Recap: Aboard a charter boat called the Tradewind, an unseen man skulks around the snoozing passengers, makes his way to the control room, and softly whispers a mayday request into the radio. He then plants an explosive on the boat, hightails it outa there, and hits the explode button on his detonator. A female diver hears the explosion from underwater and is all, "Wha-a-a-a?" as she hastily surfaces and witnesses the burning wreckage of the boat she was just on. She hops aboard a dinghy that just happens to be floating nearby and motors it to the nearest island, where she breaks down and sobs.
Fledgling private investigators and delicious '80s eye candy, Nick Ryder [squeal! - the main reason Riptide got included on this recap site] and Cody Allen, are showing their cuckolded client Max photographic proof that his wife, who's been MIA for the past couple of weeks, has been shacking up with her lover. Ouch. Max rails at Nick and Cody for prying into his life, and Cody's like, "The fuck? You hired us to look into where your wife disappeared to!" Instead of thanking them and/or paying for services rendered, Max punches Cody in the face...and when he advances on Nick, Nick picks up a garbage can lid to cleverly deflect the blow. As Nick and Cody beat a hasty retreat, Nick complains to Cody about getting sucked into this thankless PI gig that so far hasn't generated income for either of them - but Cody assures him that once Max's broken heart is mended, he'll pay up. The two amble over to the King Harbor Marina, where their home/detective agency headquarters is moored at Pier 56: a houseboat named Riptide.
An aging female skipper named Mama Jo, along with her charter crew of shapely young women decked out in bikinis, are giving two middle-aged, grab-handsy men an ocean tour aboard their boat, the Contessa. The bikini clad women are all, "Eeeeek, Mama Jo!" when they spot the dinghy carrying the diver who just escaped getting blown up aboard the Tradewind in the opening scene. Mama Jo orders her crew to help the woman aboard the Contessa, then turn it around so they can transport her to King Harbor asap.
Cody tells Nick that since they're about to turn thirty, they're going to need to put their heads together and figure out the best way to become successful PIs...and Nick absently mutters, "Uh huh" as he ogles random women through a pair of binoculars. Cody says they should maybe think about taking on a tech savvy partner so they can compete with the big firms (that's adorably optimistic of him), then suggests they see what their nerdy buddy from their army days of yore, Murray Bozinsky, is up to these days. Cody then turns his attention to the return of the Contessa and stares open-mouthed at the bikini clad women as if he's never seen females before.
Mama Jo informs Nick and Cody that the Tradewind charter boat just had an engine explosion, and that her buxom crew just picked up Kimba Hall (the sole survivor). To move this leisurely-paced pilot along, she suggests that since they're now calling themselves PIs, they may want to look into getting a paying gig to investigate the explosion and locate the boat's remains. Nick's like, "Hey - good idea!" and adds that since he and Cody are also pretending to be security analysts, he'd like her permission to come aboard the Contessa and probe her bikini clad ladies with, uh, questions. Mama Jo snaps, "No!" and warns him to keep all forms of probing off of her boat and far away from her lady crew.
Cody approaches a hotel owner named Mr. Dylan to see if he'd be at all interested in financing an investigation into the explosion of the Tradewind...and Mr. Dylan hems and haws for a few minutes before agreeing to employ the Riptide Detective Agency - but only if it'll get Nick to stop hanging around his hotel wearing his snug (!) red Tourist Information t-shirt and hitting on his waitresses. He advises Cody to talk to Dex Dexter [not to be confused with Dynasty's Dex Dexter], a boneheaded young hipster who runs the local boatyard, 'cause apparently he has information about a transmission which came from the Tradewind that warned of a hijacking.
Cody locates Dex Dexter and gets a copy of the Tradewind's blueprints...and the two discuss a possible link between the explosion and a drug smuggling operation.
Ted Quinlan, a perpetually angry police lieutenant, gets all in Kimba's face and accuses her of being part of a ring of hijackers who steal boats and smuggle dope. When Mama Jo points out that he can't actually prove any of that, he threatens to build a case against Kimba if the investigation doesn't result in something that can exonerate her...which seems unnecessarily hostile and dickish, but OK. He bellows, "Don't leave King Harbor!" then storms over to the road leading into the marina, where he runs into Nick and Cody. He mocks their fledgling detective agency and warns them that any investigating into the Tradewind explosion is police business and orders them to stay the fuck out of his way.
The Coast Guard searches the general area where the Tradewind exploded...but they don't find anything and fly back to their home base.
Mama Jo summons Nick and Cody aboard the Contessa to report that she's pretty sure Kimba's telling her the truth, and is giving them permission to talk to her so she can aid in their investigation...and she says this as though she's been put in charge of this grown woman she just met and gets to decide who she can and can't talk to. Kimba climbs aboard the deck wearing a bra-less tank top and does her best to look as distressed as possible while smilingly saying, "I guess I'm in some trouble. I need help." She tells Nick and Cody she's worried about the criminal charges Quinlan will slap her with if they don't find the Tradewind wreckage and prove that it blew up like she's claiming. Mama Jo offers to give Nick and Cody the coordinates of the location where Kimba was picked up by her crew...and Kimba stares beseechingly at Cody and moans, "Pleeeeease help meeeee.." Cody assures her that since she's so super hot, he and Nick would be delighted to help her out...and when he and Nick walk back to the Riptide, he decrees that while they're working this case, they'll need to agree that Kimba is "neutral territory". Nick mulls that over for a few seconds and concurs that, yep, their overactive penises should probably remain under lock and zip until after The Case of the Blown-up Charter Boat has been cracked.
That evening, a shady looking hoodlum tells two shadier looking hoodlums in the back of a car that Kimba was just talking to the Riptide detective duo. One of the car hoodlums orders him to grab Kimba and bring her to the ranch for "questioning".
Late that night, Kimba is grabbed by the shady hoodlum and his buddy and forcibly taken off the Contessa. When her screams pierce the air, Nick and Cody spring out of bed (in nothing but their white gitch!), and pursue the abductors. After a short car chase, the hoodlums crash their car and engage in a brief shootout with Nick and Cody, then decide 'ah fuck it' and flee the scene, leaving Kimba behind.
Nick and Cody discuss with Mama Jo and Kimba why anyone would want to abduct Kimba, and Nick suggests they hire their old pal Murray so they can utilize his techno-genius to locate the remains of the Tradewind. He says that Kimba would probably be safer on the Riptide, and quickly assures Mama Jo that nothing R-rated below the waist will occur. Kimba refrains from reminding him that since she's a grown woman, he really doesn't need to make those kinds of assurances to the maternal figure she met a few hours ago, then kisses Nick and Cody on the cheek and thanks them for saving her from the hoodlums.
The next morning, Nick heads over to his decrepit pink helicopter, The Screaming Mimi, and gets it started up so that he and Cody can quickly pop over to Santa Barbara and drop in on Murray. In lieu of the more sensible option of driving there, I guess. They decide that Murray's probably up for a paying gig, given that he recently lost his technology-based fortune to the whims of Wall Street.
The Santa Barbara police are standing helplessly outside of a building that has a window blown out on one of the upper floors, and are urging Murray Bozinsky to surrender peacefully. Murray [who looks a lot like Bill Gates circa around the time this episode was filmed] sticks his head out the broken window and natters incoherently about how the corporate world compromised his integrity and soullessly exploited his computer genius. Nick tells Cody he thinks it would be a good idea to land Mimi on the roof of Murray's building so they can sneak inside, rescue him from his office, then sneak him up to the roof for a quick getaway before the police can get it together enough to take control of the situation. Yep, that idea sounds just crazy enough to work!
Inside his office, Murray is shredding documents...and when he's done with that, he takes a baseball bat to two large computers while shouting, "I built them! I can destroy them!" The cops, finally realizing that nothing is going to come of them standing uselessly outside the building and begging Murray to please surrender, decide to storm the building just as Nick lands Mimi on the roof.
Nick and Cody race down the stairwell, locate Murray's office, and inform the dork that they're here to rescue him. Murray says he likes the sound of that - but that they'll need to pack up all of his computer/robot equipment...and this is the first sighting we get of Murray's DIY robot project: the orange Roboz.
After a narrow escape from police, Murray shows Cody one of his latest inventions: a biofeedback mood ring that reflects the wearer's emotions. Cody's like, "Kewl!" and decides it might be helpful to put it on Kimba's finger to see if she's being honest about her Tradewind explosion story.
Back in King Harbor, Cody gives Kimba the mood ring...and after she puts it on, he keeps an eye on it as she recounts her story about witnessing the Tradewind explosion. She tells them that they took aboard a man who claimed he had engine trouble, and Cody warns her that Quinlan is prolly not going to buy that 'cause he thinks she's part of a piracy group. Kimba insists she has nothing to do with any piracy conspiracy...and the greenish tint of the mood ring seems to substantiate her claim.
Aboard the Riptide, Murray unpacks his computer stuff and lets Roboz roam around...and Cody remarks on how Roboz only seems to move when it hears them speak. Murray looks momentarily puzzled and explains that Roboz responds to high frequency stimuli, and says he'll look into the bot's peculiar behavior. In the next scene, Murray heads up to the deck, points over at the bikini clad ladies aboard the Contessa, and tells an incredulous looking Nick and Cody that he introduced the gals to Roboz, and that they all hit it off so well that he invited them to come over later and hang.
With Roboz's help, Murray discovers a transmitter that someone slipped aboard the Riptide, and he quickly deduces that the device's voice-activated feature is what's causing Roboz to move only when he detects voices. Murray tells Nick and Cody he'll program Roboz to locate the bug, and then will use his superior IT skills to trace the signal and identify the person who planted it.
As Roboz zooms around the Riptide's main sitting room in search of the bug, Murray gabbles about how excited he is about moving aboard the Riptide and experiencing all the fun adventures the three of them are sure to have throughout the series. Nick and Cody are all, "Wha-a-a?" and tell him they assumed that this arrangement was temporary - then are forced to put a pin in that discussion when Roboz locates the bug hidden inside a lamp.
The three are aboard the airborne Mimi, working to pinpoint the source of the bug's transmitter, which ends up being a sprawling mansion owned by crime boss and drug overlord, Mike Santana. Nick's all, "Ack! Let's get outa here!" - just as smoke starts pouring out of Mimi's engine, leaving him with no choice but to land the decrepit chopper on the Santana estate...where they're greeted by Mike Santana and a small army of gun toting bodyguards. Murray smugly tells Santana that he traced their transmitting device, then mocks him for his low level level of expertise in the field of hi-tech gadgetry. Santana ignores the dork's brazen sass and tells Nick and Cody he heard that they've been searching for the Tradewind wreckage and says he has a vested interest in looking over what's left of the lost boat - but can't make a move in that direction 'cause he's under surveillance by the police. He promises to pay them $5,000 for delivering the wreckage to him, and Nick reluctantly agrees to the deal, then asks him to please provide some chopper parts so he can get Mimi repaired and back to King Harbor asap.
The next day, Nick flies with Kimba aboard Mimi to see if she can help them locate exactly where the Tradewind blew up. When she giggingly asks whassup with Cody, he tells her he's still recovering from an unsightly bout of infectious hepatitis, but that he (Nick) is completely disease-free...as well as single and horny to mingle.
Cody consults with Dex Dexter about pinpointing the exact whereabouts of the Tradewind wreckage and mentions that he and Murray are off to the open sea to do some more investigating.
Cody and Murray are out at sea, aboard the Riptide, when a black helicopter appears out of nowhere and the pilot (Dex Dexter) opens fire on them. Cody shoots back with his slow shooting rifle, but quickly realizes he's outmatched in the weapons department. Above Murray's protests, he strips off his t-shirt and puts it and his hat on Roboz, then sends him onto the deck, hoping that the shooter will somehow mistake the three foot tall bot for a grown man, shoot at it until he's satisfied that "Cody" is dead, and fly off...and, yep, that's exactly what happens in the following scene. Once the coast is clear, Murray and Cody fish the injured Roboz out of the water...and Murray looks him over and happily reports that the bullets missed his CPU.
Nick lands Mimi on the island closest to where the Tradewind exploded...and when Kimba blushingly inquires about Cody again, Nick tells her that, in addition to suffering from infectious hepatitis, he's also a recovering drug addict...and that he (Nick) has been selflessly sticking by his old army buddy until he kicks the habit for good and stops having violent seizures. LOL. Cody, meanwhile, radios Mimi to report that someone on a helicopter just shot at them, and Nick's all, "Holy crap!" and gives him the coordinates of their current location.
Nick and Kimba get back aboard Mimi, pinpoint the exact wreckage site, and drop a transmitter into the water so they can return to it later with Murray's computer gear. Dex suddenly appears in the black helicopter and starts shooting at them, and Nick lands Mimi on the island, where he and Kimba hightail it to the beach and hide underwater with scuba gear to help them breathe. Dex shoots at the water, looks confident that he killed the two (even though every bullet somehow missed them both), then flies off. A few seconds later, Nick and Kimba emerge from the water and are all, "Phew! That was close."
Cody and Murray zoom over to the island on the Riptide...and after a group discussion on how the last few scenes of the episode played out, they decide it doesn't make sense for the helicopter shooter to be one of Santana's henchmen. Impressive detective work, detectives.
Everyone piles aboard the Riptide and heads over the exact spot of the Tradewind's explosion, and Murray is somehow able to locate the wreckage with the aid of his techno-gadgetry. As they transport the wreckage onto the nearby island and hide it with tree branches, Cody calls Nick out on all the fibbing he's been doing to Kimba regarding his faux ailments and drug abuse. Nick chuckles and says he only did it 'cause he really really wants to hit the sheets with the young hottie.
Murray searches his computer for any intel on Santana and discovers that he's recently been trading large amounts of gold.
That evening, Kimba joins Murray on the deck of the Riptide and remarks on how calm the water is at night...and Murray natters a long-winded mathematical explanation of why this is so, complete with diagrams jotted on the palm of his hand. Kimba interjects and says she remembers when he was a rich and successful computer genius and that she frequently saw his ugly mug on the covers of magazines. Murray tells her it's tough for a famous person to make friends, then quickly adds that Nick and Cody were genuine friends when they were all in the army together, and that they helped him avoid jail time by fleeing with him aboard a helicopter - much like they just did in Santa Barbara, which has somehow resulted in zero consequences from any California authorities.
Nick tells Murray he now remembers part of the ID number on the black helicopter that was used in yesterday's attack, and Murray says he'll use that info to come up with a list of suspects. Kimba looks impressed and tells Murray that of the three of them, he's her favorite...and Nick looks miffed at being passed over for a skinny computer nerd and shoots Murray the stink-eye.
Mama Jo tells the Riptide brood that Quinlan was storming around the pier in his usual 'I'm sooo fuckin' angry' fashion, looking for them 'cause he has a warrant for Murray's arrest. The three decide to stash Kimba at a nearby hotel and eatery, and use the friendly owner's office to hook up Murray's computer gear so they can look into who may have rented a black helicopter yesterday. Murray works his techno-magic and comes up with one familiar name - Dex Dexter - and Cody explains that he's the blonde hipster who runs a nearby boatyard and knows all about their boring quest to find the Tradewind's wreckage. Murray theorizes that Dex is probably involved in Santana's drug ring, but has decided to branch out on his own...and by branch out on his own, Murray guesses that he hijacked the Tradewind in order to steal all the gold that was aboard. Cody calls Dex, who's keeping company with a woman superfluously clad in a tiny red bikini, and tells him he found the wreckage of the Tradewind. Dex does his best to hide his shock at learning he didn't actually kill Cody and agrees to meet him at Pier 56.
As Cody waits on the pier, one of the Contessa ladies approaches him and says that Mama Jo wants to see him...so he stupidly goes aboard and walks into a hostage situation, aka Dex pointing a gun at a gagged Mama Jo and threatening to kill her if anyone deviates from his instructions. Cody informs him that Nick is monitoring the situation from a few feet away and will surely call the police if he doesn't emerge from the Contessa...then taunts him about what Santana's going to do to him when he learns about the stolen gold. Dex ignores the taunt and orders the buxom crew to unhook the Contessa and take it out to sea...and when they follow through with this order, Nick and Murray are all, "Shit!" and rush over to Cody's speedboat, the Ebb Tide, but are all, "Fuuuuuuuuuuck!" when they see that the motor is missing. Santana's armed men appear out of nowhere, demand a progress report on the Tradewind wreckage investigation, and steer Nick and Murray over to a black car for a chat with Santana. Nick informs him about what just happened with Dex, Cody, and the Contessa babes, and Santana agrees to let him and Murray go so they can all work towards wrapping up this dragged out series pilot.
Soon after Dex, Cody, and the Contessa crew arrive on the island, Santana and his men, along with Nick and Murray, storm the island via the Riptide (with the Ebb Tide in tow). Amid the chaos, the Contessa ladies rush over to the Riptide while giggling for help...and Nick discreetly informs Murray and Cody that he's pretty sure Santana plans to sink the Riptide with them and the Contessa babes aboard. Murray's like, "I'm on it" and activates Roboz so that he starts zooming around, and the noise is somehow enough of a distraction for Cody and Nick to launch a sneak attack on Santana's men and disarm them. Dex, meanwhile, flees towards the Ebb Tide, hops in, and quickly motors off...and Nick, Cody, and Murray race over to Mimi so they can pursue him by air. The bikini clad Contessa ladies waive gaily as they fly over the Riptide - LOL - and Mama Jo finds the nearest radio and alerts the Coast Guard. As Mimi hovers over Dex, Murray grabs Cody's rifle and opens fire, instantly incapacitating the speedboat. Nick's all, "Ack!" when he sees that smoke is once again pouring out of Mimi's engine, but is able to safely land on the nearest beach. He may want to get that pile of junk serviced for Episode 3.
Back at King Harbor, Murray summarizes the last half of the episode to Quinlan, who barks at no one in particular that Dex Dexter is under arrest, and that Santana is to be taken downtown and booked. He gruffly admits to the Riptide trio that he's been wanting to get Santana off the streets for the last fifteen years, but stops short of expressing any kind of thanks for helping him accomplish that.
Kimba tells Murray she'll need a place to stay until she can scrape enough money to get herself home, and Murray suggests she take a job on the Contessa, 'cause then they'll be able to see each other every day. Kimba likes the sound of that and leans in, removes Murray's glasses, and plants a big smooch on his lips, which...as if.
As Roboz mops up a puddle of spilled beer, Murray bounds aboard the Riptide with a big smile on his bespectacled face. He tells Nick and Cody that Kimba just got a job as superfluous eye candy aboard the Contessa, and Nick chuckles and says that Mama Jo is never going to let him near "her girls" ... and a few seconds later, Mama Jo appears to confirm that, yep, the three of them are to keep their hands off of Kimba now that she's part of her crew of adult woman who seem to be A-OK with being denied the freedom of associating with whoever displeases the crotchety house mother. Murray scrunches his face in disappointment, so Nick suggests that the three of them go out to the nearest bar and celebrate their new partnership. Roboz perks up at the mention of a bar and eagerly trails after them, but accidentally falls into the water and helplessly floats on its back until Murray fishes him out. Womp womp!