A Smattering of Intelligence

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"A Smattering of Intelligence"
M*A*S*H episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 24 (48th overall)
Directed by Larry Gelbart
Written by

Larry Gelbart

Laurence Marks
Production code K424
Original air date March 2, 1974
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Mail Call"
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"The General Flipped at Dawn"
M*A*S*H (season 2)
List of M*A*S*H episodes

"A Smattering of Intelligence" was the final episode in season two of the American television series M*A*S*H. It first aired on March 2, 1974. The character of Lieutenant Colonel Sam Flagg (played by Edward Winter) was first introduced by name in this episode. Winter portrayed a similar character called Captain Halloran, eleven episodes earlier in "Deal Me Out", and the two are implied in "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler?" to have been one and the same. Flagg has any number of aliases.


After a helicopter crash at the 4077 M*A*S*H the only casualty is the infamous LTC (Lieutenant Colonel) Flagg who is laid up at the 4077th with a broken arm. He reveals that he suspects a security leak in the camp and will be investigating, presenting LTC Henry Blake with a number of aliases and demanding his full cooperation. Meanwhile, Hawkeye and Trapper John meet Trapper's friend Captain Pratt, who is an Army Intelligence officer. Pratt is undercover at the hospital to see what Flagg is up to, claiming Flagg had ordered the helicopter to crash and then broke his own arm in order to "infiltrate" the 4077th. Pratt explains his presence in the camp to Frank Burns by saying that the US Army Engineers are thinking of making MASHs amphibious; Frank reveals his gullibility by believing Pratt's story. Pratt also blackmails Henry into cooperating with him. Soon the two spies are after each other, and Hawkeye and Trapper John decide to have some fun by tricking both spies into going after Major Frank Burns, making Pratt believe Burns is a right wing fascist and making Flagg believe Burns is a left wing communist.


  • In episode 3.23 Lieutenant Colonel Flagg appears, Hawkeye and Trapper remark on how the last time he was at the 4077th, Flagg not only broke his own arm {seen in this episode} but rigged a jeep to run over himself-this last incident is not in this episode but did appear in Episode 2.13, Flagg's/Halloran's first appearance, includes a minor plot about a local man ("Whiplash Wang") who throws himself in front of U.S. Army vehicles to intentionally injure himself for profit; in this episode, Flagg similarly intentionally injures himself with an Army vehicle to advance his investigation.
  • An anachronism appears in this episode. As Radar pretends to be asleep when Flagg leaves Henry's office, a copy of Avengers (vol. 1) #60 can be seen on his chest, which was not published until 1968.
  • At the end of the episode's second act, Pratt takes pictures of the "Swamp" with a spy camera; the final scene (commonly deleted in syndication) has Flagg narrating over slides of various characters and recommending further observation of the 4077th.
  • The season 4 episode "The Late Captain Pierce" features a character named Captain Pratt, but he is played by a different actor, does not seem to recognize Hawkeye, and is apparently a different character from the Pratt in this episode.

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