"Taking Sides"

By Ann Sulo

Everybody is in OR either operating on patients or assisting them except Henry and Margaret. (They are on their way back from a medical conference in Tokyo.) When Hawkeye and Trapper start to sing, Frank tells them to shut up. Frank is frustrated because he is having trouble performing surgery on one of his patients. Hawkeye, seeing Frank’s difficulty, asks Lt. Dish to close for him. He walks over to Frank’s table to give him a hand. He sees that this surgery is too difficult for Frank and decides to take over. Frank is relieved. He stays there and assists Hawkeye. After 20 minutes of performing this complicated surgery (complicated even for Hawkeye) and almost losing him twice, he succeeds. He closes the patient. Several people, including Trapper and Radar (who is handing out sandwiches) congratulate him. Frank is envious.

A few hours later Margaret and Henry arrive in OR. Trapper, Radar, and Hawkeye are delighted to see Henry, and Frank welcomes Margaret back. Trapper closes his patient and works on the next one with Henry. He tells Henry everything that happened before.

Frank is now in Post-Op waiting to be relieved by Hawkeye. As soon as Hawkeye enters Frank starts to leave. While he is walking toward the door, the chest patient, Private Jones, thanks him for saving his life. Frank turns and faces Private Jones. Instead of telling him who his real life saver is, Frank takes the credit. Hawkeye (who is angry because Frank didn’t tell the truth) explains to Private Jones that it was he, not Frank, who saved his life. An argument and a near fight between Hawkeye and Frank break out.

Meanwhile, Henry, Trapper, and Radar are in Henry’s office drinking Scotch and talking about Henry’s trip in Tokyo. Radar asks Henry how his trip to Tokyo went. Henry tells him that his trip went well. He then explains to Trapper that he is going to teach him and the other doctors about a new medical procedure he learned at the conference. While they are talking, Frank loudly opens the door and complains to Henry that Hawkeye is taking credit for the life he (Frank) "saved". Trapper defends Hawkeye by telling Frank that he has no right to take credit for somebody else’s work. After hearing both sides of the story Henry decides to take Hawkeye’s side. Frank angrily leaves the office.

Frank is outside walking. Margaret sees him and walks over to him. Seeing that he’s upset she asks him what’s wrong. Frank tells Margaret his fabricated story about how he (Frank) saved Private Jones life and that Hawkeye is taking credit for it. Margaret believing him asks him if he told Henry about this. Frank said that he did, but Henry is taking Hawkeye’s side. They decide to enter her tent to write a complaint letter to General Clayton.

To be continued...