A love note to M*A*S*H's most memorable last lines
Spelling out Goodbye in rocks wasn't the only time the show hit the right end note.
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In the second season of M*A*S*H, an episode called "Crisis" pushed the cast to new extremes during a harsh winter without proper supplies or fuel to heat the camp.
Throughout the episode, the cast gets creative in their quest to find warmth, including hunting socks and burning furniture. The final scene finds Henry Blake sitting in a barren room where he delivers a line into the phone while laughing about his dire circumstances, a line that arguably could only have worked on M*A*S*H.
"I’m talking to you from deep inside a real big empty," actor McLean Stevenson said, as if verbally throwing his hands up in lunacy-driven defeat.
At least one M*A*S*H fan site considers the humor of "Crisis" and its final line quite seriously, writing that it "may very well have the best last line of any episode of M*A*S*H."
Rifling through forums, the fan site confirmed that M*A*S*H co-creator Larry Gelbart had especially fond feelings about the writing on this comedy-driven episode.
"I had a particularly good time writing this one," Gelbert said. "Sometimes you get on a roll, and I think we had a pretty good one going throughout the second season."
He also at one point pointed to "Crisis" as "one of those scripts that was just a joy to develop, to write and to help come to life."
M*A*S*H was a show that took last lines seriously. Whether it was the last line spoken by memorable characters or the end notes to an episode, the show never disappointed when it came to saying goodbye.
For example, when the character Sidney Freedman makes his last appearance, his last line on the series was carefully selected by episode writer Alan Alda to bring back his most memorable line on the show, "Ladies and gentleman, take my advice. Pull down your pants and slide on the ice."
And when Larry Linville decided to leave M*A*S*H, the show made a point of having the last two words fall out of Frank Burns' mouth be a poignant, complicated, infuriating, "Goodbye, Margaret."
Similarly, the decision to end the entire series not with a spoken word, but with "Goodbye" spelled out in rocks after Hawkeye sputters "What?" during the final episode "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" remains one of the most iconic end notes of all time on TV.
What are your favorite last lines from memorable episodes or recurring characters of the series?