Here are some of the best MASH episodes of the series.
1. Pilot –
The pilot sets the stage for one of the most well-loved, longest running TV series of all time. In the pilot, Hawkeye and Trapper, star surgeons at the 4077th MASH, raffle off a nurse in order to send their houseboy, Ho Jon, to college in the United States (Maine). In order to accomplish such a feat during an absence of their commanding officer, Hawkeye and Trapper sedate Major Frank Burns. The kicker: Father Mulcahy wins the raffle, a weekend in Tokyo with a nurse!
2. 5 O’clock Charlie –
By far one of the zanier episodes of the hysterical first years of the series, the 4077th is “attacked” by an enemy airplane (nicknamed 5 o’clock Charlie) that comes every day at 5 pm and couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. It becomes entertainment for the overworked doctors and nurses of the 4077th.
3. The General Flipped At Dawn –
This extraordinary guest star performance as General Bartford Hamilton Steele by Harry Morgan won him the role of Colonel Potter later in the series. His antics are priceless, and that is even comparing them to the antics of the gang of the 4077th MASH.
4. Abyssinia, Henry –
If you know anything at all about MASH, you’ve heard about this episode. Colonel Henry Blake, played by McLean Stevenson, gets orders to go home. In the end, he doesn’t make it. His plane is shot down over the Sea of Japan. This is one early episode that demonstrated MASH was much more than just another comedy.
5. Fallen Idol –
In this particular episode, Corporal Walter (Radar) O’Reilly is stressing out about still being a virgin. In no uncertain terms does he want to return home to Iowa a virgin. The camp womanizer, Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce (Hawkeye), gives him a piece of friendly advice: Go to Tokyo and get it over with already! Radar gets a pass and leaves for Tokyo, only to have his jeep hit along the way. Hawkeye ends up operating on Radar, saving his life. Hawkeye feels so bad that he drowns his sorrows in alcohol. The next morning, he is too drunk to operate on another patient. Radar, who always looked up to the surgeon, is furious regarding the surgeon’s behavior; so is the rest of the camp. In the end, Radar and Hawkeye have a huge argument, but end up making up in the end.
6. Margaret’s Marriage –
In this episode, Major Margaret Houlihan, head nurse, actually marries her fiancé, Lieutenant Colonel Donald Penobscott, much to the chagrin of her former lover and partner in crime, Major Frank Burns. This episode sets up the exit of Major Frank Burns, as he is unable to deal with the loss of his “Hot Lips.”
More landmark episodes are included in the follow-up article. Even then, only a fraction of the best episodes have been included. The quality of these episodes is why MASH has been in syndication for well over 20 years.