|Tony Hawk, eat your heart out!|
A loner antiquarian named Clifton has gone missing – we know from the prologue that his shop had been burglarized and a strange frog trinket stolen, and some pretty angry thugs who seem to consider the relic of great importance want some answers, pronto. The Angels go rooting about to discover his involvement with Consenting Adults, a call girl agency, and follow the trail to Tracy, a lady of the night/art history major whose picture was found in Clifton’s room. Jill reveals her complicity in the robbery (via Cooley, the head of Consenting Adults), so they set the burglars up to rob Bosley, who had posed as a client. Everyone convenes on the warehouse where the loot, and frog, are stored; the “angry thugs” arrive to retrieve their prized amphibian, or, more precisely, the diamonds inside. It turns out these baddies are jewel smugglers, in cahoots with Clifton, whose antiques are the perfect vessels for their contraband. After a chase involving a skateboard and an ice cream truck, the evildoers get their just desserts.
Despite a resolution that goes on far too long, this is a well-written mystery (which is essentially what Angels is, after all). It even has all the classic Agatha Christie/Hardy Boys elements: jewel smuggling, mysterious antiques, horse racing, and even a little spice in the form of prostitution thrown in for good measure. Interesting how they treat this last topic – Clifton’s mom is not at all surprised by or disapproving of his involvement with call girls, clearly representing a position the writers share as well. Gotta love the show – feminist to the core!
A few notable guests stars in this one. Tracy is played by Laurette Spang, most famous for her role of Casseopia on Battlestar Galactica (the entire series blogged here). And Mumford, one of the burglars, is played by G.W. Bailey, best remembered as Rizzo, the wheeler-dealer garbage collector on M*A*S*H. The main villain here is Alan Manson, the sort of erudite yet oily heavy usually played by the likes of Robert Loggia. Fine scenery chewing, a true art form on this show.
Interesting chase scene, involving Farrah on skateboard and hired thug cashing in ice cream truck, closes the show, but annoying high-speed undercranking makes it look too much like a Benny Hill short. Could they tell back then, or didn’t they mind. It sure looks noticeable now, though.
Client: Maggie Cunningham, Clifton’s mom.
Plot difficulty level: 4