In this final episode, the staff of the 4077th M*A*S*H unit find their lives no less hectic despite the fact that it appears that the war may soon be over. Until then, the staff must deal with events like Hawkeye has been temporarily institutionalized due to a nervous breakdown, Winchester has finally found people who share his taste in classical music and Father Mulcahy has been permanently deafened in a mortar attack. At last, the ceasefire is declared and the staff must come to grips with the fact that this time in their lives is over.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
On the PA it is announced that the Korean War cost the U.S. an estimated total of $22 billion. In 2014 dollars that is nearly $194 billion, or about what the U.S. spent in only 70 days during the Iraq War. See more »
The tank that is erratically driven into camp by the wounded soldier is an M-24 Chaffee light tank, but when Hawkeye drives it back out of camp, it is a Sherman tank. See more »
PA System Announcer:
Ladies and gentlemen, five minutes ago, at 10:01 this morning, the truce was signed in Panmunjon. The hostilities will end twelve hours from now at ten o'clock. The war is over!
[M*A*S*H 4077th personnel members cheer and shout]
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What can one say about this movie, which wrapped up one of the longest running television series in history? Admittedly it was much darker than most of the episodes were, but Alan Alda did it all in this finale: wrote, directed, and starred in a powerful and fitting finale to this immortal show.
In case there are still people out there who are yet to see it, I refuse to give anything about the movie away, save for the fact that Alda's performance as Hawkeye in the first half of the movie is absolutely brilliant, as he takes the character in a direction seldom, if ever, seen in the series.
While there are still laughs in this finale, the laugh track is conspicuously absent, as the focus here is more on the characters and their reaction to the end of the war and the breakup of the 4077th MASH family and a focus on the issue that's been sublime in the series since 1972: War is Hell. We see it as Major Winchester, who has tried every trick in the book to shut out the war around him, finally has it broken through his defensive wall. The goodbyes at the end of the film, between Hawkeye, BJ, and Colonel Potter, and between Hawkeye and BJ, followed by the last, slower (almost haunting) playing of the MASH theme as a chopper flies Hawkeye away from the 4077th forever, provide a befitting swansong to the greatest television show ever. No show will ever outperform MASH. Ever.
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