Original airdate: 5/5/1978
Episode summary: A lonely widow pretends to be glamorous in an attempt to meet glamorous people. A squat young man is desperate to get married to avoid being cut out of his late grandfather's will. A male chauvinist alienates his fiancée with his shitty personality. A journalist spies on the crew and passengers in order to gather salacious fodder for an exposé.
Recap: Curt arrives on board with his girlfriend Didi, who he chides as being "the weaker sex" despite her willingness to carry all of their luggage. He introduces her to Julie and Gopher as his chick before describing her as "the finest animal I've ever owned" ... and after the two head off to settle into their cabin, Julie snarlingly tells Gopher she'd like to break every bone in that misogynistic douchebag's body.
A short, squat man named Nelson Hoag asks Doc if there are a lot of single women on board...and if so, where they hang out...and Doc "jokes" that, for some mystifying reason, the beautiful women usually eventually find their way to his cabin. A few seconds later, Nelson spots a statuesque blonde and ambles over to ask, "Will you please marry me?", but she just makes an 'as if' face at him before disinterestedly sauntering off.
Two deliverymen arrive carrying several bouquets of flowers for a passenger named Ireni Germaine, and Gopher directs them to the cabin of the seemingly popular woman.
Ireni is dropped off at the Love Boat port by her sister, who assures her that she arranged for a bunch of phony cablegrams and flower deliveries...then warns that all this stuff is costing her a stupid fortune. Ireni explains that, for once in her life, she wants to be a someone and figures that the best way to meet somebody glamorous is to pretend to be somebody glamorous. Ireni's sister mumbles about how her late husband would be spinning in his grave if he knew how much of his hard-earned dough she was wasting on creating a facade of glamour, but then agrees to call her during the cruise at least five times a day so that the passengers and crew will leap to the conclusion that she must reign somewhere as society's preeminent socialite.
A frizzy haired woman named Ms. O'Roarke boards the ship, glances around all covert-like, and informs Gopher that she's a reporter traveling incognito for Defile Magazine. She explains that she's going to write a story that's sure to blow the lid off of the cruise ship industry, then nods her head knowingly as she says she's well aware of what goes on during these types of cruises: musical cabins, wife swapping, and organized hanky panky. Gopher denies that any such debauchery ever occurs on the ship - but she's like, "OK, whatever", then hands him a small wad of cash and asks him to keep his eyes and ears open.
Captain Stubing is staring smittenly at Ireni as Julie hands her her pile of fake cablegrams, then tells about all the flower bouquets that await her in her cabin. Ireni giggles about how her male admirers - Marlin, Jack, and Warren - are always sending her flowers - just as Captain Stubing saunters over to shyly introduce himself. Ireni imperiously instructs Julie to distribute the flowers among the indigent passengers, despite there being no such thing...and as she sashays off, Captain Stubing stares after her longingly.
Didi calls out Curt for publicly referring to her as "the finest animal I own", and he scrunches his face confusedly as to how this could possibly upset her and says he meant it as a compliment. Didi rebuffs his aggressive attempts at a kiss, reminding him that she's a person not a chick, to which Curt mutters, "OK, OK, you're a person. Now shut up before I belt you one." Didi snarls back about what a male chauvinist pig he is [while somehow refraining to include his penchant for threatening violence], and he's like, "Well d'yuh" and says if she doesn't like it, "adios amigo". Didi motions at the door and screeches at him to get out and leave her alone - but he points out that since he's the one who paid for the cabin, if she wants to be left alone "there's the door, baby". Didi decides on the door being the better option as she picks up her bags and storms out...leaving Curtis snarling after her, "When you cool down, I could use a back rub and cigarettes!"
Nelson proposes to the next pretty woman who happens to stumble into his orbit, but she just shrugs disinterestedly and says that at the moment she's purely interested in finding a shuffleboard partner. Gopher overhears the exchange and tells Nelson to try to not to feel too rejected, but Nelson explains that he's in such a rush to get married 'cause, according to his idiot grandfather's will, if he's not married by the age of twenty-five, he'll miss out on a substantial inheritance. Gopher points out that he might have more luck with his proposals if he maybe got acquainted with his prospects first...so Nelson chews on that for a few seconds before he approaches a teary Didi to ask her if she has any interest in getting acquainted with him. She responds by bursting into tears, then explains to Gopher that she needs her own cabin after unexpectedly walking out on her shitbag of a boyfriend. Gopher breaks the unfortunate news that the ship is fully booked - just as Doc comes over to smarmily offer her the use of his cabin. Didi perks up and accepts by kissing his cheek...and as soon as she's out of earshot, Doc creepily tells a dismayed Gopher, "If you thinks she's grateful now, wait 'til later." Ms. O'Roarke, meanwhile, has been eavesdropping on Doc's sexual harassmenty quid pro quo and is jotting it all down in her little notebook. Gopher notices and ambles over and to assure her (somehow with a straight face) that Doc was merely offering a distraught female passenger a place to sleep, but Ms. O'Roarke doesn't buy that and boasts that her cruise ship exposé is going to be so scandalous that it'll make Hugh Hefner blush [which I seriously doubt was actually possible, but OK].
That evening in the lounge, Doc is having drinks with Didi when Curt marches over to demand to know where she's been all afternoon. Didi smugly informs him that she has moved into Doc's cabin and is staying put...and eventually Curt gives up barking edicts at her to leave the lounge with him and slinks off. As that's happening, the camera pans over to Ms. O'Roarke, who was hiding behind a plant as she documented the exchange in her notebook.
When Nelson arrives in the dining room, Gopher advises him to take a seat, do his best to look debonair, and keep his fingers crossed that at least a couple of women will flock over to him. A few seconds later, Julie enters the room, and a cocksure Curtis makes a quick beeline over to smarmily ask, "How're ya doin', pretty lady?" ... and when she makes a blech face and replies, "Fine until now", he retorts, "I like a filly with a temperament" and invites her to dance. Julie snubs the invitation by grabbing Nelson, who's standing nearby, and urges him to sweep her off her feet on the dance floor, and he happily tells her he's game, but warns that he only knows how to polka.
Captain Stubing is in the process of sauntering over to Ireni, who's decked out in a sparkly white gown and matching head wrap, when Isaac carries a telephone over to her and informs her that she has an important call from a gentleman named Rudolph. Ireni picks up the receiver, chides "Rudolph" for being "a persistent little peasant", and continues fake chatting into probably a dead receiver while Captain Stubing awkwardly stands a few feet away. Ireni pauses the pretend call to ask him whassup, and he suddenly loses his nerve and wishes her a lovely evening before blushingly shuffling off.
Didi tells Doc he's a sweet guy for letting her sleep in his bed...and while she's saying that, he's in his bathroom, clad in pyjamas and applying aftershave. When he announces, "I'm ready", Didi stares back at him blankly and asks him 1) exactly what he's ready for, and 2) where he plans on sleeping. He replies, "Uh, with you..?", and she gasps in horror at the prospect - LOL - and growls, "What kind of girl do you think I am?" A few seconds later, Curtis storms over to brusquely command Didi to get back to his cabin where she belongs, then punches Doc in the face when he attempts to intervene. Didi yells at Curtis to get lost, then tenderly wipes Doc's bloody nose before helping him hobble over to the bed.
Nelson escorts Julie back to her cabin, and the two agree that they had a great time polka-ing together. Julie tells him he's a very nice man and that he really should have more confidence in himself...and as he leans in for a goodnight kiss, Gopher suddenly appears out of nowhere and orders him to beat it.
As Ms. O'Roarke sulks around the passageway with her notebook, Doc asks Isaac if he can bunk with him tonight 'cause Didi is occupying his bed while refusing to put out - but Isaac says he has to turn him down 'cause he has his eye on a cutie he's hoping to bed. Doc then knocks on Julie's door to ask her if he can bunk with her, and she's like 'sure, whatever' and allows him in. When she points out that she only has a tiny single bed, he offers to sleep in the bathtub...which prompts her to ask why he's never come on to her, given the indiscriminate manner in which he chases after everything in a skirt. Doc chuckles at the notion and says that that would be like making a pass at his sister...then disapprovingly says that he's so shocked - shocked! - that she'd even bring up the two of them getting it on as a topic of conversation that he's going to huffily storm into the bathroom.
A depressed Julie gets dressed, heads down to the bar, and seats herself next to Nelson. She suggests the two of them get a bottle of whiskey and booze it up in his cabin, and he perks up the unexpected invitation. When they arrive at his cabin, an exhausted Julie collapses atop his bed...while Nelson decides it's the perfect moment to propose marriage, and explains that he's so desperate to wed 'cause he stands to lose a sizeable inheritance if he remains single after Friday. Julie tells him that this isn't exactly the type of marriage proposal she's always dreamed of, and that the only reason she's even in his cabin is 'cause Doc is snoring away in her bathtub...and says this as though she didn't lead him on with her 'let's drink whiskey all night' suggestion. She then says she's extremely tired and just wants to go to sleep, so Nelson tells her that she's welcome to stay in his cabin while he trolls the ship for a more promising marital prospect.
As Ms. O'Roarke continues to skulk around the passageway, Julie sneaks back to her cabin - just as Doc is exiting. He haughtily asks her if she had an interesting night, and she breezily tells him it was fantastic. A few seconds later, Isaac appears and tells Doc he disapproves of Julie messing with any of the male passengers...and says this as though he wasn't trying to bed a cutie earlier, and as though Doc doesn't routinely showcase himself as '70s prime time TV's horniest Casanova.
Early the next morning, Ireni wanders around the pool deck and finds Nelson sleeping on a lounger. She tells him that she too slept above deck, and he's like, "That's interesting. Will you marry me?" Ireni tells him that she came aboard this cruise to have fun, not find a husband, then advises him to go back to his cabin and get some sleep. He says he can't do that at the moment 'cause he loaned out his cabin to Julie, who he's assuming is still asleep in his bed...so Ireni generously offers up her cabin.
Curtis tries to assure Didi that he does think of her as a person (sort of), then tries to forcibly smooch her as he simultaneously pleads with her to come back to their cabin. Didi fights off his physical advances while warning that someone could walk into Doc's cabin at any moment...and when he scoffs, "So what?", she yells at him to get the hell outa here and throws whatever was on Doc's nightstand at him. As he flees the cabin, Ireni is escorting Nelson to her cabin and encouraging him to get some sleep in her bed...and once again, Ms. O'Roarke is lurking nearby to document what she perceives as rampant hanky panky.
Ireni gets another pretend phone call from someone to whom she refers as "Liz darling" ... and when she mentions Philip and Anne, Captain Stubing startlingly murmurs, "Queen Elizabeth..?" Ireni proceeds to tell Queen Elizabeth that she can't make supper this week 'cause she's currently cruising on The Love Boat, and that she has to sign off now 'cause she's being gawked at by the gorgeous captain. When she hangs up, she asks Captain Stubing if he might wish to give her a tour of the ship, and he smittenly says he'd be honored...and as the two head off together, Ms. O'Roarke emerges from wherever she's been lurking unseen and remarks to Isaac, "Everybody's getting in on the act."
Doc tells Julie that they're going to have to have a chat about the decline of her moral standards, and she (kettle) snappishly tells him (pot) to go pee up a rope.
Ireni regales Captain Stubing with faux tales of her various celebrity friends, and in response he coos about how much he loooooves her [fabricated] style and suggests that they continue this conversation in a quieter place. Ireni invites him to come with her to her cabin...and after the two wander off together, Ms. O'Roarke runs into Gopher and needlessly updates him about what "a hotbed of hot beds" the ship is, then recaps all of the sex romping she assumes is happening, including the amorous crew. Gopher responds with a blanket denial of all hanky panky allegations, but she ignores that, thanks him for his help, and promises to credit him when she publishes her article.
Ireni's all, "Oops" as she tells Captain Stubing that she forgot about letting Nelson get some sleep in her cabin, and he marvels at her graciousness before suggesting they head over to his cabin. As the two happily scamper off, Ms. O'Roarke cackles excitedly about all of the salacious material she's been able to gather for her article - just as Captain Stubing is summoned to the bridge. He asks Ireni if they can hook up tonight, and she coquettishly tells him she'd be more than happy to meet up with him later.
Nelson asks a pretty blonde who's seated next to him at the bar if she'd consider marrying him - but before she's able to summarily reject his proposal, Doc rushes over and invites her to dance.
That evening, Captain Stubing is hanging with Ireni, smittenly staring into her eyes when he invites her to accompany him to his cabin, and she makes it clear that she's very into that idea.
Didi is sitting with a couple, having a conversation about setting boundaries about her space...and when Curt comes over to angrily demand that she leave with him, she tells him to get the hell outa her space.
Ms. O'Roarke seats herself next to a somewhat weary looking Gopher at the bar to tell him that she can feel the calm on the eve of the storm that will be all the ship's sex fiends suddenly going berserk. Gopher offers to buy her a drink, and she orders a beer before remarking on how unwise it'd be to be seen boozing it up with her article's source [despite no one on the ship knowing about the article or likely giving a rat's ass even if they did know]. She tells Gopher she kinda digs him and gives him a playful punch, and he reciprocates with a playful punch of his own. Mmm hmm... [and seriously, Gopher?].
Captain Stubing tells Ireni she's very special, then gives her an intensely passionate smooch before breathily informing her that he's going to slip into something more comfortable. After he disappears into his bathroom, a panicked looking Ireni races over to the phone to ask the switchboard operator to page her - just as Captain Stubing emerges from the bathroom decked out in loungewear and asks her whassup. Ireni tells him she can't go through with this silly fraud, then comes clean about how she's not a glamorous socialite named Ireni Germaine, but rather a widowed housewife from Pacoima named Irene Funston. Captain Stubing scrunches his face disappointedly, then tells her she's still a lovely lady he wouldn't mind hitting the sheets with - but Irene tells him she has zero interest in starting something she can't finish. She explains that this cruise was supposed to be a fun fantasy she could look back on fondly while perusing her Love Boat scrapbook years from now...but just now realized that she really doesn't want a shipboard fling, 'cause what she truly craves is [time travelling back to the 1950s and] having a husband she can cook, clean, and iron shirts for. Captain Stubing tells her he definitely can't be that man for her, and attempts to keep the possibility of getting laid alive by wanking her about what "a magnificent woman" she is while leaning in for a smooch - but she flees his grasp and beats a hasty retreat out of the cabin.
A sobbing Irene goes above deck, where she encounters a sobbing Curtis. When she asks him whassup with his tears, he tells her he just got jilted 'cause, among countless other reasons, he has an enormous ego problem. Irene gives him a quick once over and determines that he's a good looking, sensitive man who seems to need to tell the world what a great guy he is 'cause no one else is saying it [for good reason] ... and the two clutch hands and cry over their collective sorrows.
Nelson is drunkenly nattering at Isaac when Didi enters the bar. Nelson perks up and offers to buy her a drink...and after she insists that he properly introduce himself first, she accepts. Nelson breaks the ice further by showing her a photo of his pet bunny and tells her there's more where that came from in his cabin, and she decides that looking at some strange guy's collection of pet bunny photos would be the perfect way to cap off the evening.
The next morning, Nelson brings in a food-filled tray so that Didi can have breakfast in bed...and as he's pouring her a cup of coffee, she tells him how pleasantly surprised she is by his sweet chivalry. She also applauds his restraint in not trying any hanky panky last night before the two passed out while perusing his pet bunny photo album [which, sure, is a reasonable thing for a grown man to be bringing along on a cruise]. Nelson earnestly asks, "Will you marry me?", and she replies, "Of course!" ... and when he informs her that if they marry before Friday, he inherits $3 million, she's like, "Point me towards the nearest chapel!"
As Ms. O'Roarke is doing her usual skulking around the passageway, an elated Nelson runs into Doc and tells him he finally got engaged and invites him into his cabin for an impromptu celebration...and when Julie, Isaac, and Gopher happen to walk by, Doc invites them to join what Ms. O'Roarke assumes is an early morning orgy-fest. When Gopher emerges from the cabin a few seconds later, Ms. O'Roarke smugly tells him she's going to make millions from what now is going to be an entire book...and Gopher's like, "That's nice, wanna get it on in my cabin?", and she's all, "Fuck yeah."
Nelson and Didi bid the crew goodbye after announcing their quickie wedding plans...and a few seconds later, Curtis and Irene happily depart together. Ms. O'Roarke tells Gopher how dismayed she is that of all the crew and passengers she stalked during the cruise, the only people who actually hooked up were the two of them. As the passengers continue to file off of the ship, Isaac, Captain Stubing, Doc, and Julie agree that this cruise was dull and unsatisfying - except for Gopher, who feels vigorous after fighting his general boredom this episode by getting his rocks off with a distinctly unalluring sex writer.
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