M*A*S*H: Season 7, Episode 19

Hot Lips Is Back in Town (29 Jan. 1979)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 147 users  
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Margaret celebrates her newly obtained divorce by creating a new way to handle triage and invites a general to observe. Radar is enamored of a new nurse and tries everything he knows to get her attention.


(as Charles Dubin)


(teleplay by), (teleplay by), 4 more credits »
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Episode cast overview:
Walter Brooke ...
Gen. Lyle Weiskopf
Peggy Lee Brennan ...
Lt. Linda Nugent
Jan Jorden ...
Enid Kent ...


Margaret receives her final divorce decree after the latest Officers' Staff Meeting. The Colonel is preoccupied with problems in triage, especially speed issues. A cute, new nurse, Lt. Linda Nugent, steps out of a jeep and into Radar's heart. Margaret is out of sorts in OR, so BJ and Hawkeye plan to take her out to the O Club; they get snockered. Margaret has an epiphany and visits the CO's tent; sleepily, he tells her to do whatever she sees fit. Radar asks for love advice from Hawkeye and Chuckles; finally, he wins the day by being himself. The next morning, Margaret, eyes shining and wing-span opening at the speed of sound, tells BJ, Hawkeye and Col. Potter her idea: her nurses will handle the triage, freeing all surgeons for the OR; Chuckles offered to teach her nurses to diagnose and prioritize and General Lyle Weiskopf, Chief of Staff, is coming to 4077 in three days to observe. But, it becomes obvious the "two star pain in the ass," as Potter calls him, is more interested in ... Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | War





Release Date:

29 January 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title is from a line in the song 'Mack The Knife' composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht, for the musical 'Three Penny Opera'. See more »


During the staff meeting, while Margaret is reading her divorce decree, she has a 1st Lieutenant bar on the left side of her collar, where she should be wearing a Nurse Corps insignia (caduceus with large black "N"). See more »


Col. Sherman T. Potter: Tell your nurses not to be afraid to carry litters if they have to. Some of them are stronger than I am.
Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce: Can I have names?
See more »


References Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935) See more »


Lullaby of Broadway
Music by Harry Warren
See more »

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User Reviews

Margaret Houlihan's Freedom From Donald Penobscott!!
17 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The opening clip of this episode had Corporal O'Reilly delivering mail in the mess tent. Everyone received mail in the opening part of "Hot Lips Is Back In Town." Major Houlihan received the best news of her life. Her final divorce decree from Lieutenant Donald Penobscott was a blessing to her image. Captain Pierce was happy for her after the troublesome marriage to her husband.

Colonel Potter -- in contrast -- had some choice words to say about triage procedures to the surgeons. Diagnosis -- not case studies -- of a person's injuries was the key responsibility for these doctors to fulfill upon surgery. He chastised Major Winchester for spending too little time diagnosing a soldier's injuries upon surgery. Without any warning, Lieutenant Nugent arrived at the 4077th to assist with Major Houlihan with surgery ... after bumping into Corporal O'Reilly unexpectedly. During surgery, Lieutenant Nugent started her work under the direction of Major Houlihan. Captain Hunnicutt had Corporal O'Reilly leave some fragments out the post-operative surgery ward. Major Houlihan then told him "Get Out!!" She meant business in the aftermath of her divorce from Donald Penobscott!!

Major Houlihan had plans to format a triage system at the 4077th. Colonel Potter had balked at the idea. He eventually had no choice but to commit to his visit within the week. Majors Winchester and Houilhan -- with the entire nursing staff and the doctors -- were doing a demonstration of the patients in the mess tent in reference to the types of injuries the patients suffered in battle as if it was the real thing.

Corporal O'Reilly endured a crisis of his own. He wanted to know Nurse Nugent better. He first spoke to Captain Pierce. He believed that she needed to know him more closely. He then saw Major Winchester in the laboratory. His suggestion: Shakespeare. He would eventually see Nurse Nugent personally in the Nurses' Tent. He asked her about going to the dance at the Officers' Club. She said yes to that idea.

By the end, General Dunkopf offered Major Houlihan a position in Tokyo. She knew the promotion was nothing more than exploitation of her professionalism and reputation. At least she hated herself with a sensible conscience. Meanwhile, Corporal O'Reilly enjoyed the night with Nurse Nugent. A Fat 10.4!! A+++!! Highly Recommended!!

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