Monday, May 30, 2016

Charlie’s Angels 1:9 “Bullseye”

Airdate: 12/1/76

A Women’s Army Corps recruit named Mary Jo is shot and killed, inexplicably, by her commanding officer, Sgt, Billings, unbeknownst to anyone else on the base. The camp’s general enlists Charlie’s services to find whodunit, and the girls go green when they go undercover – Sabrina as the base nurse and Kelly and Jill as the unlucky grunts. Via Mary Jo’s best friend, Sally, the Angels learn that the ill-fated soldier had been cozy with Billings before her untimely offing, Sabrina becomes cozy with the base doctor, Dr. Canlon, who also seems to have ties with Billings. Kelly’s snooping naturally arouses suspicion – her reprisal takes the form of a gas mask minus its filter during a drill. But the real clincher proves to be young female patient given dangerously expired medication, and apparently aware of it. The Angels discover that Billings and Canlon are involved in a scheme to sell bad medicine to hard-to-track Medivac units (Mary Jo was on to them), and they TCB in a climactic airplane/jeep chase on the base runway.

Odd caper involving the decidedly thrill-less topic of medication profiteering is just an excuse to allow the Angels to play G.I. Jane for an hour, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Definitely a hoot to see CHiP’s star Robert Pine play good guy/bad guy with surprising credibility, and it offers up yet another opportunity to see Sabrina involved in a quasi-relationship with a leading man (she’s getting all the breaks in this regard). It it got me thinking about another reason I like this show – it doesn’t make men look like s**t. Yes, they can be bad guys, but they’re also multi-dimensional humans the Angels work with, interact with and are very often nice to. It’s the reason they solve these crimes, in the fictional universe, and why they did so well with male viewers in the real one. The same can't necessarily be said for its umpteen “girl-power” imitators and knock-offs.  

Seems to be a trend for the show, though, to start off with a murder, usually of a young female, often a whistleblower. Let’s see some greater equality there, writers.

…And give ‘em credit for attempting to stage a reasonably dramatic climax in which the Angels, somehow, manage to chase down an airplane with a jeep and get it to crash into a shed and explode. Even Schwarzenneger would have trouble with that one!

Pre-Holocaust Sensitivity alert: Kelly jokes that Sgt. Billings, who knows his way around a gas mask, “must’ve done his basic training at Auschwitz.

Oh, and the Angels, pretty sore for having to join the army on this mission, manage to give their boss a pretty good comeuppance at the end.

Client: General Green

Plot difficulty level: 3

Rating: ***

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