Hours of Desperation


SUMMARY

When a frenzied schizo and his associate bust into a high-tech safe and get away with a small sack full of diamonds, the plans go awry when the associate turns on the master thief - taking off running with the goods - and getting shot in the back for his trouble.

The Angels unprofessionally enter the office, trying to act as if they have a genuine social life with each other outside of work, pretending to be caught discussing Kelly's latest "date". They're startled to see Bosley already involved in a discussion with two men, one of whom introduces himself to the girls by pulling a gun on them. Deranged Dinsmore then straps the nearest Angel - Sabrina - into his homemade "Boom Boom Belt" loaded with plastic charges and remote controlled detonator he calls a "weenie".

He explains his situation to the Angels, and charges them with the task of recovering the stolen diamonds AND runaway Murdock, his accomplice. If they fail? Sabrina and Bosley go kablooey. What's more - he's put a timer on the TNT - just three hours to go. Unfortunately for Sabrina, it is Kelly and Kris who have to go out and do the dirty work without their chief to guide them. So off they go, taking Bosley's car for some reason and thankfully Charlie hangs on the line with them for guidance.

First stop - the hospital. Kris creatively pretends to be the shot thief's sister, and upon entering his room, the Angels and a doctor discover that the bleeding Murdock has flown the coop. The doctor calls the police, and assures the Angels that his patient is injured to such a degree that he's a walking dead man.

Tensions are rising as time is running out at the Agency - Sabrina pulls a no-no when under the guise of asking Dinsmore to fix her a drink, tries to grab his weenie, which only serves to provoke him into a demented rage. Turns out that Charlie sent him to prison years ago and this is now his method of extracting revenge AND his stolen gems.

As time continues to tick away, Kelly infiltrates a unisex gymnasium and adopts the cover of a Southern gal whose impregnated sister is looking for Murdock to shotgun him into marrying her; she cons Bad Guy #3 into inadvertently leading her to Murdock by grilling him in the men's only sauna as the two of them sit encased in what appear to be orange Pinto Pods.

Elsewhere, Kris has trailed Bad Guy #2 into a western bar, where's she's somehow managed to pick up a cute suede fringe vest and boots to go along with her Texan accent. After sidling up to #2, she sells him a sob story about being a country singer who's had dealings with Murdock and needs to get in touch with him ASAP.

Smart enough to doubt the girls' covers, Bad Guy #2 phones the ailing Murdock to warn him; they put two and two together and realize the Angels are trying to find out where he is, so they decide to put the them off the trail - permanently.

Kris is driven out to a remote location where she realizes she's been had - but luckily Kelly's got her back, she's armed and hiding in the bushes. Alas, she fumbles the situation and merely causes both Kris and herself to get captured. Kris skillfully pulls the old tree branch in the face trick and she and Kelly turn the tables on their captors.

At gunpoint, the men drive the Angels to Murdock's hiding spot, and once inside the lodge where he's holed up, they discover him dead in bed, still wrapped in his hospital bandages. Disappointed to find neither the stolen diamonds nor a living lead suspect, Kelly reasons that another party must have stolen the gems to sell for quick cash, so they set out after the mystery fence, but first make the two bad guys strip down to their birthday suits and lock them together in the bathroom.

Bright Person Kelly also conjures up a rather cunning plan to make Dinsmore think that Kris has thrown in with the bad guys, stolen the gems, and fled the country with Murdock. She convincingly relates this story to Bri and Bos via speakerphone at the office and tells them Kris has disappeared. Moments later, Charlie gets in on the ruse, phoning the office with a secretly coded message to give Bri and Bos clues as to where Kelly and Kris have set up an ambush for the bad guys.

Sabrina: "Maybe this was the mission impossible."

Dinsmore's drinking and becoming increasingly unstable, even turning on his partner, and at hearing this news about Kris, flies off the handle. Quick-thinking Bri placates him by suggesting that they all attempt to catch Kris before she gets on a plane - and claiming to know a shortcut to the airport, she successfully navigates the hostage group into the trap the other Angels have set based on the phone-in clues Charlie provided.

When the hostage car pulls over for a seemingly stranded vehicle, the fella working underneath the car turns out to be Kelly in a mechanic's outfit - Bri wisely spies a small body of water nearby, hits Dinsmore over the head and makes a run for it, diving into the pond - and safely out of his weenie's transmission range.

Safely back at the office, Sabrina's dripping ensemble is roasting over the fireplace as the other girls are caring for her - she's developed a nasty cold and is wrapped in a blanket coughing and sneezing uncontrollably.

BACKGROUND CHECK

Hours of Desperation Episode #37 Season 2, Episode 15 Airdate: Jan 11, 1978 Writer: Ray Brenner Director: Cliff Bole Guest stars: Stanley Kamel

FILMING LOCATIONS

The Townsend Agency Office

WHAT'D YOU THINK?

Rate this episode:

CURIOSITIES

• Why did Sabrina supply Jacques Cousteau as the name of a French dress designer? It's fairly clear she knew that was inaccurate and just wanted to fool Dinsmore, but to what end?

• Why do Kris and Kelly leave the office together (in Bosley's car) instead of taking their own cars and splitting up, considering their serious time limit?

• When Murdock calls the other guy from the hospital, they sure didn't try very hard to disguise the fact that he was just standing in a corner of the Angels' office set. They showed us the curtains and everything.

• Kelly has her purse attached to her wrist while holding a gun in a fashion that her Police Academy instructors would surely frown upon.

• Kelly takes the knob off the door to lock the naked guys in the bathroom... but wouldn't that make the door unable to latch at all, rather than lock permanently?

• After having kept Sabrina and Bosley under their thumbs all day long, the bad guys then allow their captives to linger in the office chatting unsupervised before leaving to pursue Kris. That was nice of them.

• Why in the world would they haul the sneezing, bundled-up Sabrina back to the office and dry her clothes over a fire like they're lost in the woods? Doesn't she have a dryer or a bed at home?

• Kris is right, the saying is "feed a cold and starve a fever" although you're not really supposed to do either one.

• Though the girls are visibly afraid of getting sick from Bri, they insist on draping themselves around her disease ridden blanket. Again, go home!

• Spelling/Goldberg did a great job of slapping the Angels' names into the Rookies script where exactly the same thing happens.

BAD GUYS BEAT DOWN

BIMBOS

SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS

SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS

DAYS TO SOLVE CASE

ANGELS EXPLODED

TURTLENECKS

CHARACTER DEATHS

FASHION

Sabrina is stuck in Boom Boom Belt fashion hell the entire episode so it's not her fault - one can't really see her sporty-blue-plaid-denim-lightweight-jacket combo in the mind's eye without the addition of that bulky black belt. It must be noted, however, that for once in her life Sabrina seems concerned about fashion, arguing with her captor that the Boom Boom Belt doesn't coordinate with her outfit.

Kelly wears a lavender turtleneck the entire episode and Kris goes from a misshapen candy cane top to a western hoochie mamma number when going undercover. Unfortunately in her elation at saving Bri's life, she hugs her drenched leader, thus ruining her suede vest.

Bosley looks positively handsome in the wrap-up scene!

SAY IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT

“We're really going to go for it this time,” Kris tells Bri before departing with Kelly to try to retrieve the diamonds. Does this mean all the other times Kris was only half going for it when rescuing her teammates? You can tell by Sabrina's reaction that she doesn't really trust them with her life.

SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS

Seems like Sabrina would be the main Angel here, plotwise, but she actually gets quite a bit less time than the others.

  • KELLY
  • KRIS
  • SABRINA
  • BOSLEY
  • HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 79%

ACTION

We get the bad guys' ill-fated diamond theft at the beginning of the episode, then Kelly and Kris get the drop on the bad guys who get the drop on them who get the drop back on the bad guys thanks to the old whiplash tree-branch-to-the-side-of-the-head trick Kris employs. Good thing Kelly ducked. Sabrina smashes Dinsmore's head into the dashboard before escaping the car and jumping into a lake.

SECURITY!

Where is Kim Basinger? The Angels really need to hire security for the front lobby. Seeing as they have put away a considerable number of bad guys and probably made a lot of enemies, one would think they might be more careful. Security at the hospital is not much better, as Kris is allowed to visit strangers without showing ID.

REPEAT OFFENDERS

Edward Power: Murdock also played Jim in The Mexican Connection.

Cliff Bole also directed Dancing in the Dark, Winning is for Losers, Pom Pom Angels, The Prince and the Angel, Of Ghosts and Angels, and Let Our Angel Live.

Ray Brenner also wrote Winning is for Losers.

OUR TAKE

Greg's Rating: 4 Stars A personal favorite from Season 2. Awesome twitchy bad guy, Kelly and Kris work so well together and Bri and Bosley seemed suitably menaced throughout.

Brolly's Rating: 4 Stars It has suspense, a boom-boom belt and Stanley Kamel, an awesomely crazy bad guy.

Anna's Rating: 4 Stars  The Rookies version was honestly executed a bit better, but I prefer the Angels because the girls will pretty much always do the same thing more entertainingly than the boys. Maybe if Mike, Terry and Willie went undercover more often in cute little outfits and southern accents... I digress. Anyway, it actually is entertaining, with only a couple painful spell-it-out-for-the-audience moments. ("D'ya think Bosley will know I don't drive a station wagon?" That noise you hear is my eyes rolling.) From the way he kept threatening to press the death-button on a crazy whim, I couldn't help but wonder whether Dinsmore was planning to step a few feet back before exploding Sabrina.