At Comfleet, Rear Admiral John Rogers ushers McHale, Parker, and Binghamton out of his office and wishes McHale luck scoring the first hit with the new torpedoes. Whoever does will get a headline in Rogers' newsletter. Binghamton points out that he's had a requisition in for three months for a printing press like the one Rogers has, and asks if he could borrow it. Rogers immediately refuses, and Binghamton insists on looking at the press one more time. Parker finds the ink injector and sprays Binghamton in the face with it, and McHale quickly gets Parker out.
Back at his office, Binghamton complains to the supply officer that the reports show that his printing press arrived three days ago. Carpenter comes in and says that he found the press in a warehouse and it's outside the door. When they open it, they discover that the box is empty. Binghamton is furious and demands to know who would steal a printing press.
On the island, the crew is using the press to print a base newsletter with fake headlines about the men sinking Japanese ships. When Happy warns that McHale is coming, the crew quickly hide the press McHale isn't fooled and Tinker admits that they "borrowed" it from Binghamton. The captain tells them that it has to go back, and Gruber suggests that they let Tinker run off the back orders and then they'll take the press back after dark. McHale gives in and they go back to work.
Later, Binghamton, Carpenter and two Shore Patrol guards arrive to search the island for the press. They sneak up on Tinker and spot him making bulletins. The guards arrest Tinker and he claims that he found the press on the beach. Fuji is in the hut getting some oil and hears Tinker loudly say that no one else is there as the guards take him away. Carpenter points out that the 73 is gone, and Binghamton figures that they can pick them off one at a time.
Later, McHale and Parker come to see Binghamton and says that he'll make sure Tinker is punished as he deserves. Binghamton says that he won't railroad an innocent sailor, and assures them that Tinker's court-martial will be the next morning. When McHale objects, Binghamton figures that he can put Tinker away for twenty assures and assures McHale that everything will be fair. Binghamton will be President of the Court, and Carpenter is the trial counselor. The officers on the court owe Binghamton back pay and he has the press as Exhibit A... and appoints Parker the defense counsel.
McHale tries to call Rogers but discovers that he's out on an inspection tour. Parker comes over with law books but has only found a case that got a sailor hung. He quickly goes back to bone up further.
The next morning, the 73 arrives at the base and Willy still hasn't reached Rogers. McHale tells Parker that he has to stall the court-martial until they can reach Rogers. Once they're alone, Gruber suggests that they take Exhibit A. Gruber knows about Rogers' press and says that they can use it to make the switch, and the others agree.
Binghamton enters the court room promptly at 9 and Parker promptly objects. He asks for a postponement until Easter, and Binghamton tells him to sit down and shut up. Carpenter reads the charges at some length and Binghamton tells him to call the first witness. Binghamton is the first witness and Parker objects when he only gives his middle initial. Everyone chuckles when he says his middle name is Burton, and Carpenter has him describe what he saw. Binghamton testifies that he saw Tinker using his press and that makes him guilty, but McHale says that the defense gets to present its side of the case..
After Binghamton reluctantly give sin, Parker cross-examines him and asks where Binghamton was six months ago. He then takes his glasses and asks if he can be sure of what he saw given his eyesight, and Binghamton stumbles around the court until McHale puts the glasses back on.
The crew goes to Comfleet and tell Roger's ensign that they have orders to pick up the press and take it in for repairs.
Parker questions Tinker about his underprivileged childhood until Binghamton has enough and orders him back to his seat. McHale has Parker call McHale to the stand and Binghamton refuses, but Parker objects. When Binghamton tells the other officers not to trust McHale, McHale takes offense and Binghamton pounds his gavel until he breaks it. When McHale takes the stand, he goes on at length about Tinker's virtues until tinker breaks into tear. Binghamton dismisses McHale and McHale tells parker to call Lt. Marshall. Marshall is a nurse in the audience, and saunters up to the witness stand as everyone eyes her.
The 73 arrives at the base and Gruber and Virgil dress as Red Cross corpsmen. The others start a fake air raid while Gruber and Virgil take the press in on a covered stretcher. Everyone runs to the shelter, and Gruber and Virgil take Rogers' press in and make the switch.
When the court reconvenes, Gruber joins McHale and tells him what he did. Rogers arrives and says that he heard there may be a miscarriage of justice. McHale steps forward and says that Binghamton is under the mistaken believe that Tinker stole his press. He says that it isn't Binghamton's press, and has Binghamton say that he's 100% sure. Binghamton discovers that Rogers' nametag is on the press and Rogers figures that Binghamton stole it from him. He demands answers, and McHale tells Binghamton that Parker will be glad to handle his case.
Later, McHale visits Binghamton and says that Tinker found something on the beach. They bring in a press with Binghamton's nametag on it, and Binghamton figures that he has them red-handed. Parker points out that Binghamton can't be tried twice for the same crime, and Binghamton orders them out. He pounds on the press and sprays ink into his face.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 18, 2017