The happiness of the Professor, the Howells and Ginger and Mary Ann's accomplishments at quickly building their own huts are over with as soon as Gilligan accidentally destroys their work. The castaways manage to pull together to rebuild their original hut just before a massive storm hits.
Overall, this episode is not quite the comic delight of the first, "Two on a Raft", but it does contain some nice comedy bits. The highlight is arguably Gilligan and the Skipper trying to settle into their new hammocks for the night. Other nice elements include Ginger talking Gilligan out of some rope, Mr. Howell's tapping his stick on both Gilligan and the Skipper and watching Gilligan nearly destroy their first attempt at the "community" hut and almost taking Mr. Howell, the Professor and the Skipper with it.
This is a good follow-up episode to the first broadcast and seeing the actors settle into their roles is certainly delightful. Overall, a very good, if not great show.
- We get to see some of the many clothes the Howells brought with them on the Minnow, including a smoking jacket, formal dress, mink coat and jockey outfit. All of which interestingly enough fit the other castaways to a T. :)
- During the construction of the first "community" hut, we hear the radio broadcast that tells of the official ending of the search for the castaways. It's rather odd that it does not get any reaction from the group, although it may be argued that they heard that news before.
- The "lagoon" joke at the end is very well executed, but it does raise an important, "logical" question...namely, we saw the dirt floor of the hut in the interior shots...so what exactly are our castaways standing on while the hut is in the lagoon?
- In the epilogue scene, the Skipper declares "clear skies ahead" which would indicate that the storm "season" consisted of a single storm. Actually, this would be right in line with the tradition of one episode having little, if anything to do with the next. For example, even though we are told that the castaways are building their own huts again, they still live in the single "community" hut for several episodes afterwords.
It's the summer season, and the island is susceptible to sudden showers. The Skipper underestimates the strength of a morning downpour, and he and the others get drenched. It dawns on him that the group needs shelter and they must immediately build a communal hut before the next big one hits. The Howells are more interested in moving on up to their own deluxe hut in the sky, but the Skipper is adamant that only a single building will withstand a storm, so everyone agrees to pitch in.
The episode then bumbles through nearly four straight minutes of slow, sloppy slapstick. Gilligan's penchant for pratfalls is showcased ad nauseum. If your taste is in buckets falling on people's heads or people falling into buckets, then this episode is your Holy Grail.
With the communal hut completed, everyone settles down for a good night's sleep. Close to another minute is tied up with our leads getting tangled in their hammocks, before we mercifully move past the second rate slapstick and on to some interesting and serious scenes. The Howells' midnight squabble quickly escalates into a wider argument involving the entire group. Mr. Howell belittles the Skipper's idea that another storm is approaching, and, with no real evidence to the contrary, the other castaways agree with him. Everyone makes plans to move out in the morning and get to work on their own huts.
The Professor, the girls, and the Howells have all made good on their promise to build their own residences. Just like the three little pigs they proudly line them up all in a row, and big bad Gilligan comes along and blows them all down. Yes, it's back to more slapstick, but at least these take downs are fairly creative. So it is back to square one with the communal hut.
The storm that the Skipper predicted does hit, but the castaways are all safely inside their new structure. There is an anxious moment or two but they make it through the night. They learn an important lesson about how much they can accomplish together as a group when they work for a common goal and trust in one another.
That they wind up in the lagoon is incidental...
COCONOTES Given the Howells great distaste for work, the chances of them building Howell Manor are the same as Thurston switching allegiance from Harvard to Yale.
Ginger Grant rebounds from her minor part in the pilot to the fully formed, assured, and sexy personality fans are accustomed to. Her flirtation scene with Gilligan is the highlight of the first half.
One of the few clever bits follows with Gilligan and the Skipper and the six-foot-beam becoming two three-footers. Love how Gilligan nervously tells his big buddy that everyone makes mistakes, and love how he wraps the little bit of rope around his finger and proudly offers it to him.
Nice tension in the first community hut scene. One of the more realistic and adult exchanges between the Skipper and Thurston, where the issue of who exactly is to blame for their predicament bubbles to the surface. A rare time where the familial unit fractures.
"Did he show signs of fear? Not dear old Grandad. He joked and laughed all the way down to the pavement."