"Help, Murder / Isaac the Groupie / Mr. Popularity"
Original airdate: 10/22/1977
Episode summary: Isaac hooks up with a famous recording artist. An annoying passenger ends up being an international jewel thief. A skittish wife is convinced her husband is trying to kill her aboard the ship.
Recap: Skittish housewife Denise Fredericks tells her husband Bert she's too frightened to board the Pacific Princess, but he assures her it's perfectly safe and urges her to chillax. She tells him she's highly stressed about getting out of her regular routine - but he's just like, "Yeah, whatever. Enjoy the vacation" and ushers her aboard.
Famous singer Roxy Blue exits her limousine amid the protests of her entourage of old white men. They warn her she'll "be dead on TV" if she leaves Bob Hope in the lurch, but she's like, "I don't give a shit, I really a vacation" and rushes aboard the ship. From the deck above, Isaac spots her arrival and excitedly tells Julie and Gopher that a star is in their midst, then adds that he's a HUGE fan of Roxy Blue's music.
Bert gives Julie a friendly hello as he and Denise check in...and Julie gives them their cabin number and sends them on their way. I find it interesting that the check-in process aboard the Pacific Princess never involves the handing over of keys, a receipt, or an ID bracelet of any kind. A suspicious Denise asks Bert how he knew Julie's name, so he points out that she's wearing a name tag...then wanders back over to where Julie's standing and covertly tells her that he's the one who made special birthday plans for his wife. When he ambles back over to his wife, he fibs that he just asked Julie to pass along a message to the captain to steer the ship as safely as possible.
A particularly eager passenger cuts the line to check in with Gopher, says his name is Robert Tanner, and proceeds to spell out both R-O-B-E-R-T and T-A-N-N-E-R. The woman he cut in front of, Myra Grove, tells her husband (Harvey) that if this nut actually starts spelling out Robert she's going to scream...then opens her mouth to make good on her threat - but Harvey muzzles her and quickly whisks her off camera.
After the ship sets sail, Roxy sashays into the lounge, seats herself at the bar, and orders a Kahlúa on the rocks from Isaac. He grins excitedly, admits to being flustered in the presence of music royalty, then asks her to repeat her drink order. She repeats the order and urges him to calm the fuck down, which he responds to by chattering about how he owns every record she ever made, loooooooves her music, and is so excited that he just can't hide it. When she chuckles at his fawn-like devotion, he tells her he'd really really like to see her during the cruise, despite the fact that he's just a lowly bartender...and, as a crew member, probably shouldn't be looking to hit the sheets with the passengers. Roxy mulls that over and invites him to stop by her suite after his shift for one drink - but to keep it to himself 'cause she's trying to keep a low profile and doesn't want anyone to know she's on the ship.
Robert runs into Captain Stubing and natters at him about how the word aloha means both hello and goodbye in Hawaii...and Captain Stubing's all, "Aloha!" and makes a break for it.
Isaac arrives at Roxy's suite clutching a bottle of wine and an ice bucket. She answers the door wearing jeans and a Stevie Wonder loves you t-shirt and invites him in to chit-chat and listen to some music.
Bert enlists Gopher to take candid photographs of his wife so he can surprise her with them at her birthday party - just as Denise appears and then looks alarmed when Gopher starts trailing after her.
The next morning, Roxy stops by the bar and orders a cup of coffee from Isaac...and the two are grinning stupidly at each other when a braless Julie rushes and asks Isaac if he's seen Roxy Blue. As Roxy hides behind an open magazine, Isaac plays dumb and says he hasn't seen her, so Julie says to keep an eye out for her 'cause Captain Stubing wants to invite her to eat at his table during the last evening of the cruise.
Bert gets together with Julie to tell her he had planned to give his wife a bracelet for her birthday - but that idea got pooched when the jeweller didn't have it ready in time. Julie offers to accompany him to the gift shop and help pick something out for Denise, and he says that'd be a good idea if Denise weren't always lurking around. Cue Denise, who enters the lounge and spots the two of them talking. She tiptoes over just in time to overhear Julie joke to Bert, "We'll just have to get rid of her" ... and after Julie ambles off, Denise confronts Bert about what she can only assume is his plot to do away with her and screeches, "I am not giving you a divorce!" before storming out. Bert scrunches his face in puzzlement, no doubt wondering why he married such a paranoid wack-a-doodle and then decided it would be a good idea to vacation with her.
Inside her suite, Denise tells her mirrored reflection that she should have known Bert was up to something sinister, then bitterly laughs about how wives are always the last to know. She sniffles into a tissue - just as Gopher calls and mistakes her sniffly voice for that of Bert. He reports that he hasn't been able to get a clean [camera] shot of his wife and suggests he do it himself so he can blow her [photograph] up [in poster size]. Denise gasps at the threat of being blown up and asks who this is, and Gopher's all, "Oops!" and quickly hangs up. Smooth, Gopher.
Robert enters the lounge, seats himself with Harvey and Myra Grove, and proceeds to natter about how frequently he orders liver and onions for dinner, only to change his dinner order. As the couples' eyes glaze over, Robert says he's noticed that whenever he starts talking to people on the ship, they suddenly complain of queasiness and rush off...and Harvey and Myra perk up at that, complain of a case of sudden fake queasiness of their own, and rush off.
Roxy whines to Isaac about how her successful music career has made her a conglomerate, but that she's also a human being who desperately needed a break. He stares at her incredulously and reminds her that she walked out on Bob Hope, but she just waves her hand dismissively and says the show will get someone else to fill in...then invites him to lean in and give her a smooch.
Bert is getting a lesson on skeet shooting when Denise ambles across the deck one level below with a non-subtle Gopher in pursuit with his camera. Bert spots Denise and yells hello at her, and she freaks out by the sight of the rifle in his hand and flees. She races over to Doc's office to report that her husband is trying to kill her and that it looks like he's enlisted some of the ship's crew to help him. Doc tells her to relax and offers to calm her frenetic nuttiness by prescribing a mild sedative, and she reacts by screeching, "You're in on it tooooo!!" and bolts.
Captain Stubing spots Robert standing by himself and orders Julie and Gopher to make sure that every passenger, Robert included, is having a good time on the cruise. Julie complains that she's running out of passengers who are willing to have dinner with the guy...and when Gopher asks three random people if they'd like to eat with Robert Tanner, they react by staring at him in horror before leaping into the pool.
Myra and Harvey are lounging above deck when Myra comes across an article in the newspaper about an international jewel thief who's currently at large. The scoundrel's name is Roscoe Toller, which - as Myra points out - has the same initials as Robert Tanner. She leaps to the conclusion that Robert must be the thief, and Harvey's all, "Ack!" and suggests they report their theory to the Captain. Myra's all, "Hell no!" and says she's always wanted to be friends with a wanted criminal, which...um, OK.
Isaac tells Gopher he's been hanging with Roxy Blue and that deep down she's just a regular woman, aka the kind of woman a man [such as himself] would want to marry. When Gopher chuckles at that implausible outcome, Isaac earnestly insists that Roxy really is the one for him.
Bert places an order with the chef to bake a chocolate cake for his wife's birthday party, then rushes over to the lounge to excitedly tell Julie he can now cross that to do item off his list. Julie tells him she just found the perfect gift for Denise: a gold choker. She adds that since a choker has to fit snugly, he's going to need to figure out Denise's neck size, then suggests he measure it by slipping his bathrobe sash around it while she's asleep...and naturally Denise appears out of nowhere to overhear that out-of-context part of the conversation. She returns to her suite and locks the door, but is all, "Ack!" when Bert emerges from the bathroom to ask whassup. She tells him she isn't feeling well and would prefer to stay in tonight, and he offers to keep her company so she doesn't spend the entire evening alone.
Presumed jewel thief Robert Tanner is holding court at the bar, fascinating a gaggle of jewel thief groupies by nattering about how he often orders liver and onions for dinner and changes orders...but then other times sticks with his liver and onions order. He admires Myra's necklace...and when he remarks that he doesn't know much about jewelry, everyone chuckles knowingly.
Bert urges Denise to come to bed - but she stares fearfully into space and says she wants to stay up and finish reading her extremely thick book.
As Isaac and Roxy lounge in bed together (!) , Isaac gushes about how their hookup is the greatest thing to have ever happened to him. He coos, "I love you", to which Roxy reacts by getting angry at him for being "sentimental". He insists that he loves her more than he's ever loved anyone in his life - easy, dude - and she gets visibly annoyed and tells him he just blew it. She snarkishly says she's going to take Captain Stubing up on his offer to dine at his table tomorrow night, then snaps at him to shut off the light, shut up about professing his love for her, and do his best to enjoy what's left of their time together. Ouch.
Eventually, Denise falls asleep while reading, and Bert takes the opportunity to slip his bathrobe sash around her neck to get an accurate measurement for the gold choker. Denise wakes up in mid-measuring, assumes he's trying to kill her, and flees the cabin screaming bloody murder.
Captain Stubing has assembled his crew in the dining room and is listening to a freaked out Denise describe how convinced she is that Bert and part of the ship's crew are in on a conspiracy to kill her...and when everyone starts talking at each other at once, Captain Stubing orders them to shut it and calmly tell him what in blazes is going on. Bert explains that he's been planning a birthday party for Denise with as many misunderstandings about his intent as possible:
A stunned Denise is all, "Wha-a-a-a? You're not trying to murder me?" and giggles with relief - just as the chef emerges with the giant birthday cake Bert ordered. Bert and the crew sing Happy Birthday as Denise gazes at it happily.
Robert Tanner arrives in the dining room and tells a large table of passengers that the police found the international jewel thief aboard another ship. The passengers groan in disappointment at him not being the thief and beat a hasty retreat.
Captain Stubing excitedly announces to the passengers that Miss Roxy Blue is on board - just as she makes a grand entrance on Doc's arm. Captain Stubing motions at Isaac to bring over some champagne...and as he pours glasses for everyone at the captain's table, Roxy makes a snide joke about how she's faithful to every man she finds attractive. She then glares at Isaac and barks, "Roxy is thirsty" and tells him to step it up with the champagne pouring. Captain Stubing, who seems oblivious to her rudeness towards Isaac, asks if she wouldn't mind performing for the passengers, and she agrees and croons Come Rain or Come Shine while staring intensely at Isaac.
When the ship docks, Robert Tanner bids adieu to Gopher, who checks his bag and jokes about him stealing the ship's supply of liver and onions. Robert thanks him for everything and says he's going to recommend the Pacific Princess to all of his [non-existent] friends.
Roxy stops by Isaac's cabin to chide him for the no booty call last night, and he wryly says he was much too tired from serving drinks all night. She invites herself in and says she tried to tell him how things are, e.g. that their little world didn't have anything to do with reality. She then describes herself as a show piece, an object, a star - so Isaac reminds her that she's also a woman...to whom he thought he was getting through. She stares wistfully into space and wanks him by telling him he's too much of a man to be Mr. Roxy Blue...not to mention that she's been married three times previously to men who weren't able to handle her success. She apologizes for the shitty way she treated him and hopes he can forgive her, and he just shrugs and pretends that they merely enjoyed a few laughs. Roxy stares back at him solemnly and says, "It was more than that. A lot more" and gives him one last smooch.
Bert and Denise thank Julie for helping out with the disastrous birthday party celebration. Bert suggests to Denise that they extend their vacation by flying to Las Vegas, but Denise looks panicked and reminds him how stressed she gets about air travel.
Myra races into the lobby and screeches that all of her jewelry has been stolen - just as a crew member appears with her jewelry case and tells her that some guy just returned it to him. Myra opens it and finds it empty, save for a note from Robert Tanner, identifying himself as Roscoe Toller, aka international jewel thief at large. He ends the note by urging Myra to not get robbed by her insurance company. Womp womp!
Isaac watches as Roxy's white man entourage arrives to pick her up. When Gopher ambles over, Isaac glumly tells him that Roxy Blue is a very nice lady and that he highly doubts they'll ever see each other again. He then pretends as though he was the dumper in this scenario and declares that he's saving himself for someone really terrific - just as Roxy stares up at him and gives him one last wistful look before climbing into her limo and disappearing from Isaac's life forever.
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