A Letter for Fuji Recap

A Japanese flyer drops propaganda surrender leaflets on the base, much to Binghamton's disgust. On the island, Gruber is furious that the flyers are ruining his crap game. Parker arrives with mail call and everyone grabs their letters before he can call off their names. As the crew reads their letters, Fuji sits depressed. He finally offers to show them a photo of his girl Myoshi, and is further depressed when they say that they've already seen it. Fuji walks off and McHale tells the crew that Fuji is depressed because he's away from his own people with no letters. McHale figures that they have Fuji write a letter to Myoshi, and then sneak over to a Japanese-held island and drop it in their mailbox. Parker wonders if he's flipped and the crew object as well. They agree to do it for Fuji's sake and go find him.

Fuji soon writes his letter and asks McHale to read it to everyone. The letter talks about how Fuji is always thinking of Myoshi and how the war is keeping them apart. Binghamton arrives and Fuji hides, just as Binghamton and Carpenter comes in. Carpenter shows them a leaflet that Binghamton has written up, and Binghamton says that he wants McHale to translate it into Japanese. Parker sees Fuji's letter and tries to signal to McHale, and the crew grab it and passes it behind their backs. Binghamton sees them and demands to see it, and it finally ends up with McHale. McHale has no choice but to claim that they had the same idea and it's a propaganda leaflet. Binghamton orders him to read it, and McHale makes up some surrender propaganda based on famous speeches. The commander likes it and says that they'll use it instead of his. He takes it and says that they'll have copies made. Once Binghamton leaves, McHale realizes that if anyone from base who sees it can read Japanese, they're in trouble.

McHale runs after Binghamton and says that they'll deliver it themselves, dropping it off on a Japanese-held island. When he points out that Binghamton won't have to share credit with the Air Force, Binghamton agrees.

Later, the crew prepare to take off and McHale assures Fuji that he'll have a response in two weeks. Binghamton arrives and after Fuji hides, he comes over and says that he's going with them to make sure that he gets full credit. The 73 takes off and lands on the target island. McHale tells Gruber to ditch the copies of Fuji's letters, and Gruber tears them down as quickly as Binghamton puts them up.

McHale and the others reach the Japanese camp and spot the mailbox. Tinker sneaks over to it but drops the letter and hides when two Japanese soldiers come out. They see the dropped letter and put it in the box.

When the 73 returns to the island, they tell Fuji that their plan worked. McHale says that he'll go back for Japanese mail call, but the crew decide that they should draw straws. Parker gnaws on his straw so it's shorter than McHale's after McHale rigs it so he'll win. Despite McHale's objections, Parker insists on going and Fuji tells him what to say. Soon, Parker disguises himself as a Japanese soldier but he doesn't get the phrase down. He still insists on going but as they prepare to take off, Binghamton arrives. Parker hides on the 73 and Binghamton asks McHale if he should go along. McHale says that they need as much room as possible for prisoners and the 73 departs. Binghamton points out to Carpenter that he still suspects McHale is up to something, and proposes that they have a drink in the hut.

Binghamton and Carpenter enter the hut and they realize that there are Japanese uniforms scattered around. The commander figures that McHale is in cahoots with the Japanese and goes to find a Japanese dictionary. Back at the base, the two men partially translate the letter and Binghamton figures that it's some kind of code. He calls Comfleet to have McHale arrested when the 73 comes back.

The crew get back to the island and wait for mail call. Parker goes in and bumps into a soldier due to his bad glasses. Each soldier collects his mail, each one reciting the phrase. They share their fruitcake with Parker, and Fuji's letter is announced. Parker is too busy eating fruitcake to get it, and McHale bounces a rock off his helmet to get his attention. After he gets the letter, the soldier he bumped into shows him a photo of his girlfriend. Parker recites the phrase and the soldier assumes that he's nuts. He demands to see a picture of Parker's girlfriend, and grabs a photo of Parker's mother. The soldier realizes that Parker is disguised and yells an alarm, but the Japanese soldiers grab him. Parker gets away and the crew heads out.

When the 73 returns to the island, Binghamton and the Shore Patrol are waiting. Binghamton tells McHale that he's under arrest for espionage after he had the letter translated. Captain Martin from Comfleet arrives and asks for the man responsible for the leaflet. He then congratulates McHale, saying that twenty Japanese have already surrendered after reading the love letter. Martin leads McHale off to get his idea.

Later, McHale hands out the mail and announces a letter for Fuji. Fuji reads it and says that Myoshi got married, and shows the crew a new photo. He says that he's lucky, showing that Myoshi has put on a lot of weight.

Written by Gadfly on Jan 15, 2017