LOVE BOAT ANGELS (originally titled ANGELS IN THE SUN) was the episode of Charlie's Angels that took The Angels the furthest away from Los Angeles than any other adventure. The cruise in this 2-hour Season Premiere movie aired on September 12, 1979, took The Angels through the Panama Canal and on to St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands; the busiest port in The Caribbean Sea.
Docked at Los Angeles Harbor is a Greek freighter, The Lady Scotia, unloading cargo. Paul Hollister (Bert Convy) and Wes Anderson (Bo Hopkins) disembark the ship as freight is being unloaded. They steal an armoured van from Los Angeles' Wellington Museum by cunningly heisting it on a tether from a helicopter. After letting the guards out on the ground, the van is dropped in an empty field, smashing boxes with Grecian bronze and gold statuary with an estimated value of over $5 Million USD. Accomplices on the ground start loading the smashed boxes into a nearby truck.
Across town at the office of Charles Townsend Detective Agency, detectives Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith) and Kris Monroe (Cheryl Ladd) are speaking with their boss, Charles Townsend (voice of John Forsythe) on the speakphone. Charlie mentions that Sabrina Duncan is wed and expecting a baby. He then mentions he has hired a new Angel: Tiffany Welles (Shelley Hack), whose father, a Lieutenant of Detectives in Boston, is an old friend of Charlie's. Tiffany, like all the other Angels up to this point, graduated from the Police Academy, but she graduated in Boston at the top of her after attending the ivy-league Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. John Bosley (David Doyle), is on his way to the office after picking Tiffany up at the airport. The Angels seem slightly unnerved between having seen Sabrina leave and wondering what Tiffany will be like with such strong credentials. After some confusion, Tiffany Welles silently and elegantly glides in with Bosley [a memorable moment in television history]. After clearing up the misunderstanding, Tiffany offers to show her new colleagues a picture of her father with Charlie. When the photo turns out to be a practical joke, Kris and Kelly bond with Tiffany immediately.
In a whirlwind moment, the Angels are told they must board a luxury cruise ship leaving for The Caribbean in 2 hours! They run frantically out the door, but Kelly and Kris double back long enough to say in unison, smiling, "We like her, Charlie!" Charlie responds: "Bon Voyage!"
At Los Angeles Harbor, Charlie's Angels board The Love Boat (from another Aaron Spelling tv series, The Love Boat), making this a crossover episode. After being shown to their cabin, the Angels speak with Bosley and their client Mr. Avery (Dick Sargent) of Eastern International Insurance. The Angels are told they need to help him retrieve the stolen art or his company will have to pay The Wellington Museum $5 Million as an Insurance Claim. He explains that prime suspects Paul Hollister and Wes Anderson are aboard the ship and must be watched. When Avery explains he is more interested in getting the art back than imprisoning the suspects, Tiffany chimes in "...in other words, 'utilitas ante justicia'"... then humbly explains that her mother teaches Latin. Bosley then translates Tiffany's quote into English, "expediency before justice." Bosley explains that while the Angels are on the cruise, he will be watching a 3rd suspect who might fence the stolen art, Eleanor Case (Lee Travis). Tiffany: "So you'll stay in Los Angeles and watch Miss Case and we'll watch Mr. Hollister." Bosley: "and you'll be in St. Thomas before me! Happy Sailing!"
The Angels go on deck for some sun, turning the heads of The Love Boat crew. KRIS: (to bartender Isaac) "I saw you pouring something green." ISAAC: "Yes, but you can have ANY color you like." KRIS: "I like green, it matches my suit," who is wearing a lime-green string bikini. Paul Hollister arrives and fixates on Kris and the sparks begin. She invites him to dinner at The Captain's Table that evening.
At a formal dinner at The Captain's Table, Tiffany sits next to Captain Stubing (Gavin McLeod). Kris and Paul Hollister excuse themselves to walk on deck. When Paul passionately kisses Kris, she pulls away, overwhelmed and meets Tiffany and Kelly back at The Captain's Table. Right after Kris refers to Paul, Kelly detachedly refers to him as Mr. Hollister. Kris mentions she is using the "It Takes A Thief To Catch A Thief" Method. Kris tells Tiffany and Kelly that she will see them in their cabin later. Tiffany grins and kiddingly quips: "Don't stay out too late." Kris jokes back: "Thanks, Mom!"
Back out on deck, Kris intervenes when some hoods, working for the man who hired Hollister to steal the art, try to rough up him and Anderson because Hollister won't tell where the stolen art is being stored. Hollister is impressed and so is Anderson upon meeting Kris under such circumstances.
While Bosley follows Eleanor Case around, The Love Boat appears to have just exited The Panama Canal into The Caribbean Sea. Tiffany and Kelly phone Charlie from the ship's Bridge. KELLY: "Charlie, the food is incredible, I'm gaining 2 pounds a day." Tiffany puffs up her cheeks. CHARLIE: "So you'll be there day after tomorrow." TIFFANY: "Oh, he's very good at math." KELLY: "Yes, Charlie loves figures." TIFFANY: "I love workin' for ya, Charlie, Bye!" Impatient Avery condescends to Kelly and Tiffany about how relaxed they seem. TIFFANY: "RELAXED? This is my first case. Do I seemed relaxed?" KELLY (honestly, but humorously): "Yes!"
While sunbathing, Kris finds out from Anderson that Hollister's wife, who looked just like Kris, was killed during the Vietnam War along with Anderson's wife when he and Wes worked in the Peace Corp. Kris feels sorry for them both and compassion sets in, seeing how this might have affected both mens' psychology, turning them to crime.
Back in Los Angeles, Bosley approaches Eleanor Case, alluding to the stolen art as a potential buyer and is quickly dismissed.
The Love Boat arrives in glorious Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and docks at Havensight Dock. The Angels, Hollister, Anderson and Avery all disembark to the calypso beat of steel drums and the exotic stilt dancing of mocko jumbies. After taking a cab to The Virgin Isle Hotel on Frenchman's Reef where the harbor meets The Caribbean Sea, the Angels check in and then with Hollister hit the beach! On the white sand alongside clear turquoise waters, the man who hired Hollister, Mr. Damajaran (Barry Sullivan), orders his employees to bring Hollister to him at gunpoint. Kris pulls a gun but the element of surprise is gone. The hoods take Hollister away in Mr. Damajan's car. All 3 Angels watch in amazement as their prime suspect is taken away after travelling so far.
The Angels are debating with an annoyed Mr. Avery about why Paul Hollister "got away." Avery explains he has a contingency plan to pay Hollister $1 Million in cash for the return of the stolen Grecian bronze and gold statuary insured by Avery's company for $5 Million to avoid the bad publicity it will bring his firm. The Angels advise against it, noting that he's paying Paul Hollister for stealing. He demands the matter be kept private; hence, no Virgin Islands authorities are to help out. Tiffany memorized Mr. Damajaran's licence number, so The Angels go to the local license bureau to find its registered owner.
Meanwhile, at Mr. Damajaran's house, Hollister has a tense conversation with Mr. Damajaran and is subsequently allowed to leave after being warned that he had better produce the stolen art soon.
Meanwhile, Bosley arrivies into Charlotte Amalie Harbor via seaplane, noticing a burnt-out ship in the harbor. Eleanor Case speaks to Wes Anderson aboard his and Hollister's salvage tug boat, The Black Coral. She spots Bosley getting off the seaplane and mentions to Anderson that he was the man who approached her in Los Angeles. They follow Bosley.
While Kelly is on the phone with Charlie, Hollister arrives and takes Kris to lunch. Tiffany and Kelly decide to head back to the beach and run into Bosley in front of the hotel as he arrives by taxi. Eleanor Case and Wes Anderson are still following him and see him hug Tiffany and Kelly and go back into the hotel with them. Anderson tells her to go back to her hotel, the reclusive Bluebeard's Castle Resort and he heads back to The Black Coral.
Upstairs, Kelly, Mr. Avery and Bosley listen to something Tiffany found in the newspaper. TIFFANY: "The Greek freighter, The Lady Scotia, anchored here 13 days ago. Now listen to this. Before its departure for Los Angeles The Lady Scotia, was delayed for 4 hours while Maritime Officials investigated an incident that happened during a last-minute cargo transfer from a ship that was disabled by fire." Tiffany and Bosley decide to go to the Maritime Office to investigate the investigation, leaving Kelly with Mr. Avery.
One of Mr. Damajan's men informs him that Kris is a detective and graduated from the San Francisco Police Academy. Damajaran thinks it most important to inform Hollister.
Meanwhile, Paul is showing Kris all the beautiful tropical scenery around the island of St. Thomas [deleted in the syndicated version] via jeep, including a stop at Drake's Seat, viewing north to the nearby British Virgin Islands. Walking along the waterfront, Hollister informs Kris that he uses the money he earns from stealing to smuggle distressed people out of Vietnam, of which Kris admits she approves. Unable to distance themselves from Damajan's men, who have been following them, Paul and Kris drive onto King's Wharf, board The Black Coral and quickly depart.
After a phone call from Tiffany, Kelly informs Avery that The Lady Scotia was docked "at a place called Water Island" helping to take cargo from the burning ship. A night watchman thought he heard someone fall overboard, but in the end there were no missing persons nor missing cargo. Kelly thinks a knock on the door is room service. Instead, she and Mr. Avery are broken in on, tortured and taken away by Mr. Damajaran and his men to be shown where Hollister is taking Kris on his salvage tug. When doubling back to get her sunglasses, Kelly cleverly leaves an "X" in red lipstick on top of a glass coffee-table with a map of St. Thomas in the center underneath the glass. The red lipstick mark is on top of Water Island.
Off Water Island, Anderson tries to tell Hollister that Eleanor Case found out that Bosley and Kris both work for Charles Townsend Investigations.
In the hotel hallway, Bosley helps to lighten Tiffany's nervousness about her new job, a job Kelly and Kris have been doing much longer. She confesses she "just wouldn't want to ever let them down." BOSLEY: "Just give 'em a chance to get to know you. Angel," (kisses Tiffany's cheek) "you won't let 'em down. I'd stake my life on that." Inside The Angels' hotel room, Bosley and Tiffany find the mess made by Damajaran and his men when kidnapping Kelly and Avery. Bosley and Tiffany decide to get a fast boat after finding Kelly's lipstick "X" marking Water Island on the map.
At the marina, when Bosley spends too much time haggling with a boat owner, Tiffany takes charge and pays the owner of a luxurious powerful speedboat, The Virgin Star, $200 for 2 hours use. The race to Water Island has begun. Kris, Hollister and Anderson are already there getting ready to scuba dive in the coral. Mr. Damajaran's boat with him and his men and Kelly and Avery are quickly on their way. Tiffany and Bosley are catching up quickly in the powerful speedboat.
Kris and Hollister scuba dive amidst the clear water and beautiful Caribbean coral. Eventually, the plot has another twist before all parties converge on The Black Coral. During a long, riveting, and intense shootout scene, Tiffany shows her ability as an excellent marksperson. She shoots Damajaran's boat's flag of the U.S. Virgin Islands down in one shot from several hundred yards away in a speeding speedboat.
After the case is wrapped up in true Angel Style aboard The Black Coral with the Virgin Islands in the background, The Angels and Bosley prepare for the long cruise back to Los Angeles. As The Love Boat pulls out of the dock at St. Thomas with calypso steel drum music playing. BOSLEY: "It isn't fair you know, no sooner do I get here than I have to go back." TIFFANY: Don't worry, I'll pamper you, Bosley. Alllllllll the way home..."