M*A*S*H

Season 5 Episode 5

The Nurses

7
Aired Unknown Oct 19, 1976 on CBS

Episode Recap

Part One: During another hot, sticky OR session, the doctors listen to a ball game on the radio. Margaret is especially hard on the nurses when they make mistakes. Margaret has one of the nurses turn off the radio and the knob falls off in her hands. When Nurse Preston corrects Frank, Margaret makes her clean up the OR. That night, Nurses Walsh, Preston, Gaynor and Baker make fudge in their tent. When Margaret comes in to give them their assignments for the next day, she tells them that cooking is prohibited in tents. She sees Gaynor drinking and threatens to put her on report. Gaynor says that she's numb from working with three cardiac arrests on duty and that she's drinking to feel something. Margaret tells her to report to her tent, Walsh tells her to leave Gaynor alone and Margaret says that she's in enough trouble with peroxide from Supply in her hair. Preston and Baker insult her hair, Baker saying she's blond with black roots. Margaret puts Baker on report and leaves in a huff; Baker tosses the helmet full of fudge against the door. The next day, Radar is writing a letter to his mother when Baker's husband Tony comes in looking for her. He's on a 24-hour pass and wanted to spend time with her because he got shipped out after they got married and they never had a honeymoon. Radar tells him to go to the Swamp. He hides while Hawkeye and BJ arrange with Radar to get Baker there. They make up a This Is Your Life-type show where they surprise her with Tony. Hawk and Beej tell them that they can arrange for them to spend the night together. Hawkeye and Radar nail a 'Quarantine' sign on Margaret's tent, telling her that there's a sick soldier with the plague in there. She then goes to Col. Potter and he asks what's going on. They make up a story about the soldier having schistosomiasis, which is a disease contracted by wading waist-high in the Nile River. Potter asks how he got it and BJ says, 'Maybe he went home to see his mummy?' Hawkeye then says he has all the symptoms of typhoid and they need 24 hours. Potter says she can sleep with the nurses.

Part Two: Baker, Walsh and Preston are cleaning up the OR and anticipating Baker's rendezvous. Baker's worried about getting to shower and Walsh says they collected some water for her. Preston gives her a few drops of perfume; she doesn't know what it's called, but the first time she tried it her boyfriend chewed off the label. Gaynor comes in and tells them that one of the burn patients she worked with died. Walsh tells her not to take it so hard and Gaynor says that she doesn't feel death anymore, it's 'just death.' Then a couple of Korean children come in and the nurses start to talk to them but when Margaret comes in they tell the kids to leave. Margaret then informs the nurses that she will be bunking with them for the night. Hawkeye and BJ try to convince Frank to invite Margaret to come to the Swamp so he can try to rekindle their relationship but he refuses, saying he's waiting for her to come to him. In the nurses tent, Walsh has lent Baker her nightgown. When Margaret comes in, they all get in bed and pretend to just go to sleep. When everyone falls asleep, Baker sneaks out, but she's stopped by Klinger on guard duty. She tells him that he can have a blouse of hers he really likes if she lets him by. He does and she gets to Margaret's tent. The next morning, Radar gives Baker and Tony breakfast and is embarrassed by seeing them together. She gets back to the nurses' tent, but Margaret wakes up and says she's going to throw the book at her. Later, wounded come in including a pregnant Korean woman who's about to have a breech birth. Before they go, the nurses gather together to stick up for Baker. She confesses that about Hawkeye and BJ's plan. They tell Margaret that they would like it if she showed some compassion. She says she wanted them to be honest with her. Walsh says she doesn't trust them, but Margaret says that they don't trust her. Baker asks if she would have given permission, and Margaret says she would have said no, but not because it was against regulations, but because the way they have treated her. Baker asks what she means and she says that she's upset over not being included in their inner circle. She starts breaking up and asks, 'Did you ever once ever offer me a lousy cup of coffee?!' Baker says that they didn't think she'd accept and she says, 'Well, you were wrong!' and leaves. In pre-op, Potter asks about the patient and Radar hems and haws and says they released him. Then he says he forgot something and leaves. Potter asks Hawkeye and BJ say that it was just a cold. Then Potter asks Margaret about it and if she would like to press charges. She says that it is a private matter between her and the nurses and Potter takes her word for it. Then Gaynor comes in with the baby. She says she delivered the baby girl who 'came into the world backwards, but she landed on her feet,' and starts crying. She says she doesn't know why she's crying, 'it's just life.' Margaret comes over and comforts her.

Epilogue: The nurses are making fudge in their tent again. Baker says that she would throw it against the back wall to match the one she threw against the door. Margaret comes in to give them their assignments and sees the fudge. Preston offers her some and she goes over and tastes it, saying it's really bad. Baker offers her 'a lousy cup of coffee,' Margaret says, 'I'd love it,' and Walsh gives her one.
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