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


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

He Can't Control Himself. Because He's From France?

Episode 2.19: Belonging. Original Airdate: 5.01.01

“A magic portal from another world brings a nasty demon—and the Host’s cousin—to Los Angeles.”

Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • The Fang gang are having a fancy dinner.  They do a schtick where Angel can’t be seen in the mirror and fine.
  • Apparently Cordy has landed a commercial.
  • “I’m not cheap. I’m just old,” says curmudgeonly Angel.
  • They discuss a case and Angel is just worried about the cost of a meal.
  • And then he assaults a woman because he thinks she’s wearing a shawl made of [checks notes] dead children?  Did I get that right?  It’s this thing that comes out of nowhere and goes nowhere.  Just a gag, I guess?
  • “He can’t control himself because…he’s from France.” What?
  • Also please don’t let David Boreanaz do a French accent. [Or an Irish one. – Z]
  • And then Cordy throws up her meal. Angel, “They’ll take that off the bill right?”  I kinda love when they make fun of his age.
  • After the credits, Wesley has an uncomfortably British conversation with his father on the phone.  Full of disappointment and false hope.  Is this the beginning of his daddy issues? Have we seen this before? It’s definitely the start of his episode arc where he starts to question his leadership abilities.
  • Cut to a Hollywood set.
  • Angel walks right past a bikini-clad babe and walks onto the beach set.  He soaks up the imaginary sun. It’s actually kind of sweet.

  • The director condescendingly and misogynistically talks to Cordy.  Makes her take off her robe, turn around.  It’s so gross and cringeworthy. 
  • Angel tries to be hero. But Cordy knows how things are and tells Angel to leave.
  • Sadly, I’m sure Charisma is used to this.
  • Wes & Gunn chat about the demon. Wes goes into a long explanation on the Haklar demon’s physiology etc. but Gunn just wants to know how to kill it.
  • Meanwhile Gunn’s friends stop by to tell him about vamps. He thinks they needs his help.  They just want to borrow his truck.
  • Gunn feels left out.  Or like he’s leaving his friends behind.
  • There’s lots of character work being done here.  Less plot, which is fine.  It’s getting to the end of the season. 
  • Meanwhile at Caritas, Lorne sings Superstition when a portal opens up behind him! Oh no!
  • Some big demon jumps out and starts destroying things.  I thought there was an anti-violence charm on the place.
  • The director continues to be a sexist asshole towards Cordy.
  • Fast forward.  We don’t actually get to see the Haklar demon they’ve been talking about.  Wes & Angel come back from defeating it.
  • Cordy is also back. And dejected. 
  • Lorne comes by to let them know about the Drokken demon that came through the portal.
  • Cut to: Drokken eating a dude.
  • Angel brings up the anti-violence thing at Caritas that I brought up earlier. Way to copy, Angel.
  • Lorne explains it away as it just shoved things so no real damage? 
  • Angel takes the lead.  But then remembers Wes is in charge.  Wes, whose confidence is a bit blown, resigns to Angel’s plan as being best.
  • Meanwhile Cordy has a vision.   It’s Fred! We see Fred for the first time, a librarian with a portal opening up behind her.
  • The reason Gunn isn’t there is because he wanted to catch up with his old friends and fight some vamps.
  • But he gets there too late. George is revealed to be dead. With a bite. They’re not sure if the vamps made him drink, i.e., if he’ll turn. 
  • Lorne walks into the library with the fang gang, minus Gunn, as if he can pass for human.
  • He cannot, as a librarian shows.  But it’s ok, she thinks he’s the children’s entertainer. It’s amazing what people will tell themselves.  She even says Lorne’s horns look fake.  
  • Anyway, It turns out Fred disappeared 5 years ago - which means Cordy’s vision is old.
  • Cordelia finds the book that was in her vision and reads from it. You never read from the book! [And you never speak Latin in front of the books. – Giles] She accidentally opens up a portal. This is what happens when you read from the book.
  • A sword wielding demon that looks like Lorne comes out of the portal.
  • Lorne knows him.   And he knows Lorne.  It’s his cousin, Landok.
  • Oh, this is also the first time the gang learns Lorne’s name.  What have they been calling him the whole time?  
  • They also learn about Lorne’s past, and his dimension. 
  • So Lorne’s cousin passive-aggressively makes him feel bad about his lack of training and disappearing and disappointing his birth-giver.  Hey the theme of this week’s episode is “How to disappoint people and not make friends”.
  • Speaking of disappointing people, Gunn tells Rondell that they should have waited for him.  Rondell: we’ve been waiting for you for months, bro.
  • While they hunt for the thingy demon, Lorne muses to Angel about why he left.
  • They spot the Drokken. Landok doesn’t want to wait for a plan, much to Wesley’s chagrin.  Angel goes in and joins the fight. 
  • Landok gets poisoned by the Drokken’s bite.
  • Oh no! Drokken demon punches Wesley.
  • Angel saves the day.  He puts a sword through its neck.
  • Cordy posits that the portal works both ways.  She’s sure of it.
  • Meanwhile Gunn has a viking funeral for George. They burn the body – probably to ensure that he doesn’t come back.
  • Back at Caritas, Landok reads from the book, the portal opens & he’s back.
  • But oops Cordelia is missing. 
  • Cordelia wakes up in a forest. She looks up and notices two pink suns.  I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Cordy.  End of season arc: started!
Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • Ah, a cute misdirect: we think we’re seeing Cordy and Wes and Gunn having a fancy dinner, but then when we hear Angel’s voice we realize he’s there too but we started with the mirror image.
  • Cordy booked a national commercial! Hell yes!
  • Oh god Angel’s “Irish” “accent” why
  • Also they’re looking forward to acting on a lead from Cordy’s vision and Wes and Gunn are all cute and buddy buddy, and Angel’s slightly left out but when he puts up his fist belatedly for their fistbump, they do put their fists back in the center to include him too. He even looks cutely stoked to be included.

  • Is this when Angel Is Cheap becomes a thing? Get it, guys? He’s not just broody, he’s quirky too!
  • Wes on a long distance call to his parents, so we can all be reminded that even tho Wes is now boss and respected and appreciated by his colleagues, he still has issues because his father is The Absolute Worst. He tells him he’s in charge then has to say “No, I certainly won’t be fired. Well, yes, I was that one time, yes.” Wow just the worst I hate him.
  • Aw, Angel’s visiting Cordy’s commercial set! And he’s cutely excited to pretend he’s on a sunny beach.
  • Well, knowing the future, it’s clear how much this episode is setting up stuff to process or subvert once we go to Pylea. Angel enjoying the sun, Wes either failing or succeeding at leadership, and Cordy being treated as a sexy lamp by her shitty director, who insults her face, makes her spin so he can ogle her ass, and then implies she has an eating disorder.
  • Anyway, Angel tries to defend Cordy and instead she’s more mortified.
  • Ugh, they were so cheerful last night. Now everyone is off-center. When Gunn asks Wes for the rundown on the demon they’re after, Wes falls back on his book-learning persona to give the backstory on the demon, rather than what Gunn actually needs to know. He’s been unsettled by his father’s undermining, and he’s relying on what he knows he’s good at.
  • Oh hey, Gunn’s friends from the episode with Anne and the shelter. Gunn thinks they’re there to ask for his help with their new attack mission but they just want his truck, not him. And Gunn is torn between his two freelance Fight the Evil groups. But he goes with our team, and Rondell and George look disappointed but unsurprised.
  • Angel, ranting about how Cordy’s treated on set, with some bonus foreshadowing: “like she’s a slave or something. And you know what the worst part is? She took it. When was the last time Cordy took crap from any of us?”
  • Ugh gross come on guys. You can’t have your misogyny cake and eat it too. They make it clear the director was behaving a shit, but then all three of our not-terribly-woke boys take a moment to fantasize about their friend in her skimpy bikini, and is that supposed to be funny? Like what the fuck? Can they stop? Being gross?
  • Anyway while I was ranting, Lorne sang us a song until a portal opened behind him and some kind of feral demon broke out, broke a few things and escaped. And Lorne looks haunted and, frankly, a bit PTSD from the sight of him.
  • Cordy’s back at the hotel, subdued after her abusive day on set. “I just wanted to act, that’s all. For them to like me because I was good. I never wanted to feel like this.”
  • Lorne enlists our crew to take out the Drokken demon, which he is able to name and tell them it’s not from their world.
  • Welp and it’s killed a human.
  • Angel automatically takes charge until Cordy quietly reminds him, and to everyone’s credit, they shift easily and agreeably to deferring to Wes (with a nice kudos moment from Lorne, who didn’t know Wes was bossman). But it’s still a nod to the Wes arc we’re working on for the finale arc of the season.
  • Oooooh Cordy had a vision of Fred! Wheeeeeeeeee.
  • Meanwhile, Gunn shows up for his other crew’s mission, but he’s too late. They already did it, and George is dead by vampire draining.
  • Gunn: “Did they make him drink?” // Rondell: “We don’t know.”
  • At the library, trying to track down Cordy’s vision, they find out that the girl disappeared five years ago.
  • Cordy finds the book Fred was reading and you can tell Lorne recognizes it. He’s twitchy and backing away. Cordy reads random words and hey, new portal, new demon, but this one’s a warrior.
  • Also Lorne knows him. “Landok? Is that you?”
  • And for the first time since his appearance at the beginning of the season, they name The Host: Krevlorneswath of the Deathwok Clan. But he prefers Lorne.
  • And hey speaking of bad parents, Lorne’s mom sounds like the absolute worst.
  • Lorne’s cousin Landok speaks without contractions, something I remember Groo will do too. Our Lorne loves him some contractions. No wonder he didn’t fit in.
  • Gunn, furious and heartbroken: “You shoulda waited for me.” // “We’ve been waiting on you for months, bro.” And then they build the funeral pyre because they know they have to burn the corpse, in case he drank and was turned.
  • Lorne hates his home dimension, “No music, no art. Just champions roaming the countryside.” He clearly hated his life there, but I wonder why he keeps trotting out the champion term to Angel, since regarding his origins, it’s a lifestyle he hates.
  • “For the last time, not a coward. I just saw both sides of the joust. How are you supposed to joust someone when you partially agree with their point of view?” Also he makes a crack about chatting up the senoritas, so I guess he’s not gay but come on he’s at least bi, right? Just let him be bi, writers. You can do it. I believe in you. [No, also spoilers, Andrew - Writers]
  • Anyway fighty fight the Drokkan demon, Landok’s been poisoned by the fight, fighty fight, flarey flare, stalky stalk “Hey, you want food? I can be food. Pretty tasty here. Here kitty kitty kitty.” Okay fine I half-smiled.
  • And, finally, a sword through the demon’s neck. Crisis averted!
  • Anyway, they send Landok back through the portal … and also Cordy.
  • Welcome to Pylea, Cordelia! It’s got two suns. Is that a Star Wars reference?
  • “Oh crap.”
Favorite Lines:

“Oh Crap” – Cordelia realizing she's been portaled to a new dimension.
Zelda: “For the last time, not a coward. I just saw both sides of the joust. How are you supposed to joust someone when you partially agree with their point of view?” – Lorne


First Appearance:
Fred Burkle, Landok
Recurring: Angel’s Irish accent, Lorne, Rondell, George
Generally Known TV Face: Brody Hutzler
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Amy Acker (first of two roles on Angel, Spoiler on Dollhouse, Lin in Cabin in the Woods, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Audrey Nathan on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Lorne’s Nicknames: Lorne (Krevlorneswath of the Deathwok Clan), golden spawn (Landok)

Angel! In! History!

Angel is so old he remembers when a few bob would get you a good meal, a bottle, and a tavern wench. Also he was a fan of Bonanza.

Caritas Song List


Cordelia’s Hair – big body curls in her bob, then teased up, then pin straight, stronger blonde highlights in the bangs
Dead Humans – 3
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 – 0
Shenanigans Called – 0
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0
Champion Called – 1

1 comment:

  1. "“He can’t control himself because…he’s from France.” What?"

    From an outsider's perspective, I've noticed weird things like this on a lot of American shows. Strange and kind of mean digs at French people. I just saw this from my recaps of Dawson's Creek too where they were doing a Would You Rather and one of the options was having a really stinky roommate and Joey uses French foreign exchange student to denote just how stinky they were. What's up with that? I'd say it's a 911 thing but the episode I recapped is from before that so I really don't get it.