Classic TV Episodes: M*A*S*H – Abyssinia, Henry

This episode was different from any comedies at the time and would influence others. Mclean Stevenson left the show (which he would later regret) after three seasons and the show killed his character off. When Radar walked in the operating room and told everyone what happened to Henry it was a memorable tv moment.

Sitcoms just didn’t kill characters off and Mash would start mixing comedy and drama more after this.

If it’s about my discharge, give it to me straight! I can take it!

You behave yourself, or I’m gonna come back here and kick your butt!

M*A*S*H: Abyssinia, Henry

The Characters: Capt. Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce, Capt. ‘Trapper John’ McIntyre, Lt. Col. Henry Blake, Maj. Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan, Maj. Frank Burns, Cpl. Walter ‘Radar’ O’Reilly, Cpl. Maxwell Q. Klinger and Father Francis Mulcahy

 

Radar has an announcement for Henry in O.R. Henry Blake has received his discharge: he is finally going home to Bloomington, Illinois, to his wife, Lorraine, and their children, the country club and his medical practice. The entire 4077 gang is thrilled for Henry and they wish him well; gifts are gotten, parties are thrown and all sorts of final memories are made. But, the entire gang is sad to be losing such an integral part of the 4077 gang. Radar, in particular, is losing the man who was a father to him. The final farewell formation is memorable; even Hawkeye and Trapper show up to tell their friend and leader a fond farewell. Some farewells are fonder than others. Klinger dresses to kill. As Henry starts to leave, Radar steadfastly holds his salute to his departing C.O. until Henry finally acknowledges him.

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0763200/

 

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

16 thoughts on “Classic TV Episodes: M*A*S*H – Abyssinia, Henry”

    1. I liked the original cast the best and they only were together 3 years… Wayne Rodgers left also at this time.
      I liked it until Radar left…. then my interest went down

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      1. I thought of a way to bring Henry back for the last episode if the fools would have thought about it. Just before Henry leaves he meets up with an old friend at a bar and the friend was going home on a later flight. But Henry finds out his friend needs to get home in a hurry because of an emergency. Henry swaps his travel papers with him and his dog tags but Before Henry leaves on the later flight he gets captured. Everyone thinks Henry is dead and his friend is captured. The last show could have had Hawk-Eye finding Henry still alive. It would have been so much better.

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      2. I think they wanted to make it more true to life. It did drive home the fact that people died. I wish he wouldn’t have left in the first place…so did he. He should have given it 5 years. Wayne Rodgers the same thing.
        That is what set it apart from other shows at the time.

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      3. It did but I think they wanted to do that and have it set. It did mess with the chemistry…then Rodgers left.
        I liked Henry Morgan a lot but it wasn’t the same without the Blake character.

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  1. I’ve seen quite a few episodes of MASH but enjoyed the show very much. There was a level of maturity, even with the silliness, in it that stands apart from other shows at that time. It would be good to see it from beginning to end at some point. I didn’t like Honeycutt but I didn’t like Burns (his character anyway) either.

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    1. When I had my kidney stone what I did was watch the 1st season to about the 6th or more…I binged watched since I had time. They did it well…you could see the characters progress.
      Yea the Burns character was annoying to say the least!

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      1. Yes Duvall was different in the movie. The TV show exaggerated the character quite a bit… During the 4th season Hot Lips started to come to her senses and start acting more normal and distancing herself from Frank.

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  2. This was a very powerful episode. I know that many people hated that the show tended to lean more toward drama after this, but it made sense. They are in the middle of the Korean War – there is death. Henry’s death was such a huge plot twist. It was a reminder that the war was still going on amidst all of the hijinks.

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