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2/20/2017 6:10:42 AM

Blood Brothers

When I was thinking back over some episodes of MASH this morning, I couldn't help thinking about this Patrick Swayze episode from season nine, and when I thought it over I realized something that gives the episode new meaning.

The episode might be an allegory for the AIDS crisis.

Think about it. This episode was released in 1981 when AIDS was just entering the public consciousness. Swayze's character is firmly devoted to his friend and wants to save his life. Although I wouldn't suggest his character is homosexual, we have to remember that AIDS was, sadly, largely considered a disease of homosexuals at the time. His character is given a terminal diagnosis through reading a blood sample.

What do you guys think?


2/20/2017 8:01:42 PM

I recall hearing about AIDS in 1981 when i turned 9. It was scary to think about people getting sick and there being no real treatment at the time. Blood Brothers could be viewed as a statement about the start of the AIDS crisis and the inability of then modern medicine to effectively treat the disease.


2/22/2017 3:03:58 AM

Yes, it could have been related to AIDS. I don't remember how much AIDS was in the public consciousness at that time. But I also remember that cancer, and especially leukemia, was considered a death sentence, too. It's amazing how much that has changed in the last 35 years.
When I think about this episode, I think less about the sickness and more about Swayze's character's dignity and Father Mulcahy's sermon. The Father's confession of his selfishness touches me, as I've seen that all too often in me. It reminds me to think less of me.


3/13/2017 11:31:59 PM

Of all the episodes that have Mulcahy front and center, this one was my absolute favorite. And how ironic, life imitating art, that Patrick Swayze would actually die from cancer, albeit pancreatic instead of leukemia. I had never really considered the tie-in with the start of the AIDS epidemic. I appreciate you all giving me that added food for thought with respect to this episode. I loved the line where Mulcahy asked "But the Cardinal is coming!" and Rizzo replies "That's okay, his money's just as good as the next man's!" Cracks me up!


4/14/2017 8:48:28 PM

This episode is on right now on TV Land.

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