Thoughts From the Gilligan's Island Episode X Marks the Spot (1965)
Synopsis: The castaways learn their island is ground zero for a missile test that will destroy everything within 100 miles. At first, they see it as an opportunity to be rescued but, when they fail to attract the attention of the search plane, they await their doom.
A lot of people seem to know about that "uncharted" island. One of the main reasons the castaways supposedly can't be found is nobody knows the island exists. Yet the United States government apparently does and has it on their charts. They even know the island is (normally) uninhabited, indicating they've visited it before.
What about the neighboring islands? We know some of those are inhabited and, based on the number of times natives have visited the castaways, are close enough to suffer from the missile blast as well. Maybe things back in the 1960s were different, but that would seem like something that would result in the test being scrubbed.
Oh, and what about the huts? They were built in a clearing so a scout plane should have easily spotted them. Seems like something that, at minimum, should have resulted in a closer inspection even if the pilot didn't spot people. I mean, they are looking for signs of life and that's a pretty noticeable one.
Removing the warhead creates another big plot hole. My guess is the writers decided to have the Pentagon do that to soften the episode a little bit, especially for younger viewers but it does ultimately create a problem. The whole point of this was to test a top secret navigation system. With no explosive to destroy that navigation system, wouldn't the military want to make sure it didn't fall into wrong hands? After all, they did advertise both the test and location of the test. It seems like there should have been a recovery mission right after.
Going to end this with a shout out to the castaways' radio. There are plenty of other iconic props from other sitcoms but I find it hard to think of any that had anywhere near as much of an impact as that radio. Just imagine how different this series would have been if the castaways weren't able to know what was happening in the outside world. I'm glad this episode gave the viewer at least a glimpse of that potential by having the radio's batteries temporarily go dead.
Final Opinion: I know I have a bad habit of overthinking things, especially when it comes to sitcoms, but there are a lot of red flags in this episode that honestly make the overall plot not very believable because they should have been rescued either before or after the missile test. I will, however, give it some points for the radio subplot because I think that was the most memorable part of this episode.
My Grade: C+