PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on television spoiler-free ... good luck with that.

REVIEW ARCHIVES

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

C3P0 and Stick Figure Barbie



Episode 2.03: First Impressions. Original Airdate: 10.10.00.




“Angel encounters an amorous Darla in his dreams; Cordelia vows to protect Gunn after she experiences a vision of him in mortal danger.”









Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • Starting with Lorne! Hey Lorne!
  • Angel sang a for Lorne, but we don’t get to see.
  • And now Lorne sings which is probably better.
  • Ooh, Darla is at Caritas! And she looks stunning in a red dress. And of course this is a dream, but it’s further proven by the fact that the room empties out and they dance alone.
  • But Darla reveals this isn’t the first time this has happened…so maybe these dreams aren’t just dreams after all.
  • Angel wakes smiling, but his smile turns to worry. Either worry or constipation. One of the two.
  • Cordelia is dusting the newly acquired Hyperion. She gives up. It’s like me in quarantine.
  • Gunn is here, as he’s a cast member now with some excuse that he needs Angel’s help.
  • Anyway, David is also here, in full cape. David meets Gunn. It’s terribly exciting.
  • Angel needs financial advice. Is that the only reason he’s here? Apparently.  He keeps popping up for these weird one-off scenes.
  • Angel, Wes & Cordelia join Gunn on the mission.
  • Gunn meets his informant – Angel throws him the money but the informant tells him to keep it. He changed his mind. Then…why is he there? It feels like an easy way to make things more difficult.
  • Vamps! Fight! Even Cordy gets in the fighting action. She stakes one, saving Wes in the process!
  • We don’t see the other two vamps getting dusted, but the camera hilariously pans over three piles of dust. 
One.. Two.. Three.. Dust Piles


  • “Who doesn’t love Denzel?”
  • Hey, the Hyperion has valet parking!
  • Cordelia is still living with Phantom Dennis. 
  • Oh no, Cordy vision! She sees Gunn fighting with a sword…but that’s about it.
  • “Dennis, phone!” – Dennis throws her the phone. I love that.  Wish I had phantom Dennis to hand me things.  "Dennis, remote!"  "Dennis, where's my phone?!"
  • New Darla dream: Darla & Angel lying on the beach…at night. Because, vampires. It’s actually a pretty cool image.


  • I also love how Cordy just happens to have a battle axe lying around her apartment.
  • Cordy, very bravely, goes to save Gunn who turns out doesn’t need saving. Meanwhile, the cast of The Warriors sits on the side laughing.
  • Back in Angel’s dream, Wesley is nailing a coffin and the sound combined with the image is pretty creepy.
  • Angel sleeps naked! I think we knew this already but it’s always nice to hear/see.
  • Cordy/Gunn, Angel/Wesley have separate “Dude, where’s my car?” moments. That movie has milked way too many references in other tv/movies.
  • Ugh, Angel’s masculinity is attacked by a pink helmet.
  • Deevak is tall.
  • Omg, Cordelia gets into this weird ramble where she ends up calling herself a working girl. Stop, Cordy. Just stop talking.
  • More vamps!
  • Ha, I knew before Angel that the woman they were talking to was a vampire.
  • Ohhhhhh the informant was Deevak all along! And he has a power that vamps have, to disguise themselves as human.
  • But Angel & Wes drive in to save the day!
  • More fighting! This time Wes saves Cordelia from a vamp. Nice balance there.
  • Another Darla dream – but this time Angel acts wary (while also feeling weary).
  • But he’s quickly mesmerized by sexy Darla.
  • Meanwhile, in real life, Darla is really there on top of a sleeping Angel.


Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • Apparently Angel sang clown songs at Caritas. I … why.
  • I love Lorne though. God I love Lorne.
  • Mercifully, we didn’t hear Angel sing, but we do hear Lorne singing.
  • Oh but then Darla is there, and Angel embraces her fondly, all affectionate and okay this is a dream and WOW he has this big sweet smile that IRL  Angel doesn’t sport unless he’s having a magic human day with Buffy.


  • “I still can’t believe you’re here. I mean … I killed you.” // “I’m over that.” Very Buffy early S3 dreams.
  • Dream Darla asks if Angel’s told anyone about their dates, which I guess fills us in that this isn’t Angel’s first Darla Dream, though it’s the first one we’ve seen.
  • Angel, smiling happily in his sleep. Don’t forget to [dirty joke about the sheets]
  • And then after the credits, Cordy dusts the hotel lobby, saying “this place is never gonna get clean.”
  • Where was Angel sleeping in the time between the blown up office and moving into the Hyperion?
  • Gunn shows up looking for Angel, pissed that he’s not ready for their joint mission.
  • But luckily (?), David Nabbit shows up with purple cape and sword.
  • Oops, he thought he was here to help fighty fight, but Angel wants financial advice.
  • It’s kind of wild to me that they took over a GIANT HOTEL for a private vigilante investigator office. I mean, I love the spaciousness of the set, and I’m sure the crew appreciated it, too, but it makes zero sense. That’s so much wasted space, all the rooms upstairs.
  • I wonder if there’s a pool. Oh wait, I think we find that out later? With the thirsty demon? Maybe?
  • I could do with the crew treating Gunn less like shit any time now. He didn’t even get to ride shotgun? This is entirely his mission and they are supposed to be his backup.
  • Anyway, Jameel is here for their clandestine meeting in a parking garage, to tell Gunn where to find Deevak, a demon who’s been menacing the neighborhood. I kinda remember the twist here? But I forget why.
  • Angel won’t let Gunn rough up Jameel to get information, even though Angel regularly beats people up to get information. But I guess he doesn’t like going after scared humans as much. Also I’m retroactively wondering why Angel doesn’t smell that Jameel isn’t entirely human.
  • Why are they so wasted from fighting three vamps? Angel can take on that many single-handed. Oh, right, they’re beginning the narrative that Angel’s not operating at full capacity because of all his Darla Dreams.
  • Wow the writers love Denzel (though Angel’s right, who doesn’t love Denzel?) and spend a lot of dialogue on that love. Feels much more a move for Buffy or Gilmore Girls than this show, but okay.
  • Uh oh. Cordelia’s vision is of Gunn in danger! … in a void. A void of danger. With a sword.
  • Aw, Darla and Angel are … well they’re not sunning because it’s nighttime. But they’re not mooning because … that’s a different thing.
  • Also I love that Dream Darla tells him to ignore the ringing. My brain used to do this, too, finding ways to ignore my alarms or incorporate the sound into the dream so I wouldn’t wake up.
  • Oh man. Cordy can’t get ahold of either Angel or Wes, but she grabs a weapon and heads over to Gunn’s on her own, even saying “I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die.” But she goes anyway. I’m proud of our girl.
  • Oops but she interrupts a training session, not a battle to the death.
  • Dream Angel is so lovey dovey with Dream Darla. It’s interesting, because they were never like this in life. They were never sweet. He was sweet with Buffy, but never with Darla. These dreams, they’re sweet and serene and full of contentment, and you can see why Angel is getting addicted to them, but they’re not attached to reality [duh, Zelda, they’re dreams – literally everyone]
  • Anyway he seems to be sleepwalking a bit, since his naked tackle into awakeness of Wesley is in the lobby, and not in the confines of his room.
  • Oops someone stole Angel’s car, which is so rude since Cordelia stole it first.
  • … was this done around the time of that stoner movie Dude Where’s Your Car? (yup, same year. This irritates me)
  • I really hope Cordelia’s can of mace is Chekhovian, and not just another way for Gunn to mock her. She’s smart to have that on her.
  • Angel not wanting to wear a pink helmet is … boring. Pink looks good with all that black. It pops.
  • Gasp! This random stolen car dealer is in league with Deevak! Gasp!
  • Meep, someone on Gunn’s crew is at a party when he should be on patrol duty.
  • Cordelia’s judging Gunn’s leadership, and he replies “some people need discipline to survive.”
  • See, this is frustrating for me with my future knowledge, seeing what a good leader Gunn was of his crew. No, he wasn’t warm and fuzzy but he kept his crew fed, kept them safe, and did a good job fighting the good fight. Once he’s officially part of Angel Investigations, he never gets to exercise those leadership skills again and they keep relegating him to muscle, even though he’s clearly intelligent and again, a better leader than Angel, let’s be quite honest.
  • Like. Come on. Who on the show Angel is a demonstrably good leader? Who shows the discretion, planning skills, and willingness to both make hard decisions while not putting people at undue risk, like our Buffy did? It’s really just Gunn. There is even a canon acknowledgement that Angel is bad at plans.
  • Anyway, I have accidentally been ignoring the party they’re crashing to find Desmond, because I’m irritated about this, but we got some vamps and others also crashing the party and beating the shit out of Gunn. And Gunn’s friend Veronica got a slice of glass in her neck, fuck fuck fuck. She’s bleeding a lot.
  • Ouch. Gunn, beating himself up over Veronica getting hurt, says “I can’t take it easy. I can never take it easy. Not for one second, all right? The minute I forget that, someone like Alonna pays the price.” It hurts and it sucks and of course this would trigger him.
  • Also A+ back of the head sight Cordelia, who stops Desmond from leaving the hospital til he returns Angel’s car.
  • *snort* Angel and Wes are questioning someone coming out of the party looking dazed and Angel’s oddly persistent andddddddddd it’s because she’s a vamp and he headbutts her into vampface. See, Angel’s willing to rough up vamps when he’s looking for info.
  • Deevak moves like a giant puppet with someone barely controlling the strings.
  • And TAWIST, Deevak is Jameel. But like. Why? Why was Jameel pretending to be an info source? I don’t get it. Sure, it’s a twist, but I don’t get why.
  • Anyway, it was indeed Chekhov’s mace and Cordelia uses it to get him to stop throttling Gunn.
  • And Angel uses the pink motorcycle helmet to bean someone in the face so I guess he’s come to terms with it?
  • Fighty fight and I still don’t get the point of Deevak/Jameel, but at least it’ll wrap up soon.
  • Gunn, to Cordy: “Well, you finally saved my life. Guess I should say thanks.”
  • Cordelia’s decided Deevak wasn’t the danger she saw in her vision. She thinks Gunn is his own worst enemy, on a path to self-destruction. “Better plan on having me in your life for a while. At least until you find some peace.” // “Could be a while.” While this may or may not be valid, the execution is sooooo hokey. Very Nickelodeon in the 90s style writing and delivery.
  • Never mind, I figured out why Angel moved into a giant hotel after living in his basement apartment. I forgot how absolutely extra Angel is, with all his mansions and sitting and reading next to a roaring fire. Of course he wanted to live in a giant art deco hotel.
  • Anyway, Dream Darla’s back, telling Angel he takes care of so many people, but who takes care of him? Angel smiles and says “You do.”
  • AND THEN WE REVEAL! As Angel happily dreams sexytimes with Dream Darla, IRL Darla is straddling his sleeping self, both of them quite naked, and are we about to imply some rape? Cuz I think we might be about to imply some rape.
  • Honestly, though, if you saw this episode out of context, you might not realize that that’s supposed to be IRL Darla and not Dream Darla, since that’s the only scene we see of her outside of the dreamscape this episode, and it could just be a dream within a dream. [Mawwiage? – Peter Cook]
  • I guess it’s good to see Darla figured out how to spend her new lease on life?
  • It’s funny, I really am excited about starting the Darla arc, because this show is so much better when it’s in arc-mode instead of monster of the week (see: how little I invested in Jameel/Deevak), but I’m also ughing a little because I know how annoyed I’m going to get at Angel being stupid. Cuz let’s face it: he’s being stupid. He’s so easily manipulated. Though, that’s nothing new either, if we look back to “Amends” on Buffy.


Crossfire!

Camera: *cuts away midfight*
Z: How many vamps? Three?
D: One two three piles of dust!


Favorite Lines:

Daniel & Zelda:
Wesley: "That was quite a performance." 
Cordy: "I know! Talk about being wound up too tight." 
Wesley: "No. I-I mean Denzel." 
Cordy: "Oh. Well, he's always great." 
Wesley to Angel: "What about you?" 
Angel: "Who doesn't love Denzel?" 

Arc/Continuity:

Recurring: David Nabbit, Lorne, Darla, Phantom Dennis
Generally Known TV Face: Christopher Babers, Edwin Hodge, Angel Parker, Ray Campbell
Lorne’s Nicknames: no nicknames but he strongly implies Angel is a clown

Caritas Song List

“Send in the Clowns” (offscreen)
“Tears of a Clown” (offscreen)
“Get Here (If You Can)”


Stats:

Cordelia’s Hair – long and loose, side part; high ponytail with a patterned headband
Dead Humans – 0
Dead Undeads – 5
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 1
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 2 (Party Girl is a vamp!; Jameel is Deevak)
Unevil Reveal – 0
Eyeroll Reveal – 1 (Gunn was a danger to himself allllllllllll along)
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0

Monday, July 27, 2020

The 'Who Died Horribly Because Angel Screwed Up 50 Years Ago' Game

Episode 2.02: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been. Original Airdate: 10.3.00.




“In the 1950s, Angel aids a woman hiding from her past in a hotel with a long history of death and mayhem. In the present, Angel hunts a demon.”



Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • The Hyperion Hotel. 68 rooms, 68 vacancies. 68 opportunities to reuse and reset the same hotel room over and over.
  • Aw Cordelia put cinnamon in Angel’s blood. But … yuck.
  • Ooooh time travel transition! Back to when the Hyperion was an active hotel and Angel was a mopey souled vampire, not yet eating rats, not yet in love with a teenager.
  • “We cannot evict residents on the grounds of the heebie jeebies.” If they give us a wiggins, however, we totally can.
  • Anyway, the gum chewing bellman doesn’t want to deliver the weekly bill to, you guessed, it Angel! With combed hair! Gasp!
  • Seriously though why was Angel staying in a hotel. Hotel rooms have windows.
  • And why did the “Becoming” episodes of Buffy act like he went straight from souled vampire to living in alleyways for a century until the saviorness of seeing Buffy, and it turns out on this show he rattled around all over the continental U.S. with mysterious funds able to cover his living in a hotel. THE RETCON IS SO STRONG WITH THIS SERIES.
  • Anyway, this is a cool long tracking shot through the hotel lobby, as we see the McCarthy hearings, Angel not wearing a billowy black coat, and the hotel manager lying to a black family about vacancies in the hotel, cuz the 1950s were the best weren’t they?
  • I guess the implication, when we see the tail end of a (clandestine?) homosexual hookup, as Angel heads to his room, is that this hotel is a haven for all manner of covert activities, and that’s why Angel blends in?
  • Anyway, there’s a guy in the hotel hall with a suitcase, agreeing with whispering voices of nothing. Also another guy loitering and knocking on doors and it’s all very noir and mysterious.
  • Why did Angel get a bucket of ice? Does he like his blood chilled? Oh right, he has no fridge so if he does want to keep the blood, he would need ice. Okay fine.
  • Ah, random lady sneaked into his room and is (badly) pretending to be the maid, but Angel has no time or interest in suffering any of this.
  • Ah, mysterious loiterer has a gun and is looking for our mystery lady. So Angel punches him with the door, disposes of him in the elevator, and slams the door on a thankful Judy.
  • Meanwhile, back in the present, Wes and Cordy have researched a rather bloody history of the tail end of the Hyperion’s life as an active hotel. Ah, but Cordy finally figured out why Angel has them looking into it: there’s a photograph from 1952 and Angel’s in the background.
  • Gasp! 1952 Angel smoked! That’s how you know we’re not on Buffy anymore: if someone smokes on Buffy they're either evil or about to die. But here in LA, morality is greyer and souled-but-cynical vampires can smoke too.
  • Anyway, that dude who was agreeing with nothing just shot himself. Angel hears the gunshot, doesn’t react, and takes a sip of blood.
  • Hotel manager says he’s the third suicide in as many months. WHAT COULD IT MEAN.
  • And the whisperer says to him, “Three in three months. They’ll shut you down.” Manager agrees with the nothing, and instructs the bellman to cover up the death.
  • It’s weird seeing the Hyperion lobby with all these strangers in it. Since I’ve seen the rest of the series, I know what that lobby will become.
  • Anyway, the paranoia whisperer suggests to another hotel lobby patron that maybe it wasn’t a suicide.
  • Angel cracks that maybe it was the wallpaper that drove that guy to suicide and isn’t that sort of the plot of that story? The yellow wallpaper? Yes? Well, it doesn’t drive her to suicide but it does facilitate her mental collapse. Anyway. My point is we know Angel likes to read so he probably has read that story and therefore this is him being clever.
  • It is kind of fun, having present-day Wes and Cordelia trying to solve what happened in the past, as we also see the past unfold with Angel and this lady Judy. Tom Stoppard’s written several plays using that device.
  • Ah, Judy’s on the run because she pulled a Janet Leigh in Psycho and walked off with an overnight bag full of cash, eight years before Pyscho came out!

  • But also she was fired and dumped because she’s mixed race (but passing). The actress is mixed race, but she's of Italian and Chinese descent, not African. Anyway isn’t racism fun.
  • And Angel says he’ll help her hide. Is this the awakening of his white knight? Of his *gulp* champion complex?
  • Judy, wondering if she can just return the money, asks Angel, “There is such a thing as forgiveness, right?” Hello, theme!
  • Also, present-day Angel found the case full of cash where he hid it. Judy, whatever happened to her, never left with the cash and never returned it. But hey, now Angel Investigations has money?
  • Cordelia, badass, figured out which demon haunts the hotel: a Thesulac, a paranoia demon. Oh, never mind, Angel told her. Still, it was a cool moment when Wes is all “it’s something, but idk what” and she just namedrops it.
  • Ooops Past Angel tried to visit a bookstore fellow for some research but he threw a bible at him.
  • Ah, the four lobby patrons who actually have lines are deciding one of them had to have killed the suicide. This kind of device works better if the hotel has 8 rooms, not 68, but whatever.
  • And the Thesulac is whispering to Judy too.
  • See, like, this isn’t cool. Angel clearly has some money, to keep him in the hotel and keep him in blood. But he’s extorting the bookstore owner, demanding the things he needs to get rid of the demon for free, instead of paying for them. Come on, Angel. Support your local independent bookstore.
  • Gunn’s here! About damn time. He wasn’t asked to help with the research, but he’s in for fighting the demon.
  • *snort* and he’s bickering with Wes and future me will miss their sibling bickering when it gets replaced by a love triangle.
  • Past Angel gets back to the hotel with the tools to expunge the demon, but everyone’s been whipped into a frenzy, and Judy, cornered, in tears, outs Angel to the crowd and they literally pounce on him, sfx punches and kicks landing as he squints at her from the ground, betrayed.
  • Wow, they’re actually lynching him. Literally stringing him up in a noose. Which is beyond fucked up and also troubling in an episode that’s also barely touching the racism feeding so much of American culture and paranoia.
  • Angel, hanging by his neck, and suddenly the mania disperses, everyone (but the sociopath bellman) ashamed and emptied.
  • But, well, that doesn’t kill a vampire, so he’s fine really. Just, you know, super disappointed and betrayed. He tried to help someone and she was the one who turned him over to the mob. Of course he leaves the hotel to rot. Present Angel would recognize that it was the demon, not the people, and still try to save them. Past Angel? “Take ‘em all.”
  • Thesulac demon’s accent sounds very … old south. Louisana maybe? I’m assuming that’s no accident either.
  • It’s a cool metaphor anyway for the extensive paranoia that flavored this era in history, and it worked back when this episode aired twenty years ago (fuck I’m old), but these days … the paranoia and conspiracy theories all but dominate the narrative over rational thought, the doxxing and vigilante monsters we see on the internet who will ruin a person’s life if they have the audacity to not be a white cishet bro. Like we’re living in that again, now, and we can’t blame a demon for stoking that paranoia and fear and hate (though I guess we can blame Russian trolls?).
  • Basically everything old is new again.
  • Except Judy, who is now old, who stayed in the room, and who’s been feeding the Thesulac for the past fifty years. Angel comes upstairs to release her. “Am I safe?” // “Yeah, you’re safe.” // “Can I go out now?”
  • But she lies down to take a rest first, and we know this is her final rest.
  • “I’m so sorry I killed you. Can you forgive me?” // “Of course.”
  • “I’m just going to rest, just for a minute, and then I’m going to go out.” Fuck, I’m crying.
  • Angel, a peaceful half-smile on his face, looks around the Hyperion and says “We’re moving in.”
  • I know Wes is being adorably neurotic about paranoia, and normally that’s my favorite thing, but I’m still kind of … feeling the heaviness of how much things have changed and how much they’ve stayed the same, seventy years on.



Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • Hyperion Hotel!  They have an old black and white picture of it.
  • Cordelia has made Angel coffee with blood.  And she made Wesley Tea.
  • Oooh, flashback to the 50s!  The Hyperion is up and running and why does this remind me of the opening to the Hollywood Tower of Terror ride
  • The bellhop’s gotta deliver a bill to room 217…where a certain creepy resident stays. “Ever look into his eyes?  There’s nothing there.” I WONDER WHO THAT COULD BE.
  • Rooom 217, not to be confused with room 237 of the Shining.
  • It’s Angel!  [Annngeell, Indeed. -Tom Collins.]  And he’s all 50’s clothing style.
  • Fast forward to the future:  The Hyperion is a mess; abandoned – and a great looking set.
  • The title of this episode of course refers to the McCarthy trials accusing Americans of communism, witnessed on the tv in the lobby. Also an allegory for this episode.
  • We also see the prejudice of the 50s – a hotel turning away a black family, a gay couple being less careful than they should be.
  • And something not common for the 50s, a guy talking to…..someone who’s not there.
  • Angel catches a woman in his hotel - and quickly saves her from someone. Even back in the 50s, he’s helping young maidens.  But pouty Angel just wants to be left alone!
  • Meanwhile Cordelia & Wesley are researching the hotel.
  • "It’s not that vampires don’t photograph, it’s just that they don’t photograph well!"  - Cordelia
  • Meanwhile, back in the 50s, Angel’s neighbor – who was talking to…someone – kills himself with a gun.  According to the manager, this is the 3rd suicide they’ve had.
  • The bellboy uses the word ‘depressed’ which I don’t think was a term widely used back then, at least so lightly.
  • Ahh, but now the manager is hearing the voice.  It’s telling him his worst fear -that the hotel will be shut down.
  • And another resident hears a voice making him wonder if it’s safe to even be there.
  • And Angel in James Dean gear is hanging outside the planetarium like some kind of rebel without causality. 

  • I like this back and forth. In the future, we find out the bellhop was arrested for the murders.  But we haven’t seen anything like it in the past.
  • Now everyone – all the actors and screenwriters – speculating that all these suicides were actually murders.
  • The woman that Angel saved reveals that she worked as a teller in a bank – and she stole money and now is hiding out in a hotel…which of course is an homage to Psycho.
  • “It’s just blood, Judy.” Angel says – but he doesn’t finish with, “It all tastes the same.” [If you close your eyes. - Mimi]
  • In the future, Judy was never heard from again after staying at the Hyperion.
  • “There is such a thing as forgiveness, right?”  Judy asks Angel, thematically.
  • I love this scene with the book seller who knows immediately who Angel is.  He knows the lore, too, threatening to make his residence there, so vamps can’t just walk in.  I guess he has a some experience.
  • And now those actors and screenwriters are all accusing each other.
  • “Don’t you dare use alliteration with me, you hack!” - Actor Fella to Writer Fella.  
  • “So you were about my age when you were made?” “I don’t know, how old are you?” “Just north of 30?” Angel offended: “No!”
  • Cordy, Wes & Gunn join Angel at the Hyperion to conjure the demon to corporality.
  • Everyone on the 2nd floor is now attacking Judy.  Angel is about to help when…Judy turns the tables and accuses Angel.  So the mob turns their hatred towards him instead.
  • And they’re actually fucking lynching him which holy shit.  And laughing.  Again…not uncommon in the 50s. Everyone disperses except for the bellboy who’s kinda really awfully gleeful about it. He's arrested later, so that's good at least. (We don't actually see that; just a newspaper clipping - but we assume lots of bad things happened to the rest of the patrons here.)
  • Meanwhile, Angel, who cannot be hanged, gets himself off of the rope and jumps to the ground and meets the demon.
  • The demon face just looks kinda old manish, but he’s floating on tentacles which is pretty awesome.

  • Angel, fed up with people, tells the demon to ‘take ‘em all’
  • But 50 years later, Angel corrects his mistake…
  • He goes up to Judy’s room.  She’s been there the whole time.  What…has she been eating?
  • The article had said she’s been missing.  Did…they check the hotel? Ah, she narrates that the demon kept them from that door.  But it seems she hasn’t left her room.  Seriously, what’s she been eating?
  • “I’m going to rest just for a minute.” – which in Hollywood means, she gon’ die.
  • Cordelia & Gunn can’t get wait to get out.  So naturally, Angel wants to move in.  Welcome to the new headquarters of Angel Investigation.  Shit loada stuff gonna happen here.


Favorite Lines:
Zelda: “There is such a thing as forgiveness, right?” – Judy
Daniel: Denver, the Book Seller: “So you were about my age when you were made?” Angel: “I don’t know, how old are you?” Denver: “Just north of 30?” Angel offended: “No!”

Arc/Continuity:
Generally Known TV Face: Brett Rickaby, J.P. Manoux, Tony Amendola.

Angel! In! History!
In 1952 Angel combed his hair with a side part, lived in the Hyperion Hotel, smoked, and tried to mind his own cynical business.

Stats:
Cordelia’s Hair – parted down the middle, loose
Dead Humans – 1
Dead Undeads – 1
Dead Flashbacks – 1
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 0
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Mr. Tall, Dark, and Rockin'


Episode 2.01: Judgment. Original Airdate: 9.26.00


“Misinterpreting one of Cordy’s visions, Angel tries to help a pregnant woman and accidentally kills her demon protector. Now, Angel must fulfill the dead warrior’s mission and fight a battle to save the woman’s unborn baby. When the woman runs off though, Angel is forced to make an incredible sacrifice to find her again … He has to sing at a karaoke bar.”

Daniel’s Thoughts:


  • Hey, I recognize that green demon!  I guess it's supposed to be a trick that we have this green face with red horns and oh no, threat(!) - except how can Lorne be scary?
  • But he brings a microphone up to his face and starts singing “I Will Survive.”
  • He will be our narrator for this episode.
  • Meanwhile Cordelia is in a play!  (Or acting lessons, at least) And she’s not doing badly. 
  • Cordelia and Wesley both have beepers.  What year is this again?
  • They go to a gym with lots of mirrors. This is the episode where we can clearly see David walking into shot, so Angel won’t have a reflection, but oops, how did they miss such an obvious shenanigan.
David clearly standing out of shot so he won't be reflected in the mirror.
Then he joins them as they pass the camera.

  • Anyway, this opening scene is to show that the Fang Gang are all good; they’re back in business.  Wes & Cordy are all healed and are still fighting the good fight.
  • They’re still trying to figure out what or who “The Beast” is, but we know.
  • “I’ll survive,” Cordelia says tying in The Host/The Narrator/Lorne’s message.
  • Lindsey & Lilah meanwhile deal with Darla, who is getting used to being alive again.
  • “He killed me,” Darla says, remembering her time in Sunnydale.
  • Angel & Wesley are staying with Cordelia and working out of her apartment.  With Phantom Dennis!
  • Demon karaoke!  Lorne’s place is buzzing.
  • Lots of great make-up jobs here for a lot of demons.
  • So we find out a few things about this bar.  1) The Karaoke has a purpose.  You sing, Lorne reads your soul.  2) Caritas is violence free.; a place where demons can go and feel safe.
  • Angel gets all manly: “I don’t sing.”  right after Lorne calls him cute. Fellas, is it gay to sing?
  • Young Justina Machado. She’s a baby! (And she's having a baby!)
  • Angel kills a demon that he thinks was chasing Justina Machado - but it turns out the demon was her protector. Oops.
  • The show is double-downing on the “Not all demons are evil” thing.
  • Hey! It’s Gunn!  He kills a vamp.  Angel gets his help to find the demon’s cubbyhole.
  • Gunn comes through, as he does. 
  • Angel, alone, lights a candle in guilt…to Buddha?  Was the demon a Buddhist?


  • Wait, have Cordelia & Wesley not met Gunn yet?
  • Oh, the cringe - Gunn’s blackness makes Cordelia & Wesley all weird.
  • YAY THE HYPERION!  Finally!  Lots will happen here in the next few seasons.
  • Angel keeps beating himself up over the protector demon's death.
  • Angel nervously singing Mandy is just the most amazing thing.
  • “Why Mandy?” “I kind of think it’s pretty.”
  • Whoa, the way the tribunal stage rises up is so cool.
  • Justina needs a champion or her life will be over!  Angel steps up in the nick of time!
  • “You know how you’re not really good at anything?” Justina to Angel.  (She’s listed as Jo on IMDb but Imma continue calling her Justina.)
  • Angel on a horse with a lance, charging another demon on a horse…with no traffic…in LA.
  • So Justina & her very important unborn daughter are safe - and we’ll never see them again.
  • And weirdly & surprisingly, Angel visits Faith.
  • Faith is trying to be good in jail, resisting using her slayer strength to …kill people. I wonder if they were playing with the idea of bringing Faith to Angel as a more permanent cast member.
  • Oh man, the outtakes during the credits of David/Angel singing. 

Zelda’s Thoughts:


  • Lorne! It’s Lorne! I’m so excited about Lorne, y’all.
  • I love that he looks all menacing, and then he’s singing “I Will Survive” and what an amazing opening to the season.
  • And then we segue to Cordelia in a breakup scene that is very clearly an acting scene, and good job Charisma on the nuance, where we can tell it’s her *acting* as opposed to Cordy IRL.
  • But also she leaves the acting class at a single page because she hasn’t forgotten her new priorities established in the S1 finale.
  • Also HAH Wes gets the same page and, trying to look cool for Random Hot Girl, throws a dart into a human.
  • Angel Smashes a Mirror.
  • And smashes an attempted sacrifice.
  • Gym Attendant: “That guy has horns.” // Angel: “Steroids. Not good for ya.” #gymhumor
  • Welcome to the credits, J. August Richards!
  • Wes is still trying to figure out what the W&H folk raised in the box. C’mon Wesley. It’s obviously Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.
  • Cordelia has a vision, says “I will survive,” and HEY SHE’S CHANNELING OUR NEW BEST FRIEND LORNE.
  • Lilah, still kicking. Lindsey, struggling with his very plastic hand. And Lilah, because she’s evil, makes an ableist joke about it.
  • Darlaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Lilah’s patronizing to her, which makes a bit of sense, because Darla doesn’t seem entirely … here.
  • Darla’s feeling a connection to Chopin, who died of consumption. Heyo.
  • Oop, she’s remembering that Angel killed her, and she laughs sadly.
  • Aw Phantom Dennis is helping with the research. It’s a shame we’ll have less of that collaboration once they move into the Hyperion.
  • Oh, I forgot that our first meeting with Merl was at Caritas, Lorne’s bar.
  • There’s a demon wailing away to “I’m So Excited,” and he’s okay? He looks like one of the demons we got to hang out with in “The Ring.” Hah, and then Lorne shows up and sings way better, an octave higher.
  • I miss Andy Hallett. He was such a gem as Lorne.
  • I guess any noir show needs a recurring snitch character, and ours is Merl.
  • Angel: “There are three things I don’t do: tan, date, and sing in public.”
  • Oh hey, it’s Justina Machado! From Six Feet Under and Jane the Virgin and One Day at a Time. They don’t bother to ever say her name the entire episode (seriously, not ONCE), so I guess we’ll just call her Justina Machado (IMDb says her name is Jo).
  • Oops and she’s grieving the demon Angel just killed. “He was my protector. I had one friend in this world and you killed him.”
  • Has Cordelia’s apartment always had these pretty columns in it?


  • Merl the snitch is just as untrustworthy in his allegiances as Willy was. You’d think Angel would have more skepticism. Remember when he delivered Angel to Spike?
  • Gunn & crew: run. Random dude: freaks out, tells them to take his car. Gunn: stakes vamp about to eat random dude. Random dude: doesn't bother to say thank you, runs runs runs
  • “He was on our side?” // “Yeah.” // “Well did you find the scumbag that killed him?” // “I’m the scumbag that killed him.” The dialog they write for Gunn isn’t always great (all white writers room etc) but I do like when he’s got the banter.
  • Because they’re not yet trying to set Gunn up as an obstacle/foil to Wesley, they’re also not acting like he’s a dumb meathead. I hate that the show (and Gunn himself) decide that he’s just the muscle. We saw what a good leader he was, what a caretaker of his crew, and the clever traps and weapons his crew put together to compensate for their being humans fighting creatures much stronger than them. Gunn is a clever and resourceful guy, and he finds the demon’s home easily.
  • Justina: “Do me a favor? Stop helping.” This is an interesting return to the S1 premiere too, where he doesn’t know right away how to help the person he’s sent to help, and keeps messing up. He’s an imperfect guy and his plans rely more on improvisation than careful planning and forethought. And hey, sometimesoften that backfires.
  • Oh good Cordelia got some well-meaning racism to lay on Gunn. Good, great, super.
  • If Angel knew how to use a cell phone, he coulda called Wes, Cordelia OR Gunn and said “hey can you bring back that amulet, we kinda need it.”
  • Oh hey! I forgot Angel found the Hyperion in this episode, ahead of its big flashback introduction. “You’ve been here before.” Angel’s face: *actually a pretty interesting balance of haunted memory and surprise*
  • Cordy: “You can’t see everything. You’re just a vampire like everyone else, that didn’t come out right.” A+ delivery, Charisma.
  • Ah, part of why Angel’s beating himself up this time is he’s been treating the missions like his clearly lit path to redemption and resurrection, and part of why he’s extra self-punishy now is he feels that ending falling farther away.
  • Woof, Angel singing “Mandy” is roughhhhhhh but also the beginning of a runner about his love for Manilow.
  • Ah but at least it yielded what he needed: he’s found the Tribunal and he’s gonna be Justina Machado’s champion. Is this our first use of the word champion? [Ron Howard: It is. Sadly, it will not be our last.] Oh god. I’m gonna get so sick of this damn word.
  • Also LOL at Justina saying “You know how you’re not really good at anything?”
  • I love the shot of the demon on the horse with a car behind him. If that isn’t this show in a nutshell.


  • Oooh more fighty fight without putting the horsies in danger. [Giles, aim for the horsies. – Buffy]
  • Angel got stabbed in the gut with a sword. But uh. Angel ain’t dead?
  • Other demon is. We won!
  • “You sure seem to bleed a lot.” // “It’s part of the job.”
  • “We shouldn’t be keeping score. We’re not running a race. We’re doing a job, one soul at a time.”
  • And on that thought, Angel goes to visit another person with a long slow road ahead of them to redemption: our Faith, in prison. And I super love that this truly is a real bond for the two of them, entirely separate from Buffy, and one the show returns to.
  • Angel admits he sang Manilow. Faith: “The road to redemption is a rocky path.”
  • “You think we might make it?” // “We might.”
  • HAH during credits scene of Angel struggling mightily with the song/David riffing.


Favorite Lines:
Daniel: “The road to redemption is a rocky path.” - Faith
Zelda: Faith: “The road to redemption is a rocky path … You think we might make it?” // Angel: “We might.”


Arc/Continuity:

First Appearance: The Host (Lorne), Merl, Caritas, the Hyperion, Angel’s love for Manilow, calling Angel a Champion
Recurring: Lindsey McDonald, Lilah Morgan, Darla, Phantom Dennis, Faith
Future Famous Person: Justina Machado
Buffy Crossover: Faith
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Rob Boltin (Johnny Fontaine on Angel, Soldier on Buffy), Keith Campbell (Club Manager on Angel, Werewolf on Buffy), Edward James Gage (Mordar the Bentback on Angel, Mover #1 on Buffy)
Lorne’s Nicknames: Mr. Tall, Dark and Rockin’; Curt Jurgens in The Enemy Below


Caritas Songlist:

“I Will Survive”
“I’m So Excited”
“Sexual Healing”
“Mandy”
“Achy Breaky Heart”


Stats:

Cordelia’s Hair – pinstraight, parted down the center, or in a mid-high ponytail; a new layering to her haircut
Dead Humans – 0
Dead Undeads – 5
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 1
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 1 (Kamal, Jo’s guardian)
Shenanigans Called – 1
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 1 (Jo’s daughter has an important future)
Champion Called – 1

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

What's a Rogue Demon, Season One?

Season One Stats

Dead Humans - 27
Dead Undeads - 62
Dead Flashbacks - 17
Alterna-Dead Humans - 2
Alterna-Dead Undeads - 1
Dead Lawyers - 1
Doyle Has a Vision - 7
Cordelia Has a Vision - 7
(Cordelia Fakes a Vision - 1)
Wesley Prat-Falls - 7
Lawyered Ex Machina - 8
Evil Reveal - 9
Unevil Reveal - 7
Shenanigans Called - 11
Apocalypse Called - 1
Prophecy Called - 3


Additional Stats
Recurring Characters: 18 (The Powers That Be, Wolfram & Hart, Lindsey McDonald, Detective Kate Lockley, Spike, "We Help the Hopeless," Phantom Dennis, Trevor Lockley, Lee Mercer, Buffy Summers, The Oracles, Darla, Angel's "Irish" accent, Lilah Morgan, Faith, David Nabbit, Charles Gunn, Holland Manners)
Future Famous Person: 3 (Josh Holloway, Jeremy Renner, Christina Hendricks)
Already/Past Famous Person: 2 (Bai Ling, Eliza Dushku)
Generally Known TV Face: 30 (Christian Kane, Tracy Middendorf, Vyto Ruginis, Elizabeth Rohm, Jenni Blong, Brent Sexton, Andy Umberger, Beth Grant, Alex Skuby, Steve Schirripa, Kristin Dattilo, Carlos Jacott, Chris Tallman, Lauri Johnson, Lee Arenberg, Sean Gunn, Maury Sterling, Ken Marino, Josh Randall, Jerry Lambert, Julie Benz, J. Kenneth Campbell, Douglas Roberts, Markus Redmond, Scott William Winters, Tyler Christopher, Maurice Compte, David Herman, Sam Anderson, Todd Stashwick)
Buffy Crossover: 15 (Angel, Cordelia Chase, Spike, Oz, Aura, Buffy's headshot, Buffy Summers, Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, Darla, Faith, Collins, Weatherby, Smith, Deputy Mayor Allan Finch, Willow)
Whedonverse Hat Trick: 25 (Lilli Birdsell, Derek Hughes, Andy Umberger, Alex Skuby, Kevin Will, Carlos Jacott, Anthony Cistaro, Sean Gunn, Alexis Denisof, Maury Sterling, Jeremy Renner, Bob Fimiani, Christina Hendricks, Mark Ginther, John Patrick Clerkin, Markus Redmond, Marc Rose, Eliza Dushku, Jennifer Slimko, Jeff Ricketts, J. August Richards, Sven Holmberg, Jennifer Badger, Scott Berman, Derek Anthony)
Angel’s Alias: 3 (Mr. Jensen, husband of woman with an ocular tumor; Herb Saunders; Angel Jones)
Cordelia’s Alias: 2 (journalist for Journal of Diagnostic Orthoped ... Et Cetera., Jensen International Holdings receptionist)



Angel! In! History!
  • Angel’s been to Missoula during the Depression … his depression … he was depressed there.
  • In the late 1700s, Angelus used to mark his victims with a cross scratched into their faces.
  • Angel as sudden art museum docent: “And this brings us to Monet's incomparable 'La Music Aux Tuileries,' first exhibited in 1863 ... On the left one spies the painter himself. In the middle distance is the French poet and critic Baudelaire, a friend of the artist. Now, Baudelaire -- interesting fellow. In his poem 'Le Vampire' he wrote 'Thou who abruptly as a knife didst come into my heart.' He strongly believed that evil forces surrounded mankind. And some even speculated that the poem was about a real vampire. Oh, and uh Baudelaire was actually a little taller and a lot drunker than he is depicted here.” aka ship Baudelangel is canon.
  • Angel speaks Spanish, Russian, and Italian. Also this wasn’t his first kill. Or his twenty-first.
  • He’s heard Ernest Borgnine is a very skilled lover.
  • He never killed a famous person before.
  • Angel’s father was a merchant—linen and silk. Had a couple servants [“just the one”—Angel] til Angel killed them.


Zelda's Thoughts:

It's a bit of a weird swerve, this Season One, at least in context of the two other shows we've covered. Buffy knew what it was and what it wanted to do from scene one. Not every episode there was a grand slam, but the establishing themes were clear, the metaphors were there, and we got a great hero narrative for Buffy, culminating in "Prophecy Girl," where she saved the world and then partied. Then we have Veronica Mars, also a show that knew what it was and what it wanted to do (at least in its first season). Though VM was never as strong later on, I think we can all agree that the first season was baller.

And now we're on Angel, a show that will try to straddle, narratively, a space between monster of the week and arc-arc-arc plots. And it's definitely a show that will suffer from studio pressure to dial down the arc for fear of losing viewers (to its detriment; does anyone think S5 is the strongest season?). This season, though, the arc stuff is still pretty low key, as they're finding their feet a bit more than our other two shows. They know who Angel and Cordelia and Wesley are, but what do they want the show itself to be? Is the world view the same as in Buffy, a show aimed at teens, or is our moral compass a bit more subject to the winds of the moment? And so we get these explorations of what it means to be a demon, and how that's not an inherent indicator of evil. And, to balance that, we also get a law firm, where the attorneys at least are all human -- and decidedly evil (or in Lindsey's case, sometimes undecidedly so).

It's very much Act Two of Into the Woods (don't @ me, you sat through my gifs when we covered the Buffy episode of the same title).

But does it work, this new show? Sometimes. They take their time establishing W&H as our longstanding antagonist, which I appreciate. And they definitely seem to be testing the waters as to which characters to keep around as recurring, between the revolving door of lawyers, eccentric billionaires, Detective Kates, and -- wait, the snitch character doesn't show up til next season, does he? But hey, we also finally get introduced to Gunn as the season speeds toward its finale, and I'm glad that he'll be back as a regular when we see him again. Speaking of regulars, I appreciate that the loss of Doyle isn't trivialized or forgotten. He continues to matter, his loss continues to matter, and he'll be given a final farewell in the hundredth episode. I'm also looking forward to Cordelia's arc, as I think she's been a real star of the first season, and I'm looking forward as well to seeing more colors from Wesley. Angel? Well. You know what I think about Boreanaz's acting range (to paraphrase what Maltin once said unkindly of Patrick Swayze, his expressions run the gamut from A to B).

I'm excited about the Hyperion and Lorne and Darla (oh my!). Let's go Season Two!


Daniel's Thoughts:


Ditto.

Zelda's Coda:

Every. Time. I feel like the Conan to your Paul Rudd.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

That Shoeshine Thing?

Episode 1.22: To Shanshu in L.A. Original Airdate: 5.23.00. 




“A scythe-wielding demon targets Angel’s allies as Wolfram and Hart lawyers attempt to summon a powerful force from beyond.”






Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • Season One finale baby!
  • And Wes is deep into research mode, trying to understand what shanshu means.
  • Cordelia: “Nobody gets my humor.” Angel, completely dry: “I thought it was funny.” “Oh!” that was cute.
  • I like that the finale is opening with the easy camaraderie of our three heroes. We need to see why this group is good before they try to rip it away.
  • Also now our trio knows that Lindsey took the job offer and is no longer on our side.
  • Oh lord David Nabbit showed up … in a shiny purple cape. Oh, it’s from being a D&D DM. Right, back when mentioning D&D meant someone was an irretrievable dweeb. (Daniel and I are playing D&D tomorrow!)
  • Also remember in the 90s where if a character had a cell phone, that was a clue to the audience that they were an asshole?
  • Anyway, David’s here and he’s lonely and he wants to be friends with our trio and it’s kind of sweet but mostly awkward and oooooh look we transitioned to some kind of summoning fire spell. This dude’s cape is less shiny than David’s. We don’t find out his name til halfway through the episode so I’m gonna call him masky capey demon.
  • Masky capey demon was summoned for a meeting with Holland, Lindsey, and Lilah. Our days with the Three L were short.
  • Cordelia, channeling Buffy: “That shoeshine thing?” // Wes: “No, shanshu.”
  • Wes says shanshu means death. The prophecy is about Angel dying. Angel doesn’t seem ruffled. Wes and Cordelia are more shaken than Angel.
  • Oh, Cordy’s having a vision! It’s been a while.
  • “I ever meet those Powers That Be, I’m gonna punch ‘em in the nose! … You think they have a nose?”
  • Hot damn, the scroll Angel swiped from W&H is pivotal to “the raising.” That’s convenient.
  • So in revenge, they’re gonna cut off his connection to the Powers That Be. But … but that’s our Cordelia!
  • Ah Detective Kate. Is this her final episode with us? I don’t remember. [No, we still have her next season. – The Internet] Anyway, she showed up to a call about something demon-y and found Angel. She’s retreated to a pretty cold place at this point. She doesn’t consider Angel a person, her idealism for the job is gone. Her passion for the job is a cold one, taking down any supernatural creatures. It’s a bit of a bummer and definitely does feel like we’re done with her as a character. Or at least, we’re done with her as any kind of friend.
  • Wes is concerned that Angel’s cut off from caring about dying. “Death doesn’t bother him because there is nothing in life he wants. It’s our desires that make us human.” Hey so maybe the detached and cold Kate stuff was a deliberate move, too. First, showing that the cut-off path isn’t healthy, but also showing that at first Angel meets it with indifference. “He’s not a part of the world.”
  • C: “He’s Angel. He’s good, and he helps the helpless and now he’s one of them.” Digging Cordelia this episode. Even if her eye makeup is … a thing. 


  • The thing is, Angel’s apathy right now isn’t out of nowhere. Buffy had been his beacon for the mission, but then he left her. Doyle’s big thing was getting Angel to invest in the world, and then Doyle went dead. We saw just last episode that Angel is increasingly frustrated by a system which seems designed to render all his efforts and achievements impotent, under the rule of law. He had a small ray of hope, when Lindsey came to them for help, but Lindsey’s back on Team Evil. What’s odd, for me I guess, is I’m not seeing in DB’s performance a demoralized Angel. I’m seeing an indifferent Angel. And I had to do a lot more mental legwork to justify indifferent over demoralized. Anyway. The writers are setting up a Problem to Be Solved.
  • Wes wants Angel to consult the Oracles. Mostly I think to remind us the Oracles are a thing. Before they’re no longer a thing.
  • Oops masky capey demon is visiting the Oracles. Oh, there’s that scythe the imdb summary told us about. Aaaaaaaaaand RIP Oracles.
  • Ah, the rare outdoor daylight location shot, as Cordy browses an outdoor market … why?
  • I still don’t know why. Except I guess they wanted masky capey scythey demon to come for Cordy in the daylight, where Angel can’t protect her.
  • Though he doesn’t attack, just touches her briefly. But that launches a vision.
  • And another vision. And then just a continuous stream of painful visions.
  • It’s brutal, watching her scream and writhe on the ground.
  • Welp, and now demon dude’s got the scroll while Angel’s running to the hospital.
  • Charisma is knocking this episode out of the park and it’s heartbreaking.
  • Motherfucker. I forgot they blew up Angel’s office. That’s just. This episode is really upsetting.
  • Is Wes inside? Oh, that’s why he stepped away from the cabinet the way he did, when he was looking for the scroll. He saw the bomb.
  • Cordelia’s in the hospital with a “psychotic” episode, tortured and broken. Wes is in an ambulance to get treated for damage from the explosion.
  • And Kate is somehow mad at Angel for this. But unlike last time, he has no patience left for the chip on her shoulder. “Now, I’m sorry about your father, but I didn’t kill your father. And I’m sick and tired of you blaming me for everything you can’t handle! You wanna be enemies? Try me.”
  • This is just me trying to take a step back from how upset I am right now, but it’s a rather weird and convenient coincidence that the scroll Angel stole that talks about his shoeshine is also the one the demon needs for “the raising.”
  • I guess in a longform way, the resurrection of Darla is key for the Angel plan? I guess? Since we need her coupling with Angel to bring us Connor, and then we have a prophecy about Connor and Angel, even if that was planted by what’s his face. But the Beast thingy that makes the sky rain fire and destroys all of spoiler is also part of that? I think? Still … a kind of complicated plan to take out one pouty vampire.
  • Kinda helpful that the female Oracle’s ghost stuck around to explain the evil plan to Angel.
  • Heyo it’s our man Gunn! He’s bantery and fun and I guess he’s worked through his grief about his sister?
  • Oooh we’re at The Raising now. I remember this set! Fun set. Bloodbath set.
  • Ah they’re still calling her The Beast. Okay, sure. Whatever. I thought the Beast was that dumbass thing that smashes up LA while Connor lives out his Oedipal fantasies (y’all I’m not looking forward to Season Four)
  • A W&H caravan heads off to The Raising. And Angel joins the parade.
  • We really shoulda made a stat about Angel breaking through doors and windows. Angel Enters Dramatically.
  • So while Angel battles capey masky scythey dude, Lindsey grabs the scroll and continues the ceremony. I guess it’s fitting for a lawyer to read the Latin.
  • Ceremony done, “beast” summoned, lawyers retreat, Angel still fights the scythe demon. Cuz he doesn’t care about W&H right now and whatever their plan is – he’ll thwart that later. But this douchebag, he hurt Angel’s family. Angelsmash.
  • Oh, Lindsey’s still here, blown back and knocked out by the ceremony.
  • Oh joy that mask was hiding maggot face. Yuck.
  • Now Angel has a scythe.
  • Bye bye Lindsey hand.


  • “Don’t believe everything you’re foretold.” Angel, you really need to put on sunglasses after saying lines like that.
  • Wesley, burnt and weak, reads the scroll by Cordelia’s bed, undoes the curse on her. And she’s released.
  • And we have Angel’s first smile of the episode.
  • “I saw them all, and they’re in so much pain. We have to help them.” // “We will.”
  • Cordelia’s arc this season, so much more compelling than Angel’s.
  • Glad not all of Wes’s books were destroyed in the explosion.
  • Wes: “Uh, oops. I may have made a tiny mistake.” He thinks shanshu means Angel’s going to live now. Snort. “It’s saying you get to live until you die. It’s saying – It’s saying you become human.”
  • Sweet move, giving us (and Angel) this promise of true rescue and redemption, a chance at life, but no set date for when it’ll happen. I’m … okay, I’m a little confused though because Angel was human, earlier this season. He already did that. Sure, the day was undone but like … what if that was the shanshu and he done fucked it up? Why is he happy about being human again? He’ll just try to undo it again, like it’s a bear.
  • Anyway, time for the cliffhanger shot of DARLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA in a box, confused, possibly feral, and ready to make season two interesting.

Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • Season finale time!
  • Wesley is in deep research mode.  He’s trying to find references to Shanshu.
  • Wesley’s frustrated because he can’t find anything and he’s sure it’s important to Angel’s future.
  • Cordelia also wants to know about her future.  No, she really doesn’t… [Too soon. - literally all of us]
  • The gang finds out that Lindsey has been promoted, which Wesley calls ‘selling his soul.’
  • Angel senses a visitor with his bat-sense, I guess.
  • It’s David Nabbit, eccentric millionaire!  Billionaire?
  • He talks about Dungeons & Dragons because that’s what nerds do.  (FYI, I started my very first dungeons & dragons game last week due to the boredom of quarantine.  I’m a half-elf bard!)




  • David wants to ‘hang’.  He thinks their lives are exciting!
  • "You fight demons! At any moment one could walk right through that very door!“ Everyone looks over at the door and it’s kinda hilarious.
  • Meanwhile the lawyers of Wolfram & Hart do a ceremony outside their offices to summon a demon.  Long journey. Could this have not been done on zoom?
  • Poor Nabbit awkwardly leaves.  This is the last we see of him this episode.  He has absolutely no part of this plot.  I wonder if this was a test to see how he meshes with the rest of the gang to possibly bring him on as a full time cast member.
  • “That shoeshine thing?” “Shanshu.”
  • Wesley thinks the Shanshu prophecy has something to do with Angel’s death. Angel isn’t concerned.
  • And Cordelia has her first vision in weeks! (It won’t be her last!)
  • Meanwhile the demon is pissed about Angel stealing the scroll from last week. He's also wearing a mask: unusual for a demon, I think.
  • Hey, it’s Detective Kate!  Some of the officers joke under their breaths about Lockley responding to weird calls on the police scanners. The Angel universe is pretty inconsistent about how well the supernatural world is known in LA.  If this were today, we’d all have cell phone cameras catching vampires and demons in the act.
  • Angel has already saved the day off screen. Kate is still being kind of a dick.  Despite Angel saving lives, she still considers him an evil thing like one of the things who killed her dick dad.
  • Wesley waxes philosophical about why Angel doesn’t fear death: because he has nothing to look forward to.  Yikes, a not so subtle metaphor of what it’s like to have depression.
  • “He’s Angel. He’s good.  He helps the helpless.  And now he’s one of them.”
  • Now Cordelia’s desperate to prove Angel wants things.  Puppy? Is one of her suggestions.  Just don’t invite Dawn over, with all those crossbows lying around.
  • Oh, the damn oracles.  We think it’s Angel they’re berating but it’s the demon…with a weapon, oh no!
  • Cordy decides to go to a flea market to buy Angel…pastels.  I mean, he does like to draw.
  • Uh oh, that Demon is everywhere…. He brushes Cordelia’s hand….and she has another vision.  And another. And another.  As if she’s feeling every single person’s pain in the world.  Looks like freaking agony.
  • Aww, Angel is Cordelia’s emergency contact!
  • The demon takes this opportunity to break in and steal the scroll.
  • “Are you family?” “YES”  - awww.
  • Cordelia is in incredible pain and her screams are heartbreaking.
  • Oh no!  Explosion!! Angel’s place is in smithereens! Where’s Wesley??
  • WHERE WILL THEY SET UP THEIR OFFICES NOW.
  • Damn, two of Angel’s friends (and 2/3s of the cast) are now in the hospital.
  • Love this exchange between Angel & Kate.  She goes off another tirade and Angel has had it.  Two of his friends are dying and he has no more fucks to give with Kate.
"No. More. Fucks. To. Give"


  • There’s not a lot of point to Kate here, except again like David, possibly to test if she should join the cast full time.
  • Cordelia’s at a point where she’s no longer screaming and writhing in pain - it seems like she’s in shock, now.
  • And Angel sees a symbol on Cordelia’s hand which brings him to the oracles.
  • But oops, the oracles are dead.  But the female oracle is a ghost, now!  She tells Angel who killed her.  That’s convenient.  He finds out that the demon’s name is Vocah.
  • Angel comes to Gunn for another favor.  He wants Gunn to protect Wesley & Cordelia while he hunts down Vocah.  Except we don’t see Gunn for the rest of the episode…so one last test. Who will be our new cast member, Kate, David, or Gunn?  Stay tuned to season two! [Maybe it'll be Lindsey's chopped off hand? Too soon? - Z] [Like Thing! - D]
  • Vocah is performing a ceremony summoning something called “The Beast”.  Ooh, I wonder who that is…
  • There also seems to be vampires in chains… sacrifices, I assume.
  • Holland Manners: “You never want to be on time for a ritual.”
  • “Remember when Robert Price let down the senior partners and they made him eat his liver?  I wonder what made me think of that.”  -Lilah having fun at Lindsey’s expense.
  • Angel breaks in all Angel-like.  Vocah is busy fighting Angel, so Lindsey continues the ritual.
  • The vampires in chains are dusted.  The ritual finished.  The cage removed.
  • During the fight, Angel removes the demons mask and it is seriously gross under there.
Awful kind of him to cover this up


  • It’s now down to Angel & Lindsey.
  • I remember being totally shocked when I first saw this.  Lindsey goes to burn the scroll & Angel chops off his hand!  
  • Wesley and Angel watch over Cordelia.  Wesley’s reading the scroll which helps Cordelia recover.  If there was ever an event that changes Cordelia, it’s this.  She’s seen so much pain.
  • A few days later, Cordelia is making lunch for Wesley and blood for Angel.
  • “Don’t be embarrassed.  We’re family.”
  • Wesley: “Oops.”  So Shanshu doesn’t mean Angel will die.  It means he’ll live.  He thinks it means he’ll become human.
  • But there’s one more surprise.  Lilah, Lindsey (now with one hand!), and Holland visit the cage/box. IT’S DARLA.  DUN DUN DUN.




Favorite Lines:
Zelda: Cordelia: “I know what’s out there now. We have a lot of evil to fight, a lot of people to help. I just hope skin-and-bones here can figure out what those lawyers raised sometime before the prophecy kicks in and you croak … That was the old me, wasn’t it?” // Angel: “I like them both.”

Daniel: Angel, giving no more fucks, to Kate: "This isn't about the law, this is about a little thing - called life. Now I'm sorry about your father. But I didn't kill your father. And I'm sick and tired of you blaming me - for everything you can't handle! You want to be enemies? Try me.” 

Arc/Continuity:
Recurring: Detective Kate Lockley, Charles Gunn, Lindsey McDonald, Lilah Morgan, Holland Manners, the Oracles, David Nabbit, Darla
Generally Known TV Face: Todd Stashwick


Stats:
Cordelia’s Hair – loose curls, parted down the middle; half-up, straight
Dead Humans – 0
Dead Undeads – 9
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 3 (the third one was a stream of visions)
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 1