Angel Come Home
When Kris arrives at her beach house, she finds it looking very lived-in - someone has been taking showers and eating apples all over the place. Upon venturing out to the beach, whom does she find loitering at water's edge but long lost sister Jill, home from Europe.
After a joyful reunion, Jill announces to Kris that she's engaged to a wonderful man, and whips out a cablegram, ostensibly sent by Kris, which reads: "Urgent. Come immediately. Matter of life or death." A puzzled Kris explains that she never sent a wire, so the Munroe sisters head for the Townsend Agency to check out the mysterious message.
Kris surprises Bosley and the other Angels by bringing Jill with her, while Bri and Kelly reach the heights of their annoyance levels upon catching a glimpse of their old compadre. Charlie determines that the message was charged to his own telephone number, and also reveals that a man named Paul Ferrino, designer of racing cars and a former Jill insider, had contacted him in search of The Athletic One.
Jill decides to dally with Ferrino in a public place, and under the watchful eyes of her fellow Angels, she arranges to meet her old associate in the Century City parking lot. When the mysterious Ferrino finally emerges, the issue of yet another phony cablegram arises. Worried, he confides in Jill that he trusts no one but her, and then quickly whisks her away on his motorcycle. The others conclude that she appeared to have gone willingly, so they don't do much in the way of pursing her captor.
Ferrino takes Jill to the racetrack where he unveils his super-duper-top-secret formula racing car, the Ferrino 26. He explains that if his test car does well in an upcoming race he'll receive a $5 million development grant. Terrified that one of his competitors will destroy the car, he asks driver-slash-detective Jill to drive it in the Grand Prix for him.
Jill encounters Danny Bligh at the garage, the unfriendly chief mechanic with a popped collar. On her way to phone Kris, a shadowy man grabs her from behind - thankfully it's just Steve Carmody, her deliciously handsome fiance who's come to track her down all the way from Europe. Ferrino observes their reunion makeout and Jill learns that the two men already know each other. Just as Ferrino is congratulating the couple, they hear an violent explosion. Upon rushing to the garage they see flumes of smoke and mechanic Danny lying on the ground - someone has used Jill as bait to lead them to Ferrino's wonder car.
Jill brings Steve home to meet the gang. Inside, he finds the rest of the Angels awaiting his arrival and then proceeds to immediately captivate them by his charm and good looks. Afterward, the girls converge back in the office to discuss the attempt on Ferrino's car. Kris expresses her disapproval of Jill being anywhere near the car, just as the worried Carmody had. Jill intends to race to matter what, so Charlie makes Kris basically bodyguard her sister.
Next day at the track, Steve, Jill and Kris attend the racing festivities where there's a feeble pre-race daytime-discoteque featuring distant, muted disco fusion, half-hearted dancing and drinks. Jill heads down to the raceway with Ferrino to pose for press photos. Meanwhile, up at the observation stands, a permed cougarette attempts to seduce Steve, cooing about their former relationship as well as bringing up the attempt on Ferrino's car.
Jill takes the Ferrino 26 out for a few laps while Kris goes inside and walks in on perm lady frenching Carmody at the bar. Kris is rightfully seething when Steve goes after her to explain the situation, professing his love for her sister and insisting that his admirer is a thing of the past.
Outside, perm lady has an argument with a jealous Danny Bligh, making it apparent that the two are more than just friends. Later, the peculiar pair Bri and Kelly hit up another bar to gather clues. Bri simply waits at a corner table while Kelly flirts with a tipsy Danny at the bar, offering him an envelope stuffed with cash if he'll swap some inside information about the Ferrino explosion.
Bri tails Steve to a parking lot outside the racetrack and snipes photos of him secretly meeting with Danny Bligh. This encounter, plus the fact that the Angels turn up some dirt on Carmody involving heavy gambling debts and a hot temper against his adversary Paul Ferrino makes him their Suspect Number One.
Jill and Steve roll up at the beach house with sacks of prop groceries to find a serious Kris pacing the floor armed with a manila envelope. She tactfully interrogates Steve about his rocky relationship with Ferrino, etc., and Carmody answers all of her questions honestly and politely. In a final accusatory move, Kris slaps down Bri's 8x10 glossies. The pictures set Steve off and he stalks out, leaving with his final word that as long as he's around, Jill won't be driving in the race.
Steve goes to the deserted racetrack, slips into the garage, and speeds out onto the track. Unbeknownst to him, the Angels are watching him in secrecy - as they watch him lap the car, the four Angels finally surmise that he's actually test driving the car's safety for Jill. Everyone falls back in love with the valiant hero, just as the car bursts into a huge ball of fire. Kris holds an expressionless Jill at bay, repeatedly telling her to "stay here" even though she's not moving.
Next day, Kris brings the sullen Jill a cup of tea on the beach and suggests they go away together "up north" because Jill always loved it there. She says she's not going to be able to forget Steve no matter what and breaks down crying in Kris' arms on the sand.
Angry perm lady and Danny Bligh engage in another break-up argument inside his trailer after she accuses him of having been responsible for Steve's death. Bri and Kelly bust into the trailer while Bos takes the wheel. They confront Bligh, forcing him to confess Ferrino's guilt and his involvement.
Jill returns to the garage where Ferrino explains that his car was actually a flop, and he had to destroy it to save his reputation and fortune. When a stone-faced Jill asks, "Was I supposed to be the one that was in that car?", Paul goes towards her in strangle-mode. He hops on a conveniently placed motorcycle and chases Jill down on the concourse. Suddenly the Pinto, Mustang and Bosmobile come veering into the scene, knocking Ferrino and his bike onto the asphalt. Defeated, he offers a weak apology to Jill.
With all the drama over, Jill continues to stroll the beach and is surprised to find a pity picnic set up by the rest of the group, and everyone acts like everything is fine.
WHAT'D YOU THINK?
• This episode is rife with queer banter between Sabrina and Kelly. It's really questionable.
• Why does Bri sit alone at a table and press her face into the wall to avoid being seen? Why did she even go in the restaurant with Kelly?
• Kris' shoes change from heels to flats in mid-walk across the beach.
• Jackie Stewart, The Flying Scot, is ranked as one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. He started out as a famed driver and team owner, and went on to be a noted commentator of racing television broadcasts.
• Kelly votes a second time after she already has said Steve is terrific.
• Jill emphasizes that she's a "trained investigator ON LEAVE." Didn't she quit?
• Even JoJo had a spare helmet, but this champion racer doesn't have an extra one for Jill?
• Why didn't the race car explode when Jill drove it in the previous scene?
• You can kinda see that there's nothing in the teacups that Kris brought out for Jill.
• Watch Farrah's stunt double's boots change from tan heels to dark flats while fleeing from Paul Ferrino.
BAD GUYS BEAT DOWN
SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS
SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS
DAYS TO SOLVE CASE
CARS BLOWN UP
Bri and Kelly take the cake for worst dressed in this ep. First of all, it's like they realized this one was focused on the Munroe sisters and didn't even want to make an effort. Most of the time, you can see Bri's shirt tucked in through her sheer white pants, and her training bra through her turtleneck(s). In one scene, Bri is garbed in a colorless, layered Members Only conglomeration, while her partner Kelly is decked out in flowing white lace and barrettes. Are they undercover as a yuppie couple from Tampa?
During the takedown, Kelly's fitted into a Jaclyn Smith Outdoor Collection patio cushion print vest, while Bri is…well, in yet another turtleneck/Members Only fusion. Then at the beach picnic, Bri's slipped into a more comfy male toddler's Oshkosh B'Gosh overalls number and bare feet.
Aside from a poster-esque red swimsuit in her opening scene, Jill is dressed nicely though not very memorably (and with a new penchant for flowing, shroudlike off-white tops that will continue throughout her visits). Kris looks beyond amazing throughout this entire episode, from a classy black cocktail dress, to perfectly fitting white short-shorts, to a curvaceous two-toned bathing suit, there's a glorious lot of Munroe to take in here.
THEIR BACKUP NEEDS BACKUP
The whole point of Bosley, Kelly, Sabrina, and Kris following Jill to the parking lot was for protection, but when the time came, they were utterly useless. Jill begins speeding away on this stranger's motorcycle, and at this time it would be appropriate for those sitting in cars (Kelly and Sabrina) to drive after her. But no, instead they both attempt to get out of their vehicles at the same time, repeatedly crashing their car doors into each other in an inappropriately Three Stooges-moment. Were this a real kidnapping, Jill would be long dead before these four made it out of the parking lot.
The cute, protective, race car-driving (bad combo, in this instance) Steve Carmody is THE Angel romance of the series. Unless you wanna count Sabrina's offscreen second marriage, which we do not. The Angels investigate Steve for suspected shady doins', however in a much-appreciated swerve, he actually turns out not to be a criminal! Unfortunately, in the court of Angel Romance Law, that's as good as a death sentence. We were given some doubts about Steve's fidelity to Jill; his defensive insistence that he loved her sounded sorta weak, but we guess literally dying to protect her is about as much proof as you could ask for. Our bad, Steve! You were a good guy, probably.
SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS
It's the Munroe Show! Jill gets the most attention, as expected, and Kris her reflected glory. The Angel content level is nothing to brag about, but the excitement of finally seeing all four together covers any time-sins.
- HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 81%
Exploding cars aren't exactly a rarity on this show, but this time it counts extra for causing the death of an Angel fiance. Jill's chase scene with Ferrino is only semi-exciting, in that his motorcycle only serves to hinder his movement amongst the obstacles of fences, whereas Jill can run and climb freely wherever she pleases. It's unclear why he immediately plows into a construction-paper information stand as soon as the Angels' cars drive up, but it at least looked pretty cool.
BEHIND THE SCENES
It was during the filming of this episode that rookie Cheryl Ladd and a guest-starring Farrah Fawcett, just introduced, had to play their first scene together as a reunion of long-lost sisters.
Cheryl remembers: "Everyone thought that the hostility and jealousy would surface. So I went over to Farrah and whispered in her ear, and she giggled and said, 'Let's do it.' "
Scripted to run to each other on the beach and hug, recounts Ladd, "Farrah ran toward me with her arms outstretched and I toward her - only when it came time for the clench we just kept on running in opposite directions. It absolutely broke everyone up. From then on they realized there weren't going to be any fireworks."
To make up for the fact that it's almost never remembered outside episodes containing both Munroes, obtuse faux-sisterhood references are worked into the dialogue here more often than Madison Lee brings up the De Soto case. Vague references to their childhood, like when Kris suggests they get away from it all with a trip "up north" because Jill "used to like it up there," are annoying considering all the other episodes where Kris reflected upon her childhood and never even mentioned Jill's existence. "She's done that since we were kids!" Even Steve refers to Kris almost exclusively with annoying terms like "little sister". WE KNOW.
Furthermore, why the past life references that make no sense to the audience - "Some things never change!" (Meaning Bosley always buys food at the deli and claims to have made it himself?)
Joann's Rating: Jill's back! The first of the much anticipated Farrah return episodes is also the best. Jill comes home after having received a message from Kris saying she needs her help. The first scene Cheryl and Farrah share together works well with the sisters embracing on the beach, glad to be together again. And Jill is getting married! But who sent the note since Kris tells her nothing is wrong?
The Angels become a foursome as they try to find out who wants to sabotage Jill's race car. Jill's fiancé shows up concerned and soon becomes a suspect. This episode works extremely well since we get to see the Angels team closely as friends. As things turn from bad to worse, their friendship shines as they get through tragedy the way they always have, by being there for each other. Dare I say, all for one and one for all.
Holly's Rating: Definitely my Season 3 favorite. A terrific Munroe sister team up, and FINALLY, an Angel brings home the perfect guy, only to have it all blow up in her face. Jill and Steve Carmody were a match made in heaven - Disco Malibu Barbie and Sportscar Ken. This just makes me sad. On a lighter note, Cheryl Ladd looks beyond stunning in every single one of her scenes throughout this episode; and in the backseat are the bizarre antics carried on by Kate and Jaclyn. Strange man.
Anna's Rating: Fantastic episode. Though her first visit should have been a Farrah-showcase, Cheryl ended up looking amazing in every scene opposite her somewhat scrappy-haired and baggy-clothed predecessor - I can only wonder if this was by wardrobe coincidence or intentional effort. As the returning Angel, wouldn't you try to out-hot your replacement? Or maybe she's taking the opposite approach and showing she's above having to prove herself all over again. Or maybe I don't understand the nuances of late-70's fashion.
Farrah Fawcett went on to become quite a good actress, but I don't think I'd place that turning point within the time frame of Charlie's Angels. Forcing surprised excitement is not her forté; her "Yeah?!?" here rivals her painful "I'm hired??!?!" from Angels on Wheels (the two worst Farrah acting moments that come to my mind) (I love you, though, Farrah). Watching her fiance become a crispy critter was perhaps the realest acting opportunity Farrah ever got on this show, and I'm not quite sure how to review it. I can recognize that she was going for the stunned-disbelief thing, but it came off more like a non-reaction. I dunno. I'm only complaining because I know she could do better.
Though I can't get behind the fanfiction shipping of Kelly and Sabrina, they really are acting gay here. Steve Carmody turned out to be the greatest Angel tragedy ever, but was super cute while he lasted. Pity none of Jill's other visits came near the bar set by this episode.
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