Angels on the Street


SUMMARY

Mr. Harkins comes to the Angels for help when his daughter is beaten for the second time by the same man. Charlie suggests that the girls adopt a cover to infiltrate the family's music conservatory in seedy downtown LA. Kelly and Tiffany enroll as dance students, and Kris... just sort of stands around with no particular cover.

Judy enters the studio sporting bruises; all three Angels crowd around her and very insensitively place bets amongst themselves as to how she got them. This fails to get Judy to explain.

Next, Tiff and Kelly stop at the corner hamburger joint (evidently a hangout for the local hookers and sailors on leave) to scavenge for information about Judy's attack. Their conversation is interrupted by Rose, a brassy young prostitute garbed in fishnets and a Little Orphan Annie wig, who tells the girls to chill on the questions about Judy but suggests they talk to Freddie, the local pimp if they plan on "working the street".

Later, Kris observes Freddie accosting Rose as lesser prostitutes look on. She and a pistol-packing Bosley confront them and strong-arm the aggressors into driving away, though Rose is not grateful for their butting in. She advises them to get lost fast, because they're as good as dead. Bosley notes to Kris that their client's check has bounced, but they agree they want to keep working the case anyway.

Back at the office, it is decided that Tiffany and Kelly should indeed go undercover as hookers. When they sashay back into the hood costumed as flamingly cliched 80s tarts, Rose takes them to Freddie's place to learn the ropes among the harem.

Freddie has his well-trained/terrified harem recite his rules, but the Angels coolly insist they operate by their own. "We're very good at what we do," Kelly claims, and Freddie opens a door to his room to "see how good they are". Kelly gets them out of it by telling him he couldn't afford their $1,000 price. Instead of just beating them immediately like he absolutely would, Freddie tells them to go earn that money or else. Nancy Fox advises them to be afraid of the violent pimp; Kelly declines.

Kelly: "We don't spill our guts for the first dummy who snaps his fingers."

In a gas station bathroom, Rose removes her hooker accessories and transforms into none other than Judy Harkins (!!!). Freddie spots her strolling down the street as Judy and chases her, but she gets away. Kris then observes Judy giving her dad an unexplained wad of cash.

Kris and Bosley meet Tiff and Kelly (in full regalia) at the hamburger joint to publicly discuss their progress on the case within earshot of the owner and several fellow diners, finishing off the display by having Bosley very visibly hand them a thousand dollars in cash.

When the nosy waitress snitches to Freddie that the girls look like undercover cops, he orders Rose and Nancy Fox to take them to a booze and pill party and put something in their drink to fry their brains. The girls, along with Rose and the other hookers we've met, are welcomed to the party which is already swinging with two or three other guests, pinball machines, pulsing colored lights, and muted disco muzak. Rose soon bails. Kelly "I-want-to-be-your-friend"s Nancy Fox, who seems touched but spikes her drink anyway.

Kris and Bosley become alarmed when they spot Rose coming back in a taxi, sans Tiff and Kelly. They follow her to that gas station where she disappears and emerges later as Judy. When they confront the girl, she either feigns ignorance or actually doesn't remember that she's living a double-life. (This is unclear.)

Judy leads Kris and Bosley back to the party, where Nancy Fox has had a change of heart and knocked Kelly's drink out of her hand. Freddie shows up and shoots at the Angels; at the sight of him, Judy goes crazy and Kris has to chase her in circles through the middle of the shootout. As Freddie tries to flee the scene, Tiff shoots out his tire and makes his car crash, forcing him to surrender.

Kris consoles a now-calm-and-cuddly Judy and convinces her to go somewhere where she can get help, while Bosley stands in the center of a public square with his arms around his favorite ho's.

BACKGROUND CHECK

Angels On the Street Episode #75 Season 4, Episode 7 Airdate: Nov 7, 1979 Writer: Ed LaksoLaurie Lakso Director: Don Chaffey

WHAT'D YOU THINK?

Rate this episode:

CURIOSITIES

• When Mr. Harkins asks if the Angels are musicians, Kelly answers that she's a dancer and also very proudly volunteers that Kris is a singer (is it because Jaclyn Smith thinks it's funny considering Cheryl Ladd really is a singer, or is Kelly just absolutely cherishing Kris' musical talents?). Also, why can't she answer for Tiffany too, instead of leaving her out in the cold to point out for herself that she plays the violin?

• Is it a rule that hookers always have to tell the Angels they'd do well as hookers? Would your average hooker really want one more hooker working their same turf - wouldn't that be unwelcome competition?

• Tiffany reacts with unbelievable immaturity to Rose's suggestion that she could "go into business," openly making a face, poking Kelly's arm, practically snickering behind her hand... Kelly responds with a very proper and uppity "I don't believe so!" Could they possibly do more to pre-sabotage the hard-boiled hooker personas they're about to adopt in the next scene?

• Why does the entire team have to gather at that same diner where they know the waitress is nosy? Isn't there anywhere else in the neighborhood to meet? It would've at least made sense if Bosley pretended to be a john the way he does in other prostitution episodes.

• It seems that if you want to hire Tiffany and Kelly for the night, it'll set you back $1,000. Good to know. Bosley seems very surprised at this, expecting them to make do with three or four hundred. Is there a standard price? And how did Bosley just happen to be carrying that much cash...?

• The dialogue between Bosley and the Angels about Kelly and Tiffany hooking it "as a team" is similar to an amusing scene in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle where Alex is explaining "working as a team" to her bewildered father.

• For being annoyed at Kris all episode long, Judy sure is touchy-feely with her at the end. They share a hug more intimate-looking than the ones between any Angels, and Kris literally pats her butt as they stroll away arm-in-arm.

TIRES SHOT

CHARACTER DEATHS

SHOTS FIRED AT KELLY

SHOTS FIRED BY TIFFANY

DAYS TO SOLVE CASE (?)

FUNDS HOOKED

%

TIFFANY'S SHOOTING ACCURACY

ACTION

Tiffany gets to shoot out a tire and Bosley topples over a henchman with his car door. Not a bad takedown, but a little disappointing considering Freddie was one of the ickier guys they dealt with and it would've been more satisfying to see him get shot.

FASHION

Kelly and Tiffany hit the streets in a retina-scorching assortment of hot pinks and tacky floral prints.

Wardrobe Repeats We pray that this red feather dress isn't the same one Sabrina wore in Angels in Chains. Kris likes this plaid shirt enough to wear it again in Angels on Skates and One Love... Two Angels.

Shelley Hack Street

Shelley Hack Skates

Shelley Hack One Love

 

Shelley Hack Street

Shelley Hack Chains

WHY THE HATE, KELLY?

Tiffany played her violin at Kim Cattral's wedding a few episodes ago in Angels at the Altar, and Kelly joked to Bosley that she sucked at it. No matter how bad she might've been, Kelly knows perfectly well she plays the violin, and it was rude of her to omit Tiff from her list of all the Angels' musical talents. Tiffany is left to volunteer that she is a violinist, and the burn continues when Kelly immediately invalidates her statement with, "Well, we'll think of something!" (Tiff rolls her eyes, deservedly.) The burn continues to continue when, in the next scene, Kelly is teaching Tiffany to dance instead at the conservatory! Even though she and the client are violinists! Why did the writers completely gloss over this opportunity? Why is Kelly so mean to Tiffany?

SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS

Surprising that Kris only has a couple fewer minutes of screen time than Tiff and Kelly do, despite the fact that it's a spotlight on them and Kris never really does anything.

  • KELLY
  • KRIS
  • TIFFANY
  • BOSLEY
  • HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 70%

MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES

It's never made completely clear what impression we're supposed to get of Judy's mental status. For the most part, it's sold as  a dissociative identity disorder, where neither Judy or Rose is aware of the other. It's unclear whether information learned by one persona is retained by the other - like, does Rose recognize Kelly and Tiffany in the diner after meeting them as Judy, or not? Judy seems to know how she got her bruises (since she was beaten as Judy), but when Freddy says he needs to "have a talk" with Rose, she seems to know he intends to beat her again. She seems to know to lie about her absence, and to keep returning to that bathroom, and is able to show Kris and Bosley where the party is going down at the end.

SENSITIVITY TRAINING

How on Earth did the Angels think that walking right up to Judy and betting amongst themselves about how she got her bruises would be a good idea? Even if they didn't already know, this would be a horribly insensitive thing to do. Also, why did all three of them have to blow their chance at a first impression at once and let Judy know they're all together? Normally they go undercover separately, or at least as a pair and a single, in order to approach the person with multiple strategies.

I WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND

Kelly befriends another frightened prostitute by the old routine a la Kim Basinger in Angels in Chains. Although it seems as simple as saying "I want to be your friend," this episode seems to prove that Kelly has a special skill for it - when Kris attempts the same technique with Judy, she fails miserably in the execution, until Judy literally yells at her to get off her back. Kelly's in the trenches with Nancy Fox, offering her actual guidance and help and example, whereas Kris doesn't wait to be promoted from "random stranger" to "acquaintance" before asking Judy personal, intrusive and repetitive questions, not to mention confronting her and unraveling her entire psyche at the end.

A few episodes later in Catch A Falling Angel, Kris will continue her pattern of unsuccessfully befriending a sex worker who becomes suddenly docile and accepting of her help at the end.

REPEAT OFFENDERS

Nancy Fox: Childhood friend of Jaclyn Smith's also plays Amy Jarvis in Angels in the Backfield, the maid in One Love... Two Angels and a dancer in Chorus Line Angels.

Don Chaffey also directed Mother Angel, Terror on Skis, Angels on Skates, Angels on Campus, Harrigan's Angel, Nips and Tucks, Island Angels, He Married an Angel, and Mr. Galaxy.

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

Anna's Rating:   Again, there are moments to laugh AT, but that shouldn't be the entire selling point. It's just another vessel for Kelly to befriend the same Nancy Fox character again. It's like they wrote a whole episode based around Tiff and Kelly's hooker outfits, and then threw Kris in as an afterthought. She basically just watches out different windows for the whole hour. Being unsure whether Judy's alter-ego is a result of premeditated deception or a true personality disorder sort of impairs my ability to regard this as one of those serious "issue" episodes. I always sorta get the idea that she's faking it at the end for the benefit of Kris' gentle treatment, because she actually seems to know perfectly well what she's been doing once forced to admit it.

Greg's Rating:   Hey, this is more like it. Despite Tiffany's less than credible hooker stroll, the story of Judy and her clueless father dealing with pimps and hookers is both entertaining, cheesy, and strangely touching. Plus I dig the "If I Could See" song.

Holly's Rating: 4 stars  Worth watching just to be amazed by Tiffany and Kelly's takes on being high-priced streetwalkers. This is another one of those episodes that are a lot like Bonanza, in that a troubled guest-star is helped by the team and then bustled off onto the stagecoach . . . er, bus, and sent "back home."

Greg, you like that song??

Joshua's Rating: 4 stars You cannot put a price on a father’s love and when Mr. Harkins’ daughter, Judy, is beaten for the second time he hires the Angels. So Kelly and Tiff go undercover to find out the who and the why. The Angels are again put into an un-Angelic situation. Although having the Angels in such a situation does not help the episode receive a full five stars. Regardless of how many times I see this episode I am confused to whether Judy is aware she and Rose are the same person. Still a great episode and a highlight of the fourth season and it receives four stars from me.