Binghamton is in his office when Carpenter comes in with a message from Admiral Rogers telling Binghamton to travel to ComFleet HQ. The captain figures that he's being promoted to the admiral's staff, and refuses to take Carpenter with him. McHale and Parker arrive to get Binghamton's signature on some requisitions, Binghamton tells them that he's been transferred and offers them a farewell drink.
On the island, the crew meets with Chief Urulu to trade for native trinkets. When he refuses to deal, Gruber brings in the same barrage balloon they try to sell him every week and tosses in all the souvenirs and some C-Rations as well. McHale and Parker return and McHale tells them to break it up. He then says that Binghamton has been transferred and calls for a party. Urulu hears them and agrees, and has his drummers start while his hula girl dances.
Binghamton is packing when Carpenter comes in with the base inventory. He's found $157,000 in shortages and Binghamton is responsible for it. Rogers calls and tells him that he needs him there immediately. Once Binghamton hangs up, he figures that McHale has the missing equipment. He calls McHale and Parker in and tells McHale to come clean. McHale claims that he doesn't have it but is glad to help find it if it will get Binghamton transferred.
Back on the island, McHale tells the crew t4hat they need all the missing items back by that night. They explain that they traded it all and if they welch then they're out of business. First they have to swap back Urulu's trinkets for the military supplies.
Urulu is meeting with a Japanese officer, Sessua, to sell his trinkets. The chief finally offers him the barrage balloon, claiming that it's a secret American weapon. Sessua takes it in return for a samurai sword, and leaves just before McHale's crew arrives... and discovers that there's only a hilt in the scabbard. McHale explains that they came to take back their supplies, but Urulu refuses to trade for "cheap native junk." However, he's glad to help once they explain it will get rid of Binghamton... for a price. The crew has no choice but to agree.
The crew takes the military supplies back to the base and they go over the list with Binghamton. Everything is there... except for the barrage balloon. Gruber figures that Urulu held out on them. Meanwhile Rogers calls and says that there have been reports of a barrage balloon flying over a nearby Japanese island and wants it investigated. Once Binghamton hangs up, he has Carpenter arrest McHale and Parker for trading with the enemy. McHale points out that they can't get the balloon back if they're in the brig, and Binghamton tells them to get it back.
Soon, McHale goes back to Urulu and accuses him of trading with the Japanese. He gives up Sessua's name for $10 and McHale tells the crew that they're going to the island posing as Urulu's salesmen.
Urulu and the crew--dressed as natives--soon arrive on the island. Sessua is using the balloon to advertise his own business, Urulu goes up and offers him new merchandise, and has the crew perform the ceremonial selling dance. They try to untether the balloon but Sessua notices. Parker offers to buy it, and Sessua refuses until he sees his watch. McHale agrees to trade Parker's watch for the balloon.
The 73 returns to Taratupa towing the balloon, Parker unties it and it drifts off... with Parker hanging onto the line. McHale shoots the balloon before it can blow out to sea. It comes down in a tree and Parker is intact... but the balloon is ruined.
Later, the crew repairs the balloon and Binghamton prepares to leave. Rogers sends a message saying that delays have forced them to replace Binghamton with another officer. Binghamton is furious and walks off... and gets his foot caught in the balloon line. It drifts off and takes him with it and everyone cheers as McHale orders them to shoot.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 10, 2017