M*A*S*H—Season 5

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

Continues to be a solid comedy with great acting

The show is repetative but strong


Always ready to help at the 4077

The war continues and the crew of the 4077 is still patching up the soldiers when they come off the battlefield.  As B.J. (Mike Ferrell) and Hawkeye (Alan Alda) continue to raise hell, Radar (Gary Burghoff) keeps order with Colonel Potter (Harry Morgan).  Things are not good between Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan (Loretta Swit) and Frank Burns (Larry Linville) when Margaret announces her engagement to Lt. Col. Donald Penobscott (Beeson Carroll).  Plus, Corporal Klinger (Jamie Farr) is still looking for his Section 8 discharge and willing to do anything to get it.


It’s all fun and games until someone gets dessert in their face…

M*A*S*H—Season 5 aired from September 21, 1976 to March 15, 1977.  The series continued to be a strong ratings leader.  The series won two Prime Time Emmys for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Gary Burghoff) and Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series (by Alan Alda for “Dear Sigmund”).  It was nominated for Outstanding Cinematography in Entertainment Programming for a Series (“Dear Sigmund”), Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Harry Morgan), Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Loretta Swit), Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series (“The Nurses”, “Lt. Radar O’Reilly”), Outstanding Film Editing in a Comedy Series (“Dear Sigmund”), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Alan Alda), Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (Alan Alda).


No bad juju at the 4077

This is the season that was on when I was born and it is always strange to see what was popular at the time of your birth.  The series is strong (it had some of its strongest ratings at this point), but it has already gained some repetitive nature in the stories which fall into Hawkeye/B.J. antics with Burns, Radar stories, letters home, etc.  It isn’t a bad thing, but with another six seasons, this could be a problem.

What does keep you coming back to M*A*S*H is strong writing of these stories and the characters themselves.  I’m always a big fan of supporting characters and M*A*S*H has some of the best supporting characters in Radar, Potter, and Hot Lips.  These three characters provide a lot of depth for the show which too often falls back on Hawkeye and B.J. torturing Burns.  Radar has a nice turn in “The Most Unforgettable Characters” and “General Practitioner” where he tries to be a writer and is assigned to watch over a Korean girl who has had a child with a soldier.  Potter shows his toughness in “Hawkeye Get Your Gun”.  Hot Lips shows how she really feels about her treatment in “The Nurses” and gets her day in the sun in “Margaret’s Marriage”.

M*A*S*H is just a fun series and the series has held up over the years.  Watch the DVDs, turn off the obnoxious laugh track, and enjoy a solid series which has held up over the decades.  The 4077 could be called “wacky” or “kooky” with Klinger involved, but ignore the cross-dressing, and you’ll get a smart comedy which still entertains.

M*A*S*H—Season 5 Complete Episode Guide:


“Bug Out”

5.1       Bug Out Airdate: 09/21/76

Radar O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff) gets word that the camp is going to retreat.  As Corporal Klinger (Jamie Farr) lets the secret go, the camp questions if an invasion troop is coming.  A trooper with an injured spine makes the question of the bug-out even more dangerous as Colonel Sherman Potter (Harry Morgan) tries to calm the 4077.  Official word has the camp moving, and the camp must rush to get to safety leaving Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda), Hot Lips Houlihan (Loretta Switt), and Radar behind to tend to their patient.


“Margaret’s Engagement”

5.2       Margaret’s Engagement Airdate: 09/28/76

Margaret comes back to the 4077 from leave and reveals she’s gotten engaged…much to the chagrin of Frank Burns (Larry Linville).  Now, Frank is out to get Margaret back…even if he gets pushed over the edge.


“Out of Sight, Out of Mind”

5.3       Out of Sight, Out of Mind Airdate: 10/05/06

An accident with a gas stove leaves Hawkeye blinded.  Hawkeye must wait to see if his eyesight will come back as he tries to navigate the 4077.


“Lt. Radar O’Reilly”

5.4       Lt. Radar O’Reilly Airdate: 10/12/76

When Sgt. Woodruff (Sandy Kenyon) is unable to pay his debts in the 4077’s, Hawkeye and B.J. (Mike Farrell) get Radar get a upgrade to Second Lieutenant, and Radar finds the upgrade might not be what he wants.


“The Nurses”

5.5       The Nurses Airdate: 10/19/76

Margaret finds herself in conflict with the nurses, and Hawkeye and B.J. set out to help a nurse be with her husband for the first time…which means getting around Hot Lips.


“The Abduction of Margaret Houlihan”

5.6       The Abduction of Margaret Houlihan Airdate: 10/26/76

Margaret leaves the camp to help deliver a baby leading the camp to believe that Hot Lips has been kidnapped…which ends up in a visit by Sam Flagg (Edward Winter).  Frank’s attempt to help Margaret leads to an accidental shooting.


“Dear Sigmund”

5.7       Dear Sigmund Airdate: 11/09/76

Psychiatrist Major Sidney Freeman (Allan Arbus) writes to his friend Sigmund and observes the personalities that inhabit the 4077 and how they deal with the war.


“Mulcahy’s War”

5.8       Mulcahy’s War Airdate: 11/16/76

Father Mulcahy (William Christopher) finds he cannot connect to a soldier with a self-inflicted wound and decides he must go to front to understand the war.  A K-9 soldier comes in after saving his master and the doctors work to help him.


“The Korean Surgeon”

5.9       The Korean Surgeon Airdate: 11/23/76

A North Korean surgeon is brought in to the 4077.  Dr. Syn Paik (Soon-Tek Oh) is suspected by Hot Lips and Frank, but Hawkeye, B.J., and Radar work to bring Dr. Paik in as a surgeon at the 4077.  When Frank goes with enemy soldiers, Dr. Syn Paik may be forced to expose himself.


“Hawkeye Get Your Gun”

5.10     Hawkeye Get Your Gun Airdate: 11/30/76

Potter grows tired of Frank’s criticism of his age and puts himself into the pool when two surgeons are needed for a dangerous mission.  Headed into the warzone, Potter and Hawkeye find themselves under fire.  Clinger tries to get discharged by claiming he is Zoltan of the Gypsies.


“The Colonel’s Horse”

5.11     The Colonel’s Horse Airdate: 12/07/76

Potter’s headed to Tokyo on leave and Frank is in charge.  Radar is left in charge of Potter’s horse and finds the horse is sick.  Hot Lips finds her appendix acting up and requests Hawkeye work on her instead of Frank.



5.12     Exorcism Airdate: 12/14/76

The 4077 is hit by a string of bad luck.  B.J. treats a returning patient that worries he’s never get home.  When a Korean patient comes in with fears of possession, the man seeks an exorcism before he’ll have surgery.


“Hawk’s Nightmare”

5.13     Hawk’s Nightmare Airdate: 12/21/76

After a long day in the hospital, Hawkeye wanders around the compound…only to find out the next day that he did it all in his sleep.  As Hawkeye’s nightmares continue, Hawkeye wonders if the war has finally gotten to him.


“The Most Unforgettable Characters”

5.14     The Most Unforgettable Characters Airdate: 01/04/77

Radar signs up for a correspondence writing course and tries to work on his stories by talking to people around the 4077.  It is Frank’s birthday, and Hawkeye and B.J. decide to celebrate it by pretending to fight…unfortunately, the fighting turns real.


“38 Across”

5.15     38 Across Airdate: 01/11/77

Hawkeye and B.J. do the crossword to pass time and accidentally gets a visit from the Navy when they think there is a real emergency.  Klinger tries to get thrown out by eating a jeep, and Potter tries to arrange a prisoner exchange.



5.16     Ping Pong Airdate: 01/18/77

A table tennis player at the 4077 named Cho Lin (Richard Narita) plans to marry Soony (Sachiko Penny Lee).  Potter’s friend Lt. Col. Harold Becket (Frank Maxwell) enters the war to get his infantry badge to retire a colonel, and Hawkeye and B.J. find Becket’s incompetence might be leading to deaths.


“End Run”

5.17     End Run Airdate: 01/25/77

Football hopeful Billy Tyler (Henry Brown) comes into the 4077 after an injury and finds his life has been changed forever.  A fight at Rosie’s bar leads to injuries, and a battle between Clinger and Sgt. Zelmo Zale (Johnny Haymer).



5.18     Hanky Panky Airdate: 02/01/77

B.J. tries to help Nurse Carrie Donovan (Ann Sweeny) who is having problems at home but finds himself tempted.  Hot Lips finds that her fiancé is in the hospital in Tokyo.



5.19     Hepatitis Airdate: 02/08/77

The danger of hepatitis is going through the camp and everyone must be inspected.  Hawkeye deals with a bad back, Houlihan finds difficulty dealing with her fiancé’s mother, and B.J. is forced to do an experimental surgery to save a soldier’s life.


“The General’s Practitioner”

5.20     The General’s Practitioner Airdate: 02/15/77

A general (Edward Binns) is seeking a surgeon and considers taking Hawkeye from the 4077.  Radar is given a Korean girl to watch over by a soldier returning to the States…only to learn he has a child with the girl.


“Movie Night”

5.21     Movie Tonight Airdate: 02/22/77

It’s movie night at the 4077, and Potter has brought in My Darling Clementine to entertain the troops.  When the film keeps breaking, the troops must entertain themselves.



5.22     Souvenirs Airdate: 03/01/77

Hawkeye faces off against a man who sells souvenirs from the battlefield at the cost of the hunters.  Frank gets ahold of a priceless Korean vase and tries to get it home to his wife.  Klinger sets out to set the pole-sitting record for the 4077.



5.23     Post Op Airdate: 03/08/77

The 4077 is dealing with a blood shortage as a rush of patients come in with injuries.  With everyone donating blood to get by, Hawkeye and B.J. might have to make Frank give an unwilling donation.


“Margaret’s Marriage”

5.24     Margaret’s Marriage Airdate: 03/15/77

Lt. Col. Donald Penobscott (Beeson Carroll) comes to the 4077 when Frank challenges Hot Lips to finally tie the knot, and the wedding might finally occur.

[easyazon-block align=”center” asin=”B001DMVZL2″ locale=”us”]

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 4 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.

Leave A Response