Saturday, February 11, 2017

Charlie’s Angels 2:4 “Angel Flight”

Airdate: 10/5/77

Angela, the head of a stewardess training program, keeps finding black roses, the traditional symbol of death, wherever she goes, and so she hires the Angels to get to the bottom (her agency choice partly due to having Sabrina as a college roommate). Possible suspects include at least one jilted boyfriend, one would-be boyfriend, and a weird window-washer named Eddie, but things turn ugly when she receives threatening phone calls, and even witnesses the death of a fellow stewardess at a parking garage. It all starts to make sense when the mysterious caller gives explicit instructions, via tape recorder, to Angela on how to sedate the pilot of an upcoming test flight. Things don’t quite go according to plan when she accidentally shoots the other pilot (who’s also in on the plot), while a second thug gets taken down by the Angels. Their plot, apparently to hijack the plane to Peru and sell it for parts(?). is thwarted, though our sheroes still have to land the plane themselves, which (spoiler alert!) they do. 

Genuinely strange episode starts off confusingly, and by the time things are cleared up it’s ridiculously farfetched. Tons of plot holes and unanswered questions, including: Why doesn’t Angela just tell the Angels what she’s about to do, as she’s not being extorted or evidently brainwashed (or maybe she is; the script isn’t clear). Why do the baddies even need her, as Glover (the caller and in-on-the-scheme pilot) seems to be doing everything himself (and no, I’m not buying the debrief explanation that he can play the victimized pilot as a cover and live free the rest of his life)? And what of the scheme – stealing the plane, not for any kind of smuggled or stolen cargo but for its equipment? Huh? What the hell kind of windfall will that yield? 

It really boils down to the fact that airline stewardesses were quite popular on TV during this era – CBS was about to have a show about that very topic called Flying High – as was airline suspense, thanks to the Airport movies (The Incredible Hulk would air a similarly-plotted episode. “747,” the following Spring). Granted, the Angels, and fellow stewardesses. do look good I their uniforms, but in between all the eye candy we oughta have a credible storyline.

But credible storylines seem to be the main casualty of the show so far this season, and it doesn’t help that, thanks to Airplane!, it’s nearly impossible to watch any 70s show or movie about a civilian trying to land a jet while maintaining a straight face. Alright, I’ll try to find something positive: Fawne Harriman, as Angela, was pretty good, playing the part with quirky insecurity and an empathy-electing helplessness over being caught between a rock and a hard place (although it still fees like contrived situation).

There, one good thing, but overall a pretty stinko entry.

Client: Angela

Plot difficulty level: 6 (but typically info-heavy at the beginning and end) 

Rating:  **

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To answer a couple of your questions: Angela is afraid to tell the Angels what is going on after her friend's murder because the caller has threatened to kill someone else if she doesn't comply (and she believes no one will be harmed in the hijacking plot itself). And the plane's equipment is valuable because it includes the fancy new proprietary autopilot tech.

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