McHale's latest escapade – Water skiing, using Navy equipment and on Navy time – Has Binghamton almost to the breaking point. Binghamton is so upset, that he doesn't hear Carpenter read to him, ComFleet's latest directive – One which states that all overweight Combat Officers will be shipped out, for reassignment.
Shortly later, McHale and Parker report to Binghamton's office.
"Good afternoon, Captain!" greets McHale, cheerily. "You wanted to see me?"
"I'd love to see you, McHale…" says Binghamton, angrily. "At the end of a rope!"
"Ohh?" replies McHale. "What'd I do now, sir?"
"You know perfectly well what you were doing out there!" returns Binghamton. "You were water skiing!"
"Well, then, you did see him at the end of a rope!" says Parker.
Parker's remark gets a laugh from McHale, but it only angers Binghamton more.
Binghamton then sternly informs McHale that his little water skiing outing is going to cost him $1000. McHale protests, as Binghamton checks off a list of the monetary charges McHale has supposedly racked up. $600 for fuel, $200 for wear and tear on the boat, etc. McHale tries to explain that he tends to put on a few pounds, and that water skiing keeps him trim and fit. But Binghamton doesn't buy it.
Binghamton then picks up the ComFleet directive, lying on his desk, and looks at it.
"McHale," says Binghamton, as he glances at the document. "I'm not interested in your weight problems!"
Then, when he reads the part about overweight Officers being shipped out, Binghamton pauses, and his face brightens with a beaming smile. Binghamton suddenly becomes very friendly toward McHale and Parker. McHale has quite a worried, and suspicious look on his face, as Binghamton suggests that they bury the hatchet, and become friends.
The sudden change in Binghamton comes as such a shock, to Parker, that he faints, and crumples to the floor. McHale and Binghamton help him to his feet, and Binghamton assures Parker that he wants to be friends with him, too.
As Binghamton ushers his two new best buddies to the door, he asks that they meet him at the ship's store, in a half hour, and adds an invitation to get together for a few beers, later. As Parker and McHale make their exit, Parker is smiling, but McHale still has that worried look on his face.
Later, at the ship's store, Carpenter stands by, as Binghamton sets up a trap, for McHale. The Captain must have a reading on McHale's weight, in order to know how much weight, if any, McHale must put on, to be over the weight limit. He's set up a scale, near a shelf of supplies, and his plan is to try to get McHale to stand on the scale, somehow.
Soon, McHale and Parker arrive, McHale still with that worried look on his face. After happily greeting his pals, Binghamton asks McHale if he'll reach high up on a shelf, to get a certain box down. Parker offers to do it, but Binghamton discourages it, explaining that it will be easier for McHale to reach the box, since he's taller.
As McHale steps on the scale, to make the high reach, Binghamton asks McHale how tall he is. McHale answers that he's 6 feet, on the nose, and, while McHale is busy with the box, Binghamton and Carpenter try to read the scale.
McHale reaches up for the box, brings it down, turns, and asks the Captain if he's sure that this particular box is what he wants, for it contains a lady's girdle. Binghamton laughs, and tells McHale that the girdles are for the Nurses, then diverts McHale's attention by reminding him of the beers they were to have, at the Officers' Club.
Binghamton ushers McHale and Parker to the door, and sends them on their way, asking McHale, on the way, to get a table for 3, at the club. After they are away, Carpenter reports that McHale's weight is 205, then adds that, according to the directive, the maximum weight for an Officer of a height of 6 feet, is 210.
But Binghamton is not discouraged. He remembers that McHale had mentioned, earlier, that he has a tendency to put on weight, so Binghamton knows that he has to somehow see that McHale puts on 6 more pounds. Carpenter reminds the Captain that the Fleet Medical Officer is due to arrive in less than a week, to conduct the examinations, but Binghamton makes up his mind that he'll have to see that McHale puts on 6 more pounds, before that time.
Binghamton sternly orders Carpenter to keep the directive a secret, then turns to leave. But, he pauses at the door, and looks back to Carpenter with a beaming smile on his face.
"Just think, Carpenter…" says Binghamton, dreamily. "We're only six pounds from paradise!"
Binghamton goes to work, immediately. First, he sees that McHale has all the beer and pretzels he wants, at the Officers' Club. Then, he arranges for the 73's supply allotment to be several times what it normally would be, with plenty of high-calorie foods included in it. More beer, at the Officer's Club, with a tray stacked high with club sandwiches, and… Ice cream cones, sweet desserts, sugary coffee, and other treats thrown in, here and there, for good measure. Then, to top it all off… A huge multi-course meal, at the Officer's Club.
Towards the end of that meal – During which, The Captain sees to it that McHale's plate is kept full of plenty of rich foods, which McHale puts away, easily – Just as the chocolate chiffon pie is served, Nurse Molly Turner steps over. Binghamton invites Commander Turner to join them, and a Steward brings her a chair. Molly has been sitting not far away, and couldn't help but notice how McHale was putting away the food.
Molly comments that McHale seems to be overdoing it, a bit, and McHale admits that he might have eaten a bit much, this evening. Eying the big slice of pie that McHale is about to put away, Molly brings up the fact that, with his monumental appetite, tonight, he might not be in shape for the Medical Officer's examination, the next day.
McHale, of course, is not aware of any such examination, and Binghamton tries to play dumb, pretending that he is not aware of it, either. Molly goes on to tell McHale all about the FMO's visit, and how ComFleet will be shipping out any overweight Officers.
Now, 'the cat is out of the bag', and McHale is none to happy about it.
"So that's what this is all about!" says McHale, angrily, as he glares at Binghamton.
Binghamton tries to lighten up the situation, by offering Parker a slice of the pie. But Parker turns it down, flat.
"C'm'on Chuck." Continues McHale, angrily. "I hate to eat and run... But I'm sure the good Captain will excuse us!"
McHale and Parker get up from the table, and exit the Officer's club.
Later, on McHale's island, with the guys gathered around, McHale weighs in at 215 pounds. McHale, angry with himself, for falling into Binghamton's trap, sadly and frustratedly admits defeat. But Parker and The Boys go to work, right away. McHale must lose that extra 5 pounds, and, in the next 10 hours, they beat, boil, and shake McHale, to try to get rid of his extra 'baggage'. But, when they weigh him in, later, they find that – Not only did he not lose the 5 pounds – But gained 3 ounces.
McHale sadly throws in the towel.
"Let's face it, guys…" says McHale. "It looks like Binghamton's got me over a barrel, this time, and… I'm afraid the barrel's my own."
"Skeepa-san!" says Fuji, "We got to keep trying!!"
The Boys all enthusiastically agree, but McHale doesn't.
"Even after all that exercise…" returns McHale, as he glances at Virgil. "I'd never wind up looking like you, in one week."
The Boys have to agree, but McHale has given Gruber and idea, and Gruber steps over to fill them in on it. He first asks McHale if he's ever met the Chief Medical Officer, and, when McHale returns that he hasn't, Gruber has Virgil try on The Skipper's uniform jacket. It's a good fit, and Gruber informs Virgil that he's now been promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
Parker protests, bringing up the fact that Virgil would be impersonating an Officer, which is a pretty serious charge. But The Boys agree that it's worth a try, and McHale quickly decides that a desperate situation requires desperate measures, and the plan is put into action.
Later, in Binghamton's office, Binghamton is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the FMO, when he hears a noise, outside his office window. When he steps over to investigate, Parker appears in the window. When Binghamton asks Parker what he's doing, Parker tells The Captain that he's looking for McHale. Parker explains that McHale ran away, this morning, and hasn't been seen since, and Parker thought he might have come to the main base.
Parker excuses himself, to resume his search, and Binghamton orders Carpenter to accompany him to McHale's island, where he will conduct a search for the missing Skipper.
When they arrive, shortly later, with Parker, they find The Boys conducting their own search for McHale, and they head out into the jungle, to join the search.
McHale and The Boys are hiding in the brush, not far away, and, when they see that Binghamton and Carpenter are out of sight, McHale orders the boys to head for the boats. Tinker and Christy man the Captain's motor launch, while the rest board the 73, and all head for the main base.
Shortly later, Binghamton and Carpenter emerge from the jungle, and Binghamton is pretty upset, when he finds that not only his boat is missing, but the 73, as well. Binghamton orders Carpenter to think of something, and Carpenter quickly spots an inflatable raft, which sits, nearby, and suggests using it. But, when Carpenter tries to inflate it, he finds that the inflator is broken. So, Binghamton orders Carpenter to blow it up, by mouth.
Meanwhile, McHale and Virgil have made their way to the base hospital. McHale greets some of his fellow Officers who are lined up in the hallway, awaiting their physicals, as he and Virgil make their way to a deserted exam room.
They enter the room, and Virgil begins to get into the Lieutenant Commander's uniform, as McHale steps over, and peeks into the room, where the exams are taking place. He gets Molly's attention, and she steps away, and over into the adjoining room. She and McHale have a few words, as Virgil finishes dressing, and the uniform fits very well.
Molly quickly goes over the plan with McHale. He's to keep an eye on the exam room, and, after the last Officer is done, he's to send Virgil in.
Meanwhile, on McHale's island, an out-of-breath Carpenter is just finishing up the blowing up of the inflatable raft. He and Binghamton then step away for some oars, at which time, Fuji – Who has been watching them from the jungle – Quickly hustles out, and pokes a hole in the raft, with a sharp instrument, then quickly disappears back into the jungle. Binghamton and Carpenter then return, carry the raft to the water, and Binghamton, then Carpenter get into it. But, they are barely away from shore, when the disabled raft dumps them into the drink.
Back at the hospital, The Fleet Medical Officer– A Captain Jensen – Is just finishing up Parker's examination. Parker gets a clean bill of health, and is allowed to leave. Jensen then asks who's next, and Molly tells him that Commander McHale is the last Officer scheduled for an exam. Jensen asks Molly to send him in, just as McHale peeks around the door of the adjoining room. Molly gives him the high sign, and McHale sends Virgil out into the hallway.
As McHale peeks around the door from the adjoining room, Virgil enters the exam room, and Jensen has him strip to the waist. Jensen is quite impressed with 'McHale's' build, and Virgil answers that he tries to keep fit. Jensen orders him up onto the scale, and has him raise the ruler, and place it atop his head. Jensen then consults McHale's record, and is a bit puzzled to see that 'McHale' has not only lost 20 pounds, since his previous examination, but has grown and inch, as well.
"Uhh… Yes sir," says Virgil, a bit nervously. "I attribute that to uhh… A lot of fresh air, moderate exercise, and uhh… Leading a good, clean life."
Jensen then says that no further examination will be necessary, and orders 'McHale' to get dressed.
In the other room, McHale quietly rejoices. He steps to the door, and happily greets Virgil, as he enters, then quickly orders Virgil to change clothes, so that they can make their getaway.
Shortly later, outside, Binghamton, in his drenched uniform, angrily stomps into the hospital, just as Jensen steps out of the exam room. As Jensen is headed out of the building, Binghamton stops him, and tells him that he wants to make sure that Jensen doesn't leave, before examining McHale. When Jensen informs Binghamton that he just finished examining McHale, Binghamton asks when McHale is shipping out. Jensen returns that there's no reason to ship McHale out, for he's one of the most perfect physical specimens he's ever seen.
Just then, McHale, unknowing that Binghamton has arrived, steps out of the exam room, but quickly darts back in, when Binghamton spots him. Binghamton is incredulous that Jensen has referred to McHale as a 'perfect physical specimen', and demands that Jensen take another look at McHale. So, Jensen steps down to the exam room, opens the door, and peeks in. But, he sees only Virgil, for McHale is hiding behind the door.
Jensen steps back to Binghamton, and tells him that 'McHale' is in perfect shape. He then adds that Binghamton appears a little dumpy, and orders him to be weighed in. Binghamton protests, but Jensen makes it an order, and Binghamton reluctantly gives in.
Later, on the 73, McHale and The Boys are enjoying a hearty brunch. Tinker tells McHale that he should have invited his 'dear friend' Binghamton, to the meal, but McHale returns that, even if he'd invited Binghamton, he couldn't have come. McHale then takes a look through binoculars, toward the main base, where he spots Binghamton jogging behind a jeep, with Carpenter at the wheel.
The Boys all have a good laugh, and Willy picks his guitar, and sings:
"Here's to the Captain, what a surprise. Here's to the Captain, he had to exercise!"
McHale and The Boys then join in with Willy for another chorus.