McHale's Navy

Season 2 Episode 2

The Binghamton Murder Plot

Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Sep 24, 1963 on ABC

Episode Recap

McHale and the boys are awakened at 10 a.m., by a loud, bothersome toucan, and head outside, in their pajamas, to try to get rid of it, when who should pay them a visit, but Captain Binghamton. Angry about the 73 Crew sleeping in, he hits them pretty hard with several different punishments, such as taking away their movies, and beer ration. He also orders them to put 2 new coats of paint on the 73, for the upcoming inspection tour of an Admiral Tucker, due in at Taratupa, the following week. Seems that Binghamton's fitness report depends on this inspection, and Binghamton wants to be sure he passes. Later, at the Officer's Club, a couple of Binghamton's fellow Officers relate to him – Purely as a joke – Horror stories about Commanding Officers who were done in by their Crewmen whom they punished too harshly. Binghamton tries to dismiss the stories as pure 'bilgewater', but is nevertheless shaken, and begins to regret having been so hard on McHale and his men. Outside, Gruber and Tinker – Totally unaware of Binghamton's suspicions – Happen by, talking about different ways to get rid of that pesky toucan, including nitro glycerin, and hand grenades. Binghamton and Carpenter come out of the Officer's Club, and overhear them, and – Not having heard the part about the toucan – Binghamton thinks they're talking about him. Binghamton' fear is reinforced, and Carpenter suggests easing the 73 Crew's punishment a bit. But Binghamton refuses, and even decides to pay them another visit, to be sure that his orders are being carried out. As Binghamton and Carpenter arrive at McHale's island, shortly later, McHale and the boys are after the toucan again. They blow up a tree, which falls, and barely misses Binghamton, then fire their rifles, and throw hand grenades. Now, Binghamton is convinced that McHale and his men are out to get him. Later, at his office, Binghamton has posted armed guards at his door, and, is even afraid to eat his lunch, for fear it's been poisoned. Shortly later, McHale comes to try to talk Binghamton into easing off on the beer restriction, but Binghamton flatly refuses, and restricts McHale and his men to their island. Frustrated, McHale leaves, and, on his way out, runs into Nurse Molly. McHale – Also unaware of Binghamton's suspicions – Asks Molly what might be making Binghamton act the way he is. Molly suggests that it might be the fact that Binghamton's 47th birthday is coming up, the next day, and that he may be feeling a little 'old'. McHale then comes up with the idea of throwing Binghamton a surprise birthday party, to make him feel better, and to show him that he and his Crew really want to be friendly. Later, at McHale's island, McHale presents his Crew with his party idea, and they agree, but with strong reservations. After the party is set up, Nurse Molly, and a sexy young Nurse by the name of Lorimer, go to Binghamton's office, to trick Binghamton into coming to the party. Lorimer lures Binghamton out of the office, with a story about a picnic that the Nurses are having on the beach, and Binghamton falls for it. Shortly later, Binghamton and Lorimer ride out in a motor launch, and Binghamton soon realizes that the launch is piloted by Tinker, and that they're headed for McHale's island. In fear for his life, he attempts to jump overboard, but Nurse Lorimer wrestles with him, trying to stop him. Meanwhile, on a ship, not far off the island, who should happen to witness this scene, but Admiral Tucker. Through binoculars, he watches Binghamton jump overboard, and decides to investigate the situation. Binghamton swims ashore, on McHale's island, while Tinker and Lieutenant Lorimer rush ashore, and inform McHale and the Crew of what has happened. They all go out looking for Binghamton, but he fails to elude them, and, when McHale and The Crew find him, he passes out from fear. McHale and the boys haul Binghamton back to their compound, where Nurse Lorimer revives him, with smelling salts. When Binghamton comes to, he is still quite afraid, but lightens up a bit, when his birthday cake is brought in, and the boys sing 'For He's A Jolly Good Fellow'. Then, the toucan – In a nearby tree – Raises a fuss. When Gruber says he's going after his rifle, McHale explains that they've been after that 'griffle bird' for some time, and have tried everything from grenades to rat poison, to get it. Binghamton is very relieved, when he learns that it was the bird they were after, all along, and even takes a shot at it, himself, using his birthday cake as a weapon. But who should arrive, just in time to get a faceful of the cake, but Admiral Tucker. Fortunately for all, Admiral Tucker has a good sense of humor, and later, McHale and the boys celebrate Binghamton's passing his fitness inspection, as well as their getting two birds off their back, in one day.
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