Thoughts From the Gilligan's Island Episode Up at Bat (1966)
Synopsis: While recovering a coconut from an unexplored cave, Gilligan (Bob Denver) is bitten on the neck by a bat. Believing he is turning into a vampire as a result, he chooses to hide himself away so he won't endanger the other castaways.
How are there still unexplored caves on the island? The island is far from huge and the castaways have plenty of free time. You would think they would want to check out every single cave, both as potential shelter against headhunter attacks/bad weather and in search of items that might help them out, especially since by this point in the series, it was pretty obvious they weren't the first ones on the island. If nothing else, you think they would have noticed that cave simply because of the bats. It's not like bats don't leave their cave to get food.
On a similar note, why did they have to go so far to get coconuts? The series makes it seem like coconut trees are fairly common on the island, including quite a few near their huts. Were they running out at this point, forcing them to go further away? It's not something overly major but some clarification would have helped a bit.
The vampire thing might have been farfetched but wasn't the Professor (Russell Johnson) concerned about other potential issues from Gilligan's bat bite, like rabies? Other than telling him he should get the wound dressed, it seemed like that never once occurred to a man who "knew a little something about bat anatomy." I'd be doubly concerned about it if the bats are now flying around the huts, potentially endangering others.
The mirror gag is a great set up but I feel like it was a little too obvious the mirror simply didn't work. Yes, I know it was Gilligan looking into the mirror and he isn't the brightest person in the world but the mirror was see-through. You would think even he would notice that.
This episode has my favorite dream sequence from the series. I absolutely love the makeup job on Mary Ann (Dawn Wells) that makes her almost unrecognizable and the way the dream spoofs everything from Sherlock Holmes to Batman. That being said, it is also a little sad that Gilligan continually sees himself as a screw up, even in his dreams. He might need to see a psychiatrist for that.
Final Opinion: This is one of my favorite episodes from the series, largely because of the dream sequence. Some of the comedy doesn't quite work if you give it any real thought (which I'm always guilty of) but I still enjoy watching it regardless.
My Grade: A-