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One of the favorite semi-regulars, healer, Dr. Sidney Freedman, (Allan Arbus) shows up to play poker and ends up staying two weeks at the 4077. Sidney is feeling blue. He writes a letter to a colleague describing his best therapy: a spa where the inmates have an interesting defense against carnage: insanity in the service of health. Sidney discusses his friends and colleagues and their quirks, seeming serenity, hang-ups, strange habits and/or libidinous behavior. During Sidney's visit, there is a secret practical joker in the 4077's midst: no one is too high or low in rank to be exempt. As psychiatrists, both Sidney and Sigmund treat unhealthy, hurt and angry minds; this is a strain on the healthiest of healers and they need an outlet. The 4077 is anger turned sideways and the place where Sidney can "take down his pants and slide down the ice." Also, Hawkeye takes a pilot 20,000 feet out of the clouds and shows him the up close and personal results of war on the ground as found in the... Written by
In a recent interview with Alan Alda he admits that CBS executives would not permit the showing of the athletic supporter on camera during the scene with Margaret Houlihan and Sydney Freedman. Alan Alda admitted this was an interesting piece of reverse censorship as many episodes prior to this one, there had been several instances of visible female undergarments hanging in various tents without any controversy. See more »
Throughout the series, it is always emphasized how scarce real eggs are, whereas the M*A*S*H personnel always have to make do with powdered eggs. It is thus very unlikely that BJ would waste any on a simple practical joke. See more »
The letter was a staple for this series. In this case, psychiatrist Sidney Freedman writes a letter to Sigmund Freud. He tells of the antics of the various characters, trying to analyze them as he goes. There has been a practical joker in the camp and he is trying to figure out who it may be. In the process, he talks to Margaret, Hawkeye, and the rest. While he is there, an ambulance accident takes the life of the driver. A second plot line has to do with a bomber pilot who simply flies out, drops his load, and returns for dinner at the officer's club. Hawkeye makes sure he sees what the results are. Sidney has been feeling sad because a boy with whom he was working killed himself. He is doubting himself as a giver of advice. In the end we get to see who the practical joker is and learn a lesson.
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