Angels on the Run


SUMMARY

The owner of Rosie's Chili, a hole in the wall diner, witnesses a fender bender outside her eatery's window which involves a dump truck and a carload of thieves, who, during the hubbub of the accident, stow away a small, unmarked package in the dirt-filled rear of the loitering dump truck, owned by Larry Kantrelle, a womanizing sand and gravel salesman.

Larry's long-suffering wife Sue is a small-time saloon singer at the Backwoods Inn supper club where later that afternoon, Larry makes a pit stop to watch his wife's performance onstage. It's not long before curtain time that Larry is taken from the restaurant at gunpoint by the men who stashed their mystery cargo in his truck.

Next day, a frazzled Sue Kantrelle hires the Angels to find her missing husband, who has disappeared without a word. To retrace Larry's steps, Kris starts off the investigation at the Backwoods Inn where she spies his dump truck still sitting in the parking lot where he left it, and learns from an amorous bartender about Larry's unfriendly encounter with the two strange men.

Meanwhile, Bri and Kelly hang out with Sue at the Kantrelle's apartment but are rudely interrupted when the two kidnappers come calling unexpectedly. When Bri answers the door, the men spot an oblivious Kelly tranquilly strumming Sue's guitar, and mistake her for Sue. Though they attempt to bust into the apartment, a screeching Bri manages to hold them at bay by blocking the door with her lavender body.

Bosley whisks Sue away to a safe location for a few days, and it's determined that Kelly will act as a decoy and continue to pose as Sue to provide protection to the real Mrs. Kantrelle. Back out in the field, Bri and Kris learn from Larry's coworker that "Kamikaze Kantrelle" has a habit of getting romantically involved with a number of his female customers, much to the chagrin of his forgiving wife.

Armed with this information, the two Angels separate - Sabrina heads out to a ranch owned by one of Larry's mistresses - a tough broad who plows while wearing Daisy Dukes and a straw hat. She becomes incensed at Bri's line of questioning about her affair with Larry and, mounting her tractor like she means business, slams the claw of her bulldozer down within feet of the retreating Bri as a warning to watch her step.

Over at Rosie's Chili, Kris chats with Rosie (another of Larry's lovers) who recounts the tale of the traffic jam where all the trouble started. Roger, an outrageously gay dressmaker dining nearby, joins in the conversation and reveals that he observed one of the men throwing the package into Larry's truck.

Bosley and the Angels convene at the Backwoods Inn where Kelly begins preparing for her onstage revue as Sue while the other three pause for a drink and discuss the latest developments. When Bos visits the dressing room to check on Kelly, two multiracial henchmen burst into the room, knock Bosley unconscious, chloroform Kelly and haul her limp body out the back door. Moments later, Bri and Kris take off in hot pursuit in the Cobra but are summarily thwarted when another vehicle blocks their path out of the parking lot.

In the kidnappers' car, a woozy Kelly continues to play her part, managing to garner information about the mysterious package which turns out to have contained a cache of stolen diamonds worth $5 million. She talks out the rest of the scenario and adds up the rest of the story about the package and the dump truck. While the bad guys intend to use Kelly as leverage against Larry, in reality, clueless Kantrelle actually has no idea where the diamonds are in the first place. At the kidnapper's cottage and reunited with her "husband", Kelly gets Larry to play along and reveal where he last dumped his load - at the Tractor Lady's property.

Kelly: "You've heard of the good guys and the bad guys…these are the bad guys."

Based on this information, Kelly, Larry and the kidnappers pile into a sedan and drive out to the Tractor Lady's ranch to begin searching the various piles of soil scattered about her property. A rickety neighbor's pickup pulls up and out emerge three farmer bumpkins who suddenly dominate the situation, strong-arming the bad guys - and when a wayward shot is fired during the struggle, it miraculously hits the hidden package of diamonds, spilling its glittering guts onto the dirt.

Back at the office, Charlie "wraps things up" by making everyone uncomfortable with double-entendres.

BACKGROUND CHECK

Angels on the Run Episode #45 Season 2, Episode 23 Airdate: May 3, 1978 Writer: Ed LaksoLaurie Lakso Director: Bob Kelljan Guest starCraig T. Nelson

WHAT'D YOU THINK?

Rate this episode:

CURIOSITIES

• Why did Coach need to ditch the un-suspicious plain brown box when the police came around? The basis of the whole plot was pointless.

• Since when can Kelly play a guitar?

• What's with Kelly hitting her crazy bone? If it was worth including, why didn't we see it happen?

• Why do all the bad guys continue to believe that Kelly is Sue, even after Sabrina screams "KELLY! KELLLYYYYY!" ?

• Kelly was apparently lead alto in Glee club, but isn't looking forward to singing at the nightclub. Why can't she just lip-sync like she did in Lady Killer?

• Kris leaves the diner without taking a single sip of the tea she ordered. Why do they bother ordering drinks that they never drink?

• Why is Bosley suddenly too dumb to know what "break a leg" means?

• Why does Kris make a face at Sabrina's grasshopper when we've seen her order them herself?

• The bad guys drive out of the parking lot with Kelly in tow, and immediately after, Sabrina and Kris are unable to get out because the same exit is blocked. How did two random people happen to park in the middle of the driveway and get out of their cars in only 6 seconds?

• Jaclyn Smith sounds like she has a cold throughout the episode.

• What's with the random Asian musical cue at the end of the takedown? The rarity of Asians on this show makes it hard to believe it was a random coincidence, but why (we guess?) spotlight the Asian henchman? His heritage was of absolutely no significance to the case or scene, and he wasn't even visible at the time.

BAD GUYS BEAT DOWN

BIMBOS

SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS

SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS

DAYS TO SOLVE CASE

ANGELS CHLOROFORMED

TURTLENECK

CHARACTER DEATHS

FASHION

The Angels must've found a really good sale on pastels someplace in late Season 2 because that's about all anybody wears. Kelly looks kidnappably smashing in her floor-length emerald evening gown and Sabrina’s necklace sported throughout the episode looks like one of those mobiles you put over a baby’s crib - complete with stars and moon.

Wardrobe Repeat Sabrina wears her favorite turtleneck in Angels on Horseback, Angel Flight and Angels in Vegas too.

Kate Jackson Run

Kate Jackson Horseback

Kate Jackson Flight

Kate Jackson Vegas

THE STREETWISE ANGEL

Once kidnapped, Kelly starts talking to the bad guys like a 10-year-old who just saw a gangster movie. Look, it's only Season 2, the genuinely street Angel Julie Rogers won't exist for another few years yet, so we're still pitching Kelly Garrett as the streetwise one and results are... well, when your entire depiction of streetwisdom is Jaclyn Smith calling a guy "friend" in a sarcastic tone, we gotta call that arguable. This technique can also be seen in Night of the Strangler, friend.

ANGELVERSE BAD GUYS

Speaking of sweet bad guys, could this bunch of villains have cared about each other more? At the beginning when the bad guy's car is involved in the accident, head bad guy Garfunkel checks to make sure everyone is okay and his Asian henchman seems very upset after the impact. Later, as they are cruising around looking for Larry’s wife, three bad guys all ride in the front seat even though they are in a huge sedan with an vast and empty back seat.

And what about Nancy Coleman, who might be the most underrated femme fatale in Angels history? She almost drives a tractor through Sabrina and calls Kelly a “crazy broad” all the while wearing Daisy Dukes and cowboy boots. Take that, Inga and Maxine!

SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS

Sabrina wins, but only by a couple of minutes. Quite a well-balanced episode and average level of Angel content.

  • KELLY
  • KRIS
  • SABRINA
  • BOSLEY
  • HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 76%

ACTION

The Angels actually do their own fighting! The best is when their moves really don’t look like they would bother or incapacitate the bad guy that much, but their foes still go down. Watch Kelly’s take-down move at the end. That didn’t actually hurt that dude, he was just being nice when he fell on cue. He was so sweet.

angels-on-the-run-sabrina-actionSabrina also unleashes an impressive Pseudo Kung Fu combo on the Asian henchman, then pulls his leg back as if preparing to hog-tie him. Maybe this breaks his spirit, which is why he doesn't struggle when she holds him face-down in the sand for the rest of the scene?

MINORITY REPORT

We get three for the price of one. Big black dude plays - well - a big black dude working for the bad guys; doesn’t speak much. Doesn’t have to. Then we get “Black Jack”, the light skinned auto mechanic who is all about snitchin' (“They call me black jack because I’m 21”). Well, he looked more like 35, but he was still kinda cute.

The prize though goes to the over-the-top gay dress shop owner that Kris interrogates. Could he be any more gay? And when he is sweet enough to tell Kris that he thinks she would look “smashing” in a gray plunging neckline pantsuit, does Kris say, "Aw, thanks you're sweet”? No! She says, “I think you would look fabulous in it!” He’s gay, Kris, not a transvestite. What a bitch.

BIMBO REPORT

This week’s bimbo is playing a sitar in the opening office scene, then weirdly rubbing Charlie’s arm while he plays the sitar during the office wrap-up.

Read our article on Charlie's Bimbos

REPEAT OFFENDERS

Don Reid: Lovin' Larry later played bad guy Harmon in Angel on High.

Judy Landers: Mrs. Chicken later played the ditzy blonde in Love Boat Angels; her near-identical sister Audrey Landers played the mean girl, Donna, from Teen Angels.

Bob Kelljan also directed Terror on Ward One, Angels on Ice, Angels in Vegas, and Marathon Angels.

Prolific writer Ed Lakso brought us roughly one third of the series, including Hellride, The Seance, Dirty Business, The Vegas Connection, I Will Be Remembered, The Blue Angels, Pretty Angels All in a Row, Angels in the Wings, Angels on Horseback, Angels in Vegas, Winning is for Losers, Pom Pom Angels, Counterfeit Angels, Disco Angels, Terror on Skis, Angel in a Box, Teen Angels, Marathon Angels, Angels in Waiting, Angels Remembered, Love Boat Angels, Avenging Angel, Angels on the Street, The Prince and the Angel, Angel's Child, One of Our Angels is Missing, Catch a Falling Angel, Dancin' Angels, Harrigan's Angel, Three for the Money, To See an Angel Die, Angel in Hiding, He Married an Angel, Angel on the Line, Chorus Line Angels, Stuntwomen Angels, Angel on a Roll, and Let Our Angel Live.

OUR TAKE

Greg's Rating: 4 stars It's an actual mystery and the key plot points are only revealed as the episode unfolds, not typical for an Angel episode and even more atypical for an Ed Lasko script. I like. Kris and Sabrina were stuck working together and with the exception of the scene in the alley when Sabrina barks at Kris and snatches her hand like she is a 12 year old, they get along fine.

Anna's Rating: 3 stars Huh, I don't seem to like this as much as everyone else. This is specifically what comes to mind when I think "filler episode." It's not bad, in fact it's my favorite Angel lineup, but it just doesn't want to stick in my mind - its contents tend to run together with some of the other mediocre late Season 2 scenes. All three Angels were given some really, really bad lines. Sometimes they make it work anyway, but this time it was just annoying. I wasn't a fan of all the flowing pastels and the sitar gag was extremely tiresome before they even got the first joke out. My primary thought is always how this episode need not have existed because of how unnecessary the whole package-throwing incident was. I'm also never quite sure what to make of Kelly's cheerful cooperation with Larry (as his "wife") while talking to the Daisy Dukes lady...?

Joshua's Rating: 4.5 Stars It’s a solid episode starting when a package is thrown into the back of a dump truck. Note this episode has actual hard detective work maybe not Columbo level, more along the lines of Jessica Fletcher. The only reason it doesn’t get a mark higher is because I can never remember what this episode is about until I press play.

Here’s what’s up in this episode and some of the moments that garner its four. Jackie sounds if she has a cold and it’s a Kelly-centric episode. Nevertheless, the trooper still pulls through; this is a testament to Smith’s acting. Check this out - the crooks think the girl playing the guitar is Sue. Common sense would tell those guys hey, she didn’t react to the name Sue. However in the Angelverse I guess bad guys have no common sense. This episode has the emotional factor as a country man deals with his city slicking singer of a wife. Frankly the writers refer to Sue as a city slicker but listening to her she’s just as country as her husband.

Holly's Rating: 4 stars Angels on the Run is the first episode of CA that I ever saw as a kid - guess there must be something amazing about this one, because I got hooked. Maybe it was the lowbrow farm folk in that broken down pickup that put that sparkle, sparkle in my eye . . .