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M.A.S.H. - Goodbye, Farewell, Amen Reviews

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flixsterman
flixsterman

Super Reviewer

July 21, 2010
A fitting, emotional end to one of the best television comedies ever created. Plenty of laughter interspersed with a tear or two.
May 20, 2012
Before my time, but I got hooked watchin' the reruns with my father and fell in love with the show and 'course my favorite is Hawkeye.
March 4, 2012
I hadn't watched this finale in years. The one thing I remember not liking was Hawkeye finally super-cracking and being thrown in the psych ward as the series had already covered that a bit in a previous episode but that said, it is still one of these most powerful scenes in the series and Alda's career as he remembers what really happened on the bus ride home. The producers also ulled out the financial stops and just super-populated this episode with extras that was so missing from the last few seasons of the series. In some ways the cast's performances were subdued as if they were having too much internal problems with the series being over and maybe it would have been easier to just walk away. As a MASH fan you'll probably cry and enjoy the show, but if you're not a MASH fan you seriously can not miss the first hour dealing with Hawkeye and the bus.
April 22, 2013
I know you have all heard the phrase "jump the shark" It has to do with a sit-com that went to long or just doesn't have the same standards as it did earlier in its run. Well Mash never jumped the shark, it went out the same way it came in. With the great writing, directing and acting it will always be known as one of the greatest sit-coms of all time. Lets start at the early years of Mash, Alan Alda was the center piece and you had Will Ferrall as his side kick, funny, great acting and little in the way of dramatics. That changed as the show progressed, in the years to come they expanded into what war really is while also holding on to the comedy aspect. They started doing episodes where war isn't fun, its war and they knew they had to go in that direction. The first episode was about raffling off a nurse for a date and the last episode showed the true horrors of war. A baby smothered so the enemy wont find them, Hawkey having a nervous breakdown and Winchester loosing the pow' musicians that helped him get through an almost impossible situation. My opinion there is no other sit-com the progressed as far as mash did. Goodbye, Farewell, Amen was a truly great way to end this epic show and all involved should be very proud.
February 21, 2013
While I've never been a fan of the M*A*S*H series, I do think that Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen is a well conclusive ending towards the series
gillianren
April 14, 2012
All Good Things Must Come to an End

My dad missed this by twenty days. He and Mom watched the series together, and by the time I can remember things, we were watching as a family. I remember wanting to watch it, and I remember not being allowed to stay up. And Mom taped it. In my head, I remember it as Mom and Dad, because they watched so much of it together. But Dad died less than three weeks before this aired. Which means that this is another Good Parenting Thing Mom Did in Retrospect. Just like she didn't take us to see [i]Return of the Jedi[/i] when it opened that Memorial Day weekend. Elizabeth was just too young, but Elaine and I were two wounded little kids, and while Mom couldn't have known how this episode would play out, she must have known that the days where it would have been possible for the final episode to be merely wacky were long past. I think she let us watch the tape, but it wouldn't have been just before bed. It's one thing to watch it in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. It's another thing on a Monday during the school year.

We open with Dr. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce (Alan Alda). Something unspecified has caused an off-screen nervous breakdown, and he's at a military hospital in (presumably) Seoul, being treated by Dr. Sidney Freedman (Allan Arbus). We discover its root as Hawkeye does. Outside the hospital, the war is drawing to a close. Dr. BJ Hunnicut (Mike Farrell) gets orders to go home. Colonel Sherman T. Potter (the late Harry Morgan) tells him it's a mistake, and BJ agrees wholeheartedly. But he wants to be home for his daughter's second birthday. POWs are pouring into the compound, and Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III (David Ogden Stiers) captures a troupe of musicians who surrender to him while he's just trying to use the latrine. Likewise, Sergeant Maxwell Q. Klinger (Jamie Farr) is helping refugee Soon-Lee Han (Rosalind Chao) search for her family. And when Father Francis John Patrick Mulcahy (William Christopher) rescues POWs from shelling, his hearing is damaged. Major Margaret Houlihan (Loretta Swit) is getting career advice from her father.

Busy? Oh, yes. But there are several reasons for this. The first is that this is wrapping up eleven seasons' worth of plot. These characters don't have to be developed in the episode. Hawkeye and Margaret, at least, had been there from the first episode to the last. (Father Mulcahy had, too, but he was played by George Morgan in the pilot.) Charles, the newest major character, had been on well over a hundred episodes, longer than many entire series. Heck, even Sidney had appeared on what works out to about half a season of an ordinary show. It's true that [i]M*A*S*H[/i]-watchers do generally divide into people who like the early seasons and people who like the later seasons, and even the author of the original novel didn't much care for the later seasons. However, for those of us who prefer the later seasons, this episode gives us the catharsis we seek. Almost every conclusion for the characters makes sense with the characters as developed, unto Charles leaving camp in a garbage truck. After all, the whole of his story has been about assaults on his dignity, and this was the ultimate.

However, I'm not too jazzed by the Father Mulcahy deafness plot. It feels a bit tacked on, as though the writers said, "Well, we have to do something with him, too. What's an interesting thing to do?" But there's no set-up and really no payoff. I vaguely remember watching [i]After MASH[/i], and I presume they did something with it there, but I really don't remember and anyway I don't think that's the point. After all, there's a perfectly reasonable character conflict in his need to stay and help the orphans versus his desire to go home and maybe see his sister, the Sister, again. I suppose they thought that one "I'm going to stay in Korea" plot was enough, and it's true that Klinger's is funnier, but on the other hand, if Mulcahy did it, it would ring true. He is the one who is most aware of Korean culture and tradition, and he is the one with the most ties to the country. Having him suddenly go deaf doesn't add anything to the story or his character, though it does make for a few amusing moments given that he isn't telling anyone but BJ.

Oh, yes, the show lasted about four times as long as the conflict on which it was based. Not a new or original observation. And following the chronological hints dropped in various episodes doesn't help to establish a timeline, because there are all sorts of contradictions. (The series never seems to have hired a continuity editor, as evidenced by the fact that, for example, Henry Blake's wife had two different names and that Hawkeye went from having a mom and a sister to being an only child living alone with his widowed father.) Fair enough. As is the fact that one of the things the original novelist disliked so much about the series was its decidedly liberal slant--it's suggested that one of the reasons [i]After MASH[/i] failed was that it aired during the Reagan years. But there is that scene where various of the characters say what they're planning to do after the war. In an ordinary show, such as [i]M*A*S*H[/i] was in the early years, you would care what the main characters would do. But [i]M*A*S*H[/i] as it developed let you care about what the guy who served food was going to do after the war, too. And the writing of this episode meant that you believed what he said.
May 8, 2011
This is a wonderful ending to see how the Korean War has affected the lives of the people there, most notably of Hawkeye. The show was full of drama and comedy, and somehow, one of the greatest T.V shows I've know, and this episode is a great ending to it. As the rocks said... "Goodbye".
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