Thoughts From the Gilligan's Island Episode Man With a Net (1966)
Synopsis: The castaways hope to be rescued when famed butterfly collector Lord Beasley Waterford (John McGiver) arrives on the island in search of the rare pussycat swallowtail. However, when Waterford makes no progress in finding the butterfly and nearly dies on a couple occasions, they decide they need to take matters into their own hands and signal his ship themselves.
I feel like the castaways would have been rescued sooner if it weren't for their impatience. Worst case scenario is they would have had to wait until Waterford either found the butterfly or gave up and they would be rescued. It wasn't a big island so, maybe a couple weeks. Yet they decided that was too long for some reason and ultimately messed things up.
The Skipper's (Alan Hale, Jr.) patience ultimately cost them as well. If you are going to go through the time and effort to paint a butterfly and try to fool an expert, why not wait until the paint dries? Frankly, I'm kind of surprised Waterford didn't notice Gilligan (Bob Denver) holding that paint pallet and ask questions. It feels like his plan might have worked had he just waited an hour.
What happened to the Minnow wreckage? Multiple people had a boat drop them off on that island. Wouldn't their crew members notice the wrecked ship? Even if we assume this and other episodes happened after the Minnow fell apart in Goodbye Island, there would likely still be an engine and other pieces of the boat still visible, enough to at least get someone curious about where they came from.
And why do they need to sail away? That's one thing that has always bugged me a bit with episodes like this one. The ship is waiting for Lord Beasley's signal with no plans to go anywhere else. Why not just lay anchor closer to the island and maybe set up camp on the beach? Maybe I'm missing something but that seems like it would be more logical.
On a similar note, did they really need the flare gun? If the boat is close enough to see a flare, it likely would be close enough to be signaled some other way, like a signal fire. Maybe it would have worked and maybe it wouldn't, but it seemed liked something the castaways would at least consider trying if they were desperate to get off the island before Waterford was ready to leave.
Final Opinion: I honestly did like the Lord Beasley character and the episode is worth watching because of him. However, I also feel like the castaways went through a lot of effort to prevent their guaranteed rescue from happening.
My Grade: B-
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