In this emotional scene from ‘MASH,’ Colonel Sherman ‘T’ Potter calls his friends into his tent to explain what has been going on recently. Harry Morgan plays ‘Colonel’ with great strength and pride in the episode titled, ‘Old Soldiers.’
The Colonel has been acting weird. The gang is called into his tent for an update. They notice his old uniform and somber demeanor. Padre and the others reassure him they will support him no matter what he’s facing.
The Colonel tells the others about an event in 1917 when he was in France under a heavy artillery barrage. His five best friends laid low in a chateau to ride out the attack. He tells how they drank and sang while shells fell all around them.
He says they got down to the last bottle and made a pledge. Whoever turned out to be the last survivor of the group would get the bottle to drink a toast to his old buddies. Colonel says, ‘For good or bad, you’re looking at the last survivor.’
Everyone is relieved. Margaret says, ‘Colonel, we thought you were sick.’ He replies, ‘I was sick, just thinking how all my friends are gone now.’ He’s sad but considers himself lucky. He continues to say, ‘As much as my old friends mean to me, I think you new friends mean even more.’
Colonel invites them to share the bottle. They pass out the cups, and Colonel gives a toast to his former comrades saying, ‘I drink to your memories. I loved you fellas, one and all.’
He closes by saying, ‘Now for the new, to love and friendship.’ Everyone toasts in one of the most emotional moments of the series. ‘MASH’ always provided laughs and entertainment, but the characters gained deeper meaning during scenes like this.