McHale's Navy

Season 3 Episode 15

Fuji's Big Romance

Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Dec 29, 1964 on ABC

Episode Recap

The Boys are all excited, as they get ready to attend a big luau, with the natives on a nearby island, but Fuji is a little depressed. Seems he's been pretty busy for a while, doing laundry, and other chores, and he's envious of The Boys who are about to have big fun with pretty girls.

"I'm just a Nipponese Cinderella." He says, sadly.

When Fuji tells them that he hasn't had a date since his last 3-day pass, in Yokohama, Virgil comes up with the idea of taking Fuji along to the luau. The rest of the boys think it's a great idea, and Fuji happily sits in front of the mirror, to make himself presentable.

Soon, McHale and Parker come in, also excited about the big shindig. But, when McHale finds that Fuji is planning to go along, he puts a stop to the idea, explaining that, if the natives identify him as a PW, word might get back to Binghamton, and they'll all be in big trouble. The Boys pitch their idea of putting Fuji in one of their outfits, and passing him off as a Hawaiian, and, when Fuji offers to work double-time, and fix a special sukiyaki dinner, McHale gives in.

Meanwhile, in Binghamton's office, during a cat-nap at his desk, Binghamton is having sweet dreams of making McHale walk the plank, when Carpenter enters, waking him. After Binghamton berates him for interrupting his wonderful dream, Carpenter tells The Captain that he's just received an urgent message from ComFleet. Seems that a certain VIP from Washington is flying in to Taratupa, the next day, for an inspection of the base. Binghamton isn't happy about the inspection, especially when Carpenter reminds him that McHale and his Crew might cause trouble, during this VIP's visit. So, Binghamton quickly decides that a "surprise visit to McHale and his sea-going Mafia" might be in order, and he and Carpenter leave immediately.

Later, McHale and The Boys arrive at the big party, on Chief Wabango's island. McHale presents the Chief with a gift of several cases of K-rations, and The Boys all begin partying, and dancing with their favorite girls. Chief Wabango (Rusty Lane) then notices a new face, in the crowd, and asks who it is. McHale introduces Fuji as their new Seaman, 'Freddie O'Fujihan'. Wabango, in turn, introduces 'Freddie' to his Daughter, Sulani (Yvonne Ribuca).

Fuji is immediately stricken with the lovely native girl, who asks him to dance. She and Fuji step out on the dance floor, and have started to do a mean hula, when along comes Maloco (David Cadiente) – A tough native who also has eyes for Sulani. Maloco demands that Sulani immediately go on a canoe ride with him, but Fuji stands his ground.

"You my date!" says Fuji, to Sulani, then, looking at Maloco: "Maybe he like good judo chop!"

Fuji and Maloco are about to mix it up, but McHale grabs Fuji, and Tinker grabs Maloco, preventing the scuffle. Maloco then grabs Sulani, and leaves for that canoe ride, as Chief Wabango apologizes for Maloco's behavior. All The Boys want to go after Maloco, for stealing 'Freddie's' girl, but McHale reminds them all that they didn't come looking for trouble.

But trouble finds them, when Binghamton arrives. McHale hustles Fuji out of sight, as Binghamton and Carpenter step in, with weapons drawn, to place McHale and The Boys under arrest, for stealing K-rations. Binghamton orders Carpenter to seize the evidence, and, when Chief Wabango angrily resists, Binghamton has a few choice insults for the Chief. McHale tries to discourage the Captain from disgracing the Chief, but Binghamton, as usual, won't listen, and The Chief and his followers leave, in anger.

Binghamton immediately declares the island off limits to Naval personnel, but McHale protests. He argues that the natives depend on McHale and his Crew for a living, and without their trade, they'll surely starve. But Binghamton is unsympathetic, and orders McHale and his "Gang of high school drop-outs" back to the base, to prepare for the inspection, the next day. McHale angrily assures Binghamton that he and his Crew will be ready, and Binghamton threatens that, if they're not, they'll be headed for the brig, for stealing Government property.

Later, on McHale's island, McHale hustles his Crew along as they get the 73 in shape for the big inspection. The Boys are none to happy about the situation, but Fuji is even less happy. Seems he didn't get a wink of sleep, all the night before, pining over his lost love, Sulani. McHale and The Boys feel for Fuji, but lighten up the conversation, as Fuji approaches with a tray of coffee.

But, Fuji's mind isn't on his work, this morning, and he's brought McHale and The Boys a pot of dishwater, instead of coffee. The Boys immediately try to cheer Fuji up, and suggest asking Sulani out for a canoe ride. But Fuji perks up, when he comes up with the better idea of borrowing the 73, for a really impressive date with her.

McHale immediately nixes the idea, so Fuji steps directly to the water, and steps in, his intention to swim to the main base, and turn himself in.

"Without Sulani…" says Fuji, "Who care?"

The Boys try to get McHale to change his mind, arguing that a little ride in the boat will do no harm. McHale reluctantly gives in, and agrees to take Fuji and his girl on a short ride, in the 73.

Later, in his office, Binghamton is giving some last-minute orders to his Motor Pool Lieutenant, to have his vehicles in shape for the inspection, when Carpenter rushes in, with an urgent radio message, and the news is not good. It seems that the 'VIP' coming for the big inspection, happens to be Undersecretary Of State George Gregory, whose diplomatic mission is to look into the friendly relations between the Navy, and the local natives. After Carpenter reminds The Captain of the nasty things he called Chief Wabango, the day before, Binghamton knows that his career will be in jeopardy, if he doesn't patch things up with The Chief. He quickly decides that – Since McHale is on such good terms with The Chief, and his tribe – McHale might be able to get him in good with The Chief, and he and Carpenter leave, immediately, for McHale's island.

Meanwhile, with Sulani by his side, Fuji is at the wheel of the 73, taking a little 'spin', with The Chief, and McHale along for the ride. Fuji is disappointed, when McHale hints that it's time to head back to base, so, to make up for the short ride, Fuji asks Sulani out. Sulani says she has a date, but that she'll break it for Fuji, and gives Fuji a kiss on the cheek.

On the dock, on McHale's island, Gruber is watching the goings-on on the 73 through binoculars, and reporting to the other guys. They're all happy that Fuji is making out so well, but trouble soon arrives, as Binghamton pulls in, in his gig. The Boys know that they're in big trouble, as Binghamton orders them to hold their positions.

"On your toes," Gruber tells the guys. "Look alert… I'll do the lyin'."

The Boys prepare for the situation, as, out on the 73, Parker spots Binghamton through binoculars, and warns McHale. McHale frantically orders Fuji to take evasive action, to avoid the "Mine field, dead ahead". Fuji takes the hint, and quickly makes a date with Sulani, for 8 o'clock, that evening, before stepping to the side, and diving off.

The 73 docks, shortly later, and McHale, figuring he's in big trouble with Binghamton, begins to explain the situation. But Binghamton is all smiles and sweetness, and, after apologizing to Chief Wabango for the name-calling incident the day before, invites The Chief, his tribe, and even McHale, and his "Fun group" to a big party for one of the "Big Chiefs, from Washington". Binghamton then pays Sulani several compliments on her beauty, and shows her some physical affection, as he tells her that she will be his personal hostess, at the party. But, little does Binghamton know that Maloco – Who is hiding in the jungle, nearby – Has witnessed his little show of attention to his girl, and isn't happy about it.

Later, as Undersecretary Gregory (John Archer) arrives at Binghamton's office, Binghamton makes his appearance in an outlandish outfit, including a grass skirt, and a straw hat with a flower. He plays a ukulele, as he approaches the Undersecretary, and sings 'Poor Hawaiian Boy', and 'My Little Grass Shack'. Gregory is a bit taken aback by Binghamton's show of island hospitality, and admits that he's never had a reception such as this one.

Binghamton briefs the Undersecretary on their plans for the afternoon, and proceed to the little get-together. Once there, Binghamton introduces Gregory to his "Very dear buddy", Chief Wabango. The Chief has a few choice words to say to the Undersecretary, but Binghamton discourages it, in favor of some food, drink, and dancing, and begins the party immediately.

The Undersecretary kneels at the table, with The Chief, as the others all start dancing.

"I've never seen so many native dishes!" comments Gregory.

"Yes," Binghamton returns. "The girls are lovely. Especially the Chief's Daughter."

"I was speaking of the food." Answers Gregory.

Meanwhile, Parker is trying to dance with Sulani, but mis-steps, trips, and falls on Gregory. The diversion allows Fuji the chance to make his entrance, disguised in dark glasses, and a phony moustache and goatee. As he makes his way toward Sulani, Virgil calls McHale's attention to "The gate-crasher".

Fuji makes his identity known to Sulani, and McHale panics when he recognizes him. He rushes over, and tries to sneak Fuji out, but Binghamton, thinking that Fuji is a tired Sailor, past due for some R&R, won't hear of it, and has him stay. He shows Fuji to a seat at McHale's table, then rejoins Gregory, and The Chief.

Gregory is very impressed with the friendly relations between Binghamton and the natives, and as Binghamton invites Sulani to do "The dance of friendship", McHale and The Boys quietly discuss how important it is to get Fuji out of the party. Then, just as Parker says:

"It'll take a miracle to get us out of this one!"

…Their miracle walks through the door. Maloco, flanked by 2 henchmen, all armed with spears. As Binghamton tells a story with his hands, Maloco angrily threatens Binghamton, at spear-point. Binghamton happily invites Maloco and his friends to join the party, but they're not interested. Chief Wabango gets up, and tries to calm the situation, but Maloco refuses to budge, and angrily spouts off something to Binghamton in his native language.

Binghamton, confused, steps to McHale, and asks for an explanation. McHale translates that Maloco thinks that Binghamton has stolen his girl, and is challenging him to a duel, to the death, with spears. Gregory interrupts, demanding to know what's going on, and Binghamton nervously tries to explain that it's just a game that the islanders play, as Maloco steps to him, and gives him his spear, for the duel.

Maloco won't back down, and McHale tries to get Binghamton away from the angry native. Everyone scrambles to get out of the way, as Maloco lunges at Binghamton with his spear, but McHale pulls him out of the way, and Maloco's spear gets stuck in the bar. Gregory angrily orders Binghamton to put a stop to this madness, and Binghamton, in turn, orders McHale to do so.

"With pleasure, sir!" Answers McHale, then: "All right, boys! Full speed ahead!!"

McHale and The Boys start a brawl with the islanders, throwing whatever they can get their hands on. During the confusion, McHale orders Virgil to find 'Freddie', and get him out, but 'Freddie' is making out with Sulani, behind an upturned table. But McHale quickly locates him, picks him up, throws him over his shoulder, and carries him out of the room.

Meanwhile, Binghamton and Gregory have tried to escape the fight behind the bar. When Gregory – Quite unhappy that the friendly relations with the natives seem to have suddenly broken down – Threatens to see that Binghamton pays for all this, Binghamton tries to explain that the natives are just having fun.

Later, on McHale's island, as McHale and The Boys sit around the table, awaiting their dinner, they laugh about the tongue-lashing that Gregory laid on Binghamton. They're also happy about Chief Wabango's having now been supplied with "Enough K-rations to get him through World War Three". But they're quite disappointed, when Fuji brings in their dinner, of K-rations. When asked where is the roast beef they were to have for dinner, Fuji answers:

"No have time for roast beef. Have big date with Sulani!"

As he turns to leave, Fuji adds:

"Don't wait up."

"Ohhhh brother!" says McHale, throwing up his hands, in frustration.
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