To Kill An Angel
Kelly has a date and can't make it to work. When Charlie asks where she is, Jill and Sabrina explain that Kelly is out for the afternoon with a new man.
The lucky man is not a man at all but Skip, a pint-sized pre-teen in plaid and he's packing heat! Kelly took the little delinquent to the amusement park and left him alone for half a second to buy him some cotton candy, and in that time Skip has the misfortune to bump into a couple of bad guys who just shot their buddy inside the fun house. When Kelly returns with the cotton candy, Skip decides to let off a few rounds in her general direction. Actually, it looked like he was aiming for her left temple. He even held the gun sideways gangsta style. Shocked at what he's done (not sure what Skip THOUGHT happens when you point and shoot a gun at someone, but he's not in the psychiatric ward because of his reasoning skills), Skip takes off running leaving the bleeding Kelly lying on the bubble-gum encrusted asphalt.
Sabrina and Jill are understandably confused and upset at this turn of events (especially an emotional Bri). They learn that a man's body was found near Kelly's shooting, and Bosley and Sabrina set off to interview a peanut vendor who saw the whole thing. Jill learns that Kelly has been volunteering her time with autistic children, particularly Skip because he needed more attention than the other kids. In retrospect maybe she should have just left him alone.
Jill and Sabrina interview the head doctor at Skip's institution, who explains that Skip is disturbed (we get it!) and that his mother had abandoned Skip years earlier, leaving him pinned with a note scrawled on a time card asking someone to please take care of the little psychopath. The doctor explains to Jill and Bri that Skip may remember where he came from and try to return there. Meanwhile, Skip manages to find his way to Giovanni's restaurant, his mother's former workplace, and there he discovers a tiny kitten in the alley.
At the hospital, everyone visits Kelly and explains that although a minor in her care shot her in the head and he himself is probably a target of some violent mafia goons, everything will be OK. Sabrina explains some nonsense about the printers' code on the timecard being useable to identify the business the card was issued to. They also ID the dead man in the fun house who turns out to be a small time gangster. The bad guys from the amusement park decide that both Kelly and Skip probably could finger them and thus both must die!
This is really not Kelly's week.
Night has fallen and Skip and his new kitten sneak into Giovanni's and steal some flowers off one of the restaurant's tables. In his mind, Skip hears Kelly's echoed voice regaling him with the fairy tale about a princess who was given seaweed or something.
Sabrina and Jill track the timecard to a sleazy and extremely greasy-looking clerk who offers to tell what he knows if they will take their clothes off. After a good-cop-bad-cop display of police lingo, Mr. Oily cooperatively tells them that the card comes from Giovanni's Bar and Grill. The owner has arrived for work just in time to see Skip running out of the restaurant with his kitten and sunflowers. Out on the corner, the kid hitches a ride with a surfer girl in a convertible as Mr. Giovanni waves his arms in the street.
Before long, Jill and Sabrina learn of Skip's horticultural break-in adventure at the restaurant, and Skip starts freaking out on the beach after he starts having flashbacks of shooting Kelly and ditches the confused surfer chick.
The bad guys decide to go after Kelly, while Sabrina and Jill track down the surfer chick. They tell Kelly that Skip seems to be collecting things, and she realizes that Skip is acting out the story she told him, "Presents from the Prince". Bosley then leaves Kelly alone in the hospital, even though they all know she is probably a the bad guys' number one target. As if on cue, bad guy #2 walks into Kelly's room claiming to be Skip's father and backing it up with some bull crap story that Kelly falls for.
Amazingly, Skip manages to find his way to his natural mother's beach house, awkwardly forcing her to feed him and explain to her new husband that the white dress she wore on her wedding day may have been a bit of an exaggeration.
Bad guy #2 leaves Kelly at the hospital after the nurse gives her a downer. Jill phones and tells her of Skip's true identity (real name: Bobby Francis). Kelly then tells a returning bad guy#1 that Skip is probably at the amusement park and the guy heads out to kill him.
Everyone involved speeds over to the amusement park to locate Skip, including a groggy, upset Kelly with a huge piece of gauze over her bullet wound. The bad guys get to Skip first and an out-of-it Kelly attempts to take them both on, in hand to hand combat. Sabrina, Jill, and the cops arrive, capturing one guy and chasing the other through the amusement park. Bad guy #1 hides in the in the tilt-a-whirl; the Angels lock him inside and turn the ride on, trapping him inside the spinning thrill ride and giggling while everyone ignores hospital-escapee Kelly.
In the end, Dr. Stafford and the Angels decide that Skip's neglectful mother who abandoned her handicapped son in an Los Angeles shopping center deserves a second chance. Jill demands to be fed lunch for her trouble and the Angels all agree that even though he shot her in the face, Skip is indeed the nicest man that Kelly has ever dated.
And sadly, they are kind of right.
• The film is sped up when Skip and Kelly are riding the merry-go-round.
• For some reason social workers have been unable to locate Skip's birth mother for years, but he manages to do it himself on foot in one day.
• The lack of security at the amusement park is alarming and unlikely as Kelly and later Bri and Jill are able to run around the grounds turning on rides and park attractions without anyone saying boo a day after a murder and shooting-in-the-head.
• Perhaps the most interesting (and alarming) curiosity in this episode is about the gangster character found dead in the fun house. That aspect of this script hits a little too close to home; during the filming of this episode, a REAL dead man was inside that very same fun house. Read what happened.
• Apparently Jill knows how to turn on and operate amusement park thrill rides in a pinch. Wonder if the old “she's the Athletic One” power covers ferris wheels and bumper cars?
SHOTS FIRED AT ANGELS
SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS
DAYS TO SOLVE CASE
Kelly spends most of the episode in a hospital bed nursing a cranial bullet wound and when she does get out of bed she puts on the same clothes she got shot in. To be fair, she makes the most out of her white piece of gauze and really makes it coordinate with her cute jean/sweater combo.
Sabrina's lookin' fine in her red power pantsuit in the opening scenes and plaid sweater skirt combo for the remainder of the ep. As usual, Jill looks amazing dressed slightly up (in the hospital scene minus that plaid jacket) or wearing a casual jean combo for the finale.
SELL THAT SCENE, KATE
Kate Jackson shows why she got nominated for an Emmy two years in a row for her portrayal of Sabrina Duncan. All the little nuances she adds to the character seem so natural they almost go unnoticed; from her anger and distress upon finding out Kelly had been shot to her humorous interview of the peanut vendor in the very next scene, Sabrina remains the Angel that acts/reacts the most like a real human being.
SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS
This one obviously has its Angelless moments, but does it feel as bad as practically half empty? It doesn't, somehow, but it is. In fact, there are only a handful of emptier episodes in the whole series. It also marks both Sabrina's and Jill's shortest appearances in any 1st season case, and even Kelly doesn't get all that much time despite this being a Kelly episode.
- HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 58%
Since Kelly gets gunned down in the first ten minutes of this episode, there was a danger that all the other action would feel anti-climatic. The writers side-step the problem by focusing its attention instead on Sabrina and Jill's attempt to track down Skip's mother, Skip's journey collecting the items from the fairy tale Kelly told him, and Kelly fretting over Skip's whereabouts while recovering in the hospital.
The real action occurs during the finale as Sabrina and Jill chase the bad guys through the empty amusement park. Shots are fired, cars are chased and guest star character actors are thwarted by centrifugal force. It's a typical Wednesday at the Townsend Agency.
Kelly's been called hard-headed before, but usually it's when she states the obvious or breaks her cover to the first guest star who asks, however in this episode Kelly proves she actually is hard headed when she recovers from an almost point blank gunshot wound to the head with nothing more than a piece of white gauze to show for it - thus beginning her reputation as Angel most likely to be injured/shot as well as Angel most likely to injure/shoot! She'll sustain another head injury in One Love... Two Angels before being shot in the head again in the series finale.
When Kelly fails to show at the meeting, Charlie says he’s going to start the interview process of finding a new Angel, and some hoochie mamma with huge boobs walks in his office. We know (hope) he’s only joking, but it still felt icky and insensitive. If he tried to interview the real Angels that way, Charlie would become the first bad guy shot and killed by Sabrina!
Greg's Rating: "Shot through the head and she's in pain, she gives gauze a good name." Love Bon Jovi. Okay, look, as far as I'm concerned, this is one for the time capsule. One of the best episodes of the series. It gives you everything you want in an Angel ep and more. Hot lead in the head was not going to keep Kelly out of the action when her young friend was in danger. She is exactly the kind of babysitter I would both love and hate to have. One of Kate Jackson's best performances. Tyne Daly got Emmys for this stuff. Farrah has genuine chemistry with Ms. Jackson and raises her game for the occasion. Even though Kelly's bullet wound is a classic moment, I think the rest of the episode is very underrated. Then again I think Chorus Line Angels is very underrated, so do with that what you will.
Holly's Rating: Ah, Kelly's first mortal wound. Great memories blended with the sounds of the ages. This is one of those all-too-rare episodes where you get to see a glimmer of the personal lives of the Angels - Kelly's secret life as a caring nurturer, and Jill, Bri and Bosley's tender, protective reactions to the shooting of their friend. Bri and Jill make a strong, cool duo on the hunt for info about the violent kid, and the finale at the amusement park smacks a bit of the original Fugitive finale - minus the one armed man.