M*A*S*H (1972–1983)
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Germ Warfare 

After tapping Frank Burns for blood, Hawkeye and Trapper's patient develops complications. They believe Frank has hepatitis and try to keep Frank from operating.


Terry Becker


Larry Gelbart, Larry Gelbart (developed for television by)




Episode complete credited cast:
Alan Alda ... Capt. Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce
Wayne Rogers ... Capt. 'Trapper John' McIntyre
McLean Stevenson ... Lt. Col. Henry Blake
Loretta Swit ... Maj. Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan
Larry Linville ... Maj. Frank Burns
Gary Burghoff ... Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly
Timothy Brown ... Capt. Oliver Harmon 'Spearchucker' Jones
Patrick Adiarte ... Ho-Jon
Karen Philipp ... Lt. Maria 'Dish' Schneider
Robert Gooden ... Pvt. Lorenzo Boone (as Bob Gooden)
Byron Chung ... P.O.W.
Odessa Cleveland ... Lt. Ginger Bayliss, RN


Pai, a severely injured North Korean POW is taking up a valuable bed in Post-Op and Pai requires AB- blood, the rarest type of blood in both Caucasians and Asians. So, naturally Frank wants to ship off Pai to the POW section. Pai is Hawkeye's patient; and Hawkeye will not release Pai. But, the whole 4077 Post-Op situation is dire and Henry takes Frank's side; and the guys tell Henry he is turning into a real Army clown. (Cue M*A*S*H, the movie.) Ruefully, Henry has to acknowledge their censure and he tells Trapper and Hawkeye to care for Pai for as long as they want, but to keep Frank (aka Mrs. Henry Blake in Army drag) OFF Henry's back. With Pai a guest I n The Swamp in Hawkeye's cot, the next issue is blood: Radar scours 4077 personnel records to find their rare blood donor. Poor Frank has a dream he is a giant soda with a big straw sticking out of him! When Pai takes a turn for the worse, the original Swamp Rats, Radar and the crew work overtime to keep one Major Montague from ... Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | War


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


A rare episode where Frank is not clean shaven. See more »


The beer cans that Frank is asked to drink from are modern formed aluminum cans. Beer cans of this era were not made from aluminum, had flat bottoms and had to be opened with a can opener. See more »


Maj. Frank Burns: I'm fine! I'm completely fine! The last thing I'm gonna give you two ghouls is any of my blood!
Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce: Ghouls. That's a nice thing to call us vampires.
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References Double Indemnity (1944) See more »


Suicide is Painless
Written by Johnny Mandel
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User Reviews

The demise of Spearchucker
17 April 2020 | by cashbacherSee all my reviews

The main characters of the show are now being fully defined with the minor characters being set aside. This episode is the last appearance of Spearchucker Jones, a black physician. Supposedly, the character was dropped because there were no black physicians in the Korean War. That of course was false, the American armed forces were integrated at that time. The reality is that there was no room for the character in the series. With Henry Blake, Hawkeye, Trapper, Frank Burns, Radar and now Hot Lips, a seventh main character was unneeded. In this episode, a North Korean man is occupying a hospital bed and Frank Burns wants him gone. At first Henry Blake agrees, but he softens to allow the man to stay in camp for 24 hours as long as he does not take up a hospital bed. When the man needs blood, it is discovered that Frank Burns is the only person in camp with that type. Hawkeye and Trapper tap Frank for a pint when he is sleeping and they transfuse the blood into the North Korean, afterwards the patient reacts as if he has hepatitis. Since it could have come from Frank, Hawkeye and Trapper must keep Frank from operating or having any interaction with others until he tests clear. Since he and Hot Lips are desperate for a tryst, they must do all they can to keep Frank isolated until they can confirm that he is free of hepatitis. Spearchucker has only a few lines, there is an emphasis on the relationship between Hot Lips and Frank. It is clear at this point that the character is superfluous to the continuing evolution of the main characters. Linville has polished his repertoire of facial expressions, mannerisms and tones of voice that will make him one of the most attractive villains in comedy. He has always been an underappreciated actor in the series. When it comes to physical comedy, he was hands down the best in the show.

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Release Date:

10 December 1972 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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