When the series finale of M*A*S*H aired in 1983, fans eagerly tuned in to watch the show’s emotional send-off. While the finale’s a fitting ending to the series, it isn’t actually the last episode of the show that films! Instead, the last is the previous episode, which features the characters of M*A*S*H coming together to bury a time capsule. The filming of this penultimate episode proves the last time the cast and crew of the show are ever together. Hundreds of journalists gather to commemorate the momentous occasion. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at rare footage from the last M*A*S*H episode ever filmed.
The series finale of M*A*S*H provides a fitting ending to the series for the show’s fans at home. But the episode isn’t actually the last episode of the series! Instead, the final episode of the series films the penultimate episode. The penultimate episode is “As Time Goes By”. The episode revolves around the characters getting the idea to bury a time capsule commemorating their time in the war.
The team of M*A*S*H filming the show together for 11 seasons, “As Time Goes By” proves an emotional occasion. The episode airs on February 21, 1983, though it films a month previously. The filming of the episode had occurred on January 14, and it was a momentous occasion.
According to the cast and crew, the filming of “As Time Goes By” was incredibly emotional. The time capsule that buries on-screen features real-life props from the series. It means that the on-screen time capsule repeats as an actual time capsule for the cast and crew. Sadly, the time capsule ends in digging up shortly after filming due to construction that is happening around it.
Mike Farrell says after filming that it’s hard for him to film the scene of them burying the time capsule. He knows that it’ll be the last time that the cast will ever be standing together on set. The burial of the time capsule is the final scene and it is so emotional for the cast and crew. The director tries and keeps them from crying in order to finish the scene.
In the plot of “As Time Goes By”, the team gathers things from their time together to put into a time capsule and then bury them in the final scene. Some of the things the cast and crew buried included props and costumes. The capsule dugs up after the construction, it reburies and currently resides somewhere on the 20th Century Fox lot. In addition to the cast and crew of M*A*S*H, the event attends by hundreds of journalists.
It estimates to be around 300 journalists present for the final scene of M*A*S*H that is ever shooting. Alan Alda says the presence of the journalists distracts the cast and crew’s enjoyment of the experience to a degree. It means to be a personal moment for those who work on the show, and the journalists ruin the intimacy. However, it still proved a very meaningful experience for those involved, as well as audiences at home!
The plot of the time capsule is the main storyline in the penultimate episode of M*A*S*H. There are also a few other plotlines going through it. The character of Margaret starts the campaign to create the time capsule. Other stories involve Father Mulcahy taking care of some refugees and Hawkeye trying to track down a missing helicopter pilot. The pilot never sees, which leads Hawkeye to bury a piece of the pilot’s helicopter alongside the time capsule at the end of the episode. According to Hawkeye, it isn’t to commemorate the pilot but to pay respects to all who lost in the war.
Additionally to the penultimate and the last episode, “As Time Goes By” is the only episode of M*A*S*H including dedication. The episode dedicates to a woman by the name of Connie Izay. Connie is a nurse that serves as a technical advisor on the series, in 1977 and ends with her death from cancer in 1982. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
While “As Time Goes By” isn’t the final episode of M*A*S*H, it is the episode that shoots last. The series finale gives the folks at home a chance to say goodbye to the series. But the filming of “As Time Goes By” is the cast and crew’s time to say goodbye. Starting with the character of Winchester reading a newspaper that features an article about the burial of a time capsule.
Winchester didn’t think that a time capsule is a good idea. Margaret hears him talking about it and decides that she wants to make one for the 4077th. 4077 is the number assigns to the characters’ Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, as what M*A*S*H stands for. When Margaret shares the idea with Hawkeye, he initially doesn’t seem like he’s all that into it. However, he comes around to the idea of the time capsule soon after hearing it. In fact, he and Margaret end up butting heads over what they think shall bury in the time capsule. Hawkeye wants to help Margaret decide what ends up going into it. While Margaret feels that she shall be able to decide what gets into it all by herself.
In addition to the plot, there is also an earlier plot of the refugees and the missing helicopter pilot. However, most fans have fond memories of the main plot of the episode. That is the one centering on the cremation and burial of the time capsule. Margaret ends up collecting a good deal of meaningful things to put into the 4077th’s time capsule. As Margaret goes about collecting her things, Hawkeye also collects some things of his own. Hawkeye collects things including a bottle of cognac that he takes from Winchester and a piece of toast from Igor.
The strange nature of the items that Hawkeye has chosen to include in the time capsule initially annoys Margaret, as she feels that Hawkeye has purposefully chosen the items in order to mock her efforts to commemorate the 4077th. However, she soon realizes that Hawkeye is sincere in his efforts and simply has different tastes about what should end up in the time capsule. Over the course of the episode, Margaret and Hawkeye end up becoming closer than ever as they decide to bury the metaphorical hatchet of their longtime feud alongside the 4077th’s chosen belongings.
Besides the aforementioned items curated by Hawkeye, other items that end up being buried in the time capsule include some spark plugs offered up by Rizzo, some combat boots offered up by Kellye, a selection of Zane Grey novels offered up by Col. Porter, a fishing lure from B.J., and a teddy bear that left behind by the character of Radar, who is no longer on the series by the time of the show’s 11th season. Father Mulcahy also offers up a pair of boxing gloves to place in the time capsule, with the boxing gloves having a particularly poignant meaning. According to Father Mulcahy, his hope for the future is that there will be no need for weapons any stronger than boxing gloves.
Finally, Hawkeye offers up the aforementioned piece of the missing pilot’s helicopter. While Margaret is initially once again angry at Hawkeye’s insistence that the overly large piece of scrap be buried alongside her time capsule, she eventually relents once she understands the sentiment behind Hawkeye’s desire. The piece ends up being buried alongside the time capsule, and the scene marked the very last scene of M*A*S*H that was ever filmed. As soon as the director of the episode closed the scene, the surrounding hundreds of journalists enclosed on the set to get pictures of the tearful cast and crew’s candid reactions.
While “As Time Goes By” was the last episode of M*A*S*H filmed, it wasn’t the last episode aired. The last episode of M*A*S*H to air was the series finale, which was titled “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”. The series finale was actually the first episode of M*A*S*H’s 11th season to be shot, which makes it ironic that it was the last one to air. However, the series finale proved a fitting ending to the series that pleased fans. The series finale was actually a made-for-television film that aired on February 28, just a week after the airing of “As Time Goes By”.
The feature-length series finale of M*A*S*H follows the crew of the 4077th, saying their goodbyes in preparation for their disbandment. Given that the cast and crew had plenty more episodes to film afterward, the filming of the episode wasn’t nearly as emotional as the filming of “As Time Goes By”. However, those watching the series finale at home certainly shed a few tears alongside the show’s characters!
Although the feature-length series finale of M*A*S*H served as a perfect ending to the series for fans, it wasn’t actually the last episode of the show that was filmed. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that the series finale of M*A*S*H wasn’t the last episode filmed, or did you think that all shows were shot in sequential order? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!