"The Business of Love / Crash Diet Crisis / I'll Never Fall in Love Again"
Original airdate: 5/12/1978
Episode summary: Two dullards connect while grieving the loss of their loved ones. A call girl finds it difficult to leave the world of hooking behind when she runs into a former john who threatens to blab about how she's been making a living. Captain Stubing goes on a crash diet in order to impress a woman he used to crush on in high school.
Recap: Jill Williams is dropped off at The Love Boat port by her friend Dolly, who gives her a departing gift of a basket of oranges. She then urges Jill to forgo the cruise so that they can prostitute themselves with a rich Texan and his equally-as-rich oil sheikh friend - but Jill declines and says she's through with being a hooker. When Dolly says she can't help but be skeptical, Jill says she's no longer A-OK with selling her body for money, not least 'cause she has a fourteen year old son [who, no doubt, would be severely icked out if he had any idea how she's been putting food on the table] and has saved enough money to tide her over until she finds a non-sex industry job. Dolly shrugs and laments, "What a waste", then gives her friend a hug goodbye.
Gopher greets a sorrowful looking Roberta Roberts and flirtily invites her to dinner, and she's like, "I couldn't possibly be less interested in being romanced by you" and hastily excuses herself.
Moe and Dotty Price arrive on the ship dressed in matching Price's Ice is Nice t-shirts and wonder aloud to each other if a vessel like this could ever sink.
Gopher checks in Nate Jordan, a sad sack who says he's vacationing alone 'cause his wife recently died.
Captain Stubing scans a group of incoming passengers and excitedly tells Doc that he recognizes a pretty woman named Jocelyn Matthews he used to crush on in high school. He races over to greet her, then gushes about how she hasn't changed a bit...while she gives him a disapproving once over and asks what in blazes happened to "String Bean Stubing". When he scrunches his face in mortification, she back pedals and tells him not to feel too insecure about his chubbiness, 'cause a lot of guys they both knew from the old days are now bald, portly, and have terrible posture...and neglects to add that the only reason she's not remarking on his baldness is 'cause his captain's hat is effectively hiding his sparse clown hair 'do.
Ray and Myrna Foster check in and then bicker as they make their way to their assigned cabin.
Bill Wainright bumps into Jill, causing her to drop her basket of oranges...and as he kneels down to help her pick them up, Ray Foster looks over at them from across the lobby and murmurs, "Well I'll be." Myrna asks him what he's muttering about, and he breezily says, "Nothing", then jovially adds that this might be a very romantic cruise after all...and says this while staring lecherously in Jill's direction. Ew.
Roberta unpacks her things, then stares longingly at a framed photo of her late beau.
Jill and Bill bump into each other again near the pool...and when he asks her if she's sitting with anyone, she tells him she isn't and happily saunters off with him.
Isaac takes drink orders from a glum Nate and then an equally-as-glum Roberta, both of whom request very obscure concoctions.
While playing backgammon for 5 cents a point, Bill jokingly chides Jill for hustling him...and she looks visibly put out by the too-close-to-home accusation.
Captain Stubing is jogging in place inside his cabin...then weighs himself, but looks less than thrilled with the number. He summons Doc to tell him that he's so jazzed about seeing Jocelyn again, he'd like him (Doc) to rapidly help fix his body so he has a decent shot at coupling up with his former crush. Doc tells him, "A fast is fast", which translates to don't eat anything - but then admits that starvation is probably not the healthiest way to lose weight. A few seconds later, Isaac drops by to offer the captain a jelly donut for his regular tea time, but he reluctantly declines the delicious midday treat.
Bill hands Jill a towel as she emerges from the swimming pool...and as she's drying herself off, Ray asks Isaac if he knows whether or not Jill is travelling with her male friend. Isaac says he's pretty sure they met on the ship...and Ray continues to stare over at her as she and Bill happily chit-chat and then wander off together.
At dinner time, Captain Stubing arrives at his table, where Jocelyn has already been seated. He tells her how delighted he is to host her at his table, and she beams in response. Gopher interrupts to weirdly remind the captain that he shouldn't be wearing his hat at the dinner table...and when he reluctantly removes it, Jocelyn gasps at his baldness, then apologizes for making that baldy crack earlier. She wanks him about how awesomely he's rockin' the whole chubby-bald look - but a dispirited captain tells Jocelyn he's not eating any dinner 'cause he had a very big lunch, then stares longingly at the plates of food in front of him.
Roberta arrives at her assigned dinner table...which, for whatever reason, is shared by Moe and Dotty Price, along with Nate. Moe and Dotty natter about being in the ice business...and when Nate manages to get a word in edgewise and tell them that he's a stockbroker, Roberta happily rejoins that she's an economist. Moe, who seems like one of those guys who's profoundly disinterested in anything that has nothing to do with him, says "That's nice, but it ain't the ice business", which...that it ain't, Moe. That it ain't.
Ray is gazing hungrily at Jill as she dances with Bill - until Myrna grumbles at him to stop ogling so brazenly at the beautiful "stranger".
Moe and Dotty urge Roberta and Nate to cut a rug with them on the dance floor, but the dullards decline, then later confide in each other that since they're not in the most festive of moods, they'd prefer to mope around the quieter parts of the ship.
Captain Stubing tells Jocelyn he's falling in love with her and coos about how gorgeous she is. She tells him that she manages to keep her girlish figure by jogging every morning, and he perks up at that notion and suggests they go jogging together.
Bill escorts Jill to her cabin and tells her that he had such a good time today he wishes for "a lifetime of todays". Jill blushingly says it's so nice of him to say that, and accepts his invitation to get together for breakfast in the morning.
Ray prattles on and on about how energized and youthful he feels on this cruise - but when Myrna emerges from the bathroom with wearing flannel PJs, face cream, and curlers in her hair, he's all, "Holy hell you're fugly" and further insults her old lady frumpiness. She snarls back that she couldn't give the tiniest of rat's asses what a shitbag like him thinks about her sleeping attire and climbs into bed.
Roberta apologizes to Nate for her general wet blanket disposition, then explains that the love of her life, Bob, recently died while on a training flight for the Air Force. Nate clucks sympathetically and tells her that he too is in a sorrowful state 'cause of his wife's recent passing...and the two decide that they've depressed each other enough for one evening and head off separately to their cabins.
Ray continues to snipe at his frumpy wife, then growlingly announces that he's going out to get a drink at whatever bar is still open at this hour. And Myrna somehow refrains from wondering aloud why in the hell she continues to tolerate being married to such a gargantuan asshole.
Ray drops by Jill's cabin, and she's all, "The fuck are you doing here?", then asks him if he's on this cruise for business or pleasure. He crassly replies, "Your business is my pleasure" then tells her he's got plenty of money to pay her to get his rocks off. Jill tells him she's no longer in the business of selling her body for money and shrieks, "Get out!" ... and Ray scoffs, "Are you kidding? You'll never change" and dickishly threatens to reveal to Bill the sleazy way in which his new gal has, up until now, been earning a living.
Early the next morning, Jocelyn is doing her daily jog...but when she pauses to look behind her, Captain Stubing - aka her jogging buddy - is nowhere to be seen.
Isaac and Gopher spot an inert Captain Stubing laying atop a bench with a towel over his face...and Gopher idly says that the role-poly torso reminds him of a baby whale he once saw at Marine Land.
Jocelyn tells Doc that Captain Stubing mysteriously disappeared during their morning run - just as he limps over. He fibs that while jogging he was called away to deal with an emergency on the bridge...and when she invites him to breakfast, he despondently tells her that he's not going to be eating for the foreseeable future. He then says he needs to run along to prepare for a crew meeting and that he'll see her later.
Nate and Roberta fib to Moe and Dotty about how they have shuffleboard plans and therefore can't spend the day with them, then beat a hasty retreat. Roberta gigglingly thanks Nate for rescuing her from the overbearing couple, then notices that he's clutching an Agatha Christie novel. She tells him she looooooves this author, so he loans her the book...and the two wish each other a lovely day before ambling off in separate directions.
Myrna tells Ray that she's so sick of his hostile bickering and the way he constantly takes her for granted that she's moving into a vacant cabin...pending their divorce, which she can't wait to file for. Ray tells her she's crazy to walk away from their dysfunctional marriage, then growlingly warns her to not come crawling back to him...and she shrugs and says, all un-fazed-like, "Why would I? You'll never change."
Captain Stubing berates his crew for their slip-shod and lackadaisical work, chiding..
After that, he grumpishly orders them out of his office...and once they're safely out of his earshot, Doc explains to his co-workers that the captain is in such a foul mood 'cause he hasn't eaten since yesterday. Gopher mulls that over and suggests taking some sort of action in order to get their boss's behavior back to more acceptable levels of grumpiness...and the four put their heads together to hash out a devious plan.
Later, as Captain Stubing gets dressed, he's pleasantly surprised to see that his pants are notably looser than before...and when he gets onto the scale, he's even more pleased when it appears as though he's lost fifteen pounds. And somehow doesn't think either thing to be at all odd, considering he's only been dieting for one day.
That evening, a newly confident Captain Stubing is slow dancing with Jocelyn. Across the lounge, the crew cackles about their resourceful trickery in chilling their boss out by rigging his scale and enlarging the waistband of his pants.
Elsewhere in the lounge, as the band plays The Way We Were, Nate sadly tells Roberta that it was his wife's favorite song...and a few seconds later, the two decide to spread their gloom above deck.
While dancing, Jill tells Bill there's something fairly important about herself she should probably reveal to him at some point, but he gently brushes her off and says that they can talk about it later.
Nate tells Roberta that his wife was a once-in-a-lifetime soulmate who spoiled him for all other women - but Roberta argues that somewhere in the world is a woman who needs all the love he has to give. He points out that she wasn't even married to her lost love and still has an entire life to live, then thanks her for helping him through his period of grieving. He then asks her if she'd be at all interested in lightening their collective glumness by dancing - but she declines and says she's ready to call it a night.
Bill asks Jill whaddup with her gloomy aura - just as Ray makes a beeline over to say hey. Jill warily introduces Bill to her former john, who fibs that he and Jill know each other 'cause they've done lots of real estate deals together. A few seconds later, Bill is called away to take a phone call from his secretary in L.A....and once he's safely out of earshot, Jill asks Ray why he didn't out her as a lady of the evening. Ray says he thought better of needlessly ruining her life, then sadly tells her that his wife walked out on him after snarling about how he's never going to change. Jill points out that if she's capable of leaving hooking behind her, he too can change for the better. Ray says it's just now dawned on him that his long-suffering wife is his entire world, so Jill cautions him to not wait until it's too late to woo her back...and he mulls that over, calls her "one helluva lady", and heads over to the dance floor to cut in on Doc, who's been dancing with Myrna. He sheepishly tells Myrna he doesn't want to lose her, then promises to do all the stuff around the house she's been bitching at him to get done...and Myrna happily calls off the divorce and says she looooves this new and improved Ray.
Bill returns to the bar and tells Jill that despite the fact that he's in the process of working on a big deal, he's far more interested in spending time with her. Jill tells him that they really really need to talk about her sordid past - but he breezily tells her he's not remotely interested in anything she did prior to meeting him...then coos, "I love you" and gives her a passionate smooch.
Captain Stubing and Jocelyn are performing her old high school cheerleader routine...and then the two hug happily and agree that neither of them has felt this content in a long, long time. He gives her a passionate smooch and confesses that when they were in high school, he had a ginormous crush on her...and she's like, "I had a crush on you!", but, because of his shyness, never got the vibe that he was interested in her. Captain Stubing perks up and suggests that perhaps this childhood crush could turn into some kind of reality, but she's more of the mind that whatever feelings exist between them is merely a fantasy...which she's more than willing to play out tonight. Captain Stubing says that he and his penis are totes into that idea, and gives her an intense smooch.
As the ship reaches the Los Angeles port, Moe and Dotty bid Roberta adieu and tell her they hope she wasn't too bothered by their chipper boisterousness. Roberta cheerily denies ever being annoyed by them and assures them they're wonderful, then thanks Julie and Gopher for a terrific vacation. She asks them if they've seen Nate, and they tell her they haven't...and she thanks them again and sadly ambles off the ship.
Jill gives Julie her basket of oranges as she departs the ship with Bill...and across the lobby, Ray gives her a thumbs up.
Nate asks Julie and Gopher if they've seen Roberta 'cause he really wants to give her a proper goodbye, but they inform him that she has already left the ship.
An aimless looking Roberta glances around for an available cab - just as Nate cheerlessly ambles out of the port. The two spend what seems like forever implausibly not spotting each other - until they try to enter the same cab. When Nate asks, "Would you like to share?", Roberta happily tells him she'd like that very much.
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