Season eight was the final year for Radar. His personal life was just taking too much time. It was also harder and harder to explain why he was not on the show anymore. This season had many good episodes, like every other season, to me. Many spoilers here, but it seems that everyone knows the episodes well enough.
Too Many Cooks. - Hawkeye and B.J walk into the mess tent to talk to Klinger about issues at the camp. Klinger puts food in their faces, and they smell it, then taste it. Surprisingly, for M*A*S*H food it's good. Turns out a clumsy soldier is an excellent cook. Potter, though, is having serious issues. He's very angry and snapping at anyone who happens to get close to him. He puts an end to the good food, accusing Hawkeye of tricking him and lying.
Are You Now, Margaret? - A congressional aid belies his reasons for being there when he accuses her of being a commie. The main cast work to free her from his grip.
Goodbye Radar (Part I)- Two parter that sees Radar returning from R&R to find that there is no generator. No light, no suction means serious problems for everyone. Potter heads into the swamp to tell the swamprats that Radar's Uncle Ed died. This is after Radar couldn't find a generator anywhere. This episode ends in Radar's office with Potter, B.J, and Hawkeye consoling Radar after a phone call home. He gets his orders from Potter to sign hardship discharge papers. Radar is going home.
Goodbye Radar (Part II) - No generator means Radar feels guilty and decides to stay. He feels that if he leaves that the camp would fall apart. Potter says that he's not thinking with his head. Hawkeye is far more blunt telling him to go home. Klinger gets a generator which convinces Radar that it's time to go home. The planned party is ruined by incoming wounded. This is the last episode in which we get to see Klinger in dresses as his main costume, though he occasionally wears them.
Period of Adjustment - Klinger can't get the hang of being company clerk. B.J meanwhile get a letter from Peg. His daughter, Erin, calls Radar Daddy! B.J just can't get over it, decks Hawkeye, wrecks the still, and storms out of the Swamp. Everyone is angry with Klinger for not being able to get the job done, especially Margaret who's short on nurses. B.J and Klinger both decide that it's high time to get drunk to drown their issues. Rosie throws them out of her bar when they start throwing darts and nearly hit a Marine. Mulcahy, sitting in the Messtent helps Potter realize that Klinger might just need time. Potter and Margaret find B.J and Klinger in his office, drunk. Margaret finds Hawkeye, who goes to B.J, who's nearly passed out on the floor. Hawkeye consoles B.J who realizes that any soldier could've been called Daddy. It just happened to be Radar. Klinger helps the swamp rats rebuild the still.
Mr. and Mrs. Who? - Charles comes back from R&R extremely hung-over after a conference in Tokyo. He can't remember anything. Klinger comes in to tell him that a "Mrs. Chuck Winchester III" has called and is coming. He feels a sense of dread coming over him. Turns out the marriage is a sham, done by a bartender! Charles kept saying "will someone marry us before it's too late. Meanwhile the camp is fighting a deadly fever that is slowly killing patients in Post-Op, and they're at a loss at what to do. In the end the Winchester get a sham divorce from Dr. J.B Honeydo (BJ), and they get a hold of the fever and celebrate with the patient who got it first and was the worst of the sick patients.
Life Line - A very unique show, and a first for television. The entire show is encapsulated in nearly a half hour of real time, except the last two minutes. A chopper brings in a wounded patient who's missing part of his aorta. Hawkeye uses a pocket knife to get to the heart and spends the next nearly 20 minutes keeping the aorta closed with his finger. B.J, meanwhile, is working on getting part of an aorta from a patient who's brain dead, but his body is still fighting. Almost entirely filmed in Pre-op and O.R, aside from a few moments on the bus, chopper, and post-op. No laugh track, and no humor at all. The friend of the patient that is brain dead is rather angry at B.J for waiting for him to die. B.J says that he stopped being a person when the grenade hit his head. Mulcahy helps the guy realize that what he's doing is the ultimate sacrifice and he's saving another life. Very serious and very good episode.
Dear Uncle Absul - Klinger writes home and tells of of hunting with Charles, where Klinger chases a bird he shot. Unfortunately it hits a land mine. Margaret has serious foot locker issues. Klinger tells her that it has to be damaged in battle for the military to replace it. After finding that someone broke in and stole personal items from her foot locker Margaret borrows Charles' gun to shoot her footlocker, drops it at Klinger's feet and demands a replacement. Potter has Klinger sit on Sophie, for a self portrait. Mulcahy works on a war ditty all through this episode. Meanwhile, B.J and Hawkeye are trying to figure out which one of them is funnier. Klinger says both, repeats all of the above. "All you guys do is run around and tell jokes all day. What so funny about that." Klinger then says it's no wonder he didn't get the section-8 Everyone here is crazy.
Stars and Stripes - Stars and Stripes, the military paper, wants to run a story on a patient that Charles and B.J collaborated on. Charles tries to take all the credit, and they each write their own paper. Scully comes in to visit Margaret, and she realizes that it won't work when he disrespects her. Hawkeye feels left out, with the other swamp rats griping and Scully with Margaret. Potter brings the two doctors together to realize that they weren't the only ones that saved the patients life, and they title the article "From the 4077th, etal.
Bottle Fatigue - One of my favorite episodes. Hawkeye, who built the still, goes on the wagon after a large bar tab. He becomes even more annoying, getting everyone's ire. Charles, meanwhile, goes on a rampage when he finds his sister is getting married. He writes numerous letters, all scathing and offensive. Seems that she's become engaged to someone who's not good enough for the Winchester Pedigree. Charles gets Klinger and Mulcahy mad at him. He also ires Potter when saying he wants to stop the marriage because the groom-to-be is Italian. Later, Hawkeye is prepping a Korean patient. He pulls out a grenade and pulls the pin, which falls to the ground. Mulcahy, crawling on the ground, finds the pin and the grenade is pacified. Hawkeye walks into the Officer's Club with Margaret, B.J, Potter, and Klinger. He refuses the drink he ordered. "I'll be back for this when I want it, not when I need it." Meanwhile, Charles sends a telegram to Boston. "Dear sister. An incredibly profound experience has served to intensify the significance of your last letter. It made me realize with keen awareness how precious is life and the loved ones with whom we share it. You are about to recieve several boorish letters which I deeply regret sending." He admits that it was out of narrowness of mind, and distance. He says he wished that he could be there for her. Both characters were changed by this episode, both in a good way. After this one Charles' ego shrinks, and Hawkeye drinks a lot less, and takes the nurses more seriously.
Morale Victory - Potter get rather angry at the constant complaints from B.J and Hawkeye about the camp, it's food, movies, and everything else under his command. He decides to make them morale officers. They work hard on getting everyone's spirit up, and fail. Charles, meanwhile, is depressed when he finds that the soldier whose leg he saved, is upset by a permanent hand injury. Turns out he's a concert pianist. With Mulcahy's prompting, Charles helps the injured pianist realize that while his hand my be silence his talent isn't. He could write music, teach piano, or become a conductor. The patient realizes Charles is right when he finds that he can still play, even with just his left hand. B.J and Hawkeye come to the rescue with a crab barbeque.
Dreams - After a very long session of O.R sleep only adds to everyone's dismay and frustration. Margaret finds love, only to lose him to war. Charles can't operate without grand-standing, and a patient dies. Klinger gets back to Toledo, only to find the O.R in Packo's, with him on a table. Hawkeye looses both his arms, and his helpless to help a Korean child. Potter is a child again, until Klinger wakes him. and B.J's dance with Peg is interrupted by O.R. Very poinient issue that touched upon nightmares of war intruding into sleep and happy thoughts.
April Fools - Easily one my favorite episodes. B.J offers Charles a can of pralines, which turns out to be a prank. Springs jump out. Margaret gets dead fish in her pocket. Potter says its' still March. The rest figure the more they get in, the better. Potter says O.K, but you won't get me. He walks away with a fake tail attached to his jacket. Potter gets a note from Klinger that a rather intense Colonel Tucker is coming to visit. Tucker drives into camp and finds B.J, Hawkeye, Charles and Margaret in a pillow fight in front of the swamp. Seems that the Swamp rats took away Margaret's tent, leaving her bed, table, and all exposed. Klinger's in a dress uniform, and offers the Colonel exactly what he wants. Klinger, suddenly, is the perfect soldier. Tucker drives everyone nuts, and then threatens to court martial Hawkeye, Charles, B.J and Margaret for their attitudes toward him. Tucker then walks into Klinger's office only to find Klinger dressed as Cleopatra. Potter comes in to find Tucker consoling Klinger, who suddenly thinks he's going home. the rest of the main cast think that they're in serious trouble. Hawkeye convinces B.J, Charles and Margaret to "Go out in a Blaze of Glory!". Tucker has what seems to be a stroke in the Officer's club, after a crude joke. Tucker is on the ground and says "Pierce" several times. After kneeling down Tucker says "April Fool!" His visit was a very conniving joke that Potter set up with Tucker.
Great episode. Potter got them all real real well. No-one had any idea that it was all a big joke.
MASH was one of the few shows in television history that stayed strong throughout it's long run. 11 years. Every year had great episodes. Season eight is certainly no exception to that.