Wow. I don’t throw the phrase “Stupidest thing I ever saw” around lightly, but this might be a contender.
Certainly there’s one sequence in this episode that might actually be the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I remember this episode from when it first aired - vaguely - so I remembered the scene. A year or so later, my mom was in the hospital, and this episode came on the Waiting Room TV, presumably to fill up dead air on the schedule. At first I remember being excited, but when I realized what episode it was, I sighed and flipped around looking for Hogan’s Heroes or whatever. It was so bad that I wouldn’t sit through it a second time as an eleven year old.
So I vaguely remembered the scene in question, but not the context. That was a generation ago. How bad could it really be? Pretty bad, actually.
PLAY BY PLAY
A guy with a disco haircut and a bad mustache is putting on a wetsuit in the desert when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar busts through the wall dressed like a cowboy. Mr. Mustache runs off and jumps in a well, but Kareem manages to break his air tank as he goes. Mustache swims away, unaware that he’s leaking air.
Meanwhile, the oceans are draining - no, really - and the Cetacean is inspecting it. Mark finds a big hole in the ocean floor, which appears artificial. Elizabeth informs CW (Back at the Foundation) that unless they figure out a way to stop the flow, the oceans will completely drain in five days, and the world will be thrown off its orbit as a result. (I’m sorry - what?)
Mark, meanwhile, finds the diver and drags him back to the sub. He awakes in the infirmary, says he’s dying, needs to be taken to Medusa Cove, but what with the world ending and all, they can’t really spare the time, so they decide to take him to a nearby weather station. He tries to fleece Mark at cards so they’ll have to take him to Medusa, but Elizabeth stops him.
Some stuff happens, and they decide that Mustache Man Muldoon Must (ooh! Quadruple Alliteration) be in some way related to the mysterious doings that are transpiring, but he’s already left the weather station, so they head to Medusa Cove, and Mark finds him in a bar, schmoozing some chicks, one of whom is kinda’ fat. (Not to be confused with “Phat.”)
He starts a barfight to get away from Mark, and escapes, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is there, and he snatches a little pouch of gold nuggets away from Muldoon, and throws him through the window and back into the bar, where he’s promptly arrested. Mark visits him in prison, explaining that he needs a guide though the bathtub drain in the bottom of the ocean. Muldoon refuses at first, but realizing the bartender is going to kill him, he relents.
Back at the drain, they dive through - Mark pretending to be human - and come out the other side, which Mark quickly identifies as some kind of parallel world or alternate plane of reality or whatever. As with all parallel worlds, it’s looks like Zabreski Point. Captain Kirks’ rock is clearly visible in the background.
Mark discovers water is invisible in this alternate reality, and he finds a hillbilly shack that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar lives in. To kill time, they inexplicably hide inside the thing when he comes home, then sneak out again when he leaves. Mark follows the invisible water to a miner’s sluiceway also "filled" with invisible pretend water, with someone off-screen chucking little fake gold nuggets down the thing. Mark reasons that this is the thing that’s draining the oceans.
Muldoon takes some gold and abandons Mark, and then Kareem comes by, threatening to kill Mark, but Mark points out that he’s got first billing on the show, whereas Kareem is just a guest star, and the NBA pro relents. Mark convinces him that this sluice dealywhacker is somehow draining our world dry. “This makes me sad,” Kareem emotes. The two of them try to close the Watergate of the sluice, but it’s blocked by a rock spray painted gold. Mark - oh boy.
Ok, so here’s the scene I warned you about above, which really might actually be the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in my life: Patrick Duffy gets in the sluice, pretends to swim against the invisible water, while getting pelted with fake gold nuggets, and pulls one of them out of the sluice then crawls out of