"Parents Know Best / A Selfless Love / The Nubile Nurse"
Original airdate: 2/24/1978
Episode summary: A young man cons his parents into accepting his girlfriend as his future wife. An engaged couple contends with their considerable age difference. Doc hires an ex-Vegas showgirl to be his new nurse.
Recap: Doc tells Gopher and Isaac that he was able to convince the powers that be to hire a nurse to join his Love Boat practice...then chucklingly adds that her name is Dawn Delaney and that she used to be a scantily costumed Las Vegas showgirl whose naughties he used to salivate over. A few seconds later, Captain Stubing wanders over with a case of persistent hiccups - just as Dawn Delaney sexily sashays on board, decked out in her nurse's uniform. Doc introduces her to Isaac and Gopher before schmaltzy ushering her off to show her his exam room [and God knows what else].
Harry and Phyllis Morrison arrive on the ship, along with their son Bruce. While checking in, Harry needlessly tells Julie that Bruce is very single - but when Julie remarks on all the pretty young ladies she's been checking in, Bruce sourly retorts that he already has a pretty lady. Phyllis chides her son for his surliness and reminds him that he promised to forget about Ginger during the cruise and consider sowing some wild oats before settling down.
Gopher greets a young woman who's registered on the guest list as Diana Lane and smarmily tells her that he'll do everything to make her stay pleasurable, memorable, and exciting...and she's like, "Thanks, but I'm already spoken for. "
Captain Stubing warmly greets his old pal, Dan Michaels, and is introduced to Dan's pretty and much younger fiancée, Laura Wakefield. Dan informs the captain that he and Laura plan to get married when the ship docks in Cabo San Lucas, and that he'd like him to be his best man...while Laura excuses herself to wander over to the gift shop. In the process, she accidentally bumps into a good looking man (Gary Foster) who looks to be around her age...and when she informs him that she's engaged, he's all 'drats' and says he's somehow always getting into trouble with married women. A few seconds later, Laura returns to where Dan's standing and suggests they go above deck and throw confetti as the ship begins its sail, but he's like 'Nah, I'm old and wanna take a nap' before noticing the look of disappointment on his young fiancée's face and abruptly reversing the old man decision. A middle-aged blonde woman who's been eavesdropping on the conversation tells Laura, "Listen to your father, dear. Fathers usually know best" ... and Laura somehow refrains from telling the buttinsky to mind own business before she and Dan gaily head above deck to litter the ocean.
While sitting by the pool and playing cards, Harry tells Phyllis he hopes that Bruce soon realizes what a boneheaded idea it would be to marry the first girl he falls for. The two then notice Diana Lane sitting nearby, start chatting her up, and perk up when they learn that she's travelling alone. They ask her if she's single, so she tells them she has her heart set on marrying her boyfriend, and Harry makes a face and says he can't fathom why anyone would want to get married at the age of twenty-one. Phyllis chimes in and informs Diana that they have a son named Bruce, and that he's twenty-two and kind of a hottie (despite his "hotness" really being in an 'eye of the beholder' type category).
Julie and Gopher interrupt everyone's relaxation time to introduce a super annoying way in which passengers can interact with each other. They order the ladies to take off a shoe and put it into a basket...and then the menfolk will select a shoe, figure out who it belongs to, at which time the two will pass an orange to one another using just their necks. Sounds more like the kind of ice-breaker they should have instituted two episodes ago on the Valentine's Day cruise.
Bruce emerges from the pool and returns to his parents' table, where he's introduced to their cute new friend Diana. Harry proposes that they have dinner together tonight and go dancing, then decide if they're really truly absolutely ready to marry their significant others at such a young age. Diana and Bruce both agree that they're game for the experiment...and as Diana heads off to her cabin, Gopher asks Diana if she wants to play the shoe/orange passing game - but she declines and says she intends to "be true" to her boy back home A few seconds later, Bruce yells out, "I'll pick you up at eight!" and she gaily replies, "Perfect!", prompting Gopher to scrunch his face perplexedly, despite her easy-to-gauge complete lack of interest in being pursued by him. Give it up, Gopher.
Laura's shoe is selected by Gary Foster, and the two gigglingly chat it up as Dan covertly watches with an expression of mild dismay. He then reaches into the basket and selects the shoe of the woman who had made that 'listen to your father, dear' remark earlier. She introduces herself to Dan as Glenda Fairbanks, says she hates these dumb ice-breakers, and invites him to buy her a drink. The two wander over to the bar, where they order piña coladas from Isaac, then reminisce about the music of the WWII era and start singing I'll be Seeing You. A few seconds later, Laura comes over and jokes about them being like Donny and Marie...and Dan's like, "Who?", then continues singing with Glenda, along with Captain Stubing after he ambles over to see what all the WWII era singing is about.
Mrs. Martin, an older chubby woman whose neck got injured during the orange passing game, enters Doc's office. Dawn tells her that Doc isn't here at the moment, but that she could try snapping her neck back into place. When Doc returns to the office, he hears a shriek...and when he rushes into the exam room, he finds a grateful Mrs. Martin calling Dawn a life-saver for getting her neck back to its default settings. After she leaves, Doc tells Dawn he doesn't mind her doing his doctor work for him, urges her to take the rest of the afternoon off, and leans in for a kiss - but she deftly avoids his lips and offers to spend the afternoon 1) sorting out the files in his filing cabinet, and 2) pretending as thought she has no idea how transparently desperate he is to get her in the sack.
At dinner, Phyllis asks Diana if she's really serious about marrying her fella, and she says she is...and that she's 100% dedicated to supporting her future husband through law school once she graduates. A few seconds later, Bruce invites her to dance...and once they're out of earshot, Bruce and Phyllis agree that Diana is definitely a keeper.
Gopher and Isaac watch Doc as he dances with Dawn, and gush about how sexy she is...and while they're doing that, Julie suggests to the slobbering idiots that since Dawn earned her own way through nursing school, they might want to rethink objectifying the woman in such a cartoonishly '70s manner.
Mrs. Martin interrupts Doc and Dawn to ask if one of them could examine the injured back of her new beau (Mr. Ross), 'cause apparently he's barely able to walk upright. Doc opts to provide no service aside from breezily telling the man to go back to his cabin and get some rest - just as Captain Stubing walks over to seek relief from his hiccups. When Dawn starts offering some advice on how to get the hiccups to stop, Doc cuts her off and tells him to try gargling with salt water. Once the captain ambles off and is out of earshot, Dawn tells Doc that she's been reading up on some new fangled techniques to treat hiccups, then gently explains that she's rebuffing his relentless, wildly inappropriate advances 'cause, now that they're supposed to be colleagues, she'd prefer to not make a kissy spectacle of herself while the entire crew watches.
Gary Foster invites Laura to jig with him to the jazz song that the band just started playing, while Captain Stubing sits with Dan and remarks on how beautiful his fiancée is. Dan concurs, but says he's been thinking that maybe she'd be better off hooking up with someone closer to her in age.
Captain Stubing asks the band to nix the jazz and play something from his generation, while Dan heads over to the dance floor to cut in on Laura and Gary - but before he can do that, Glenda grabs him and chirps, "They're playing our song!", causing Laura to look over at them in miffed dismay before storming out of the lounge.
Harry and Phyllis agree that they're pleased by how well Bruce and Diana appear to have hit it off.
As Dan looks around for Laura, Glenda breezily says she must have left, then urges him to remain with her on the dance floor 'cause it'd be too much of a shame to waste this lovely, old-fashioned music.
Above deck, Diana tells Bruce he's a terrific kisser, and he's like, "You're not so bad yourself, Ginger." Hee!
Dan stops by Laura's cabin, where she's decked out in a slinky negligee and looking as though she's definitely up for some pre-marital bedroom action. Dan notices that, for some weird reason, she has his baby photo in a frame sitting on her end table...so she explains that his mother gave it to her, and says if she thought that a baby of theirs would turn out as cute as he was, she'd want them locked away in a room together forever. Dan responds to her sexy invitation to an all night romp by telling her he's so pooped that he's off to his cabin to turn in for the night, then gives her a kiss goodnight and tells her he'll see her in the morning. Ouch.
Mr. Ross enters Doc's office in a second effort to get some sort of medical treatment for his sore back, and Dawn tells him that Doc will be back in a minute and that he can have a seat. She then bends over as she continues with her her filing...and Mr. Ross leans over to get a better eyeful of her shapely derriere, which somehow results in him snapping his spine back into proper alignment. When Doc returns a few seconds later, Mr. Ross abruptly says his back is all better and races off. Doc is shocked that Dawn was able to cure the man's back problem so quickly, but a befuddled Dawn tells him that she didn't actually do anything.
Diana tells Bruce they should be honest with his parents about the fact that she's actually Ginger and not some random cruise fling, not least 'cause she doesn't want their marriage to be built on a foundation of deceit. Bruce disagrees and says he'd prefer to stick to their original plan, and she wonders aloud if he's even mature enough to be married. [I'm comfortable guessing not.]
Laura tells Gary how miffed she is about all the time Dan is spending with Glenda...then glances across the deck and sees Dan and Glenda amiably chatting. She reacts by bursting into tears while Gary offers her a comforting hug.
Bruce glumly tells his parents that he and Diana had an argument...and when Harry just shrugs and suggests he simply meet someone new, Bruce dejectedly shuffles off. Harry tells Phyllis he's taking Bruce's extreme glumness about Diana - aka a woman he just met - as solid proof that he could not have been very into Ginger.
Mexican Fiesta Night! Julie asks Bruce if he'd like to share a margarita, but he despondently tells her he'd rather mope alone...and Diana, likewise, declines an invitation from Gopher to hit the dance floor. Harry and Phyllis, meanwhile, notice how miserable Bruce and Diana look while they deliberately avoid each other...and Phyllis admits to her husband that it prolly isn't a good idea for them to be sticking their big fat noses in their son's love life.
While cutting a rug, Laura tells Dan she's thinking of turning in early, and he nods and grunts something non-committal as the two exit the lounge.
Harry and Phyllis tell Bruce they're no longer going to interfere in his love life, and he sheepishly says he owes them both a huge apology before confessing that he and "Diana" have been conning them, and reveals that she's actually Ginger. A few seconds later, Ginger comes over, tells Phyllis and Harry that she's sick of playing games and admits to being Ginger, and that she really really wants them to like her for herself. She adds that nothing is going to be able to keep her and her beloved apart...and as the two engage in a make-up smooch, a happy Phyllis assures her that she has their blessing.
When Dawn arrives in the Acapulco Lounge, Doc sourly remarks on how surprised he is that she's not in his exam room, performing emergency brain surgery. She asks him whassup with his pissy bitchitude, so he poutishly retorts that he was hoping they'd celebrate their last night at sea coupling up. A few seconds later, Captain Stubing wanders over, still plagued with his hiccuping problem, and Daws overrides Doc's gargling with salt water advice and administers some from behind pressure to his diaphragm. Captain Stubing dumbly stares into space for a few seconds before announcing that his hiccups have completely disappeared, then happily tells Doc that his hot nurse is a miracle worker.
As the ship docks in Cabo San Lucas, Captain Stubing tells Dan he's ready to serve as his best man, but Dan glumly says he's rethinking marrying a woman so many years his junior 'cause he has to assume that she'd be much happier with someone her own age...like Gary Foster, for example. He then says he's going to pack up his things and fly back to L.A. so that Laura can be free to troll the ship for young-ish men.
When Dan drops by Laura's cabin, he's shocked to find her packing her things...and when he asks her whassup, she tells him she's flying back to L.A. today so that he can be free to hang with older women...like Glenda Fairbanks, for example. She sadly declares she loves him, doesn't give a hoot that he's twenty years older than her, and accuses him of giving up on their love. As she starts weeping, Dan hugs her, apologizes for giving her the impression that he suddenly wasn't into her anymore, and promises to never again do anything that makes her cry. The two then exchange I love yous and agree that neither wants a life that doesn't include the other.
Doc snaps at Dawn for not keeping his medical files better organized, and also for discarding a bunch of old magazines from the waiting room. When she's all "The fuck is your problem?", he shrieks, "Just do your job!" Dawn tries to explain to the horny dolt that that's all she's been doing while on this ship, then bursts into tears and runs out of the room - just as Julie enters, correctly assumes that Doc just behaved like a misogynistic horse's ass, and angrily refers to him as "a heel".
In the next scene, Doc drops by Dawn's cabin to apologize for his unprofessional behavior just now, and she tells him she's packing her stuff 'cause clearly she's not cut out for nursing. Doc agrees, but only to urge her to pursue medical school 'cause of the amazing instincts she has for engaging with patients...and Dawn's all, "Wuh?" and reminds him that since she was a sex symbol in Vegas for so long, people tend to not take her seriously. Doc quips, "I know what you mean" [lol, except you don't], then sits her down to explain that doctors are not gods, and that much of the time the job of a doctor is listening to patients...something at which she clearly excels [and something he sucks very hard at]. He offers to write a glowing letter of recommendation for her medical school application, and she hugs him and asks how she can ever thank him - nooooooo, Dawn! - and he's like, "You're seriously asking a serial sexual harasser that?" and plants a big smooch on her lips...'cause, sure, that's a totally reasonable way for a doctor to be conducting himself with someone who's looking to be mentored as a health services professional.
Captain Stubing stops by Laura's cabin to break the news of Dan's sudden change of heart, and is all 'wuh?!' to find Dan there. The captain insists that they strongly consider getting married in Las Vegas following the cruise, but Dan cheerily informs him that that won't be necessary 'cause he and Laura were able to find a justice of the peace in Cabo earlier in the day and tied the knot in an impromptu ceremony. Hurray!
When the ship docks in Los Angeles, the Morrisons gabble about how happy they are to be gaining a daughter-in-law...and when Gopher tries to invite Diana to dinner, she's like, "Er...no" 'cause she's engaged to Bruce, who's also her boy back home. As she merrily exits the ship, Gopher stares after her confusedly. Give it the fuck up, Gopher.
Dan and Laura bid Captain Stubing adieu and tell him that since he didn't get the opportunity to be best man at their wedding, he'll have the honor of being godfather to their kids. A few seconds later, Mrs. Martin remarks to Dan what a beautiful daughter he has, and he cheekily replies, "She's not my daughter - but don't tell my wife" ... and as he winks at her, she huffily storms off while Dan, Laura, and Captain Stubing chuckle in amusement.
Dawn says goodbye to the crew - just as Doc starts coughing. Dawn recommends that he get plenty of bed rest and take antibiotics, then submits to kissing him one last time. Captain Stubing then ambles over, once again hiccupping...which, for some reason, seems to greatly amuse both himself and the crew.
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