it up. Check out M*A*S*H and check out this season for a great run.

M*A*S*H—Season 3 Complete Episode Guide:


“The General Flips at Dawn”

3.1       The General Flipped at Dawn Airdate:  09/10/74

The 4077 falls under a new general and he intends to make changes. When Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele (Harry Morgan) comes to camp, Henry (McLean Stevenson) tries to keep Steele in check when he seems to be unbalanced. When Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) counters an order, Hawkeye is brought up on charges of insubordination.


“Rainbow Bridge”

3.2       Rainbow Bridge Airdate:  09/17/74

When word comes in that the Chinese have injured U.S. soldiers, Pierce, Trapper (Wayne Rogers), Frank (Larry Linville), Radar (Gary Burghoff), and Klinger (Jamie Farr) must venture into enemy territory to retrieve the men in what could be a trap.


“Officer of the Day”

3.3       Officer of the Day Airdate:  09/24/74

Frank is left in charge of the camp, but Hawkeye finds himself as officer of the day.  When Colonel Samuel Flagg (Edward Winter) brings in a North Korean soldier, Hawkeye and Flagg face off over the soldier’s health.


“Iron Guts Kelly”

3.4       Iron Guts Kelly Airdate:  10/01/74

General Iron Guts Kelly (James Gregory) comes to the 4077 for an inspection and dies in tent of Hot Lips Houlihan (Loretta Swit), Hawkeye and Trapper are recruited to help it make look like Iron Guts died a hero.




3.5       O.R. Airdate:  10/08/74

There is pressure in the O.R. as more patients come in and tensions are running high.  Hawkeye, Trapper, Henry, and Frank work to save their patients, but they might have to take extreme measures.



3.6       Springtime Airdate:  10/15/74

Spring has sprung in Korea, and the camp is enjoying the warm weather.  Hawkeye finds himself dealing with a patient that won’t talk (Greg Mabrey) and another patient who has vowed to pay him back for saving his life (Alex Karras).  Klinger reveals he’s getting married and tries to get home for the wedding.  Radar finds himself in love with a new nurse named Louise (Mary Kay Place) who seems to ignore him.



3.7       Check-Up Airdate:  1022/74

Everyone in camp is scheduled to undergo physicals.  When Trapper discovers he has an ulcer, Trapper learns that he might be going home.


“Life with Father”

3.8       Life with Father Airdate:  10/29/74

Henry gets a letter from home giving him permission to fool around but starts to worry that his wife is cheating.  A woman comes to the 4077 with her child in the hopes of having a circumcision, but Father Mulcahy (William Christopher) learns he might have to perform the ceremony.


“Alcoholics Unanimous”

3.9       Alcoholics Unanimous Airdate:  11/12/74

When Frank pulls down Hawkeye and Trapper’s still and outlaws alcohol at the camp, Hawkeye and Trapper set out to find another source of alcohol and find an unlikely ally in Hot Lips.


“There Is Nothing Like a Nurse”

3.10     There Is Nothing Like a Nurse Airdate:  11/19/74

The fighting is getting closer to the camp which leading to the nurses’ evacuation.  Trapper, Pierce, and Frank must say goodbye to Hot Lips and the other nurses and await their return.


“Adam’s Rib”

3.11     Adam’s Ribs Airdate;  11/26/74

The 4077 is suffering from limited menu at the mess hall.  When Pierce starts a rally to get better food, he decides he wants ribs from a rib place in Illinois and will stop at nothing to get them.


“A Full Rich Day”

3.12     A Full Rich Day Airdate:  12/03/74

Hawkeye sends another letter home to his father and tells about a long day at work and the arrival of an angry officer who demands his commanding officer receive medical attention at gunpoint.  Henry finds himself facing a crazed Turk patient who refuses surgery, and a misplaced body causes problems for the camp.


“Mad Dogs and Servicemen”

3.13     Mad Dogs and Servicemen Airdate:  12/10/74

When Radar is bitten by a dog, Hawkeye worries that it could be rabid.  A distant soldier comes in to the 4077, and Hawkeye tries to reach him before he breaks completely.


“Private Charles Lamb”

3.14     Private Charles Lamb Airdate:  12/31/74

When the 4077 treats a number of Greek soldiers, their commanding officer orders a proper Greek meal for the camp.  When Radar learns that the Greeks plan to kill and serve a lamb, Radar sets out to stop them.  When Frank learns a young soldier shot himself to get out of the war, Frank vows to get him a court-martial.



3.15     Bombed Airdate:  01/07/75

The 4077 is hit by a bombing attack and the hospital tries to work with the attack occurring.  As the attacks more dangerous, a booby-trapped patient comes in to the ER.  When Trapper and Hot Lips get trapped together in the supply shed, they have to make an alliance.


“Bulletin Board”

3.16     Bulletin Board Airdate:  01/14/75

The 4077 is dealing with cold temps and a push for support for the war from the officers.  Houlihan tries to get money for home from Frank as Henry deals with a tricky patient.  When a fundraising picnic is planned, the 4077 uses it as a means to relax.


“The Consultant”

3.17     The Consultant Airdate:  01/21/75

Hawkeye and Trapper are sent to Japan for a conference and meet a fellow doctor in the military named Dr. Anthony Borelli (Robert Alda).  When Borelli comes back to the 4077, he brings new ideas to the treatment of the patients.  When an important transplant is ordered, Hawkeye finds Borelli isn’t fit to do it.


“House Arrest”

3.18     House Arrest Airdate:  02/04/75

When Hawkeye strikes Frank, he’s placed under house arrest at the Swamp.  Radar tries to increase his standing with a mail-order, and Houlihan welcomes the decorated Colonel Reese (Mary Wickes) to the 4077 who takes a shine to Frank.


“Aid Station”

3.19     Aid Station Airdate:  02/11/75

The battle at the front is getting more dangerous and Hawkeye, Hot Lips, and Klinger are forced to go to the front to provide aid to soldiers.


“Love and Marriage”

3.20     Love and Marriage Airdate:  02/18/75

Trapper and Hawkeye find a soldier (Dennis Dugan) trying to marry an older Korean woman, they wonder if they should step in when they learn Dr. Pak (Jerry Fujikawa) is behind the arranged marriage.  Frank finds himself at odds with a Korean nurse named Mr. Kwang (Soon-Tek Oh) and demands him court-martialed for desertion when he runs off to be with his pregnant wife.


“Big Mac”

3.21     Big Mac Airdate:  02/25/75

General McArthur is scheduled to come to 4077, and the camp is getting ready. Henry debates what to do with Klinger who sees McArthur’s visit as a perfect chance for a Section 8 dismissal.



3.22     Payday Airdate:  03/04/75

It’s payday at the 4077, and Hawkeye is in charge of the payroll. When a clerical error leads to an over $3,000 windfall for Hawkeye, Hawkeye must decide what to do with the money. Frank buys pearls from local peddler Kim Chung Quoc (Jack Soo) but is tricked into giving them to Hot Lips instead of his wife. Klinger tries to buy a discharge from the army, and Trapper steals Hawkeye’s watch for gambling.


“White Gold”

3.23     White Gold Airdate:  03/11/75

When a soldier is caught stealing from the medical supplies, Colonel Flagg is brought back to the 4077 for undercover work. When Flagg releases the suspect, he pretends he was overpowered for his own reasons. When the thief is recaptured, the truth behind the robberies is revealed.


“Abyssiania, Henry”

3.24     Abyssinia, Henry Airdate:  03/18/75

Henry gets word that he’s going home and prepares to leave the camp.  As the 4077 says goodbye to Henry, a tragic twist reminds the camp that war is war, and no one is safe.

Related Links:

M*A*S*H—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

M*A*S*H—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

M*A*S*H—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

M*A*S*H—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

M*A*S*H—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

MASH (1970)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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