The Love Boat - Season 1, Episode 1
"Captain & the Lady / Centerfold / One If by Land.."
Original airdate: 9/24/1977
Episode summary: Captain Stubing is tormented by his bitchy ex-wife, who's now married to one of the ship's line directors. A young lawyer tries to keep her congressman fiancé from finding out that she once posed nude in Kitten. A buffoonish exterminator urges his girlfriend to give up on the idea of marriage.
Recap: Julie chirps to Gopher in what will become her trademark I'm-so-perky-I-could-burst! manner about what a grrrrrreat day it is - just as a cranky Captain Stubing stumbles onto the set and snarks at Gopher to get a haircut. Once he's safely out of earshot, Julie tells Gopher she thinks she might have an idea who shit in their boss's Cornflakes, then informs him that this week's passenger list includes Aubrey Skogstad, aka one of the directors of the ship's line, along with his cunty wife Stacy. As the passengers begin to stream aboard, Julie and Gopher soon come face-to-face with the Skogstads. They politely welcome the couple aboard and lay it on thick about their availability 24/7 to cater to their every whim, and Stacy responds by mockingly referring to Gopher as "an obsequious runt" and ordering Julie to report to her cabin in an hour. She snidely adds, "You can leave the Shirley Temple routine outside", and Julie somehow refrains from telling her up which orifice she can shove her surly bitchitude.
Ronald Baker pulls up to Port Pacific Princess in his rickety van labelled Hired Killer: Exterminator To the Stars and bellows after his girlfriend Ginny to not board the ship. She ignores him and races aboard, checks in with Gopher, and quickly finds her assigned cabin. Ronald boards the ship and screeches at no one in particular, "Don't let her stay on the boat! She's got bugs!" while Ginny meets her shapely, tube top clad cabin-mate, Lorraine.
Gopher sharply asks Ronald if he's a passenger, and Ronald says no, but that he's looking for a passenger named Ginny O'Brien. Gopher says he can't help him and orders him off the ship 'cause they're about to set sail, so Ronald wanks him about how a man of his [wee] stature could surely help him out, then calls him Captain. Gopher blushes girlishly while repeating, "Captain..", then decides he likes the sound of that enough to compromise Ginny's privacy and reveal her cabin number. After Ronald scampers off, Captain Stubing ambles over and wryly asks, "How is everything, Captain?", and Gopher says that everything is ship-shape - before cluing in that he's in the presence of the actual Captain. He nervously natters incoherently before retreating to his post.
Lorraine tells Ginny she hopes she won't mind getting lost for while if she wants to "entertain" a gentleman friend in the cabin, then says she'd be happy to return the favor. Ronald suddenly bursts into the cabin yelling, "Shazam!", gives Ginny a long forcible smooch, and reminds her that they've been living together happily ever after for two years. Ginny says she's dunzo with their relationship 'cause of what an immature, irresponsible, commitment-phobic assclown he is...and Ronald concurs that, nope, he's definitely not interested in getting married - but points out that his extermination business is listed in the Yellow Pages, which in his mind makes him a mature, responsible non-assclown. An exasperated Ginny shrieks, "Bug off!" and shoves him out of the cabin.
Sandy asks Julie if there's a newsstand on the ship, then says she could sure use a new friend with whom she can share a deep dark secret. Julie naturally says she's game, so Sandy points over at her fiancé, Congressman Brad Brockway, and sheepishly admits that a number of years ago, she posed nude for a magazine called Kitten - LOL, meow! - and now that she's engaged to the prominent politician, the photos have suddenly resurfaced. She tells Julie she booked this cruise as a way of getting Brad away from all media, and Julie puts her concerned face on and informs Sandy that the ship carries Kitten in its gift shop...'cause I guess they like to offer some rare R-rated enjoyment to their less wholesome passengers.
Captain Stubing barks, "Come in!" when Julie knocks on his office door, then chides her for being "so saccharine" and making him feel as though he's watching a Shirley Temple movie. Julie wonders aloud what everyone has against Shirley Temple, then tells the Captain she just dropped by to inform him that one of the cruise line directors is a passenger this episode. She mumblingly adds that she invited him and his wife to dine at his table this evening - and Captain Stubing interrupts and correctly guesses that Mrs. Skogstad snidely told her she'd be delighted to dine at the Captain's table, just so long as the Captain eats elsewhere.
That evening, Captain Stubing arrives at his table and greets the passengers seated there. He tells Stacy he got her message - but decided to ignore it, given that as Captain he's entitled to sit at the Captain's table. Stacy calls him a bozo, makes it clear that he's not welcome to dine in her presence, and says her husband's "muscle" as a line director outranks his piddly Captain title. Captain Stubing chews on that insult for a few seconds, then politely informs the other dinner guests he has important duties on the bridge he needs to attend to. As he slinks out of the dining room, Julie, Gopher, and Doc express their amazement that their boss managed to keep his temper in check throughout the humiliating encounter...and the camera pans over to the deck, where Captain Stubing shrieks in frustration at the night sky, causing a couple canoodling nearby to become so startled by the unexpected outburst that they both lose their footing and fall into the swimming pool. Womp womp!
The next morning, Julie drops by Sandy's cabin to deliver all of the available copies of Kitten that were for sale in the gift shop, then asks her why in blazes she debased herself by posing for a nudie rag called Kitten. Sandy sheepishly explains that she did it to pay for her law school tuition...and that she wore a wig, used a phoney name, and prayed that no one would ever find out. When she wails, "I can't lose Brad over this!", Julie points out that he'll likely find out sooner or later...and Sandy replies, "Better later than sooner." She then freaks out anew when Julie informs her that three copies of Kitten were sold to three randy male passengers before she had a chance to scoop them all up.
Stacy Skogstad is railing at a beleaguered looking Gopher about the incompetent clusterfuckery that is the management of this cruise ship, and he mumbles defensive one-liners in response.
Ginny and Lorraine return from a day of shopping in Puerto Vallarta when a poncho clad Ronald leaps out of nowhere and bellows, "Buenos dios, mama!" and tells Ginny he drove all the way from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta so he could continue making an ass of himself during her vacay. Ginny looks touched and dreamily says she's soooo looking forward to telling their children that daddy loved her so much he drove all the way to Mexico to propose to her...and Ronald scrunches his face in a demented look of horror as he repeats, "Children..? Daddy..?" then howls, "Check please!" Ginny's all, "Wuh? You mean you didn't drive all the way here to propose?", and he's like, "Uh, no" but says he's willing to propose that they continue living together. Ginny complains that she's getting tired of her low level girlfriend status, and the way his mother is always giving her dirty looks...and Ronald adds insult to injury when he informs her that his mother doesn't even know they're living together. Ginny lets out an angry growl and storms away in disgust.
Doc gives Captain Stubing some pills to quell his stomach pains, and Captain Stubing grumbles about how the crew probably enjoys seeing him so miserable from all the hell Mrs. Skogstad is putting him through. Doc denies that any crew member is getting any pleasure out of his misery, then points out that it makes zero sense for a perfect stranger, aka Stacy Skogstad, to want to make him so miserable. Captain Stubing wryly confesses that she's not perfect nor a stranger, then fills him in on the truth: he was married to the woman for seventeen years. He stares dreamily into space as he reminisces about how in love they were in the very beginning - but that it all went to shit when he took a mistress, aka 'the sea'. Stacy resented him for being away all the time, and he admits that eventually he had no room in his life for both her and the sea. Plus, Stacy absolutely hated her married name: Stacy Stubing. Though she is somehow able to tolerate being called Stacy Skogstad.
Sandy has launched Operation Find Circulating Copies of Kitten and finds a man ogling her centerfold while lounging by the pool. She walks by and "accidentally" spills her drink all over him...and during the chaos that ensues, rips out the center pages of the naughty magazine.
Lorraine is decked out in skimpwear as she struts over to where Ginny is sitting and asks her if she'd like to paint the town with her this evening. Ginny mopishly says she'd rather stay in and keep her fingers crossed that Ronald makes it to Cabo San Lucas (where the ship is currently docked), 'cause she figures that he'll be so exhausted it'll be easy to talk him into getting married. Lorraine makes a blech face and asks her why in the unfathomable fuck she'd want to be shackled in matrimony to such an imbecile, so Ginny lists her reasons:
Sandy spots a portly man on the deck reading Kitten while puffing on a cigarette, so she pulls a cigarette from her purse and asks the man for a light. When he idly hands over his lighter, she sets the edge of the magazine ablaze before beating a hasty retreat...and a few seconds later, the man's all, "Ack!" and throws the burning magazine overboard. A few seconds later, Sandy runs into Julie to update her on the status of Operation Find Circulating Copies of Kitten, and Julie informs her that Doc has the remaining copy. Sandy's like, "I suddenly have a cold!" and heads over to the infirmary stat! She spots the magazine in the exam room...and as Doc is retrieving his stethoscope, she fake coughs to cover up the sound of her ripping out the centerfold. Doc checks her heart rate, feels her forehead and diagnoses her with acute embarrassment caused by overexposure. He then confirms that, yep, he got a good gander of her naughties in Kitten, but that since she looks pretty damn smokin' in the raw, she has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Sandy says she's more concerned about what her congressman fiancé will think, so he points out that it's best to be totally honest with the man she intends to marry.
Lorraine finds Ginny sunning herself above deck and gushes about the awesome day she spent in Cabo San Lucas, dancing with a hottie named Paco. A few seconds later, a small boat with Ronald aboard speeds over to the ship so he can screech at Ginny about how much he loves and misses her. She screeches back, "Will you marry me?" and he replies, "I cannot heeeeear you!", then says she'll never be able to find another man who digs her as much as he does. Ginny cries, "I want your name!", so he quips, "OK, I'll call you Ronald", and she rolls her eyes in dismay and yells back, "Adios muchacho!"
Sandy drops by Brad's cabin to come clean about posing nude, and he opens his briefcase and pulls out a copy of Kitten. He says he kinda digs the fact that he's about to be married to a woman who other men can only ever jerk off to, and points out that "a guy named Carter confessed his lust in Playboy and he got to be president", and is therefore not remotely concerned that her past indiscretion will cost him votes with his constituents. Hurray!
Lorraine tells Ginny she'd like them to spend the evening in the ship's bar, guzzling alcohol and enjoying the company of men. When she orders a bottle of bourbon, a skittish looking Ginny says she's not much of a drinker or a flirter...but then throws back a shot of bourbon and decides she's up for a night of debauchery after all. Over the course of the evening, she and Lorraine hit the dance floor, hold court with a group of male admirers, and eventually exit the bar via a conga line.
Stacy Skogstad imperiously orders Julie to provide her with the ship's entertainment schedule, payment records, and supply lists - and Julie perkily says she'd be more than happy to accommodate her, then raves about how conscientious Captain Stubing is when it comes to administrative details. When she waxes on about how utterly marvellous he is, Stacy rolls her eyes and grumbles, "You've been drinking on duty."
Isaac remarks to Gopher, Julie, and Doc on the muteness of Aubrey Skogstad while his wife flaps around the ship, treating everyone like shit - most notably, Captain Stubing. Doc says he prolly shouldn't be spreading gossip about the Captain's personal life, but then decides 'ah fuck it, it's only my job at stake' and reveals that Captain Stubing used to be married to Stacy Skogstad...and adds that no way in heck would he allow a woman to push him around - just as Stacy bursts into the room and demands to see Doc's supply requisition. He meekly says, "Yes ma'am, right away, ma'am" while the rest of the crew gets out of her orbit, pronto.
A hungover Ginny tells Lorraine she had fun last night, but is bummed that Ronald didn't show up in Ensenada to profess his love for her a fourth time...and in the next scene, we see that Ronald's bug van got a flat tire, and he's miffed when a man riding by on a donkey doesn't stop to help.
Captain Stubing arrives at his table, where Stacy and her husband are once again seated. Stacy tells the Captain that she's going to continue to keep up the pressure on him, and he's like, "Pressure? What pressure?" so she remarks on how lame it is that he leaves it to his crew to defend him against her insults. She bitchily adds that she can't imagine why they admire him so much...and Captain Stubing looks startled by the revelation and hastily excuses himself from the table.
Captain Stubing quietly eavesdrops on the crew as they grumble to each other about how miserable Stacy Skogstad is making their lives this episode, and that they're neglecting the other passengers as a result. Gopher bitterly jokes that someone should appoint Stacy as Captain so she can hire the crew she wants...and Captain Stubing contorts his face into a stern enough is enough expression and marches back to the dining room, where he grabs Stacy by the arm and forcibly ushers her above deck. A bewildered Aubrey gets up from the table and toddles behind them. Captain Stubing firmly tells Stacy that he's no longer tolerating her abuse of his crew, then banishes her to her room for the rest of the evening. Stacy's all, "Wha-a-a?!" and whirls around to haughtily ask her husband if he's going to stand for this disrespect...and Aubrey, who up until this point in the episode has been mutely sucking on his pipe, puts his wife in her place by barking, "Go to your room!" Stacy gasps in shock before meekly obeying, and Aubrey winks at Captain Stubing and compliments him on being a great captain.
When the ship returns to Los Angeles the following morning, Ginny bids Lorraine adieu and thanks her for being such a fun cabin-mate. Lorraine waves goodbye, then turns her attention to her two little daughters, who come running over.
Sandy and Brad thank Julie for all of her help with Kitten-gate, and Doc tells Sandy he's delighted to hear that the wedding is still on course.
Ronald presents Ginny with a bouquet of roses and suggests she use them as part of her bridal bouquet, which is his way of telling her that he's finally ready to give marriage a try. Ginny's like, "Uh, about that.." then tells him she's now A-OK with them just living together, then explains that the last two nights aboard The Love Boat abruptly changed her mind. Ronald woots happily and thanks God - before digesting the last part of what she said and suspiciously asks her what happened during those two nights. Ginny says she simply realized how much she enjoys her freedom, aka the way he enjoys his freedom...and he yelps, "No way!" and insists that they get married asap, and a smiling Ginny says they can discuss this further at home.
Captain Stubing finds Stacy milling around in the gift shop and asks her if he might have a word with her so they can part on civil terms. He apologizes for being so harsh last night, and also for the greater sin of ruining their marriage. He tells her she deserved a better husband, and admits that he wanted to command ships far more than he wanted to make her happy. Stacy acknowledges that life with her was probably not much of a picnic - which...no duh - then reports that she couldn't find one important thing wrong with his ship and calls him one helluva commander. Captain Stubing thanks her for the glowing review and says he hopes she's happily married to her mute, and she says that while she loves the fact that Aubrey is home most of the time, she can't help but dislike his horrific last name. Captain Stubing smoothly pronounces her hard-to-pronounce name, and Stacy smiles and drawls, "Lawd, I loooove a silver-tongued man" and warmly says goodbye. A few seconds later, Captain Stubing is summoned to the bridge, and in response he happily scampers up the stairwell.
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1/2/2021 09:55:50 pm
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