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


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

That Was Species-ist of Me

Episode 1.19: Sanctuary. Original Airdate: 5.02.00

“Angel attempts to reform Faith as Kate, the Watchers Council, and even Buffy Summers pursue her.”

Daniel’s Thoughts:

  • Angel & Faith.   Riding down and elevator.  She looks absolutely gutted.
  • Angel acting like a total big brother giving her a blanket and helping her sit on the bed. It’s really sweet.
  • This little fantasy in her head, attacking Angel, proves she’s not all of a sudden better now.  She still has these psychotic tendencies. But not acting on them proves that she wants to get better.
  • I really love this Faith arc.  Through the episodes of Buffy and now here, they’re really working through her issues.
  • Omg, I forgot Buffy was actually in this episode.
  • And now Cordelia and Wesley commiserating. 
  • “I do not, however, understand why the woman who brutally tortured me last night - this morning - gets pastries.”
  • Wes & Cordelia can’t understand why Angel wants to help Faith.  It’s because Angel can relate.  Wes & Cordelia can’t.
  • “People always get a little funny right after they’ve been sadistically tortured.  Well, you’d know.”  Ooh, harsh.  But fair.
  • Detective Kate!  
  • Fugitive from Sunnydale, she says.
  • “Everyone knows you’ve gone all Scully.”  “Scully’s the skeptic.”  DUH
  • Faith’s awake.  Angel, “Faith, I have doughnuts.”  - Good start, Angel.
  • Ooh, she has a knife.  Eliza is totally scary here.  But she hands him the knife.

  • Wolfram & Hart!  Lilah informs Lindsey the status of where Faith and Angel are.
  • “Rumor is he used to date [a slayer].”  heh.
  • Faith is thinking how she killed Allan - which is what spiraled this whole thing in the first place.   She feels guilty which shows empathy which is a plus.
  • Wes is trying to get over it by drinking and playing darts.  Oh no!  Fellow watchers!  They are not Gileses though.  You can tell because they’re all wearing leather jackets.
  • They want Wes to come home….but there’s a catch.  They want him to get Faith.
  • “So how does this work?” Angel goes off on a monologue about how hard it is to change.  She was talking about the popcorn maker.  And that’s what I love about Joss’ writing. (And Tim Minear who co-wrote this episode.) There’s always room for humor.  Humor breaks up the tension.  It’s important.  And then suddenly it gets back to that tension when Faith realizes that she has to atone to/for Wesley.
  • Aww, Angel realizes Buffy is dating someone new.
  • Oh man, Lee’s injuries.  I’d feel bad if he wasn’t evil.
  • “That was speciesist of me.”
  • Zoom in on the demon: 

  • Wesley’s protectiveness of Angel is nice.
  • Oh shizznit - Demon crawling on ceiling.
  • “You’re safe here.” Cue demon dropping in on them.
  • Faith kills it, which of course is triggering. 
  • It has red blood, which I think is unusual for a demon.
  • Buffy still doesn’t remember that perfect day that they had when Angel wasn’t a vampire.
  • “So you decided to punish her with a severe cuddling.”
  • “You apologize to me, I’ll beat you to death.”  I love this side of Buffy.
  • Oh shit,  Angel and Buffy punched each other.
  • Lee: "This is getting ridiculous. The first assassin kills the second assassin - sent to kill the first assassin, who didn't assassinate anyone until we hired the second assassin to assassinate the first assassin" [One plus one plus two plus one. - Z]
  • Oh wow, and Wes was pretending.  He’s actually helping Faith. “It wasn’t for her.  It’s because I trust you.”
  • Oooh Lindsey comes to Kate.  Kate knows about Wolfram & Hart.
  • Lindsey and his cool hair convince Kate by pretending they’re on the same page about the supernatural.
  • Buffy/Faith showdown. Buffy - “I gave you every chance.”  
The line. The reaction.  Everything about this.
  • And in the end, Buffy saves Faith from the machine guns because that’s who she is.
  • Omg! A helicopter!  They must have been saving a large part of their budget for this episode.
  • And Wesley shows his darts prowess from earlier by throwing the needle into one of the Watcher’s necks.
  • Angel’s got vamp face on climbing the helicopter.
  • And Kate and the cops have arrived.  She asks Angel where Faith is and when he doesn’t answer, she arrests him.
  • Buffy & Wes follow close behind
  • But Faith is already at the police station.  She’s turning her in.  And she’ll be in jail until season 7 of Buffy.
  • “Buffy, this wasn’t about you.”  THIS IS MY SHOW.
  • Wow, how Angel is drawing the line, now.  
  • “I have someone in my life now - that I love.”  Harsh.
  • “Go home.” -  ugh, this is all so gut-wrenching.
  • Ok, Faith is in jail.  Buffy has gone home to Sunnydale. Can Cordelia come back now?

Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • Daniel and I are both just yelling the word “sanctuary!” at each other before we hit play.
  • Faith and Angel, subdued and covered in scabbing cuts, as they ride the elevator down to his apartment. He wraps her in a fleecy blanket I want to steal, then covers her lower half in a woven throw blanket I also want to steal. I like blankets.
  • Woof, Faith’s still imagining striking out at Angel, destroying him. She’s not doing it, but we can see the struggle to try to let herself be quiet, but the resistance to spend any time with the quiet. When you’re quiet it’s easier to remember what you’ve done.
  • Oh boy, Cordelia with her massive bruise, Wesley with his cuts and bruises. And Wesley, even though he dropped the knife instead of killing Faith, is not inclined to forgive and forget this time. It’s not an Angel/Angelus separation, after all. Faith is still the person she was yesterday.
  • “I do not, however, understand why the woman who brutally tortured me last night, this morning gets pastries.” The bitter twisting tinge. “I believe in helping people. I do not believe in coddling murderers … there is evil in that girl, Angel … you set her free, she’ll kill again.” And Wesley leaves.
  • And after Cordelia gets Angel to sign her three paid vacation checks, she leaves too. Helping Angel on his overarching mission, sure, but neither is willing to help on this particular mission.
  • Which I get; we don’t see this amount of compassion extended to any other murderers they encounter on this show. The differences are she’s a Slayer, and she used to be on our team. Angel, more than anyone, knows about the stony road to redemption. But I think if he hadn’t recognized how broken Faith was, how hell-bent she was on her own destruction, he wouldn’t show this compassion.
  • And maybe Cordelia and Wes, who haven’t reached the lows that both Angel and Faith have reached, can’t recognize the desperation to escape from it, by death or in this case, recovery and repentance.
  • Last episode, you could see the dissociation in Faith’s eyes and she brazenly challenged and attacked. Here, you can see how much she wishes she could still dissociate. She’s sunk into herself, the last place she wants to be.
  • Damn, Lee Mercer’s jaw is wired shut.
  • Faith’s flashing back to her first murder, the moment that, she thinks, separated her irrevocably from the hero mission: when she killed Deputy Mayor Finch and, when Buffy tried to make her confront it, retorted “I don’t care.”
  • Nice touch that Angel’s and Faith’s wounds are already fading, faster than either Wes or Cordy could manage.
  • DB’s monologue … so much less effective acting than ED just listening. He challenges her, she punches him, he takes it, and she pauses. “Help me?” // “Yeah.”
  • Oh right, the stupid collection team from the Watchers Council. Ugh gross make them go away. Oh look, one of them is smoking in a non-smoking restaurant. Evil or about to die? I guess it’s not as clear cut here in LA than Sunnydale (the creeper Faith mugged at the bus station, too), where all morality is greyer and sometimes demons can be right, giants can be good, etc etc. But smoking is definitely still a sign of unlikeability.
  • And Wes won’t turn Faith over to the Council, even on the promise of his being reinstated as Watcher. He learned from the last time he did that.
  • “She has power and the willingness to use that power for evil. She must be stopped.” Take out the evil part, and honestly that’s still the Council’s raison d’être half the time. They want to use the Slayer as a tool but can’t let her fully recognize her own power. So you give her a test when she turns 18 that is nearly impossible to win. So you withhold information she needs to save the world (again). So you chain her to a rock and try to destroy her. So you destroy her until the next teenager is called for you to control.
  • “How do you say, gee, really sorry that I tortured you nearly to death.” … “Are you? Sorry.” // “And what if I can’t say it? There are some things you can’t just take back.”
  • “You’ve been doing this for a hundred years. I’m not gonna make it through the next ten minutes.” // “So make it through the next five, the next minute.” A lot of language you hear from addiction recovery, from trauma recovery. This is Faith’s own self-inflicted trauma.
  • Blurgh I’m not interested in Angel being butt-hurt that Buffy’s dating someone new. He’s already had a couple run-ins with other romantic options this season. Didn’t he leave Sunnydale for the express purpose of giving her a chance at a normal life? Mission accomplished?
  • The W&H Trio are hiring some kind of demon assassin to go after Faith. Meanwhile, it seems like Wes may have come around to helping the Council apprehend Faith for her “rehabilitation.” On the condition that Angel is unharmed.
  • Ugh this demon on the ceiling is giving me Queller flashbacks.
  • Ah yes, the ironic juxtaposition of Angel assuring Faith she’s safe right before a demon attack.
  • And as he comforts Faith after the attack, of course, Buffy walks in.
  • Oh right and his shirt’s unbuttoned because recent shower.
  • Buffy: “Giles heard that she tried to kill you.” Me: “He got better!”
  • And Buffy, even more so than Wes or Cordy, has no room in her heart for forgiveness for Faith. She tried so many times to save her, and now she’s written her off. “Buffy, I’m so—“” // “If you apologize to me, I will beat you to death.” // “Go ahead.” It’s interesting, right, because if you’re only watching Angel, it seems like Buffy comes in here in full vengeance villain mode, with very little nuance. You have to have seen her entire arc with Faith on her own show to realize how long it’s taken her to get to this point with Faith. Even after Faith tried to kill Angel, and Buffy tried to kill Faith right back, Buffy saw Faith, vulnerable and comatose in the hospital, and still loved what good remained in her, and kissed her on the forehead.
  • I do like this acting moment between SMG and DB, the horrified realization of what it means, for Angel to punch Buffy.
  • Lindsey’s epiphany of how to handle both Angel and Faith: “We’re lawyers. It’s a mistake for us to work outside the law.” aka TIME FOR A LAWYERED EX MACHINA.
  • “I know Faith did some bad things to you.” // “You can’t possibly know.” // “And you can’t possibly know what she’s going through.”
  • Oh good, Wes didn’t turn, I’d forgotten this bit. He lied to the Council, with the goal of protecting Faith from them. I know there’s some problematic stuff with Wes, but god I love him right now. “It wasn’t for her.” // “I know.” // “It’s because I trust you.”
  • I do really like that this episode is tying together so many major players from this season: the W&H Trio, Kate and her conflicted bond with Angel, Faith, even Buffy. You can tell we’re getting close to the finale. Sure, this arc is separate from the finale, but it’s no longer time to spin wheels on inconsequential monsters of the week.
  • And Lindsey, without naming names, lets Kate know that Faith’s with Angel.
  • Faith to Buffy, on the roof, vulnerable and genuine, “Just tell me how to make it better.” And somehow that’s enough, in all of this, for Buffy to stop and hear, and help Faith escape from the Watchers both on the roof and from a helicopter okay then.
  • Wes, showing off his dart skills (thoughtfully planted by the writers earlier in the pub scene), tranqs one of the Watchers by throwing the syringe. Then he punches him out for good measure. I guess now he’s popped his tortured cherry, Wes gets to be badass?
  • And Faith. She turns herself in to the police. “I’d like to make a confession.” Because while it’s true that prison couldn’t hold a Slayer determined to escape, if Faith goes by choice, it’s the only way she can think to begin to make amends. To fully return to the rules of humanity, and serve prison time for crimes committed.
  • I know Buffy’s pretty antagonistic this episode, but dang her curls are shiny shiny.
imagine if hair like this existed in the wild. IMAGINE.

  • “Buffy, this wasn’t about you. This was about saving somebody’s soul.”
  • Wow, is this the first time Buffy’s said she loves Riley? Saying it to Angel and not to Riley himself? We know that Riley’s first time saying it was to Faith-in-Buffy. Honestly, if Riley ever found out about this, it would add more fuel to his big issue, that she doesn’t open herself to him the way he needs.
  • “Faith wins again,” Buffy says as she leaves and I just … listen, I love Buffy, I really do, but what the hell is that. In what world is Faith the reigning queen of winning? Buffy put her in a coma. Buffy has friends and family, a life lived out in the sunlight. Buffy’s come out on top in every fight she’s had with Faith. There was literally a half-episode where Buffy was jealous of Faith, and then we found out Faith was on the run and her Watcher had been murdered in front of her. Faith’s never won.
  • Anyway, I love this episode for the Faith arc of it and thought Eliza did a great job, and I’m so proud of how far Faith’s come, and that she will recover, will redeem herself. I love that we’ll get to see that (spoilers).


Favorite Lines:

Daniel: Lee: "This is getting ridiculous. The first assassin kills the second assassin - sent to kill the first assassin, who didn't assassinate anyone until we hired the second assassin to assassinate the first assassin."
Zelda: “I hope she is strong enough to make it. Peace is not an easy thing to find.” // “She has a chance.” – Wesley/Angel


Recurring: Detective Kate Lockley, Lindsey McDonald, Lee Mercer, Lilah Morgan, Faith, Buffy Summers
Buffy Crossover: Faith, Buffy Summers, Collins, Weatherby, Smith, Deputy Mayor Allan Finch (flashback/archive footage)
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Jeff Ricketts (Weatherby on Buffy and Angel, also Spider Monster on Angel, Man (Blue Hands) on Firefly)


Cordelia’s Hair – headband over messy bun
Dead Humans – 0
Dead Undeads – 1
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 0
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 1
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0

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