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

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

You're an Office Manager and I'm Dead

Episode 2.17: Disharmony. Original Airdate: 4.17.01


“Angel and his friends fight a new vampire running a motivational pyramid scheme. And Cordelia helps her old friend Harmony, who’s now a vampire.”
 








So in the season three finale of Buffy, Harmony got bit by a vampire – then the next season revealed she was one and dated Spike, and then had a hissy-fight with Xander. Then this season she had minions, making Buffy laugh a lot, dated Spike some more, broke up with Spike for the third time,  and now you’re all caught up!



 
Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • So it’s the end of that Angel avoids his friends Arc.  But not quite since we’re in the apology phase of it. Wesley is laying down the law by giving a speech.
  • Angel acts like a sorry puppy and the rest of the gang are overdoing it a bit, giving him coffee orders & treating him like an intern.  
  • I know he deserves it, but I hope they’ll get over it soon cause it’s not as fun to watch as they think it is.
  • After the credits – random couple making out in a car.  Don’t you know that’s dangerous?  And as if on cue, hooded hooligans smash in their windows.
  • To be fair, Wes & Cordelia & Gunn really do seem like they’re really organizing the business.
  • Cordelia: “Just so we understand each other – you and I? we’re not friends.”  And, harsh but again fair.  Anyway, you don’t always have to be friends with your co-workers. [I’m confused. – Z, Daniel’s  coworker and friend]
  • Cordelia gets a vision of the lovebirds.
  • The gang rush off to help the couple.  Cordelia stays.
  • And then Harmony sneaks in!  “I haven’t seen you since-“ “The high school blew up!”  Yes – since she vamped out.  Nice to stay in touch, Cordelia.
  • Harmony makes a neck comment so we know she’s a vampire.  Eh? Eh?
  • They vaguely discuss their lives the past couple of years without revealing anything too intimate or supernatural.
  • And the gang kills vamps in green robes!   But Gunn remembers that Cordelia said it was blue robes. I remember black robes?
  • Anyway, Gunn runs off and Angel tells Wesley he gave Cordelia the night off.  Wesley reminds him that he can’t buy their friendship or trust. 
  • “Where’s my Sorry-I-Got-Shot-In-the-gut bouquets.” Lol.
  • Meanwhile Cordelia & Harmony are having a girls night in with robes and wine.  Wait, did they shower together?  Is this what straight girls do? 
Just gals bein' pals

  • They reminisce about high school when Cordelia was popular and stuff.  Hey Harmony, remember that time Cordy called you a sheep?
  • This is kinda honest tho – You can be an adult with someone you had a weird relationship with in HS.
  • Harmony is more vague about her life. She says she’s….hungry and then briefly vamp faces while Cordelia is reaching for the phone to order pizza.  And I guess that’s for the viewers who didn’t watch Buffy. And to create some intrigue I suppose.  
  • Later Harmony sneaks into Cordelia’s room.  Phantom Dennis slams the door to warn her. “I have a ghost,” Cordelia tells Harmony nonchalantly. 
  • And then Harmony talks vaguely about Cordelia being luscious and haha, gay humor.
  • It’s all so awkward and weird.
  • Oh hey, it’s Willow!  Cordelia is calling Willow. How does Cordelia have Willow’s dorm phone number?  It’s not as if they were ever really friends.
  • And now there’s more awkward gay/vampire misunderstandings and I don’t remember there being that much.
  • Finally Willow clears things up about Harmony. And then Cordelia says “Great big lesbo” which holy shit.
  • And Willow comes out to her. “That’s great!,” says Cordelia, “Good for you!” “Thanks for the affirmations,” Willow rightfully snarks.  I wonder why Cordelia didn’t follow up with, “Then why did you hook up with my boyfriend, you ho?” 
  • Anyway Willow calls Angel to warn him.  He and Wes bust in.
  • But apparently Cordelia & Harmony are all ok with everything.  And she’s weirded out that Wes & Angel would think she wouldn’t be.
  • I remember this episode being more wacky funny than wacky awkward.  I was wrong.
  • Cordy & Wes bring Cordelia back to the office.  Harmony doesn’t want to stay alone with the ghost so she goes too.
  • Harmony does what she does best, annoys.
  • Angel distracts her with blood but she ends up just enticing him by asking him how he can stand not drinking human blood.
  • Gunn comes back with intel. He says a flirty hello to Harmony before Wes reveals she’s a vamp. He takes it in quick and continues with his intel: Vamps are recruiting.
  • And then…okay. I really don’t remember this part of episode – but there’s a vampire pyramid scheme going on.  The emcee motivational speaker vampire is explaining the rules to the vamp crowd.  They’re all wearing different robes depending on what part of the pyramid they’re on I guess.  But the ones on the higher tiers seem to be learning the same as the one on the lower tiers.  I dunno. It’s fine. Wacky episode, remember?
  • SHENANIGANS Harmony spills coffee on the keyboard….and the rest of the computer bugs out.  Only the keyboard would short out.
  • It’s time for Cordy to distract Harmony.  She brings her to Caritas.
  • She sings “The Way We Were” and of course it’s terrible.
  • Harmony is eating potato skins with her blood. I forget where we were on the vamps eating regular food thing.  I think they can eat it but they can’t really taste it or….it doesn’t do anything for them nutritionally?  Anyway, it’s in character so I’ll allow it.
  • Meanwhile the gang stops by because they need Cordy’s help.  And then Harmony hustles along behind them declaring that she’s one of the good guys now & wants to join them, much to everyone’s chagrin.
  • Anyway, Harmony annoys everyone - again – as Cordelia finds the “big red bird” from her vision.
  • Angel gives Cordelia a good talking to. “She’s the enemy. Harmony will turn on you.” SPOILERS!
  • “You didn’t just hurt me. You gave away my clothes”. HA! Nice continuity there.
  • “Imagine if you had gone nuts and slept with Darla.” “I would never do that,” he lies.
  • There’s a lot of security in the building against people with souls so Cordy suggests Harmony go in as a spy.
  • After some convincing, she does it.
  • Harmony comes out, seemingly helping them inside.  But of course…she’s betrayed them.  And now everyone is surrounded by vamps.
  • Big fight with multiple vamps. Cordelia gets thrown in the air by Harmony.  Wes fights the leader.  He calls Angel by name and seems to know him.
  • And Cordelia double crossbows & it looks badass:


  • “It’s nothing personal. I’m evil! We’re still friends, right?” – One thing I love about Harmony is that she’s uniquely and consistently written.
  • Cordelia lets Harmony live because she still has her soul at least.
  • Ha!  And Angel bought Cordelia a whole bunch of clothes and I guess all is forgiven.
 
Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • There was a seven week hiatus between Angel’s big epiphany and this. So that’s a thing.
  • Me: “All right, ‘Disharmony.’ Disharmony on you, Disharmony on your cow.” // Daniel: *ignores me*
  • Wes is lecturing Angel about how he has to behave like a good little boy and show him proper respect and get out of Dad’s Wes’s boss office.
  • *snort* Cordy set up a folding table for Angel’s new working space. And now he’s on a coffee run for the whole group. “Man, atonement’s a bitch.” And that’s how we know that even though we had basically the most important (at least the most quoted) scene in Angel’s run last episode, we’re gonna be a bit sillier this episode.
  • Random couple making out in random car, random hooded figures attacking said random car, you know how it goes.
  • Ooooh Allyson Hannigan as Willow, special guest star.
  • Cordy’s changed so much since early Sunnydale. She’s excited to fight the good fight and help the helpless, she’s wearing muted colors, but to Angel she reminds him, “you and I, we’re not friends.”
  • Cordy’s clearly suffering a worse headache than usual after a new vision, which is hey, another arc.
  • But as she schmuck baits her way around the hotel lobby, suddenly: Harmony! How did Harmony find her? Oh right, enhanced vampire nostrils.
  • “You got a place to stay?” // “You offering?” // “Do I have to say it?” // “Yeah.” *snort*
  • Angel and gang to the rescue of random couple!
  • But Angel’s still floundering at the whole human interactions, asking Wes if he should send Cordy flowers, and Wes asks for a “sorry you were shot in the gut” bouquet. That’s right, the gang doesn’t know he’s the reason the zombie cops suddenly dropped. I guess props to Angel for not trying to get points back by telling them.
  • Meanwhile Cordy’s trying to explain how much happier she is with her new purpose than when she was Queen C, but when Harmony only laughs, Cordy, embarrassed, starts laughing to cover up that moment of vulnerable honesty.  Meanwhile, Harmony’s still not sharing much, but in case anyone watching hasn’t seen Buffy, we do get a quick look at Harmony’s vamp face.
  • Come on, Harmony, you’re so lonely and starved for affection, would you really contemplate drinking from Cordelia when you could suck on a stranger?
  • But now it’s time for some “funny” ambiguous language about Harmony having urges while looking at Cordy, so hey there #gaymetaphor. Cordy, a great ally, “I don’t care about that, not as long as you’re happy.”
  • There’s not really an explanation for why Harmony hasn’t eaten in a while. It’s not like she’s trying blood abstinence. A conscience still hasn’t occurred to her.
  • Awwwww baby Willow in baby dorm, brushing her (not-baby) teeth.
  • And Willow, cracking me up, “we’re all clear on the fact that Harmony’s a vampire, right?”
  • Also Willow comes out to Cordy and Cordy is way less convincing as a gay ally with her forced enthusiasm at that reveal. Also, after being so accepting and loving earlier, to immediately call Harmony a “big ol’ lesbo” behind her back is just … come on, dude.

  • Angel’s bouncing off the walls trying to be useful but the truth is Wes, Gunn, and Cordy had already worked out a fairly good balance of their skills without him.
  • Wes: “[VampHarmony] is not your friend. That thing may have your friend’s memories and her appearance, but it’s just a filthy demon, an unholy monster. (Off Harmony’s small look of vulnerability) … no offense.” // Harm: “About what?”
  • They’re costuming Charisma in a lot of bare midriff outfits this season. I’m not saying she doesn’t look amazing, but I have questions as to the Why of it. (yes, yes I know the reason, I’M JUST POINTING IT OUT)
  • Wes is getting annoyed at Harmony popping her gum (she then disposes of said gum by tearing out a page from Wesley’s book, THE MONSTER), and he actually comes at her with a stake, very “so I said to her, I said, you pop that gum one more time” and then there’s a big dance break.
  • Gunn, after eye-flirting with Harmony, then finding out she’s a vampire, does some amazing face acting on his recoil, before saying “Don’t we kill ‘em anymore?”
(thanks Lucas for the gif!)

  • When we reveal the theater full of robed vampires getting sucked into the pyramid scheme, my stomach just sinks at the idea of trying to manage our body count stats.
  • I love the lack of subtlety. All Doug the Cult Leader’s iconography is pyramid shaped. They want to make sure we get it.


  • Also I’m cracking up that Doug Sanders was a pyramid scheme life coach as a human, and is doing the same thing now that he’s a vamp. That is … quite the mustache.
  • Aww, Cordy brings Harmony to Caritas. That means … MY BEST FRIEND LORNE.
  • “I think your friend should reconsider the name Harmony.”
  • “I picked up on the ‘betwixt and between,’ ‘gotta find my corner of the sky’ vibe.” and wow, he got two musical theater references into one sentence. I love him.
  • Gunn: “Just so we on the same page, when we find this vampire cult, we are gonna kill ‘em right?”
  • Harmony’s decided she’s one of the good guys now. The problem is the good guys are all profoundly annoyed by her presence.
  • “I am an evil fighter. That’s why I suck at being evil, I was meant to fight evil.”
  • Cordelia spots the bird from her vision but it’s not red … but luckily Angel shows he can be useful, turns on a red neon light and suddenly … red bird!
  • Angel tries to remind Cordy that it’s in Harmony’s nature to turn on him. Cordelia calls out him claiming his soul as being his true nature and making him de facto good, by pointing out how shitty he was recently while ensouled (she also specifically identifies one of his big betrayals of giving away her clothes). Also Angel reminds us what a bad liar he can be, saying Cordy knows he’d never sleep with Darla. Remember how he was a good liar for one episode, tricking Faith into thinking he was Angelus?
  • Anyway, they’re sending Harmony into the cult as their mole, forgetting that she has, as Chip Mulaney would say, the “the moral backbone of a chocolate ├ęclair.”
  • Harmony comes to fetch the gang, sneaking them in the back, chattering loudly the whole time, thanking them for helping her find her purpose … which of course is betraying them to the vampire cult, because she’s a scorpion and nature can’t be denied, booboo.
  • I mean, Cordy told us years ago: Harmony’s a sheep.
  • Fighty fight oh god how do we count. Oh good a bunch of them are running away after Angel stakes exactly one vamp, wow.
  • Cordy, being a badass, aiming a crossbow at Harmony’s throat. H: “That won’t kill me.” // C: “No, it’ll just hurt like hell (raising second crossbow aimed at Harmony’s heart) This one will kill you.”
  • Harmony, tearful, asks if she and Cordy are still friends. Cordy lets her go, but no, they’re not friends. And to Angel, also not currently her friend, “Don’t say anything. Not a word.”
  • And for our comic coda, as Wes talks to Angel about giving Cordy time to forgive him, we see that Angel heard Cordy earlier and bought her many bags of colorful clothes, and she’s so fucking adorably excited, and even Angel’s mirroring happiness and excitement is adorable, and y’all know how rarely I think this man is adorable these days.


 
Favorite Lines:

Daniel:
“I think your friend should reconsider the name Harmony” – Lorne, in response to Harmony’s singing
Zelda: “I picked up on the ‘betwixt and between,’ ‘gotta find my corner of the sky’ vibe.” – Lorne
 

Arc/Continuity:

First Appearance:
Harmony Kendall, Willow Rosenberg
Recurring: Lorne, Phantom Dennis
Generally Known TV Face: Pat Healy, Rebecca Avery
Buffy Crossover: Harmony Kendall, Willow Rosenberg
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Adam Weiner (Caged Guy on Angel, Simon on Buffy)
Lorne’s Nicknames: My Little Cacophony (Harmony)
 

Caritas Song List
“The Way We Were”
 

Stats:

Cordelia’s Hair – blonde highlights, hair gathered back with clip and headband because it’s super short y’all; later, down, pin-straight, side-part
Dead Humans – 0
Dead Undeads – 6
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 1
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Angel Prat-falls – 1
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Duh Reveal – 1 (of course Harmony turned on them. Come on, y’all)
Shenanigans Called – 1
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0