M*A*S*H Episode Review: "A Holy Mess"

Synopsis: An AWOL private (Cyril O'Reilly) is granted asylum by Father Mulcahy (William Christopher), tying up the 4077th's mess tent/church on the same day the camp was promised a fresh-egg brunch.

Review: My youngest daughter had dance class last night and, since I had some time before I needed to start dinner, I ended up watching this episode of M*A*S*H while balancing the checkbook.  And, even though I had seen it a few times before, I still found I enjoyed watching it again.

As I've said in the past, Major Houlihan (Loretta Swit) is my favorite character from this series, mostly because of the way she changed throughout the course of the show. Father Mulcahy, however, is definitely a very close second and a character that probably didn't get as much screen time as he deserved. This episode is a good example of that.

The thing that really stood out for me when watching this episode was his willingness to stick up for his convictions even when everyone, including his close friend Colonel Potter (Harry Morgan) was against him. Mulcahy risked a lot in this episode, ranging from criminal charges (for interfering with the military police) to bodily harm. Yet, he stood by the AWOL private firmly yet calmly while, at the same time, worked to diffuse the situation. It was hard not to respect him as a result of that.

As I watched this episode again last night, I did find I wasn't a big fan of the secondary story involving the fresh eggs. This is mostly because that story is incomplete. Considering the camp was ready to riot when the fresh eggs were being delayed because of Mulcahy's situation, I think there really should have been more of a reaction once things escalated and the eggs weren't served as a result. Instead, the writers decided to just brush things off and not make as big of a deal out of it as they probably should have.

Final Opinion: Overall, I have to say this is a good episode. It gives Father Mulcahy the screen time he deserves and has an entertaining plot. I would recommend it if you haven't seen this episode yet.

My Grade: B


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