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"Goodbye Old Paint" guest stars veteran character actor Harold J. Stone as Alexandre Gregor Dubov, whose disdain for critics is only surpassed by his incompetence as an abstract artist. Living alone on the island for a decade to escape the barbs of human society, Dubov wastes no time in insulting the castaways left and right, but once he reveals that he owns a transmitter they invent a scheme to get him to call a boat. When that fails Gilligan poses as a painter to poke at his enormous ego, which also backfires. Stone is an unheralded performer capable of both comedy and drama, and his exaggerated Russian accent expertly avoids cliché even as it lampoons it, much like Vito Scotti's Japanese sailor, and just as funny. Some of his asides are priceless, such as 'nincompoopers' or just 'phooey,' but he never fails to push the buttons of the exasperated castaways.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Gilligan is meandering near the lagoon when he comes across an abstract
painting. After the rest of the castaways deny responsibility, a very
hairy Dubov comes out of the jungle to claim it as his.
Dubov, who ingratiates himself really well by making the castaways furious, gets a significant improvement in treatment when he tells them of his transmitter. But Dubov is not ready to return to civilization just yet. So the castaways scheme to find ways of getting Dubov to bring a boat to the island.
This is one of those episodes that I'm really divided about. The tired "sure fire rescue" bit is on display again and the various schemes to get Dubov off the island are reminiscent of a previous episode, "The Return of Wrongway Feldman".
Highlights include Dubov's initial appearance, "Nincompoop! It's upside down!", Dubov's first interaction with Ginger, Ginger's reaction to Dubov's depiction of her as a Bali dancer, Mr. Howell running his new plan by the rest of the castaways as Gilligan wonders what is going on, Gilligan painting the Skipper, the prop department deserves credit for making that incredible transmitter of Dubov's and the epilogue scene nicely done between the Skipper and Mr. Howell.
Veteran character actor Harold J. Stone plays the rather unlikable Dubov, a skilled abstract painter with a personality fit for punching in the face. However, it's actually kinda nice to have someone so unlikable on the island. He is easily the most unlikable of the first season and his grating personality works well with the castaways.
Overall, this episode is okay, but not great. Still, Harold's performance elevates it up just above middling and there are enough laughs (Ginger's reaction is one of the best) to make this acceptable, if not very memorable.
- You know, Gilligan's Island must be one heck of a large island for our castaways to not discover Dubov until now, especially when he seemingly made no attempt to hide himself.
- Dubov completes the trifecta of people who were on the island long before the castaways. Dubov clearly states that he arrived at the island 10 years earlier. Wrongway Feldman was there long before that and no one knows how long the Jungle Boy was there.
- Gilligan says he's never seen anyone eat as much as Dubov...well, he ate that much and more himself not two episodes ago in "Physical Fatness".
- For whatever reason, the Skipper is not present when Dubov completes his painting of Ginger.
- It seems strange that Dubov would want Gilligan to give him painting lessons, especially given his previous behavior. But hey...it's Gilligan's Island.
- However, what is stranger given what happened to the transmitter when the Skipper barely touched it, is how Dubov got his note inside. Plus, if Dubov can sail away on some painting to another island...shouldn't the castaways try that as well?
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