My Thoughts - Gilligan's Island: Sound of Quacking (1964)
Synopsis: Forced to ration their food because of a blight, the castaways are thrilled when a duck lands on the island. However, the Professor (Russell Johnson) thinks the migratory bird will give them a chance at rescue if they let it fly home with a note on its leg.
While I maybe can buy into the idea of a mysterious blight that "shrinks" the island's fruits and vegetables, I'm just not buying the effect it has on their supply of fish. It's a freaking ocean. You can't tell me every single fish has been affected. If nothing else, just build a small raft and go a little further away from the island.
Gilligan (Bob Denver) once again proved he is smarter than he is given credit for. OK, so his duck decoy sunk because he forgot about a hole in his shoe, but it was still an idea that worked and definitely more than anyone else came up with. I mean, let's face it, Mr. Howell (Jim Backus) would have suggested something to do with bribing the duck and Ginger (Tina Louise) would have tried to seduce it. All the Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.) could come up with was walking around while quacking.
I'm not saying the Professor's plan wouldn't work. I'm just saying the odds of it working weren't as good as he seemed to think. It's not like it was in a later episode, with a trained pigeon. This was a wild duck and the only way that message was likely going to be seen is if a hunter shot it. Not to mention, ducks swim. I don't think anyone would be able to read that message even if they found it as a result of that.
Did nobody realize duck eggs are edible? That was a pretty large egg too. It seems to me a steady supply of those would be a better option than using a relatively small duck to feed seven people one meal.
There's a major difference between the dream sequence in this episode and many future episodes, Gilligan dreams of himself as a competent person (at least until the very end). In later seasons, his dreams usually have him being a total screw up. It shows you how much of a negative psychological effect his "friends" had on him.
Speaking of that, how sad was it that Gilligan was willing to try a potentially poisonous plant because he figured nobody would care if he died. The other six should be ashamed of themselves for making him feel that way. Personally, if it were me, I'd be trying to find a way to get myself off the island and leave them stranded there.
Just because the duck could eat the plants doesn't mean they could. Birds eat all sorts of berries and stuff that are poisonous to humans, and you would think at least the Professor would realize that. They dodged a bullet with that one.
Final Opinion: I liked the dream sequence, but thought the overall premise was a bit weak considering there were other alternatives to starving and the Professor's plan was, at best, flawed.
My Grade: C+