M*A*S*H (MASH) s04e04 Episode Script

G507 - The Late Captain Pierce

Captain Hunnicutt, sir? - Sir! - Hmm? Hmm? - Klinger? - Yes, sir.
Wish you'd shave your arms.
You got a phone call, sir, from the States.
Huh? Oh.
- My wife? - No, sir.
Captain Pierce's father.
- Pierce's father calling me? - That's what he said, sir.
- Doesn't make sense.
- Want me to wake you when something makes sense? - You'll sleep through the whole war.
- That'd be awful.
- Where's Radar? - Colonel gave him a few days in Seoul.
He was flippin' out a little.
Started to put carbon paper in the latrines.
Hawkeye? - Hawkeye.
- In In a minute.
- Phone call.
- Tell the warden it's too late.
They pulled the switch.
It's your father.
- My dad? On the phone? - Yeah.
Yes, sir.
- What time is it? - 2:00.
- No, there.
What is it there now? - It's 18 hours earlier.
I never know.
Either it's yesterday afternoon or a week from next Tuesday.
It's, uh, 8:00 last night.
He wouldn't call unless it was important.
My father! A swarm of locusts in the bathroom would only rate a postcard.
Come on! [Shivering.]
- Hmm? Hmm? - Sir.
Ooh! [Shivering.]
You sure, Klinger? Why would he want to talk to B.
? That's what he said, sir.
Nobody but the captain.
Okay, Sparky.
We're ready.
- It's Mr.
- Go ahead.
Tell him he's always been like a father to me, until now.
Hello? Hello? Mr.
Pierce? What? I can't quite Hello? Hello? - Dad's not a very big talker.
- Hello! He only spoke to Mom if there was an "R" in the month.
- Lost the connection.
- Mr.
Pierce? Hey, Sparky.
- Did he say anything? - Anybody! - All he said was, "How and why?" - [Whistles.]
Hey, world, where'd you go? How and why? Nobody.
They must've knocked out the lines.
Why don't we head Swamp-ward? If your father wants to get through, he will.
I couldn't sleep now.
If I'm lucky, I'll get into the sack before Frank starts pledging allegiance in his sleep.
- Sorry, sir.
- Yeah.
- Klinger? - Sir? Did you ever hear of Crabapple Cove? Was that in the hygiene lecture? Crabapple Cove, Maine.
We have a summer cottage there.
It's heaven when the buttercups are in bloom.
And the goldenrod and the tamaracks are standing tall.
You could almost swear you'd died and gone No wonder Dad never calls me.
Hello, Dad? Dad? [Ringing Continues.]
[Ringing Stops.]
- Any word? - Nah.
I'm gonna grab a quick shower.
- Come fetch me if you get through.
- In the shower? Look for a white carnation.
Hey! Hey! I'm, uh, Lieutenant Detmuller of the, uh, Quartermaster Corps, Morgue Detail.
I'm here to pick up a body.
Who do I see? I believe Corporal Klinger can assist you in this undertaking.
Not one straight man in the whole army.
- Are you Corporal Klinger? - Yes, sir.
Hey! Aren't you the guy who's trying to get out, pretending you're a woman? No, no.
I'm the woman trying to get in, pretending I'm a guy.
I'm looking for, uh, Pierce Benjamin Franklin.
19905 - 607.
- In the shower.
In the shower? What's he doin' in the shower? Who could tell with officers? [Sighs.]
- Is this the whole tent? - And nothing but the tent.
- I'm lookin' for, uh, Captain Pierce.
- You got him.
You can't be Pierce.
You mean, somebody pasted my face in this mirror? Something's wrong, boy.
Really wrong.
Well, no war's perfect.
You're not dead.
Don't jump to conclusions.
I have a very good tailor.
You're supposed to be dead, sir.
"Pierce, Benjamin Franklin.
" - This is a death certificate.
- Just a copy, sir.
They send the original back to the next of kin.
- Who would've been notified now by telegram.
- Army's very good about that.
No wonder my father didn't ask for me.
He thinks I'm dead.
So does the army, sir.
- If you're alive, I'm in big trouble.
- You're in trouble? Three days ago, a body fell out of my bus onto the road.
Last week, I came up another two bodies short.
If I blow this one, they'll take me off morgue detail and put me on something worse.
What could be worse? I don't let myself think about it.
Well, listen, Lieutenant, uh Detmuller.
Call me Digger.
I hate to inconvenience you, Digger.
I really do.
But I happen to be alive.
Born that way, you know.
- What time is it back home? - Oh.
It's, uh Never mind.
I gotta make a phone call.
Sir, if I don't bring a body to the morgue they'll have my butt.
Better yours than mine.
This is a surgical hospital.
You must have some extra bodies.
Just one? To spare? We try very hard to avoid that situation.
Where's the best place to look for casualties? Try the mess tent.
Hash eaters are your best bet.
My voluntary calisthenics program simply isn't panning out, Colonel.
- Isn't panning out, eh? - I'd like permission to make it mandatory.
I've always felt people volunteer better by force.
Oh, exercise in the winter is very depressing, Major.
Although I must say the nurses' pushups are doing wonders for morale.
- [Laughing.]
- I'm serious.
- So am I! - But, sir Excuse me, Colonel.
I waited till Major Burns was talking so I wouldn't interrupt.
Pierce hasn't exercised once! Hasn't done so much as a squat thrust! I'm saving myself for marriage.
Far be it from me to tell you how to run your command, sir.
Very far be it.
But, uh, I, personally, myself think you should order goldbricks like Pierce to get out there.
I'm sorry I've missed your early-morning hernia farm but I, personally, myself, have been dead.
We're all a little tired, Hawkeye.
Not dead tired, Colonel.
Dead dead, as in doornail.
My corpus has been declared delicti.
There it is, folks.
My ticket to the last roundup.
My boarding pass for the Stygian Ferry.
Corporal! Boy, they are pips.
- Sir.
- There's been some clerical error down the line.
Captain Pierce has been listed as dead.
- Oh.
That explains - The phone call.
They notified my father.
Get on the stick, Corporal.
Get word to his father.
Dig into the paperwork.
Let's clear this up.
On the double! Yes, sir.
Sir, if it'll help, I'll take his place.
Just give me some sandwiches and drill a few holes in the coffin.
- Out.
! - Yes, sir.
Can you believe it? The morgue even sent the wagon for me.
- A little suction.
- Suction.
It's so unlike the army to make a mistake.
You'd think they'd have the routine down after the Seven Year War, the Hundred Year War - the War of the Roses.
- That the one they fought in Pasadena? - Right.
- Purse string suture.
Purse string.
That Digger character gonna keep hanging around here? He's trolling for a cadaver.
He gives me the creeps.
Well, it's his business.
He needs a body.
Speaking of which, what are you doing after the appendectomy? Washing my hair, if I can get some beer.
I've got some beer in my tent.
Dead men tell no tales, you know.
- Bad news, Digger.
- Patient made it.
I'm sure you tried.
- Hey.
- What, hey? We gotta have a wake.
What kind of friend would I be to let you pass away without a party? - That's sick! - No.
He's right.
I think I would've wanted it that way.
- As soon as I get off duty, I'll take care of everything.
- Put me down for half.
- No, no.
This wake's on me.
- What do you wear to a wake? Captain! I thought in lieu of you not being able to get through long distance you could send your father out a telegram through another unit.
You do that, Klinger, and you'll have free nose jobs the rest of your life.
"Dear Dad.
I am not dead.
"Hope you are the same.
"Thinking of selling my clubs? Stop.
- "Spending my insurance money? Stop.
- Poetry.
"Will call soonest.
Please don't worry.
" Sign it, "Love.
Your nowhere-near-late son, Hawkeye.
" Terrific.
I hate to think what my dad's going through.
Cheer up.
We're going to a funeral.
[Man On P.
Attention all personnel.
Come one, come all to a wake for the late, great Captain Pierce.
We'll be mourning all afternoon and evening.
The deceased will deliver the eulogy and the guests will have 20 minutes for rebuttal.
Remains to be seen in the Swamp.
- There you are.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
- Gee.
He looks just like himself.
He actually looks more like himself than he ever has.
Let's keep 'em comin', boys and girls.
There you go.
Pass 'em over.
- What a good party.
I only wish I were here to see it.
- Mmm.
- I sure am gonna miss you.
- We all will, honey.
We all will.
- I understand you've been having a bad time lately, Lieutenant.
- Don't ask.
I'm donating my shoulder to the wheel my nose to the grindstone and my ear to the ground.
But I only have eyes for you.
I think you've got one more problem that you're probably not aware of.
- What's that, sir? - Your buns are on fire.
Captain Pierce? No cables going out, sir.
No phone, no nothing.
- There's a new security the strictest.
- I gotta get through to him! On account of General Eisenhower's coming over, sir.
There's all kind of precaution the Secret Service, M.
They're lockin' up a whole lot of South Koreans.
What for? Cheering lessons? # For he was a jolly good fellow # [All Together.]
#He was a jolly good fellow # # He was a jolly good fellow # # I was much too young to die ## I'm writing Peggy about your death.
Any messages? No.
I'll add an R.
- Hey! - Bottom of the morning to you, Frank.
I don't talk to goof-off corpses.
- What corpses do you talk to? - Only those that lie at attention.
You've carried this death jazz far enough, Mr.
I haven't begun to die, Frank.
Being dead gets me out of orientation classes, O.
Duty, inspection - And my body-building course? I'm no dunce.
- Eh-eh.
I have no need to build on to my body, Frank.
I was born with just enough rooms.
Ah, go fish! I told you to take off your dress before you come in here! Not for you or any man alive! Sorry, sir.
No soap.
The Red Cross won't help me? What do they want, blood? There's just no getting through.
What's he coming over here for anyway? - Who needs a president with dysentery? - Is that me? One from Two from home! Beaut These are from Major Burns's wife.
- [Sniffs.]
You can smell her disinfectant.
- Hey, Klinger.
! Nothing for the bridesmaid? They're stopping your mail in Seoul because you're You know.
Klinger, I need my mail.
I'm right in the middle of an obscene correspondence with a librarian - and we've just started the letter "C.
" - I'll keep at it, sir.
All right.
And keep trying for my dad.
He's probably out of his mind thinking I'm now the former me.
Yes, sir, I know.
Crabapple Cove.
- Next.
- Hi, Frank.
- Name and serial number.
- Oh, come on, Frank.
We do this by the book or we don't do this at all.
Hunnicutt, B.
, Captain.
- You smudged my pay sheet.
- Sorry.
You're not sorry.
That was a vicious, deliberate smudge.
I'll go stand in a corner of Korea.
Next! - Frank.
- Name and serial number.
Pierce, Benjamin Franklin, Captain.
I was one of the first in.
- Real cutie pie, aren't you? - Well Pierce, huh? Pierce, Pierce, Pierce, Pierce.
Don't you think accepting money somehow cheapens the war? Come on, Frank.
Lay it on me.
- Sorry, fella.
You've been redlined.
- What? - You're deceased.
You're off the payroll.
- That's not funny, Frank.
If you're too dead for calisthenics, you're too dead for pay.
Next! Wait a minute! Hold it! I gotta have that money, Frank.
It's not like I can work someplace else.
There's not another army across the street looking for help.
- Next! - Don't do this, Frank.
So, being dead isn't as much fun as you thought it'd be.
Huh? Watch it, Frank.
They couldn't court-martial a dead man for breaking every smirk in your face.
Let me go! - Let me go! No! Never! Never! - Gimme that money.
Gimme the money! Give it to me, Frank, or I'll nail you to your boots! Stop it.
You're hurting me in front of people.
Help! Nobody's gonna help you, Frank.
They don't like you.
Right? Right? You're the ten most-hated men in this camp.
[Excited Chattering.]
Help! Stop it! Stop it! Please! Stop it! Stop! - Gimme the money, Frank.
- I'm responsible for every penny! Gimme the money or I'll give you - Oh, I hate carrots.
- Oh, I'm sorry.
Punch him in the throat! Punch him in the throat! I will not take my death lying down, Frank! I was finally able to get through to H.
, Hawkeye and they were kind enough to send Captain Pratt here.
We've given your matter a good look-see, Pierce.
Excuse me, please.
What has happened is that some clerk down the line has obviously switched your name with that of a deceased patient on a Certificate of Death.
It happens all the time.
And has the real dead man's [Sarcastic Chuckle.]
Family been notified? Uh, they will be.
In your case we'll submit to Quartermaster a request to rescind the Certificate of Death on form ten-stroke-249 in triplicate accompanied by an SF-88- stroke-11-0-7, signed by three officers of equal or higher rank followed by a personal written report on form 63-stroke-E-B-Y by a ranking officer who actually saw the deceased not die, uh, in triplicate.
- What does all this come to when you boil it down? - That is boiled down.
This could take weeks-stroke-months! - He could be dead by the time you make him alive.
- We'll do the best we can.
Meanwhile, no mail, no money and my own personal undertaker with his hearse double-parked.
Well, you are, Doctor, I am afraid what George Orwell described in 1984 as an "unperson.
" An "unperson"? Now I'm an "unperson.
" Do you know that right now my poor father, not realizing I'm "undead," is at this minute mourning his "un-son"? - I don't know any other way out of it.
- You don't, huh? He just rattles around in that empty house, gives my things to the Salvation Army and ages a couple of years for every day he thinks I've shaken off this khaki coil! - Well, I know another way out of it! - [Potter.]
Where you going? Excuse me, Colonel.
I'm late for an early grave.
You were a big help.
- What's happening? - The war is over.
This death certificate's my ticket home.
If you're ever in Maine, look me up or rather down.
- I'll be under a stone marked "Pierce.
" - Hey, Hawkeye.
- Hey, Digger, open up! It's me.
- What do you want, Doc? The final reward, please.
And step on it.
Let's go, Digger.
I'm not gettin' any older.
Where do I sit? Nobody ever sits on this bus but me, Doc.
I can't take passengers, sir.
I'm not a passenger.
I'm cargo.
Casualties comin' in a mess of'em.
Could be any time now.
Thanks, Klinger.
- Hawk? - Hmm? - It's B.
- I know.
Wish you could go with me, don't you? You really goin' home? [Sighs.]
I've been fighting death since I came over here.
I'm tired of death.
I'm tired to death.
If you can't lick it, join it.
Right, boys? You can't go, Hawk.
I have to.
The army says I'm dead.
I can't disobey.
I'm afraid you're going to have to.
[Helicopter Whirring.]
Klinger says a lot.
I don't care.
I really don't.
They'll keep coming whether I'm here or not.
Trapper went home.
They're still coming.
Henry got killed and they're still coming.
Wherever they come from, they'll never run out.
- You serious? - Dead serious.
[Helicopter Whirring.]
Home, Digger.
Quit crying, Dad.
It's okay.
Really! I needed a new set of clubs anyway.
Li No, I'm still dead as far as the army is concerned but they're working on it.
Listen, Dad.
Can I ask you a favor? You think you could start sending me my allowance again? Just for a little while.
I'll let you know how much.
What? It's good to hear your voice too.
It's good to hear your voice too! What else is new? How's Orville's pitching? [Laughs.]
You're kidding! A no-hitter? And everybody said Orville was all thumbs.
What else? [Laughing.]
She did? Well, tell her I said hello.
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