Saturday, May 14, 2016

Charlie’s Angels 1:6 “The Killing Kind”

Airdate: 11/3/76
"I ain't playing some cute, life-size piano this time!"

After Brooke Anderson – a female investigator who just happened to be working on a expose assignment at a seaside resort named Moonshadow - mysteriously drowns, her father contacts Charlie to help him discover the truth of her death. The Angels attend the resort, under various covers, where they learn details about the head honcho: a slick but domineering man named Terranova, boastful of power but curiously skittish about exposure, with an odd habit of sending those who get under his skin off to see a not-so-gentle masseuse. Bosley reveals his identity to be a sham too: a cover-up for a long career in securities fraud, with extra assistance from no less than the Justce Depatment of the United States. 

And now it looks like he’s bribing the local government to get away with his current act of
malfeasance, the construction of multi-million dollar marina on government protected land. Jill tracks down Brooke’s potential insider, a “guest” hoping for something more than tennis lessons, while Sabrina visits Mr Anderson, only to later learn that he's an imposter, a shill for Terranova to throw her off track. The real Anderson is now a prisoner of Terranova, his feckless henchman and that weirdo masseuse, but the Angels corner the baddies at a horse stable and set him free. 

Generic title is apropos for a pretty generic episode, a routine storyline whose only saving grace is Robert Loggia’s deliciously unctuous portrayal of Terranova. He somehow manages to ride the line between high camp and legitimately effective drama – an essential skill on this show. The opening scene, usually an intriguing act of treachery which hints at what the Angels are up against, is pretty good at setting this guy up as a real crumb. Unfortunately, his scheme of building an illegal marina in a quid pro quo deal is about as dull as dishwater; isn't this just par for the course in the world of big business?

This is one of those episodes that feels like not all the loose ends are tied up in the end, and the epilogual information is actually more confusing than the opening debriefing. And I do have one big problem with the mid-episode twist, in which the Angels’ client, Mr. Anderson, turns out to be a fake to set Sabrina up for a would-be car crash. Don’t they get pictures of their clients so they know what they look like? For all the often excessive information the writers throw at the viewer on this show, couldn’t they have taken care of that lapse in credibility?

But Mr. Loggia helps this one out immensely, and, although not a fashion maven, I sure did dig Kate Jackson’s rust ensemble in her scene with Anderson (and color-coordinated car to boot).

Couple of items: CA Rule #1: The actor with the most pockmarked face will always be the villain’s main henchmen – he looks too evil to be good and not good-looking enough to be the main villain. And Inga (what else), the burly masseuse, comes straight out of James Bondville – Jill even teases Kelly with some Sapphic innuendo that one could interpret as 70s-era code. 

First reference to Bosley’s wife when he jokes about her giving him the wrong color shoes.

Client: Mr. Anderson

Plot Difficulty Level: 6 (but pretty dull)

Rating: **

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