China Beach (1989): S03E10 – How to Stay Alive in Vietnam, Part 02


China Beach is an American dramatic television series set at an evacuation hospital during the Vietnam War.

The title refers to My Khe beach in the city of Đà Nẵng, Vietnam, nicknamed “China Beach” in English by American and Australian soldiers during the Vietnam War. The ABC TV drama aired for four seasons, from 1988 to 1991.


Lila is replaced in command of China Beach by Major Melvin P. Otis (guest star Dorian Harewood). He takes an immediate liking to K.C., greenlighting her plan to sell cars to servicemen in the PX, a scheme Lila had shut down. Otis asks K.C. on a date and continues to pursue her, placing an ad for her business in the military newspaper. The two fall asleep together, but K.C. reminds Otis that he offered support with no strings attached. Frankie is transferred to be Otis’s aide and annoys Lila with loud music. She drowns her sorrows at the Jet Set, where she tells a happy K.C. that no one will take her seriously because she is a woman. Angry over Dr. Bernard standing her up for a date, McMurphy strikes up a friendship with Seak Yin, the injured prisoner brought in by Dodger’s patrol. He tells McMurphy that he was taken from his village and forcibly conscripted into the Viet Cong, finally defecting after more than two years in combat. He is soon transferred to a Vietnamese military prison, where McMurphy discovers him beaten and denied medical care. She learns that he is a pariah in the prison, as VC soldiers believe he gave information to the U.S. military, while the MPs believe that he led an ARVN patrol into a deadly ambush. Von Seeger suggests coming along with McMurphy to document Seak Yin’s plight and McMurphy reaches out to Bernard for help. The trio is told by the commanding officer at the prison that McMurphy is not allowed to see Seak Yin again. As they are leaving, McMurphy witnesses guards dragging Seak Yin out of the prison and executing him, which Von Seeger captures on camera. Before she departs, she gives McMurphy his Buddhist prayer necklace.

Part 01.

China Beach Series

You can find a full index and overview of China Beach here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 06 December 1989.
  • Running Time: 46-47 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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