China Beach (1990): S03E11 – Magic


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.


As the circus comes to China Beach, McMurphy continues her relationship with Dr. Bernard – and is warned by Lila to stop fraternising with enlisted soldiers. However, she is surprised by Dr. Richard’s news of a party at the French embassy that Bernard did not invite her to. While drowning her sorrows at the Jet Set, Vinnie arrives and tells her he’s no longer going to pursue her. The two share a kiss and spend the night together on the beach. Bernard visits her at the hospital and the two argue, but he invites her to dinner at his house. She seeks counsel from K.C., who encourages her to keep both men pursuing her. After her night with Vinnie, McMurphy is given a formal reprimand in her record from Lila and is reassigned to the graveyard shift. She is surprised by both men at the Jet Set, leaving with Bernard to Vinnie’s dismay. Holly continues to have feelings for Boonie, meeting him at the beach and helping him prepare for the GED. When Sarge Pepper point outs that she is clearly interested in him and another soldier makes a crude comment about her size, Boonie strikes the soldier in the face, but he ultimately shares an intimate dance with Holly. At the circus, Sarge Pepper surprises Lila with a stuffed animal and tells her he loves her, but Lila (herself fraternising with an enlisted soldier) tells him it’s not enough and walks away. Otis invites K.C. to an officers’ welcome dinner as his date and gives her a dress and pearls. With a prior engagement to grow her business, she declines, only to discover that the prior engagement was an invitation to be the prostitute at Otis’s dinner. The two have a heated confrontation the next morning, ending with Otis tearing the pearls from K.C.’s neck, the two slapping one another, and K.C. tossing the dress at him. Vinnie breaks up Bernard and McMurphy’s night together, causing her to storm out on the two. The next day, she apologises to Vinnie and asks Bernard what their future could be together, leaving their declarations of love empty-handed; Bernard ends up bedding his French colleague and Beckett cheers a dour McMurphy with magic tricks he’s gleaned from the circus.

China Beach Series

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

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 03 January 1990.
  • Running Time: 46-47 minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

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