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19th Mar 2020

M*A*S*H (1972)

The Abduction of Margaret Houlihan - S5-E6

Other mistake: As Frank cocks his gun in the Swamp, the slide locks open and he has to hit the slide release to get it to move forward. Next he fiddles with the hammer. Next we hear the shot go off. Burns' excuse later is that he was cleaning The Gun and it went off (although admittedly, Frank doesn't always stick to the truth that religiously in situations like that). The slide on a semi-automatic locks open only if the magazine is empty or missing. The Gun locking open is also a clear, unmistakable indication that the breech is empty. He would have to insert a filled mag, then pull the slide back again to chamber a round before The Gun even had the chance to go off. One never does that while cleaning a gun. One does what Frank did to begin with: Pull the slide back without a magazine inserted to make sure the breech is empty.

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Suggested correction: Frank has demonstrated on numerous occasions that he does not follow the rules of safe gun handling, so ascribing his failure to do so is not a mistake.

LorgSkyegon

You are missing the point. His gun is demonstrably unloaded when we last see it. He would either have to change his mind about cleaning it and load it instead, or load it first and then try to clean it (which makes even less sense), neither of which is not supported by anything in the dialogue.

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Cleaning The Gun was the lie. He told BJ he was going to hunt for Margaret. He had every intention of loading his gun at that point.

Bishop73

You got me there. Frank talks about looking for Margret, fiddles with The Gun, and only after the shot goes off, he talks about cleaning it.

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11th Oct 2013

M*A*S*H (1972)

I Hate A Mystery - S1-E10

Plot hole: Hawkeye calls a number of people into the mess tent over the PA - the ones he allegedly suspects of being behind the thefts he is suspected of himself. Interestingly enough, Ho Jon, later revealed to be the guilty party, is not on Hawkeye's list - yet he shows up uninvited, just to be ensnared by Hawk's clever ploy. Note also that he had no way of knowing what the purpose of the meeting was, so we cannot ascribe to him the motive of wanting to find out how much Hawkeye knew.

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Suggested correction: Of course Ho-Jon would come to the tent; it makes perfect sense, since he is the "houseboy" of the Swamp and, consequently, a sort of personal assistant to the Swampmen (Hawkeye, Trapper, and Spearchucker). He simply followed Trapper and Spearchucker to the tent after the announcement, probably figuring they might need him in some way.

It's late evening. It's, as far as anyone knows, an official meeting. Ho Jon isn't "standing attendance", he's sitting at the table (which is very convenient for him to hide his hands later). If he WERE standing attendance, it would be the only time in the series he does so in the mess tent instead of the swamp. It would also be the only time he's attending a meeting anyone called. Also he isn't a "house boy" - that would be totally out of character for Hawkeye, see "The Moose" - he's more an adoptee and roommate who makes himself useful. And last but not least: What a convenient coincidence, that just the guy who turns out to be the culprit would turn up uninvited, because he "might be needed" instead of staying the hell away because he is guilty and suspicious of the whole affair! Had - HAD, which he hasn't - Trapper said "Ho Jon, you better come too", you could call it a Deus Ex, but the way it is, it's just a plot hole, to quote Margaret Houlihan, "period, end of sentence."

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16th Aug 2016

M*A*S*H (1972)

Pressure Points - S10-E15

Corrected entry: In this episode, Potter and company are being introduced to white phosphorous that is starting to be used. But in Season 2, Episode 1, "Divided We Stand", as Henry and Hawkeye come out of the O.R. a wounded soldier is brought in on a Jeep with white phosphorous burns, and they knew what to do.

Movie Nut

Correction: Even if they knew how to deal with it at the time, the information might not have been common knowledge. As WP came to be used more frequently, the Army would send instructors to field hospitals to make certain everyone was up on the latest technique for dealing with it. (Col. Potter was also not in the earlier episode you mention, and he wants to hear the information).

Captain Defenestrator

Understood, but Potter was there in Season 4, Episode 24 "Deluge" when a WP case was brought in.

Movie Nut

Remember that the main plot of this episode is that Col. Potter made a rookie mistake that almost cost a kid's life, and is fearing that he's too old to hack it as a doctor anymore. If the Army's learned something he doesn't know, he wants to know it.

Captain Defenestrator

The dialog explicitly states that the enemy "has started using something new", which is phosphorus rounds. If they had to deal with it before, it's logically not so new, ergo the mistake is at the very least plausible.

Doc Premium member

Correction: "New" to the doctors on the front lines and "new" to the doctors back at HQ could be two different things.

How can it be new to them when we saw them treating the exact same injury before?

Doc Premium member

It might be old news to the 4077th but new to the Army in general. Without asking a real Army doctor, Instructional briefings like this aren't optional. They don't ask if you already know it. The point of the scene is NOT "How many times has the 4077th already done this?" The point is "Potter thinks he's too old and can't hack it anymore, so IF the Army has learned something new, HE wants to hear it." And also shows us "Potter is on edge about something. Maybe we should call Sidney Green."

Captain Defenestrator

You could be the world's top expert in White Phosphorus, but if you're in the Army, and they tell you "You're going to attend a lecture on White Phosphorus," That's called an order and you do it, Mr. White Phosphorus, whether you like it or not.

Captain Defenestrator

Correction: I know you can't worry about MASH's timeline or you'll go insane, but six seasons pass between this episode and that one. The Army medics could have learned some new things about treating the injuries in whatever time passed. And again, Col. Potter thinks he's slipping in this episode, so he wants to hear every word, and that's the main point of the scene.

Captain Defenestrator

20th Feb 2018

M*A*S*H (1972)

Last Laugh - S6-E3

Corrected entry: Leo Bardonaro supposedly left his hat at the hotel where he used BJ's name as an alias. General Fred Fox made BJ put on the hat to prove he was at the hotel. When Leo shows back up at the Swamp he has his hat back on.

Correction: He could easily have more than one hat.

Greg Dwyer

...or have gotten another one from a depot.

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18th Dec 2018

M*A*S*H (1972)

Correction: This is a clear case of taking the dialog too literally. When Radar says "nobody helped him" he doesn't imply that he learned it all by himself with literally no help, but that he too was thrown into the deep end.

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Correction: It is made clear that Colonel Blake was inept and had very little understanding of Radar's job. While Blake may have been supportive of Radar, Radar still had to learn the job on his own.

If he had little understanding of the clerk's job, then Mulcahy's statement that "Henry took Radar under his wing and helped him grow into the job" is moot.

Movie Nut

Not necessarily as such. Both "taking under one's wing" and "growing into the job" are rather generic statements after all. Blake may very well have just kept his back while he learned the job, even though he may not have been such a great source of topical information on company-clerking in particular. For the question at hand however one should keep in mind that neither Radar nor Mulcahy are laying down historic facts when they make their respective statements, but try to make their points, which are, to wit: Radar thinks Klinger should stop bitching and try to find his feet, and Mulcahy thinks Potter needs to be supportive of Klinger.

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16th Nov 2018

M*A*S*H (1972)

Correction: "Blitzen" is never called a drone in the show. All we see is Radar calling the name repeatedly as if to a tame animal, then exhibiting fear and fleeing.

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Correction: Since it did sting him, it seems that Radar had misidentified it as a drone.

LorgSkyegon

Sorry, dude, but that's not a valid rebuke. Had Radar identified Blitzen as a drone (which he didn't) then it would be a valid character mistake.

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20th Feb 2017

M*A*S*H (1972)

Show generally

Corrected entry: Between season 2 and season 3, the interior decoration of the officers' club changes radically. Up to season 2, it's furnished with wicker chairs and tables and has a picture of General MacArthur at the wall, from season 3 on, it has the familiar look with the tables made from tires and the unit insignia on the wall.

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Correction: As you say, it happens in-between seasons. Given the 4077th's successful track record, the higher-ups may reward them with better equipment for the Officers' Club. (At one point, they save the life of an officer's son, and he gives them an upgrade to the club as well. Who's to say that hasn't happened more than once?).

Captain Defenestrator

Actually, it isn't so much an UPgrade as a DOWNgrade. In the 2nd season, it had nice wicker chairs and tables and even local bartenders. In the 3rd season and on, both the decoration and the furniture have a much more home-brew/scrounged air to them. I think it's more likely the producers or production designers noticed the officers' club was out of whack with the rest of the production design and adjusted it.

Doc Premium member

Again, the officer gave them the upgrade, he'd get to pick the decor and they'd just have to learn to like it. What you call an upgrade and what he calls an upgrade might be two separate things.

Captain Defenestrator

The basic problem with what you say is always the same however: There is exactly nothing in the dialog to support any of your theories.

Doc Premium member

There's also nothing but your own personal flair for design to say that the officer's idea of "That's what I call an upgrade" was, in fact, a downgrade. The taste of the officer who's giving them the upgrade is what decides if it is or isn't, and if his "upgrade" sucks, there's not a lot that the 4077th can do but say "Gee... thanks... sir..." and learn to like it.

Captain Defenestrator

"In reward for your dedicated service, I decided to replace your barkeeper with no barkeeper. You also won't have to look at the ugly mug of MacArthur any more, I've found you some nice random unit insignia instead! What's not to love, eh?"

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24th Feb 2010

M*A*S*H (1972)

Taking the Fifth - S9-E9

Other mistake: Charles starts a discussion on the army having forbidden the use of curare. The following chatter is all about how things in the M.A.S.H. OR have slowed after curare was banned, leaving us with no choice but to understand that the ban came into effect during the Korean War. Actually, curare was not approved for use by the U.S. Army at any time during the Korean War. (See "Notable Names in Anasthesia" - J. Roger Maltby, Royal Society of Medicine, Great Britain, pg. 14). (00:00:25)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The whole point of the discussion is to make it clear that curare was never allowed for use by the US military, however since the majority of the doctors there are not enlisted, they know of curare and how to use it on a patient. At no point is it mentioned that the banned occurred during the Korean war.

MasterOfAll

While they never specifically say that the ban occurred during the Korean war, at the beginning of the episode, Charles says "Ever since the army forbade our use of curare..." Then at the end of the episode, COL Potter says "It sure is the cat's P.J.s having our curare back." after they get some supply from another non-American unit. These conversations imply that the doctors had been allowed to use curare by the army until this point and the ban by the army is why they aren't using it any more.

Father Mulchahy says "I've noticed the work goes much faster with curare." Father Mulchahy's only experiences in operating rooms are from his deployment at mash 4077 (he mentions he used to work with children before the war), so he must have "noticed" it there. This makes it clear as daylight that curare was used at mash before it was banned.

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19th Feb 2013

M*A*S*H (1972)

Heroes - S10-E18

Corrected entry: When the champ comes in, several soldiers are lying in the post-op ward, and some of them don't look likely to get out soon. After the champ suffers his stroke, the ward is empty and Cavanaugh is the only patient there. Hawkeye even says "Afraid you're going to lose your private room, Champ?" What happened to the other wounded? (00:05:00 - 00:18:45)

Doc Premium member

Correction: Patients get transferred out all the time. If they knew that they were going to get more wounded in, they would transfer as many as could be feasibly moved. Obviously all could be safely moved.

LorgSkyegon

No mention is made in the dialog of moving wounded out to make room, as it is in many other episodes. The wounded are just suddenly gone. While none is explicitly mentioned as being critical or unable to be transferred (transferring wounded just isn't touched upon at all in this episode), as detailed in the original mistake, some wounded look quite heavily injured, e.g. the guy in the body cast the champ talks to. In other episodes, the doctors show quite a lot of reluctance in moving patients with similar looking injuries.

Doc Premium member

Correction: They do things all the time without specifically mentioning it. The job of a mash unit is to fix up those in critical need and get them to a recovery/evacuation or their unit as soon as possible.

25th May 2013

M*A*S*H (1972)

Tuttle - S1-E15

Character mistake: Hawkeye and Trapper make Tuttle an alumnus of "Berlin Polytechnic" and translate that (wrongly) as "Berlinishes Polytechnikum". Berlin's polytechnic university was named "Technische Hochschule Berlin" at the relevant time - and at no time offered a medical curriculum. To study medicine in Berlin, Tuttle would have to attend "Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin" instead.

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Suggested correction: And how are Hawkeye and Trapper suppose to know that? They are after all, making all this up. It is never meant to be factual.

MasterOfAll

It is intended to fool Margret and Frank, so it has to be assumed that they meant to pull it off. Hawkeye says "It can't be any place they'll check", which is why they select a German university in the first place. That shows it is indeed meant to be if not watertight, then at least convincing. To use an university you don't know the proper name of doesn't make sense under these circumstances.

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17th Jul 2012

M*A*S*H (1972)

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Rosie said she took them away AFTER they began throwing them at the dartboard. Therefore there would be some in and around the dartboard. And since Klinger and BJ were drunk, they likely wouldn't have thought to grab them from the board.

When we later see them in Col. Potter's office, they are quite capable of semi-coherent reasoning, so them not realizing they could grab more darts from the dartboard isn't really in sync with that later behoviour.

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