|Episode no.||Season 2
Episode 12 (36th Overall)
|Directed by||Jackie Cooper|
|Written by||Laurence Marks|
|Original air date||December 1, 1973|
"The Incubator" was the 36th episode of the M*A*S*H television series, and the twelfth episode of season two. The episode aired on December 1, 1973.
Henry Blake has taken delivery of a new barbecue, and with Radar's help, is assembling it in preparation for barbecuing steaks rare.
Meanwhile, Hawkeye and Trapper express concern that a cell culture will have to be sent to a laboratory in Tokyo, which will mean a 72-hour wait for the results. They look into requisitioning an incubator for the 4077th. Supply Officer Captain Sloan (Eldon Quick) tells them they can't have one, according to the Basic Equipment List for a M*A*S*H unit, but they can have a pizza oven or other non-essential equipment.
Another supply officer has three incubators sitting unused, but won't let them have one of them, because "two is not as good as three". They eventually take their frustrations to General Mitchell (Robert F. Simon) at a press conference, leading to chaos as the journalists begin questioning both the doctors and the General.
Back at the camp, Hawkeye and Trapper have to explain their actions to Blake. As they leave his office, Radar reveals his latest acquisition—an incubator, which he managed to trade for the barbecue.
Eldon Quick would make two further guest appearances in M*A*S*H, in the episode "Payday" returning as Captain Sloan, and in the episode "The Late Captain Pierce" as Captain Pratt, a character with a very similar affinity for army bureaucracy to Sloan.