"The Understudy / Married Singles / Lost & Found"
Original airdate: 11/19/1977
Episode summary: Julie is tasked with showing the ropes to a trainee, who quickly conspires to replace her as cruise director. A couple in mourning over the death of their son shows kindness to a child travelling solo. A husband and wife attempting to take separate vacations decide they really want to be monogamous after all.
Recap: Julie tells Isaac, Gopher, and Doc that she's been tasked with breaking in a cruise director trainee and asks them to please do their best to refrain from acting like horny assclowns in front of her. A few seconds later, the trainee - a predictably attractive young woman named Connie Evans - wanders over and introduces herself...but before Isaac, Gopher, and Doc can slobber over her for very long, Captain Stubing saunters over to introduce himself to the fresh meat. Connie gushes about how grateful she is for this opportunity and calls Julie the best cruise director currently afloat...and a visibly smitten Captain Stubing nods approvingly at her enthusiasm. As he heads off, Connie covertly stares longingly after him.
A married couple travelling separately - Maisie Nolan and Durwood Moss - get into a scrap about who was in line first to check in Gopher...and, by scripted coincidence, they're assigned to cabins that end up being next door to each other. Womp womp!
Julie shows Connie the ropes as the two fawn over a couple (Richard and Sharon Baker) who hail from Julie's hometown. Connie remarks that this town sounds like a great place to raise kids and asks if they have any, and Sharon contorts her face into a look of anguish, then flees. Richard sadly explains that they used to have an eight year old, then leaves it at that and rushes off after his wife...and then Julie rushes off after the both of them to offer as much saccharine-fuelled comfort as she can muster. A few seconds later, Captain Stubing wanders over and tells Connie she must be a very good student if Julie left her to fend for herself, and Connie fibs about how Julie blurted out something hurtful to a passenger and ran off after them to try to make amends. Captain Stubing looks surprised and says it's very unlike Julie to be anything other than cartoonishly perky 24/7, and Connie just shrugs and says that even the best cruise directors slip up from time to time.
Doc asks Gopher for Connie's cabin number in the event that she has some kind of attack in the middle of the night, but Gopher refuses to disclose that information and says he has just one last passenger to check in: Theodore Dennison, Jr. A little voice identifies himself as Theodore, explains that his parents won't be accompanying him, and that he saved up enough money for the cruise from his paper route. Doc and Gopher look skeptical and ask for his phone number so that they can verify this with his parents - but when the Captain toots a warning that the ship is about to set sail, they decide it's probably not a good idea to leave a little kid stranded by himself on the loading dock and escort him to his cabin.
Durwood drops by Maisie's cabin to loudly ask if she packed his shorts, and she pulls him inside, tells him to shut it about his shorts, and reminds him that the marriage counsellor had recommended they take separate vacations...which I'm guessing didn't mean booking the same cruise and bunking in cabins situated next door to each other. She laments how romantic he used to be...and when he responds by canoodling her, she shoves him away and snarls that he can't make up for it now. She stares dreamily into space and says she wants a man to tell her she's wonderful, pretty, and desirable...and since it's clear that he can't seem to bring himself to wank her about her awesomeness on at least a semi-regular basis, she's going to find someone who can. Durwood reacts by retorting, "Two can play that game!" and storms out.
Over in the dining room, Gopher and Doc have invited Theodore to dine at their table. Across the room, Sharon apologizes to Richard for her meltdown earlier...and he assures her it's not a problem, and then each agree that the other is the perfectest spouse in the entire world.
Maisy arrives in the dining room and perks up when she sees that she's been assigned to table #9 - where a good looking man (named Jack) is seated. As Maisie smittenly greets him, Durwood joins the table, along with a giggly blonde sexpot named Barbie [who no doubt could have any man she wants, but is somehow content to spend most of the cruise hanging with a middle-aged dullard like Durwood Moss].
Theodore is having a delightful time with Doc and Gopher, loudly chortling at their jokes - but the sound of his laughter causes Sharon to once again contort her face into an expression of anguish. She tells Richard she suddenly has a migraine, so he gently points out that she can't run away everytime she hears a child laugh...and she's like, "Can too" and hastily gets up from the table and flees to their cabin.
Gopher tells Captain Stubing that, despite a half-hearted effort, he's been unable to reach Theodore's parents. A few seconds later, Connie makes her grand entrance in the dining room decked out in a low-cut, thigh-baring glittery orange gown...and the crew is so astounded by her scantily clad form that Gopher falls face first in a cake, while Julie somehow collapses onto the floor. Captain Stubing storms over and imperiously asks Connie whassup with her slutty attire, so she tells him that Julie advised her to wear it and said it would make a good impression. She shrugs and says she assumes that Julie meant well, then heads off to change into something less revealing...and as Captain Stubing stares after her with perplexed irritation, Isaac - who has overheard the entire exchange - scrunches his face concernedly.
Maise is having a fabulous time dancing with Jack, who's trying to interest her in an insurance policy she doesn't need. Durwood watches them from the table as Barbie natters at him about how much he reminds her of her father.
Sharon is staring sadly at a photo of her late son when Richard returns to the cabin. He urges her to let Terry rest in peace and not grieve all day long every day, but she tearfully retorts that she can't seem to help herself. Richard reminds her that Terry had been born with a terminal condition his doctors didn't think was possible to survive past the age of two, then says she should be grateful that they had him for eight glorious years. Sharon angrily says she can't feel any amount of gratitude about losing her son, then composes herself and begins the task of unpacking their bags. Richard tells her he loves her, and she pleads, "Don't stop!" as the two hug and kiss.
Captain Stubing and Gopher inform Theodore that they managed to reach his parents, who are worried sick about him running off. Theodore explains that he's splittin' the way they're talking about splittin' from each other and sadly says he doesn't feel as though he has a home anymore. Captain Stubing's like, "That's hogwash, son" and informs him that his parents will be meeting the ship in Puerto Vallarta in a couple of days to take him home...and when Theodore defiantly says he hopes that by that time he finds himself a different home, Captain Stubing scrunches his face in a perplexed 'say wuh?' type expression.
Isaac tells Julie that he overheard Connie telling Captain Stubing that it was she (Julie) who advised her (Connie) to wear the risqué orange dress to dinner. Julie breezily says she can't possibly believe that a nice girl like Connie would tell such a brazen lie, then stupidly sticks her head back in the sand.
Jack escorts Maisie back to her cabin and continues to natter at her about getting homeowner's insurance...and when Maisie notices that Durwood is eavesdropping on the conversation, she tries to make it look as though they're talking about the prospect of a vacation fling. When she bids goodnight to Jack, who really needs to fuckin' chillax about peddling insurance to fellow passengers, Maisie calls out Durwood for eavesdropping and pretends as though she had to fight to keep an amorous Jack out of her bed. Durwood chuckles and says it sounded more like he was trying to sell her on an insurance policy in the middle of the night, then predicts that nothing naughty is going to happen between her and Jack. Maisie sassily retorts by insisting that, by this time tomorrow, she and Jack will be getting it on.
Theodore bangs on Richard's/Sharon's cabin, explains to the two that he had a nightmare, and asks if it's OK for him to hang out with them until he feels better. He adds that he's on this cruise alone 'cause he saved up for a ticket and is more than capable of taking care of himself...except, of course, when it comes to nightmares. Richard says it's OK with with him, then glances over at Sharon. As she contemplates befriending this friendly child stranger, Theodore lays it on thick about how his mom used to let him get into bed with her to give him added comfort, and Sharon looks slightly hesitant to open her heart to a child again, but then tells him it's fine.
Gopher brags to Julie and Doc that he and Connie are seeing each other, and Doc's like, "That's weird. I thought she and I were seeing each other!" Isaac warns Julie that the two-timer is after her job to the point that she's willing to debase herself by dating dumbbells like Gopher and Doc. Doc mulls that over and now recalls that Connie had asked him if Julie has a long-term contract with the Pacific Princess, and Julie once again chooses to believe the best of Connie and chides her pals for their suspicious nature.
Maisie is lounging poolside when Durwood comes over to tell her that he and Barbie have flirty plans for later. So there.
Theodore runs into Sharon and Richard on one of the decks, earnestly tells them he's affectionate, hardworking, and would make a fantastic sibling for their son (whose photo he noticed in their cabin). Sharon sadly informs him that their son died, and Theodore kind of perks up at that and points out that since they're all somewhat orphan-like, he'd be a perfect addition to their family. Sharon and Richard stare back at him looking deeply touched.
While getting dressed for dinner, Sharon waxes on to Richard about what a great kid Theodore is...and when Richard's like, "Well, yeah, but apparently he has parents who will soon be picking him up in Puerta Vallarta", Sharon refuses to face that reality 'cause she's convinced herself he's an orphan. A few seconds later, Theodore knocks on their cabin door, and the three head off to the dining room.
Julie excitedly tells Isaac, Doc, and Gopher that her latest brilliant idea is to host a Wild West themed party, during which they can torture the passengers into wearing fake mustaches, plaid shirts, and cowboy hats. A few seconds later, Captain Stubing wanders over with Connie in tow and announces that Connie just told him about her brilliant idea to host a Wild West themed party, complete with fake mustaches, plaid shirts, and cowboy hats. As Julie's all, "The fuckity fuck?" and shoots an incredulous glare at Connie but doesn't call her out on so brazenly stealing her idea, Captain Stubing decrees that Connie, with whom he's looking increasingly smitten, shall be given free rein to handle all of the party arrangments.
Richard breaks the news to Sharon and Theodore that no one from Theodore's family showed up to claim him in Puerta Vallarta. As Theodore hangs his head and looks crestfallen, Sharon reminds him he still has them...and Theodore runs over to her for a maternal hug.
Captain Stubing is on the phone with Theodore's mom, who says she somehow got her wires crossed and didn't make it to Puerta Vallarta on time, but will for sure be in Mazatlan to pick up her runaway son. Captain Stubing assures her he's doing fine, and that he's been hanging with a nice young couple.
As Sharon towels off Theodore after a swim, he asks if he can call her mom...and she looks startled by the request, then decides 'what could possibly be weird about that?' and gives him the green light.
Julie, who's decked out as a sassy Wild West salon gal, drops by Connie's cabin to check in with her about the party arrangements and remind her that she'll be around all evening if she needs any help. When Connie bitchily remarks on how surprising it is that she's willing to help her out when she's so obviously after her job, Julie says she has the responsibility to the passengers and Captain Stubing to not just stand back and watch the party devolve into a disaster. Connie chortles and snarks, "I doubt you'll have that burden on your shoulders for much longer", smugly declares how close she and the captain are becoming, and shows her the bouquet of flowers he had delivered to her cabin...which strikes me as creepishly weird. A few seconds later, she gets a call from Gopher pretending to be Captain Stubing - a gag rife with some pretty wretched lip syncing and voice dubbing - requesting that tonight she wear the slutty orange dress [she had on the other night and got into big trouble for], and give some "special attention" to a passenger named Mr. Humbertson. Connie looks intrigued by the prospect of being pimped out by the ship's über boss as an appalled Julie storms out.
Wild West party! Julie grumbles at the crew about what a cunty turncoat Connie has proven herself to be - just as Connie arrives wearing the risqué dress. As Julie stares at her in open incredulity, a chuckling Gopher tells her he impersonated Captain Stubing during a phone call and instructed her to wear that particular dress and flirt with a married male passenger.
Connie sashays over to where Captain Stubing is chatting with Mr. Humbertson and flirtily chats up the guest, telling him he's every bit as cute as Merrill said he was. As a furious Captain Stubing glares at her, an oblivious Connie invites Mr. Humbertson to the upper deck for a private - mmm hmm - stroll. He informs her he's married - just as his wife arrives, and the two saunter off to their table. A visibly irked Captain Stubing hauls Connie out of the dining room and up to his office...and Julie watches the drama unfold while scrunching her face concernedly.
Captain Stubing berates Connie for wearing the slutty gown when she was expressly told not to, and also for throwing herself at a married passenger like a dime store floozy. He snaps, "You're fired!" - just as Julie enters his office, tattles about how Connie was "sandbagged", and says that, during a phone call, an unnamed crew member imitated his voice and set Connie up so that she'd publicly embarrass herself. She explains that the crew pulled this stunt as a means of protecting her, given that Connie has been openly gunning for her job. Captain Stubing screeches about how utterly ridiculous that is, given that the twit is nowhere near qualified to do her job. After he haughtily storms out, a puzzled Connie tells Julie she can't grasp why she'd stick up for her after what she did, so Julie explains that she clearly has potential, and that she'd realize her full potential if she stops scheming and get down to the hard work of cruise directing. Connie sheepishly apologizes, says she has much to learn, and admits that she deserved being punked by the crew. As Julie concurs with that sentiment, Mr. Humbertson enters the room and tells Connie he ditched his wife for the evening and is now game for that above deck stroll now, which...ew.
Durwood brings Barbie back to his cabin, but mistakes Maisie's cabin for his and is less than thrilled to see that Maisie is entertaining Jack in her cabin. He then brings Barbie to his cabin - but is much too distracted by what's going on next door to respond to Barbie's fondling attempts to get him into the sack. Maisie, similarly, can't get into her fling with Jack and tells him she can't engage in any sexcapades while her husband is in the cabin next door. Jack's all, "Your husband?", then says he wants no part of this kinky scene before beating a hasty retreat.
The next morning, Durwood and Maisie exit their cabins at exactly the same time...and after each pretends to have greatly enjoyed last night's sex romp, they chuckle and admit that each was too jealous to bear the thought of each other getting it on with anyone outside the marriage. Durwood tells Maisie he loves her very much, and is going to make a point of telling her that every few seconds. He then saucily says he'd like to give her the kind of romance she came aboard this boat for...and the two race into her cabin for some martial hanky panky.
Richard urges Sharon to face the truth about Theodore having parents who can care for him...and a few seconds later, Julie drops by with Mr. and Mrs. Dennison. They thank Sharon and Richard for taking Theodore under their wing - but Theodore cries, "She's not my mother!" and accuses his parents of not wanting him. Mr. Dennison tells his son he knows he ran away 'cause he and the missus were fighting non-stop...then says their marital problems have been magically resolved, that a divorce is off the table, and that they both want him to come home asap. Theodore says it's too late 'cause he went and found replacement parents...and Sharon's like, "Nope" and tells him she knows the deep pain that comes with losing a child, and that if he left home permanently, she knows for a fact that his parents would never get over the loss. Theodore starts weeping and runs over to hug his actual mother...and when a concerned looking Richard asks Sharon how she's doing, she assures him that she's going to be A-OK.
Connie thanks Julie for all of the valuable life lessons she's gained this episode, and that her experience was less an education about how to be a cruise director than it was a refresher course in how to be a decent human being. After the two hug, Julie wishes her good luck and Godspeed. A lovey-dovey Maisie and Durwood bid adieu to Gopher and Doc and depart the ship...followed by Jack, who has now hooked up with Barbie and is trying to convince Captain Stubing to buy insurance, 'cause for some inexplicable reason he can't seem to give it a rest with that. Julie bids a final farewell to Sharon and Richard, who excitedly tell her put their heads together and have made the life decision to adopt a child...and, unlike with Theodore, they're going to focus their time and energy on a child who's actually available on the adoption market.
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