Little Angels of the Night
Restaurant owner Roman Vail wants to arrange a date with a patron named Mary, but she rejects him. He watches through the window as she leaves and a blonde hooker pulls up in a car across the street - Vail squints dramatically.
Next thing you know, the hooker, who resides in the apartments across from Vail's Italian restaurant, answers a knock on her door and gets killed. WHO COULD IT BE?
This week’s client, Madam Smith, explains to the Angels that this was the second "working girl" murdered in her building. Charlie arranges for them to take up residence in the building as working girls, and everyone acts flustered until he adds, "in name only" (because one of these times he's going to assign them covers as REAL hookers?).
The (mostly) swimsuit-clad Angels arrive poolside at the apartment house and meet two of the friendly resident prostitutes, Bonnie and Carol. Freddie, the punk delivery guy from Vail's restaurant, soon arrives with a pizza and hits on everyone. Next he delivers another pizza and more hitting-on to Melanie, another hooker in the building, and gets upset when she rejects his weak advances.
Back at the restaurant, Mary has brought some guy to theatrically flirt with over dinner while Vail jealously eyes them.
Bonnie arrives at her apartment and is attacked by somebody in the hallway. Kris and Kelly sprint to the rescue, Kelly pursuing the guy down the stairwell. He throws a fire extinguisher at her, causing her to put her face to the wall and keep it there long after the canister has landed, and the mystery assailant simply runs right past her. Miss Garrett is defeated.
The Angels convene at poolside with Dr. Edgars, a police psychologist who can barely stop gawking at passing girls in bikinis long enough to explain that the murderer must be acting on displaced aggression, considering all the victims have been blonde prostitutes.Next, the Angels and Melanie are trying to convince a frightened Bonnie not to leave town. She tells them that the man who attacked her smelled like a restaurant; Melanie insists it was Freddie the pizza freak. Call-girl Kris gets a request from a man named Jim Walker, who wants her to meet with him on his yacht, and specifically asks if she is blonde.
Kris drives to the marina, leaving Sabrina peeping from the passenger seat of her Cobra while she boards Mr. Walker's moored yacht. He's a suave older man who has her immediately change into a bikini to engage in awkward chit-chat about his marital problems. When he creepily comments that she's smarter than the murdered hooker, Kris gets spooked and attempts to leave. He stops her and hands her a $100 bill for her advice, but she declines and leaves.
Later, Carol gets murdered in the apartment's elevator, and we're not very surprised to see that it's Roman Vail who's behind the strangulation. He purposely drops a shark tooth necklace next to Carol's corpse before leaving the scene. Afterwards, Sabrina quickly theorizes that the necklace was dropped there intentionally since its clasp is not broken. Kris and Kelly make frowny faces and have to have this explained to them.
Back in her apartment, Bonnie is freaking out even more. They ask her if she's ever seen anyone wearing a shark tooth necklace, and they are all shocked when she names Freddie, even though he was wearing it when he met them.
Mary flirts with another guy at the restaurant again while Roman watches. Kris and Kelly arrive for lunch and casually grill him about Freddie and the shark tooth necklace. He mentions that Freddie said he lost his, and they leave to go find him. He's making another delivery to Melanie, which of course goes badly - he loses his temper, tries to force her door, then makes a hasty getaway. Sabrina and Kris come running, but lose Freddie after a repetitive and dizzying chase down many flights of stairs.
Bosley, who we forgot was in this episode, appears to announce that apartment 4F is locked from the inside. Eventually the girls reach the obvious conclusion that the missing Freddy is holed up inside. They go flush him out, and then spend a while bitchily grilling him about his lost necklace. Melanie shows up just long enough to perform her only purpose in the scene, irritating Freddie into blowing his top so Sabrina can scream at him. Eventually they learn that Vail couldn’t have known about the missing necklace; Sabrina realizes that Freddie’s not the bad guy because Melanie isn’t blonde, as a segway to remembering that Kris exists.
Of course Blondie’s dining solo at Vail’s restaurant right then, and witnesses him having words with Mary (who's just been flirt-dining with yet another guy). She leaves, and he’s left alone with Kris; disco action music starts playing as he advances on Kris in strangle mode. Their stunt doubles tear up the restaurant until everyone else bursts in. Vail flees on a stolen ten-speed bike, and the other follow suit - until he gets hit by a car and switches into whimper mode, thinking Kris is Mary, to whom he was evidently once married and still loves. She takes pity on him and kinda plays along.
Back at the office, Charlie agrees to let them all go skiing (why wasn't Terror on Skis right after this?) except for Bosley, who has to go back to Madam Smith's building and fix the plumbing. "Oh, Bosley!"
• Madam Smith, the client and housemother to the hookers, tells the Angels “These girls’ lives are not as glamorous as you might think...I should know.” First off, we're sure that three former policewomen/detectives don’t think being a prostitute is very glamorous, and as for the “I should know” part, um… yuck. That’s an overshare, Dolly. An overshare.
• Does Mary eat at this restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day?
• Same for the hookers - does anybody in that apartment building eat anything else? Why does Melanie keep ordering pizzas that she knows will be delivered by a guy who she believes to be a serial strangler?
• When they're all sitting around the office round table, what's going on with Sabrina? Is she in a child-sized chair, kneeling, sitting on Kelly's lap, or what?
• Why is Dr. Edgars drooling over random bimbos around the pool but not interested at all in the Angels, particularly Kris who is also wearing a swimsuit and looking none too shabby?
• Why is Kate wearing a wedding ring, and why is her pinkie is bandaged within an inch of its life?
• In the scene after Carol gets killed, Kris is chewing gum in the first shot, but then it disappears.
• Do Sabrina and Kris chase Freddie down more flights of stairs than there are floors in the apartment building?
• Vail calls Sgt. Mathews "Lieutenant" in one scene.
• Vail gets hit by a car at the end, and the driver just switches to "park" and stays sitting there. Wouldn't you want to maybe get out and see if the guy you hit is okay, or try to talk to the Angels?
SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS
SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS
DAYS TO SOLVE CASE
The Angels spend too much time running up and down the same stairway chasing the wrong suspect. Kris gets thrown around a restaurant like a rag doll in a strangle-fight that actually ends in a draw, but at least she held her own longer than the other victims. The climax is an uneventful ten-speed bike ride, which is one of the lamest chase methods you could possibly write. At least the bad guy gets hit by a car at the end.
Kris gets saddled with one of those "time to make The Smart One look smart" lines; when Sabrina wonders if the dropped necklace was careless or deliberate, Kris goes "What do you mean?" and Kelly looks equally lost. Then after Sabrina explains, Kelly has the nerve to look smug like they've all outsmarted the guy together. Times like these, you wonder how these two even got through the academy.
This episode features a whole lot of swimwear for no good reason. Kelly dons a bikini, Kris gets a bikini and two different swimsuits. The blue terrycloth shoulderless number Bri wears by the pool is as close to sexy swimwear as she is gonna get. While at the office, she holds down the bar in grandma attire involving taupe ruffles and knit shawls while Kelly and Kris seem slightly more dressed up than usual.
Wardrobe Repeats Sabrina revives her blue terrycloth thing later for Angels in Vegas (minus the straps - hubba hubba!) and the waitresses in Vail's restaurant (or is there just one walking by over and over?) are wearing that same red outfit introduced by Kelly in I Will Be Remembered. Kris repeats the navy blue top seen in her mystery intro clip and Pretty Angels, which Gert from Angels on Skates somehow got hold of later.
SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS
No plot twists to report here. Pretty balanced, and a good level of Angel content.
- HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 79%
VERY UNPOSITIVE DETECTIVE WORK
The Angels get owned too many times in this one - the guy throws the fire extinguisher at Kelly, and she cowers in the corner until he's long gone and Kris has to come see if she's okay. Later she comes to scope out the mysterious locked apartment (armed, of course); Freddie simply gives her a shove and she's out of commission. Sabrina also stands back and whines "Aww, noooo!" for several seconds before starting to chase him. It actually takes Bosley to trap Freddie, otherwise these two would have lost him for good. Last is Kris' battle with the strangler - it ended as a draw since the others burst in and made him run away, but if we had to make a points decision, it really looked like Vail would've won.
RECYCLED PLOT ALERT
Blondes were getting lookalike-murdered in The Sandcastle Murders only three episodes ago, which called for Kris to be attacked again (surprise!). If they insist on using exactly the same plot, couldn't they have at least separated these two a little more?
An earlier draft of the script (which was originally written with Jill in mind, as her name appears several times instead of Kris') has a few amusing differences:
Meeting Bonnie and Carol
Kris' date with Mr. Walker
Charlie's playing backgammon with some girl in huge glasses who strips down to her bikini in the middle of their game. At the office wrap-up scene they're STILL playing, but she’s wearing a different bikini… ?
Paul Cavonis: Roman Vail returned as Asher in Counterfeit Angels, Otis in Angels on Campus, and Harry Stark in Angel on the Line.
Grayce Spence: Madame Smith previously played the wife at the blackjack table in The Big Tap-Out.
Georg Stanford Brown, Kate Jackson's fellow Rookie, directed this episode plus The Big Tap-Out, The Blue Angels, Game, Set, Death, Angels in the Backfield, Angel Blues, Counterfeit Angels and Disco Angels.
Greg's Rating: Any episode that features Bri undercover as a hooker sitting next to a swimming pool in a thick terrycloth sleeveless sweat outfit is probably going to be right up my alley. A lot of running up and down the same hallway (see Angel in a Box) and the hooker cover is really not all that convincing (see terrycloth) but it was kinda fun, kinda suspenseful and Melanie the hooker is the sassiest sista to guest star since Candy from Night Of The Strangler.
Anna's Rating: How come there's never a rash of lookalike brunette murders? I like this one a lot, but it loses points for numerous moments when the girls are just painfully dumb and useless. I know it has to be written so that all ages watching at home can follow along and solve the case along with the Angels, but shouldn't we be left feeling that the Angels are more competent detectives than we are? Logic aside, it's just fun. Also, compared to what's on TV today, it's kind of amazing that you could even make a show about strangling hookers this kid-friendly. I mean, okay, they kinda show you a murder, but you'd never guess what prostitution was by watching this (or you'd guess that it meant sitting around in different outfits, which I must've thought when I saw this as a kid). Ah, simpler times.
Holly's Rating: If you've ever wondered what Dean Martin fantasized about while sippin' smooth whisky, just reach into your hamper and feel the luxuriant woven loops of your favorite bath towel. Hey, brother, pour the wine!
If you like blondes and displaced aggression, this one's for you.
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