French Leave for McHale Recap

The crew takes Binghamton to Noumea for a staff meeting, and Binghamton confines them to the 73. When McHale objects, Binghamton says that he only came on the 73 because no other boat was available. He says that he'll be back in six hours and tells them to scrub the boat. Once Binghamton leaves, Virgil says that he was planning to see his pen-pal Fifi. The others have similar objections, and McHale says that they can't disobey a superior order... and gives them three hours' leave.

The others insist on taking Virgil to a bar to have a drink because Fifi is waiting. Everyone but Gruber and Christy go to see girls, and a man named Big Frenchy is at the bar. He suggests that they spend some time playing cards, and feigns ignorance when Gruber suggests that they play poker.

On the 73, McHale and Parker are playing solitaire and neither one of them feel like doing anything else. A depressed McHale finally goes to check on the crew.

At the bar, Big Frenchy wins with four of a kind. McHale arrives and recognizes Big Frenchy as a card shark. Frenchy kisses him on the cheek, and McHale says that they're old friends. The man apologizes and gives Gruber and Christy their money back, and sits down with McHale. Frenchy asks about the 73, and McHale realizes that he's up to something. The man asks to borrow the 73, explaining that he has a shipment of contraband to pick up on Sakara. The police have his boat, and Frenchy seemingly drops the matter and suggests that they have a drink. Once McHale's back is turned, Frenchy has his men knock McHale out with a chair. Gruber and Christy jump in and a fight breaks out. Meanwhile, Frenchy goes out and calls a gendarme, claiming that American sailors are attacking French natives, and then runs off.

The gendarmes take McHale, Gruber, and Christy to the police station. McHale says that he needs to find the rest of his crew, and the police chief points out that Tinker, Happy, and Willy are already in a cell. They say that they made the mistake of picking up engaged women, and McHale demands to make one phone call. However, he realizes that it would be to Binghamton and locks himself up in the cell with the others.

Binghamton calls Parker and asks if the crew is scrubbing the 73. Parker lies, not very convincingly, and Binghamton wonders if he's been drinking. He tells Parker that the meeting is running fast and he'll be there in one hour. Once he signs off, Parker tries to figure out where McHale went. Frenchy comes over as he leaves and confirms that Parker is the only one there. He says that McHale has been arrested and claims that Parker can get him out of jail. Frenchy offers to watch the 73 while Parker goes, and Parker agrees. Once he leaves, Frenchy's sailors come over.

Parker goes to the station and demands McHale's release. When that doesn't work, he takes his watch out and the chief assumes he's trying to bribe him and tosses him in a cell. Parker tells McHale about Binghamton's plans, and mentions Frenchy watching the 73. McHale realizes that Frenchy is up to no good and figures that they can call Virgil... just as the police bring Virgil in with the real Fifi. She's considerably larger than the photo Virgil has of her. Virgil explains that he was running from Fifi, and Fifi breaks into tears and appeals to her father... the chief. McHale claims that Virgil was running into town for a tuxedo for the wedding, and says that if the chief lets him out then they'll arrange a military wedding. Fifi grabs Virgil and kisses him through the bars, and the chief has them released.

When the crew returns to the dock, they discover that the 73 is gone. McHale figures that they should swipe Frenchy's boat and go after him. Two gendarmes are watching it, and McHale goes over to them and says that he's the commandeering Frenchy's boat to deal with a Japanese invasion of Sakara. The rest of the crew join in to overemphasize the mission and board, and steamroller past the gendarme.

The crew take the boat to Sakara and they go to sneak up on Frenchy's crew. They find the 73... and Japanese soldiers capturing Frenchy and his men. McHale takes his crew back to the boat and they then come back wearing the Frenchmen's clothing. The crew sing and drink, and claim that they're happy French sailors. McHale accuses Frenchy of collaborating with the Americans for a free PT ride, He tells the Japanese officer to hang Frenchy, and then the crew knock out the Japanese. As they load up the Japanese, McHale tells Frenchy that now they're even for Frenchy saving his life in the past. He tells Frenchy to get on his boat and leave never to be seen again, and Frenchy and his crew quickly leave... and McHale realizes that Frenchy stole his wallet.

The crew pilot the 73 back to Noumea, and McHale apologizes to Binghamton for running late. When Binghamton starts charging him, McHale has the crew march the Japanese soldiers out. Binghamton figures that the soldiers are made up to look Japanese, and one of them knocks Binghamton off the boat as McHale and the Japanese share a laugh.

Written by Gadfly on Jan 8, 2017