McHale's Navy

Season 4 Episode 21

McHale's Country Club Caper

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Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Feb 08, 1966 on ABC

Episode Recap

McHale and Parker are making their way toward Binghamton's office, one afternoon, and pause, near a little café. Parker expresses his hope that Binghamton will grant them the leave they intend to ask for, and McHale says that he thinks that they might have a chance, what with the 73 laid up for repairs. McHale continues on, but Parker pauses, to count the money he's saved up for the leave they hope to get. As he counts, a 20-dollar bill falls out, and flutters to the ground, near a small gentleman, in a black suit, who is seated at the café. The man places his foot on the bill, and manages to keep Parker from getting it back, as he introduces himself as Doctor Guido Panzini, Director of the Free Children's Clinic, in Salerno. As Dr. Panzini goes on, for a while, about the sick children of Salerno, he takes the bill – Which has stuck to the bottom of his shoe – Tucks it into his jacket, and thanks Parker for the donation to the clinic. As Parker begins to protest, Panzini tells Parker that his name will go down into "The book of generosity", and that an olive tree will be planted, in his honor. Now with Parker's attention, Panzini bilks him for more money, to water the tree 3 times a week. Parker then excuses himself, to go and join the Skipper, leaving the Italian con man with a smile on his face. Later, as McHale and Parker stand at Binghamton's desk, trying to get The Captain's signature on their leave papers, Carpenter rushes in, with the news that Binghamton's new athletic equipment has arrived from Special Services. It seems that Binghamton has ordered the equipment, so that he can set up a fitness gym, in order to please General Bronson, who is quite enthusiastic about physical fitness. As the huge crate is carried in, the excited Binghamton rushes over, and orders Carpenter to open it, as McHale tries to get Binghamton's signature on the leave papers. But, when the crate comes open, Binghamton – Expecting barbells, weights, punching bags, and other related items – Is quite disappointed to find that the crate is filled with several sets of golf clubs, complete with carrying bags. Still, McHale tries to get The Captain's signature, but the now frustrated Binghamton, having by now forgotten why McHale came in, in the first place, angrily orders him and Parker to leave his office, immediately. The angry McHale gives back The Captain's pen, and he and Parker stomp out of the office. Soon, the phone rings, and, when Binghamton answers, Harrigan is on the other end. Harrigan informs Binghamton that his fitness equipment has arrived at his office by mistake, and Binghamton immediately asks him to forward it to Voltafiore. But Harrigan refuses, and states his intention to keep the equipment, and set up his own fitness gym, so that he can make points with The General. The angry Binghamton hangs up the phone, quite frustrated that Harrigan has done it to him again, and walks away, grousing about his problem. Carpenter suggests that, with all the new golf clubs, he build a golf course, instead of a gym. As Binghamton goes on, angrily, about how such a project would be prohibitively expensive, outside, Panzini happens by the window of Binghamton's office, and hears The Captain ranting. Seizing the opportunity, he steps to the office door, and enters. Introducing himself as 'Count' Guido Panzini, the great architect, he tells Binghamton that he's built golf courses all over the world. Suddenly, Binghamton thinks that his problem is solved. Later, after McHale and the Crew have begun work on the new golf course, they all complain about having to build a golf course. Shortly later, Binghamton arrives, in a jeep with Count Guido. McHale goes straight to The Captain to complain about the unfair assignment, but Binghamton will have none of it. McHale then adds that he and his Crew don't know anything about building golf courses, and Binghamton returns that he's well aware of that fact, then introduces Panzini. Parker, of course, recognizes him, right away, as 'Dr. Panzini', and tells the guys that he really must be desperate to make money for the children's clinic, for this is his 2nd job. Panzini goes on, for a while, telling McHale how the course will be laid out, then hands McHale a copy of the blueprints, and makes his exit. After he's away, McHale asks The Captain where he ran across Panzini, and Binghamton angrily tells him to save his breath, for The Count has already been hired. He then tells McHale and the Crew to get back to work, then leaves. After The Captain is out of sight, Parker goes on about how Dr. Panzini is such a nice guy. McHale isn't interested, until Parker mentions the $40 he gave the Doctor, earlier, for the hospital, and McHale quickly decides that this Panzini character should be investigated. Later, Binghamton visits Panzini at his room, across from Binghamton's office, in the city hall. At first, Panzini doesn't want to be bothered, until The Captain tells Panzini that he has brought the money for the new golf course. Binghamton tells Panzini that he's brought "a thousand", but Panzini tells The Captain that there isn't much he can build for 1000 lire. Then, when Binghamton tells him that it's a thousand U.S. dollars that he's brought, Panzini suddenly becomes very enthusiastic about the project. Panzini then makes an excuse to get rid of The Captain, and Binghamton leaves. Later, in his office, Binghamton is practicing his golf swing, when McHale and Parker burst in, with some important evidence. McHale shows The Captain the business card that Panzini gave Parker, the day before, when he was 'Doctor' Panzini, and explains how Panzini took Mr. Parker for 40 bucks. But Binghamton won't believe that his 'Architect' is a confidence man, and angrily orders McHale and Parker to leave. But, before they can make an exit, Carpenter comes rushing in with the news that Panzini is gone. Lock, stock, barrel, and thousand bucks of The Navy's Recreation Fund money, Panzini has left, without so much as a leaving a forwarding address. McHale, Parker, and Carpenter follow, as Binghamton rushes out of his office, and across the hallway, to Panzini's room. After frantically searching the room for 'The Count', Binghamton is convinced that Panzini has absconded with the money. The Captain rushes out, followed by the others, and, as he nears his office, the phone rings. Binghamton answers, and Harrigan is on the other end. Harrigan tells Binghamton that he's just found out that Binghamton has withdrawn $1000 from the recreation account, and that he's heard tell that Binghamton is building a golf course. Binghamton denies the charges, and before he can explain, Harrigan says that he'll soon be on his way to Voltafiore, to have a look-see for himself. Once off the phone, Binghamton knows he's in big trouble. If Harrigan tells The General about the golf course, and The General finds out that there is no golf course, Binghamton is through. So, in his most desperate moment, he turns to McHale, and asks that he utilize his talents for getting out of tough predicaments, to help him out of this one, adding that he'll "Do anything". So, knowing that he's got The Captain over a barrel, McHale agrees to help him, in return for his signature on the leave papers. The next day, McHale and the guys are putting the finishing touches on the new golf course, as Binghamton – Dressed in a ridiculous golf outfit – Looks on. "Well, Captain…" says McHale. "Whaddaya think?" "I can't get over it!" returns Binghamton. "You did this whole thing overnight?!" "Yes sir!" answers McHale. "Just promise my boys some leave, and they'll move mountains!" But McHale admits that the tee-off area is only a front, for the rest of the 'course' is nothing but swamp. Soon, Virgil steps in, and reports that an Army jeep is approaching. McHale hollers out "Battle stations", and everyone looks busy, when Harrigan pulls in, in his jeep, shortly later. Harrigan is pretty impressed with Binghamton's new golf course, and follows Binghamton to the first tee. McHale asks how Binghamton's game is, and The Captain admits that he needs to work on his 'slice'. Soon, Parker steps over, also in a golf outfit, greets Harrigan, then borrows The Captain's driver, for a practice swing, breaking the windshield in Harrigan's jeep, in the process. As a Sailor steps over to tee off, Harrigan takes Binghamton aside, and McHale follows. The Colonel informs Binghamton that he's built the golf course on Army land, and orders him to pack up, take his men, and get out, immediately. Binghamton then watches, as McHale puts on a show of mock anger, and refuses to leave, until Harrigan comes across with the $1000 from the Navy Recreation Fund, that they spent on the course. So, Harrigan angrily writes out a personal IOU for the thousand bucks. Just then, Carpenter comes speeding in, in a jeep, yelling that he's caught Panzini, who sits in the passenger seat. Harrigan asks who Panzini is, and McHale quickly tells The Colonel that it's Doctor Panzini, Binghamton's personal Physician. McHale excuses himself, and rushes over to Carpenter's jeep. McHale shushes Parker, and quietly, but angrily tells Panzini that he's a Doctor. Under the threat of bodily harm, Panzini has no choice but to play along. Binghamton and Harrigan come over, and, as Panzini pretends to examine him, The Captain puts on a show of illness. Then, to complicate matters even more, Willy reports that The General's jeep is approaching, rapidly. Binghamton, McHale, Parker, Panzini, and Carpenter all crowd into Carpenter's jeep, and make a hasty getaway, passing General Bronson's jeep, on the way in, waving, as they pass. Bronson's jeep pulls up to the first tee, The General gets out, and Harrigan steps over to greet him. The General tells Harrigan that he's come to see the golf course that Binghamton had built, but Harrigan lies to The General, telling him that it was he that had built the golf course, for the Army. Quite pleased, General Bronson calls for his clubs, so that he can try the course out. Meanwhile, down the road a ways, Binghamton, McHale, and the others watch, smiling with the knowledge that they've beaten Harrigan again. "We really put one over on them, ay, gumbah?" says Panzini, to Binghamton. "I'll 'gumbah' you, you crook!" says Binghamton, angrily. Panzini scrambles out of the jeep, with Binghamton close behind. McHale follows, to try to break up the fray, leaving Parker and Carpenter in the jeep. "Boy, this is fun to watch!" says Parker, to Carpenter. "For a change, it isn't me!" Later, in the wine cellar, McHale, Parker, and the guys are all in their dress uniforms, all packed, and ready to head out for their leave. McHale wants to find Fuji, to bid him farewell, and, as they head toward the stairs, Fuji comes down, carrying a paper sack. He tells McHale that he's gotten them a nice 'going away' present, and pulls Binghamton's ship's clock from the sack. McHale is shocked, and, when Fuji tells them that the man who sold it to him had promised to put his name on an olive tree, they all know who it was. McHale wishes Fuji luck, and he and the guys all head for the door, leaving Fuji standing on the staircase with The Captain's clock.
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