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


Monday, August 10, 2020

Nobody But Our Mr. Bills

 Episode 2.04: Untouched. Original Airdate: 10.17.00.

“Angel attempts to help a girl with telekinetic powers before she falls into the hands of Wolfram and Hart.”

Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • I feel like there’s a joke somewhere in saying “Hey there Lilah,” but I can’t be bothered.
  • Anyway she’s snooping in a dark office. Probably Lindsey’s but he’s not in this episode. I guess Darla lives in his office? That’s … a choice.
  • Also Darla is totally flirting with Lilah.
  • Her dress is similar enough to the one she wore in Angel’s Caritas dream, coupled with her just appearing out of the dark, that this all feels hallucinate-y. Even though it’s not. Anyway, she’s using some kind of magic powder when she has her visits with Angel, to keep him knocked out but receptive.
  • Cool, Wes is being casually misogynistic to Cordy as they argue about paying Gunn for his help, which … yes duh, come on, listen to Cordelia and pay Gunn.
  • Seriously, why does every episode lately feature one of the guys belittling Cordelia’s intelligence. We’ve known she’s smart for years. Stop just stop just stop.
  • Angel’s still out of it, and at least he’s admitting it to the team. Wes: “It’s been going on for a bit, hasn’t it? You sleep more, you’re less rested. Are you dreaming?” Wow, Wes is dragging all of us right now but anyway before we can go into it, Cordelia’s our Vision Girl. And as Angel runs out, she, recovering, says “Oh god, he’s gonna be too late.”
  • Girl in the alley looks like Sarah Polley. She’s not, but she looks like her.
  • Anyway the two guys chasing her have now been crushed by a dumpster so that’s cool.
  • Oh right, this is the episode about weaponized trauma. Ugh this poor woman.
  • Angel’s very clever, striding into the crime scene and fooling the beat cop into thinking he’s an official detective to get the skinny.
  • And as Angel wanders off, the real detective shows up, and poor beat cop looks confused.
  • He follows his enhanced vampire nostrils to find the woman hiding in a nearby warehouse.
  • Aaaand she telekenesises a rebar through his shoulder. Luckily for us it’s not wooden?
  • Angel’s working hard on the empathy angle, pointing out he’s not like other people, same as she isn’t like other people. And then when it’s clear she doesn’t have family in town, he says he doesn’t either. A bit of a dig to Cordy and Wes, but I see what he’s doing.
  • He was also, back at the Hyperion, trying to create explicit employee-employer dynamic with Cordelia, so this could be part of a larger symptom of the distance building up between him and the others, as Darla takes over his mind and OOPS Bethany (alley woman) is staying with Lilah.
  • I guess they’re from the same small town?  And Lilah scouted her, brought her to LA, and cool, another tool for W&H.
  • Cordelia calls Angel’s pec a “manly boob muscle” and I just.
  • “You know how hard it is to think straight with a rebar through your torso?” // “Actually I do. Benefits of a Sunnydale education.” Heyo, shoutout to “Lovers Walk”!
  • Gunn is here! And he’s friendlier with Cordelia and I’m into that. And he has a fancy new axe!

  • He then makes a crack about workman’s comp and yeah seriously Angel pay the dude. Unless you’re doing a true barter system of favors, pay the dude.
  • Aw, remember Angel’s tattoo? The makeup artists did!
  • Oooh, instead of Dream Darla time, we get Bethany’s dream perspective, which … fuck, she was abused by her father. Whoop, her dream brain sends a lamp right into Lilah’s head.
  • NM, it is also Dream Darla time and sadly it’s a flashback to Angelus’s terrible wig. Oh wow, she’s bringing him back to the night they killed the Romani girl, aka the reason he was cursed with a soul.
  • Vamp Angelus biting Vamp Darla. Kinky.
  • Cordelia’s on 45 minutes of sleep, Angel’s on … what, 16 hours? Hardly seems fair.
  • Luckily, all that fruitless research was for naught because Bethany walks into the Hyperion.
  • Bethany calls it a “family business.” Angel – either reading that that word is charged for her, or, again, pulling away from the team – corrects her with “friends.”
  • Meanwhile, confirmed that the two men who chased Bethany into the alley were sent by W&H explicitly to trigger her telekinetic violence and I hate this.
  • Cordelia’s getting a “women and sex” vibe off Bethany, but that’s not strictly true. Rape and assault aren’t sex. Sex is consensual.
  • Bethany’s upset with Angel, throwing out sample useless questions that betray they definitely tried therapy when she was a child, and I’m now upset her therapist didn’t cotton on to what was happening and rescue her.
  • Wesley tries deliberately to trigger her, threatening to send her back to her father, and while it was effective, hey maybe let’s not deliberately trigger a deeply traumatized person, especially one who has yet to work through said trauma. It’s an open wound he’s salting. Angel rightly sends him home. “It helps that we know.” // “I hope so.”
  • Oof, the proposition Bethany makes to Angel, “I figured we’d have fun. You can do stuff to me, and, you know, we’ll have some fun.” Her voice is completely dead, her eyes blank. She says fun, but there’s nothing fun for her about this.
  • “I’m like the chambermaid. I just leave. When a guy’s on me, I … I made up the room, I showed him in … and I leave til he’s gone. Come back and clean up the mess.” Poor Bethany’s dissociating is taking over. An interesting metaphor, I suppose. She goes out of her body, as does her telekinetic energy.
  • While doing some snooping with Gunn into Bethany’s would-be attackers, Angel falls through the door barrier of the apartment, confirming said attacker has now died from his injuries. 
I can't stop watching this gif.
  • Oh we’re at a merry-go-round. Does this mean we’re back at the Santa Monica Pier?
  • Jesus, the abduction of Bethany is so quick and so terrifying. Cordelia’s able to stall them a bit but there are too many for her to stop them. Luckily, Angel and Gunn have impeccable timing, driving up in time for a car chase. Once they found out W&H were involved, they knew they would have additional and threatening resources.
  • Bethany, spinning out, “You’re playing with me. Why does everyone wanna play with me? I don’t wanna play.” The regression to her child self, it’s rough.
  • And then the “trigger” Lilah and Holland telegraphed earlier is pulled: Bethany’s dad shows up at the hotel. And all the windows are blasted out in her shock.
  • The room trembles, walls breaking, nails flying, as he gaslights her, calm voice trying to convince her to come home. I wonder what he thinks he’s here to do. W&H sent him here to die.
  • Bethany, at last, is calm. Is focused. As she levitates her father, throttling him. Angel tells her to finish it. She says “goodbye” and sends him flying out the window—but stops him just short of crashing to the ground. She has the power and strength to kill him. But she’s not ready to become a conscious killer yet.
  • She still needs therapy. But she knows she doesn’t need Lilah.
  • So I guess that’s a win for our side?
  • Lilah, desperate, points to Angel: “He is a vampire, you know.” Bethany: “Weird.”

Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • I can tell by the doors opening, that this is Wolfram & Hart.  Very creepy & dark, but standard Law offices.
  • Lilah sneaks into the office…and Darla creepily appears out of the shadows.  Was she, like, just waiting there for someone to come in?
  • Turns out Darla has a special dust/drug that she uses to keep Angel asleep while she rapes him physically and mentally.
  • Advanced Bosoms?  Geez, Wesley.  What is his misogyny deal?  What is with everyone seriously belittling Cordelia's intelligence? Also…what would an Advanced Bosom class entail?
  • Wesley & Cordelia are arguing as to whether they should pay Gunn or not….  Uh.  Why wouldn’t they?
  • Angel gets into the conversation and I'm feeling uncomfortable about three white people discussing whether they should pay a black man for his labor.
  • Cordy has a vision of a woman being chased.
  • Oh man, but this woman doesn’t seem to need help from Angel.  She uses telekinetic powers to smash her would-be-rapists with a dumpster.
  • Ha, I love Angel undercover.  He’s pretending to be a detective to get the scoop.
  • Lol, the cop compares the squished bad guys to Mr. Bill and I am here for it.

Oh nooooo!

  1. Angel finds the young woman.  Scared, she accidentally skewers him with rebar.  
  2. But Angel's ok cause it wasn’t wood!  Still must smart a bit.
  3. Angel tries to convince Carrie (that’s what I’m calling her til I found out her name) to take his card.
  4. After she leaves, we realize that what she did really did hurt Angel a lot.  It might not be easy to kill Angel, but its nice that they acknowledge that he can still be badly hurt.
  5. Oh no!  Carrie (who we find out her name is Bethany – I don’t care, I’m still calling her Carrie) knows  Lilah.  She’s staying with her.
  6. I LOVE LILAH’S APARTMENT.  It’s such a lawyer loft.  
As if Lilah does her own laundry

  • Angel didn’t even get her name.  I did.  It’s Carrie.
  • Gunn has arrived with a giant metal hatchet. 
  • Gunn to Cordelia: “You still saving my life?”  Aww, continuity.
  • And she is, in a way – fighting for his right to get paid.
  • The fact that this is even a question is astounding.  What is he an artist? “Do it for the exposure!” – (Fuck everyone who says that.) Just because you enjoy your job, doesn't mean you shouldn't get paid for it.  And it is a job.  
  • Carrie is having scary dreams, causing the lamp next to her to shake and eventually fall.
  • The dreams have to do with her father – which is giving me an ick factor.
  • Ooh, Angel’s dreams are now….memories?  Or just set in the past? Angel looking like Ron Perlman in that show…Beauty and the…guy with the weird face.
  • Carrie left Lilah’s apartment and shows up at the Hyperion.  She introduces herself as Carrie White.  (Fine, it’s Bethany Chaulk  - I wonder if Chaulk was used…because chalk…is white?   Reaching?  Probably.)  She’s also a redhead like Sissy Spacek.
  • Holland reams out Lilah in the only way an evil corporate lawyer can.  But Bethany calls Lilah at just the right moment.
  • Angel and Carrie are outside…and very close to direct sunlight.
  • The bottom of Angel’s shoes are yellow and really clash with his all black outfit.

  • Wesley makes Carrie mad – all on purpose.  He wants to get a rise out of Carrie to bring her powers out and he does.  She tosses Wesley into a wall and Angel into the sun-shiney patio.  He doesn’t immediately burst into flames like other vampires we’ve seen on Buffy.  
  • And now Angel & Carrie are having that “People suck” “No people are innately ok” conversation….and I just.  It’s just not the right time in our pandemic for this “people are basically good” conversation.
  • "You wouldn’t like me when I’m happy.”
  • Ooh, during this whole conversation between Carrie and Angel, Darla has been lurking around the corner.
  • She….does that a lot this episode.
  • And why doesn’t Angel sense her?  I guess in a way he does.
  • Next day Angel teaches Carrie how to control her gift and it looks pretty easy. Like, there's not even a montage or anything.
  • Angel breaks into an apartment with Gunn but it seems like Gunn can only get inside.  But then weirdly Angel falls through the barrier which I guess means the owner of the apartment literally just died?
  • Meanwhile Cordy and Carrie have a pow wow…at a carnival or something.  “Don’t bone my boss,” she says, missing the point.
  • Some brutes try to take Carrie away, but Cordy rescues her by throwing coffee in their faces and it’s awesome.  But oops, a van comes and takes her anyway.  Luckily Angel & Gunn are not far behind.  Car chase!
  • Angel hanging from the back of the van!
  • “One more excuse and I’m going to bury you alive next to my house just so I can hear you screaming.” – Lilah.
  • And then Bethany sees her father and explodes the entire room.  This is the second time Angel’s been thrown across a room this episode.  First for Cordy.  At least Wesley isn’t there.
  • Why would they use her father, someone who obviously triggered her telekinesis to try to get her back.  This is like the opposite of what they should do.  Unless they think it'll just kill Angel and be done with it.  Eh, I dunno.  It seems counter-productive to the trust Lilah was trying to build with her previously.
  • Angel at this point says, "You've got the power, use it. Finish it." making it seem like Angel's okay with killing.  It crosses a line that a regular superhero show wouldn't do - but maybe that's the point.  Morality in this show isn't black & white.
  • And she tosses her father out the window!  But also lets him fall safely, stopping him before he hits the ground. 
  • And Carrie finally leaves Lilah’s apartment.  Angel is waiting outside because he’s not invited in.
  • “Looks like you're gonna have  to find someone else’s brain to play with, “  “Yeah we have someone in mind,” Lilah answers pointedly but Angel doesn’t get it.  Ooooh.  This is what I love about Lilah. 

Favorite Lines:
Zelda: “You call, I come. Loaded for bear, ready for battle, and something else that starts with B.” – Gunn
Daniel: “One more excuse and I’m going to bury you alive next to my house just so I can hear you screaming.” – Lilah

First Appearance: Gunn’s hubcap axe
Recurring: Lilah Morgan, Holland Manners, Darla
Generally Known TV Face: Gareth Williams, David Meunier (as David J. Miller)
Whedonverse Hat Trick: David Meunier (as David J. Miller; Man #1 in Angel, Rat-Faced Demon in Buffy), Drew Wicks (first of two roles on Angel, Man in Dollhouse)
Angel’s Alias: Police Detective

Angel! In! History!
  • Angel prays to forget several fashion trends he’s lived through.
  • Flashback!Angel had Flashback!kinkysex with Flashback!Darla while the Romani girl was tied up in the room, forced to watch.

Cordelia’s Hair – low ponytail, lightly wavy; half-up, still lightly wavy
Dead Humans – 2
Dead Undeads – 0
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 1
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0


  1. "Angel gets into the conversation and I'm feeling uncomfortable about three white people discussing whether they should pay a black man for his labor."

    Well, this little plot point aged like fine milk.

    This episode idea sounds kind of interesting but I always get a little iffy when it involves something super traumatic. I'm glad they seemed to be trying to empower the victim in this scenario rather than make the bad guy seem more evil trope.

    1. I'm definitely relieved that she also didn't decide W&H was right and let herself be turned into a weapon. I feel like it could have very easily gone that route.