Though its plot is rather extreme, “Preventative Medicine” is classic “M*A*S*H.” It’s shot through with complicated moral conviction, both from B.J., who sees this act as a violation of the Hippocratic oath, and Hawkeye, who thinks allowing Lacy to continue at his normal pace is a recipe for preventable harm in itself. “That was what was so great about the show,” Farrell told AARP, referencing Metcalfe’s decision to change the script. He went on: “They understood that we understood the characters that we were creating. They had the class to listen and give us the dignity of understanding that we had invested parts of ourselves in these characters.”
It’s one of countless stories from the “M*A*S*H” writers’ rooms that demonstrates the value of behind-the-scenes communication and connection when it comes to making TV – something that Farrell touched on explicitly when discussing AI-generated scripts with Alda on “Clear+Vivid.” “I understand [AI bots] can parrot the human mind,” the actor noted, “but I can’t imagine that they can ever come close to parroting the human spirit.” But people like Alda, Farrell, Metcalfe, and episode writer Mitch Markowitz don’t have that problem, and neither does “M*A*S*H.” It’s a show defined by its humanity, from its first moments to its last to every appendectomy in between.