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


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Can You Fly?

Episode 1.01: City of… Original Airdate: 10.05.99

“Angel relocates to Los Angeles, where he encounters a stranger who experiences visions of those in need, and a woman who lives in fear of a vampire.”

Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • And so we begin Angel. 20 years later.
  • Angel narrates.  Is this a thing that continues/ I don’t remember
  • Oh man, Angel’s drunk.
  • This douche playing pool is so 90s.

This is how all men dressed in 1999.

  • Ah, but is Angel really drunk or is he just acting?  Surprise, he’s acting.
  • Oh no, Vampires!
  • Nice move, Angel, with the double staking.
  • He’s a hero! But he’s also a brooder.  THIS IS OUR SHOW’S PREMISE.
  • Oh, I remember this theme music now.
  • So Angel’s in this fab basement apartment which he can afford how?
  • Enter Doyle, human/demon hybrid.  He says he was sent by the powers that be.  How exactly?  Through his visions or?
  • Doyle reminds us of Angel’s backstory….for the new viewers I guess?
  • Buffy! Aw, I miss Buffy.
  • Now Doyle is telling us the premise of this show.  Its mission if you will. Awful nice of him.
  • Ah ok, so Doyle says that he was sent by the visions.  I was right? It’s almost as if I’ve seen this show before.  It’s been a while though.
  • “Have you looked in the mirror lately?” Heh.
  • So, I mean, it’s setting up a very weekly premise where Angel helps someone every episode.
  • Angel accepts this scenario very quickly and without much argument.  Better to just get into it, I guess.
  • Doyle gives Angel a name and a time.  He says that’s all his vision told him.  But whatever…it’s a vision. So how did he just see a name?  The rest of his visions prove otherwise. Plus, what is this, Dead Like Me?
  • Tina is wearing a nametag, though, so how convenient.
  • Tina is played by Tracy Middendorf….my favorite Nightmare on Elm Street babysitter.

  • So Angel inserts himself into Tina’s life by flirting.  Is this how he’s going to do it every week?
  • “Have you been to Missoula?” “During the depression…err…my depression.  I was depressed there.”
  • Ok, Hollywood party.
  • Gross manager type already preys on Angel
  • Familiar face: Cordelia!
  • I forgot she’s introduced as an actress.  I do remember her being at this party though.  I can't remember if this is something that comes up past season 1 or even that far into season 1. [Clearly you don't remember her turn in Doll's House. - Z, shuddering]
  • Uh oh, Tina’s in trouble.
  • Kidnapping! Car chases! Fights!  This. Is. L.A.
  • We quickly check-in with Cordy who is not living in a beach-side condo.  I mean, we kinda knew about her money issues from last season on Buffy.  No big surprise.
  • Tina reminds us a lot of where we are. “This is LA.”
  • Angel is doing research in the LA public library!  I guess his batcave doesn’t have dial-up.
  • I’m sorry, David Boreanaz looks even hotter as a vampire.
  • We meet Russell who is a spoiler…standing…near the sunlight?
  • Aww, Tina’s dead.  Not as bad as when Freddy killed her, though.
  • Now, Angel’s putting Doyle to work.  But he doesn’t want to talk about his feelings.  He just wants to brood.
  • Hey, it’s Lindsey!  And the introduction of Wolfram & Hart.
  • Oh no! Cordy might be the next victim!
  • Angel’s breaking in!
  • Poor Cordy’s being all vulnerable. 
  • “Hey, you’re a vampire!”  I love how she just comes out with it.   She’s from Sunnydale, damn it!
  • Man, where did Angel get all this break-in equipment. A grappling hook? Really?
  • Look, Cordelia has survived demons & dick monsters & Marcies.   She can survive a Hollywood elite vampire.
  • Aww, Angel meets Lindsey
  • Angel kinda Vampire-ex-machinas the bad guy of the week. 
  • It’s a cool effect, really – vamp falling out the window while simultaneously catching on fire and dusting from the sun.  It also establishes that Angel is not Batman.  He’s not superhero that plays by established morals.
  • Cordelia wants to work for Angel. And I love how she sets up a payment plan for people Angel helps.  Something, ahem, Anya attempted to explain to Buffy but of course was shot down by everyone.  I think she would have done well on this show.

Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • Here we go!
  • Oh good, we start with a montage and David Boreanaz monologuing at us and blugh.
  • Although the reveal of drunky Angel in the bar talking about the girl he left behind is adorable. It’s my favorite thing David does, is his doof.
  • And okay, his transition as he goes into Follow the Baddies mode is well done.
  • Fighty mcfight!
Two wrist stakes. No waiting.

  • And in case anyone is watching this show without having seen Buffy, we see Angel’s vampface as the fight concludes, and a close shot of the girl’s bleeding face.
  • I think the implication must be that since he drank Buffy’s blood so recently, he’s got a renewed hunger for it. They lean into the recovering addict metaphor with him now he's got his own show.
  • Aw, the OG office of Angel Investigations! So beautifully noir, slatted windows, dim lighting, and a gated elevator to his basement apartment. I really do like the design of this place.
  • Aw it’s Doyle!
  • “You don’t smell human.” // “Now, that’s a bit rude. So happens that I am very much human *sneezes into demonface* on my mother’s side.”
  • Oh right, our first invocation of The Powers That Be, guiding our heroes’ moves.
  • Doyle is here to provide helpful backstory over clips borrowed from BtVS.
  • I’m glad he’s here because DB’s acting is already boring me. His stoic is not the most interesting thing.
  • Woof, there’s so much random ADR with Doyle’s lines because they thought his real life accent was a bit too thick (which of course led to complaints from the audience that his accent was clearly fake because of its inconsistencies).
  • Seriously, Glenn Quinn is so good.
  • Oh right, transitions on this show are all smash-cutty with quick frames of other things.
  • “Why would a woman I’ve never met even talk to me?” // “Have you looked into a mirror lately? No, I guess you really haven’t, no.”
  • The Coffee Spot allows fluffy doggos!

  • Did someone really leave behind a full mug of coffee? What kind of monsters come here? Besides Angel.
  • Gasp, Tina pulls a pepper spray on Angel! And who is Russell, pray?
  • Ooooh I want a star-shaped sammy!
  • Angel, lost at a Hollywood party.
  • Hey, we know that voice!! That’s our Cordelia!
  • And she’s an actor now, making her life sound very glamorous.
  • And a creeper named Stacy is there, manhandling Tina.
  • Welp, we’ve been jumped getting off the elevator.
  • Did they really distract Angel long enough to abduct her? It was two humans. We saw him take out two vampires faster than that.
  • Snerk I do like the misdirect of him Batman-jumping into the wrong car.
  • And in the game of car-chicken, the vampire wins.
  • Aw man, after the party we see Cordelia hanging her one party dress in her empty closet, eating pilfered star sammies in a sad, rundown apartment. But at least no roommates?
  • Angel, making tea (apparently this was a thing that tickled Greenwalt to no end). “Do you take milk and sugar?” // “Yeah” // “Cuz I don’t have those things.”
  • Tracy Middendorf is so good as Tina. She’s so good that it even seems like she might not be a one-off, if we don’t know the future.
  • Research! At the Los Angeles Public Library! Angel needs an office computer.
  • Aw shit, Tina saw the note Doyle gave him tipping him off Tina needed his help. And with how trapped she’s feeling, it’s enough to send her running. Doesn’t help when Angel's hand catches fire and he vamps out.
  • Oh look it’s Russell. True story: until this week I’ve been assuming that Vyto Ruginis and David Rasche were the same dude. 

Spoiler: They're not.

  • Annnd Russell is a vamp.
  • And because of tricksy scene cutting, we think Angel might arrive in time to save the day, but no, he's arrived long after Russell has vamoosed.
  • It’s an interesting move, having Angel fail to protect the victim in his first case. It’s very much in keeping with the themes of the show though, and Angel himself. Like he told Buffy in "Gingerbread," We never win, not completely. It’s not a war to be won. But we keep fighting. “Let’s get to work,” Angel says, the same thing he’ll say in the finale (well, get vs go, but come on, it's there).
  • LOOK IT’S LINDSEY. Dang his hair is shorrrrrrrrrrrt.

  • And hey his briefcase is embossed with Wolfram & Hart, so we know just who our bureaucratic bad guys are.
  • And noooooooooooo Russell already has his eye set on Cordelia for his next victim.
  • I’m just gonna say now that it won’t be worth our time and energy tracking how often Angel and other vamps seem to be hanging out in something resembling sunlight. But like. Don’t think we’re not annoyed.
  • Margo the party host calls Cordelia and she’s a walking cliché, pouring out a pile of OOH!PILLS! to swill with her Bloody Mary.
  • “I’m not combat ready! I’m just the messenger.” // “I’m the message.”
  • Aw Cordy, “I grew up in a nice home.”
  • Snort, Angel shows up at Russell’s in a Hawaiian shirt, his trademark Doof Uniform.
  • In Los Angeles, Angel can fly-jump.
  • “I finally get invited to a nice place with no mirrors and lots of curtains. Hey you’re a vampire!” God, I love her. It’s just so good.
  • I wonder what the rationale was with making Russell’s vampface look so green and sickly. Is it implying that the blood he tends to drink is tainted with Hollywood!Drugs!?

  • Angel, taking bullets, protects Cordelia with his chest, picks her up, and jumps off the balcony.
  • And Doyle, making sure we want to keep him around, almost drives away in a panic, then turns around and drives back heroically … and crashes into the gate, probably bruising his ribs.

  • Wow, I’d forgotten that Angel came for Russell at his own office (In my memory, he came for him at W&H). I wonder what happens to Russell Winters Enterprises after the owner goes for a fly.
  • Shenanigans! Lindsey hands Angel a business card with W&H on it, but not his actual name. I get they might not have named him yet, but no attorney would have a card that didn’t have his name on it. It’s not a hardware store.

  • “Can you fly?” Seriously, this is so good. I’m not going to enjoy a lot of DB’s performance this series, but I’m gonna celebrate the good good stuff that happens sometimes.
  • “Guess not.”
  • “Set up an interoffice meeting for four o'clock. Seems we have a new player in town. No, no, there isn't any need to disturb the senior partners with this. Not yet.”
  • Aw, and then Angel calls Buffy’s house. She answers, but he says nothing and hangs up. She had her own vampire problems at the time, as I recall.
  • Cordelia screaming about a roach, fair, but there’s no way her tiny apartment doesn’t have a similar problem.
  • Aw, and Cordelia has decided she’s a part of the mission too. I love how quickly she moves. “I mean uh, that is if … you think you can use me?” And they share the warm smiles of characters forming a team at the end of a pilot episode.
  • So, here’s my world-building question. Sunnydale is a small town with a high vampire population because the Hellmouth energy draws them near. L.A. also seems to have a lot of vampires, because … it’s a city? But that means that every other major metropolis has a massive unchecked vampire problem and how have they not taken over the world yet? Unless Gunn and his crew are not unique, and other cities have self-designated protectors.


Cordelia: I really should be talking to people that are somebody.
Angel: It’s nice that she’s grown as a person.
Daniel: She will.

Favorite Lines:


Zelda: “I finally get invited to a nice place with no mirrors and lots of curtains. Hey you’re a vampire!” - Cordelia


First Appearance: Lindsey McDonald, The Powers That Be, Wolfram & Hart
Future Famous Person: Josh Holloway, apparently ==>
Generally Known TV Face: Christian Kane, Tracy Middendorf, Vyto Ruginis.
Buffy Crossover: Angel and Cordelia, we suppose

Angel! In! History!

Angel’s been to Missoula during the Depression … his depression … he was depressed there.


Cordelia’s Hair – blown straight, past the shoulders
Dead Humans – 1
Dead Undeads – 4
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Doyle Has a Vision – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 1 (the cover up for Tina’s death)
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 1
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0