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


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Sorry About the Possession and Everything

Episode 1.14: I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Original Airdate: 2.15.20

“Angel and Wesley perform an exorcism on a young boy possessed by a demon.”

Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • Ooops Wes isn’t the scholar we thought—not realizing that Kek demons are extinct, but it’s okay because Angel knows everything about everything except when sometimes he knows nothing and who needs character consistency blah blah anyway Cordelia made brownies.
  • Why is she cutting the brownies from the middle of the pan? What kind of monster is she?
  • Ooop all this bickering about cutting brownies with antique knives was to achieve Angel breaking up the fight with “Cordelia, Doyle” and then everyone feels awful.
  • From this bicker we cut to two blond kids bickerbickering.
  • And NONblond Dad (so we suspect him? I dunno. It’s not subtle casting) comes in and sends them to bed, and the rest of the blond family is uncomfortable.
  • And then they padlock the doors to both children’s rooms.
  • So we think we’re being set up with an abusive parent narrative, but stick around, kids.
  • Cordy: “Pretend to read any good books lately?” Wow, she is calling Quarantine!Zelda out.
  • I appreciate that she’s talking to Angel, letting him know he’s allowed to grieve Doyle, and speak that grief to her. A+ empathy giving. “I miss him.” // “Me too.” Angel blames himself for letting Doyle die.
  • Oh man, the little boy goes into the street and is almost hit by a car.
  • Wow, and that car just keeps driving, what a shit.
  • Mom is gracious and grateful, Dad is awkward and reserved, not wanting to let Angel into their world.
  • Wesley’s having an old fashioned Mars-snoop, going through the trash bin, poking around the house, and finding—gasp! —yellow goop!
  • Ew, Dad is smoking inside the house? I get it as a power play against Angel, but don’t do that in a house with kids. Come on, bro. [It's the 80's - D] [It was in fact, not the 80s - Narrator]
  • Oh lawd, Mom collects angel figurines. Hey, remember in that stupid BtVS ep “Him,” when the letterman jacket house had a bunch of angel figurines and Spike turned them away from facing him and that was like the one thing he did all episode anyway Wesley thinks someone in the house is possessed by a demon, how’s your quarantine brain focus?
  • “A father doesn’t have to be possessed to terrorize his children. He just has to—” Woof, beginning of our insight into Wes.
  • And Angel has spiked the brownies with something to bring out the Ethros demon in whoever might be possessed.
  • Angel’s continuing character inconsistency—he has good rapport with the kids now. He’s neither biting nor avoiding.
  • After Ryan’s demon manifests, everyone shows a different side: the sister Stephanie says “Ryan’s always been bad,” the mom turns protective of Ryan and angry at Angel, and the dad shows reasonableness and asks for Angel’s help in saving his son.
  • “For the last three years, it’s been all I can do to hold this family together. Now you come here and tell me there may be a reason for all the terror and confusion, and a way to end it? Maybe you are an angel.”
  • “Hi I’m Cordelia, sorry about the possession and everything.” No wonder they wrote in Anya on Buffy. They were sorely missing this energy when Cordy left.
  • How come the random nun can tell Angel is a vampire? Like seriously how. She doesn’t have enhanced nunny sense of smell or anything. She looks at him, looking vaguely constipated, and just knows.
  • Angel’s trying to talk Wesley out of performing the exorcism ritual since the priest they wanted is super dead, but Wesley, who is showing better strength and self-confidence this episode, tosses a crucifix at Angel and tells him to do it. That’s my boy. [Ahem.  Head boy. - Wesley]
  • So (knowing spoilers), the Ethros demon wants out of Ryan because the kid is such a void … so why is he still doing mean demony things like locking the elevator, locking the mom in the room, and then throttling her? The kid wouldn’t have the power to do that on his own, would he? I guess I’m a bit confused but whatever I’ll go with it.
  • Too bad Angel doesn’t have an Ethros box lying around. Remember when Giles had the whatsit for Angel’s soul, using it as a paperweight?
  • Ah, time for the demon/Ryan to start needling Wesley. Starting with criticizing his Latin, slipping into his getting fired from the Watcher’s Council, but soon we’re gonna bring up his abusive father trauma.
  • Oh man, “Tell him how you plan to kill him.”
  • Annnnnd Wesley’s been stabbed in the neck by the crucifix.
  • Danngggg the marbles now spell SAVE ME.
  • Fuuuuuck, Ryan/demon channels Doyle’s voice saying his last words to Angel, “The good fight, yeah?” I’ll admit it, I got chills.
  • Oops the Ethros demon shattered the box they got to contain it … but also doesn’t seem to be possessing anyone else? How did … what …
  • Angel figured out where it went a little too easily and quickly but I guess we had to get to the next story beat as quickly as possible.
  • “I know you’re not planning to kill me, Wesley. But you’re willing to, and that’s good.” I actually flipping love this moment. I love the character revelation we get about both of them from it, the mutual trust and respect, the belief in each other’s integrity and dedication to the good fight.
  • Oh cool the Ethros demon got himself a hoodie.

  • “You didn’t get that boy’s soul.” // “What soul?” And now we see the kid is still kind of awful. “No conscience, no fear, no humanity, just a black void. I couldn’t control him. I couldn’t get out. I never even manifested until you brought me forth.”
  • The marbles asking to be saved was the demon trying to escape. He’s also the reason the kid walked in front of the car.
  • Ah, I see, the father smoked solely so that Ryan could easily steal matches. Shit, he stuck a doorstop under the parents’ bedroom door, trapping them inside. And now he’s got a can of gasoline. Hey, anyone remember The Bad Seed? He’s like that but less cutesy and fewer plaits.
  • God, this poor family.
  • Angel to the rescue!
  • But what to do about Ryan?
  • Oh look Detective Kate has him in the back of a police car. Wow, that’s … they brought her in for basically an under five part.
  • And the family, what’s left of it, will try to recover.

Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • Ok.  Wesley is showing Angel his special knife.  I wish that was a euphemism.
  • Cordelia is making brownies!  Is she in quarantine?

What a funny joke I just made.

  • Haha, Cordelia is using the demon-killing knife to cut her brownies.
  • Aww, Cordelia & Wesley are fighting like two annoying kids & Angel mistakenly calls Wesley Doyle and it’s very sweet and sad.
  • I’m glad they don’t just forget about Doyle.
  • Speaking of two annoying kids fighting.  Real annoying kids! Fighting!
  • Ominous dad is ominous but I’m pretty sure it’s a trick.
  • Mom & Dad lock the kids in.  Ooh, ominous.
  • LOL, I really thought Elisabeth Rohm was in fewer episodes. She’s in more than I thought. I’m surprised every time I see her name.
  • I also wonder if this is the last episode where they mention Doyle. [No, they bring him up several times in the final season. - Z]
  • We should have had a stat every time Cordelia says something like “It Hurts” & people think she’s talking about what they’re having a conversation about and then it turns out she’s talking about her visions.
  • Angel suspects ominous dad of something but we know better.
  • *jump scare* Wesley is looking through trash, talking doll makes him jump.  (and me)
  • Glowy stuff.  They call it “Plakiticine.”  I’m calling it “Glowy Stuff” [I'll allow it. - Senor Ben Chang]
  • “Someone in that house is possessed by a demon” FOCUS IN ON CREEPY GIRL.
  • Wesley: “The first step in confronting the demon is getting it to show himself”  Me:
  • Cordelia: “And What?  Head spins around?”  Sure. One might even say..  Full on exorcist twist
  • Aww, Angel brought brownies. Hopefully Cordelia didn’t bake them.
  • Did Angel eat the roast?  He doesn’t eat?
  • “I use chocolate. That’s why they’re brown.” How…did he get invited to a dinner party?
  • Mom is mad, now but Dad is coming around.  He was wary but now that he knows Angel can help, he’s willing to take all the help he can get.
  • I hate that they’re looking for a priest.  It seems too based in Christian myth for this show.  I know crosses are a big thing for Buffy & Angel – but they tend to keep actual religion out of it for the most part. The new Netflix series Dracula explores the background of why crosses work in an interesting way. [Yeah, is this our first non-vampire demon who doesn't like a crucifix? - Z]
  • Angel’s in a church without catching on fire.  So that’s a good first step.
  • The Nun knows, though.  The nun always knows.  Wait, that’s the nose.  The nose always knows.  I want a brownie now.
  • Wesley uses “Buns of Steel” lol.
  • This tension filled music while Wesley and Angel are deciding whether or not to perform the exorcism or not.
  • RICK’S MAGIC AND STUFF.  I bet it’s no Magic Box.
  • The demon is tormenting Wesley by skimming his mind a bit.  But I can’t  always understand what he’s saying in his demon voice.
  • “Tell him how you plan to kill him” “That’s not true”  Ooh, foreshadowing wayyy in advance.
  • “Doyle asked why you couldn’t protect him”.  Ooh, that’s cold.
  • The demon jumps out but it breaks the box.  So who is it going to jump into?
  • “Uh oh.” – Understated response from Cordy.
  • Putrescent.  I freaking love that word. I think I first heard it in The Princess Bride. 

  • “You didn’t get that boy’s soul.” “What soul?” Whaaaaaa?
  • I remember loving that twist when I first saw that episode.  I still do.
  • Angel realizes that the marbles spelling out “Save Me” was the demon.  That shoulda been his biggest clue.  How would the boy have done that?
  • It is interesting though – a human without a soul.  How did that happen?  Was he born without one?  It would have been something cool to explore.
  • Oh, hey….there’s Elisabeth Rohm.  Weird to just have her in the ending.
  • “I wanted to protect him.” – Shit, everything’s making me teary lately.
  • I would have loved to see a follow-up of this episode but alas.

Favorite Lines:
Zelda: “I know you’re not planning to kill me, Wesley. But you’re willing to, and that’s good.” – Angel
Daniel: "No one could have said demon poo before I touched it?" - Cordelia

Recurring: Detective Kate Lockley
Generally Known TV Face: Jerry Lambert
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Anthony Cistaro’s second role on this show.
Angel’s Alias: Angel Jones

Angel! In! History!
Not Angel’s history, but Wesley reveals that Lizzie Borden was possessed by an Ethros demon.

Cordelia’s Hair – parted down the middle, curling waves; tied up in an artfully messy bun
Dead Humans – 0
Dead Undeads – 1
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 1
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 2 (Ryan is possessed, not Dad; Ryan is more evil than the demon)
Unevil Reveal – 1 (Dad’s not abusive)
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0


  1. Judging from the first picture, their biggest clue should have been that the kid looks like Jake Busey while possessed. Instant indicator of evil.

    I love that they brought up Doyle again. I never really watched the show after he died because I assumed they'd just never mention him again but there were a few times they brought him up. I remember a later episode I caught randomly that had some sort of alternate reality where Angel goes off the deep end because Doyle had died and he had no one else? Am I misremembering or making stuff up? I feel like that was a thing.

    1. I really do appreciate that Doyle continues to matter (unlike coughJessecough). And yes, your memory is correct. I think it's in S3, when Cordy's reactions to the visions are getting increasingly worse (no longer just headaches, but nosebleeds, burns, rashes, etc), she's offered an alternate reality where she never joined up with Angel Investigations but instead pursued a successful acting career. Doyle's visions were instead passed to Angel, and he goes mad with them. Also I think Wesley has only one arm? I forget.

    2. Oh, I do recall Wesley being disfigured in some way. Basically, all of their lives were considerably worse without Cordy which is fitting. She's the best.

  2. I'm re-watching this series for the first time in like 10 years, and enjoying reading your reviews along with my viewings. I always liked this episode because they made mention of my hometown, Akron. It's about half an hour south of Cleveland, where the hellmouth is still percolating. The mom says one winter there was enough... I can attest to that!

    1. hah! glad you're enjoying your rewatch (and taking us along for the ride)