I Will Be Remembered
We open on a dark and stormy night at the mansion of aging film star Gloria Gibson. A voice beckons “Gloria, Gloria” - Ms. Gibson looks out a window and sees what looks like a corpse hanging from a noose in a tree. Not one to waste time, Gloria immediately falls on the floor and calls Charlie.
The next day, all three Angels act like they are huge Gloria Gibson fans and realize that these apparitions also happen to be scenes right out of her old movies. Is Gloria crazy, or is someone trying to drive her there? Well, the plot would seem to indicate the latter, but the way Gloria acts when the Angels go to meet with her points to the former. The Angels tour Gloria's mansion and admire her art collection, including a Botticelli reproduction that her dead husband Nicky had done for her, painted by the art director at the movie studio. If you don't think all these revelations are going to become plot points later in the episode, well, you have probably never watched an Aaron Spelling show before.
So it seems Gloria is getting ready to do a remake of that seminal classic The Heart of New York, Gloria's most successful film (although only Jill remembers it) - but this time, Gloria is up for the role of the mother. After showing the Angels the tree in her garden where she saw the hanging man, Gloria asserts that she is not unbalanced (only egocentric, overly melodramatic, a slow talker and broke). In fact, Gloria is getting ready lose the house itself, which is why she has no furniture. Sabrina then tells Gloria she will be staying with her at the mansion (sleeping in the bathtub?) and upon learning Sabrina can't cook, the rusty hostess implies that Sabrina has to earn her room by paying for their food since she just finished telling everyone she was broke as hell.
Sabrina, being Sabrina, wastes no time changing into her powder blue martial arts night robe and begins snooping around. Alone upstairs, Gloria discovers a man drowned in her bathtub. Alerted by her screams, Sabrina comes rushing in to find a bathtub full of water - and only water. Gloria sobs “I saw it, God, please believe me I saw it!” and we are left wondering if the aging star is talking about the man in the bathtub or the signing of the Declaration of Independence. (Sorry.)
The next day a turtle necked Jill shows up at the movie studio and grills Lunchie Munchie, the studio's veteran sandwich maker, about Gloria Gibson. After much empty flirting and a rather gag-inducing "Who's On First" routine about the nature of his relationship with Gloria, Jill learns pretty much nothing beyond what kind of sandwich Gibson used to like. Not only that, her clumsily handled grilling was overheard by shady-acting Galbraith and Barkley, working on the set as art director and prop master.
Meanwhile, Kelly tries to get a job as an extra on Gloria's new movie through a series of awkward, almost-offensive interviews with casting agents and lawyers. While all of this is going on, co-dependent Gloria has borrowed one of Charlie's Rolls Royces and is chauffeured by Sabrina into a scene stolen verbatim from Sunset Boulevard. They rudely park in someone else's spot and are met by Gloria's attorney. Together the trio meets with the head of the studio and the film's hip, young director. Though the director doesn't want Gloria in the movie, she charms everyone in the room into giving her the role by explaining to them dramatically that there are no balconies in films (unless you're sitting in the balcony). Somehow this display of early Alzheimer's convinces the studio to hire her.
Five minutes later, Gloria is at the studio ready to go, with her over-attentive Man Friday escorting and fawning over her every step of the way. No sooner has Bri commented on how nice Gloria's trailer is, when someone locks the star inside and sets it on fire! Sabrina and the crew manage to rescue her before any real damage is done, and Kelly mentions to one of the shady guys who was observing her earlier that it was lucky he had a crowbar at the ready. Not one to be intimidated by a almost burned-alive client, Jill (once again in full view of shady bad guy Galbraith), investigates the scene of the fire.
Back at the mansion, Sabrina is busy trying to force-feed Gloria teaspoons of medicine like she is four, while the actress lies in bed reading about all the drama in the newspaper. Her lawyer Frank shows up to encourage her to drop out of the picture, and suggests she sell him her house for some dough, and buy it back later for the same price. Gloria is having none of that and says she will be on set when the shooting starts.
The two shady bad guys who are working on the movie have about had it with nosy Jill, especially when they can't confirm her cover story of being a small town writer, so they do what bad guys do to nosy Angels at the 30 minute mark - they try to crush her with a falling stage light. Not only does the attempt fail, the light's rope catches Barkley's foot and he ironically falls to his death.
Everyone again gathers in/on Gloria's bed to discuss the case. Kelly returns to the studio while Sabrina starts to put the whole thing together, spotting Barkley and Galbraith in an old news photograph snapped on Gloria's circa 1940's honeymoon. Gloria reveals that Barkley was the one who did the Botticelli reproduction in Italy, and Galbraith arranged to have it sent back to the United States.
Jill: "Can't be a beacon if your light don't shine!"
At the studio after-hours, Kelly overhears Frank conspiring with Galbraith. As she quietly phones Sabrina, Frank confronts her, leading to the most shameful botch of a gun-pulling ever - Frank simply slaps the gun out of her hand, and then she runs away like a girl. Kelly logically goes up, climbing into the rafters rather than look for a ground floor exit with Frank shooting at her, and Galbraith beaming a terrifying stage light at her. The other Angels arrive in the nick of time, with Jill leaping through the air and kicking Galbraith in the head while Sabrina rides a pulley up to the rafters and gets the drop on evil Frank.
Sabrina then explains to everyone that all this trouble is because the Botticelli reproduction is in fact, an original; Kelly tries to look smug, but still doesn't get it.
WHAT'D YOU THINK?
• Did Jill ever actually have lunch with Lunchie Munchie at the Parthenon? Their flirting was so overdone, we lost track of what was fluff and what was actual plans being made.
• Why do Sabrina, Jill and Gloria struggle and squint to identify the people in the picture, when the caption lists all of their names right there? (The same photo is terribly doctored again to serve the same purpose in Island Angels.)
• When Sabrina rushes in to check the bathtub, the water level is much lower even though the faucet has been running for the whole scene.
• Mr. Ross, Gloria's shady lawyer, councils his client before meeting the hostile director: “When we go in here, we operate from a place of strength, or they will walk all over us.” Wow, what pointless obvious advice to a showbiz veteran. Guess that's why he makes the big bucks.
• Is Sabrina hinting that she wants a different car? Even with Jill running ahead, she bailed out and left the Pinto still running, headlights on, in the parking lot rather than spending .004 seconds turning the ignition off.
• Unlikely Angel Skill Alert: Sabrina operates a pulley winch better than a Key Grip. (Okay, to be fair, if we told you that one Angel knows how to operate a winch, you'd instantly say Sabrina.)
• As the title tends to suggest, there is no Botticelli artwork in the "MICHELANGELO" book the girls are pretending to read at the office.
BAD GUYS BEAT DOWN
SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS
SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS
DAYS TO SOLVE CASE
Sabrina, not being covered enough by the turtleneck-suit-skirt-combo, adds a scarf OVER the turtleneck for some reason. How very Little Edie. Later she lounges around Gloria's mansion in a light blue silk pantsuit pajama ensemble; still later, she shimmies into an additional turtleneck with a different scarf over it!
Jill looks casual in her jeans and black leather jacket while later changing into one of the biggest, thickest turtlenecks ever worn by any Angel, then segues into a fetching plaid jacket jean combo to almost get killed in.
Kelly is exploited within an inch of her life wearing what looks like a waitress uniform with biker boots and no pants.
Wardrobe Repeat The Pro Arts Kate Jackson scarf poster comes to life, and Kelly introduces this red outfit that will be seen on many a background waitress for the rest of the series, including Pretty Angels All In A Row, Magic Fire, Little Angels of the Night, and Toni's Boys, often with an apron/diaper/doily added.
SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS
Nearly one third devoid of Angels, this episode sneaks just past the average amount of empty time and it feels like it. Bosley's 3 little minutes here are his low score of the season, while Sabrina gets one of her highest of any regular-length episode with nearly half an hour on screen.
- HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 71%
Slow, slow start, folks. A bunch of fake Gloria scares, and a bad guy tries to burn Gloria alive and crush Jill with a klieg light. The takedown at the end was clever and fun, involving Jill's foot to one guy's face and Sabrina riding a winch up to a studio catwalk instead of climbing the ladder that is right there.
Like any time this show features some kind of paranormal or otherwise inexplicable activity, it's explained away in a single unhelpful line during the office wrap-up - all the tableaus Gloria saw were done with "movie magic", Charlie explains. Okay, then:
1. "Movie magic" got a man into, and out of Gloria's very full bathtub in her upstairs bathroom without getting a drop of water anywhere? Or if we were supposed to understand this was merely an illusion of a dead man ... how did they get that into the bathroom, either?
2. Gloria also claimed to have seen a child's severed hand - merely mentioning this was a cop-out in of itself. Was it too much trouble for the Art Director (the director of art) to paper-mâché a hand? (As long as we're ripping off Sunset Boulevard, why not throw in a little Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte action too.) Instead we saw a man "hanging" at a great distance, for a lightning-flash length of time. Snore. We want to see some severed limbs. Goodness knows this episode had time for it.
3. That fire and smoke in Gloria's trailer seemed so realistic! Ok, by the fact that the bad guy happened to be ready with a crowbar to save the day, we can assume that wasn't actually meant to kill Gloria. But still, isn't jamming her door shut and starting a real fire kind of a stretch to put under the category of "movie magic"?
Every now and then the writers make one Angel ask a series of annoyingly stupid or obvious questions to move the plot along. We call them Exposition Angels. This episode's Exposition Angel (like last episode) is Kelly, who doesn't know what an Art Director does on a movie set, to which Gloria Gibson responds, “It's the director of the art.” Really, Kelly?
Greg's Rating: Ms. Gibson talks slow as hell. Can you imagine the dinner conversation between Bri and Gloria? “Sabrina.......would you.....please.....pass........the.....................salt?" Ugg. I'm sorry, but Ida Lupino's speech is not the only slow part of this episode. In the first 30 minutes nothing at all happens except some not-so-scary scenes set up to drive Gloria Gibson crazy. Well, since Gloria Gibson already seems a bit mad it gets tedious and pointless real quick. Jill asks a few questions, Kelly auditions as an actress, Sabrina lurks around Gloria's mansion....yawn. No offense to Ida Lupino, but every time she is on screen she slows the plot down, not just her slow line reading but even her acting and reactions are ... odd. With so much attention on Gloria and Sabrina acting as her groupie that leaves Jill and Kelly to wander around and ask a bunch of obvious questions. I miss Mrs. Rodeheaver.
Anna's Rating: It's one of the original trio's duller episodes, but if you watch a Season 4 or 5 one right before this, you'll be reminded that Season-1-dull is still pretty good in the big picture. Ida Lupino was not the most dynamic guest star but you gotta appreciate these real movie stars where you can get 'em. And so does Sabrina - look at her, all heart-eyes-emoji for Ida Lupino. Why is she always the one to shack up with elder female clients? I did enjoy their scenes together. As usual, Kelly and Jill didn't really get in on Sabrina's geriatric kick, but did both have some amazing close ups, and isn't that kinda why we're all here. The whole plot could have been made entertainingly self-aware if someone mentioned Sunset Boulevard; instead, it came off as badly plagiarized (not that I expect much better).
Holly's Rating: Despite the slow-talking, this is a good one. Ida Lupino was a hugely popular star in her day, and it's always nice when real Hollywood sprinkles some of its stardust on the Angels. What a KJ kiss-up sentence that was. But I mean it. Unfortunately, because the writers flaked out with the whole "movie magic" explanation, a great deal of the plot that could have been interesting, Columbo style, was wiped away. Wouldn't it have been more intriguing to learn how that guy got in/out of the bathtub rather than enduring Gloria's entire meeting with the movie director?
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