Rick and AJ try to help a young girl Allison who is living on the streets and is stealing to survive. The brothers uncover a seedy side where young runaways are forced to work the streets and drugs are used as an escape.

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(created by) (as Philip DeGuere), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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Allison Tyner / Angel
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Jonathan Petty
Gerard Prendergast ...
Nat
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Nicholas Kadi ...
Assad
Paul Tuerpe ...
Doctor
Scott Murphy ...
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Heather (as Holly Susan Dorff)
Verda Bridges ...
Tina
Shannon Brook ...
Niki
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Storyline

Rick and AJ try to help a young girl Allison who is living on the streets and is stealing to survive. The brothers uncover a seedy side where young runaways are forced to work the streets and drugs are used as an escape.

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Action | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

7 January 1988 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Shadows of an angel
7 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

At the present time, this episode has a fairly strong rating on the IMDb so it's probably safe to say it's a fan favorite. It reminds me a lot of 'Miami Vice,' the way we see a boat docked at the harbor, tall skyscrapers in the background, and a gritty but flashy crime scene involving drugs and rich men who exploit young prostitutes. Olivia d'Abo, right before she started on 'The Wonder Years,' is cast in what might be considered a dual role as a street urchin named Alison/Angel. She is called Angel because of a tattoo printed on her arm, and we're supposed to be believe she's a good girl who had to go bad to survive.

Some of her bad deeds include stealing wallets, which is how A.J. first meets her when she robs him during a baseball game. And she also steals other things, like when she later sneaks off with one of Rick's expensive cameras. She has her reasons for doing these things, and as the story unfolds, the brothers learn about her troubled past and how she was once abandoned by her father. It's all meant to tug at viewers' heartstrings, and it works-- probably because d'Abo looks younger than her actual age (18), so this seems even more shocking. In fact, she does such a good job conveying the pathos of the girl she portrays that you can't help but get caught up in it. I thought she had a very powerful scene where the camera followed her into a public bathroom and she pounded her fists on the counter. She looked right into the mirror and vowed to kill the sugar daddy who gave her best friend a fatal dose of some narcotic-- it was rather intense and scary. In hindsight, it's almost surprising d'Abo did not go on to become an Oscar-winning movie actress; in this episode, she certainly demonstrated the talent to head in that direction.

By the way, there is a fourth season episode called 'Slither' which tackles some of what this episode covers-- about runaway teen girls stuck in a world of drugs and trying to climb out of the pit they've fallen into. But compared to this offering, the earlier version seems very pedestrian. This particular script is not afraid to really sink its teeth into the subject matter, to show us very shocking things that the girl and her friends go through. But it does give us what is almost a too-tidy ending. While I appreciated her finding happiness, I think it would have been even stronger if she had died and we had seen how a life can be totally wasted because of the neglect and abuse she had unfortunately encountered.


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