Angels at Sea
Newlyweds strolling arm-in-arm through the halls of a cruise ship become trapped in a passageway that seals itself and quickly fills with steam. Their deaths are the latest in a series of “accidents” which the Angels are hired to investigate by the owner of the cruise line. After some discussion about the safety of the mission, all three of the Angels (and Bosley) vote to sail on the jinxed ship, but it seems the mysterious killer already knows who they are before the team even leaves the office! Bosley discovers a dummy pinned to the Townsend Agency’s door bearing a threatening note.
Kelly: “Bon voyage – you’re dead.”
After boarding the deserted Belle Helene, each of the Angels is puzzled to receive their own, personalized threatening note before the ship even sails. Their three prime suspects are the ship’s lounge singer, the chief engineer, and a clairvoyant entertainer.
After settling in, the Angels are invited to have cocktails with the captain, and are hit on by most of the crew during a comedy mindreading act performed by one of their top three suspects, Harry Dana.
Meanwhile, someone has set fire to Sabrina’s cabin, and tagged the wall with a blood-red scrawl reading “SORRY I MISSED YOU”. This frightening event prompts Kelly’s revelation that they should start keeping their guns with them, and the team concludes that it would be wise to separate, each taking a cabin on a different deck.
That night, everyone is awakened by a “man overboard” alert, and Bosley is knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant as he emerges from his cabin. Investigating on the moonlit foredeck, the armed and robed girls discover a rifle and a confused, naked Bosley. Safely back in their cabin, Kelly dusts the rifle for fingerprints, while the others tease Bos instead of being concerned about his injuries.
It occurs to Kelly that someone should speak to the ship’s captain about the incident, and after finding the phone dead, ventures out into the halls on her own, still in her pajamas. Jill leaves shortly after to take a different route to the captain, and in her travels, she stumbles upon the hanging corpse of the chief engineer – a ‘YOU’RE WELCOME’ note pinned to his jacket, written by his killer. Meanwhile, Kelly becomes trapped in that same passageway with the deadly steam thing going on in it, and after a few tension filled moments of coughing, manages to escape through a convenient panel in the ceiling.
The rest of the gang sets up a coup in which they pretend that the attempt on Kelly’s life succeeded, and announce to the rest of the scant passengers that they have found the murderer’s fingerprints on a steam valve. Out on deck, they set up shop and begin to take the fingerprints of every passenger on board in this clever attempt to flush out the real killer.
Kelly remains out of sight, concealed in an air duct in which she has full view of said steam valve, and witnesses an increasingly erratic Harry Dana whistling sea shanties as he attempts to obliterate his fingerprints. Radioing her observation, Kelly then leaps down to confront Dana, but is instead face slammed into the wall. The rest of the Angels arrive and apprehend the crazed and fleeing Dana in the ship’s passageway.
Held captive and interrogated by the Angels and the ship’s captain, Dana cryptically informs them that the ship is rigged to blow up – the murders and the eventual destruction of the vessel are his form of revenge for something that is not worth sitting through 8 minutes of explanation to relate. After an interminable series of impressions and rambling stories, Harry reveals the locations of three bombs he’s hidden in the bowels of the ship.
After racing below decks to locate the devices, each of the lone Angels are connected to a bomb squad expert (and Peter Graves look alike) via walkie talkies, who talks them through the stressful disarming procedure. After several harrowing minutes, all three grab their dynamite bundles and rush out to the ship’s railing, hurling the still-ticking bombs overboard and into the ocean where they finally explode, creating what look like enormous wartime depth charges.
The wrap-up takes place on deck, with Charlie phoning the three Angels as they’re relaxing on deck chairs and being served drinks by a man who was initially one of their suspects.
The action consists mainly of the Angels running around the deck in various outfits, although it’s still kind of exciting. Kelly demonstrates her iron skull once again by getting her face slammed into a wall with no complaint. Bosley gets punched in the stomach and after falling down, flails weirdly on the floor.
Angels detonating bombs is a pretty unusual occurrence, plus the fact that each Angel gets to work with her own deadly bomb. High tension!
The girls’ red, yellow and white robes look like humanoid versions of the odd jumpsuits their official Charlie’s Angels dolls were originally sold wearing. Bri slips into some sort of lace tablecloth as she sprawls at the ship’s railing and talks about her bikini falling off at the wrong time. There is never a right time.
Jill wears the same red outfit in. We’ve also seen the same pink suit on Sabrina in and .
ACTUAL DETECTIVE WORK
Kelly secures one of the show’s scant few suggestions of actual detective knowledge/work as she sprinkles baby powder on a rifle and then dabs it aimlessly with her make-up brush. The idea is to then lift the fingerprints after you dust them, rather than just wander off, and her technique likely obliterated any prints that were on it … oh, well. Still, Kelly deserves a shiny gold star for effort!
Case solved in approximately 4 days (minimum estimate)
Day 1 – Case introduced (Sabrina says the ship “sails Thursday”. Since she didn’t say “tomorrow”, we’re adding at least 1 day.)
Day 2 – waiting for ship to sail
Day 3 – Angels board the ship – man overboard/naked Bosley
Day 4 – Fingerprints – diffusing bombs – wrap-up probably the same day
• Bri’s cryptic note seems incongruous with the others. “I love you. I’ll prove it. You won’t like it. I don’t care.” Charlie immediately follows this with an assertion that the author must be mentally deranged.
• Jill makes one of the series’ few references to Charlie actually calling them ‘Angels’ in this episode.
• Why would Jill have given Bosley her lipstick?
• Didn’t anybody brief Kelly that two of the murders took place in that steam passageway? Why would she go in there?
• When Jill sees the dead guy in the corridor, the rope holding his corpse up does not appear in his shadow.
• Before the Angels come running out at the “man overboard” call, you can see Farrah’s hair inside the door as she waits for her cue.
• When everyone runs out on deck searching for Harry, the boom microphone dips momentarily into the shot and Farrah glances at it.
• During the fingerprinting scene, you can see the crew’s camera and electrical cables running along the deck planks.
• Harry calls Jill a beautiful blue-eyed blonde while looking her in the (green) eye.
• Kelly goes from black tights, to black slacks, to black tights again, all in the middle of the fast-paced climax.
• The bomb expert doesn’t make sure that the bombs Bri and Kelly are disarming are wired the same as the one he had Jill tinker with.
• The ship is ordered to be stopped before the Angels take care of the bombs, but when they throw the bombs overboard, the ship is sailing.
• The ship used in long shots appears to be old stock footage of the RMS Queen Elizabeth, which burned and capsized in 1972.
Louie Elias: The murdered crewman appeared many times on the show, usually as a miscellaneous henchman, including , , , and .
Harold J Stone also played the dad in .
Allen Baron directed , , , , !, , , , , , , and .
John D.F. Black also wrote , , and .
|Turtlenecks:||Jill 1, Kelly 1|
|Shots fired by Angels:||0|
|Shots fired at Angels:||0|
|Threatening notes received:||6|
|Mythical bikinis destroyed:||1|
|Red wire:||Cool, no vibration|
TOWNSEND AGENCY COMMENTARY
Despite the tedium of Frank Gorshin’s soliloquy (and don’t get me wrong, Goshin is a fabulous talent, the problem here was with CA’s writers), you’ve got an exciting adventure aboard one of the most famous and glamorous ocean liners ever to sail the high seas – the Queen Mary – definitely an Angel among her sister ships. The group bomb diffusion at the finale is riveting, and it’s interesting to see that at least Sabrina has an inkling that they may not make it out of this one alive. That’s called reality, people.
Episode Rating :
Mr. Gorshin’s over-the-top-crazy performance spoiled this episode for me.
Episode Rating :
If you ask me (and you didn’t) this is the low point of Season 1. But, keeping the entire series in perspective, it’s still pretty good, especially if you can fast-forward Frank Gorshin. The Angels’ interaction with Bosley is enjoyable. The bomb scene was actually suspenseful and would have ended the episode on a high-quality note, were it not followed by the dumb wrap-up scene. Was Charlie going to spend extra money to send a jet to pick them up instead of finishing the cruise?