Love Boat Angels
We open with a rather prolonged armored car heist complete with helicopter, truck and boat, orchestrated by Paul Hollister (played by game show host Bert Convy). That's land, sea and air action before we even meet the new Angel.
In the office, we find only Kris and Kelly, and Charlie informs them that the missing Sabrina is married and expecting a child. (Uh, okay.. thanks/congratulations/bye?) A squeaky-voiced bimbo arrives at the office and the K's barely suppress their horror at the arrival of Charlie's new airheaded Angel selection, only to discover that - false alarm - she's actually from the office's linen service (?).
Though relieved at the sight of the real and professional-looking Tiffany Welles, Kris and Kelly seem a bit hesitant to welcome her into the fold, simply linking arms with Bosley and staring at her in silence. Tiffany is the top-academy-graduate daughter of the Boston Lieutenant of Police, who's an old friend of Charlie's - but she's never seen him either, and seems unnerved by the speakerbox gimmick. Before you can say "awkward introduction", the Angels are off to the Caribbean to set sail on the Love Boat.
Tiffany: "THAT'S Charlie? I think I'm going to have a nervous breakdown."
The Charlie's Angels cast exchanges banter with the Love Boat cast and then their client, Dick Sargent, shows them a boring slideshow introducing the thief, Paul, and his sidekick Wes - and mentioning that they're on the Love Boat this very minute. Since he already knows that, Kelly asks why the Angels are necessary at all. (They aren't, but we have 90 more minutes to fill up. Strap in, Kelly.)
Angels put on swimsuits to parade past the ogling males of the Love Boat cast, and then talk about how to decide which one of them is going to pretend to romance the bad g- oh, Kris is already doing it. Okay, everybody else stand back, this is a Kris episode now. Kris and Paul meet at Isaac's bar to order drinks and hit on each other, and she invites him to dinner at the Captain's table (can you do that?).
Garbed in glamorous evening gowns, the Angels dine with Captain Stubing; Kris and Paul flirt with each other and then excuse themselves to go flirt more in a different location. On their way out, Paul pauses to look troubled by a table full of guys who we know are henchmen because the same guys always play henchmen in other episodes.
Up on deck, Kris cultivates an aura of mystery by refusing to tell Paul her occupation ("sexy bounty hunter targeting you specifically"), instead leaving an impression of herself as a loose-moraled-yet-classy-possible-thief-lady. An intrigued Paul kisses her, and she's into it but also conflicted. Afterward, the henchmen confront Paul on behalf of the guy who hired him to steal the stuff. A brawl starts; Kris manifests back into the scene to beat up the bad guys and pull a gun, rescuing him so they can exchange more vague flirtatious banter.
Kelly and Tiffany tell Charlie how much fun they are having on the cruise, relaxing and gaining weight - right in front of the annoyed client, who even comments on their laziness. That's what happens to an agency when it loses it's brainy brunette leader.
Meanwhile, a land-lubbing Bosley boringly investigates some lady, still doing more work than Kelly and Tiff - the only person sorta working is Kris, and she's having fun her damn self. Finally, the Love Boat arrives in St. Thomas and the Angels/bad guys disembark amid exotic fanfare and merriment. Dick Sargent looks annoyed.
The Angels hit the beach, where Paul immediately gets kidnapped by henchmen despite Kris' attempt to intervene. Tiffany eventually notices and points this out to an oblivious Kelly, who doesn't seem to be counting this trip as work-related at all.
Part II opens with Dick Sargent berating the Angels for their poor performance as they lounge in their hotel room. Suddenly becoming the only remotely useful Angel, Tiffany announces she got the license plate of the kidnappers' car.
Paul's been carted back to the bad guy's lair, and threatened with death if he doesn't deliver the loot - and the baddies also learn that Kris used to be a cop.
Luckily for the lazy Angels, their missing suspect turns up at their hotel room door, inviting Kris out for a joyride. Having nothing else better to do, such as their jobs, Kelly and Tiffany head back to the beach. Later, Dick Sargent comes back and yells at them some more until Tiffany pieces together a clue to go investigate.
Paul confides in Kris that he steals stuff in order to finance refugee-smuggling operations, so he's a sorta good bad guy. Approving of his Robin Hooding, Kris accepts his invitation onto the boat with Wes to join them in recovering their sunken treasure.
Back on land, the bad guys figure out the Angels are detectives; they burst into the hotel room and twist Kelly's neck until she agrees to lead them to Kris and Paul. Before leaving, she manages to draw a giant X in lipstick on a conveniently-placed map so that the others can figure out where she's been taken.
Upon returning, Tiff pauses to confide in Bosley that she's scared of not fitting into the new job; Bosley gives her a kiss on the cheek and a (minimally) reassuring speech and she finds the strength to continue with her vacation. Discovering signs of a struggle in the hotel room - and Kelly's lipstick - they hurry off to the rescue.
Out on the boat, Kris has stripped down to her bikini to pose and receive compliments. Wes has figured out she's a detective, and tips off his partner; a betrayed Paul half-ass tries to stab her while scuba diving. She gets away, he confronts her, and everybody feels bad until boats full of henchman and other Angels show up for a nautical shoot-out. Kelly and Dick Sargent bail out and swim away, and the wounded bad guys ultimately surrender.
Now everything is fine, and everyone gathers on Paul's boat to listen to Kelly explain the plot. Everybody else uncomfortably averts their eyes while Kris makes out with Paul (even though he tried to knife her like 10 minutes earlier?), convincing him to take Dick's offer to just give back the stolen stuff in exchange for $1 million in cash.
Back in the hotel room, Dick prepares to give Paul a briefcase full of cash, but switches it with an empty one on the sly, trying to screw him over. More loyal to the bad guy than to their aptly-named client, Kris un-switches them while he isn't looking, and then risks blowing it by making a painfully obvious toast about how clever she is.
Finally, everyone gathers at the rail to wave good-bye to the same stock footage people they waved to in Los Angeles. Kris looks forelorn, then everybody remembers Tiffany is new and they should pretend to hug her or something for the freeze-frame at the end. By the time the credits roll, you realize there was absolutely no reason for this episode to happen on the Love Boat.
WHAT'D YOU THINK?
• This is one of only two episodes of Charlie's Angels that crossed over into another television series of the time - it first happened briefly in Angels in Vegas, when the Angels met Detective Dan Tanna from ABC's Vega$.
• How is that little helicopter lifting a fully loaded armored truck that's probably heavier than itself?
• Why would Kelly and Kris have to hear about Sabrina's marriage and pregnancy from Charlie instead of from their best friend? Couldn't they at least fake a phonecall directly to Sabrina? When an Angel leaves, are the others not allowed any communication with her ever again?
• Why does the office need a linen service? When have there ever been any towels or napkins in the office?
• Tiffany says her dad refused ever to tell her anything about Charlie, even though the two men have apparently been friends since boyhood. Why? How did Mr. Welles know to keep up the secrecy gimmick to his child about her future boss at a company that didn't yet exist, in a field she hadn't yet chosen? Has Charlie been a secretive weirdo since his own infancy?
• The Angels behave unprofessionally and incompetently in the presence of their client so many times in this episode that it borders on parody.
• Tiffany seems impressed at Charlie's mathematical prowess when he's able to divide 4 by 2. We feel like the new Smart Angel may have different standards than her predecessor...
• "Like mother always said: pretty is as pretty does," says the orphan.
• Hostage Kelly manages to grab a tube of lipstick and mark an X on a map of where she is being taken in full view of a room of kidnappers. When Tiffany finds it, she causes the tube of lipstick to roll off the table, but in subsequent shots it's still there.
• When Bert Convy throws his knife, for a split second you can see the knife still in his hand and its duplicate already sticking out of the thing next to Kris.
• Kelly throws off her shades and visor before leaping into the ocean; back on the boat afterward, she's wearing both.
BAD GUYS BEAT DOWN
SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS
SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS
DAYS TO SOLVE CASE(?)
NEW ANGELS INTRODUCED
It's Season 4, baby, and you know what that means! Kate's out and the wardrobe budget is in. This is the perfect time for a cool, slick, east-coast model like Shelley Hack to join in the fun.
Everyone looks sleek and sophisticated in the opening office scenes; Tiffany shows up already dressed as a cruise director, what luck? Maybe she really is psychic! Kris and Kelly look similarly upscale. Gone are the days of Jill in a sweatshirt and jeans oiling her skateboard wheels. Oh, and as an extra middle finger to Kate Jackson, the producers poured Cheryl Ladd into one of the most revealing bikinis ever worn by anyone on Charlie's Angels - the one that actually caused Sears to pull their sponsorship of the show - which looks part sexy, part adult diaper. Still, this episode gets fashion props for being one of scant few to feature the Angels in both swimwear and evening gowns.
Wardrobe Repeat Tiffany later breaks out the same suspenders in Angels On Skates, and Julie wore Tiffany's Love Boat gown in some Season 5 publicity shots. Didn't expect to see these two sharing outfits, did you?
SHE REALLY MISSES SABRINA
Listen to Kris discuss Sabrina's departure and Charlie's baby news during the opening office scene: “Trouble in paradise, Charlie?” she coos. We're not sure if Kris was trying to sound passive aggressive or not, but it worked. On the other hand, all Tiffany has to do is say, “Hi, I'm Tiffany Welles,” and Kris is like, “Charlie, you're right - she is something special.” Tiffany has only said four words and Kris already likes her better than Bri and just as much as Jill.
BON VOYAGE - YOU'RE DEAD
This is Kelly's third documented ocean cruise while working as an Angel and as usual, someone tries to murder her.
Every time Kelly sets sail, the bad guys target her for death. Sure, in the past the other Angels have also been in jeopardy while sailing the high seas but only Kelly gets the distinction of having the bad guys attempt to: A) Burn her alive with hot steam (Angels at Sea); B) Drown her in a swimming pool on a boat (Angels Ahoy) and C) try to shoot her while she is swimming underwater in the ocean from one boat to another. The sea is not your friend, Kelly.
As usual, Kris is the Angel in charge of seducing a bad guy who has to be brought to justice. This is one of the times she was also genuinely into it, which makes it either more or less interesting depending whether you like the romantic Serious Adult Kris better than Original Flavor Kris. This isn't the only time she seemed to genuinely fall for a guy she already knew was a criminal merely because she found him attractive (see Angel On A Roll, or actually please don't).
It's not that Paul Hollister is an unlikable character or that their romance is particularly unconvincing, it's just not one for the ages, either. He's an okay character, and they have okay chemistry. But the thing is, there's a time and place for Angel romances, and a different Angel's introductory episode isn't it.
SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS
With 57 minutes on screen, this is the most time Kris ever got in any episode. Sadly, Tiffany's 36 minutes here are also the most time she ever got in any episode, including the ones that were all about her!
As for Angel content, it's a quarter empty (thanks to stock footage and bad guy scenes) but seems like more. It's nearly 10 minutes before we see them at all.
- HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 76%
EARNING HER HALO
Sensing the awkwardness of her own debut episode, Tiff turns to Bosley for confidence. "I'm so new to this kind of work, and they're so good at it," Tiff says of her fellow Angels, despite the fact that she's the only one to be remotely observant, or intelligent enough come up with any ideas about the case all episode long.
No, really, let's break down the Angels' contributions to the investigation: Tiffany: noticing the kidnapping; getting the license number; reading the local news to gather clues; going out to do actual investigative work; figuring out Kelly's location; renting the boat; providing cover fire to keep Kelly and the client from getting killed. Kris: flirting with a man she finds attractive; getting bought drinks and flowers. Kelly: literally nothing.
There is one employee we'd reevaluate after this case, but relax, Tiff, it's not you...
"They've been terrific, they're so nice," Tiff also says of Kelly and Kris. Uh.. no they haven't, really. They treat her so awkwardly upon meeting that it's physically uncomfortable to watch, as if it's the first time they've ever interacted with another human, and then literally no one ever says a word to Tiffany that isn't related to the case. The only scant few lines of dialogue acknowledging that this is Tiffany's first episode have to be initiated by Tiff herself, sometimes only to be bluntly ignored by the others. Even Charlie - she leans into Kelly's phone to offer, "I love working for you, Charlie!" to her new boss and he just laughs, "Bye!" Could he make it any more clear this hire was nothing more than a favor to his friend?
ACTIONWell, the heist was effective and kind of exciting but it didn't involve any of the Angels, so who cares?
Kris and Bert Convy get into a fight after dinner while still in formal wear and that is about as exciting as you imagine. Convey mildly attacks Kris in the show's very first (but not last) underwater Angel fight. Kinda cool, but his heart wasn't in it.
Kelly has a battle in her hotel room but is snatched by the bad guys anyway. The best action is saved for the climax with a three-way gunfight between Kris and Hollister, the bad guys, and Tiffany and Bos while Kelly and Dick Sargent swim through the crossfire. Tiffany manages to shoot the flag off the bad guys ship but sadly misses Dick.
Louie Elias appeared many times on the show, usually as a miscellaneous henchman, including Angels at Sea, Angels on Horseback, Angels on Vacation, and Mr. Galaxy.
Bo Hopkins: sidekick Wes also played Beau Creel in the Charlie's Angels Pilot episode.
Read Morgan: misc. bad guy Kadin also played the faux-knife thrower bad guy in Circus of Terror.
Dick Sargent also appeared in what seems like dozens of other episodes, but was really only Angels on Wheels and Angels in Vegas.
Cis Rundle: Cheryl Ladd's friend had many extra-level roles on the show including Charlie's babe in Circus of Terror, tai chi chick in Angel in Love, waitress in Angels in the Backfield, random crowd extra in Game, Set, Death, camera chick in Antique Angels, football chick in The Sandcastle Murders, random casino extra in Angels in Vegas, waitress in Angel Come Home, cheerleader in Pom Pom Angels, random dock extra in Love Boat Angels, and the librarian in An Angel's Trail.
Lee Travis, who played Eleanor Case, played Tall Paula from Angel Flight, Joan from Angels in Vegas, and Jessica from Chorus Line Angels. She also wrote Antique Angels and was married to Ed Lakso, who wrote this and thousands of other Charlie's Angels episodes.
Allen Baron directed The Mexican Connection, Angels at Sea, Circus of Terror, Unidentified Flying Angels, Angels Ahoy, Teen Angels, Angels in Waiting, Love Boat Angels, Avenging Angel, Fallen Angel, One of Our Angels is Missing, and Homes $weet Homes.
Greg's Rating: Exciting and new. With the introduction of a new Angel and the whole team sailing on The Love Boat you would think that the plot might get lost in the sauce. Oddly enough this doesn't happen which either speaks very well for the plot or speaks very ill of Tiffany's introduction and the Love Boat cameos. Either way, Bert Convy makes a nice thief with a heart of gold who falls for Kris. Paul Hollister's (Convy) soldier of fortune Robin Hood schick actually works while Dick Sargent is typically creepy.
The real let down is Tiffany who gets no dialogue, no storyline, save a last minute rescue with Bos that is pretty cool, but proves a little too little, a little too late. Shelley Hack is a bit shaky, so Sabrina's leadership and Kate Jackson's ability make Sabrina Duncan real and interesting is sorely lacking here. The cracks start to show right from the start. Everyone looks good, the locations are pretty but wait...what's that fin out there in the water...is that a shark? And behind it? Fonzi on a jet ski? WTF?
Anna's Rating: I once lost the disc with this episode on it and it took me 2 years to notice, and that was only because I was looking for Angels Go Truckin'.
Clearly I'm the odd man out with my low rating, but it's honestly hard for me to name a single thing I really enjoy about this episode. It's not only boring, but double-length boring. I hate that this season begins and ends with the two most annoying Kris-dramatically-falling-in-love episodes. I don't hate the Love Boat, but it is boring, not that this episode really even has anything to do with it. The Virgin Islands sound exciting, but are boring (there are boats in LA, too). Kelly is boring to the point where I forget she's even in this. Tiffany, in her allotted 9 seconds of action, managed to be the coolest Angel. It feels weird to hear her say Sabrina's name... I don't feel like the Smart Ones should know about each other, like those little fish they have to keep in separate cups so they don't fight (I don't know what that analogy was about, it just sorta happened).
Worst, as everyone else is gonna say, it did nothing to introduce Tiffany. It makes me madder to know that they did know better how to introduce an Angel, but didn't do it - Love Boat Angels extended Tiffany none of the welcome that Paradise gave Kris. Poor Tiff was just like a random kid somebody told to go play with the other girls her age and ended up awkwardly third-wheeling their clique. (For an entire year.)
Joann's Rating: As an introduction to Tiffany and the Season 4 opener, the idea of a Love Boat crossover sounds cool. Had they stayed on the boat, and had it turned into an Agatha Christie type mystery, maaaybe I would have liked it more. As it is, Angels in evening gowns by night and bikinis by day can't save too many stock shots of the boat, the ports of call, and what seems like a 10 minute intro of a very dull heist, from making this 2 hour premiere drag. Though valiantly attempting to be complex, it's disjointed - never really zeroing in on one plot.
The Kris/bad guy romance isn't all that bad, because Cheryl Ladd manages to humanize her interactions with guest stars again and again. However, since it seems the producers were worried about the Tiffany character and how Shelley Hack would be received as an Angel, Kris is once again the central figure in the story and in displaying bathing attire.
If you're a Kris fan (or anyone with eyesight) you can't help but like this (while fast forwarding the rest) because she wears two of her top 5 best looks of all time with a stunning white evening gown, and later the perhaps even more stunning Lara Croft-like white bikini for the action packed finale. I liked the scuba diving fight where Kris has to get away from the guy she's been agreeably kissing and reluctantly investigating. And I liked her little switch setting the score straight for the good/bad guy Robin Hood type, (who she's not gonna ride dolphins off into the sunset with), over the actually not so nice client. Did I mention that Kelly and Tiffany are also in this episode?
Sometimes eye candy is all you need.
Brolly's Rating: Quite a lame entrance for the new Angel but the landscape's nice and the Angels are as stunning as ever. This one could have played out on any boat, as there wasn't much of an interaction with the Love Boat-crew anyway. Too bad, Gopher and Kelly would have made quite a couple.
Joshua's Rating: One would think combine two powerhouse '70s series and that is an automatic five stars—not so fast. This two-parter receives four stars from me. It could have been solved in one episode. The writers have so much to work with and they do so little. First, why are the Angels on the Love Boat? The Love Boat cast is unessential in the episode this case could have taken place anywhere. Second, could we not give Tiffany a more starring role. Third, it is a sub par episode compared to the best of the season (Hunt, Campus, or Of Ghosts and Angels ) However, like all introductory episodes (Pilot, Paradise, and Hiding) every Angel fan should see Miss Welles' debut.
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