This took a 'lot' longer than i expected.
Calling Mapserver as a WFS layer, displaying with OpenLayers. Many thanks to Chris Schmidt for a quick response on the OL mailing list!
I also set a quick thank you to Jeff McKenna at Gateway Geomatics for putting together such a great set of UMN Mapserver WFS and WMS tutorials. He actually wrote back! oh FOSS4G, what a nice community.