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)

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