Let Our Angel Live
Parked on a quiet, peaceful residential street on a routine stakeout, a weary Kelly is relieved by Bosley, who pulls up behind the Mustang. The two chat on their walkie talkies between cars and explain to us that they're waiting for Joe Danworth, a thief who stole $200,000 in cash from their client's office, and who's evidently rented the apartment they're watching.
Bored and exhausted, Kelly has been on watch for hours and is ready to go home - but just as she's about to leave, a shiny new Lincoln pulls up in the apartment's driveway and she spots her mark.
Kelly gets out of the car and approaches Danworth, calling to him repeatedly as the thief nervously glances at a crumpled jacket sitting on the seat of his still-open car.
Standing within arm's length of him, Kelly, backed up by Bosley, confronts Danworth, who has covertly retrieved a gun from beneath the crumpled jacket, just as Kelly pulls her revolver from her purse. She announces that she and Bos are private investigators hired to bring him to justice for the robbery, when he suddenly pulls his weapon and fires point blank at Kelly's face. In dramatic slow-motion, she screams and drops to the lawn, while a shocked and vicious Bosley rushes the shooter, Sparta-kicks and slams him into the open car door. Distraught, Bos rushes to Kelly's collapsed body, cradling her in his arms, blood oozing out from between his fingers.
Kris and Julie come careening into the scene just as an ambulance arrives to whisk Kelly to the emergency room. When the EMTs want to load the shooter into Kelly's ambulance to save an extra trip, staunchly protective Bosley shuts it down and orders that the scum bag travel solo. Kris climbs aboard and rides with her unconscious friend to the hospital as Bos and Julie follow in the Pinto.
On a hospital phone, Bosley explains Kelly's ambiguous head injuries to Charlie, who arranges for an excellent surgeon he knows to be rushed to the fallen Angel's side.
Distressed, Bos joins the girls already fretting in the waiting room - Julie looking annoyed and Kris visibly upset. Settled with a cup of coffee, Bosley, Kris and Julie begin to pass the time by weeping and reminiscing weak segways into clips from the most boring past episodes. Julie listens like an attentive child as Kris provides the full details of a humorous memory that involved Bosley and Jill - not her. (Terror on Ward One)
The surgeon on call, Dr. Jackson explains that the nature of Kelly's head wound requires that they have special neurosurgery equipment in the operating room during her procedure. When the girls plead for any shred of hope, the doctor remains fairly mute, but guesses that Kelly's got a 50/50 chance of survival.
Bosley becomes the girls' rock as they (especially Kris) start getting ticked off that Charlie's not with them in this hour of crisis. Kris starts to break down, doubting not only Charlie, but the nature of the Townsend Agency itself. Julie launches into an I-know-how-you-feel sob story about when her friend Harry died and the first time she met Kelly. (Angel in Hiding) She proceeds to proclaim that she couldn't go through another death. (Psst, Kelly isn't dead yet.)
Bosley: "Sooner or later, one way or another, we all have to cash it in. That doesn't make what we've been or what we've done meaningless."
No, but this episode makes it seem so.
Bos gives the tearful Angels a pep talk about teamwork and Kris cries as she squeezes Bosley's hand - she's seriously scared, and so is Bos. He says he wants them to decide that every damn minute of "it" (meaning Charlie's Angels) has been worth it - no matter what happens. The girls agree that he's right, calling him their fearless leader.
Kris sniffs that they were really in on some super important cases, to which Julie sexually coos, "Oh Kris, telllll me about those goooood cases." Yeah, we'd all like to hear about what they were, too. She launches into a tale which begins with, "This one time we were in Vail, Colorado…" and from there you fast forward the next several minutes until footage from Terror on Skis has passed.
When you've recovered from reliving this episode, the hospital's elevator doors open and a bruised and belligerent Joe Danworth is revealed, accompanied by a police officer. At the sight of him, an enraged Bosley flies up and snarls at the man, the girls having to physically restrain him as he screams "I'll kill you!" at Danworth. Ashamed of his very un-Bosley like behavior, he breaks down crying and begins to lose his grip.
Comatose (literally, this time) Kelly in her gloomy room seems to be breathing normally, swallowing and twitching her eyes as the two master surgeons look on gravely from the shadows. Kris attempts to phone Charlie for comfort but is unable to reach him, so she frustratedly joins the other two who are now exhaustedly sprawling in the waiting room. Kris fires off a speech about how she never figured Kelly for a hit, and then claims that Kelly was always the concerned and caring one. (Cue clips from Angel's Child to illustrate this point.) Then Bosley goes into the story of when Kelly was hooked on heroin (Avenging Angel). Julie seems intrigued.
Dr. Jackson solemnly appears in scrubs and remains silent for several seconds until finally delivering his status update: "We've done all we could. We wait now. And if you are inclined to prayer, you might try that, too."
Now sporting a fully bandaged head, when we peek in on Kelly she seems to be resting peacefully in post-op. Outside her room, Bosley is sleeping slumped in a chair and Kris is dozing on the couch; a restless Julie stalks the waiting room in 5" inch heels and makes small talk with an aggravating night nurse who has to explain what ICU is. Suddenly a red alert button labeled "2" starts flashing and a doorbell goes off repeatedly. The nurse takes a phone call demanding Dr. Jackson at once, then wastes time arguing with Julie and not doing anything. Startled awake, Kris starts freaking out at the sound of the incessant bell and Bosley takes the girls for a walk around the halls to calm their (Kris') nerves.
That night, the three pray in the hospital's chapel, and after a time, the team of doctors sullenly appear in the backlit doorway and mutter: "Miss Munroe, Miss Rogers…Miss Garrett is asking to see you." The doctor explains he thought Kelly was dead but then she suddenly made it through okay for some reason having to do with hemoglobins or something and now will just have a few days' discomfort despite having taken a bullet to the brain (just like last time). Bosley twinkles at a suspiciously masked surgeon standing in back of the other two men and we (but not the Angels) wonder if this could be Charlie himself.
Kelly's eyes slowly open and she sees Bosley and the two Angels hovering at her bedside. The final moments of the series are wasted on an idiotic "Did you finally see Charlie?" discussion instead of anyone saying hello or asking how Kelly is feeling after going through brain surgery.
Bosley announces that Charlie, dressed in scrubs, was in the operating room the whole time. In fact he's still standing there, lit dramatically in plain view five feet away, but only we and Bosley see him, winking at his still-mysterious boss, and that's the end forever. What??
• When shot, Kelly once again has time to grab her head and scream before passing out. They play the same recorded scream twice.
• Kris mistakenly considers Terror on Skis a 'great case'.
• Are orderlies wheeling a dead guy out of the chapel when the Angels go inside to pray?
• Kelly's doctor looks like a disheveled drunk lurking in her shadowy ICU room.
• A mute nurse asks Bosley if he's ok, and when he says very gravely that he's not, she just resumes staring at her papers.
• Bosley acts like Kris and maybe Julie were in Terror on Ward One.
• Julie claims to have been with the Agency a year, although the final season lasted only seven months (or four, if you don't count the writers' strike).
• When introducing the Angel's Child flashback, Kris says that Kelly "was" always caring, as if she is already dead.
• Dr. Jackson makes a huge point of saying they have to get this special neurosurgery equipment for Kelly's brain operation. You think??
• Nice how this hospital is dark, quiet and totally empty except for the Angels, the surgeon, and one unhelpful nurse on duty at a time. Is Kelly the only patient in the building?
• For all the religious puns/covers stemming from the "Angel" gimmick over the years, with just a minute left on the series' clock, Kris becomes the only Angel ever to voice an earnest prayer (although Bosley's lips are moving like he may also be praying silently).
• A single floodlight at waist level seems to be an impractical means of lighting for Kelly's intensive care room, but whatever.
• Regarding the lady vacuuming the hallway: why does the hospital have carpeted hallways? Why is she endlessly vacuuming that one spot? Does she know her vacuum cleaner isn't turned on?
BAD GUYS BEAT DOWN
SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS
SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS
DAYS TO SOLVE CASE
Besides mysteriously sharing Bosley's flashback to Terror on Ward One, Kris is able to recall scenes from past cases in which only Kelly appeared. Unless Jill and Kelly are in the habit of giving her incredibly detailed descriptions of everything that happens in her absence, this seems a little weird.
CHARLIE IS A JERK
He always has been, but this is really the worst ever. Kris spends all her non-weeping moments complaining about Charlie not being there for them, and she's right. But then they're all magically placated to learn that he was in the operating room with Kelly. So what? He's not a surgeon, he did nobody any good by being there, nobody really had any proof he was actually there, and they never did see him. Why are they all overcome with emotion as if he's finally shown himself?
"Well... that's Charlie."
Seriously? That's the last line Kelly Garrett ever says on the show? Well, that's Charlie for you - a self-important, pompous chauvinist who has evidently brainwashed Kelly to such a degree that she plays along with his eccentric fantasy about his own consequence even while hovering near the mouth of death.
- Terror on Ward One (chronologically inappropriate)
- Angel in Hiding (emotionally inappropriate)
- Terror on Skis (boring)
- Angel's Child (boring)
- Avenging Angel (boring)
We understand the need to show a hospital episode, but really, we're not gonna mention that other time Kelly got shot in the head? Or maybe her other, other head injury she got hospitalized for in One Love...Two Angels? They chose the only hospital episode that had nothing to do with anything.
SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS
One good thing (maybe the only good thing) about this episode is that the Angels are in practically every scene; in that regard, it's the 6th fullest episode of the series.
20 minutes of this episode were spent on footage of past episodes, but it feels like a lot more due to the pointlessness of the connecting scenes. Despite the episode being about Kelly, Bosley actually gets the most time (this is one of only 6 episodes where that happens).
- HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 94%
- NEW CONTENT VS. RECYCLED FOOTAGE 58%
Bosley gets his best action moment ever when he kicks Kelly's shooter (in over-acted slow motion!) and then slams him in the car door.
Kelly's mostly only visible from the neck up in this episode, with her head wrapped in gauze (which she actually pulls off pretty well). Kris spends the episode in a gray blazer and jeans, while Julie's in a big turquoise jumpsuit and heels. Nothing stellar, but this was a "come as your are" type occasion.
SAD FOR UNRELATED REASONS
Kris points out that Julie can't understand how she and Bosley feel, since she's only known Kelly for a few months. Julie really has nothing poignant to remember about Kelly, so to defend her point, she reminds them that she was sad when her friend Harry died. Is this really the best time to relive your own, unrelated drama?
OUR ANGEL LIVED
Jaclyn Smith's five year contract was up, and her character apparently was going to be killed off. But when the show was cancelled instead of renewed, it was decided that Kelly should remain alive for the sake of syndication. Had there been a sixth season of Charlie's Angels, Kelly would have died. (Perhaps Kris' line talking about Kelly in the past tense is a remnant from this version?)
Fans who enjoy cruel headcanons may theorize that Kelly was able to vanish so smoothly at the end of her Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle cameo because she was merely a ghost, ultimately not having survived Let Our Angel Live. (Or in all possibility, having gotten shot a few more times in the 80's/90's. She's prone to that.) In canon, however, we're left with the confirmation that although she almost died, Kelly will be "good as new after a few days' discomfort". And in the Angelverse, that's a legit prognosis - she's done it before.
Gary Wood: Joe, the guy that shot Kelly was also the peanut-popping bad guy Paul from Angels on a String, Kelly's limping criminal love interest Joe in Angels in the Backfield, and porn mogul Joe from Catch a Falling Angel.
Michael Witney: The cop was also the guy who hit Kris with his car in Angel On My Mind, and one of the bad guys from Angel's Child.
George Ball: Kelly's doctor also played Bill in He Married an Angel.
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 Attack Angels.
Kim Manners also directed Angels Remembered, Catch a Falling Angel, Angels of the Deep, Hula Angels, Moonshinin' Angels, Angel on the Line, and Attack Angels.
Anna's Rating: This honestly damaged my perception of the series; I try to mentally Men In Black flash myself into forgetting it because it lowers my opinion of Charlie's Angels overall. If they were going to handle it this badly, their final episode should've just been a normal case that doesn't acknowledge any ending. Charlie finishing out the episode without showing himself officially rendered his whole mystery gimmick pointless, not to mention disrespectful.
Kelly's first shooting gave the others a purpose; Sabrina and Jill got to go out and exact righteous vengeance, solving the case and bringing the bad guy to justice for their wounded comrade. Bosley, Kris and Julie don't get that - the bad guy goes straight into police custody, freeing up time for them to do literally nothing but cry/nap around the waiting room like Kelly's unemployed relatives. This had to be the one time Charlie's Angels got realistic - this is how a real family might react when one is gravely injured. You set up camp in the waiting room and you tell stories and you nap and you get bad coffee from a machine in the hallway. As far as Bosley, Kris, and Julie (sigh) are Kelly's family, I do appreciate that on one level. But as our last glimpse at yesteryear's team of quasi-superheroes, it's boring and depressing.
Who let Ed Lakso write the series finale? They shouldn't have had a finale if they were going to handle it this badly. Not only was it stupid to rehash To Kill An Angel (badly), the script didn't take advantage of any of the opportunities it offered, such as seeing Charlie or getting past Angels to visit (or at least pretending they called - would it be so hard to have somebody say "Okay, bye, Jill/Sabrina/Tiff" while holding a pay phone?).
I was going to say it could've been more poignant if Kelly did die, but I have no reason to think that'd be handled any less terribly. They'd probably get her name wrong on the tombstone. Rest in peace, Kelly Garson. Rest in peace.
Holly's Rating: Absolutely inadmissible in the ranks of this series. How it was decided to wrap up this show after five seasons by haphazardly chopping together a rank clips show book ended by weakly-written weeping sequences is the real case that needs to be investigated. In my struggle to find positive things to say about this episode, I unearthed the following: I adored seeing Bosley's sweet tenderness, not only towards Kelly but also to the other girls, and his protective rage towards the manic shooter. On par with that was Kris' distraught reaction to the near-tragedy, and her seriously troubling disgruntlement with both the Townsend Agency AND Charlie. David Doyle and Cheryl Ladd's strong performances made the best of a bad situation and are the only saving grace to this sad, half-hearted attempt at a finale.
Greg's Rating: Actually maybe we should just go ahead and pull the plug. A horrible, unworthy way to end a groundbreaking TV show. For shame.
Joann's Rating: Kelly gets shot in slow motion mimicking her Season 1 bullet wound. Maybe it was a conscious book ending of years in CA's final episode. More likely it was the final sign of the inevitable decline of the once groundbreaking show.
Where once daring and fresh, here it begs to be taken off life support. The performances are lackluster, and flashback clips to their many adventures hardly do a dying Kelly justice. Was this the best that could be recalled? Kris, Julie, and Bosley sit in the waiting area reflecting on the merits of their lives as crime solvers, but it seems the writers couldn't find a greater purpose for them having existed than the bikini wearing moments they were often accused of propagating.
I can't give this the lowest of grades because even in the midst of this mediocrity, I, along with most fans know better who they were, what they accomplished, and why they did it.
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