"Pacific Princess Overtures / Cabin Fever / Gopher, The Rebel"
Original airdate: 5/19/1978
Episode summary: A philanderer is reluctant to be seen in public with his mistress for fear of running into his nosy neighbor. A Japanese industrialist pressures his salesman to make a big acquisition. Gopher is fired when he takes the advice of a pretty young woman who urges him to not take any crap from Captain Stubing.
Recap: Gopher grumbles to his co-workers about how hard Captain Stubing is always riding him, and bets each of them $50 that he's going to yell at him at least twenty times during this cruise. Isaac, Doc, and Julie accept that wager - just as Captain Stubing appears at the top of a stairwell and snarls, "Gopher!", and Gopher wearily tallies, "That's one."
Lee Graham tells his wife Laraine that there's no reason for her to accompany him on the cruise 'cause it's a work trip and he's going to [pretend to] be way too busy with meetings and whatnot to spend a single minute with her. He promises that they'll discuss their need to get away together after the cruise, then disappears inside the port entrance. A few seconds later, a couple (Cora and Herman Bass) who are about to board The Love Boat and who live in the same building as Laraine and Lee excitedly make a beeline over to Laraine to yammer about how much fun they're all going to have on the cruise. Laraine explains to Cora that she's not vacationing with Lee 'cause he's going to be very busy researching a new ad campaign for the ship line. Cora chucklingly says she'd never let Herman outa her sight...then looks around for her mutely dimwitted husband, who has wandered off to where a pretty woman is standing so that he can creepishly ogle her up close. Cora tells Laraine she'd be more than happy to keep a watchful eye on Lee during the cruise, then tells Herman to put his eyes back in his head and toddle behind her as she boards the ship.
Captain Stubing greets Mr. Yamashiro, a well known industrialist from Japan, and assures him that the entire crew will be available to slavishly respond to his every whim. Mr. Yamashiro tells his translator and American sales manager, a dullard named Ken Davis, that he needs to close the deal with Mrs. Newman - otherwise he'll be shamed, demoted, and eventually fired.
Doc greets two attractive, middle-aged women: Eve Culbert and her sister-in-law, Ruth Newman. Eve tells Doc that she recently divorced and is ready to leap into the dating pool - to which Doc chirps, "Me too!" - whereas Ruth is recently widowed and is kind of a wet blanket who has zero desire to date anyone.
Vanessa Summerhill boards the ship with her father, Slade, and grumbles about how bourgeois it is and that she haaaaates the idea of languishing in this kind of luxury while so many people around the world have to suffer in poverty. Slade assures his daughter that she'll enjoy the cruise, and that he looks forward to finally being able to spend some quality time with her. A few seconds later, Julie bounds over to chirpily greet them, and lists the various activities she has planned for everyone aboard...and when Vanessa primly says she's primarily interested in cultural events, Julie directs her to the reception desk (aka where Gopher's standing) to pick up some information pamphlets. Slade scrunches his face concernedly when he sees Vanessa and Gopher chatting it up and snootily asks Julie who that "deck hand" is, so Julie informs him that, as the ship's Assistant Purser, he's several levels above being a deck hand.
Gopher tells Vanessa that the ship has a great library - just as Captain Stubing growls, "Gopher!" and then pulls him aside to admonish him for focusing too much on the pretty passengers and not helping Julie board the uglier of the masses. Gopher snivels, "Yes sir", then covertly tells Julie, "That's two" and points out that the ship hasn't even left port yet.
Lee enters his cabin and finds a sexy young woman (Andrea Martin) lounging atop the bed. He looks faux shocked and tells her that this is his cabin - but she adamantly refuses to leave...and when he asks her what they're going to do about it, she grinningly replies, "I guess we'll just have to make the best of it." He cackles and runs over to the bed and gives his mistress (!) a squeeze hello. Andrea tells him she's sooooo excited to finally get to be more public with their relationship, and he agrees that the habit of them skulking around hotels has gotten stale.
Ken tells Mr. Yamashiro he'd love it if he would take a look at his invention (still in development), but Mr. Yamashiro tells him that he needs to spend his time focusing on his job, or be ready to join the unemployment line. He orders Ken to come up with a way to convince Mrs. Newman to sell her late husband's company, Electronics Factory, 'cause he's sick and tired of taking no for an answer. He suggests making an offer "she can't excuse", and when Ken's like, "Refuse", Mr. Yamashiro snarls, "You refuse..?" Ken hastily explains that he was merely correcting his English, informs him that Ruth Newman is currently a passenger aboard the ship, and reminds him that they've already offered her $1.5 million to acquire her company. Mr. Yamashiro orders him to sweeten the offer by throwing in a color TV, then laughs aloud at his wit...and when Ken nervously chuckles along, Mr. Yamashiro snarlingly tells him to make the deal or he'll be laughing all the way to the poor house.
Ruth wanders over and greets Mr. Yamashiro, referring to him as "the man who wants to buy the United States" ... and when he offers to buy her a drink, she declines and snippily remarks that she doesn't believe it was a pure coincidence that he and his flunky just happened to show up on the same cruise as her. After she stalks off, Mr. Yamashiro tells Ken to use "little sex" while convincing Ruth to sell Electronics Factory, and cacklingly adds that he heard all about his "black belt in hanky panky".
Vanessa tells her father she finds this whole cruise gross, particularly the stupid amount of money he spent on their tickets. Slade points out that he didn't actually earn the money he shelled out for the vacay, but rather inherited it from his deodorant company owning uncle, who amassed his fortune largely on the backs of poor working people. [It remains unclear why that's less gross than if he had earned his own fortune.] A few seconds later, Gopher stops by to say hey, and Slade rudely snarls, "Good bye" and tells his daughter she can do far better than this deck hand. Vanessa says she looooves that Gopher earns his keep, then abruptly shuts out her father by closing her eyes and meditating.
Lee and Andrea are toasting each other at the bar when Cora and Herman wander over to say hello. Cora motions at Andrea and asks Lee about his "lady friend", and Lee acknowledges that, yeah, she's a lady - but she isn't actually his friend, and pretends as though they just met...and Andrea politely introduces herself and plays along while grimacing unhappily. Cora tells Lee that they ran into Laraine before boarding the ship and glowingly describes her as "salt of the earth". Lee tells Cora that this cruise is really a business trip, and Cora says she's determined to make it her business to ensure that he doesn't work too hard...then offers to tour the ship with him while dismissively telling Andrea to have a nice day.
Ruth tells Eve that she just ran into Mr. Yamashiro and his ball-less flunky Ken Davis and strongly suspects that they followed her on this ship 'cause they really really want her to sell her late husband's company. When Eve urges her to just sell the damn thing so she can be free of it, Ruth points out that since her husband built the company from the ground up, she likes to run it in order to keep his memory alive. An exasperated Eve's like, "Whatever. Stop mourning and start living."
Lee returns to the cabin and tells Andrea he missed her, and she irritably complains about how much it sucked that he spent the entire afternoon touring the ship with Cora. Lee points out that they have the whole evening to spend together enjoying their room service dinner...and when she gets miffed that they're not going to eat in the splendor of the ship's dining room, he says he doesn't want Cora to see them publicly canoodling together and then tattle to his wife. Andrea argues that maybe she should, 'cause then he'd have to make a decision about his marriage...and Lee points out that when his wife learns that their marriage has imploded, it should probably come from him and not a nosy busybody. A few seconds later, Cora knocks on the door to inquire about Lee's dinner plans, and a panicked Lee shoves Andrea into the bathroom, along with her belongings. He then opens the door to let in Cora and Herman, who inform him that they had Julie arrange for them to be seated together for dinner - just as the room service waiter arrives with two plates of food. When Cora's all, "Why are there two dinners on the cart?", Lee chides the waiter for making a mistake on his order, then tips him as he quietly instructs him to take one of the plates away. He then tells Cora and Herman that he plans to turn in early...and after they finally exit the cabin, Andrea snarks that he forgot to throw her cigarettes and matches into the bathroom [presumably so that she could have lit up while in her hiding place...and created a smoky stench inside the bathroom that wouldn't have been at all suspicious to Cora and Herman].
Vanessa is sitting in the lounge with Gopher, telling him about the personhood movement she recently joined, which decrees that everyone is considered equal, and that no one leads or follows. Gopher mulls over that concept with an openly befuddled expression, then coos about how she's the most beautiful person he's ever seen. He then invites her to dance...and as they make their way to the dance floor, Slade glares disapprovingly at his daughter's choice of dance partner.
Slade points out to Captain Stubing that his daughter is dancing with Gopher, and admits that, being the snoot that he is, he'd rather his daughter didn't throw her life away on such a low level drudge. Captain Stubing firmly tells him he doesn't make it a habit to interfere in the private lives of his crew [even when his crew routinely fraternizes with passengers while they're supposed to be on the job] ... and when Slade asks him if he'd change that opinion if he told him he's a good friend of a director of this cruise line, the captain firmly says that it would make zero difference. Slade sheepishly back pedals and says that his disapproval of Gopher stems primarily from fatherly concern, and Captain Stubing mulls that over and agrees that, yep, that's a far more acceptable reason to disapprove of Gopher.
Gopher invites Vanessa to go above deck to stare up at the stars - just as Captain Stubing summons him over to tell him that Slade has made it clear to him that he's not exactly jazzed about the prospect of him hooking up with his daughter, then adds that he's merely passing the message along.
Ken implores Ruth to sell her company, promising 200 shares of stock with the sale of Electronics Factory - but Ruth stands firms and makes it clear that she has no interest in such a transaction. Ken swiftly changes the subject to his new invention and invites her to his cabin to take a look, and she decides 'sure, why the hell not?'
Above deck, Vanessa smooches Gopher, then rails about what a fascist Captain Stubing is [I guess for passing along her father's disapproval of him]. She warns that the captain is turning him into a non-person - just as Doc mimics their boss's voice as he yells, "Gopher!" and ambles over, chuckling. LOL. He informs Gopher that Julie is sick and the captain wants him to take over her bingo game...and when Gopher agrees to fill in for his co-worker, Vanessa accuses him of acting like a non-person for not telling his boss where he can shove his bingo game, then storms off. (Sounds like a nonsensical outburst from someone who's never had to actually hold down a less-than-desirable job.)
Ken shows Ruth his invention: a typewriter that transcribes whatever people within its hearing range are saying. Ruth calls the contraption incredible and predicts that it will make him a millionaire - but Ken says that it still needs a lot of development, which he can't afford on his current salary. Ruth asks him what Mr. Yamashiro thinks of his audio typewriter, so Ken dejectedly says he's only interested in sure things...then changes the subject by calling her beautiful, before steering the conversation back to the sale of Electronics Factory. An angry Ruth snaps, "I should have known!" and storms out of his cabin.
The next morning, Ken tells Mr. Yamashiro that despite his best efforts, he was unable to convince Ruth Newman to sell her company, and a less-than-pleased Mr. Yamashiro mutters something unintelligible while stalking off. Julie happens to wander by at that moment and asks Ken whassup with the long face, and he despondently tells her he's pretty sure he just lost his Christmas bonus.
Lee acknowledges to Andrea that he knows how horrible the cruise has been for her thus far, then suggests they get dressed, have breakfast, and not worry about running into Cora and Herman. He tells her he now realizes that they can't go on like this, and that he's made the decision to divorce Laraine...and Andrea's all, "Yippee!" and gives him a happy smooch.
Gopher drops by Vanessa's cabin (as she's meditating) to apologize for abandoning her last night...and she apologizes for calling him a non-person. He tells her he's been doing a lot of thinking about all of her talk about personhood and decides he now hates being called Gopher. Vanessa tells him to not let Captain Stubing boss him around, then points out that he's just another person according to her everyone's-equal-in-my personhood universe... and Gopher mulls that over and says that he's really starting to see things her way.
Ruth invites Ken for a drink so that she can apologize for her bitchy 'tude the other day and admit that she kinda digs him whenever he's not talking business. She tells him it's painfully clear that Mr. Yamashiro treats him horribly, and that his audio typewriter is sure to make a bundle - but Ken says he still needs his salary to get through the development phase, and worries that he'll get fired if she refuses to make a deal with him to sell Electronics Factory. Ruth prickles up and says she doesn't buy that for a second, and Ken just kind of shrugs before sadly shuffling off.
Captain Stubing summons Gopher to his office to thank him for filling in for Julie last night, then asks him if he wouldn't mind dropping off his uniform at the cleaner's. Gopher tells him 1) he doesn't want to be called Gopher anymore, and 2) it would "demean my personhood" to take another man's clothes to the cleaner's. When an incredulous Captain Stubing asks him if he's really, actually, seriously defying a direct order, a defiant Gopher's like, "Yep" ... and the captain responds by firing him and brusquely ordering him out of the room.
Lee and Andrea are wandering around the ship when they once again run into Cora and Herman. Lee tells them that Andrea was just giving her opinion on his ad campaign, then says he has an appointment with the captain and rushes off...leaving a miffed Andrea staring after him.
Gopher bursts into the bar where Vanessa is hanging with Isaac, Julie, and Doc. He announces that he just got fired after ordering Captain Stubing to stop calling him Gopher, and then refusing to take his dirty clothes to the cleaner's. As he pauses to process the gravity of no longer having a job, an aghast Julie's like, "You disobeyed a direct order?" Gopher spacily says he's really going to miss all of them, as well as the ship...then says he'd better get changed so that he can turn in his uniform. After he exits the bar, Vanessa tells the crew she didn't mean for him to go so far as to get fired for insubordination, then moans, "What a bummer." Julie, however, refuses to let the situation stand and suggest they rally around Gopher and do whatever it takes to get Captain Stubing to change his mind about the firing.
Ruth joins Eve and Doc as they enjoy a couple of drinks in the lounge and tells them she's once again soured on Ken. A few seconds later, Mr. Yamashiro rushes over to make her a new offer for the sale of Electronic Factory, then explains that he's now in charge of all of the negotiations 'cause he just fired his idiot sales manager. Ruth stares back at him in bewilderment before muttering to herself, "He was telling the truth", rudely tells Mr. Yamashiro that she's never ever selling her company to an abusive shitbag, and excuses herself from the table.
Andrea rails at Lee for constantly feeling the need to hide their relationship in front of Cora and Herman...and when he points out that his philandering on the down-low isn't fair to Laraine, Andrea stares at him incredulously before snarling, "What about it being fair to me for a change?!" He weakly promises to ask for a divorce once the ship docks in Los Angeles, but Andrea says she's sick of his promises, this ship, and him...then storms out of the cabin.
Ruth apologizes to Ken for his firing as he packs his bag, and he's all, "Aw, whaddya gonna do?" then says that Mr. Yamashiro would have found some reason to get rid of him. Ruth glances over at his audio typewriter...and when she reads the latest conversation transcript, she learns that Ken had adamantly refused Mr. Yamashiro's edict to interject some hanky panky in his negotiating attempts to get her to sell them her company. As Ruth looks touched by his personal sacrifice, Ken professes his love for her and leans in for a smooch. This prompts Ruth to decide that she's suddenly open to selling him part of the company...which he can pay for with the zillions she's confident he's going to make once his audio typewriter hits the market.
Lee finds Andrea above deck, staring up at the night sky. She tells him it's fairly obvious that, deep down, he really has no desire to leave Laraine...and that their affair has been nothing more than adding "a little spice" to his life. She urges him to go back to his wife, who she's certain is a wonderful lady, then kisses his cheek - just as Cora wanders over with Herman, sarcastically asking him how his "ad campaign" is going...and Lee somehow refrains from telling the annoying buttinsky that living in the same building as him doesn't give her license to constantly interject herself in his personal fucking bidness.
Gopher, Julie, Isaac, Doc, and Vanessa file into Captain Stubing's office to implore him to reconsider firing Gopher...and Gopher sheepishly apologizes for defying a direct order, after which Vanessa chimes in and says it's all her fault for filling Gopher's head with her personhood philosophy. Captain Stubing tells the crew that he doesn't love giving them orders - but that since he's in charge of an entire ship, the job comes with great responsibility. He then turns to Vanessa and tells her that her father, while an insufferable classist snob, merely wants what's best for her. He proposes that they all look upon this episode as an experiment that failed miserably, then takes a vote on reinstating Gopher as Assistant Purser. The vote passes unanimously, and everyone happily scampers off...while Gopher hangs back to smilingly salute his boss.
When the ship reaches port in Los Angeles, Andrea says goodbye to Lee, wishes him the best, and sashays out of his life for good.
Mr. Yamashiro implores Ruth yet again to sell him her company, and she smugly tells him to talk to her new advisor and fiancé - surprise! - Ken Davis. She informs him that her company is going to be developing and distributing his audio typewriter invention, and Mr. Yamashiro mulls that over and decides that he'd really like to invest in the revolutionary gadget after all.
Lee greets Laraine and confesses that this cruise wasn't actually a business trip. She applauds his honesty and says she kinda figured that he's been stepping out on her...and when he declares that he's fully re-committing himself to not fucking around with another woman right under her nose, she happily coos, "I love you" and gives him a smooch [in lieu, I suppose, of a well deserved steel-toed kick to the curb]. As he wanders off to get his bags, Cora makes a beeline over to Laraine to cluck sympathetically about how the wife is always the last to know...then looks around for Herman, who's several feet away, chatting it up with a pretty young woman. Womp womp!
Captain Stubing bids adieu to Slade, who expresses his continued bafflement that Vanessa digs Gopher so much. Vanessa, meanwhile, apologizes to Gopher for nearly getting him permanently fired, then disembarks the ship when her father ushers her along.
The crew informs Gopher that Captain Stubing only yelled his name nineteen times, aka one short of his wager of twenty - just as the captain growls, "Gopher!" for the twentieth time. Gopher's like, "Huzzah!" and joyously collects his winnings.
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