M*A*S*H (MASH) s04e20 Episode Script

G523 - The Novocaine Mutiny

[Clears Throat.]
The contention is that the accused, with intent to usurp lawful military authority did, at the 4077 Mobile Army Surgical Hospital on or about October 11, 1952 willfully attack his commanding officer, Major Frank Burns and did illegally take command.
This preliminary hearing is to determine whether the facts in this case indicate that a court-martial should be conducted and whether the accused Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce, should stand trial under Article 94 on the charge of mutiny.
- Is that clear, Captain? - Crystal, Colonel.
- Ali "Babber" to the end.
- How'd you like a grenade in your truss? - [Raps Gavel.]
- Order.
As these charges have been brought by Major Burns the court requests that he open the proceedings by answering a few questions.
- Take the stand, Major.
- Yes, sir.
You swear that the evidence you give shall be the truth, the whole truth - and nothing but the truth, so help you God? - "Absotively.
" - A simple "I do" will be sufficient.
- I do, sir.
I'm certain you comprehend the seriousness of your charge, Major.
The penalty for mutiny, after all, is death or such other punishment as the court may direct.
I comprehend okay.
Death, or worse.
- Besides my life, Frank wants my virginity.
- We all do.
- If only I'd known.
- [Raps Gavel.]
Now, Major, you have served with the accused for some time.
All too long, Colonel.
Had he ever indicated to you that he might consider mutiny? The man's a born troublemaker, sir.
He has no respect for his superiors and seems deliberately kind to those beneath him.
He's immoral, unmilitary and unpatriotic.
Under my framed picture of Senator McCarthy he wrote in big letters "Know Your Enema.
" - Is that all? - Well, isn't that enough? I mean, are you finished? Yes, except to say that people like Pierce are a menace to the American way of life as I see it.
Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly there is no possible way we can remain free.
You may take your seat, Major.
Your fly is open.
Captain Pierce? Do you swear the evidence you give shall be the truth, the whole truth - and nothing but the truth, so help you God? - I do.
- You have any opening remarks? - Yes.
Unaccustomed as I am to public lynching, let me say that even the army must have better things to do than listen to the ravings of a man with enough mold on his brain to produce a quart of penicillin.
Sticks and stones, Your Honor.
Major Burns has had it in for me since I suggested he created more widows and pallbearers than salmonella.
Would you say that your lack of respect for the major's medical skills might have been the cause for the alleged mutiny.
There was no mutiny.
It's his medical skills that are alleged.
I'd say that Major Burns snapped under the burden of command and that he never should have been put in the position of command.
And if the politicians of the world hadn't failed to keep the peace he'd be back in Indiana right now with his cozy little malpractice and meeting his receptionist two afternoons a week at the Golden Goose Motel.
- That's a lie! - Don't leave your unopened mail around.
- That's hitting below the belt.
- Beats hanging.
- [Raps Gavel.]
- That'll do.
- [Raps Gavel.]
- That'll do.
Perhaps at this time we'd better hear from Colonel Sherman Potter.
Colonel Potter? You swear the evidence you give shall be the truth, the whole truth - and nothing but the truth, so help you God? - I do.
If you would start at the beginning, please, sir? Very well.
On 5 October, I was preparing to depart for six days of R and R in Tokyo.
I can do all that for you, sir, after you've gone.
- It's no trouble.
- Don't you want to get started, before it gets dark? - For Pete's sake, it's only 8:00 in the morning.
- [Giggles.]
I forgot.
Major, I know you're not giggling 'cause you're wearing feathered underwear.
You just can't wait to park your can behind this desk.
I am second in command, sir.
Let's not do too much second-in-commanding while I'm gone, right? - I prefer to lead by example, to command through respect.
- Mm-hmm.
But if all else fails, a leader can't hesitate to kick a few keisters.
- Oh? - Ah, I think it was Napoleon who said "Without discipline, an army is no more than a bunch of guys wearing the same color clothes.
" - Napoleon? - Might've been Mussolini.
- Your jeep's ready, sir.
- Thank you, Radar.
- Take care of these papers.
- Yes.
- I told Tokyo you're on your way.
- Radio Tokyo I'm on my way.
- I'll look after Burns, don't worry.
- Look after Burns.
All I'm saying is don't go loco with the discipline.
I'll only be gone six days, so easy does it.
Of course, sir.
Have a nice time and, uh, don't do anything I wouldn't do.
I don't know that I'd wanna do anything you would do.
[Clears Throat.]
Only six days, Colonel? God created the universe in six days.
Here's the morning mail, Major Pussycat.
Of course, God wasn't surrounded by a bunch of flakes.
Colonel Potter's chair wasn't even cold before Frank decided to re-create the 4077 in his own weird image.
I object to the word "weird.
" How about warped? Bizarre? Balmy? - Perverted? Loony? Loopy? - Dippy.
- I'm gonna sue all of you.
- No doubt for definition of character.
Captain Pierce.
Please give the court some examples of the major's alleged peculiarities.
Well, on the very first day, Frank observed that the "M" in MASH stood for "mobile.
" So he had us break down the entire unit and move it across the road.
- Frank has definitely flipped out.
- Flipped like a fox.
He's obviously picked up a couple hundred trusses cheap.
- Now he's creating a demand for them.
- [Whistle Trilling.]
Come on! Chop-chop! Get the lead out.
This is a war, you know.
You see? I told you it was a war.
But no, you keep saying we're both dreaming.
- How could we be in each other's dreams? - How could I be in Korea? More important, why is this chicken outfit crossing the road? So we moved.
And then the next day we moved right back again.
- "M" stands for "mobile.
" - Also for meshuga.
The major then insisted on cold showers, calisthenics parades, retreats and snap inspections.
Let's face it, Colonel.
All that discipline is a bit much to expect from dumb doctors.
Worst of all, I guess, Major Burns ordered a ban on the camp's chief source of culture: Gambling.
But then, boys will be boys.
- [Crickets Chirping.]
- What do you do, Radar? - I'm thinking.
- Another first.
- Come on! You giving this hand up for Lent? - Give it a rest, Zale.
- He needs time.
- What do you care? You're ahead 50 bucks.
The Lord moves in mysterious ways.
Okay, I'll see ya.
Read 'em and weep.
Three little ladies.
Is that all you got? Three queens? I got a straight.
How'd ya like to buy a half interest in a minefield? Chickee! Chickee! - What's going on? - Uh, spelling bee, Frank.
- Go ahead, B.
" - Cretin.
- What's a cretin? - A moron.
A mental defective.
Let's hear it for the horse's mouth.
I want this kitchen to shine like my mother's.
You could've eaten off her floors.
- No plates, huh? - Oh, can the sauce, Sergeant.
Field Marshal Rommel said, "You can judge an army by its kitchens.
" Yeah? In that case I guess your mother could've licked Germany single-handed.
Ah, droll.
Quel droll.
Now let's see if your freezer's equally amusing.
Now, for openers, I wanna see these carcasses lined up according to height.
I'm ashamed to wear the same uniform as these wienies.
- Where's the old Army pride, Zale? - Beats the hell out of me, sir.
This is one sloppy inspection, Sergeant.
And you don't seem to give a solitary hoot.
Well, how would you feel if you lost 300 bucks? - How? Where? - Well, uh, ou-out there.
In the camp.
I mean, one minute it was in my wallet and then the next minute, poof! - Poof? - Poof.
Three hundred dollars just don't go "poof" while I'm in command, Sergeant.
- You were robbed.
No question.
- You're right, sir.
I must've been robbed.
Who were you with just before you realized you lost your boodle? Well, as I recall, it was, uh, Pierce, uh, Hunnicutt, uh Klinger, Radar and Father Mulcahy, like that there Recreating with officers, huh? Start tampering with God's ways and the next thing you know $300 has taken a powder.
You're right, sir.
It's a curse from God.
Well, don't fear, soldier.
Nobody loses a dime while Frank Burns is at the tiller.
- Not too bad today.
- Who's complaining? Pierce! Hunnicutt! That What do you think you're doing wearing civilian underpants? Is nothing sacred? These happen to be my mother's.
- Oh, really? - They are.
She said as long as I wore them, nothing would ever happen to me.
She figured that, since nothing ever happened to her when she wore them.
I'm here to discuss something besides underwear.
- Make it brief.
- Ohh! That's very bad.
Not funny, but fast.
- It has come to my attention that Sergeant Zale lost $300.
- Yeah.
So? So that means that there's a thief around here.
Maybe more than one.
Frank, Zale lost it gambling.
- I beg your pardon? - Gambling, Frank.
- He was playing poker with us.
- Impossible.
Gambling's prohibited.
There is no gambling in this unit.
Therefore the money was stolen.
- Can't argue with that logic.
- I certainly wouldn't try.
My mother always said, "Never argue with crazy people and wear clean underwear - in case you get run over by a tank and go to the hospital.
" - Wise woman.
Okay, you two clever Dicks.
I'm gonna conduct a search as only I can, and the culprit or culprits will be punished.
Frank, your sanity's sprung a leak.
We'll see.
When I find that money, you'll be laughing out the other side of your sleeve.
- His mills grind slowly.
- But exceedingly dumb.
You may stand down, Captain.
We will now have a brief recess.
I think it's going very well, don't you? Corporal Radar O'Reilly, sir.
- Radar? - Oh, sometimes I know things are gonna happen before they do.
My mom says I get it from my Uncle Ernest.
He knew he was gonna die a week before it happened so he moved next to the undertaker so he wouldn't have so far to travel.
- Be seated.
- Yes, sir.
Is this all right, sir? - Is what all right? - The way I'm "sitted"? You're "sitted" fine.
- You appreciate the gravity of this hearing, Corporal? - Oh, yes, sir.
If eventually found guilty, Captain Pierce could be hanged.
- Why does he keep saying that? - It'll never happen.
Now then, Corporal.
You assisted Major Burns in his search for the $300? Yes, sir.
Please tell the court the details from the beginning.
Well, our first stop was Father Mulcahy's tent.
He's the camp priest.
Prepare to search, Corporal.
Gee, sir, I don't think we should be in here.
It's like ransacking a church.
This isn't a church and I'm not ransacking.
Remember, he's a father but also a man and open to temptation like the rest of us.
You think he swiped all that stuff? No, I don't think he swiped all that stuff.
I just figured if a priest could be tempted that's the kind of stuff he'd steal.
You know, you're a certifiable cretin.
- Cretin.
- Wrong.
Hey! He's got extras.
- What do you mean? - I thought he had just one collar.
- What do you mean? - I thought he had just one collar.
Why just one? What do you think he did when it got dirty or wore out? Converted? [Radar.]
The next tent we searched in was Corporal Klinger's.
Now tell the truth.
Would you be caught dead in this? - It's way too long for me, sir.
- You're another sicko.
I'm just searching for stolen money.
It could be hidden anywhere.
You didn't run your fingers through Father Mulcahy's collars, sir.
This Corporal Klinger She's a nurse? [Laughs.]
Oh, no, sir.
If I may, sir? Corporal Klinger is a corpsman.
He's a good soldier.
He'd prefer to be a good civilian.
- Toward that end he dresses, uh - In dresses.
Bucking for a Section Eight? The man does his job.
I'll give him that.
I'm not saying I'd want an entire company of Klingers.
Unless, of course, Christian Dior attacks Pearl Harbor.
- Carry on, Corporal.
- Oh, yes, sir.
The next tent was Captain Pierce's and Captain Hunnicutt's.
- What're you looking for, Frank? - His marbles.
Are you with him, Radar, or are you independently crazy? - I'm helping the major.
- [B.
Do what? I don't know.
- He couldn't have gotten a better man.
- Come on, Frank.
You can tell us.
I'm looking for $300, bub.
As if you didn't know.
Frank, it wasn't stolen.
I don't really think either of you took it.
Officers don't steal.
- Right.
- We don't go to the toilet either.
We just explode when we're 50.
[Radar Narrating.]
Finally, the major searched the last place.
- Aha! The eyes always give the guilty away.
- [Gasps.]
They're the windows to the soul.
The little rat bit me! What's he doing on a military installation anyway? Oh, h-he pulls his weight, sir.
He's like a watchdog.
- And where'd the lettuce come from? - The mess tent.
It's garbage.
That garbage is meant for our boys.
It's not to be used to feed gophers.
- He's a guinea pig.
- Who cares? They do.
- Don't tell me he sleeps with you.
- I'm hoping to do better, sir.
In spite of his diligent search, Major Burns never found the missing money? No, sir.
I know for a fact he didn't.
Because you had it all the time? - You're sworn to tell the truth.
- Yes, sir.
I did, sir.
- Where was it hidden, Corporal? - Inside my teddy bear.
I knew I should've ripped the stuffings out of the bugger when I had the opportunity.
Wouldn't you have felt silly if the money hadn't been inside? I wasn't talking about the bear.
I think we have a pretty clear picture of the breakdown of command that led to the events of 11 October.
Now I would call on Major Burns to tell the court exactly what transpired on that day.
With pleasure, sir.
- [Hawkeye.]
Kelly, let me see this.
- All right.
Here you go.
[Frank Narrating.]
It was one of those days that, more than most reminds us that war, however much we may enjoy it, is no strawberry festival.
[Chattering, Shouting.]
Nurse Johnson.
Nurse Johnson? - You called, Doctor? - More wounded.
Send me more wounded.
Major Burns, you're only human.
You've only got two hands.
If I have two hands, why have I only one patient? I'm through here.
- Litter! - [Explosion.]
[Johnson Screams.]
Buck up, Nurse.
Think of it as the rockets' red glare.
Come on, Frank.
Let up on us.
We've been going at it for six hours straight.
What about all these wonderful freckled youngsters? Do you think they knocked off after six hours? Or eight? Or ten? Do you think they punched out after 5.
30? - Thank you, Doctor.
- For what? Just for being you.
Asleep at the switch.
Must I do everything myself? [Explosions.]
- Oh, Lord, I'm losing this one! - Steady, Pierce.
He's hemorrhaging and we're out of blood type "B.
" - I'm type "B.
" - No, Doctor, you mustn't.
- I must or be a traitor to my Hippocratic oath.
Take over.
- Yes, Doctor.
This'll probably save his life, Frank.
Saving lives is my business, mister.
[Frank Narrating.]
Besides O.
, I was responsible for pre-op.
He's first.
You can wait.
He's next.
Give him a unit of whole blood.
Very bad.
I'll do this one personally.
[Speaks Latin.]
Back to the front, soldier.
Keep 'em coming! Gloves.
Come on, Frank.
Give us a break.
We're only human.
Are they less so, Hunnicutt, because they're bleeding? Would you minister only to the healthy and able-bodied? They're coming too fast, Frank.
We're not machines! Shall I ask them to die slower? [Shouts.]
We can't do it, Frank! We can't! You're asking too much! I'm taking over! You're mad! Mad! Mediocrity's no crime, Frank! The major's version of what happened was, to say the least, fascinating.
It was, to say the most, perjury.
No, to be fair, I have no doubt that he remembers it that way.
More's the pity.
And, of course, there was some truth to what he said.
It was October 11 and we were in Korea.
Other than that [Chattering.]
Hold it! Hold it! Dress him.
There's no double-parking here.
I can't put him to sleep.
He's in shock.
This patient isn't stable.
- Which of us is? - I'm not kidding, damn it.
- I'm not operating till he gets a few units of blood.
- Same here.
I cut into this patient with his hemoglobin, he's gonna stroke out.
Frank, get in here! Frank! - Ow.
- Oh! Watch it, clumsy! In your ear! Frank, this kid needs a transfusion and B.
's patient is likely to croak during his operation.
Pick, pick, pick! Is that all you can do? - Frank, what are you doing? - He's adapted Henry Ford's principles to medicine.
He sends the wounded in on an assembly line and we're supposed to attach the headlights.
- Is that a bomb? - No, Frank.
Someone's playing their World War II album.
Frank, pre-op means preparation.
Prep 'em! Listen, they're backing up out there.
With all this shelling, there'll be more wounded! We'll overflow! We'll be buried alive! That beats their being buried dead, Frank.
Now get out there and practice medicine or I'm gonna report you to Lionel Barrymore.
I'm your superior officer, Pierce! You will not talk to me in that insolent manner! Frank, you can either help the wounded or become one.
Thank you, Nurse.
You may just have saved countless lives.
- Father, take over in pre-op.
- Right! - Klinger, get rid of this mess.
- Yes, sir.
! Gentlemen, I have weighed the evidence carefully.
Not merely the testimony, but the records of those involved.
I have no doubt that Captain Pierce is a prankster and thoroughly unmilitary.
But the records indicate that he's a topflight surgeon.
Lord knows I wouldn't want to lead a company of Pierces into battle but I'd sure as hell want him around when that battle was over.
Colonel, what do the records indicate about my surgical skills? If you hadn't been drafted as a doctor I think you'd have been assigned as a pastry chef.
In myjudgment, no case of mutiny exists and I'll advise that the charges against Captain Pierce be dropped.
- Court adjourned.
- [Raps Gavel.]
- You beat the rap.
- I owe it to clean living and fancy footwork.
- Congratulations, Pierce.
- Me too, sir.
Well, no hard feelings.
I guess it's not your fault justice got hoodwinked.
You can't be blamed for trying to save your neck.
- I have a bone to pick with that Colonel.
- Haven't you had enough? Well, that's just it, sir.
I won't allow his innocence to be a blot on my record.
- Do you think we could sneak away and leave him here? - [Door Closes.]
Frank's too sharp for that.
He always leaves a trail of bread crumbs.
Having wagered my life, this childish fort holds no challenge.
- No guts, huh? - Or words to that effect.
- What're you gonna do, Sergeant? - Don't rush me.
I'm thinkin'.
- Another first.
- A bluff if I ever heard one.
Did I tell you? I never rescinded my order against gambling, and there they are, breaking it.
You know, I've been burned with three of a kind before.
- It's gettin' so I can smell a straight.
- [Clears Throat.]
Two, three, four, five and five.
- [Laughs.]
- A pair of fives.
- A crummy pair of fives! - Bravo, Beej.
- You can win with a pair of fives? - [B.
Yes, sir.
In the immortal words of Napoleon, deal me in.
- New player, new game, gentlemen.
- [Clears Throat.]
- Cards, please.
- [Chattering.]
[Chattering Continues.]

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