Charlie's Angels/Toni's Boys
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Toni's Boys is the twenty-fourth episode of the fourth season of Charlie's Angels, and the ninety-seventh episode overall.
and Special Guest Star: Barbara Stanwyck (Antonia "Toni" McQueen)
Also Starring: James E. Brodhead (Rolph)
Released from jail after serving only six months of a 20-year sentence, a vengeful crime lord named Durano takes aim at the Angels, who testified against him at his trial. After Kelly's car is blown to bits, Charlie enlists the help of his old friend Antonia and her trio of detectives to protect the Angels. Kelly, Kris and Tiffany bristle at the idea of having bodyguards, but the persuasive Antonia insists they give her team a chance. Each of Toni's Boys has a particular skill: Bob is an Olympic champion who specializes in pole-vaulting, Cotton is a skilled rodeo rider and Matt is a master of disguise. Their talents come in handy when the Angels fall into Durano's clutches and he holds them captive at his winery, where he plans to seal them up behind a wall, "Cask of Amontillado"-style. Toni's Boys manage to rescue the Angels and seize Durano.
By far the biggest attraction of this episode is the presence of Barbara Stanwyck as Antonia, the spirited head of a rival detective agency. Although at first glance she seems to be a Bosley-esque character, Antonia actually takes part in the plot to trip up Durano, posing as a Texas society matron who starts a brawl at Durano's wine and fashion gala. Stanwyck is delightfully feisty and clearly enjoys the opportunity to exercise her gift for comedy. The other novelty here is the sight of the Angels actually needing rescue from an outside source. "Toni's Boys" was positioned as a pilot for a spin-off series, but this would be the Boys' one and only outing. That's not terribly surprising, since none of them seems like a particularly compelling character. Matt, the alleged disguise expert, only gets to show off his skill once, donning a not terribly convincing beard and a shaky British accent. And pity the poor writers who might be asked to work in pole-vaulting and rodeo-riding scenes into every future episode!