After an epic Swamp debauch to end all debauchery, the drunken duo give up on alcohol. They are upset when one of their patients has an infection which the 4077 cannot identify. They ... See full summary »




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Episode cast overview:
Major Margaret Houlihan (credit only)
Logan Ramsey ...
Colonel Lambert
Ted Gehring ...
Sarah Fankboner ...
Nurse Owens
Helen Funai ...
Betty Lou
John Alvin ...
Jerry Harper ...
Eldon Quick ...


After an epic Swamp debauch to end all debauchery, the drunken duo give up on alcohol. They are upset when one of their patients has an infection which the 4077 cannot identify. They determine that the 4077 needs an incubator, so they call the Quartermaster. Capt. Sloan is from the 375th QMHQ COMSEAPAC SEOULSEC REPDEP...Hawkeye needs a drink. But, according to Sloan, an incubator is "a luxury item." So the drunken duo go on a quest for luxury. They meet inept supply sergeants, hoarder, Major Morris, and the cupidinous Col. Lambert who is willing to give the guys what they want...for $1000 U.S. cash. General Mitchell (the one who investigated Henry) is the next man on the totem pole--he may not be the brightest bulb on the tree, but he is honest. And by the end of the meeting, he wants Pierce and McIntyre on spits, roasting. If only the guys had known where "the top" is located, they could have saved trouble and started their quest for an incubator in the right department. Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

stupidity | See All (1) »


Comedy | Drama | War





Release Date:

1 December 1973 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


An incubator is a device for controlling the temperature, humidity, and other conditions in order to grow microorganisms. See more »


Colonel Lambert tells Drs. Pierce and McIntyre that among the items he can secure for them are 'the odd B-52.' The first B-52 entered US military service in June 1955, nearly two years after July 1953 armistice ended Korean War hostilities. See more »


Trapper: And all we want is an incubator.
Hawkeye: For the simple purpose of practicing better and more efficient medicine. Sir, I- I appeal to your sense of what's right.
Colonel Lambert: [turns to his Geisha, Betty Lou]
Betty Lou: They're full of it.
See more »

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User Reviews

Swimming with the Sharks
26 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

MASH was so often about the idiocy of war. The people in the trenches know what is needed. It seems that people have to die before anyone listens, and even then it isn't always enough. In this episode the doctors have trouble saving patients because test have to be done in Tokyo. What is needed is an incubator to grow cultures and recognize disease germs. What seems like a reasonable request for a basic piece of equipment is denied all the way up the chain of command. Greed is at the center of everything and, of course, Hawkeye and Trapper stick their necks out as they wade through a river of sewage. It's obvious that a lot of people are benefiting from the war, but that doesn't include those that are actually fighting it or trying to save the lives of those. It's a satisfying episode that is tried and true.

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