Hula Angels


SUMMARY

The Angels take in a show at Steve's Tropic Night watching Go Go Dancers gyrating in cages which really seems to amuse and entertain the Townsend Associates. Backstage, club owner Steve Moss tells hoofer Donna she can't dance a step which probably should have been indicated to her during her audition, but whatever.

Meanwhile, back, BACK stage, Steve Moss gets forced into a van by a group of thugs in pig masks. Steve is thrown into a go-go cage, lifted ten feet in the air, and presented with the ultimatum: the pigs want $1 million ransom from Steve's wife, Marion.

The next day, Marion hires the Angels, who can't believe the coincidence that they happened to be in the club the night of the kidnapping. Kelly interviews battle axe dance instructor/manager Stacy Parish who tells her that Marion could pay the ransom if she wanted to. Julie interviews another performer at the club who also doubts Marion really is unable to come up with the ransom money.

When the curtain goes up the following night, the dancers all scream after taking several seconds to notice a mannequin in Lily's gogo cage with a pinned note indicating that Lily is less go go and more gone gone. "Pay what we want, or there will be another surprise tomorrow!" (So, does the show continue now, or...?)

Back at the office (er, poolside) Kelly and Kris theorize that Marion is planning not to pay the ransom and allow Steve to be killed, as an easy way to get rid of a husband she doesn't want. Julie disagrees for some reason.

Kelly: "I'm not a dancer. I'm a detective."

The Angels decide to go undercover - Julie and Kris audition their unspectacular hulas at the club. After a huddle with her lackey, Amy, Stacy gives Kris the job, and offers Julie a chance at go-go dancing on the side. After several minutes of talking together loudly and acting like friends, Kris denies that they are, and Stacy doesn't believe her. Outside, Donna drives up next to Julie and asks about Steve; Julie gets in the car and goes somewhere with her.

Meanwhile a caged Steve is being threatened by a bad guy using the 70's version of Auto Tune to disguise his (her) voice. In between their conversations, they attempt to drive him crazy by playing the same disco music that played at his club (?).

Eventually a ransom is agreed upon and a drop spot planned; there Kelly beats up a guy who turns out to be a decoy, and says some lady paid him to get involved. Meanwhile, Stacy emerges suspiciously from a nearby phone booth after changing clothes.

Back at the club, Kris finds a threatening note scrawled on a dressing room mirror in lipstick - Margo, another dancer, has disappeared. Later, during the show, Stacy suddenly has an epiphany that Julie and Kris are cops, so she invites Julie back to audition for the go-go cage. "That's real good, Julie," she praises as Julie dances enthusiastically in the background, unaware that they're hiring her just to keep an eye on her. Backstage, Kris admits to being a detective after Stacy catches her rummaging through everyone's stuff. She plays along and pretends to want to help.

Just before the night's show, Julie goes into the dressing room to change and is surprised by two more armed and pig-masked kidnappers; she's taken away and dumped into the hovering go-go cage with Steve.

Another ransom drop is planned at a beach park. Bosley, Kelly and Kris are stationed around the area, attempting to blend into local activities with varying results - worst of all Kelly, who looks hilariously conspicuous circling around in an empty rickshaw. Stacy watches through binoculars as Marion walks up with a bag full of cash and bumps into Amy, who drops an identical bag, so that they can be "mixed up". Everyone chases Amy, but fails to catch her before she gets in her car and screeches away; Kris and Bosley steal a huge truck to chase her in, pausing to pick up Kelly, who had been pedaling pathetically after the speeding car on her rickshaw.

They chase Stacy back to the warehouse just in time for her to release the hostage-filled cage so it can conveniently drop on top the truck, thus saving Steve and Julie a drop of another four feet which apparently would have made the fatal difference. Kris kicks Stacy into some cardboard boxes while Kelly and Bosley wrangle some other woman we weren't even aware was involved.

Back at the pool again, Julie is "touched" that Charlie personally put up the ransom money (even though he got it back). With several minutes still left to fill, the Angels present Bosley with a grass hula skirt and laugh at him while he tries to dance.

BACKGROUND CHECK

Hula Angels Episode #99 Season 5, Episode 6 Airdate: Jan 11, 1981 Writer: Robert George Director: Kim Manners Guest stars: Gene Barry

WHAT'D YOU THINK?

Rate this episode:

CURIOSITIES

• They pad out the beginning of the episode with a lot of hula footage, which is no longer a novelty after they did the same thing in Angels in Paradise. Why are Kris, Kelly and Bosley so amazed when they've been here (and hula danced in front of a crowd) before?

• Julie and Kris dance for like two seconds in what has to be the most non-demanding audition ever. Did the other five girls waiting behind them come just to watch?

• Why does Julie act like she hasn't seen the gogo cage that's been 2 feet away for the whole scene until Stacy points it out to her?

• Is "The Beat Goes On" the only song that guy knows? He's singing it in three different scenes.

• Joanna Cassidy stars as the baddie, Stacy. Three years later she would be offered her own faux Charlie's Angels clone called Code Name Foxfire which would last half a season.

• How come Kelly, always known as the dancer of the group, was the only one NOT to do any dancing in this episode? Even Bosley did.

• When Julie learns about Steve's dead teenage daughter, she replies "It sounds corny when you say it, but not so corny when you live it." Huh?

• With Sabrina and Tiffany gone, Kelly pleads with her boss, “Charlie, think of something . . . PLEASE!” indicating no confidence in her own, Kris' or Bosley's ability to solve a problem. Must be the sun and sand.

• Steve is suspended in the gogo cage for a few days, and Julie's in there at least overnight. As with all confined hostage situations: what happens when they have to go to the bathroom?

• Watch Kris's takedown - after she kicks Stacy, she goes "Stay there!" and kind of acts like she has a gun, but is really just pointing. Were we supposed to think she had a gun? Come to think of it, why didn't she?

• Was this the same empty cardboard box factory where Wonder Woman has all her fights?

• Kris' grand theft auto at the end was exactly the situation Sabrina got arrested for in Angels On Ice. If the same thing had happened here, and the entire rest of the team got pulled over by Five-0, nobody would have gotten there to "save" Julie and Steve.

BAD GUYS BEAT DOWN

TRUCKS STOLEN

SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS

SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS

DAYS TO SOLVE CASE

HULAS DANCED

BIKINIS

CHARACTER DEATHS

LAME MURDER ATTEMPT ALERT

This is pretty much the least effective murder attempt ever seen on Charlie's Angels, or perhaps anywhere period. They want to let Julie and Steve's go-go cage drop in a terrifying free-fall to their deaths... but the cage is only like 11 feet off the ground, which means when they land, they're not going to be dead, just annoyed and inconvenienced. This is really intended to be harmful?

GATE CRASHING

Once again the Angels throw caution and logic to the wind by driving a vehicle through a closed warehouse door, even though for all they know their kidnapped teammate is standing on the other side and will be run over and killed. They do the exact same thing in Cruising Angels and Waikiki Angels. By this time in the series maybe they, too, realized Angels are indeed replaceable?

SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS

Julie wins by a few minutes thanks to her imprisonment in the go go cage.

  • KELLY
  • KRIS
  • JULIE
  • BOSLEY
  • HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 79%

FASHION

Kris and Julie spend most of the episode in go-go outfits. Kelly gets her typical Hawaiian themed print shirt. There is also a brief scene by the pool that features all three Angels modestly decked out in bathing suits. Hawaii Standard.

ACTION

All the action in this episode is so...what's the word, awkward. Julie getting thrown around during the pool fight and Bosley's odd expression, not to mention Kelly's lumbering pseudo-kung-fu moves on the guy who turns out to be innocent. The rhythm and timing to these scenes were so . . . awkward. The chase scene with the truck at the end was also directed very strangely. Kris gets to kick Stacy and say "Stay down."

This episode may have had the strangest action scenes in the whole series run! And yes, this includes Angels In Springtime.

REPEAT OFFENDERS

Soon-Tek Oh's recurring character, Lt. Torres, appeared in three other Hawaii episodes - Angels of the Deep, Island Angels, Waikiki Angels.

Gene Barry: Kidnapee Steve Moss previously played Frank Jason in Angels in the Wings.

Patch Mackenzie is better remembered as Julia Smyth with a Y from Angels in the Backfield.

Pat Crowley was Bosley's criminal love interest, Ellen, in Angels in Waiting.

Kim Manners also directed Angels Remembered, Catch a Falling Angel, Angels of the Deep, Moonshinin' Angels, Angel on the Line, Attack Angels, and Let Our Angel Live.

Robert George also wrote Island Angels, Angels of the Deep, and Taxi Angels.

OUR TAKE

Anna's Rating: 1 Star  ... oh, me? Is it over? Wow. I'm just glad we're going back to Los Angeles after this. Everyone's stupid, but at least Kris says so. There were like seven bad guys (girls) and I didn't really know or care who most of them were. The murder attempt was more amusing than scary. And I don't know about the truck at the end. Slightly funny, yes, but this is meant to be an exciting TV show, remember, so why not have them steal a conveniently-placed Ferrari instead of a big boring slow truck? Welcome to the "We're getting cancelled soon so don't bother spending money on anything" phase.

Holly's Rating: 1 star  You'd think Tanya Roberts locked in a go go cage would be exciting, but just a few minutes into this story and the channel buttons on your remote start looking more enticing. The 'crime' here is just kind of odd and fairly unthreatening, despite the pig masks and staunch women. The highlight occurs at the drop zone when the Angels are undercover at the beach scene and take off after the chicks in the VW bug. How Kris manages to subdue her nemesis with a pointed finger is beyond me - but I saw it happen with my own eyes.