M*A*S*H—Season 4

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 7/10

Solid comedy that was often innovative

Cast shake-up changed the atmosphere



The work keeps coming to the 4077!

Things are changing at the 4077.  Hawkeye (Alan Alda) gets a shock that his best friend Trapper has been sent home and is initiating a new man to the Swamp named B.J. Honnicut (Mike Ferrell).  With the death of Henry Blake, the camp is now under the control of Colonel Sherman T. Potter (Harry Morgan), and Morgan has a different approach to running things.  Despite the changes Hawkeye and B.J. are up to the old fun, be it torturing Frank Burns (Larry Linville) and “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit) or hanging out with Radar (Gary Burghoff), Klinger (Jamie Farr), and Father Mulcahy (William Christopher), things are never dull at the 4077.


The cast gets a shake-up!

M*A*S*H—Season 4 aired from September 12, 1975 to February 24, 1976.  Despite a big cast shake-up this year, the show’s popularity continued and the show was honored with many awards and nominations.  It won Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing—For a Single Episode of a Comedy Series (“Welcome to Korea”) and Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series (“Welcome to Korea”) and nominations for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography (“Hawkeye”), Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Gary Burghoff and Harry Morgan), Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Loretta Swit), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Alan Alda), and Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (“The More I See You” and “Hawkeye”).  Alan Alda also took home the Golden Globe for Best TV Actor—Musical/Comedy.


There’s a new sheriff in town!

After M*A*S*H—Season 3’s finale which killed off Henry Blake due to McLean Stevenson’s desire for more presence in the series which was quickly becoming “The Alan Alda Show”, Wayne Rogers decided he also wanted a bigger part in the show and left due to the creative differences (he’s since said he regrets it).  Harry Morgan was brought in for the replacement of Stevenson and had previously appeared as an unrelated character in season 3’s premiere episode “The General Flipped at Dawn”.  Trapper John got an unceremonious send off (Hawkeye missed his plane…I wish he shot a goodbye scene), and B.J. represented a more straight laced family man…but still funny.

The series continues to innovate this season and the effects can still be seen in current television.  The comedy often drops its standard “Three-Camera” format for different style shows like the last two episodes (“Deluge” and “The Interview”) which added news reel and a black-and-white “real” interview style.  The series does start to fall into some mainstays quite often in the season however with “Letters to Home” episodes and episodes where trades must be worked out to help people.


Ned Beatty stops by for a visit

Hawkeye is the star of the show, but I do prefer the episodes where others take a starring role or at least a bigger role.  The series generally breaks down to Hawkeye vs. Frank with B.J. as his wingman and Hot Lips as Frank’s wingman.  Radar, Klinger, and Mulcahy also start to get elevated roles.  I do enjoy Potter as the camp leader (he takes a more grandfatherly approach), but B.J. is rather bland in comparison to Wayne.  Plus, now you get all those fun guest stars like Ned Beatty, Richard Masur, and Blythe Danner.

Some cite this season as when M*A*S*H “jumped the shark”…this is ironic because it still had seven seasons to go after season 4.  I continue to see the series as part of an evolution.  I do believe that McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers did add something to the cast which was lacking after this season, but the show continued to be strong…keep the 4077 going!!!

M*A*S*H—Season 4 Complete Episode Guide:


“Welcome to Korea”

4.1       Welcome to Korea Airdate: 09/12/75

Double Episode.  Frank Burns (Larry Linville) is now in charge of the 4077 with Frank gone and things aren’t going well as Frank tries to take control.  When Hawkeye (Alan Alda) returns from Tokyo, he learns that Trapper has been sent home and is being replaced by Captain B.J. Honnicut (Mike Ferrell).  When trying to catch Trapper at the airport, Radar O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff) and Hawkeye run into B.J., and B.J. finds his introduction to Korea difficult when they encounter an ambush on the way to the 4077.  Plus the 4077 welcomes a new commanding officer in Colonel Sherman T. Potter (Harry Morgan).


“Change to Command”

4.2       Change to Command Airdate: 09/19/75

Colonel Potter has come to the 4077 and Frank gets the boot.  With Potter cracking down on them B.J. and Hawkeye wonder if Potter will be able to work under the pressure of a working operating room.  Frank decides to go AWOL when he denied command.


“It Happened One Night”

4.3       It Happened One Night Airdate: 09/26/75

A cold snap hits the 4077, and everyone is struggling to keep warm.  As the front moves closer to the camp, Hawkeye tries to get the shelling stopped for the patients.  Frank learns that Hot Lips (Loretta Swit) has been keeping his correspondence and tries to get rid of it.


“The Late Captain Pierce”

4.4       The Late Captain Pierce Airdate: 10/03/75

When Digger (Richard Masur) comes to the 4077, Hawkeye learns he’s been declared dead by the military.  Hawkeye tries to get “undead” and decides he has to go home to his father to let him know.


“Hey, Doc”

4.5       Hey, Doc Airdate: 10/10/75

A microscope is stolen and Hawkeye and B.J. try to get it back.  Hawkeye helps out a superior with a “problem” but finds his reward knocked out by a sniper plaguing the camp.  When a tank is brought into camp for security, Frank’s attempt to impress Hot Lips leads to an accident.


“The Bus”

4.6       The Bus Airdate: 10/17/75

Morgan, Radar, Burns, Hawkeye, and B.J. become lost on a bus and try to find their way back to their camp.  When the bus dies in the countryside, the group might have to survive the night in the wild.


“Dear Mildred”

4.7       Dear Mildred Airdate: 10/24/75

Colonel Potter writes home to his wife Mildred for his anniversary and tells her about the events of the 4077.  Radar tries to adjust to Potter and wonders if he’ll ever get used to him.  When a horse is found near the camp, Radar brings him back as a gift for the Colonel.


“The Kids”

4.8       The Kids Airdate: 10/31/75

Frank is awarded a Purple Heart and Hawkeye and Trapper contend that he needs to give it back due to false pretenses.  As bombing strikes near the orphanage, the orphans are brought to the 4077 for safety.



“Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler”

4.9       Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler Airdate:  11/07/75

A patient comes in with wounds and tells the camp that he’s Jesus Christ.  Hot Lips and Henry bring in Colonel Flagg (Edward Winter) to reveal the identity of the soldier is Captain Chandler…while Flagg tries to get Chandler up in a plane again, Doctor Freedman (Allan Arbus) is brought in to evaluate his sanity.



“Dear Peggy”

4.10     Dear Peggy Airdate:  11/14/75

B.J. writes home to his wife Peggy and tells Peggy about the people that inhabit the 4077.  Colonel Hollister (Ned Beatty) comes to visit the camp and criticizes the practices of Father Mulcahy (William Christopher).


“Of Moose and Men”

4.11     Of Moose and Men Airdate: 11/21/75

Hawkeye finds himself forced to operate on Colonel Spiker (Tim O’Connor) who doesn’t want him working on him and find himself at odds with Spiker even after saving his life.  B.J. helps Sgt. Zelmo Zale (Johnny Haymer) who finds his wife is having an affair back home, but discovers he has a moose in Korea.


“Soldier of the Month”

4.12     Soldier of the Month Airdate: 11/28/75

The 4077 is struggling with rats and moral.  With Frank assigned to stop the flu being spread by the rats, a contest starts for “Soldier of the Month” with a trip to Tokyo as the grand prize.  Burns finds himself with the flu, and Radar tries to win the trip.


“The Gun”

4.13     The Gun Airdate: 12/02/75

A soldier comes in with a classic Colt .45.  When Frank “borrows” the gun to impress Hot Lips, Radar is forced to report the gun being stolen.  Radar’s career could be threatened, and Hawkeye and B.J. set to get the gun back.


“Mail Call, Again”

4.14     Mail Call, Again Airdate: 12/09/75

The mail comes and Morgan learns that his son is having a child…and tries to get word from home.  Frank gets word from his wife that she wants a divorce and raises the anger of Hot Lips.


“The Price of Tomato Juice”

4.15     The Price of Tomato Juice Airdate: 12/16/75

When Radar learns Colonel Potter likes tomato juice, he calls in B.J. and Hawkeye to help him get tomato juice for Potter.  The tomato juice means dealing with Frank and trying to work out a trade.


“Dear Ma”

4.16     Dear Ma Airdate: 12/23/75

Radar writes home to his mother and tells her the events going on at the 4077.  Hawkeye is assigned to check the camp’s feet, and Radar is forced to help him.


“Der Tag”

4.17     Der Tag Airdate: 01/06/76

Hot Lips is at a seminar in Tokyo, and Burns is driving everyone at the camp crazy.  In an attempt to get Frank to relax, Hawkeye and B.J. invite him for a night of fun.  Burns stumbles away, and he accidentally ends up being taken to the front.



4.18     Hawkeye Airdate: 01/13/76

A jeep accident in the country leaves Hawkeye in trouble.  With fears of a concussion, he tries to keep himself awake with a Korean family as he hopes help is coming from 4077.


“Some 38th Parallels”

4.19     Some 38th Parallels Airdate: 01/20/76

The 4077 is dealing with mass casualties from the unit of Colonel Coner (Kevin Hagen) whose duty it is to retrieve bodies from the battlefield.  Hawkeye finds himself suffering from a performance problem in bed and Radar finds helping a patient in the operating room could come at a cost.  Frank’s plan to sell the camp’s garbage to locals backfires when Hawkeye gets involved.


“The Novocaine Mutiny”

4.20     The Novocaine Mutiny Airdate: 01/27/76

Hawkeye is brought up on mutiny charges by Frank and faces the board.  As the 4077 is interviewed, the story of what happened when Frank was left in charged is revealed.


“Smilin’ Jack”

4.21     Smilin’ Jack Airdate: 02/03/76

Smilin’ Jack (Robert Hogan) stops by the 4077 to continue his streak of delivering patients.  When Potter suspects something is wrong with Jack, he orders him grounded…but Jack has other plans.  Radar befriends a twice wounded soldier who’s afraid to return to the battle.


“The More I See You”

4.22     The More I See You Airdate: 02/10/76

Hawkeye finds a former love named Carlye Breslin Walton (Blythe Danner) transferred to the hospital as a new nurse only to learn she is married.  As Hawkeye and Carlye grow close again, B.J. worries Hawkeye might break Carlye’s vows.



4.23     Deluge Airdate: 02/17/76

As the war effort increases, the 4077 sees more casualties and less supplies.  When the Chinese enter the battle the hope for peace is lost.


“The Interview”

4.24     The Interview Airdate: 02/24/76

Clete Roberts visits the 4077 and talks to the staff about the rigors of war and how they are dealing with the daily combat.

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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 3 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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