3. Carry Me Back to Old Tsing-Tao
Kelly and Scotty tangle with the greedy sons-in-law of an elderly Chinese merchant who claims he wants to pay a million dollars in back taxes so that he can go home to Formosa.
[Location: Hong Kong]
French title: Une cuisniere en or massif
Italian title: Riportami dal vechhio Tsing-Tao
Philip Ahn (Charlie Hahn), Pilar Seurat (Katherine), Michael Conrad (Morton), David Sheiner (Turkey), Bernard Fox (Harry), Joan Swift (Girl), George Murdock (Mariner), Larry Thor (Mr. Farley), Allen Jung (Older Chinese Antique Dealer), Lang Yun (Irene), Beulah Quo (Mary), Nancy Wong (Sally), Hans William Lee (Young Chinese Antique Dealer)
29 September 1965
Currently available on DVD
This light-hearted caper involves old Chinese merchant Charlie Hahn, currently residing in Hong Kong, who apparently once resided in the States, and who wants to go home to Formosa (Taiwan); only problem is, he won't get a visa unless he pays a cool million in back taxes to the IRS. Kelly and Scotty become glorified tax collectors as middlemen in a deal struck by the government and Hahn -- he pays the taxes and they facilitate his documentation. But Hahn's three sons-in-law want the old man's money for themselves, and when Hahn gives Kelly and Scotty what is supposed to be a solid gold cookstove as payment, the unscrupulous trio take it away from them. As it turns out, Hahn has pulled a scam; the stove is cast-iron, not solid gold, and he's off to Taiwan with his wealth intact.
Quite a change of pace from the first two episodes, Carry Me Back is a piece of fluff filled with stereotypes -- the wily old merchant practicing "Oriental guile" and his beautiful, innocent daughter, but more than that the trio of Morton, Turkey and Harry, caricatures of the brawny Yank, suave Englishman and swarthy Turk. There's no time in a 51-minute episode to develop these characters, and that's probably just as well, because the story is built around a single gimmick -- the concealment of wealth as kitchen appliance/utensils. Still, you can't take it too seriously; it's all tongue-in-cheek and it's played that way. In addition, some great on-location footage is a definite plus. Philip Ahn is perfect as the cunning Charlie Hahn, while Pilar Seurat is fetching as his daughter Katherine.