McHale's Navy

Season 4 Episode 14

Reunion for PT 73

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Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Dec 14, 1965 on ABC

Episode Recap

It's mail call, in the 73 Crew's tent, and all the guys are checking out their mail. Christy reports that his little daughter has 2 new teeth, and Tinker relates that his Grandfather got whole new set of teeth. But Parker is most excited about having received a new tape recorder from his correspondence course: 'Radio Announcing For Fun And Profit'. "I'm studying to have my own 'Man on the street' show, after the war!" Parker says, excitedly. Anxious to try out his new toy, Parker picks up the microphone. "Hey, somebody say something…" he says, "…So I can get a sound level!" "All right, you pirates!" says Binghamton, providing Parker's sample, as he bursts into the room, .45 in hand. "Put up your hands!!" McHale and the guys are all startled, and come quickly to their feet, as Binghamton announces that they're all under arrest. McHale frustratedly protests that this is the 6th time, this week that The Captain has arrested them, and Binghamton returns that, this time, he intends to make the charges stick. He orders Carpenter to confiscate Parker's tape recorder, and demands to know where they stole it from. But, much to Binghamton's dismay, McHale quickly shows The Captain Parker's receipt from his correspondence school, foiling The Captain again. But, before he leaves, Binghamton vows to get the goods on McHale and his Crew, "Sooner or later". Later, in Binghamton's office, as Binghamton is about to have a drink, to calm his shattered nerves, the phone rings. General Williams – The Judge Advocate – Is on the other end, and Binghamton takes the call. The General, it seems, has been going over Binghamton's disciplinary files, and is a bit concerned about the number of crimes that the 73 Crew has been charged with – Some 40, over the past 3 months – And announces his intention to make the trip to Voltafiore, to take a closer look into the situation. Binghamton knows that he has no hard evidence to show for any of the charges, but the General hangs up, before Binghamton can say anything more. Knowing he's in a spot, Binghamton quickly comes up with a plan to get that evidence, by again trying to frame McHale and his men. He begins with baiting his wall safe with Carpenter's watch and wallet, then has a couple of Electronics men rig the safe to open, when his office door is slammed. Meanwhile, Carpenter has summoned McHale and the Crew, and told them that The Captain has requested a meeting with them. When Carpenter arrives, and tells The Captain that they're on their way, Binghamton makes himself scarce, and Carpenter takes his place in the outer office to wait for them. When they arrive, Carpenter tells them that Binghamton is running a bit late, and ushers them into The Captain office. After all have entered the office, Carpenter slams the office door, and The Captain's little trick works like a charm, as a map falls, exposes the safe, and the safe door pops open. None of the guys can help noticing that the safe is full of 'goodies', but McHale smells a rat immediately, and stops them from doing anything they might regret. Just then, the phone rings, and McHale answers: "Captain Binghamton's office". General Williams is on the other end, and he asks that Binghamton be informed that there's been a delay, and that The General won't be arriving until 1600 hours (4 p.m.) the following day. He also asks that Binghamton have all of his evidence ready, so that they can "Really lower the boom on McHale and his men". Before McHale can protest, The General hangs up. When the guys ask, McHale explains that this whole deal was a set up, to frame them up for a court martial. The guys are all pretty mad, and want to get back at The Captain, but McHale suggests that they just get out, for now. Later, in the big tent, the guys are all just kind of hanging around. Parker soon enters, having just finished Lesson 3 of his correspondence course, on how to conduct an interview. He wants to practice, with the guys, and begins with Tinker, asking Seaman Bell what his most exciting war experience has been. Tinker isn't real enthusiastic, at first, but perks up a lot, when he tells how he and his 73 Crew-mates stole a case of champagne, from Binghamton's office, recently. Suddenly, the guys are getting into the spirit of the situation, and next, Virgil takes the mike, and tells about the time he stole Binghamton's jeep, so that he could go out with a beautiful blonde Nurse. Next, Willy tells of the time they used the 73 for some water-skiing with some pretty girls, then Gruber tells about time they all went AWOL, to attend a poker tournament. Soon, the guys are all clamoring to relate their experiences to Mr. Parker's tape recorder, and, when McHale enters, he wants to know what's going on. "Ahhh, I'm trying to run a radio show, and I lost control!" Explains Parker. McHale then orders all the guys to settle down, and get ready for a mission to hunt for a prowling U-boat. The guys all protest, for this is the first time they've had any genuine fun, in a while. But McHale will have none of it, and orders them all to head for the boat. As they all head out, Parker signs off of his recorder, and follows. Later, as the 73 patrols the waters off Voltafiore, Binghamton and Carpenter arrive at McHale's tent, and start snooping around for evidence, and they quickly find it, when Carpenter accidentally kicks Parker's tape recorder, hidden under a bunk. The first voice they hear, is that of Tinker, who tells of the champagne-stealing incident. Carpenter picks up the machine, and Binghamton steps over to listen to Willy tell about the time they "Went over the hill for that big crap game with the Air Corps". The inadvertent confessions are music to Binghamton's ears, and the insults that some of the guys heap on The Captain only make it all better. Binghamton knows that he now has the evidence he needs. "Elroy," Says Binghamton, with a smile. "They're playing our song." But what The Captain doesn't know, is that Fuji is listening, from outside the tent. "Oy vay!" says Fuji, lowly, to himself. "That's no song! That's funeral march!" Later, after Fuji tells McHale what he heard, in the tent, as he and the guys make their way toward Binghamton's office, McHale goes on, angrily, about the guys confessing their crimes to Parker's tape recorder. As they reach the door of the office, Binghamton comes out, and McHale reports Parker's recorder as missing. But Binghamton is ahead of them, and angrily challenges them to try to find the recorder. Just then, Carpenter appears, on the balcony above, with Binghamton's dress white tunic. As he tries to tell The Captain that his uniform is going to need some work, he accidentally knocks a flower pot off the railing of the balcony, which falls, and strikes Binghamton on top of the head, knocking him cold. McHale sends Virgil out for a Medic, and Gruber, Christy and Willy carry The Captain inside. Later, when McHale and The Guys run into Carpenter, in the town square, they ask how The Captain's doing. Carpenter reports that The Captain is okay, but that the Medic had administered a sedative, and The Captain is sound asleep. He adds that he's on his way to get General Williams, and McHale can't believe that they're going through with the situation, despite The Captain's condition. McHale and the guys know that they've got to somehow get their hands on that recorder, but the chances of that are nil, with Binghamton knocked out. McHale is ready to throw in the towel, until – After he thinks about it for a moment – He comes up with a plan, and lays it out for the guys. Somehow, they must make Binghamton think that the war is over. Then – With no reason to prosecute the 73 Crew – He might reveal the hiding place of the recorder. The guys all agree that it's a long shot, but that it might be worth a try, and immediately set about putting the plan into action. First, they fix up Mama Giovanni's restaurant, making it look like a New York eatery. Christy has rounded up some authentic costumes, and Gruber has even had some phony newspapers printed up. Soon, Binghamton is brought in, on a stretcher, still out from the sedative, and they dress him in civilian clothes, and sit him at a table. Later, as the Captain comes to, McHale and all the guys are all gathered around him, now in their fancy civvies. Binghamton, of course, wants to know where he is, and McHale tells Binghamton to take it easy, for he's just had a nasty bump on the head. McHale and the guys reveal that they have gathered at Mama Giovanni's restaurant, in New York, for their 6th annual PT 73 Veteran's Reunion. Binghamton is incredulous, at first, but he's eventually convinced, especially after Gruber shows him the newspaper, dated September 17th, 1950. Soon, Parker enters. Parker is now supposedly a big radio star, with his own show: 'Chatty Chuck Parker's Interview Show'. Parker invites Wally to be on his show, the next week, and the guys all suggest various stories that Binghamton might relate, for the listening public. Such as: The time Chuck sank The Captain's launch, or the time Chuck drove a jeep through the wall of The Captain's office, or, the most colorful story of them all: The time The Captain hid Parker's tape recorder, with all their confessions on it. "Hey, uhh…Off the record, Wally." says Parker. "Where did you hide it?" Binghamton has a bit of trouble, remembering, at first, but soon reveals the hiding place: Under the 4th step, of the stairs, in his office building. McHale discreetly sends Christy away, to go and take care of the evidence, as he and the rest of the guys distract The Captain with a chorus of 'For Wally's A Jolly Good Fellow'. Meanwhile, outside, Carpenter pulls up, with General Williams, in his jeep. Williams hears the singing from the restaurant, heads over, and goes in to investigate. When The General steps in, McHale calls "Ten-hut!!", and all snap to. The General wants to know what's going on, and McHale comes out of character, and tries to stutter out an explanation, but Binghamton saves him the trouble, and orders The General out of their private party, calling him a 'Phony brass hat'. Binghamton – Now thoroughly convinced that he's in New York, in 1950 – Begins to shove The General toward the door, and continues on outside, despite McHale's efforts to get him to stop. Once outside, Binghamton soon realizes that he's still in Voltafiore, and things begin to become clearer, for him. Then, McHale, thinking quickly, begins to put on his act, going on about how The Captain's memory seems to be returning. General Williams demands an explanation, and McHale goes on to explain that The Captain had been struck on the head by a flower pot, and had been thinking that he was in New York, after the war. He adds that he and his Crew had only been humoring him, until a Psychiatrist could arrive, to examine The Captain. But Binghamton doesn't believe a word of it, and suspects that the whole deal is just a plan to get hold of his taped evidence. Just then, Christy comes along, with the tape recorder, and The Captain snatches if from his hands. McHale panics, at first, but Christy gives him the 'OK' sign. Binghamton insists that he's got hard evidence of the 73 Crew's shady activities, but, when he tries to play the tape, it comes out in a high-speed garble, much to the relief of McHale and the guys. Later, in Mama Giovanni's restaurant, McHale and the guys are gathered around a table, enjoying some wine, as Parker practices his 'Chatty Chuck Parker' routine, with his tape recorder. 'Chatty Chuck' tells his 'audience' that they have gathered to pay tribute to Captain Binghamton, who has been unavoidably detained, in the psychiatric ward. Suddenly, Binghamton enters, .45 in hand, to place the 73 Crew under arrest, yet again, this time for having an illegal party in an off-limits location. Binghamton orders Carpenter to take Parker's machine, as evidence, but Parker doggedly fights to hang onto it, as McHale gets a good laugh.
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