The WORST Episodes of China Beach

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 15, 2021

Network: ABC (US)

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

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Somewhere Over the Radio

#1 - 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.

star 7.05
22 votes
Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: Ann Donahue
The Unquiet Earth

#2 - The Unquiet Earth

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 20, 1989

McMurphy and K.C. are kidnapped by the Viet Cong and taken underground into a warren of tunnels, where their captors expect McMurphy to operate on their wounded leader.

star 7.13
8 votes
Directors: Michael Rhodes
Writers: Alan Brennert
Women in White

#3 - 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

star 7.25
12 votes
Directors: Sharron Miller
Writers: Patricia Green

#4 - Magic

Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 3, 1990

McMurphy finds herself caught up in a triangle affair with Dr. Bernard and Vinnie; Holly tells Boonie how she feels about him; and Lila copes with the disappointment of losing command of China Beach to Otis.

star 7.25
4 votes
Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: John Wells
Hot Spell

#5 - 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.

star 7.32
28 votes
Directors: Beth Hillshafer
Writers: Susan Rhinehart
Lost and Found (1)

#6 - 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.

star 7.45
20 votes
Writers: John Sacret Young, William Broyles Jr.
Crossing the Great Water

#7 - 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.

star 7.45
11 votes
Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: Carol Flint
All About E.E.V.

#8 - 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.

star 7.55
11 votes
Directors: Peter Medak
Writers: Lydia Woodward
Promised Land

#9 - 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.

star 7.56
9 votes
Directors: Michael Rhodes
Writers: Patricia Green
Who's Happy Now?

#10 - Who's Happy Now?

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 11, 1989

Dr. Richard worries over a craniotomy that has permanently altered a patient's mental capacity; Lila faces an inspection that will determine if she gets a key promotion; Sarge Pepper asks for some advice about courting Lila and K.C. finds herself in a very awkward position when a senior officer goes AWOL on her permanently.

star 7.57
7 votes
Directors: Fred Gerber
Writers: Lydia Woodward
History: Part I: The Big Bang

#11 - History: Part I: The Big Bang

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 29, 1990

In 1985, a reunion between Boonie and Dr. Richard stirs up memories of their first meeting in Vietnam in 1966. It also brings up questions for Boonie's 18-year-old adopted daughter, Karen.

star 7.57
7 votes
Writers: John Wells
Lost and Found (2)

#12 - 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.

star 7.58
12 votes
Writers: John Sacret Young, William Broyles Jr.

#13 - 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.

star 7.58
12 votes
Directors: Fred Gerber
Writers: Glen Merzer
Holly's Choice

#14 - Holly's Choice

Season 3 - Episode 14 - Aired Jan 30, 1990

Holly has had an abortion and as her friends at China Beach try to deal with it, the circumstances that led up to it are gradually revealed.

star 7.60
5 votes
Writers: Carol Flint
The World (2)

#15 - 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.

star 7.63
8 votes
Directors: John Wells
Writers: John Sacret Young
China Beach (1)

#16 - 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.

star 7.63
63 votes
Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: John Sacret Young, William Broyles Jr.

#17 - 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.

star 7.65
17 votes
Writers: Carol Flint, Susan Rhinehart

#18 - 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.

star 7.66
29 votes
Directors: Rod Holcomb
Writers: William Broyles Jr.

#19 - Skylark

Season 3 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 14, 1990

A pair of ballroom dancers bring a note of grace and harmony to the uneasy relationship between McMurphy and Dr. Richard while completing a mysterious mission of their own.

star 7.67
6 votes
Directors: Fred Gerber
Writers: Lydia Woodward
Strange Brew

#20 - Strange Brew

Season 3 - Episode 22 - Aired Apr 30, 1990

With everyone else away for a distant USO show, K.C. and McMurphy indulge in an alcoholic binge that takes them to a dreamy landscape where a Native American guide tries to help them heal past and present wounds.

star 7.67
6 votes
Directors: Michael Fresco
Writers: Fred T. Yakovich

#21 - Escape

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 27, 1990

While attending his father's funeral in 1985, Beckett reflects on his childhood and his tour of duty in Vietnam with the Graves Registration Unit.

star 7.67
6 votes
Writers: Paris Qualles

#22 - Quest

Season 4 - Episode 13 - Aired Jun 25, 1991

In 1976, McMurphy helps KC re-enter the country and find her daughter before heading out to Montana to visit Dodger, who's coping with a disabled father and raising his son Archie alone.

star 7.67
3 votes
Writers: Angela Ventresca, John Sacret Young
Through and Through

#23 - Through and Through

Season 4 - Episode 15 - Aired Jul 16, 1991

In 1985, an increasingly angry Colleen torments herself and her husband until she discovers she's suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and seeks help to deal with the memories of her final weeks in Vietnam.

star 7.67
6 votes
Directors: Mimi Leder
Writers: Carol Flint

#24 - Ghosts

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 8, 1989

K.C. avoids dealing with unpleasant memories of her father stirred up by a trunk of his belongings; Dr. Richard faces his ex-wife's remarriage with a ""black wedding""; Beckett ends his relationship with Mai; and McMurphy learns more about Dr. Bernard's life.

star 7.71
7 votes
Directors: Michael Fresco
Writers: Toni Graphia
How to Stay Alive in Vietnam (2)

#25 - How to Stay Alive in Vietnam (2)

Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 6, 1989

The wounded Cambodian POW befriended by McMurphy is taken away by the South Vietnamese for interrogation as the photographer Cat pursues the story of his defection and a new commander arrives to take over the base, leaving Lila and K.C. unsure of their positions.

star 7.71
7 votes
Directors: Steven Dubin
Writers: Georgia Jeffries