The Big Tap-Out


SUMMARY

A Mr. McMasters hires the Angels when Roy David, a thief and compulsive gambler tries to break into his office safe. David only loots when he's out of cash, so to catch him stealing red-handed, the Angels have to arrange for him to run out of money.

Sabrina and Bosley spend several days setting up a cover as a lady-gambler and bookmaker at a cheap local dive festooned with a cheesy equestrian theme. Since it also happens to be Roy David's hangout, he's constantly on-hand to witness their large cash transactions until he finally strikes up a conversation with bookie Bosley. "Chip", the bookie, hints that Sabrina is one of the famous "Computer Duncans" of Computrex, an illustrious and high tech computer firm in Los Angeles, and she therefore doesn't really need all the money she's been winning playing horses because she's already rich, as evidenced by the many layers of golden chains nestled among her turtlenecks.

When David tails Sabrina to the Computrex Complex, he learns that she's using a computer to play the ponies, so he attempts to blackmail Bri into letting him in on the winning action.

Jill: "We've only now just howdied, and already she's smitten with me."

Down at the horse track, dippy cowgirl-Barbie Cindy "Cinderella" Peepers (Jill) and her older husband Jimmie-Joe Peepers (Bosley) sidle up in a Western-themed convertible garishly ornamented with a collection of decorative rifles and sets of horns. They offer $15,000 for Cindy's Song, one of the track's winningest horses, but are bluntly turned down.

The Duncan "sisters" are overheard chatting theatrically about which horse to bet on - somebody's going to put a huge bet on that horse that's going to ruin the odds.

Then Jill bets a wad as the horses are at the gate. Sabrina and Roy David, sipping whiskeys at the dive bar, listen to the radio plays as Diamond Stickpin earns them thousands.

When he goes back to Computrex to harass "Kelly Duncan" an afro-d employee clues him in that there is no such person working there. The jig is up.

Back at the office, an expert dealer amazes all with various card displays to many giggles and deep sighs of satisfaction. Charlie arrange for this dealer to be a plant at a private gambling establishment downtown so that they can take Roy David for a $20,000 ride.

Jill dresses in a fine, Toga-like gown and hits the blackjack tables, seated next to David. Over a real-time period which seems like hours (the only relief being the moments spent hitting on Jill) David is conned out of more than $20 grand.

After the night's big loss, David witnesses a man in a trench coat slipping Jill a large tube containing the rolled blueprints of the blackjack palace. Then, a speeding vehicle hits Jill as she's approaching her car. The tube rolls away from her seemingly lifeless body, and David scoops it up, just as planned. A hired ambulance arrives shortly thereafter and loads Jill's body onto a waiting stretcher. Sabrina is concealed within.

Next day, David, wearing burgling gloves, picks the lock on the blackjack joint and, still carrying the blueprint, empties the office safe, stuffs the money bags into the trunk of his car and drives away. It's not long, however, before another car rear-ends him, and out of it steps a bespectacled Kelly Garrett, followed almost immediately by a squad car and two police officers. Sabrina (lurking nearby) punctures David's tire with her trusty Swiss Army knife and an aggravating Kelly creates a scene involving the cops until David's trunk pops open for some reason, fully exposing the bags of stolen money. He is easily subdued when Jill (who was evidently also standing within feet of the accident) trips him with a flirty grin.

At the police station, while David is being grilled in a glass enclosed interrogation room, the Angels show up outside to smugly taunt him with their presence.

BACKGROUND CHECK

The Big Tap-Out Episode #14 Season 1, Episode 14 Airdate: Jan 12, 1977 Writer: Brian McKay Director: Georg Stanford Brown

WHAT'D YOU THINK?

Rate this episode:

CURIOSITIES

• When Roy drives out of the bar parking lot to follow Sabrina, several crew members' shadows are visible on the asphalt.

• Why did Kelly bring her dog Albert to a bar?

• "Why can't I do that?" Jill asks as the guy does a fairly basic card trick, even though she performed a more advanced version of the same thing in Hellride.

• Jill's blueprint tube ends up in a different place than where it landed.

• The keys and the combination, yes - but why did pseudo-thief Jill need blueprints of the building drawn up in order to rob that casino? The safe is literally just through one doorway from where they already were.

• Isn't it strange that the police are totally oblivious to the fake hit-and-run? One witness yells for someone to call an ambulance, but the ambulance that shows up is the fake one. So either the Angels briefed the police and all these random passers-by to be in on the plot, or nobody bothered calling 911 for real.

• Kelly's car accident with Roy appears to happen in mid-day, but the part where he gets arrested looks a lot closer to dusk.

• How was Kelly sure that rear-ending Roy would cause his trunk to incessantly pop open and reveal his stolen cash (which had photogenically spilled out of its canvas bags)?

• Why is Roy so stunned to see Jill alive at the police station? Didn't he see her standing there when she tripped him in the previous scene?

LOCKS PICKED

BIMBOS

SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS

SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS

DAYS TO SOLVE CASE

DEATHS FAKED

TURTLENECKS

CHARACTER DEATHS

FASHION

Jill and Kelly look amazing at the race track, while Sabrina appears to be masquerading as a 17th century fop, complete with silken cravat which lends a certain sparkle to her Neapolitan colored ensemble.

Wardrobe Repeat Sabrina wore the same striped shirt in Dirty Business.

Kate JacksonThe Big Tap-Out Kate JacksonDirty Business

ATHLETIC = STREET SMART?

One of the Angels is called upon to be a card shark. Who sounds most qualified: the street smart hustler, the smart one, or the athletic one? Apparently Jill's title includes her being "mistress of games" as she gets the assignment (both here and in Hellride) because she has mad gambling skills and her poster sold the most out of all the Angels. The blonde always wins!

SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS

Though the plot suggests equal-opportunity con segments for each Angel, Jill's comes awfully close to double the lengths of the other girls', making this the most unbalanced episode of the season. Kelly's 9 minutes here are among her briefest contributions to any episode (in fact there are only two where she gets less time, and those are both other Angels' solo episodes.) Despite the number of times you may have groaned "Where are the Angels??" this one's content level actually isn't below average.

  • KELLY
  • JILL
  • SABRINA
  • BOSLEY
  • HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 77%

ACTION

Nothing physically exciting here except for Jill pretending to get hit by a car.

FRANKENSTEIN EPISODE

This episode felt like a lot of adventures the Angels had prior to and after it; it featured a formula and scenarios that would often be repeated throughout the years.

Like Hellride, it featured Bosley and Jill undercover as a simple southern homie and his dingy hot daughter/wife, plus Jill displaying her card shark skills.

The "Angels separately conning someone then all coming together in the finale to gloat" bit is repeated in  Three For The Money with comparable effectiveness.

Sabrina and Bosley working a horse bet con sounds like Angels in the Stretch or Consenting Adults.

Plus, Pinky and the blackjack dealer appeared together as a bad guy duo in Diamond in the Rough, making their scenes likely to get mixed up in your memory.

REPEAT OFFENDERS

Tony Giorgio: The blackjack dealer later appeared in Diamond in the Rough.

Norman Bartold: Mr. Platt much later appeared in Attack Angels.

Bert Remsen: Pinky also played one of the bad guys in Diamond in the Rough.

Nigel Bullard: Billed here only as "Employee" (the guy who comes out of Computrex building) - later played Tom in Counterfeit Angels and Wallert in One Love... Two Angels.

Albert, Jaclyn's poodle, also appeared in Consenting Adults, Magic Fire, and Homes $weet Homes.

Georg Stanford Brown: Kate Jackson's former Rookies co-star directed several episodes, including The Big Tap-Out, The Blue Angels, Game, Set, Death, Angels in the Backfield, Angel Blues, Little Angels of the Night, Counterfeit Angels, and Disco Angels.

Brian McKay also wrote Angel Flight and Diamond in the Rough.

OUR TAKE

Greg's Rating: Rating Although I'm generally not a fan of the Angel con eps (not enough action) this one worked. Interesting bad guy, good cons everyone had a part to play.

Joshua's Rating: Rating Brilliant, this is one of those episodes that makes you think. It’s not too complex, but it’s nowhere near as bad as Season 5 where the cases could be solved in five minutes flat. The southern accents are an absolute delight and Kelly's civilian act at the end is great. However if you like a lot of car chasing and this hands on hands action, this episode isn’t for you.

Kenny's Rating: Rating Great con episode with all the Angels involved. This is the second time an Angel fakes her own death to help nab the bad guy.

Anna's Rating: Rating I feel like I should have more to say about this episode... it's not quite good or bad, just sort of filler. The schemes are decent if you pay attention, I guess, but if you're not in the mood to mentally invest in a Charlie's Angels con plot, this is sort of a jumble of tedious/repetitive setup scenes. I don't need to see every second of the bad guy's robbery, especially since it's completely uneventful. By today's editing standards, that entire scene could be a Vine and it'd still be ample coverage. The Angel parts are decent, but in my book it's a definite low point in the first year. It's like Season 1's Three For The Money: still not good, but at least it's Season 1. The car crash at the end is the fun part.

STATS

Locks Picked: 1 (Jill)
Turtlenecks: 3 (Sabrina)
Shots fired by Angels: 0
Shots fired at Angels: 0
Deaths Faked: 1 (Jill)

RY

GregG