The Jade Trap


SUMMARY

A handsome young gigolo, Denny Railsback, and his 50-something skull-faced sugar mama quarrel in the Seawave Hotel lobby, finally retiring to their room for a drink. They're unaware that a cat burglar (Ted Machlin) has rappelled down the side of the hotel, entered their window, and at this moment, is cleaning out the safe in their adjoining room. Denny wants to buy a boat. Skull lady wants none of it. She's bored and decides to cut off their relationship - and his line of credit. He shoots her. Cat burglar overhears the exchange and knocks over a lamp, startling Denny, who dashes into the next room. The two men lock eyes for an instant before fleeing their separate ways.

Joan Leslie of Sergeant York is the manager of the Seawave and hires the Angels to find out who is burgling and murdering at the hotel. Charlie decides the Angels will go undercover as various guests of the hotel, though they would be far less conspicuous by simply maintaining their actual identities.

Kelly checks in as Kelly Devereaux, an elegant southern belle who becomes romantically involved with the cat burglar (though she doesn't yet know). Kris masquerades as Swedish actress Anikka Bjornbar. Recently widowed, heavily accented, and in need of funds for her lavish lifestyle, she's reluctantly auctioning her late husband's jade collection - news she doesn't allow anyone in the hotel lobby to miss.

Playing herself, Sabrina dons her trademark suspicious black turtleneck-burglar-mime outfit to snoop around the rooftop of the hotel with Bosley. A lurking Denny follows, and with one crack of his balsawood 2x4, knocks Bosley cold while Sabrina is literally left hanging over the commercial. When Danny severs her rope, she somehow falls into the balcony of an unattractive couple, proceeding to make her escape by speaking in an irritating staccato and backing her way out of the room.

Bri discovers that the iced dowager was found wearing a diamond bracelet, and thus deduces that the killer's motive was not one of theft. After an office huddle, it's determined that there was a killer and a burglar. (How do they get this??)

Ted finds Kelly lunching solo in the hotel's restaurant, and charmingly asks her to dinner. She seductively and Southernly accepts.

Meanwhile, Miss Bjornbar strikes up a conversation with Ted's gossipy elder-mom (who's in on the robberies, but Kris doesn't know) and spills the beans about the value of her jade collection. Next, she visits the nearby marina to hire a sailing lesson from Denny, who doesn't seem to be remotely attracted despite her loneliness, hotness, and short-shorts. Afterwards, Denny appears visibly shocked to see Ted and Kelly crossing the street together. Kris notes this.

Kelly and Ted stroll along the marina as she feeds him lies to impress him with her supposed inherited wealth. They kiss, and then are driven at by a crazed Denny at the wheel of a stolen vehicle. He gives up easily, and no one is hurt. Kelly evidently is actually falling for Ted and is disappointed when it's later reasoned that he's the most likely suspect for the burglaries. (Surprise!)

Bosley tails Ted's mom to a gas station and witnesses her entering the restroom as one old lady, but exiting dressed as a slightly dissimilar old lady. She then drives to the poorly guarded Swan Security Systems, where as a former employee, she is somehow able to get access to any number of security codes used to crack safes.

Ted somehow researches Kelly's background and finds she's lying - so she's now Kelly King, an antique buyer visiting for the jade auction. She drops bait about the upcoming unarmed transfer of the collection to attract Ted's interest. The jade is - in actuality - Charlie's, and the auction is supposed to be rigged for Kelly to win, but Bosley (the auctioneer) goes hog-wild and accidentally sells it to some millionaire lady.

The team nabs Ted as he walks right into their trap and attempts to steal the jade. They then conference in their hotel room with the cooperative mother and son. Ted explains that the police never would have believed he wasn't the murderer and agrees to help them catch Denny.

Sexy Annika asks Denny to her hotel room for "lunch", but he walks into a staged burglary starring Ted. Denny holds both Ted and Kris at gunpoint and confesses to the murder, then shoots them both - with blanks. Bosley, Kelly and Sabrina appear from the other room with a tape recorder, still running. Denny dives out the window and takes off towards the marina with Kelly and Kris in hot pursuit. Just as he's about to set sail for freedom, Sabrina pops out from his boat and topples him into the water.

Back at the hotel, the mom is gently arrested. Kelly reveals her real last name to Ted (so what?) and he apologizes for the way things worked out between them. However the problem of Charlie's auctioned jade collection remains! "Oh, Bosley!"

BACKGROUND CHECK

The Jade Trap Episode #44 Season 2, Episode 22 Airdate: Mar 1, 1978 Writer: Lee SheldonTom Lazarus Director: George McCowan Guest stars: Joan Leslie

WHAT'D YOU THINK?

Rate this episode:

CURIOSITIES

• Ted asked Kelly out to dinner and a swim, but (thankfully) it didn't look much like they intended to honor the swimming part. Hopefully he wasn't planning on diving into that stagnant-looking water where they were strolling.

• The shots of Sabrina looking down at the street while rappelling at night are in daytime.

• Getting hit over the head hard enough to snap a 2x4 in half really seems like something you ought to go to the hospital for.. but in the next scene, Bosley's just letting Kris hold an ice bag on his neck. Is he keeping costs down by never getting medical attention for his concussions, or maybe he's just hospital-shy after the appendix thing?

• When Denny starts trying to cut the rope with his pocket knife, Sabrina acts like she can feel the rope moving, even though she couldn't possibly. And why would she fall into the balcony, rather than straight down to her death?

• Kris's hair knows no continuity. Straight for the sailin' lesson, curly in the car with Denny. Straight at the marina again, curly in the hotel room. Sea air?

• If the auction was a setup and the jade was Charlie's, why couldn't Kelly just keep bidding up to a zillion dollars?

• When it was time to trap Ted, Sabrina followed him on the roof and then came down his rope after him. Note that when she drops into the window and draws her gun, she's wearing A) giant gloves she wasn't wearing a second ago and B) no rappelling harness. How'd she manage that?

• How could Denny dive out the window when fleeing from the Angels, considering both the burglar and Sabrina needed hundreds of feet of rope to scale down the side of the building?

• How did Sabrina get to that boat before everyone else considering she went out the same window after Denny? The "What took you so long" gag is less cute when it's a physical impossibility.

BAD GUYS BEAT DOWN

BIMBOS

SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS

SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS

DAYS TO SOLVE CASE

ACCIDENTAL INCOME

TURTLENECKS

CHARACTER DEATHS

ROMANCE

Kelly falls for Ted Machlin, the marina cat burglar. Despite being a thief, actually seemed like a probably pretty nice guy (maybe some mama's boy issues though). He likes Kelly so much that he doesn't even seem to mind being lied to multiple times about her identity. Being that most of their relationship was based on lies, it doesn't seem likely it would've gone far even if he were on the right side of the law.

FASHION

The pastel plague afflicting the Angels here also claims the life of the following episode (Angels onthe Run). Sabrina and Kris sport almost identical horrid ensembles of a) head-to-toe, bland mauve, and b) head-to-toe bland peach. Kris saves the wardrobe-day with a simple and classy black dress fringed in white.

Wardrobe Repeat Sabrina's wearing her trusty burglin' suit seen in Diamond in the Rough and Haunted Angels. Her hotel keycard-looking necklace thing makes a comeback next year in Angel in a Box and Teen Angels, by the way.

Jaclyn Smith Jade

Jaclyn Smith Diamond

Jaclyn Smith Haunted

SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS

Quite balanced. The Angels with accents get more attention, but only a tiny bit.

  • KELLY
  • KRIS
  • SABRINA
  • BOSLEY
  • HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 77%

ACTION

Dig that disco chase music! Most of this episode's action involved sprinting around Marina Del Rey - Kelly and Ted dodging Denny's ineffectual attempts to run them down on the beach, and then Kelly and Kris chasing Denny to his boat. Even though it's a no-frills foot chase, it's sorta memorable for some reason.

ACCENTS

Though "accents" commentary usually means a thumbs-down, Cheryl Ladd's voluntary contribution of a very tongue-in-cheek Swedish(ish) accent was actually an episode highlight, which may confound real Swedes but entertains everyone else. Kelly's Southern schtick is always fun, even if second banana this time, although she did get to perform the series' only double fake Angel accent - imitating Swedish Kris through her own Southern drawl - "Taaank yu?"

BIMBO REPORT

Charlie derails yet another office meeting to ask the Angels if his English maid will think he's too vulgar if he dunks his crumpet in his tea. The maid looks on with brainless approval opposite his desk. What's with Charlie's constant need to make the Angels aware that he's entertaining a bimbo while talking to them? Are they supposed to want to high-five him or something?

Read our article on Charlie's Bimbos

REPEAT OFFENDERS

Dirk Benedict (Denny) previously played Barton in The Blue Angels.

Jack Kosslyn (the clerk) plays a man named Harrison in He Married an Angel.

Lee Sheldon also wrote Magic Fire, Haunted Angels, Rosemary, for Remembrance, Angel Hunt, and Three for the Money.

George McCowan also directed Lady Killer, Consenting Adults, Angel Trap, The Vegas Connection, The Sandcastle Murders, Mother Goose is Running for His Life, Cruising Angels, and Three for the Money.

OUR TAKE

Holly's Rating: 4.5 Rating I yust love the fact that if you visit Marina Del Rey, you can literally retrace the Angels' steps throughout this classic episode. Well, aside from rapelling down the side of the Seawave - the management doesn't take kindly to that. It was a given that we'd be bumping into the southern belle, and that poor old Bos would get knocked unconscious by the bad guy, but the plot here is really quite good. You know that if you can quote it, you've got a gem on your hands. Er, jade.

Anna's Rating: 4.5 Rating It's not that this is especially iconic, action-packed, cool, or well-wardrobed, but somehow it's one of a few go-to favorites that are like comfort food to me. I love the setting (The Seawave is one of my favorite filming locations - at the time I visited, it still really looked and felt like the show) and I love the tone. Rappelling jewel theivery, bad accents, ill-fated romance with a dash of comedy (intentional or not) throughout - it's got everything. This is the episode I think of when I think Charlie's Angels. I can't name many other people who could get away with this Yade accent to the degree Kris does (certainly not Kelly or Sabrina). Sabrina's just so Sabrina. Let her get in a black turtleneck and refuse to participate in a cover, and she'll have your case solved in 20 minutes.

Kenny's Rating: 4.5 Rating A gigolo shoots his sugar mama point blank while she is being robbed by another man with no connection to the killer. The burglar is blamed for the murders and it's up to the Angels to solve the case. The burglar is so sweet I find myself rooting for him and his mom is a hoot. Kris plays the part of a Swedish actress and gets her shot at pulling off an accent that only she could and make cute. Kelly gets involved with the burglar and is disappointed when she finds out he is a crook. I hope the burglar's mom didn't get too much time. This is a season 2 favorite for me. " I just love my yade!"

Brolly's Rating: 4.5 Rating  This one is pure entertainment with a solid plot. Kris "Anneke Björnbar" - the famous swedish actress that nobody knows - hams her way through the episode with a delightfully cheesy accent. Cat-burgling Sabrina and her attraction for the honeysuckle is a comic highlight. As is "Old Silver Tongue" Bosley as the auctioneer falling prey to bidding fever - auction mayhem ensues! Oh, and Charlie is as tacky as ever (dunkin' the crumpet, really?). Conclusion: TANK YU for this ep TPTB.