Thoughts From the Gilligan's Island Episode Voodoo Something to Me (1964)

Synopsis: When someone or something breaks into the supply hut and steals both food and the flare gun, the castaways begin to suspect they aren't alone on the island. The Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.), however, thinks it is something more menacing, voodoo.

My Thoughts: 

One of the most intriguing things about this episode is the gun. The second I first saw Gilligan (Bob Denver) standing guard holding a loaded pistol, a number of questions flooded into my brain. Why did the Skipper feel the need to have a gun on the Minnow? Why did the castaways feel the need to have an armed sentry on duty when they believed the island to be deserted? Even if there are good explanations for the first two questions, why would anyone think giving Gilligan a loaded weapon was a good idea, especially after he wasted multiple bullets?

I am almost starting to wonder if maybe the Skipper expected to be shipwrecked. It's one thing to have a flare gun. It's another thing to have 150 flares for that gun, especially if you were expecting your boat to be near Hawaii the whole time. Between that and a toolbox that was more suited for building huts than fixing a hole in a ship, it's almost as though the Skipper was hoping/planning to be stranded on a remote island.

The Skipper's theory is farfetched but no more so than the rest of the castaways. OK, I can understand why maybe they didn't think it was an animal because of the flare gun being stolen too but they were awful quick to imagine they were sharing the island with a potential murderer. If it were me, I'd be suspicious of the people who were closest to the supply hut, perhaps hoarding food for themselves and stealing the gun to hide the motive.

I get the feeling they didn't explore that island as much as they claimed to. Ignoring the fact future episodes reveal there are, in fact, other people living on the island with them, like Wrongway Feldman (Hans Conried), I would think a proper exploration of the island would have at least given them a basic idea of what kind of wildlife was there so they wouldn't be surprised when a chimp wanders into camp.

I have to say I love the mistaken identity part of this episode. Normally, I would have a hard time not rolling my eyes at an episode that features a chimp being mistaken for one of the main characters, but the execution was pretty good, giving Gilligan a reason to remove his clothes so the chimp can grab them and even setting it up so, at least briefly, it is easy to understand why the Skipper would still believe his first mate was transformed. It made that part of the episode a lot funnier than it probably would have been with lesser execution and, at minimum, is one of the things that makes it easy to understand why this series remains on the air in reruns nearly 60 years later.

Final Opinion: Skipper's voodoo theory is a bit much, given the limited evidence supporting it but the overall episode still wound up being funny and entertaining.

My Grade: A


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