McHale's Navy

Season 4 Episode 12

The Good Luck Fountain

Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Nov 30, 1965 on ABC

Episode Recap

Mayor Lugatto is busy in the town square with his latest money-making scheme – The Voltafiore Good Luck Fountain – And he's doing quite well, with many GIs tossing coins into it, as they pass. Lugatto is there, to see that all the "Soldier boys" don't pass it by, without tossing in a coin, and even offers change for those who have only folding money.

But, soon, along comes Binghamton, who is not happy with the situation, and, after accusing Lugatto of running another racket, to bilk American Servicemen out of their hard-earned pay, he orders Lugatto to close the fountain, immediately. Lugatto protests, but to no avail, and has no choice but to comply.

Meanwhile, in the wine cellar, McHale and the guys are getting spruced up for a big day on the town. All but Mr. Parker, that is. He hasn't a very high opinion of himself, where girls are concerned, and, though the guys try to build up his spirits, Parker declines their invitation to join them, in town, and leaves the room.

The guys all feel sorry for Parker, but McHale suggests that – Rather than feel sorry for him – They do something about his situation, and McHale quickly comes up with an idea. Why not use the Mayor's 'Good Luck Fountain', as a way to fix the Ensign up with a pretty girl?

Later, McHale, Parker and the guys go into town, and, when Parker breaks away, to take a picture of a pretty Italian girl, McHale and the guys sneak off to the side, to go over their plan. But, before they can act. McHale notices that the 'Good Luck Fountain' has been boarded up. They rush over to where Lugatto stands, next to the fence, surrounding the fountain, and McHale asks him what's going on. Lugatto explains that Binghamton had ordered him to close the fountain, and tells McHale that Binghamton had the nerve to call his fountain a "Phony racket".

"Well, isn't it?" asks McHale.

"Why, sure!" Admits Lugatto. "But, that's-a none-a his-a biz-a-ness!"

Just then, they all see Binghamton and Carpenter leave the office, and get into a jeep. Carpenter drives away, toward the town square, Lugatto jumps out in front of the jeep, and Carpenter slams on the brakes.

Carpenter explains that he's taking The Captain to the airstrip, for a flight to Palermo, for a 2-day staff meeting. McHale steps in front of the angry Mayor, and wishes The Captain a pleasant trip, and all the guys say their farewells. Binghamton suspects that Lugatto and McHale and the guys are up to something, and warns them that the town had best be just the way he left it, when he returns, and orders Carpenter to proceed to the airstrip.

After Binghamton is out of sight, McHale and the guys talk about the possibility of continuing with their plan to help Mr. Parker, and McHale asks Lugatto if he might consider opening the fountain, temporarily, and offers The Mayor 50 lire, for his trouble. Lugatto asks for 200, but settles for 100.

Later, the fountain is back in business, and Lugatto watches, happily, as the GIs toss their coins into his fountain. Meanwhile, McHale and the guys have talked a lovely Italian girl, by the name of Maria, into helping them with the plan, in return for some nylons.

Shortly later, Parker arrives at the fountain, and Lugatto offers to take his picture beside the fountain. Parker agrees that it would make a good picture, but all he has is a $1 bill. Lugatto quickly changes it for him, with his change-maker, then suggests that Parker's wish be that he become an Admiral.

McHale and the guys soon step over, and greet The Mayor and Parker. Parker explains that he's about to make a wish, for the camera, and McHale and the guys suggest that – Rather than wishing to be an Admiral, he wish for a beautiful woman to come into his life. Parker reluctantly agrees, and McHale and the guys pose with him, as Lugatto snaps his picture, as he drops his coins into the fountain.

As Parker complains that the fountain doesn't seem to be working, McHale signals for Maria to make her entrance. Maria comes riding shakily in, on a bicycle, yelling for help. McHale tries to get Parker to rush to her aid, and, when Maria nears him, he steps in, grabs Maria, and falls into the fountain, with Maria on his lap. McHale and the guys congratulate Parker on his heroic deed, as Maria hugs and kisses Parker, and suggests that they go someplace to talk, to which, Parker happily agrees.

After Parker and Maria leave, The Mayor goes back to work, trying to get more people to make 'wishes' at his fountain. McHale reminds Lugatto that their deal was to have the fountain open just long enough to help Parker, but Lugatto persuades McHale to allow him to have the fountain open for another couple of hours.

But, before McHale can refuse, who should come along, but The Captain. Carpenter drives the jeep up next to the fountain, and McHale calls "Ten-hut!!" Carpenter explains that the staff meeting was cancelled, and the angry Binghamton informs Lugatto that he will be thrown in jail, for direct disobedience of orders. McHale protests, but Binghamton will have none of it, and orders The Mayor hauled off to jail, pending impeachment proceedings, and for McHale and the Crew to re-build the fence around the fountain.

Later, with McHale and the Crew gathered around his cell door, The angry Mayor complains about his situation, and wishes that bad luck would befall The Captain. That gives McHale and idea, and he quickly presents it: If they can make Binghamton believe that his closing of the town square fountain has brought a curse down upon him, he might relent, and not only let Lugatto out of jail, but allow the fountain to be open, again. The guys all agree, and immediately set their plan of putting a 'whammy' on Binghamton, into action.

Later, in Binghamton's office, McHale tries to convince The Captain that every time the fountain has been closed, something terrible has happened.

"Especially to the rat who closed it!" adds Parker.

McHale even tells the story of a certain General Von Gilder, who, during the war of 1806, closed the Voltafiore fountain, and was struck from falling boulder, out of nowhere. But Binghamton will have none of it, and orders McHale and Parker out of his office.

Outside the office, McHale and the guys gather, and McHale asks if everything is ready, to put their plan into action, and Gruber answers that 'the curse of Voltafiore' is ready to come down on Binghamton.

Later, as Binghamton and Carpenter are about to leave for the Judge Advocate's office, to start The Mayor's impeachment proceedings, Willy and Virgil put phase 1 of the plan into action. Just as Binghamton and Carpenter exit the office, a huge chandelier falls, and crashes to the floor, narrowly missing Binghamton. After they get over the shock, Carpenter asks of 'the curse' might be responsible for what has happened, but Binghamton firmly denies the possibility, and, as he heads out to the jeep, orders Carpenter to clean up the mess.

Not far away, McHale and Tinker watch, as The Captain gets into the jeep, and McHale asks Tinker if he put the 'whammy' on the jeep. Tinker answers that, indeed, he did, and shows McHale the brake shoes that he removed from the jeep. McHale is a bit shocked that Tinker would go that far, but it's too late to do anything about it, for Binghamton cranks up the jeep, and heads out. But, he only goes a short distance, before he crashes into the wall of the jailhouse, just outside Lugatto's cell.

McHale and the guys rush over, and, though The Captain is dazed, he's unhurt, and pretty mad, as Willy and McHale extract him from the wreckage. McHale suggests that 'the curse of Voltafiore' might be responsible for this incident, but Binghamton blows it off as pure "poppycock".

Binghamton and Carpenter leave for the office, to make a call to the Judge Advocate, to tell him that they'll be late. On the way, Carpenter again brings up the subject of 'the curse', and just as Binghamton angrily denies being worried about it, Gruber and Christy see to it that a heavy wine cask falls off a wagon, and rolls rapidly toward The Captain. Carpenter sees it coming, and manages to pull Binghamton out of harm's way, before the cask slams into the wall of the office.

As he and the guys, watch the goings-on, McHale is pleased that they've really got Binghamton going. He then sends Willy over, with the clincher.

As Carpenter helps The Captain into his office, Binghamton is still disbelieving that these 3 incidents, over the past 10 minutes or so could have anything to do with 'the curse of Voltafiore'. Carpenter helps Binghamton to his desk, and, when he tries to take a seat, the chair collapses.

As Carpenter helps Binghamton to his feet, Willy rushes in, shouting that he's just received an important, top secret radio message for The Captain. After Binghamton angrily sends him away, he reads the message, which states that he is to pack his bags for a suicide mission, to Murmansk. Finally, Binghamton begins to believe that it may be 'the curse' that is causing all his bad luck, and he quickly decides that he should let Lugatto out of jail, and re-open the fountain.

Later, with McHale, the Crew, and some townsfolk looking on, The Mayor is putting the finishing touches on the fountain, and, once he has it going again, Binghamton is the first to make a wish.

"Fountain, fountain, in the square…" say Binghamton, coin in hand. "…Keep me where the weather's fair."

As Binghamton pitches his coin into the fountain, McHale gives the high-sign, and soon, Willy comes rushing in, shouting that he has another radio message for The Captain. It seems, according to this message, that Binghamton's orders were a mistake, having been intended for a Captain Bingleman.

Now thoroughly convinced that 'the curse of Voltafiore' is quite genuine, Binghamton and Lugatto do a little happy dance, near the fountain. But, who should come along, during the little celebration, than Colonel Harrigan. Harrigan had been summoned by Binghamton, earlier, to help with the impeachment proceedings for Mayor Lugatto, and wants to know why The Captain is now dancing in the street with him.

As The Captain explains about the fountain, McHale reaches in, and snatches away the phony message, and Parker promptly tears it up, and eats it. Harrigan is furious that grown men believe in such superstitions, and Lugatto tries to get Harrigan to make a wish. But, instead, the angry Harrigan kicks the fountain, in return for which, the fountain gives him a face full of water.

Later, in the wine cellar, McHale and the guys are all getting ready for another day on the town. All, that is, except Parker. When McHale asks him why he's not getting ready for a hot date with Maria, Parker sadly tells them that he suspects that the whole thing with the fountain was a put-on, and that 'The good luck fountain' and 'the curse of Voltafiore' are both a lot of bunk.

Just then, there is a tremendous explosion, outside, which rocks the cellar, and sends down clouds of dust. Parker flies up out of his seat, admits that he believes, and rushes away to get dressed. When Parker is out of sight, the guys all wonder what caused the explosion, and soon get their answer, when Fuji comes staggering down into the cellar, in a scorched, tattered uniform. When he explains that he was trying out a new stove, that blew up in his face, McHale and the guys all get a big laugh.
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