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M*A*S*H: Who Shot Frank Burns?

Script By: Angry Red Mark
Humor



A rejected episode that shows what would happen if Burns and Winchester actually worked together.


Submitted:Aug 25, 2011    Reads: 12    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


[Opening Scene: Packed Operating Room that just started operating. Hawkeye, Hunnicutt, Winchester, and Colonel Potter are starting surgery on their respective patients. Burns enters the room proudly carrying a stick.]

BURNS:
What are you doing, Winchester?

WINCHESTER:
Performing surgery. Why aren't you?

BURNS:
Looking for shrapnel, huh? I remember the days when I had to find those little buggers. But that's all in past now that I got my divining rod. Watch, I'll help you.

[Burns hovers the stick over the patient while making whirring sounds in his mouth. Winchester watches dumbfounded.]

BURNS:
It's dipping. It found something. [The end of the stick drops into the patient, touching his organs.] Dig there, Winchester!

WINCHESTER:
Get your worthless tree branch out of this patient you mad man!

[Winchester slaps it out.]

HUNNICUT:
If you strike oil Frank, don't forget to secure the property rights.

[Several people break out into laughter]

BURNS:
Colonel, tell everyone to stop making fun of my divining rod!

COLONEL:
Get that stupid thing out of surgery, Burns! It's not sterile; you're infecting the patients!

BURNS:
You're all just jealous. This thing will find me shrapnel while you're still stuck having to look for it. Pierce told me so.

HAWKEYE:
I was only joking, Frank. It doesn't have magic powers. It's just a stick I found in the woods.

BURNS:
That's not what you said when I paid you a hundred and fifty bucks for it! Oh phooey. [Throws the stick on the floor.] I'm still the best surgeon no matter what. We're suppose to work together on this one Winchester, even without magic. Nurse, I need an emergency scalpel on this vascular chestectomy, stat!

[Winchester stares at Burns disapprovingly. The nurse just looks confused, handing Burns a regular scalpel.]

NURSE:
Yes, sir. Lead the way.

WINCHESTER:
Burns, you are amongst professionals. Throwing around random medical terms doesn't fool us into thinking you sound like a doctor.

BURNS:
Quiet Winchester! I'm trying to perform delicate surgery. Nurse, we need to perform an emergency R&D on his frozen section, stat!

[Giving up, the nurse picks out an instrument at random and hands it to Frank.]

NURSE:
Will this do, doctor?

BURNS:
Uh, sure. [He takes it, then looks at the instrument, not seeing any use for it. To save face, he sticks it in and sort of pokes around the patient's insides, trying to look like he's busy with it.]

WINCHESTER:
Burns, you are spouting complete nonsense.

BURNS:
Winchester, I need you to perform an emergency kiss on my ass, stat!

WINCHESTER:
What are you doing with that liver?

BURNS:
Leave me alone! It's my side of the patient and I'll do whatever I want with it!

WINCHESTER:
Get away from my table!

BURNS:
Hold on, Winchester! We still have to read his entrails and tell his fortune!

WINCHESTER:
Colonel, some assistance to remove my assistance.

COLONEL:
If the damage isn't fatal, just ignore what he's doing, Winchester. That's what we all learned to do.

[We see a close-up of Winchester's eyes looking at Burns and narrowing]

[Next Scene: Bright morning in the Swamp (doctors' living tent). Winchester and Burns are back inside their living quarters after a hard night of surgery]

WINCHESTER:
I have never seen such medieval technique, literally. I had no idea there existed doctors that deliberately bled sick patients by stabbing.

BURNS:
He had high blood pressure, and all I had on me was a sharp pen. How else was I suppose to get it out the excess blood that caused it?

WINCHESTER:
You are such a waste of life, in more ways than one.

BURNS:
You are such a heartless doctor, Winchester. I hate the cold way you look at a human body, what with your science and results. When I open up a patient, do you know what I see? A big gooey mess of love!

WINCHESTER [furious that such a creature can exist]:
What I have to say now is the greatest statement of cold science known to man. You, sir, are an incompetent boob!

BURNS [Filing his nails]:
Oh, don't be so immature Winchester.

[Winchester lies down on his cot, but he is too mad to relax. His face is red. In a burst of rage, Winchester starts kicking his feet up in the air like an angry child. Then he quickly sits up and repeats his latest insult in his loudest voice.]

WINCHESTER:
BOOOOBIEEE!

[As Winchester is yelling this at Burns, outside the tent Margaret is walking right by. Margaret thinks this word is being shouted at her and gasps audibly, putting her hands over her breasts. The people around her hears it too, and sees her reaction and laughs, furthering her embarrassment. She storms inside the Swamp.]

[Margaret barrages Winchester, while Winchester, still lying on his cot with a beet red face, has no idea why Margaret is there.]

MARGARET:
How dare you sexually harass an innocent girl? Talking about my breasts! I'm telling the Colonel on you! When he hears about how you treated me with your sick, childish behavior you will never get that upcoming promotion, you chauvinistic pig! In fact, I'm recommending a demotion! [She starts to leave, then remembers something else.] And to think, tomorrow I was going to pose nude for your artistic photos! We'll you can forget about that ever happening in this lifetime, buster! [She storms out.]

[Witnessing this extra bad news for Winchester, Burns giggles mischievously. Winchester glares back at Burns with an angrier expression. Burns just whistles joyful while filing his nails.]

[Next Scene: Inside the Swamp (doctor's living tent) during the night. The Camera switches to an unrevealed person's POV. We see Burns coming inside the tent. Burns turns and stands right before the camera at point blank range.]

BURNS:
I'm sick of using the bathroom in the dark and not being able to see. I tried to step inside the laterine and now my whole leg is drenched!...What are you doing with that rifle? Well say something you dumb mute. Are you too stupid to realize that you're pointing it at me? You better put on a ribbon and support muzzle awareness, mister!

[A shot is fired. It misses Frank by a mere foot, blowing a hole in a stand right next to him. Frank peers over at the result.]

BURNS [insultingly]:
Ha! You missed me! [Does a taunting little dance as he says the last line. Right after Burns says "me," a second shot is fired, which hits him in the stomach.]

BURNS [Clutches himself in horror and screams]:
AAAUUUHHL! [Falls down dead.]

[We see the outside of the tent. Winchester calmly exits with his rifle in hand.]

WINCHESTER:
You did beautifully tonight, my dear. [Winchester kisses his rifle.]

[Next Scene: Colonel Potters Office. MPs are in the room and Winchester is brought in for questioning by the Colonel. Hawkeye and Hunnicutt are also present.]

WINCHESTER:
I feel as bad as anyone about the recent demise of Major Frank Burns, but I don't see why I have to be the one accused of pulling the trigger. Anyone in this camp is capable of committing the act. Accuse them.

COLONEL:
Because Burns was shot with a Winchester rifle. Does this belong to you?

WINCHESTER:
Brilliant deductive reasoning, Colonel. I bought a murder weapon that has my same last name. If you ask me, it actually proves that I'm innocent. No one as intelligent as me would be so stupidly obvious, right Hawkeye old buddy?

COLONEL:
On the morning of the murder, you purchased a Winchester rifle. After you bought it, the clerk asked you what you planned to use it for. He claims that you replied in a loud voice, "I'm going to shoot Frank Burns with it!"

WINCHESTER:
That is a lie. He misheard me. What I actually told him is that "I'm going to shoot blank ferns with it."

COLONEL:
What's a blank fern?

WINCHESTER:
How should I know?! It's just an expression! Besides, I was only kidding about shooting Frank.

COLONEL:
But you just said you didn't say it.

WINCHESTER:
Exactly. For a joke, I wanted you to think I'm changing my story. Pretty funny, huh? Heh heh heh heh.

COLONEL:
You want to make a joke about being guilty? In the middle of a criminal investigation?!

WINCHESTER:
Oh, forget everything I ever said. I didn't know you were so touchy.

COLONEL:
No problem Winchester; I'll just forget everything you ever said. That's what we do in interrogations.

WINCHESTER:
Do you have any proof besides words? That's all I've been hearing so far.

COLONEL:
According to some witnesses, about half an hour after you entered the Swamp with your Winchester rifle, shots were heard. Then those witnesses saw you leaving the tent only seconds later holding and kissing the murder weapon.

WINCHESTER:
Circumstances, circumstances. Where is the real evidence?

COLONEL:
Right after Burns was killed, you took a jeep without permission and drove to Seoul. Then you went to a tattoo parlor, where you got a tattoo across your chest that said "I Shot Frank Burns" in two inch lettering. And underneath that you tattooed the time and the date of the shooting.

WINCHESTER:
So? Tattoos don't mean anything.

COLONEL:
Did you shoot Frank Burns?

WINCHESTER [outraged]:
I plead the fifth to this ridiculous question!

COLONEL:
All right, MPs. Take him away.

[The MPs handcuff Winchester.]

WINCHESTER:
Hunnicutt! Pierce! I am totally innocent of committing a crime by shooting Frank Burns. You have to believe me.

[The MPs escort Winchester outside.]

COLONEL:
It's a shame to be losing both Burns and Winchester. The bad news is the increased workload. On the other hand, when you compare how many patients Burns lost with how many Winchester saved, taking away both factors should still balance out our hospital's mortality rate at around the same percentage. If you boys will excuse me, I need to write these figures down and calculate the average. I hope you fellers don't mind double-checking my long division. Converting unreduced fractions into decimals ain't tiddlywinks, if you catch my drift.

HAWKEYE:
Whatever you say, Colonel. BJ, over here.

[Hawkeye takes Hunnicutt aside.]

HAWKEYE:
There is something very fishy about this whole murder case.

HUNNICUTT:
Do you think someone else could have done it?

HAWKEYE:
I'm beginning to believe so. It just seems to be a little too obvious for Winchester to be the culprit.

HUNNICUTT:
I think we have a mystery on our hands.

HAWKEYE:
But how do we find the real killer?

[They both stop and ponder the facts.]

HUNNICUTT:
[Quoting philosophically] "It's always the one you least suspect."

[Hawkeye thinks about it for a second, then silently points at Hunnicutt and nods his head approvingly at the remark.]

[Next scene: The Communications Room later that evening. Radar is just finishing up a message over the intercom. Hawkeye and Hunnicutt enter the room.]

RADAR:
That is all. This is O'Reilly signing off. [He puts the mike down.] Hello sirs. What can I do for you?

HAWKEYE [defiantly]:
Hello Radar. We have a few questions to ask you.

HUNNICUTT [defiantly]:
About a murder. That you committed. Like this; let me demonstrate.

[Hunnicutt picks up Radar's teddy bear, and then tears its head off.]

RADAR:
I can't believe you guys. I couldn't have shot Major Burns. I was nowhere in the area.

HAWKEYE:
Don't test me Radar. If you lie to us again, I'll slap you like a nurse's behind.

RADAR:
I'm telling you I didn't do it! It was Winchester!

[Hawkeye smacks Radar's glasses off his face]

RADAR:
[Picks up his glasses and puts them back on.] This is so ridiculous. I'm getting out of here.

HUNNICUTT:
He's trying to flee from his crime. Get him!

[Hawkeye and Hunnicutt grab Radar and drag him out of the room.]

HAWKEYE:
We'll find out the truth Radar, no matter what it takes you.

[Next Scene: Supply Room, sometime later.]

[
Radar is laying on the floor in the fetal position. Hawkeye is standing over him administering kicks to the sternum. Hunnicutt is sitting by with arms folded, observing.]

HAWKEYE:
Admit it! [Kicks Radar's chest.] Say you shot Frank! [Kicks Radar's chest.]

RADAR:
Okay, I did it, just stop kicking me!

HAWKEYE:
He confessed. Let's take him to the Colonel. [He pulls Radar up from the ground.]

HUNNICUTT:
Wait, hold him still. I have to do one more thing.

[Hawkeye holds Radar's arms behind his back. Hunnicutt jumps up on one foot and swan kicks radar in the jaw.]

HUNNICUTT:
Hiya! Ok, let's go.

[Next Scene: Colonel's Office]

[Hawkeye and Hunnicutt come in the office, pulling Radar's hair and shoving him in front. They hurl Radar into and onto the Colonel's desk.]

HAWKEYE:
We found out who killed Frank, Colonel. It was Radar.

HUNNICUTT:
It took us eight hours, but we finally beat a confession out of him. [Hunnicutt punches his palm when he says the word "beat".]

COLONEL:
And what evidence do you have to prove it?

HAWKEYE:
…How dare you question me? Well, look…he had a motive. He hated Frank Burns almost as much as I did. One time in the mess tent when I told everyone how much I wanted to kill Frank, I saw Radar nod his head in agreement probably.

HUNNICUTT:
Radar planned it all along, Colonel.

COLONEL:
Look fellas, I appreciate the detective work, but we already found the smoking gun. There was a roll of film discovered underneath Winchester's pillow. Apparently right before the killing, Winchester set up a movie camera and filmed himself shooting Burns. It's an open and shut case, boys. Didn't you hear the announcement about it over the intercom that Radar made eight and a half hours ago?

HAWKEYE:
Well, yeah, but…we thought it was our imagination. [Turns to Hunnicutt] How about that, BJ? We were wrong. It was Winchester all along; the most obvious suspect.

HUNNICUTT [happily shrugs]:
Oh, well. I guess we're just idiots.

HAWKEYE:
Wait a second. Do you know what this means? Radar lied to us! He said he shot Frank. He lied to two officers!

RADAR [Stutters]:
W-Wai...wha?

HUNNICUTT [very angry tone]:
You disgusting liar. [To Hawkeye] Let's take him outside and smoke the piss out of him.

HAWKEYE:
Yeah. That's a good idea.

RADAR:
Hold on a jiff, I didn't do anything wrong! Colonel, do something!

[All three stop and look at the Colonel]

COLONEL [shrugs]:
Why?

HUNNICUTT:
Let's go you blue falcon leprechaun.

[Hunnicutt starts pushing Radar out of the Colonel's office.]

RADAR:
No! This is not fair-You can't smoke a quitter!

HAWKEYE:
Ok, now it's really on.

[Hawkeye intently follows the two outside the office. A short moment later, Margaret pokes her head through the office door.]

MARGARET:
Colonel Potter, remember that you have to give a speech at Frank's funeral in one hour. Please do honor to one of our fallen, and make it so Frank would be proud to have been a part of the 4077th. [Leaves.]

COLONEL:
Oh, I get so nervous making speeches.

[Colonel stands up wringing his hands. He walks over to his window and looks outside. From a distance we can see Radar on the ground on all fours doing mountain climbers while Hawkeye and Hunnicutt are standing over him yelling like drill sergeants. In the middle of Radar's exercise, Hawkeye sideway kicks clouds of dust in Radar's face. Radar, spitting out some of the dust, momentarily stops, then continues doing mountain climbers while the two standing over Radar keep shouting at him. The Colonel turns away from the window, indifferent to what he saw, as he continued his train of thought.]

COLONEL:
After all this time, I've never gotten over stage fright. I better go back to my tried and true remedy. [Opens up his cabinet and takes out a big bottle of alcohol] It's a good thing I always have some liquid courage on hand to get me through these moments. [Puts the bottle to his lips and lifts it straight over his head. After five continuous gulps, Colonel quickly lowers the bottle, gasping hard for breath]

COLONEL [panting]:
Still nervous. [Immediately lifts the bottle up and chugs it some more.]

[Next Scene: The mess tent, rearranged like a funeral parlor.]

[We see a close up shot of a poster that has a blown-up picture of Frank smiling wide, his mouth slightly open. Next to his mouth a speech balloon is tacked on, which says "Come to my funeral this Saturday, at 1100 sharp. I will be in an open casket. Casual dress is optional. Remember, there will be refreshments served afterwards. Enjoy."]

[Frank's casket, with body, is placed behind the podium. The seats quietly fill up with some of the cast. Father Malcahey takes the stand.]

MULCAHY:
Peace be with you all. Colonel Potter has a few words he wishes to say about the passing of Major Frank Burns. Colonel, if you please. [Mulcahy yields the floor.]

[The Colonel wanders up to the podium, looking drunk out of his mind. After stepping up on the platform, the Colonel stumbles and prevents his fall by reaching out and setting his hand on Frank's face without even looking at what he's touching, like it was a table top. He then gets behind the podium.]

COLONEL:
Well, there's Frank--dead guy! …I farted…[looks around disappointed]…you people are so boring. [Walks off the platform. The audience treats the whole thing like it's normal.]

MARGARET [sitting in the crowd]:
That had to be the most dignified speech he ever gave us. [Wipes away a tear.]

HUNNICUTT:
You're right. He didn't flash us this time.

[Final Scene: Nighttime, outside the Swamp. Radar is walking to the tent, his teeth gritting, and his face still covered in dirt. He's holding a gun. Radar enters the tent while the camera stays outside.]

HUNNICUTT [sounding happy and oblivious]:
Hey Radar. What's up?

RADAR:
Die, BJ, die!
[We hear gunshots. BANG! BANG! BANG!]

[Ending Credits. Normal end music and still frames from the episode behind the credits.]





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