McHale's Navy

Season 4 Episode 16

The Boy Scouts of 73

Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Dec 28, 1965 on ABC

Episode Recap

McHale and the crew return from an exhausting mission, to find that their wine cellar has been burglarized. Several items, including Christy's shaving kit, Willy's portable radio, McHale's favorite beer mug, and Parker's piggy bank – Not to mention the roast chicken that Fuji had prepared for dinner – Are missing. McHale quickly realizes that the culprits are hiding under the sofa, directly in front of them, and he and The Boys scare them out, by pretending to draw guns on them. Three young Italian boys, fearful for their lives, come out from under the sofa, with a gunny sack full of the stolen items. McHale is pretty angry, and, after he finds an ink pen with the initials 'WBB', Parker begins to interrogate the boys. But, before Parker can get any answers, McHale figures out that the 'WBB' stands for 'Wallace Burton Binghamton'. Before he has a chance to react, Christy rushes in with the red alert that Leadbottom is on his way, and appears to be very angry. Leaving Fuji in charge of the young bandits, armed with a cast-iron skillet, McHale and the guys rush out, and head for the tent. Binghamton soon arrives at the McHale compound, coming to a screeching halt, in a jeep, along with Carpenter, and 3 Army MPs, and, sure enough, he's pretty mad. The Captain jumps out of the jeep, ready to arrest McHale and the guys, as the MP Lieutenant tries to calm Binghamton down. Just then, McHale and the guys come marching in, apparently having just finished some close-order drill practice. McHale calls "To the rear…", the guys do an about face, and, when they start marching toward Binghamton, Parker knocks The Captain flat. McHale and Parker help the angry Binghamton to his feet, and Gruber steps over to brush off The Captain's uniform. Binghamton then announces that the charge of assault and battery on their Commanding Officer will be added to the charges already held against McHale and his Crew, for theft. Binghamton then demands to know the whereabouts of his initialed gold pen, which was a gift from his Wife. McHale plays innocent, and asks Binghamton for a description of the pen, which Binghamton angrily gives, as he reaches into his inside jacket pocket, and produces an example. A gold ink pen, which just happens to bear the initials 'WBB'. Binghamton is a bit embarrassed to find that his pen apparently was never missing, to begin with, and Parker takes the pen, to have a look at it. "W-B-B." Confirms Parker. "Yep. Those are your initials, all right. Just like the ones on your underwear. Saw 'em in the laundry." "Well, Captain," says the MP Lieutenant, "Looks like you've taken us on another wild goose chase." The Lieutenant excuses himself, he and his men head for the jeep, and McHale and the crew get back to their close-order drill practice, leaving a frustrated Binghamton wondering how the 73 Crew had done it to him, again. After The Captain and company are out of sight, McHale congratulates Gruber on his well-done job of planting The Captain's pen in his jacket. McHale and the guys then discuss what they're going to do with the 3 little Italian thieves, and Tinker suggests just giving them a good paddling, and sending them on their way. But Parker sees potential in the young lads, and thinks his can make good boys out of them, with some Boy Scout-type activities. "They'd heist the moccasins right out from under their Scoutmaster!" says Gruber. "Their first hike, they'd hijack the marshmallows!" adds Willy. But Parker is sure he can help the boys, so McHale reluctantly gives his OK. Later, Parker is trying to give the boys a lesson in signal flagging. But the boys just sit, looking very bored, and uninterested, despite The Ensign's efforts to teach them a useful activity. Parker suddenly realizes that he has only one flag, and, when he goes below, on the boat, to look for the other one, one of the boys produces the other flag, having stolen it, earlier. While Parker searches for the flag, the boys board the boat, and are immediately attracted to the depth charges. Thinking that they're ash cans, one of the boys gives a demonstration on how the ash is disposed of, and launches one of them into the woods, nearby. Hearing the explosion, Parker rushes up onto the deck, thinking that it's a German raid. Then, McHale and the guys come staggering out of the woods, scorched and tattered from the blast, wondering what has happened. McHale is pretty mad, when he approaches the boat, but Parker takes the blame, explaining that he was telling the boys what not to do, with the 'ash cans'. McHale then proceeds to really let Parker have it. He tells him first, that his little Scout Troop is finished, then goes on, angrily, shouting at him about missing a map-reading session, earlier. Parker quickly finds that the reason he missed the session was that his watch is broken. Meanwhile, the boys have left the dock, and watch, from behind some bushes, nearby. They're unhappy that their 'Scoutmaster' is getting yelled at. One of them expresses a wish to be able to help Mr. Parker, and another of them comes to the conclusion that – Since Mr. Parker got in trouble, because his watch was broken – They must get him a new timepiece. Later, in Binghamton's office, General Bronson storms in, and marches straight to Binghamton's desk. It seems that The Captain had called The General out of a top-level staff meeting, and Bronson isn't happy about it. Then, when Binghamton puts in his request for another detail of Army MPs, to try to control all the recent thefts, in the area, The General becomes even more unhappy. But, before he can turn down Binghamton's request, Carpenter comes rushing in. Carpenter frantically tells The Captain that his typewriter has been stolen, and Binghamton picks up the phone, immediately, and calls for the MPs, explaining that "McHale's marauders have struck again." But, just then, a Sailor enters the room, with a typewriter on a wheeled cart. It seems that Carpenter's typewriter had only been out for repairs. After confirming that the typewriter is, indeed, Carpenter's The General steps directly to the phone, calls off the MPs, then sternly warns Binghamton that – If he turns in one more false alarm – He's going to be on his way to a place where he will need thick underwear, to insulate his thin blood. As The General storms out of the office, Binghamton and Carpenter follow, with Binghamton trying to state his case about McHale and his band of thieves. They are no sooner out of sight, when the 3 Italian boys enter the office through an open window, and begin going through the filing cabinets and desk drawers. Then, when Binghamton's prized ship's clock begins to chime, they know they've found their gift for Parker. Later, as McHale and the guys are relaxing, in their tent, Parker comes rushing in, to show everyone the gift that had been left under his pillow. But McHale knows who's clock it is, and deduces that the 3 "Little hoods" must have taken it from The Captain's office. Then, Fuji comes in with an urgent report of Binghamton's approach, and McHale and the guys know that they could be in big trouble, if Binghamton catches them with his clock. Outside, again, Binghamton comes roaring in, in a jeep, with a contingent of Army MPs. The jeep barely comes to a stop, and Binghamton jumps out, and head into the tent, followed closely by Carpenter, both armed with .45 automatics, and the MPs. Immediately, Binghamton demands to know where his clock is, but, again, McHale plays innocent. The Captain, of course doesn't go for it, and firmly states his intention to initiate a thorough search of the premises, for said clock. "I'm sorry, sir," says McHale, but I have no idea where…" Before McHale can finish his sentence, the 'boing-boing-boing' sound of a chiming clock is heard. Parker tries to explain it as Big Ben, adding that, sometimes, it's famous chime can be heard for miles. But Binghamton, of course, doesn't buy it, and approaches Parker, where he sits on a small wooden box. He orders Parker to rise, and, as The Captain begins to open the box, Parker tries to warn him that it could be dangerous. So, Binghamton orders Carpenter to open the box, which he cautiously does. Binghamton smiles with delight, as he pulls his clock out of the box, and tells the MP Lieutenant to arrest McHale and his men. The Lieutenant states his intention to put them into the brig, but Binghamton wants them in the 'dungeon', under City Hall, where he can keep an eye on them. McHale protests, but The Captain will have none of it, and McHale and the Crew are marched away, under arrest. Outside, the 3 boys watch, as McHale and the guys are herded toward town. Again, their friend, Mr. Parker is in serious trouble, because of them, and they intend to help him again. And this time… They have somewhat of an advantage. Later, in the basement of the Voltafiore City Hall, Binghamton and Carpenter usher McHale and the Crew into a small room, and slam and lock the door. But, no sooner is the door closed, than the 3 boys make their entrance, by pushing in a couple of the stone blocks, in the wall of the cell. The guys are ready to make a break for it, but McHale won't have it, for Binghamton could add jail-breaking to the charges against them. The Boys apologize to Parker for getting him into trouble again, and admit that they've stolen many things. "Wait a minute." Says McHale. "How many other things were there?" "About a truckload." Says the 2nd boy. "Oh, and the truck." Adds the 3rd boy. "I hope you guys took those things before you were Scouts!" says Parker. "Senor Parker…" says the 2nd boy. "A Scout is trustworthy!" McHale and the guys know that Binghamton will try to nail them for those thefts, and that he's on his way, now, to get The General, to file the charges. But, McHale quickly comes up with an idea. He first finds out where the boys have stashed the goods, then he and the guys make a quick exit from the dungeon. Meanwhile, Binghamton has returned with The General, having summoned him in the middle of another important conference, and they are making their way toward Binghamton's office. The General is quite fed up with Binghamton's antics, in trying to nail McHale and his Crew, and, as they approach the office, Bronson is distracted, when he bumps into a pretty Italian girl. As Binghamton enters the town square, he runs into McHale and Parker, who immediately turn and run in the other direction. Binghamton runs to The General, and frantically tells him that he's just seen McHale and Parker, who are supposed to be in the dungeon. The General, of course, thinks Binghamton is losing his mind. Binghamton leads The General to the dungeon, where McHale and his men sit quietly, in their cell. Bronson is furious, and tells Binghamton that this is the last straw. Binghamton tries to tell The General that – Not only did they steal his ship's clock – But many other items, a list of which, he shows The General. McHale quietly and politely requests that they not argue in front of the enlisted men, and suggests they resume their conference in The Captain's office. Binghamton doesn't like the idea, but Bronson insists, and they head out of the cell. Shortly later, as they enter his office, Binghamton is reading off the list of things that have turned up missing, all of which – And a lot more – Are now stored in Binghamton's office. General Bronson even finds a pair of his own riding boots. Binghamton is dumbfounded, and The General is convinced that The Captain is suffering from a severe case of kleptomania. "But, I didn't take any of this!" Binghamton argues. "They did!!" "Ohh, sure, Captain." Says Bronson, sarcastically. "While they were out on their jail break." Bronson orders Binghamton confined to his office, until the arrival of the Medics, and orders McHale and Parker to come along. McHale shakes Binghamton's hand, as he passes, and, before he turns to leave, Parker takes a bite out of a stolen carrot. "Well…" says Parker, as he tosses the carrot at Binghamton. "See ya around, sticky-fingers!" He turns to leave the frustrated, befuddled Binghamton standing amongst the stolen articles, as his ship's clock begins to chime. "Ohhh, boing, boing, yourself!" says the sad, frustrated Binghamton. Later, as McHale and the Crew step out to see The General off, The General apologizes for Binghamton, and adds that the Medics have prescribed a long rest for The Captain. Meanwhile, The General's driver has tried to start the jeep, but it won't make a sound. The driver steps out, opens the hood, and finds that the engine is missing. Bronson thinks that the missing engine is Binghamton's doing, and, after he bids McHale and the Crew a good night, he and the driver leave, to go and request another jeep from the motor pool. After they're out of sight, the guys all think that it was the 3 Italian boys who stole the engine, but Parker insists that the boys have mended their ways. But, he quickly find out otherwise, when one of the boys comes cruising through the town, on a little wooden 'go-cart', powered by a jeep engine.