When Nadia ends up in her pregnant mother’s body in 1982, it comes as a pretty massive shock (especially since she’s pregnant with herself). One of the first signs that she has traveled through time is the presence of Guardian Angels, wearing the distinctive uniform of a red beret and a shirt with a strange Illuminati-like pyramid eye logo on the front. While the angels are again working in New York City, there was a time when their presence had faded and they were thought of as a relic from the late 1970s / early 1980s.
The Guardian Angels was founded by Curtis Sliwa in 1979, with thirteen original members helping patrol the city’s dangerous subways. The Guardian Angels were a voluntary force and were required to adhere to strict rules and regulations regarding their conduct on the trains and subway platforms, including a policy without weapons. The guardian angels’ primary goal was to patrol the subways and help prevent abuse, sexual harassment and robbery, which is why the first time Nadia sees them, they chase after a purse-snapper on the subway platform. A guardian angel, Derek (Ephraim Sykes), stops to help her when she sees she’s pregnant, and tries to offer her an escort home because, yes, the streets of New York were not exactly the safest place in 1982.
Later, Nadia seeks out the guardian angels in the hope that they can help her find Chez (Sharlto Copley), her mother’s former lover, who stole the family’s fortune. She assumes the angels can help her find him, but that’s really not what they do, and Derek even tells her so much. The angels are protectors who use civilian arrests to bring offenders to the police and offer self-defense training, but they are not private detectives in any way. The Guardian Angels have been under investigation over the years, mostly from the police force, though some citizens also raised concerns about the safety of the angels after one was killed in the service in 1982, just around the time Nadia leaves. around New York in his mother’s body.
These days, in addition to stopping violent crimes and thefts in the subways, the angels have a completely female department called Perv Busters, which shouts out and sometimes detains sexual predators on the trains and leads them to the police. Many of today’s guardian angels have taken on family members from previous generations – as a young member of the Perv Busters wearing his grandmother’s red beret. Through “Russian Doll” season 2, Nadia is reminded that even in terrible times, there are people who are willing to help. In the 1980s in New York, the best representation of humanity’s guardian angels was the guardian angels.