Monday, 10 December 2012

Death Takes A Holiday

At Christmas the long running television shows usually do a Christmas special or an episode that includes Christmas but there is one that i first saw when i was a child that has always stuck with me, the MASH 'Death Takes A Holiday' episode.
It's Christmas, and there's a truce on and everyone in the camp is preparing for the Christmas party for the orphanage but despite the truce a wounded solider is brought in and Hawkeye, BJ, and Margaret decide to take the case, and keep it secret from everyone else so the Christmas party is not ruined.
The young soldier is mortally wounded and his life rapidly away but the doctors see a picture of the young mans family in his wallet and decides to continue working on him, determined to keep the man alive long enough so that he doesn't die on Christmas Day and his kids 'won't have to remember Christmas as the day their Daddy died'.
BJ keeps the mans alive for a few hours by pumping oxygen into him by hand but he is fighting a losing battle and he finally dies at 11.25pm Christmas Day.
Hawkeye then walks to the clock on the wall, and moves the hands to past midnight, declaring 'Look, he made it. Time of death 12.05 December 26th' and in the silence that follows, Hawkeye opens the door and the the sound of the orphans singing Silent Night in the tent next door enters the room.
Beautiful, emotional and poignant and i watch it every year and every year i end up swallowing a lump in my throat.

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