30 September 2011 | moonspinner55
"I need a five-letter word for 'heavenly creature'." ... "Try 'angel'."
The Angels are hired by the sister of a roller derby skater who died in a freak accident when she went over the railing during a game; turns out the dead woman's boyfriend also died mysteriously (he was thrown into the river "wearing a pair of cement Florsheims!"). Three writers worked on this first-season episode of Aaron Spelling's monster-hit detective series, although the scenario this time--perhaps inspired by Raquel Welch's film "Kansas City Bomber"--is tacky, and convoluted with shady characters. Farrah Fawcett-Majors' Jill poses as a skater, in need of some "heavy bread", while Kate Jackson's Sabrina and Jaclyn Smith's Kelly handle the road work. Kelly sniffs around the deceased skater's apartment and finds a baggage claim ticket, unearthing over $100,0000 in cash not to mention damning evidence in a blackmail scheme; so why didn't the muscle-bound heavy who manages the property (and is in-cahoots with the girl's killers) search the apartment top-to-bottom himself? The owner of the roller derby squad also owns the insurance company which puts out policies on his players, and the woman running the insurance end (Andra Akers, in a hilariously menacing performance) has hit upon a scheme to involve skaters in multiple car accidents (under assumed names!) while she and her cohorts collect the profits from the insurance settlements. This leads to a 'pay off' confrontation between Akers and Jaclyn Smith that is rife with witty, hard-boiled repartee (but why would Akers want Smith's Kelly Garrett to be eliminated so quickly?--after all, Kelly has the suitcase full of cash and the phony driver's licenses in her possession). There are other gaffes: the skating double for Farrah appears to be a man sporting an unconvincing blonde wig; Charlie Townsend (of all people!) witnesses a bomb being attached to Kelly's car and still allows her to drive off in it; the character of the coach is a straightforward, no-nonsense guy and yet is implicated with the others at the end; and at one point, Sabrina asks Kelly a question and appears to call her Jill. Our trio of beautiful Angels do appealing work, however, and the stock footage of the roller games is a pretty good match for the newly-shot action. Plus, there's a lot of great dialogue: "We know you and the skater are working for a detective agency!" ... "That and a dime will get you an operator on a pay phone."