All the surgeons except for Hawkeye, and most of the support staff except for Margaret, Radar, and Mulcahey come down with the flu. In this Korea-wide epidemic, they can't even find someone to come in and help with casualties.
"Kindly refrain from kissing anyone unless absolutely necessary" is Henry's advice when a bad strain of flu virus strikes the 4077. Trapper is down early and has a pretty new nurse, Lt. Sheila Anderson. Nurse Jacobs puts Henry to bed and she grabs the next one for herself. The 4077 crew is dropping like flies: Frank collapses in the OR. Hawkeye is the lone MD and no help is coming anytime soon; Hotlips is ranking officer in charge of administration. Hawkeye drafts Father Mulcahy to operate with Sheila; Margaret works with Nurse Wilson. Nurse Kellye floats as Hawkeye bobs between patients. Radar still cannot find any replacements and the sick are getting sicker. Radar is drafted into OR duty. But, when Hawkeye finally comes down with the flu, there is no rest for the wicked. Written by
The final scene shows Radar pretending to be a Doctor as he has ordered bed rest for Hawkeye. It is a rare site to see Radar without a clipboard in his left hand. Gary Burghoff has a deformed left hand that he took great pains to hide during the run of M*A*S*H, yet in this scene he holds his left hand out in front of him but makes a fist as he takes Hawkeye's pulse even though he is not wearing a watch. See more »
Radar, you'll be assisting Margaret Houlihan, nurse, friend and all around good egg.
[walks away as Radar stares at Margaret]
[noticing Radar staring at her]
He's very sick.
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This is quite a good episode where the crew must come to the fore. An epidemic of flu takes out most of the doctors and support staff. This leaves Hawkeye and Margaret to operate and administrate. It also means that such non-medical people as Mulcahy and Radar are pressed into service, as well as nurses who don't normally do any kind of surgical procedures. Hawkeye must show respect for Margaret (who turns out to be a strong leader--setting up future episodes) and she for him. The patient comes first and they keep coming. Radar's efforts to get another surgeon fall on deaf ears. The cream rises to the top and things go forward. Some of the funnier scenes involve doctors trying to return to surgery before they are well. McLean Stevenson is a master at sight humor. This episode sets the stage for those that are yet to come.
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