Taking the Fifth - S9-E9

Corrected entry: 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).


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.


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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Henry Blake: All I know is what they taught me at command school. There are certain rules about a war, and rule number one is that young men die. And rule number two is that doctors can't change rule number one.



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.



Season 4. Episode 1 "Welcome To Korea". At the end of the episode the new commanding officer, Colonel Sherman Potter, played by Harry Morgan is introduced. In Season 3 Episode 1 "The General Flipped at Dawn", Harry Morgan played Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele.