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****Sharkey's Review****
Bon Voyage
 20th Episode/8th Season (1997-1998)
Date Aired: 05/10/98   Encore: 05/16/98
Week of: 05/10/98 - 05/16/98 
My Score:  5 Rescue Cans
This Week's Quote: "We're all ignorant-just in different things."
                                             -Mark Twain
5 rescue Cans/Exceptional (Super Waves!)
4 Rescue Cans/Excellent
3 Rescue Cans/Good
2 Rescue Cans/Fair
1 Rescue Can/Poor (A Total Wipeout!)

Bon Voyage was the opening for the long awaited, exciting three-part exciting season's wedding finale. It got off to a great start! The executive producers had a $4 million budget to work with for the White Thunder at Glacier Bay 2-parter alone. Their average episodes average about $1.1 million. There were tons of problems on the 10-day shoot with rough seas, icebergs, logistical problems and personality clashes. It was also interesting to note that the original script had to be scrapped just one week before the ship even set sail.

It was a good thing too. The original storyline was extremely bland with Mitch returning a horse to its Alaskan owner. The Jenny Wade (Maura Peters) story was supposed to continue here with Mitch and Jenny getting married and him taking a keen interest in horses. Jenny Wade was scratched with no explaination of Mitch's lost of interest in her on the show. With the executive producers being famous for changing things in the blink of an eye, it was replaced with Mitch (David Hasselhoff) and Neely (Gena Lee Nolin) exchanging wedding vows.

Writer David Braff was called in from LA at the last minute to work on an exciting script and was challenged to write in all of the characters onboard. Writing for 15 hours straight on the first day, he came up with an action plot for Hobie (Jeremy Jackson/PORTHOLE Magazine states that Jeremy was still 16 years old during the shooting of the 3-parter and the baby was younger than in previous episodes) and a jewel thief named Leslie Stryker (Heather Stephens). He also worked in a romance between Cody (David Chokachi) and Lani (Carmen Electra). The finished product came out quite enjoyable. Youth gave it the boost it needed.

It was nice to see the fresh faces of Donna (Donna D'Errico), Neely and Hobie again. It was also nice to see rookie Sheryl Whalen (Ingrid Walters), Newmy (Michael Newman) and Barnett (Greg Barnett).

The episode had some problem areas, but they didn't hurt the storyline at all. It moved right along and flowed quite nicely and kept your interest right to the end. The plot was very strong and really kept building up to the point where you would actually want to see the next part. I must give kudos to the all of the actors and writers as well as the directors. Great job all around!

When Lani, Neely and Donna were being photographed on the beach for a fashion photo shoot with Lani due to be on the cover of Inside Sports, Cody gets jealous and wants to follow her on the Cruise. He is afraid that everything will end up like it was with C.J. (Pamela Anderson). C.J. went on a Mexican vacation for a week and never came back (this season's Memorial Day/4th episode). She married some rock star that she had just met. There is no way that he can get on board. The Dawn Princess is booked to the max and there were no cancellations.

It was surprising that Cody didn't trust Lani and wanted to follow her on the photo shoot. The situation is quite different here. First of all, she's not going by herself. Neely and Donna will accompany her. Chances are that she would return with them. Cody did ignore C.J. half the time in favor of sports, but he's never done that to Lani. He was more attentive to her needs. Cody must have thought about what he did wrong in that relationship to lose C.J. After the loss, he changed his attitude and put his relationship with Lani first. They have been though a lot together.

Hobie wins an Alaskan Cruise trip for four sponsored by Princess Cruises. Mitch and Cody are the first two he chooses to go with him and he is looking for a third.

When Mitch and Neely were jogging with Ashley being wheeled along, Neely told him that he was taking the baby with her. She finally tracked down Peter. He was living in Alaska. Mitch was disappointed and stated that she was going to introduce Ashley to her daddy. That Peter must be thrilled. Neely told him that she hadn't told him yet. She needed to tell him about Ashley face to face. Ashley needed to be a part of a family. She had a right to be a part of his life. Neely told Mitch that she wasn't sure if she wanted Peter in her life. Mitch had become so attached to the baby that he didn't want either one of them to go.

If Peter really wanted Neely to find him, he would have made himself available to her. It didn't make any sense that she had to be the one to track him down. He was the one who had originally came back to Neely and tried to rekindle the romance. Although it seemed as though he was hiding from Neely, Peter should know that his child does exist and should have a right to see her though.

And as Hobie had told Mitch, he was the only real father that Ashley's ever had. He couldn't believe that he wasn't going to put up a fight to keep her. Hobie wanted them to stay as well. He referred to Peter as "what's his name," and refused to say it even as Mitch told him that Neely's ex-husband was named Peter.

I must say that tiny Ashley seems much younger here than she does in previous episodes. It is obvious that the episodes were not all shot in order. This special was shot in the Summer while Alaska was in its six month 24 hour of daylight. Beautiful Alaska spends its other six months in complete darkness.

Avoiding a shark, two jewel thieves dive for the humungous uncut emeralds and was soon on the way to their boat. A blonde in her mid-twenties named Leslie Stryker wanted to double-cross the dangerous head of the whole jewel smuggling operation. When her partner Robby Quinn got cold feet and decided not go along with this, she catches him off guard and hits him on the back of the neck with a huge heavy pair of boat pliers. She managed to tie his foot to the line of the anchor. When he came to, he tried to stop Leslie by struggling with her. She kicked at him and he was soon hanging by his hands on the edge of the boat. She kicked at his hands again and he went down with the anchor. She left him for dead.

You'd think that with the weight of the tool and where she hit him that he'd be rendered almost dead, if not dead. But then, I guess this could happen. For some reason that no one can possibly explain, some people have actually defied death in situations that definitely should have killed them instantly.

Leslie was really ruthless and would stop at nothing to own millions. Still dazed, Robby gets his foot untied and loses consciousness. He floats to the top. Meanwhile a team of lifeguards is nearby water skiing. Leslie uses a quickie hair color kit to die her hair red, figuring that it will prevent her from getting caught. April (Kelly Packard) sees the victim and yells for them to stop the boat. She does down purposely to swim out to the victim. Leslie goes to the phone and calls her partner in crime. She tells her partner over the phone how she had the emeralds and that Robby Quinn was at the bottom of the ocean, sucking on an anchor. She wouldn't get caught because they couldn't possibly recognize her. They would be looking for a blonde Leslie Stryker and she was now a redheaded Clair Hodges. She got worried when she saw the team of lifeguards rescuing Robby! After the team fended off a shark and got him onto their scarab, she couldn't tell if he was dead or alive. And she was extremely concerned because if he lived, he would actually tell their leader what happened. He knew what she looked like, red hair or no red hair.

Actress Heather Stephens who portrayed Leslie Stryker was really brilliant in her role! She was very convincing as the ruthless con-artist (comparable to the extremely evil Cruella DeVil). She also convincingly displayed fear and worry when she saw Gavin. She doesn't look like a twenty-year-old, but she was great at mimicking the innocent actions and vocabulary.

And I must say that it was good that she was not going to wear that awful blonde wig throughout the episode. The dry blond wig should at least have appeared wet right after getting out of the water after a dive. Leslie and Robby were wet and her blond wig was dry. She looks much better with her own red hair. At least it got wet.

She got to the pier and into a space FOR RENT. Leslie pulled the sign down and muttered angrily how that bastard had better not be alive. She scrunched down and went into her backpack to pull out a velvet pouch. She placed the emeralds into the pouch and put them into the pack. She got an idea to get to Robby in order to find out about his condition. Leslie put on her pack. And you will notice that she always has this red backpack with her. She just won't let go of it!

She spots the young lifeguard parking his scarab into one of the spaces at Headquarters. And she gets out of her boat and places the attached kayak into the water. She takes the paddle while getting in. She sees a boat and paddles toward it purposely. Hobie looks on with concern and when she tips over just missing getting hit, he grabs his can and jumps in to rescue her. At Headquarters he asks her questions for his report. J.D. (Michael Bergin), who is desperate for the last cruise ticket heads their way and kisses up to Hobie. As they talk, Leslie learns that he has won a trip to Alaska for four and gets him to feel sorry enough for her to take her along. She pretended to have romantic interest in him by caressing his arm. He gives Leslie the fourth ticket.

She asked where she could change and they were soon on their way toward the girl's locker room downstairs. They stop when they hear about the CODE R that J.D. asked Newmy and April about. This was the break that Leslie was waiting for. She found out that Robby Quinn was hospitalized in a coma at Pacifica Trauma Center. She feigned a fainting spell even though she wouldn't let go of that backpack, and it was enough to get Hobie to take her to the same hospital. Once she was examined, the doctor told Hobie that he couldn't find anything physically wrong with her. She could be under a tremendous amount of stress.

With Hobie looking the other way, she sneaks out of the examination room into the intensive care unit and was soon looking down on Robby. She was so sinister that she taunted him while he was still assumed to be in a coma at that moment. One of the worse mistakes she made was spilling out her plans, something that most criminals seem to do to make themselves feel important. Leslie bragged that she was going on an Alaskan cruise aboard the Dawn Princess. She put on a medical latex glove and prepared to kill him. The doctor walked in and she claimed that she heard him moan. With her hands behind her back she eased the glove off and into her pack. Leslie asked about his condition. Was he going to die? The doctor said it depended as to how long he stays in a coma. Since she heard him moaning, he could be coming out of it. The doctor escorted her out of the room and back to Hobie.

Things took an interesting turn here as the plot got more exciting. Leslie doesn't feel so secure anymore when Gavin (Don Diamont), one of the men she double-crossed winds up at the hospital to check in on Robby's condition. Gavin told the doctor that he was the victim's brother. Gavin was allowed to see Robby and to have a moment alone with him with the doctor's blessing. Once the doctor was clear of the room, Gavin spoke to Robby as if he could actually hear him. He told him that he told him that Leslie couldn't be trusted. And if they don't get the emeralds back, he would wish that the lifeguards had never found him. Robby was conscious, as he had been when Leslie had last been in the room. Suddenly Robby stirred and struggled to get out information pertaining to Leslie and her whereabouts. The words Leslie, emeralds, Dawn Princess, Alaska, was all Gavin needed to figure out where she was.

There was a small problem here. While he was out of his coma momentarily, Robby was hooked up to life support and had a tube running down his throat. It is hard to even utter anything with a hookup like that. But like Leslie said, where there's a will, there's a way.

Gavin's partner told him that he wanted the emeralds back and he didn't care how he did it. He gave him a description of her when Gavin didn't remember ever meeting her. Mid-twenties, blonde hair, brown eyes (although in some of the promos as to what happened in previous parts Gavin's partner said blue eyes, blonde hair, mid twenties). The perfect girl next door. And he added that he didn't ever want to see Miss Leslie Stryker again. Gavin told him that he guaranteed that she wouldn't get off the ship alive.

Don Diamont also whipped out a wonderful performance. And his displayed distrust in Leslie was convincing. Here, he has a thug-like appearance and is rude, used to barking orders.

However, Hobie just had to bring this evil, scheming woman home. When he told the doctor that he was going to take her home, you'd think that he meant hers, not his. He introduced her as Clair Hodges, someone that he had just met after he rescued her. He hadn't finished filling out the report yet. Mitch was shocked. She didn't look like a little teenaged girl to him. After Leslie had disappeared claiming to need the bathroom, Mitch just couldn't believe that Hobie taking a complete stranger on a cruise. He didn't approve and voiced it. Hobie told Mitch that he couldn't control whom he dated anymore. That he was 18 years old. To avoid further confrontation he left with Leslie with a frustrated and worried Mitch calling after him.

During this scene, there was one disturbing remark that Hobie made after he told Mitch how old Clair was. Hobie told Mitch that she was 20 after his dad asked him how old she was. Mitch just couldn't believe that, considering that she looked older, as in her mid-twenties. After Mitch said, "Yeah, right!" Hobie told his dad that he always told him that you never ask a woman her true age. The fact was Mitch told Hobie that she was a total stranger and he didn't know anything about her. Hobie said that they would have separate rooms. Mitch still said that wasn't the issue here. Hobie asked him what was the issue? Did he want her for himself? You could take this remark at least four ways. You'd have to hope that Hobie was just angry that Mitch was trying to give him some fatherly advice here and didn't mean that Mitch was only interested in young girls. That must have really hurt, especially coming from him. He was always 100% behind Mitch, accepting whom he dated.

Like father, like son. Hobie sees a pretty face and suddenly falls in love. Mitch has done the same thing more times than you can count! Hobie too has fallen for the wrong girls through the years while growing up. Mitch didn't want his son to repeat this cycle. He's already been through the rinse cycle enough times before he could hit his teens. But since Hobie has recently turned 18, and does not want any guidance here, it looks like he is doomed to repeat many of his father's mistakes in the love department. They both have this problem of having their eyes in their hearts.

Mitch's very similar encounter here was in If Looks Could Kill/2nd season 1991-1992. The complete stranger that he fell madly in love with double-crossed her partner as well. Except she killed him to get a suitcase full of money. She was ruthless (when the writers make women ruthless, boy, they make them ruthless) and used Mitch to get that money. Mitch couldn't see that she wasn't the sweet and innocent victim she appeared to be. It was Eddie (Billy Warlock) who made him use his brain to think about what was going on.

Mitch came to the airport to see them off. Lani was looking for Cody and hoping that he would have come to see her off. She told Donna that they always kissed and made up after a fight. Sometimes that's why they fought. Just to kiss and make up. The girls rode first class-little Ashley included. Lani admitted that she's never gone first class. Donna and Neely told Lani to get used to it, that it was a first class trip all the way.

And when the four boarded the magnificent Dawn Princess, Donna and Lani looked around. Lani was still thinking about Cody. Donna told her with all of the work she was going to be doing for Inside Sports she won't have time to think about Cody, let alone miss him. Donna was going to need another set of eyes to find her rich dream man. Their eyes rested on a limo with Gavin getting out. He was less menacing in a suit. It was all black with a brown shirt, but at least he didn't look as much like a thug to the general public. Donna thought that she had found her dream man. As Lani put it, Just your type. "Tall, dark and rich." My, oh my! Donna didn't know what type of man she was gazing upon.  My Score:  5 Rescue Cans 

Next Review: White Thunder At Glacier Bay/part 1


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