The crew are sleeping in but a griffa bird's chattering wakes them up. They go out and Gruber tries to shoot it, but discovers that he didn't load his rifle. Binghamton and Carpenter arrive by gig and McHale hastily calls the crew to attention. He claims that they were having a fire drill, but Binghamton says that reveille is at 0600. To remind them of the fact, he's taking away their beer ration, movies, and liberties for two weeks. They are banned from the ship store, and have to repaint the 73 within 48 hours. McHale wonders why Binghamton is putting the screws to them, and Binghamton says that Admiral Tucker is coming in for an inspection and a week, and his fitness report depends on it. The griffa bird chatters again and Binghamton assumes the crew are mocking him and give them two more weeks.
Later, Binghamton and Carpenter go to the officer's mess to celebrate lowering the boom on McHale and his crew. One officer points out that he's been driving the crew pretty hard and he can overdo discipline, but Binghamton says that they deserve everything he can do. He repeats a story about a strict captain that disappeared during a storm, and another officer talks about a crew putting nitro in their captain's cough syrup. The officers say that the captains took away their crews' beer rations, and afterward Carpenter nervously suggests that Binghamton reconsider. Binghamton refuses but sends Carpenter ahead to make sure the coast is clear.
As the two men come out, they overhear Tinker and Gruber discussing nitro and grenades for the griffa bird. However, Binghamton doesn't hear the bird part and figures that they're plotting to kill him. Once they leave, Binghamton says that the crew wouldn't dare and refuses to ease their punishment. He tells Carpenter that they're going to pay a surprise visit to make sure his orders are being carried out.
On the island, the crew cut down the griffa bird's tree so they can shoot it. Meanwhile Binghamton and Carpenter sneak up and the tree falls right in front of them. The crew opens fire on the bird, and Binghamton figures that they're shooting at him. They run back to the gig but are knocked down when the crew throw grenades at the bird. Meanwhile, the crew realizes that they missed and go to paint the boat.
Later, Binghamton is in his office practicing his fast draw. Carpenter arrives with his dinner and wonders why Binghamton doesn't throw McHale in the brig. Binghamton says that he won't get a promotion if he does so, so he's waiting until he gets the fitness report. Carpenter asks him to fill out a requisition form from the supply officer, because McHale's men cleaned him out of rat poison. Binghamton looks nervously at his dinner and says that he's not hungry, and Carpenter tells him that he can't be afraid forever. The commander agrees and orders Carpenter to try the food. He forces it in Carpenter's mouth and then forces him at gunpoint to eat the rest.
McHale arrives outside Binghamton's office and finds two Marines on guard. They refuse to let him in and McHale calls to Binghamton. He says that he came over to talk about the beer ration, and Binghamton says that they're restricted to their island. As he leaves, Molly approaches him and says that Binghamton had her frisked. McHale figures that Binghamton is ready to flip, and Molly says that it's because of the crew. She mentions that it's Binghamton's 47th birthday the next day, and McHale figures that they give him a surprise birthday party to show Binghamton they want to be friends. Molly doesn't think the crew will spring for it, but McHale figures they'll go along with him.
Back on the island, McHale tells the crew about his idea. They refuse except for Parker, who reminds them of everything Binghamton has done to them. He ends up suggesting that they string Binghamton up, but McHale tells Fuji to make a birthday cake. Parker wonders how they'll get Binghamton over to the island, and McHale says that he'll convince Molly and the other nurses to help.
The next day, Molly tells a younger nurse, Susan Lorimer, to get Binghamton to the island. They go in and ask to see Binghamton. Carpenter lets them in and Susan says the nurses are having a picnic on the beach on the other side of the island, and she thought Binghamton might want to share her box lunch. She convinces him to come and Binghamton tells Carpenter to bring Tucker over when he arrives.
Binghamton and Susan take a gig out and Binghamton soon realizes that they're going in the wrong direction, toward the island. Tinker, posing as the coxswain, ignores Binghamton's orders to change course. Binghamton finally realizes who he is, and Tinker claims that they only have enough gas to get to the island. He struggles with Susan to jump overboard.
On the arriving destroyer, Turner spots Binghamton wrestling with Susan.
Binghamton finally breaks free and jumps into the lagoon, and Tinker figures that he'd better report to McHale.
Turner tells the commander to bring them in because he's going to investigate.
Binghamton swims to shore and runs into the jungle.
Once the gig reaches the dock, Tinker tells McHale what happened. McHale and the crew head off to search for Binghamton. Meanwhile Binghamton collapses in exhaustion and hears the crew yelling to each other. He tries to hide, but the crew easily spot him. McHale says that they have a surprise for him, and Binghamton starts rambling about them killing him. When he sees the machete that Parker is carrying to cut through the brush.
The crew takes Binghamton to the party and Gruber gives McHale a knife to cut the cake with. Binghamton wakes up and sees the knife, and faints again. They wake him up again and explain about the surprise party, and they all sing. Binghamton is surprised and touched, and the griffa bird chatters again. McHale says that they've been trying to kill it all week, and Binghamton realizes that they've been talking about the bird, not him. Laughing, he throws the cake... and hits Turner as he arrives.
Later, the crew are enjoying their new beer ration after Binghamton has his fitness report. Fortunately, Turner has a sense of humor. They haven't seen the griffa bird in hours and figure that it's gone. Binghamton calls on the radio and McHale says that the bird is gone. It's taken up a tree outside of Binghamton's office.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 22, 2016