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The August Teahouse of Quint McHale Recap

The crew arrives at the island from a party and sees a light on in Fuji's shack. They peer in the window and see Fuji playing poker against himself, pretending to be two people. He goes to bed and the crew moves away. They blame themselves for Fuji going stir-crazy, and McHale suggests that they bring him a party. Gruber suggests that they give Fuji an authentic Japanese tea party, and McHale makes him guarantee it'll be at cost.

The next day, Binghamton visits Dr. Whitmore complaining of headaches and high blood pressure. Whitmore tells him to take a leave, but Binghamton refuses to leave McHale and his crew alone. Carpenter comes in to report a theft: they're missing parachutes, cork, tea, and rice. Binghamton figures that it's McHale and takes off with Whitmore in tow.

At the island, the crew are making kimonos out of the parachutes. Parker is practicing his Japanese and explains that he learned it via a Japanese sleep-teach record. He demonstrates how it works but he's mislearned things. McHale goes to get some rifles for Fuji to clean, to keep him busy.

Binghamton and Carpenter arrive and sneak up on the hutch. Meanwhile, McHale finds Fuji gathering coconuts, and tells him to clean the rifles. Binghamton sees McHale talking to Fuji but Carpenter is caught in a bush. McHale hears him and sends Fuji to the hills, just before Binghamton shows Carpenter what's going on. Carpenter just sees McHale and figures that Binghamton is going nuts. Binghamton runs over and tries to arrest McHale, who says that he's birdwatching a yellow-bellied sapsucker. Carpenter admits that he didn't see anything, and McHale says Binghamton's name as loudly as he can. The crew hears him and hide the party supplies.

By the time Binghamton and Carpenter take McHale to the hutch, Parker is drilling the crew on a machinegun. McHale explains what Binghamton saw, and Binghamton tells Carpenter to bring a squad of marines. Carpenter gets the Marines, and tells Binghamton to go into the hutch and get some rest. Parker realizes that he might see his Japanese records and tries to go in, but the Marines stop him.

Binghamton lies down on Parker's bed and accidentally turns on the sleep-teach record before he dozes off. Outside, Whitmore arrives and McHale says that Binghamton is acting strange. Binghamton wakes up and comes out, and explains what he saw. He starts talking in Japanese and Whitmore asks when he learned it. Binghamton has no idea what they're talking about, and keeps speaking Japanese. He threatens to call in Naval Intelligence to search for Fuji, and then storms off with Carpenter and Whitmore in tow. McHale tells the crew that they need to convince Binghamton that he has battle fatigue by gaslighting him.

That night, Christy and Virgil sneak up to Binghamton's office window and put a walkie-talkie inside. Back on the island, the others simulate a monsoon via sound effects while Virgil sprays water in the window with a hose and Christy flashes a light to simulate lightning. Binghamton closes the window and puts on a slicker, and runs out to tell the Marine. He soon realizes that it's not raining and the Marine figures that he's nuts.

Binghamton goes back to his room, opens the window, and goes back to bed, figuring that he had a nightmare. Once he goes to sleep, McHale and Parker talk in Japanese and Binghamton, waking up, grabs a rifle and starts shooting wildly. Carpenter, Whitmore, and the Marine come in and he insists that there were Japanese in his room. Whitmore takes the rifle away from Binghamton and puts him to bed.

On the island, McHale says that there are Japanese on the island. Sleeping, Binghamton picks up on it, and McHale tells him to go to the island immediately to catch the Japanese. Half-asleep, Binghamton pouts on his hat and jacket and wanders off. The Marine tries to stop him but McHale takes the gig to the island. The crew is all dressed in kimonos and eating at a table, speaking Japanese. McHale says that it's a Japanese naval base and introduces himself as the Imperial Commander. Parker comes out and McHale introduces his EO Parker-mura, who calls Binghamton "Yankee Dog." They dress Binghamton in a kimono for a tea ceremony, and take offense when he refuses.

Binghamton runs back to the dock where Whitmore and Carpenter arrive with the Marine. He grabs the Marine's rifle and runs back, and they find McHale and the crew performing calisthenics. Binghamton starts speaking Japanese and gets a headache, and begs Whitmore to give him leave. Once the others take Binghamton back to the gig, the crew cheers in relief.

Later, the crew holds their party for Fuji. Meanwhile, Binghamton comes back to apologize. He finds the crew in kimonos and runs out in terror. He jumps into the gig and tells Carpenter that he didn't see anything, and heads for New Caledonia.

Written by Gadfly on Jan 5, 2017

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