The BEST Episodes of China Beach

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Network: ABC (US)

The trials of a weary nurse, her friends and colleagues in a Vietnam War field hospital.

China Beach (1)

#1 - China Beach (1)

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 26, 1988

It's November 1967 and nurse Colleen McMurphy faces the last week of her tour of duty in Vietnam, dealing as usual with the dying boys, primitive conditions, and the sexual pressure from pilot Natch Austin. USO singers Georgia Lee and Laurette Barber arrive to entertain the troops in the base's new R&R center. Brand new Red Cross volunteer Cherry White also arrives, determined to find her brother, a marine no one can locate.

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Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: John Sacret Young, William Broyles Jr.
China Beach (2)

#2 - China Beach (2)

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 26, 1988

McMurphy decides that she can't leave China Beach even though she is eligible to go home. Cherry and Laurette arrive- Cherry to look for her brother whom her family lost contact with and Laurette as a USO back up singer who gets promoted to lead when the lead singer can't cope with the war.

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Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: John Sacret Young, William Broyles Jr.
Home

#3 - Home

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Apr 27, 1988

Laurette auditions local entertainers to fill in the act and McMurphy struggles to overcome her feelings when a Viet Cong woman who was responsible for blowing up a friend is brought into the hospital for treatment.

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Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: William Broyles Jr.
Hot Spell

#4 - Hot Spell

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired May 4, 1988

KC agrees to ask about Cherry's brother as she sets up a deal to buy an antique vase. Laurette prepares to perform for visiting brass. Lila, KC, Laurette, McMurphy and Cherry share confidences as they wait out a mortar attack together.

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Directors: Beth Hillshafer
Writers: Susan Rhinehart
Somewhere Over the Radio

#5 - Somewhere Over the Radio

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired May 11, 1988

Lila, Cherry and Laurette find themselves pinned down with a combat squad whose leader is not dealing with reality. Back at China Beach, KC and a frightened Boonie prepare to mount a rescue mission. Dr. Richard is injured just before he's scheduled to leave for R&R in Hawaii with Beth Ann.

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Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: Ann Donahue
Waiting for Beckett

#6 - Waiting for Beckett

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired May 18, 1988

Cherry is taken in by a deserter who claims to know her brother, and who is pursued by a determined office from the CID. Laurette and Boonie try to help a stressed out Beckett get some sleep.

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Directors: Kevin Hooks
Writers: Terry McDonnell
Brothers

#7 - Brothers

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Jun 1, 1988

Laurette faces an important audition with laryngitis. Beckett battles the pressure of racial prejudice and financial coercion when he discovers someone has been using the body bags in his GRU. Dr. Richard returns from R&R in Hawaii disillusioned by the perceived changes in his wife. Dodger finally finds Rick, Cherry's long-lost brother.

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Writers: Carol Flint, Susan Rhinehart
Chao Ong

#8 - Chao Ong

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Jun 8, 1988

Despite distractions, McMurphy and Natch finally get together. Laurette gets a chance to join another, bigger USO tour. McMurphy gets blamed for a body that disappears on her shift.

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Writers: William Broyles Jr.
Lost and Found (1)

#9 - Lost and Found (1)

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Nov 30, 1988

Lila takes over command of China Beach and orders KC off the base. McMurphy finally lets herself admit how much she cares for Natch when she receives some disturbing news about him. Wayloo Marie Holmes, former Saigon weather girl, arrives at China Beach to handle her first journalism assignment, extolling the recreational facilities at the base.

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Writers: John Sacret Young, William Broyles Jr.
Lost and Found (2)

#10 - Lost and Found (2)

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Dec 7, 1988

Wayloo Marie becomes a casualty as she shoots her assignment. Frankie Bunsen arrives for temporary duty. McMurphy finds a badly injured Dodger.

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Writers: John Sacret Young, William Broyles Jr.
Limbo

#11 - Limbo

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Dec 14, 1988

McMurphy continues her vigil by Dodger's bedside as he stays in a coma. KC agrees to get Boonie some black market penicillin for a native hospital in exchange for his help in building her a beauty salon on base.

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Directors: Dan Lerner
Writers: Carol Flint
X-Mas Chnbch VN '67

#12 - X-Mas Chnbch VN '67

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Dec 21, 1988

Christmas '67 brings a steady supply of casualties and a crazed Santa to China Beach.

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Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: John Wells
Women in White

#13 - Women in White

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 4, 1989

McMurphy fights jealousy, envy and fear when a confident woman doctor comes in from the States and takes over Dr. Richard and Dodger's case. Wayloo Marie tries to win a position as a armed forces tv reporter with a report on the war from a woman's point of view. Frankie debuts as a disk jockey

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Directors: Sharron Miller
Writers: Patricia Green
All About E.E.V.

#14 - All About E.E.V.

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Jan 11, 1989

A dashing lieutenant colonel parachutes into China Beach for some R&R and disrupts the lives of Lila, KC and Wayloo Marie. Dr. Richard and McMurphy play a game of sexual brinksmanship. Frankie falls for a GI who thinks he's Chuck Berry.

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Directors: Peter Medak
Writers: Lydia Woodward
Tet '68

#15 - Tet '68

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 25, 1989

Wayloo Marie tries to keep reporting, McMurphy and KC are trapped in an officer's restroom, Beckett is held prisoner by Mai's brother and Dr. Richard and the wounded Dodger prepare to defend the hospital during the fierce fighting of the 1968 Tet offensive. Cherry comforts another Red Cross volunteer at a firebase.

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Writers: John Wells, Susan Rhinehart
Cherry

#16 - Cherry

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Feb 1, 1989

Wayloo Marie becomes intimidated by the war as its reality sinks in following Cherry's death. McMurphy tries to fight the bureaucracy to keep Dodger from going to Japan for more medical help. KC fights her heroin habit as she tries to locate Cherry's brother and prepares to accompany her body home to Iowa for burial.

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Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: Susan Rhinehart
Crossing the Great Water

#17 - Crossing the Great Water

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Feb 8, 1989

Dr. Richard throws himself into helping a Vietnamese orphanage when his wife Beth Ann serves him with divorce papers. McMurphy tries to reconcile Dodger and herself to his uncertain future after his stay in Japan.

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Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: Carol Flint
Psywars

#18 - Psywars

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Mar 1, 1989

An Army psychiatrist visits the Five and Dime and touches off McMurphy's inability to deal with Natch's death. Wayloo Marie learns something about Boonie's past service in Vietnam.

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Directors: Fred Gerber
Writers: Glen Merzer
Where the Boys Are

#19 - Where the Boys Are

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Mar 8, 1989

As McMurphy's enforced R&R continues with the help of an 18-year-old medic, Boonie tries to recreate a combination spring beach frolic and senior prom. KC warns Boonie that Wayloo Marie has learned part of his story. A chopper pilot shows Frankie that joys of flying.

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Directors: Michael Rhodes
Writers: Alan Brennert
Vets

#20 - Vets

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Mar 15, 1989

The accounts of life in Vietnam by real vets are intercut with scenes from old episodes showing how closely the show has mirrored reality.

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Twilight

#21 - Twilight

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Mar 22, 1989

Wayloo Marie's digging results in a medal ceremony for Boonie and an unwelcome investigation into his lost jungle patrol. McMurphy sees Dodger again as he prepares to go back into action. Frankie befriends a captured deserter.

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Directors: Michael Fresco
Writers: Lydia Woodward
After Burner

#22 - After Burner

Season 2 - Episode 14 - Aired Apr 5, 1989

McMurphy goes through the emotional wringer when Natch Austen returns to China Beach after six months as an MIA. Lila cares for the ""pet"" of a wounded G.I. Boonie and KC have trouble with the on-the-make hustler who's now in command of the Jet Set.

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Writers: Carol Flint
Promised Land

#23 - Promised Land

Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired Apr 12, 1989

Beckett faces going home when his tour ends in April 1968, as the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr polarizes black-white relations in the nation and at China Beach.

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Directors: Michael Rhodes
Writers: Patricia Green
The World (1)

#24 - The World (1)

Season 2 - Episode 16 - Aired Apr 26, 1989

Wayloo Marie prepares to return the world and a new job at BBC news. She's unexpectedly joined by McMurphy, who's returning to her unsettled family in Kansas following her father's heart attack.

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Directors: John Wells
Writers: John Sacret Young
The World (2)

#25 - The World (2)

Season 2 - Episode 17 - Aired May 3, 1989

McMurphy reassesses her life as she tries to decide whether or not to return to Vietnam following her father's death.

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Directors: John Wells
Writers: John Sacret Young