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 27, 2020

Evil Incorporated

 Episode 2.12: Blood Money. Original Airdate: 1.23.01

“Wolfram and Hart are sponsoring a fund raising benefit for a local teen shelter. Angel is suspicious of their motives and starts investigating. Meanwhile, Wes, Gunn and Cordy work to establish their own detective business.”

Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • Ah yes the classic misdirect of Gunn and Wes staring each other down over tense music. But they’re just playing Risk. Ugh I do not enjoy playing Risk.
  • Also they’re playing it in Cordy’s apartment and I see she’s been drafted into hosting the office at her home. Again.
  • Wes wants to scrap the Angel lobster business cards, and Cordy’s hackles are up because she designed them.
  • Wow, Cordy’s visions are getting very helpfully specific about location. Thanks Powers That Be!
  • Meanwhile Angel bumps into ANNE IT’S ANNE. Aka Chanterelle aka Lily, and I’m so pleased they’ve not only brought back this character, but shown us that Buffy did indeed help her, and that she now has purpose and confidence. 

  • Neither Anne or Angel seem to clock that they’ve met before.
  • But when Angel goes back to the hotel we see that he’s stolen her wallet and has a wall full of stalker photos of her wtf Angel, oh right one of the stalker photos is of Anne with Lindsey so I guess it’s back to Angel Has a Vendetta.
  • Oh right, Angel’s fighting that “war” while the others fight the good fight.

  • “It’s not a teddy bear and it probably shouldn’t be attending the Kenyard School for Girls.” Good point, Wes.
  • They’re not showing us this giant fire-breathing demon (budget!) but they show Gunn and Wes looking up and scared, and fire blasting at them.
  • Angel’s here to harass Merl some more, but at least he’s speaking this episode?
  • I don’t understand why Angel’s using Merl for his intel. I thought Merl was a snitch, not a detective. Isn’t … detectiving … Angel’s job????? Do your own research my dude.
  • Angel drops by Anne’s shelter (oh look, doing his own detectiving), with a paper grocery bag of clothes, including a shirt we saw Cordy wearing two episodes ago, so wow he’s just giving away her shit but also didn’t we see her exit with a file box full of stuff, but she somehow left clothes behind? This is making less than sense to me.
  • Anne tells Angel, without much prompting, that W&H is a big sponsor of the shelter, and that there’s a big benefit coming up soon. So I guess we know that Anne, at least, is on the level. Sure, she’s taking money from W&H but it’s got to come from somewhere and a lot of big companies sponsor charities so shrug?
  • Random big lug demon calling on Merl, stepping on his fingers. “Angel and I have a history … an unfinished history.” Much ominous. Very yawn.
  • “What’s a Wolfram and Hart?” // “A law firm, technically. More like Evil incorporated.”
  • They do that fun mirror trick with Angel sneaking into Lilah’s car and her not seeing him in her rearview mirror. “Fun.”
  • He’s basically just there to be sarcastically happy for her promotion.
  • Remember how good Angel was two episodes ago? Back when Cordy was wearing that shirt Angel just gave away like the shittiest of shitty friends?
  • He’s like … lightly patting at Lilah’s shoulder as he says “You screw with me and you screw with me and you screw with me …”
  • “Angel, please.” // “The begging, that comes later.”
  • They’re acting like Angel’s all dark now and I know that’s the arc they’re working on, and I believed it a bit better when he set Darla and Dru on fire, but this? This is just him being a bit of a pissant, lotta bark, not much bite, certainly not much effect (even the end of the episode and whatever strike he achieves against Lilah and Lindsey is meh). So … good job with that war you’re fighting, Angel.
  • Anyway, big lug shows up at W&H and wants their help. He knows Angel’s coming for them, and wants to be lying in wait to go after Angel when he shows up, to finish some fight he had with him eighty years ago. He claims their fight was over “a seniorita” and I just. This is so dumb.
  • Lindsey wants him to kill Angel, Lilah reminds him they’re not supposed to kill Angel, Lindsey gripes about his plastic hand, and Lilah calls him Napoleon, taking a dig at both his height and his hand thing.
  • Anyway, Gunn and Wes are very proud of bringing down the giant demon thing. And Cordy’s looking for an office, and it’s very sweet to see the three of them so proud of themselves, and excited for the future. Except they each want to name the agency after themselves and then Cordy … tries to do a hip hop song and dance about Gunn’s name, and the cringe is beyond.
  • Poor Merl is getting beat up a lot this episode. This time it’s Lilah and some W&H goons to find out the kind of work he does for Angel.
  • When Angel comes back to the shelter, Anne jokingly asks if he’s stalking her, and I guess to his credit, he says yes. He shows her the photos and gives her back her wallet. He’s telling her because he wants her to know that W&H are not a good firm to be partners with, including a heads up that she’s probably not gonna see many funds from the benefit, when all is said and done.
  • “You follow me, take my picture, steal my wallet. What makes you think I’ll believe anything you say?” Fair fucking point, Anne.
  • Lindsey shows up to play the white knight, and then after some posturing, the big lug demon (his name is Boone, okay) strolls in.
  • “Boone, working for Wolfram & Hart. I thought you had integrity.” We did already see earlier that he seems to have some sense of honor. Based on the timeline he gives, that fight was with Angel, not Angelus. He said it was just to see who was the better fighter, and I guess he still wants to know. Angel flees this fight, so … I guess that answers that.
  • Lindsey tries to mansplain to Anne about the demon world, but sweetie, she belonged to a vampire club. She went to Teen Runaway Slave Dimension. She knows what goes bump in the night.
  • Lilah confirms that their plan was to steal $2million, and that seems … this is one of the special projects they’re in charge of? Really? I just … everything in this episode is so small potatoes acting like it’s a giant mutant spud.
  • “A few years ago it would have been a big turn-on. I thought vampires were the coolest.” // “What happened?” // “I met one.” Yeah … you met Angel. (Okay, fine, meeting Spike is what changed her mind. She just thought Angel was rude.)
  • Anne points out that even if she only sees 5% of the money raised, that’s still $100,000, way more than the shelter can hope to raise elsewhere.
  • Angel gives her his little tape of “proof,” but she says no.
  • Oh hey, Holland is here on a pre-record video on the big screen. Dead but not forgotten! So I guess this special project was something Holland had set in motion and L&L are just finishing the project for him. Okay. Sure. It’s still dumb.
  • We meet Nathan Reed, Lilah’s current boss. He’s all fake smile and smarm and I miss Holland. Holland at least was nuanced in his evil.
  • “Can we really change the world? At Wolfram & Hart, we’re counting on it,” says video Holland.
  • The silly gimmick is that celebrities are dressed up like bandits to steal donations, and … okay.
  • “Serena, I have to know … this thing about making your character gay, is that all about ratings because … I don’t get it.” A not so subtle nod to Willow’s S4 development.
  • Anyway, Angel sneaked in with a black hooded cloak, and he and Boone gonna rumble again.
  • More har-har jokes, with one of the celebrities watching Angel and Boone fight, snarking “I’m not buying the makeup.”
  • But hey, integrity Boone helped sneak Angel in, and staged the fight as a distraction. So I guess Anne said no but took the tape, and is now going to play it? Off-screen? Okay? Meanwhile, the live cameras capture Lindsey and Lilah desperately running to stop her from playing it.
  • But the tape is just Cordy’s audition tape.
  • So … this was all just to embarrass Lindsey and Lilah, but not actually expose W&H. Seriously. HOW IS THIS ANGEL FIGHTING THE WAR.
  • Sure, it’s fun to see Wesley be silly and dance in front of the camera. But like. THIS IS SO DUMB. THIS IS ALL SO DUMB. WHY.
  • Okay the one not-dumb part of the plan, as Lilah and Lindsey once more run like the dickens through the party, is that Boone walked away with the money before W&H could steal it.
  • Angel, to Anne: “That’s the difference between us: You still care.” I see why people call this the Beige Angel arc.
  • So also … if Boone was in league with Angel the whole time (which I hadn’t remembered) … why did he need to beat up Merl? That’s so goddamn petty. Merl didn’t need to be beaten up three times, and the second time was purely for the audience’s benefit. I call shenanigans.
  • New boss Nathan Reed doesn’t want Angel dead because “the prophecies all agree that when the final battle is waged, [Angel] plays a key role … which side he’s on is the grey area, and we’re gonna continue making it as grey as possible.” [Or beige. – the fans]
  • So we finally know why they want Angel alive, and sort of explains all their various machinations to try to turn him dark. They want him in the apocalypse, but they want him on their side. … ’kay
  • At least their plan has a stronger end goal than any of Angel’s “plans.”
  • Boone brings the sack of money and jewelry to the Hyperion, and it’s apparently what he’s wagering to finally have his knock-down drag-out fight with Angel. We don’t see the fight, but we cut to Angel, bruised and cut up, dropping the winnings on Anne’s desk.
  • She holds up a stained stack of bills. “What’s this?” //“Blood.” // *beat* “It’ll wash.”
  • Well. That was certainly an episode that Daniel and I watched. [We sure did. - D]
  • When does the show get good again? Do we have anything fun between now and Pylea? I remember liking Pylea.
Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • Angel the series really likes those fake openings where it seems like people are fighting but are actually not and it’s so obvious.  Anyway, Gunn & Wesley are playing RISK at Cordelia’s apartment.
  • I think Wesley is wearing the shirt he was wearing when he was pretending to be Angel.
  • Cordelia calls Angel “The A Word.” heh.
  • While Wes & Gunn are spitballing logo ideas for their new detective agency, Cordy has a vision.
  • Angel bumps into our old friend Lily/Chanterelle….now named Anne. I really like that she named herself after Buffy’s alias/middle name which is something we knew at the end of that episode of Buffy.
  • The first time I watched this, I don’t think I made that connection - like I think I thought she was a new character.
  • Oh shit, Angel stole her wallet.   And he’s been stalking her! 
  • And we see why: There’s a photo of Anne crossing the street with Lindsey.
  • Gunn & Angel hunt the demon that Cordelia’s vision was about. It’s too bad that her visions don’t usually allow time for research.
  • “I thought you said he breathed fire.”  As the fire comes out of the demon’s butt.  Heh
  • Except this episode didn’t have the budget to show the actual demon.  It’s fine.  We get plenty of demon make up.
  • Angel visits Merl who I guess is ok to work for him.  He doesn’t like Merl – so he doesn’t have to worry about caring about him and then losing him. I guess?  Also it's ok to slap him around?  Bah.
  • Merl’s underground layer is full of electronics & bean bag chairs.  Angel disapproves of the latter. We can’t all have furnished hotels, Angel. [Yeah, check your privilege, Angel my dude. - Z]
  • Oh now Angel’s donating Cordy’s clothes?  How dare.
  • Anne tells Angel about W&H.  He finally sees that she seems to genuinely believe that W&H are good people or at least doing a good thing.
  • Some new demon comes and interrogates Merl.  Merl spills pretty easily, telling him what Angel is up to.
  • Angel meanwhile surprises Lilah in the parking garage of Wolfram & Hart.
  • I guess the vampire detectors don’t extend to that area?
  • Angel’s acting as Darla described him last episode – somewhere between Angel & Angelus.   And it doesn’t appear to be an act.
  • Even Lilah tells Lindsey “He doesn’t play by the old rules.”
  • This new blue demon, introduces himself to Lilah & Lindsey as Boone.  He tells them he has a history with Angel.
  • So the deal I guess is that Boone wants to team up with Lilah & Lindsey to trap Angel.  
  • Cordelia has an amazing view for what she’s paid.  I mean I know it comes with a ghost, but wow. 

  • Unfortunately Dennis the Ghost does not make an…ahem…appearance. *waits for laughs*
  • Wes & Gunn are proud of their latest victory & Cordelia has found a new office.
  • They all want to name the new agency after themselves and I’d like this storyline more if there were any real conflict or point and not just a B story.
  • Third time someone’s infiltrated Merl’s lair. This time it’s Lilah & Lindsey.
  • He says, “Last couple of days I’ve been following this girl.”  What? How?  It’s not as if Merl can be inconspicuous on the streets of LA.   
  • Angel comes to Anne with the truth.
  • Lindsey comes to Anne’s “rescue” bringing Boone in.
  • They fight. Angel runs.
  • Lindsey tries to explain the demon world to Anne  who is like yeah, been there, done that, joined two different otherworldly cults.
  • I’m glad they brought Anne back for this.  It’s a perfect fit for this storyline.  
  • Meanwhile, Angel comes back to see Anne. Again.
  • They back and forth about evil and good and whatnot.  Angel wants her to slip him into the party with a tape.
  • OMG, this video with Holland Manners.  It’s so bad.  I think it’s purposely bad, but it’s so bad.
  • I love that they brought Holland Manners back just for these dumb videos. 
  • The theme of this gala:  It’s so wrong.  “Highway Robbery”. 
  • Rich people: “Hahaha, I’m being robbed. Ha ha. Ha.”
  • But also, like would people really come to an event like this with so much actual cash? Ya know what? Imma SHENANIGAN that.  There’s no way people would bring so much money in cash form.
  • Oh hey, Angel got in.  And oooh, Boone was helping him the entire time! What?

  • Oooh, and it turns out Anne had the tape the entire time!
  • The tape starts with Cordy doing an audition tape. “I sorta believe the coat rack more,” one of the celebs quip.  Aww, Cordy..
  • And this is back when Cordelia had long brown hair (which is done with a really bad wig.)
  • Oh man, and Wesley dancing on camera. OH NO.  Wesley is doing a strip tease.  
  • There are a shit ton of levels to this shit plan.
  • And wait.  I mean,  what exactly did this elaborate plan do again?  He stole the money, I guess?  Is...he going to use it to use to pay his hotel electrical bills? Cuz…
  • “That’s the difference between us.  You still care.”  I think you still care, too, Angel.
  • Meanwhile Lilah & Lindsey get reamed out by the W&H exec.  He’s coming back so we might as well name him: Nathan Reed.
  • Angel, Nathan says, is a major player in the apocalypse.  Which one?  There have been a few.
  • Wow, the money with jewelry is worth 2.5 mill. 
  • Boone comes back with the money…but why?  I guess the part of the story where they fought is true - but what reason did Boone have to help him out in the first place?  And now they fight…honorably?
  • And I assumed Boone was dead.  Zelda believes he is still alive.  The consensus on the internet is that his fate is unknown.  So I’m moving a little more to Zelda’s side.  
  • And Anne takes the money that is literally covered in blood.  Which again, is why I assumed Boone was dead.  He bleeds red which is interesting, for a demon. So maybe they didn’t fight to the death.  They fought…to the pain. 
  • I dunno. A lot of this episode is really really dumb and pointless. 

D:  So he was in Juarez. And Boone’s going back to Brazil.
Z: … You’d think they could try to cast a Latino actor for Boone.
D: Right? What the hell?
Z: What the hell?
Favorite Lines:
Zelda: “Can we really change the world? At Wolfram & Hart, we’re counting on it.” – Holland.

First Appearance: Anne Steele, Nathan Reed
Recurring: Lindsey McDonald, Lilah Morgan, Holland Manners, Merl, Cordelia's Business card
Generally Known TV Face: Gerry Becker, Mark Rolston
Buffy Crossover: Anne Steele (nee Chanterelle/Lily)
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Jason Padgett (first of two roles on Angel)
Lilah’s Nicknames: Napoleon (Lindsey)
Merl’s Nicknames: Fluffy (W&H goon)
Angel! In! History!
In the 1920s Angel was in Juarez in Mexico and got into a 3.5 hour fight with Boone over “a seniorita.” It ended when the sun came out.

Cordelia’s Hair – chin-length bob, blonde stripey highlights, side part
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 – 0
Unevil Reveal – 1 (Boone’s in cahoots with Angel)
Shenanigans Called – 2
Apocalypse Called – 1 (there’s gonna be one)
Prophecy Called – 1 (and Angel will be a major player)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Godzilla, Darcilla, Whatever

Episode 2.11: Redefinition. Original Airdate: 1.16.01

“After firing Cordelia, Gunn and Wesley, Angel trains for a showdown with Darla and Drusilla while the others decide what to do with their lives.”


Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • Wes, Cordy & Gunn now laid off, are taking their boxes out of the Hyperion
  • Well Gunn doesn’t have a box but the other two do.  Among Cordy’s things are her MacBook and flowers.  I feel like Cordy would have more stuff than that but maybe it’s a first trip
  • They talk about Angel’s recent decisions.  
  • Cordy thinks it’s all about Darla. “It’s always some little blonde driving him over the edge.” Heh.
  • “I won’t pretend to understand Angel’s reasons but maybe he needs to be alone right now and the best thing that we can do for him is to let him be.”  Wesley is being extremely understanding right now.
  • Angel meanwhile is getting rid of all things Darla including his creepy drawings of her.
  • And now a training montage & a voiceover? Are we in a Rocky movie? [If we hear any inspirational power chords, we'll just lie down until they go away. - Giles]
  • Also Angel is panting as if he has breath.
  • Meanwhile, all the lawyers are dead piled on top of each other.
  • Except Lindsey…opens his eyes.  “She saved me,” he says, all in mopey dopey wuv.
  • “I’m the only one left.” “Hey we’ve got a live one here!” “We do?”  Aww, Lindsey thought he was special.
  • It’s Lilah of course.
  • Oh hey…it’s Wesley’s girlfriend, whatsherface?  I keep forgetting she exists.
  • Wes is wearing the ugliest orange shirt. I just…it’s distracting me.
  • Wes is at that point where he doesn’t know what he’s going to do with his life.
  • Meanwhile, as if in another episode entirely, Angel narrates pointlessly.
  • Also seriously, who is paying the electric bills for this hotel?
  • Back at W&H, Lilah’s arm is in a sling and Lindsey has a bruise on his face but other than that, they seem fine.
  • Lilah is worried that they’re going to be under suspicion for surviving.
  • And oop – Darla and Dru are waiting for Lindsey & Lilah in his office.
  • “He’s got cow eyes, big and black. Moo…” – Drusilla adds her commentary as only she can.
  • Darla spared Lindsey & Lilah because they want a connection to W&H and “the world above.”
  • Some vamps roaming the sewers bragging about eating people at fast food places.
  • Angel slides in and stakes em.  Who is he, Buffy?
  • Caritas!  Lorne is singing.
  • Wesley needs to make a decision about his future, so where else can he go?
  • “Bloody Mary, please.” ‘Do you want real blood with that?” “Ah, no…bloodless, thanks.”
  • And Cordelia made the same decision, I guess.  
  • And Gunn makes three.
  • Wes to Gunn: “Well, I assume it’s not Madonna, but what are you gonna sing?”  Don’t assume, Wesley.  Don’t assume.
  • Meanwhile, Angel is torturing his ol’ pal Merl for information: “I heard about your girls, Godzilla, Darcilla [sic], whatever.” Lol.
  • Monster fighting pit – didn’t we do this already?  I guess this isn’t to the death, though.  Just for fun?
  • “Violence without victims,” – is what Darla calls it.
  • OMG, Dru just pulled a demon’s ears off.  Holy shit, Dru!
  • The Vampy ladies are looking to recruit.  
  • Dru can see that Angel is watching.
  • He was, but he left just in time. He continues to narrate his lament and non-readiness and it’s so maudlin & boring.
  • Meanwhile Lilah is worried.  She wants to form a united front with Lindsey against D&D.  Except she’s wearing a wire…
  • And now our three fired friends are drunk.  Cordy’s drink of choice: Margarita.  Gunn’s: beer.
  • Cordy making fun of Gunn: “Mr. I don’t take orders but where do I stick my axe?” lol
  • Oh hey, a casual homophobic joke.  Must be nice for J. August Richards, a closeted gay man at the time.
  • And now the R-word.  Oh someone needs to rewrite this scene ASAP.
  • They drink more, they fight, they sing We are the Champions, they close the bar.  I don’t care.
  • Lorne comes to say hello.  They want guidance now.
  • Cordelia has a vision & it seems like Lorne predicted that it was about to happen which is cool.  I wonder if we’ll see more of that?
  • I guess they know what they have to do now: continue to help the helpless.
  • Angel gets all his weapons in a row and ignores a phone ringing at the hotel.
  • They’re all drunk right now. I don’t know how they think they can help.  I don’t know how they’re even walking straight.
  • Darla, “Where is he? Probably flogging himself in a church right now.” Dru: “Ooh, Flogging. Eww, Churches.”  Hehe.
  • Angel goes to slay some demons but they look pretty tough.
  • The laid off trio meanwhile bump into the big ugly demon.
  • After a long battle, Gunn finally kills him.  
  • Gunn points out that he nearly killed them all but Cordelia makes a great point: Yeah, but out of everyone here, which one’s the dead one?  YEAH  Unity!
  • Dru’s opinion of Lilah, “I like the girl. She’s wicked.”  You and me both.
  • Angel’s killed all the demons.  I bet it was those pull-ups that helped. [You're my favorite. - Z]
  • Darla seems unsure if she's dealing with Angel or Angelus.  The smoking usually means he's evil again. 

  • Angel is playing mind-games.  He sets Dru & Darla on fire.  Holy shit!  Their stunt doubles axe a fire hydrant open.  They’re burnt all over, but they’re okay.
  • “It wasn’t Angel. It wasn’t Angelus either.”  Yeah….this is something in between.  This is Angel having no more fucks to give.
  • Now it’s time for Lindsey & Lilah’s meeting with a representative from the senior partners.
  • They need a replacement for Holland.  The rep lays out both of their misdeeds. 
  • And the decision: Lilah & Lindsey will do the job jointly.
  • Wesley comes to visit Angel.  He tells Angel that they’re keeping the agency open with or without him.

Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • Oh right. Angel fired everybody. Let’s go!
  • Luckily they had the standard file boxes on hand to pack up random stuff to carry out, as all fired people must.
  • “One thing you can say about Angel, at least he’s consistent. It’s always some little blonde driving him over the edge!” Is this why Cordy goes blonde later in the series?
  • Wes thinks they need to let Angel be, and that maybe he’ll return to himself that way.
  • And Cordy, Wes, and Gunn all walk away in three different directions.
  • Angel’s file box, meanwhile, is full of his pencil sketches of Darla, but he’s burning them.
  • It’s an interesting problem, really. Sometimes when I’m really upset the most important thing I need is alone time to process. They’ve seen that trying to Intervention Angel has, repeatedly, done jack all, because he ignores them or fakes normalcy to get them off his case. He doesn’t have to fake anything now. And knowing the future, he is eventually gonna cathart this. But I still think pushing everyone away like this is just one more Bad Plan from Angel the Bad Planner.
  • Anyway, blah blah Angel VoiceOvers about not being ready yet while he does a lot of physical training, which isn’t a bad watch.
  • Oh right, dead lawyers.
  • Except Lindsey! Not dead! Just covered by deads.
  • He’s kinda pleased to be the only one left, thinking Darla saved him. When they find another live one – Lilah – he’s disappointed.
  • Oh right, Wes’s girlfriend Virginia. She wants him to file a grievance with the union for being fired. Union of Rogue Demon Hunters! URDH!
  • Wes is a bit glum because he doesn’t think he has other skills. Come now, he could be a librarian like Giles! He can polish spectacles, brew tea, and pontificate about dusty tomes with the best of them!
  • Angel’s still VOing. Does he talk at all this episode? I really don’t care about his inner monologue, which is mostly vague abstract yawners like “I’m not on their level, but I can get there.”
  • We do have the hero shot of him walking through an underground tunnel, coat aswirl, which I think lands in the credits sequence at some point.
  • Oh hey Darla and Dru are waiting for the two lawyerly survivors in Lindsey’s office.
  • “He’s got cow eyes, big and black. Moooooooo.” Hi Dru.
  • Darla’s decided she wants to run LA, no longer being W&H’s puppet, but she’s willing to keep the lines of communication open, via Lindsey and Lilah. She won’t be the puppet, but she’s willing to have W&H be her consigliare (did I use that word right?)
  • Ah, Angel’s other practice for getting on Darla and Dru’s “level” is … fighting vampires. How unusual *stares at camera*
  • Guess that was enough. “I’m ready. I’ve got the moves.” *stares into the camera even harder*
  • I really liked the last two episodes. This one is so much ugh-er in comparison.
  • Lorne is wailing on “Lady Marmalade” and god I love him. We lost Andy Hallett way too soon.
  • Wes, Cordy, and Gunn all had the same idea: go to Caritas and have Lorne read them.
  • Aw I feel a bit bummed that Gunn’s feeling at loose ends too. I thought he was only part time with Angel Investigations and still has his own crew. Is this the beginning of the defanging of Gunn from badass smart crew leader to just a follower, just the muscle?
  • Angel tortures Merl to get intel, still not speaking on camera, and leaving Merl to hang once he gets what he wants. What a shit.
  • Some kinda demon fight club, which Darla and Dru break up with a slow clap and a villain stride.
  • Dru straight up rips off a demon’s ears, dang. Oh and Angel’s there, hiding under vampface and a hoodie. Give him a baseball cap and sunglasses and he’ll be as covert as an MCU superhero.
Very stealth.

  • Dru suddenly clocks him, saying “Eyes like needles,” which is one of the things Human Drusilla said before she was turned, in “Dear Boy.”
  • It’s enough to rattle Darla, who starts combing the crowd for Angel but not finding him. She’s losing her supervillain dignity.
  • We still don’t know if Darla has much of a plan beyond forming a crew. You’d think, for a former child of the Master, she’d want to have a crew made of this “royal” line, more from the Order of Aurelius (basically I’m wondering why she and Dru aren’t just siring a bunch of newbies)
  • Anywhile, Lilah’s approaching Lindsey with the proposal of an alliance, including stealing files for insurance, like Lindsey did in season one. Except actually her plan is to record him on a wire admitting to it and making a plan. But he’s onto her, grabs the wire and says into the mic “But Lilah, I would never steal files from my employer.”
  • Cordy’s drunky-blaming Wes for the Darla obsession, Gunn’s drunky-complaining about their sibling style bickering, and now Wes is drunky-saying it’s because Gunn doesn’t follow orders and what the shit.
  • And after an unfortunate of the use r*tard as a pejorative and an escalating fight full of problematic shit, we cut to the three of them singing quite badly “We are the Champions.”
  • Lorne, rather than reading them their future, preps his blazer as a cushion for poor Cordy, who’s tossed into a vision.
  • The three of them, drunk and sleepy, go to rescue.
  • They do try to call Angel but he ignores the ringing phone, grabs an axe to go with his duffel bag of weapons, and goes off on his own stupid thing. At least he’s not VOing.
  • They get to the alley, the victim is missing, and they have no weapons. Gunn: “Man, I wish Angel was here.” // Wes: “Well he’s not. Angel’s walked away from his duty. We’re not going to.”
  • Dru makes a reference to having de-eyed a bartender, but 1, we’re not sure if the bartender was human or demon, and 2, that’s not necessarily a death blow (after all, the guy whose ears she ripped off survived), so it’s not going in our headcount.
  • Dru warns Darla that no matter how big an army Darla builds, Angel will still come for them. Darla’s pissed everyone keeps bringing up Angel.
  • Kinda fun detail: some of the demons in the warehouse are clearly reusing some of the demon makeups we’ve seen earlier in the series.
  • Oh shit, demon bites a big chunk out of Wes’s shoulder. Luckily, Gunn puts the demon down.
  • “We should go before I pass out. Or possibly during.”
  • But yay they beat the demon!
  • Darla says with a smirk that she doubts Lindsey and Lilah even know what W&H’s true plan for Angel is. But clearly Darla doesn’t know either, so like … why are we being superior about this?
  • Aaaaaaaaaand warehouse full of dead demons. “Dead already? Bad soldiers,” says Dru.

  • And gasp, Angel’s there, SMOKING A CIGARETTE.
  • Remember when Buffy’s guidance counselor smoked a cigarette on school grounds? What the hell was that shit?
  • Anyway, Angel tosses down his cigarette, it follows a trail of motor oil, and sets Darla and Dru on fire and it’s fucking vicious.
  • So I’ve got two shenanigans to call here: shenanigan one: they burn slower than literally any other vampire in this universe (seriously, they should be ash); shenanigan two: water wouldn’t put out a gasoline fire.
  • This is the last we see of Dru for a while … she’s got a visit to make in Sunnydale before we say the longer goodbye (I think this is when she shows up in “Crush”?)
  • Random new Old White Guy in Charge at W&H tells Lindsey and Lilah they will jointly be Executive VPs in charge of special projects, so that their competitiveness will yield interesting results. “The Senior Partners will be watching you.”
  • Wes comes to see Angel at the Hyperion to tell him they’re keeping Angel Investigations open, even if he’s not going to be involved. “You may have turned your back on your mission, but we haven’t. Someone has to fight the good fight.” Angel continues to not speak on camera but VOs “Let them fight the good fight. Someone has to fight the war.” What … war? Literally what. He set two vamps on fire but didn’t even stay to make sure it killed them. Angel and His Shitty Plans are very bad at war-fighting.
  • What a dumb dumb stupid dumb character.

D: Wow, does Angel really not talk the entire episode? I didn't catch that.
Z: I think so, yeah. And it's just a narrative conceit because clearly he had to say something so Merl knew what he wanted to know.
D: I wonder if they only gave him that dumb internal monologue after the table read when David was all - dude, the lead has no lines?
Z: I half wondered if he had laryngitis.

Favorite Lines:

“Ooh, Flogging. Eww, Churches.” – Drusilla
Zelda: “You may have turned your back on your mission, but we haven’t. Someone has to fight the good fight.” – Wesley


Lindsey McDonald, Lilah Morgan, Lorne, Virginia Bryce, Darla, Drusilla, Merl
Generally Known TV Face: Nicolas Surovy, Jamie McShane
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Joel Stoffer (Vampire #1 on Angel, Enoch on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Jamie McShane (first of two roles on Angel, Man on Firefly)
Cordy’s Nicknames: Mr. I-don’t-take-orders-now-where-do-I-stick-my-axe (Gunn), Ass-pansy (Wes), Mr Big Mojo Guy (Lorne)

Caritas Song List

“Lady Marmalade” (Lorne)
“We are the Champions” (Gunn, Cordy, Wes)


Cordelia’s Hair – shoulder length bob, side part, dark but now with a blonde highlight in her sideswept bangs
Dead Humans – *just a note that we revised last episode’s death count to reflect the 15 total, per Darla*
Dead Undeads – 15 (assuming Dru’s count of 10 little soldiers is accurate)
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 – 2
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0

Monday, October 12, 2020

Newborn Grandmummy

 Episode 2.10: Reunion. Original Airdate: 12.19.00. 

“Angel fights to stop Darla and Drusilla as they embark on a murderous rampage across the city.”

Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • So Gunn’s pulling a weak and limping Angel into the Hyperion. I guess Angel called Gunn and not Wes and Cordy?
  • Angel’s all ripped up, traumatized really, from having watched Drusilla turn Darla.
  • Wes and Cordy are properly spooked about Dru. Gunn: “Who’s Drusilla?”
  • Angel’s muttering that he’s gonna save Darla, as Gunn tries to calm him down, but oh – Angel wants to save her from having to be a vampire again. He’s got a stake ready.
  • Gunn’s trying to get the backstory. Darla sired Angel, who sired Dru. W&H revived Darla, then brought Dru to sire Darla anew. “That means the granddaughter remade the grandmother.”
  • Angel’s pulling away from his team, so we’re back to continuing that arc. He insists on seeing Lindsey alone. But hey when we finally get there, the place is emptied out. Sorry, Daniel. The swingers bar is gone. [One more Tom Collins for the road?- D]
  • Our helpful realtor gives us some exposition about Dru babbling about her pregnancy and giving birth under the stars. “I explained to her that you can live your whole life in Los Angeles and never even see a star.” but we cut to Dru looking up at them, “I can hear them singing to me.” Callback to when she was naming the stars, even though that was the ceiling and also it was day!
  • We’re in some kind of rooftop solarium and Dru murmurs about her grandmother/daughter and it’s very Chinatown. But when Lindsey asks if Darla can hear Dru, a moment of lucidity as she looks him point-blank in the eye. “She’s dead.”
  • Wes “Angel, I fear you may be looking for a logical pattern in the rantings of someone who doesn’t think logically.”
  • Hey, Gunn once again with our breakthrough analysis: he suggests nursery could mean plants.
  • Seriously, how did this team get anything done before him.
  • Random question: if you stake a body that’s not yet a vampire but leave the stake in, would they ash the moment they finished turning? Anyway, Angel found Darla’s body. And I guess he’s gonna try that plan of stake ‘n wait.
  • But Dru smacks him around with a shovel. “I saw you coming, my lovely. The moon showed me. It told me to come into the 20th century.” // “It’s the 21st century, Dru.”
  • Oop Darla’s awake. And not interested in being saved by Angel anymore.
  • I have trouble believing that Darla is able to throttle Angel and hold him in the air – not because of strength but because she is tiny and doesn’t have the arm span. Y’all know I’m right. 

  • Anyway, Darla’s throwing Dru away too, not just Angel, so I guess she’s just generally feral.
  • But hey, half-mad is how Dru likes ‘em so she doesn’t mind.
  • Tiny blondes in white dresses. A common motif in Angel’s life.
  • The team is desperate for Angel to have a plan, a hunch, or even an inkling. Another common motif: Angel and His Total Lack of a Plan.
  • He wants to storm W&H. Cordy: “Nice plan, General Custer.”
  • Oh right, Holland Manners is hosting a party. This is the blood bath, right? The “I can’t seem to care” moment?
  • Omg Dru’s got a ceramic doll. I wonder if Miss Edith knows about this.
  • She warns Holland and Lindsey that Angel’s on his way. They get a call that there’s an untagged vamp but TWIST it’s Darla!
  • She throws Lindsey across the room, grabs a gleeful Dru’s hand, and the two flee.
  • Cordy’s having a vision! It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had one of those.
  • Angel tries to “maybe it’s a false alarm” her vision when it’s in the other direction and Cordy’s got no patience for gaslighting.
  • Darla may have absconded with Dru, but she’s not exactly pleased with her. She’s wailing on her and finally asks “Why.” // “For you. All for you. I thought it was what you wanted, to be saved.” And Darla’s anger quiets. She even, more than she ever did in the past, seems to have affection and patience for Dru’s madness and grief, comforting her. 

  • Anyway, let’s kill this homophobic driver I guess.
  • And now that Darla’s had a meal, she’s less crabby. Dru: “You’re all new again.” // Darla: “Let’s go shopping.”
  • Random emo guy summoning a demon. Oh this was Cordy’s vision, okay.
  • Angel deals with it … not delicately. “You’ve got, you know, a million reasons to live … I bet.”
  • Gunn and Wes point out that this may have been a move from the PTB to stop Angel from going after Darla and Dru, but Angel’s beyond listening to reason.
  • “Why settle for a spree when you could have, say, a massacre?” That’s Holland Manners’s blessing on Darla and Dru painting the town red.
  • Holland: “We won’t have to worry about Angel anym—” // Angel: *crashes through the window*
  • Oh this is the first time Holland and Angel have met.
  • Holland clarifies that Darla isn’t the project, Angel is.
  • A: “People die. Innocent people.” // H: “And yet I just can’t seem to care. But you do.” Yep, this is the massacre episode. It’s funny how certain lines stick with you.
  • “You misunderstand us, Angel. We don’t want you dead … yet.”
  • Wow they’re arresting Angel for breaking in. Lindsey “The firm may not want you dead, but I’m cool with it.” And who’s in the squad car waiting for Angel? Why, it’s Detective Kate Lockley.
  • And she’s here to tell him Dru and Darla killed two women. “They’re not done, are they?”
  • A: “Why are you telling me this?” // K: “Because I don’t think I can stop them. Maybe you can.”
  • And I guess this is the moment Kate moves past her anger at Angel. They’re not friends anymore, but she’s no longer seeing him as the enemy.
  • Holland’s party is taking place in his wine cellar. I wonder if it has a cask of Amontillado? No reason. Just curious.
  • Darla and Dru join the party. Invited in by Holland’s wife. “Very sweet she was. Like clover … and honey.”
  • Darla’s there to offer Holland his massacre, and honestly it’s cute that he thought they would join up with him and do what he says like wind-up toys, especially when we’ve been warning Lindsey for ages that Darla won’t be loyal to him once her soul leaves the building.
  • It’s that meme about people being surprised that the face-eating wolves they voted for are now eating their faces.

  • “Pretty lawyers all in a row.” Dru can at times overstay her welcome but I’m enjoying her this episode.
  • Lindsey’s the only one smiling to see Darla, the only one who doesn’t seem scared.
  • Angel finds someone cowering in a dressing room in the store where Dru and Darla were shopping. They left her alive. I still wonder why (beyond the need for exposition). They would have been able to smell and hear her, and Dru would definitely be able to sense her.
  • She gives Angel what he needs to know, where they’re going next.
  • Holland reveals that the wine cellar used to be a bomb shelter. Nice and secure.
  • I gotta say, Darla has much better massacre follow-through than Angelus in Buffy S2 had.
  • Darla: “Do you know what I’m getting from you, Lindsey? Nothing. Why aren’t you afraid?” // Lindsey: “I don’t know.” // D: “You could die here. Chances are you will.” // L: “I know.” // D: “And you don’t care.” // L: “I care. I guess I just don’t mind.”  It’s such an interesting character moment but I’ll also admit that I don’t really know what it means.
  • “Dru honey, in our new digs, we have to put in a people cellar.”
  • Angel arrives and Holland’s wife isn’t completely dead yet. Just alive enough to invite Angel in.
  • Angel looks at Darla. “I’m sorry I didn’t get to you in time.” // “I’m not.”
  • And even though W&H’s Project: Angel has clearly this whole time been about trying to turn Angel evil, Holland, Lilah (not so much Lindsey, who still has a small smile), they still hope Angel will be good, good enough to save them.
  • Holland: “Angel. Please. People are going to die.” // Angel “And yet somehow I just can’t seem to care.”
  • And he closes the doors and locks them. And the massacre begins. 
TFW the leopard eats your face

  • Wes, Gunn, and Cordy are quietly horrified that Angel let them kill the W&H party. Wes: “You could have stopped them.” // Angel: “And I will.” // Cordy: “When? After they’ve finished off all the people you don’t like?”
  • “Right now the three of us are all that’s standing between you and real darkness.”
  • Angel agrees. And he fires the three of them. And leaves the room.
  • We have begun Dark Angel Arc for realz now. It’s upsetting but oof this episode’s beats are well made.
Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • We start this episode soon after the last one.  Gunn is helping a beleaguered Angel back into the Hyperion.
  • He’s delirious and mumbling. Gunn says he managed to get him home without him bursting into flames (nice throwaway explanation there) but Gunn’s still not sure what happened.
  • Wesley & Cordy ask lots of questions.
  • But finally Angel tells them about Darla & Drusilla.  
  • Wes & Cordy know Dru. Gunn does not: “Who’s Drusilla?” Whedonverse fans: “WELL-“
  • Angel rifles through drawers mumbling about Darla.  He finally pulls out a stake.  Oooh.
  • When we come back from the credits, Gunn has been given the cliff’s notes version of Angel/Darla/Dru.
  • “The Granddaughter remade the Grandmother,” Gunn says with confusion. If you’re confused by that, I do not recommend an ingenious little Netflix show called Dark. But seriously, everyone please watch Dark.
  • Angel’s plan is to go to Lindsey’s.  He explains to the gang that he can already enter since he was already invited once.
  • When he gets there, though, it appears he would have been able to come in because no one currently lives there. 
  • The real estate agent reminds me from Alison Brie.
  • “That sweet but very odd English Woman that was visiting him.”
  • She gives Angel a clue of where Darla & Dru might be. Something about giving birth and a nursery.
  • And here we are in a greenhouse….with Darla, Dru & Lindsey.  Joined by Lilah & Holland.
  • Holland: “Can she hear you?” Drusilla: “She’s dead.”
  • Dru, talks about Darla’s resurrection as a birth – as if she’s going to “be a mommy.”  I love it.
  • Back at the Hyperion, the gang is looking for where Darla & Dru might be.
  • Angel: “Stick with cemeteries then.  Something with a night sky.” Cordelia: “So Just outside cemeteries then?” Cordelia, master of the sass.
  • They figure out Nursery means plant kind and not baby kind.  But what nurseries do W&H own? TO THE INTERNETS.  I very much doubt they’d be able to find that info.  They need a Willow-type-computer-geek. 
  • But of course, they do.  Angel finds dead Darla, laying in dirt.  He takes out his stake but….he’s interrupted by a shovel-wielding Drusilla.
  • They fight. Darla wakes up.
  • And then Darla is suddenly strong and holds Angel by the neck.
  • More vampire strength fighting!
  • Darla goes all vamp face and fights with Dru.  Angel stops her for some reason. He goes to stake Darla but he can’t.  And then they escape.
  • Cordelia: “How’d it go?”  Not great.  Your boss froze a few times and let them escape.
  • Angel’s in plan mode which we all know is never good. They weapon up. And Angel wants to go to W&H.  
  • Back at the W&H offices Holland & Lindsey have a heart to heart.  He seems genuinely concerned about Lindsey having a work/life balance & to have healthy attachments - of course he just wants him to stop obsessing over Darla. He doesn’t realize Drusilla is there.
  • She’s holding a doll all creepy like. She’s worried about Darla.
  • She also informs him that Angel was there.
  • “Security alert”: There’s a vampire in the building.
  • But it’s not Angel, it’s Darla.
  • Darla hugs Lindsay and then throws him across the room. She grabs Dru and runs.
  • Healthy attachments, Lindsey.” Hah!
  • Oh no!  Cordelia is having her first vision in ages.
  • She tells them her vision is from another direction.
  • Darla’s not saving Dru, though.  She’s fighting her.  
  • Dru even gets hit by a car and gets up scaring the shit out of the driver.
  • Darla wants to know why Dru did it.
  • Dru is extremely genuine when she says she thought it was what Darla wanted.  It’s actually sort of sweet.
  • Interesting note, this (well, last episode) was the first time we've seen these two in the present.  Darla died before Drusilla & Spike made an entrance on Buffy. Up to this point, we've only seen them together in flashbacks.
  • The LA crowd just assume these are just two crazy drunk women having a fight/cry.
  • Some homophobic, misogynist asshole comes out of a truck and hurls some insults.  Darla makes her first kill. Ah, well.
  • Angel and his crew stumble in on some kid who wants to kill himself because of a demon.
  • Angel has no time for this shit.  So he just throws a stereo at the kid, grabs the kid’s gun & throws it in a tub of oil.
  • Mission done, according to Angel.  But the rest of the gang want to stay.  So Angel leaves them there.
  • Meanwhile the WOMEN BE SHOPPING.  

  • Dru & Darla are in a shop trying on clothes. And oops, the shoplady is dead.
  • W&H gave Dru a cellphone, weirdly enough.
  • Holland calls & says, “why have a spree when you could have - a -say- massacre” and knowing the end of this episode, I assumed he was inviting them to the party and was setting up his colleagues for some unknown reason.  But I guess he was speaking of some hypothetical future because he ends up signing his own death warrant by planting the idea into Darla’s head.
  • And…Darla kills the other shoplady, complaining about customer service.  What a Karen, amirite?
  • Lindsay, Lilah & Holland are in an office. Holland, “At least we don’t have to worry about Angel anymore.” *Angel swings through a window.*  HA! Holland is really forking things up this episode, isn’t he?
  • “You don’t kill humans.” “You don’t qualify.”  This, dear readers, is foreshadowing.  But I guess kinda misleading foreshadowing?
  • Angel is almost immediately surrounded by stake wielding security guards.
  • Instead, the cops arrest him.  He’s put in the back seat of a cop car with Kate.  Her neck looks ok, so I guess she’s healed?  She is wearing a collar, to be fair, but it still would have been nice to see evidence of what happened to her. 
  • Maybe she's hiding it with her collar?

  • Kate fills Angel in about the shopladies.
  • Kate’s not her usual brooding self.  She shows her thankfulness to Angel by letting him go. She also knows she can’t stop Drusilla & Darla on her own.
  • Meanwhile, Lindsey arrives at the party and is greeted by Holland’s wife.
  • Later, Dru & Darla interrupt the festivities in the wine cellar. There’s blood on their mouths so they’ve apparently killed Holland’s wife.  They both vamp face and remind Holland they were promised a massacre.  Also Darla got her hair did somewhere along the way, I guess.
I guess she killed a hair dresser after the shopladies.

  • Back at the shop, one of the cops is collecting evidence in front of a mirror, he has an eerie feeling but sees nothing.  Angel, of course, is behind him and it’s a nice moment.
  • Lilah actually looks scared as Darla talks to her.
  • There’s another scared lady in a changing room.  The actress is really good and she looks familiar.  She gives Angel the clue he needs.  Darla & Dru are headed to a party.
  • The wine cellar that everyone is huddled in used to be a shelter….a great place to lock people in.
  • Darla continues to taunt everyone but the only reactions we really see are Lindsey, Lilah & Holland’s.  Everyone else is just background & it’s weird how we don’t really see any of their reactions.
  • “In our new digs, we have to put in a people cellar.”
  • Angel arrives. Oh!  Holland’s wife isn’t dead….she’s just been bitten.  She may die later, though.
  • “Here for the tasting?” So many double entendres.
  • “I’m sorry I didn’t get to you in time.” Darla: “I’m not.” 
  • And here’s the darker side of Angel.  He locks everyone in.  He’s just so tired of W&H’s bullshit.  And he lets everyone die.
  • Wes, Gunn & Cordelia are floored after Angel tells them what happened.
  • Angel’s reasoning is that he didn’t bring Darla back.  That it’s W&H’s own fault.
  • Wesley: "You could have stopped them." Angel: "And I will." Cordy: "When? After they've finished off all the people you don't like?"
  • They are seriously worried about Angel.  That he’s turning to real darkness.
  • And so…he fires them all.  And this isn’t out of nowhere.  The groundwork was laid out in this episode and a little in past episodes, too.  His gang has been arguing with him (and rightfully so) at every turn.  Angel has had enough.  It’s dark, it’s chilling & it’s an interesting path for the show to go on.  Let’s see how it turns out. 

Z: Angel locking them in the cellar … was that an evil reveal?
D: No … I’m not angry at him, I’m just disappointed.
Favorite Lines:
Zelda: Angel: “I’m sorry I didn’t get to you in time.” // Darla: “I’m not.”
Wes: “You could have stopped them.” // Angel: “And I will.” // Cordy: “When? After they’ve finished off all the people you don’t like?”
First Appearance: Dru’s thing for ceramic dolls
Recurring: Detective Kate Lockley, Lindsey McDonald, Lilah Morgan, Holland Manners, Darla, Drusilla

Cordelia’s Hair – dark, shoulder bob with a flip, partially clipped back
Dead Humans – 19
Dead Undeads – 0
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 15
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