Thoughts From the Gilligan's Island Episode Erika Tiffany-Smith to the Rescue (1965)

Synopsis: Wealthy socialite Erika Tiffany-Smith (Zsa Zsa Gabor) arrives on the island with the intention of buying it and building a resort. The Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.) is smitten with her, but she is romantically interested in the Professor (Russell Johnson).

My Thoughts:

I think this is one of my favorite guest characters on the show. In particular, I liked the way she managed to interact with the various characters individually (something that isn't always the case), whether it was the catty exchange with her "friend" Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schafer) or completely ignoring Mary Ann (Dawn Wells) because she was distracted by the Professor.

I would have liked to see more of a rivalry between the Skipper and the Professor. Considering neither was right for her, I think a rivalry could have had some potential for both comedy and maybe even a little drama. At minimum, I felt like Skipper just backed off without a fight, something that honestly seemed a little out of character for him.

I also noticed the lack of jealousy from the other single women on the island. Maybe they just think of the Skipper and Professor as brothers, but it was interesting neither Mary Ann nor Ginger (Tina Louise) was even remotely upset over the Professor "proposing" to a woman he just met. If anything, they were all for it, which in itself is a bit suspect considering they would know the Professor well enough to notice the various red flags.

Once again, I question just how "uncharted" this island is. It's not like she got lost and ended up there, she both knew the island was there and specifically chose the one island in that area that wasn't inhabited by headhunters. That doesn't exactly sound like a location that is remote to the point a group of castaways wouldn't be rescued.

And what about those headhunters? They visit fairly regularly, and I have a hard time believing that would change if someone built a resort there. If anything, you would think a resort (and all the heads that come with it) would attract them. I think Mr. Howell (Jim Backus) should have at least mentioned that possibility when discussing the sale.

Speaking of that, do the castaways even own the island? How does that work? It's not like they can even claim they discovered it since there were plenty of other people there before them. I would second guess any sales transaction as a result of that.

I can see Erika Tiffany-Smith not being able to find the island again but what about her yacht crew? It's not like she piloted the ship there herself. How come nobody ever questions the help?

Final Opinion: The overall plot honestly leaves a bit more to be desired, partly because of the plot hole over who owns the island and the Skipper and Professor acting a bit out of character. However, I do like Gabor's guest appearance overall and will still score this as one of my favorite episodes from the series.

My Grade: A-


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