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"To Market, to Market" is the second episode of M*A*S*H. It was first aired on September 24, 1972 and repeated on April 29, 1973. Like many other M*A*S*H episodes, this one parodies army bureaucracy.

"To Market, to Market"
M*A*S*H episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 2 (2nd overall)
Directed byMichael O'Herlihy
Written byBurt Styler
Production codeJ303
Original air dateSeptember 24, 1972
Guest appearance(s)

Jack Soo as Charlie Lee
Robert Ito as Lin
G. Wood as General Hammond
Odessa Cleveland as Ginger
John C. Johnson as Truck Driver

Episode chronology
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"Requiem for a Lightweight"
M*A*S*H (season 1)
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Thieves and blackmarketeers hold up a truck load of medical supplies for the 4077, thus rendering them in desperate need of Hydrocortisone. In retaliation, Hawkeye and Trapper meet with a notorious black marketeer, hoping to get some replacements. When they realize they have nothing reasonable to trade with him, they go to drastic measures to get what they need.[1][2][3][4][5]


While operating on a general, Hawkeye discovers they are out of hydrocortisone. They discover that the hydrocortisone, along with half of their other medical supplies, were hijacked by black marketeers, and their new shipment has also been stolen.

Angry about the theft, Hawkeye and Trapper go to Col. Blake's office to complain, where they find him showing off his new 100-year-old oak desk. They inform him of the theft and suggest that he call General Hammond and demand some action, but he is too nervous to bother the general, so Hawkeye calls him. When Blake asks Hammond for more hydrocortisone, he adamantly refuses.

Radar is able to find the name of a black marketeer, Charlie Lee. Hawkeye and Trapper meet him to ask about getting some Hydrocortisone, but his price is too high: $10,000. So they offer to trade Henry's desk. Soon afterward, Charlie Lee comes to the 4077 dressed as a South Korean General in order to examine the desk. Burns sees Lee's jeep parked in the middle of the camp and orders Lee's assistant to move it, only to have the man try to sell him a stolen watch. Meanwhile, Lee agrees to the trade with Hawkeye and Trapper, but says the desk must be ready to be put on his truck at exactly 0600 the next morning or the deal is off.

Radar wakes up Pierce and McIntyre at 0500 the next morning and they sneak out of the Swamp and into Henry's office. Frank and Margaret independently go to Henry's office because they are suspicious. They decide to rendezvous in the supply tent and lock Henry's office door, inadvertently locking Pierce and McIntyre inside. While Radar goes out to try to convince the truck driver to wait for the desk, Pierce and McIntyre cut down a wall in Blake's office and carry out the desk. Before they can get it on the truck, Burns recognizes the driver from the previous day and orders him to leave. When Hawkeye and Trapper catch up to Radar, he tells them that the truck left, so Hawkeye tells him to get O'Brien (a helicopter pilot unseen in the episode). Henry and Frank Burns go to Henry's office and find that the desk is gone. They see it, attached to a helicopter, flying away.

Later, Charlie Lee shows up, dressed in a private's uniform, with two hundred vials of Hydrocortisone, but a suspicious Henry recognizes him as the South Korean general. When questioned, Lee merely smiles and replies, "You know how it is, Colonel. We all look alike."[1][2][3][4][5]


  • Assuming that this episode takes place in 1950 along with the pilot, there is an anachronism in the episode. Hydrocortisone was not introduced until 1952, so it would not have been in use at the time.
  • Possibly due to early concerns about scenes with the actors behind facemasks, both Hawkeye and Trapper are seen operating on a patient without masks.


  1. ^ a b Wittebols, James H. (2003). "Watching M*A*S*H, Watching America". Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. pp. 161–166. ISBN 0-7864-1701-3. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
  2. ^ a b "Episode Guide". TV Guide. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
  3. ^ a b "The Classic Sitcoms Guide: M*A*S*H". Retrieved 2009-05-15.
  4. ^ a b "M*A*S*H: Season One (Collector's Edition) (1972)".
  5. ^ a b Reiss, David S. (1983). M*A*S*H: the exclusive, inside story of TV's most popular show.

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