M*A*S*H (1972–1983)
8.1/10
229
5 user

The Billfold Syndrome 

Major Winchester decides to quit talking to everyone at the camp, which Hawkeye and B.J. take as a challenge. Meanwhile, a medic gets amnesia.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Col. Sherman T. Potter
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Maj. Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan
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Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly
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Cpl. Maxwell Q. Klinger
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Father Francis Mulcahy
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Maj. Sidney Freedman
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Storyline

Sgt. Jerry Neilson, Army Medic, with the 5th Regimental Combat Team, is a very frequent visitor to 4077: Jerry is currently bringing a bus load of casualties from Hill 403. Jerry asks to watch a session of OR; the Boston bugle is pouting about Mass. General Hospital. He throws down the gauntlet before his bunk mates: he goes on a "speaking strike." They almost get a rise out of him when Hawkeye accuses his parents of voting for FDR. Another bus full of wounded GIs arrives later in the day and Jerry is on board; unfortunately, Sgt. Neilson is looking at his dog tags while asking Hawkeye and BJ who he is. Col. Potter suggests calling in Major Sidney Freedman (Allan Arbus) to talk with Jerry. Sidney describes Jerry's amnesia as The Billfold Syndrome: one looks at his wallet and ID but cannot place himself. Sidney gently questions the beleaguered medic, Margaret hovers maternally; Sidney wants to place Jerry under hypnosis and have BJ and Hawkeye provide sound effects to help Jerry relive... Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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directed by star | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

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Release Date:

16 October 1978 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Charles ties a rope from a jeep to the center tent pole and uses the jeep to pull the pole down, causing the roof of the tent to fall. As Charles drives away, the other end of the rope is not tied to anything. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III: [Drunk out of his mind and listening to Hawkeye and BJ make fun of him losing his position at Massachusetts General] Is that what you think... Beej? Is that what all you cretins think?
Capt. Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce: Did you hear something that sounded like Charles?
Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt: The mummy speaks!
Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III: Indeed, and I'm going to rise from this hideous tomb and leave all you relics behind.
Capt. Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce: Going somewhere Charles?
Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III: You bet your beer soaked brain I am.
[Holds up piece of paper]
Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III: Read this and weep. This is from the Massachusetts General Hospital...
[...]
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Connections

References It Happened One Night (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

The Darktown Strutters' Ball
(uncredited)
Written by Shelton Brooks
Sung in Japanese over the loudspeaker
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User Reviews

 
Over acted
9 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm surprised this episode has such a high review score; this is one of the most over acted, hammy, corn ball episode of this whole Alan Alda ego trip of a series. As someone who served with one of this "surg's" as we called it in 1967. There is some truth to the portrayal of life in one of these units, but very little. The whole story involving Hawkeye, BJ, and the supposed shell shocked medic is insipid. This episode like so many other was saved by other members of the cast like; Jamie Farr, David Ogden Stiers, William Christopher, and Gary Burghoff. There were two sub plots that were far better done then the main story. One is about a portable bath tub that was smuggled into the unit and centers around these characters trying to keep secret from the rest of the camp. Ultimately they have to get rid of it and they manage to do something nice for Burghoff's character. And the second sub involves another attempt by Jamie Farr's character to get a section 8, this time by wearing heavy clothes during a heat wave. This time Colonel Potter (expertly played by Harry Morgan) promises him a discharge if he just last another 24 hours in the sweltering heat. So while this episode hit my gag reflex for the story about the medic; the other stories make it worth watching. Just do like I did, mute the sound during the scenes with the medic. This was the first film or TV role for Kevin Geer and it shows.


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