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


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Better Safe Than Cocktails

Episode 1.11: Somnambulist. Original Airdate: 1.18.00

“Angel attempts to assist Kate with a murder investigation after discovering that a protégé from his past is responsible for a series of killing.”

Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • Woman running.  This is how we start a lot of our episodes.
  • Vampire with a weird knife thing drains her.
  • Oh, what? It’s Angel???  He wakes up. It was a dream. OR WAS IT?
  • Oh hey, it’s Kate.  I thought we were done with her.
  • The victim has a cross carved into her face.
  • Alexis is in the credits now!  And Doyle is gone.
  • And guest starring future famous person: Jeremy Renner
  • Alexis really brings the humor.  I love it.
  • DMV’s totally stalker-phobic.
  • Wesley is being a lurky-lurk.
  • Angel should really hire Veronica Mars.  They have no idea how to do that detective stuff.
  • Angel realizes the victim from his dream is real.  BUT IS HE DOING IT? (spoiler: he’s not)
  • Kate’s not helping by profiling the murderer in a way that fits Angel to a tee.
  • I like this continuity and how it furthers the plot.  It fits perfectly that Wesley would know everything about Angel, as he mentions his Sunnydale days and it makes sense that he would recognize Angel’s old M.O.
  • Nice little flashback.
  • Jeremy Renner vampire back in the past.  And then modern Jeremy Renner vampire in the present….with that late 90s/ early 2000s haircut.

  • Angel’s drawing skills are impressive but we knew this about him already.
  • “Ma’am can you buy me some beer? It’s for my mother…”  Dude.
  • The stuntman jumping through the window looks like he’s being thrown through the window 
  • You’ll need a stake, Kate.  Gunfire won’t do.  Come on, you haven’t learned about this city yet?
  • It seems this is the first time Kate has seen Angel in vampface.  She knows now.  Every time I see Kate I think it’s her last episode but she has about ten more.
  • “…and you’re totally pumping me for information, aren’t you?”
  • “Get me a stake.” “It’s like 8 in the morning.” I guffawed.
  • Oh that chin stubble of Jeremy Renner’s.
  • Angel establishes that he can come into another vampire’s place without being invited.
  • They’re good at using throwaway lines to  cover up potential universe-plot-holes – like having Angel be under the covers for a  minute before they drive out of the sunlight and explaining entering Penn’s apartment.  It’s needed, but doesn’t have to be a whole thing.
  • That sewer is so clean.

Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • Ah yes, this is when I got my crush on Jeremy Renner (RIP my crush, Jeremy Renner ruined that)
  • Sidenote: does anyone remember the series The Unusuals? Highly underrated.
  • Hmmm a woman runs in fear but why is the camera all weird? BECAUSE SHE’S BEING TERRORIZED BY ANGEL HOW COULD IT BE.
  • And he wakes up from a nightmare, as Kate drives up to a crime scene. Yep, that girl is dead. But did Angel kill her?
  • Kate says this is the third killed with the cross scratched into her cheek. We got a serial killer.
  • Hey new credits! Welcome Wesley. I love that one of his clips is him accidentally hurling an axe into the wall next to him.
  • Cordelia’s practicing the hard sell on a chair and like … if anyone’s taken the trouble to find them, would they really need the hard sell?
  • Oh right, Wes doesn’t work for them yet, he just had breakfast with them and is awkwardly hanging around.
  • After agreeing that everything seems quiet, Wes hangs around because “the situation can only escalate.”
  • I kinda dig this bit of storytelling. Wes, a Council educated former Watcher, sees the article about the new serial killer, recognizes the M.O. as Angel’s, and leaves before Angel emerges from the elevator.
  • But Angel, visiting Kate to ask for a favor, sees the crime photos and his memory twigs.
  • So I love Kate and all but if we’re dealing with a serial killer, why is she the profiler? Since when is that her field? And aren’t serial killers the FBI’s field?
  • Wes presents a file of old newspaper clippings about Past Angel, and isn’t he living a nomadic existence? Is he just carrying his Angel files with him while he rogue demon hunts? Along with options of chafing leather pants and linen suits? Did he have a trailer attached to his motorbike?
  • Is there an actual explanation for why Angel’s having these dreams psychically connecting him to Penn and his killings? Like when he dreams of Darla in S2, there’s evidence she’s manipulating that, slowing driving him mad. Is Penn also visiting Angel at night and sitting nude on top of him? Are there pictures? [Pics please- D]
  • Look it’s Baby Jeremy Renner, in as bad a wig as Angelus’s.

  • Oh no I forgot about Angelus’s Irish accent. Oh boy oh boy.
  • Fun fact: this isn’t Renner’s only time playing a serial killer.
  • Wesley likes Gallagher apparently.
  • Angel claims he used to have a connection with those he sired. O ….kay. I’m waiting for his Spike dream.
  • Angel is ignoring all the Kate flirting. Dingdong. Look how pretty her eyes are.
  • Angel breaking out his canon A+ drawing skills to give us a sketch of Jeremy Renner, but with his old hair.
  • Wes: Where’d you get the police radio? Angel: Police car. Wes; OH DEAR. *puts it at his feet as if it could stain him with crime* omg he’s such a ponce
  • Gasp! They caught Penn mid-drain and saved the boy! Good job LAPD.
  • Also Penn can kinda fly?
  • Meanwhile we saw Angel’s climbing wire!

  • Kate shot Penn. Penn played dead. Uh oh Kate.
  • Oh wow, Penn didn’t even know Angel was in town. But like Angel, he lost his “accent.”
  • Oh shit, I think this is the moment Kate officially finds out Angel’s a vamp. There goes that crush.
  • Noooooo Cordy’s doing her hard sell … on Penn. He looks like he enjoys the sun as much as any Angel. Is it a trait of the house of Aurelius?
  • Heh I love when Cordelia realizes out loud when she’s being manipulated. “And you’re totally pumping me for information.”

  • Snerk. Penn was a Puritan. Of course he was.
  • A montage of research! Angel stalks the streets, Kate researches vampires, and Penn researches … Kate. I assume. He’s wearing glasses and looking Penn-sive (sorrynotsorry).
  • Oh riiiiiight, Penn leaves a false trail for them about attacking a middle school bus full of kids.
  • Hah oh man, Penn is just IN the briefing room and it’s kind of amazing.
  • Why is he not killing any of the cops? If he were as badass as he pretends, they’d be dead. So would Wesley.
  • I love how you can always tell when a vamp (or demon) is about to morph faces based on the tight frame of their face and the greenscreen background.
  • Good job Kate, had some holy water ready to splash on Penn.
  • The fighting in this ep is pretty great, I’ll say. Good job, stunt team.
  • Hot damn, Kate got a doublestaking, aiming carefully enough to impale Angel but miss his tiny heart, but succeed in staking Penn.
  • “I wonder if anything really changes.” // “Sure it does. They do. You have.”
  • Angel’s worried that darkness is still in him, but Cordy reminds him that’s not the only thing that’s in him.
  • I gotta say, I spent a lot of my first watch of Buffy and Angel being too dismissive of Cordelia. They’re giving her all the best stuff though—both snark and sense.


Cordelia: I don’t want to stick around for your nocturnal commissions
Z: *looks to D in amusement*
D: *shakes his head, cringing* No.


[Z and D have been debating how many dead flashback faces we saw]
Angel: *tells Kate about the next victim*
D: *pauses* okay, so that means that there were five, right?
Z: Were there?
D: Well there were two before.
Z: And the one we saw.
D: And the one we heard about, and the one that’s coming next.
Z: Right.
D: His sister, and then four others?
Z: Okay.
D: So that’s two plus one plus one plus one.
Z: Or it’s one plus four plus 
D: Even if you’re right –
Miss Scarlet: 

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: Angel: Give me a stake. // Cordelia: It’s like eight in the morning!
Zelda: Wes: You’d be locked up faster than Lady Hamilton’s virtue! My apologies. // Cordelia: That’s okay. I don’t know what that meant.


Recurring: Detective Kate Lockley
Future Famous Person: Jeremy Renner
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Jeremy Renner (Penn here, Clint Barton/Hawkeye in Avengers)

Angel! In! History!

In the late 1700s, Angelus used to mark his victims with a cross scratched into their faces.

Cordelia’s Hair – loopy curls
Dead Humans – 2
Dead Undeads – 1
Dead Flashbacks – 5
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 1 (Angel wasn’t responsible for the murders he dreamt)
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

What's a Rogue Demon?

Episode 1.10: Parting Gifts. Original Airdate: 12.14.99

“Wesley joins Angel and Cordelia as he pursues a demon that mutilates creatures possessing supernatural powers.”

Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • Oh hey the Oracles are back. And annoyed with Angel, who’s trying to get Doyle back. But they won’t. They don’t want to nullify his heroic act, his atonement.
  • Oh hey it’s Maury Sterling who’s on every show but especially as Max on Homeland.
  • And he’s being traced by someone on a motorcycle who could it be.
  • And the credits give us one last fakeout, keeping Doyle in the credits for one last episode (and probably to not spoil that Wesley is joining the cast)
  • Cordelia’s despondently examining the mugs, trying to figure out if Doyle had a special coffee mug. She’s looking for something to hold onto, to keep of his.
  • Angel being testy about vampire stereotypes: always delightful.
  • Woof,  Cordelia weeping through her audition advertising a stain remover.
  • And the three nonplussed auditors. It’s pretty generous that they’re giving her another run at it.
  • Unfortunately, that’s her cue for GASP A VISION.
  • “Nice adjustment, nice.” // “Thank you.”
  • Maury’s being followed by an assassin, he says. This assassin wears leather and black jeans and has a bag of weapons.
  • Maury seems to be here to add more color to the ambiguously evil demons, but he’s claiming he’s “evil” but not ~evil~ but hey those of us who know the future know that’s a little bit of a big fat lie.
  • Oh right, this is the episode where Cordelia kisses everyone, trying to get rid of the visions.
  • It’s pretty rough, you know. You could argue Doyle could bear his visions because of his enhanced demon strength, but Cordelia is full human at the moment. Let’s put a pin in this, because hey it’ll come back later.
  • Angel leaves his office in bright daylight, but by the time he reaches Maury’s apartment, it is deep night. HOW DOES TIME WORK IN L.A.?
  • Man, I love Alexis Denisof.
  • Well the badass lasted as long as it took Angel to carelessly knock the crossbow out of his hand.
  • But he tries to put it back on with “In point of fact, I no longer work for the Council.”
  • Angel is openly laughing at him.
  • Ewwwwww goop dripping on Wesley from the ceiling.
  • Oh boy, Wesley is still not good at hand to hand fighting.
  • And in all of this, we’re still misdirected on Maury (fine, Barney), because we’re told the demon Wes is tracking is collecting demons with specific powers, and Barney is empathic. But we’re also misdirected by the fact that Wes himself is tracking the wrong demon.
  • But Barney knows Wes is tracking him. Interesting.
  • Yes, Wes, this kiss with Cordelia went better than the one when she was still in high school, but let’s not go there.
  • And with one “what’s a rogue demon?” from Cordelia, Wesley once again deflates.
  • Angel’s quiet irritation with Wes is quite fun.
  • Wes just said “the hell you say,” to which I say “the hell Wes talks like that?”
  • Wes is now wearing leather pants for the sake of a chafing joke, but whoever was doing those earlier we-don’t-know-it’s-Wesley-yet shots was definitely in faded black jeans. Come on, continuity. Get it together.


  • And now Cordy tells Barney about her visions and oops.
  • Because Angel just found the Kungai demon and his horn is missing and he’s dying.
  • Barney: “How old are you? Twenty-something?” D&Z: She’s like eighteen.
  • Well, Charisma is older but dude.
  • I dunno why Barney thinks the visions are in Cordelia’s eyes though. It’s more a brain thing, no?
  • And Wes has abandoned his leather for … a cream linen suit? That’s like when Buffy changed into a white shirt to patrol the sewers.
  • I’m also extremely curious as to Wesley’s luggage while he rogue demon hunts. Why was he packing the linen suit? I get the costume change as a heavy-handed nod to who he is/who he pretends to be, but for real, how much was he carrying on his motorcycle?
  • Wesley, with a quite bedside voice, “Fish will die.” Great job translating.
  • Seriously I love how much Alexis Denisof leans into being a twerp. He’s not afraid of looking silly.
  • Cordelia, hog tied and gagged, finally sees the blobby grey thing from her vision: she’s in the storeroom of an auction house.
  • Gasp a nameless Wolfram & Hart attorney is in the auction house! If only it were Lila.
  • We haven’t had Lindsey back. Maybe they hadn’t decided yet who they wanted their principal W&H characters to be.
  • We’ve introduced a new stat called Wesley Prat-falls, because of what a physical clown he is.

Throwback to case in point

  • Good for Cordy, kicking Barney’s stupid ass.
  • Also I noticed that Wes was rocking some scruff when he wore leather. Now he’s back in linen, he’s clean shaven.
  • But now that he helped save Cordelia, he’s combining the leather jacket with linen pants … and silly bravado about being a rogue demon hunter, while hoping he’ll be asked to stay.

Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • Angel’s trying to talk to the Oracles to bring Doyle back.
  • And the Oracles are right actually – he had a noble death.   He saved many people. That shouldn’t be undone.
  • Angel doesn’t yet know that the visions have been transferred.
  • Doyle is still in the opening credits.
  • And everyone’s sad.
  • Guest starring: Alexis Denisof!
  • “I’m staying right here! Oh, I gotta go.”
  • So we’re still doing the Cordelia is an actress thing.
  • Cute new demon – Barney- needs help from Angel.
  • I love that Angel’s so offended by the stereotype that vampires sleep in coffins.
  • The actors playing the casting directors are hilarious.  And they work well off each other.
  • Cordelia’s first vision.
  • Barney is telling Angel about the guy pursuing him.  We see bits and pieces of this leather clad motorcyclist.  So obviously this is supposed to be a big reveal.
  • Cordelia made the connection between the kiss and the visions – which is right, but also a leap.
  • Cordelia just kissing everyone.
  • Oh hey, the leather-clad demon hunter is Wesley.  He’s pretending to be all tough and it’s cute.
  • Angel easily gets the weapon away from him.
  • And he’s playing it all goofy, because that’s how  he was on Buffy…tho things will soon change.
  • So I guess the other reveal here is that Barney isn’t the demon that Wesley is after.  But Wesley is going after the demon that’s…going after Barney.
  • It’s only dudes she’s kissing.  Also how does she know that it didn’t work?
  • “What’s a rogue demon?”  - classy Cordelia.
  • Angel speaks Korean.  Who knew?
  • Oh, nothing. Demons in towels getting’ massages in Koreatown.

  • “Messages from the PTB” – (powers that be) - Golly, Internet slang
  • Hey. Cordelia has a tramp stamp.  Did we know this? [SMG has one too, though they usually cover it up for the show when they remember. - Z]

  • Evil reveal!  Barney’s not a good demon!
  • “What are you, 20-something?” – Cordelia’s supposed to be 18/19 right out of college.  I wonder if this is supposed to be an inside joke since Charisma is almost 30 at the time of this viewing.
  • And now Wesley is dressed as a lawyer from the south in the 50s. 
Ah say, ah say, yer honah

  • Wesley: I’m useless. A fool.  A sniveling great big – Angel: (looking at the picture) – Ugly, Gray blobby thing.  Wesley: Ugly. Gray, blobby thing – what?
  • Wow, these demons are riled up easily.
  • Alexis is really good at the physical comedy.
  • Cordelia stabbing Barney in the back feels like a an old vamp staking moment.
  • Ooh and when Barney-demons die, they go poof.  Well, they sorta deflate like a balloon? [I think that was his life essence being sucked out by the Kungai demon's horn? - Z]
  • Wesley just wants a place to belong.  Aww, don’t we all. 


Barney: *backhands Cordelia for the second time*
Zelda: Stop hitting Cordelia in the face! That’s the moneymaker!

Favorite Lines:

Zelda: “I’m going to thrash you within an inch of your life AND THEN I’M GONNA TAKE THAT INCH.” – Wes (Alexis’s delivery is insane and I love it) 

Daniel: “I’m usesless. A fool. A sniveling great big” “Ugly grey blobby thing.” “Yes, an ugly grey blobby thing—what?” - Wesley/Angel/Wesley


First Appearance: Wesley Wyndham-Pryce
Recurring: The Oracles
Generally Known TV Face: Maury Sterling
Buffy Crossover: Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Alexis Denisof (Wesley Wyndham-Pryce on both Angel and Buffy, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Senator Daniel Perrin in Dollhouse), Maury Sterling (Barney in Angel, Eddy in Dollhouse ep “Echo”)


Cordelia’s Hair – big looping curls (pinned up for commercial audition), pulled back in a pony with a bunch of butterfly clips
Dead Humans – 0
Dead Undeads – 2
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 1
Wesley Prat-falls – 2
Lawyered Ex Machina – 1 (W&H wins the bidding for Cordelia)
Evil Reveal – 1 (Barney the empath demon)
Unevil Reveal – 2 (Shiatsu Massage Demon, Kungai demon)
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0