M*A*S*H Episode Review: The Party (1979)

Synopsis: As the 4077th is forced to relocate (twice), B. J. (Mike Farrell) tries to promote a state-side get together of families. However, when his friends are reluctant to even ask and he becomes worried about a patient, he slips into a depression.

Review: I had an opportunity to watch this episode again for the first time in a while. I didn't remember a whole lot about it. But, after seeing it again, I have to say it is easily one of my favorite episodes, at least from the later seasons.

There's a lot that happens in this episode and, under normal circumstances, I'm not sure I would be a big fan of that (especially since it is only 30 minutes in length). But, in this case at least, it really seemed to work really well.

I particularly liked the two "bug outs" the 4077th had to take part in, including one that brought them right back where they started. This led to some unique background as they worked to adjust to new surroundings and I really liked they way the writers set up B. J.'s party during a clever scene involving a drive on bumpy roads.

The fact B. J. was also concerned over one of his patients added some real drama to this episode, giving him additional reason to be upset when his friends (incorrectly) assumed their family members wouldn't agree to the party and wouldn't even consider sending out the invites at first.

I also found I liked all the added difficulties they had with the actual planning, which included everything from trying to find a date that worked for everyone to Klinger (Jamie Farr) revealing he never told his mother he was in Korea. And, I will admit, I thought it was pretty awesome when Radar (Gary Burghoff) read the details of the event afterwards.  It was definitely one of those feel-good moments I'm sure helped keep this show on the air as long as it was.

Final Opinion: This is a well-written episode that manages to throw in three separate stories while keeping things moving along at a steady pace. I enjoyed watching it tonight and would definitely watch it again if given an opportunity to.

My Grade: A


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