Thoughts From the Gilligan's Island Episode Slave Girl (1966)
Synopsis: Gilligan (Bob Denver) saves the live of a native woman (Midori) and, in accordance with her tribe's customs, she insists on becoming his slave. Gilligan is reluctant to be her master and soon finds his life in danger when members of her tribe arrive with the intention of winning her back by killing him.
I lost a lot of respect for the castaways when watching this episode. Instead of being offended by the idea of someone being someone else's slave, as any good American should be, it seemed like Gilligan was the only one who was opposed to the idea. They were even willing to buy her services from him. With the exception of maybe Mr. Howell (Jim Backus), it seemed out of character for them.
The episode glosses over the fact the natives speak English. That seemed like something that would be a pretty big deal considering the other natives they've run into while on the island haven't. It is an indication that tribe has contact with the outside world and would make me think they would at least have a basic understanding of other customs. I'm kind of surprised the Professor (Russell Johnson) didn't make more of an effort to reason with them.
I'm also curious just why the woman was anywhere near their island. I've actually had this question with multiple other episodes featuring visiting natives. If it weren't for the castaways, that would be a deserted island. So, why do natives frequently visit it? I don't think they intend on making contact with the people who are stranded on the island.
What happened to her boat? Other than the fact she capsized it; her boat seemed perfectly seaworthy. Did anyone attempt to recover it from the lagoon? At minimum, it should have been enough to get them to the shipping lanes. Yes, it's possible the natives recovered it when they left but, considering they left the island in a hurry, I'm not convinced that was the case.
Final Opinion: The episode has some funny moments, but the subject material is a bit too uncomfortable, especially by today's standards. Slavery in any form should never been used for comedic effect.
My Grade: D
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