The Trial of Henry Blake

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"The Trial of Henry Blake"
M*A*S*H episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 8 (32nd overall)
Directed byDon Weis
Written byMcLean Stevenson

Larry Gelbart

Laurence Marks
Production codeK408
Original air dateNovember 3, 1973
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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M*A*S*H (season 2)
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"The Trial of Henry Blake" is episode 8 from season 2 of the TV series M*A*S*H.


Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake faces a disciplinary review after several complaints from Majors Burns and Houlihan. Among the issues at hand are the 4077th's Kentucky Derby Day, in which the doctors raced around the compound pushing nurses on gurneys; allowing Radar to sell wing-tip shoes tent-to-tent; and failing to stop Klinger's attempt to desert on a homemade hang glider (resembling "a big red bird with fuzzy pink feet"). However, the most serious charge is aiding and comforting the enemy in the form of giving supplies to Meg Cratty, a nurse who runs an orphanage that helps both North and South Koreans.

Hawkeye and Trapper John attempt to go to the trial with evidence that will exonerate Henry, but Major Burns (in temporary command) confines them to quarters, guts the swamp and even strips Hawkeye and Trapper to their underwear. Trapper and Hawkeye escape by having Klinger drug an MP and go to the courtroom, taking Nurse Cratty with them, with Burns and Houlihan in hot pursuit to prevent them from giving the courtroom evidence to exonerate Henry. Burns and Houlihan take a wrong turn, granting Hawkeye and Trapper enough time to have Nurse Cratty tell the truth. She testifies that the North Koreans that Henry is accused of aiding were refugees and children at a civilian clinic. When Burns and Houlihan arrive at the hearing, they cite Hawkeye and Trapper's escape (and technical status as AWOL) as proof of Blake's being unfit to command. Blake defends himself, saying he never set out to be a junior General MacArthur, but that he was only a doctor trying to run a hospital, and that his aid to Meg Cratty improved the life expectancy of the babies born in the area. He then tells the hearing panel to hang him for that if they wish. The head of the hearing board would like to drop the charges in light of the new evidence, but the majors refuse, so Hawkeye and Trapper use what they know best to change his mind: blackmail. Hawkeye jots down a letter threatening to tell Frank's wife about Margaret, leading the majors to drop the charges.


In this episode "Nurse Meg Cratty" is played by Hope Summers; in M*A*S*H episode 4-8 "The Kids", Cratty is played by Ann Doran.

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