Angel in Love
Nighttime inside a cabin at Utopia West - a guy is sealing up a wall panel, evidently just having snatched some cash from its hiding place. A second man comes in with a gun - his face unseen - after a struggle, he shoots the first man. Mystery guy makes a run for it as Hildy Slater (owner and operator) arrives on the scene, along with Lon Molton. She rushes to get the police.
The Angels are hired by Hildy to investigate the murder, that dead guy was her nephew. Charlie informs Kris that she'll be replacing the tai-chi instructor who recently fled the resort. Sabrina balks when informed that she and Bosley will be checking in as guests - reminding Charlie he had promised her a trip to Acapulco for some reason. He basically tells her to zip it and do this case first. Kelly is assigned some miscellaneous job which mostly amounts to sitting around doing nothing. Charlie also calls Bosley fat and announces he'll be put on a diet at Utopia - Sabrina seems oddly delighted at this news.
Angels arrive on the scene. In the Utopia lobby, Hildy instructs a husband and wife to hit each other with pillows before briefing Kris on her duties. Lon leers and hits on her. A fellow guest named Doug O'Neal is persistently interested in Sabrina, even though she makes it clear that the feeling is not mutual. They sign in as guests and meet Hildy and some lady named Lorraine who never really turns out to have a purpose.
Lon saunters into Kelly's cabin, where she's hard at work acting like she's putting linens in a closet. He informs her that hers is "the murder cabin" and that she needs someone to stay in there with her for protection. At that moment Kris enters to cheerfully announce herself as Kelly's roommate, cockblocking Lon, and asks for help setting up her cot. Lon rudely tells her to do it herself, and leaves.
That night Lon snoops around in Kris and Kelly's empty cabin, looking for that hiding place in the wall. Interrupted by their return, he puts a stocking over his head and hides in their closet while the girls gab and start to undress. An incident is unavoidable when Kelly heads for the closet; as Lon tries to run, Kris jumps on piggyback, and Kelly tries to hit him over the head with a bottle, arguably hitting Kris instead (see discussion below). After defeating both Angels, Lon exits unharmed and unidentified. The girls sit back and exchange Whew!s instead of chasing him and potentially wrapping up the case then and there.
Come morning, Kris is instructing her tai chi class on the lawn - including Bosley, who's mainly concerned with ogling the girl next to him. Meanwhile, guess who gets paired up for "touch class": Sabrina and Doug O'Neal! They join several couples sitting lotus on the grass while instructed by Hildy to awkwardly touch one another's hands and lips, and this causes them to fall in love right there on the spot. Sa-bri-na's-got-a-boooooy-friend...
Forever questing to foil his diet, Bosley searches the empty dining room hoping to scavenge some scraps of food. He comes upon a weird lady doing a headstand who gives him some potassium crackers and starts going on about some crackpot thing about finding one's "vital power". Bosley detaches himself as politely as possible.
Sabrina and Doug pose before a roaring fireplace in his cabin, star filters blazing to indicate that this is romantic. They drink and talk at length about his ski career, which is boring, but at least Sabrina seems into it.
On the way back to their cabin, Kelly and Kris stumble upon Lon and Lorraine making out beneath a tree. They stop to bug him about it, and after he reacts with understandable hostility, they walk away making fun of him while still well within earshot. Inside their cabin, they find a gift-wrapped package containing (gasp!) a fake bomb and a note reading "NEXT TIME IT WILL BE REAL"!
To discuss the bomb incident, it is necessary for all three Angels to get naked in a hot tub together at sunrise. Sabrina departs for a date with Doug; Kelly warns her to play it cool. But things are not cool at all, because now it's time for lengthy scenes of Sabrina and Doug riding horses and making out next to a creek. She says she's been hurt before, and will never let it happen again. He promises he will never hurt her. Things are getting serious.
A group of guests stands in a circle in the lake, floating a shirtless Bosley - gleaming like a white baby whale - between them. (We know, we know, but Kelly and Kris are staff, and Sabrina....well.)
Hildy shows Kelly a picture of her late nephew from Vietnam, and Kelly recognizes another man in the photo as none other than Doug O'Neal! She confronts Sabrina with this info, and she gets very snippy before leaving for another date with Doug.
Just as Sabrina remembers her, y'know, job, and prepares to ask Doug about the dead guy, he volunteers that very same information, saying he came to Utopia hoping to find out something about his buddy's death. Sabrina is relieved and romance can continue.
Meanwhile, Kelly and Kris are rifling through Doug's cabin and worrying that Sabrina will kill them for it. Inside his wallet, they find a newspaper clipping about an unsolved skyjacking case. The description of the thief known as BJ Smith fits Doug.
As if that isn't bad enough, there's an abrupt cut to a close-up of Sabrina and Doug making out. (We weren't ready for this.) She's not ready either when Doug tells her he loves her, then says that maybe she's falling in love with him too, but needs more time. (Than 3 days.)
Sabrina returns to her cabin to find Kelly and Kris waiting for a solemn intervention. Refusing to accept that the guy she's been in love with for about 14 hours could be a criminal, she goes all the way into tantrum mode and demands that they all drop their covers and go ask Doug about it.
Kelly and Kris nab two convenient horses to continue chasing Lon Molton, who's hopped in a Jeep. After lots of galloping and swerving, his Jeep gets stuck in a ditch and tries to run on foot. He gets caught trying to jump a barbed wire fence, but Kris is eager to show off some cowpoke skills, so she throws a lasso over him too for good measure! But where is Doug? He's in Kris and Kelly's cabin, emptying the cash stash into a suitcase. Lon comes in, knocks him out, and finishes filling the suitcase for himself. The girls see Lon running suspiciously from their cabin. Sabrina goes inside to find Doug on the floor, just coming to, and asking where his money is. Her fears are confirmed when he admits to being BJ Smith.
Still in a dramatic standoff at the cabin, Doug tells Sabrina he wants to go after Lon to get his money back, saying it will be their future together. It turns out he didn't really kill Frank (the original dead guy) - even though Doug shot him, it was Lon Molton who actually killed him by strangulation. But, he's still a skyjacker. If Sabrina can keep her mouth shut, he wants to live happily ever after together with $2 million. But, of course, she is having none of that, and holds him at gunpoint. Uncomfortable close-up tears ensue and Doug tries to say he loves her again. Kelly appears to take over guard duty so Sabrina can go cry out in the trees.
Back at the office, Charlie offers Sabrina her Acapulco trip as promised, but she declines, preferring to keep busy. Bosley announces that he's gained 5 pounds on his diet. "Oh, Bosley!"
• Charlie's acting weird in the opening office scene. What's with all the "my dears" and "loves" and "you beautiful creatures"?
• How is Bosley's diet to be enforced if Utopia West is so completely laissez-faire?
• Bosley steals a different-looking ham than the one he was eyeing a moment earlier. Why did the chef cut two slices and then wander off?
• The audio in the entire hot tub scene sounds a little odd, like maybe their lines had to be dubbed because of the gurgling water noises. Kelly in particular is lip-syncing with a voice reminiscent of Paula from Lady Killer.
• Kris and Kelly so casually wonder where Sabrina disappeared to after dinner. In other episodes, this identical scenario would mean she's tied to a chair somewhere about to be murdered, and they all need to rush to her rescue. Guess they weren't in that kind of mood.
• Some nighttime scenes ("Kris is giving me belonging lessons") are clearly shot in the daytime with a filter. Hey, at least they tried.
• Upon seeing the gift/bomb package, Kris asks Kelly "Is it your birthday?" and she goes "No!" like she thought it was a real question. Okay, Kris is still kinda new, so maybe they haven't talked about birthdays yet. Though by Angels Remembered, none of the Angels (or Bosley) still seem to have any idea when the others' birthdays are.
• When Kelly takes the photo of dead nephew and Doug, there is gunk stuck on the back of the picture, but by the time Sabrina's looking at it, it's clean. Unbelievably, this is NOT the worst primitive Photoshop job ever done on this show. (See I Will Be Remembered and Island Angels)
• Some of the film is reversed during the chase scene at the end - watch for backwards lettering on Kris's shirt.
• The "BRIDGE OUT" sign glimpsed during the chase scene is the same footage seen in The Seance. Why was it even shown here?
• As with most lassoings, the bad guy could probably just take off the lasso and keep running if he wanted to.
• What was the point of Lorraine's character, really?
• The FBI is still investigating real-life 1971 skyjacker DB Cooper, the inspiration for BJ Smith. The prevailing theory is that Cooper went splat, but neither he nor most of the stolen $200,000 has ever been found, making his reportedly the only unsolved airline hijacking in American history. (Because they never hired the Angels.)
SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS
SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS
DAYS TO SOLVE CASE (?)
BAD GUYS KISSED
Kelly and Kris look super cute in their fitted Utopia West t-shirts and jeans for most of the episode. The scene where they start to undress was probably supposed to be scandalously exciting, but all you're thinking is: "Who wears a slip under a t-shirt?" Plenty-o-cheesecake from everybody this week, including Bosley. If you've ever wanted to see a shirtless Bosley, here's your chance.
Wardrobe Repeats Something for everyone! Sabrina wore the same brown blouse a couple of episodes ago in Angel Flight, and her red checkered shirt will be seen again in Angels on Horseback. Kelly appears to have stolen yet another top from Jill, wearing her Lady Killer burgundy top and white collar number in Angel Baby as well as this week's office wrap-up. Kris is wearing the same red plaid top seen in the "Cheryl Ladd as Kris" poster, and also has the tied shirt and brown slacks from the Season 2 and 3 intro.
MAYBE SHE'S STILL WARMING UP TO KRIS
This isn't scripted or intentional, but if you look closely at the Kris/Kelly vs. Lon fight, you can see that when Kelly tries to hit Lon over the head with that bottle, it looks an awful lot like she actually hits Kris (or their stunt doubles, rather). Kris then slides off Lon's back, and then Lon goes out the door seemingly unharmed. Kelly drops to the floor to ask if Kris is okay, but she doesn't seem apologetic, and Kris doesn't seem annoyed, although she is sort of acting like she hurt her head/neck. Maybe she hit Kris, and when Kris chalked it up to the scuffle, Kelly just kept her mouth shut. Here it is slowed down a bit - what do you think?
We've all seen bad doubles, or guys in wigs performing stunts. Equally bad is the counterpart: Real Angels painfully NOT performing stunts. Check out the girls sitting perfectly still "on horseback" at a full gallop. Jaclyn gets a point for at least trying to bounce; Cheryl doesn't look in the slightest like she isn't just whipping a truck bed. Kate Jackson gets two points for really riding a horse.
The recycled location is one good reason why this episode is often confused with Angels on Horseback - the Utopia West grounds serve as Sun West Dude Ranch in Angels On Horseback later this same season. It doesn't help that the location lends itself to similar horse-intensive scenes, with Kris and Kelly again in equestrian pursuit for the takedown. The tree where Lon and Lorraine were "getting it on" (??) is the same tree where Bosley spies the bad guy and bad (?) girl making out in Angels on Horseback. Sabrina wears the same shirt. Plots of secret/mistaken identities are sort of similar. Everyone looks and acts the same because it may not even be two weeks later, but the very same time - as for the sake of efficiency it's likely they filmed some of these two episodes together while they had the whole production up in Newhall, CA.
SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS
In terms of formula, this is probably the closest thing Sabrina ever got to an episode all her own, but not in terms of screen time. She did get more attention than the others, but this is still early enough in the series that they're making an effort to keep the Angels' roles pretty balanced.
- HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 87%
Kris and Kelly get the action in this one, though it isn't all good. Lon repeatedly defeats Kelly by shoving her away when she tries to fight him, and gives Kris a piggy-back ride into a solid wall.
Later, it actually makes sense that Kelly and Kris are unarmed for the takedown because they just happened to catch Lon while walking around. And you know what a lack of guns means: a crazy random chase theme! This week it's horses vs. a Jeep. Kris actually shouts "Let's head him off at the pass," twirls a lasso over her head, and ropes Lon at the end of the chase. Sounds like someone's been watching old Westerns just as much as Tarzan movies... maybe Jill forced her to watch Roy Rogers all the time when they were kids?
GRATUITOUS HOT TUB ALERT
We suppose staff members and guests get cozy in hot tubs together all the time at Utopia West, otherwise all three Angels together might worry about blowing their covers. At least Bosley wasn't invited (although he got his own topless scene!) Anyone watching this scene will, without fail, emit a concerned gasp when Sabrina starts to get out of the tub, in case the camera isn't going to cut away in time. Kelly and Kris seemed fine with it. After Sabrina leaves the scene, why are Kelly and Kris suddenly sitting so much closer together?
MAYBE KRIS IS STILL WARMING UP TO THEM
Not that she gets a pass or anything, but Kris hasn’t developed her fighting skills yet. She does get ropin’ and yoga-class-instructin’ skills, but for the majority of the episode she’s still a mite green and giggly, and actually looks like she’s learning the ropes (staring at the back of Kelly’s head while Kelly does stuff).
This is Kris’ 6th case, and the second in a row where Sabrina has gotten involved with a client/suspect to an unprofessional degree (this being the much worse of the two), so it’s no wonder that Kris shows a particular lack of love toward her. She doesn’t really say a word to her, and practically her only mention is that Sabrina is gonna kill them for searching Doug's room. We like to think she’s smugly enjoying her few lines confronting Sabrina with that newspaper clipping, especially the one that made her go nuts over the commercial break.
Sabrina was in love with James Darren at the Circus of Terror only last week. And he wasn't the bad guy for once - it was kind of implied that they'd continue seeing each other. They had to give her a new romance in the very next episode?
Doug O'Neal is probably Sabrina's most serious romance, gauging by the way her loyalties start changing after knowing this guy only a couple of days - both her job and her friendship with the other Angels start to go out the window. Look how testy she gets with the other Angels when they try to convince her that he's possibly a murderer, or definitely a skyjacker. Whatever is the girl version of bros before hoes, Sabrina is clearly not a subscriber.
Kelly calls Charlie to tell him about how she and Kris were attacked in their cabin, but Charlie seems more concerned with the businesslike bimbo reading a stock ticker tape in his office. What is this, the 1920’s? Instead of the standard “Oh, Charlie” eyeroll, Kelly responds by politely saying she hoped she didn’t disturb him by calling, and hopes the stocks are looking good. This does not deter him from further bimbo dialogue.
Carole Cook (Hildy Slater) was Madame Dorian a year earlier in The Seance.
Cis Rundle played the girl Bosley is ogling in tai-chi class. She appeared many other times on the show as an extra, including Angels on Ice, Circus of Terror, Unidentified Flying Angels, Angels on horseback,Angels in the Backfield, Game, Set, Death, Angels on the Air, Antique Angels, The Sandcastle Murders, Angels in Vegas, Angel Come Home, Pom Pom Angels, Disco Angels, Love Boat Angels, Of Ghosts and Angels, and An Angel's Trail.
Paul Stanley also directed Angel Baby, Angel Come Home, Angels Belong in Heaven, and Angel Hunt.
Anna's Rating: Not bad, but not a favorite. I never like romance episodes, the Angels always turn weird and catty and dramatic, and that's just no fun. With the Smart One's head is clouded by star-filtered visions of Doug O'Neal, Kelly gets to emerge as the leader. She's the one in charge of checking in with Charlie, solving the case, confronting Sabrina, and then after capturing one bad guy, coming back to the cabin to take over guard duty for the other bad guy! (That was awkward, by the way. Does Doug even know who Kelly is?) Two Angels getting owned in a fight against one guy was pretty bad, though. I expected better from Kelly.
This was definitely the maddest Sabrina ever got at the others. I liked seeing a rare moment of softie vulnerability from her though, and some vague reference to her divorce/past, although we had to learn much more about Doug than we ever learned about her, which is stupid. He sure talked a lot on their dates. Extended crying scenes can be hot spots for terrible acting, but Kate's are fairly well-done. Also, thanks for knowing how to ride a horse.
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