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


Monday, January 25, 2021

Why Are They Afraid of Xena?

Episode 2.20: Over the Rainbow. Original Airdate: 5.08.01

“Angel and his friends travel to [Lorne's] home world to look for Cordelia.”

Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • Wheeeeeeee Pylea time! Fred time! Let’s go!
  • Cordelia may be stranded in a new dimension but she looks pretty bamf in her denim jumpsuit thingy.
  • Aw, she clicks her stylish yet affordable boot heels together three times, in case it might send her home. No such luck.
  • Also not good luck? She’s being chased by some kinda hellbeast.
  • We haven’t talked about it in a while but the Angel theme music is so pretty.
  • Meanwhile, back in our dimension, Lorne is lightly panicking about where Cordelia is. “God, I wish I could get drunk.”
  • Angel jumps into action, ready to open another portal. Wes wants them to take a breath and make a plan before they dive in. Angel: “It’s Cordy.” Wes nods and lets him read from the book.
  • But it doesn’t work because the portal onstage is all used up. They need a new hotspot.
  • And Lorne advises them that it’s not good to jump into his world looking like a human … because hey in Pylea humans are called cows and are enslaved.
  • Also the dude who ropes in Cordelia so he can sell her at market is totally a Hey It’s That Guy that I mostly know from Mrs. Doubtfire.
William Newman

  • Lorne is so jittery about the prospect of going back to Pylea and I get that Angel and Wes are super angry and worried about Cordelia, but they’re really not giving much empathy to the fact that this is clearly a whole trauma thing for Lorne.
  • Angel: “Who opened the portal?” // Lorne: “Gift horse.  (holds up hand as horse puppet) Mouth. (opens hand, then pointedly looks away)”
  • “All my life, I thought I was crazy. That I had ghosts in my head or something. Simply because I could hear music. Of course I didn’t know it was music. All I knew is that it was something beautiful and painful and right. And I was the only one who could hear it.”
  • And then Gunn arrives, quiet and a bit shattered over George’s death and his own failure. When they try to brief him on going after Cordy, he says “I’m not going … Last night I lost one of my crew. I should have been there, but … I’m sorry, Wes said the trip was one way, and I … I can’t.”
  • Lorne also doesn’t plan to go, but he’ll try to help them find a new hotspot to open up a new portal.
  • Wes: “Gunn does have responsibilities … ties … people to take care of.” // Angel: “So do I.”
  • Aw man, they took Cordy’s stylish yet affordable boots.
  • Cordelia, arguing that you can’t just barter a human being, pointing out that she’s an American and she has rights, has forgotten a huuuuuuuuuge chunk of American history.
  • But hey! As Cordy follows her new slaveowner home, we see Fred! Hi Fred!
  • Lorne goes to visit a psychic friend of his named Aggie and it’s totally the same actress who played Aura in the Buffy pilot and while it would be my headcanon that it’s the same character, who moved to LA and started this phone psychic career, don’t you think Aura would be a more on-the-nose name for a psychic?
  • Anyway she talks him into going with the gang back to Pylea to get proper closure.
  • Meanwhile, back at the Hyperion ranch, Gavin Park is here! Hi Gavin Park! They’re there to “appraise” the hotel, planning to purchase it out from under Angel.
  • Someone needs to tell Gavin this isn’t the cool way to lawyer ex machina Angel. And by someone I mean Lilah.
  • Fred comes to find Cordy, warning her not to take the collar off cuz it’ll slightly kill her. And poor Fred is so traumatized that she’s lost her hold on reality. “I was born here. I mean, not really, I just … sometimes I think I was. I mean, I don’t think it was my thought.”
  • “I’m not crazy. Well, crazy, but I’m not wrong.”
  • Damn, she’s super broken.
  • Angel’s recording a farewell message on someone’s voicemail, in case they don’t return from Pylea. But we don’t know who he sent it to. Do we presume Buffy? I guess we presume Buffy. Or maybe Gunn. In any event, Buffy’s on the run from Glory right now so she’s a little busy.
  • Dang, even in Pylea Cordy has visions. This-dimension-specific visions.
  • “Cursed! My cow is cursed!” Welp. Is it time to throw her in a lake and see if she floats?
  • And as the gang prepares to drive Angel’s car through a portal, Gunn shows up (how did he know how to find them? Wait NO HOW DID HE KNOW. Angel didn’t know til they pulled up the car. And this is before Find My Phone. I love that Gunn showed up in time, but shenanigans). “Got a phone message. Sounded like the captain of the Titanic getting ready to go down with the ship.”
  • So … that means no one knows where they’re going now. Cool. Cool. Cool cool cool. Oh well, like I said, Buffy’s pretty busy trying to stop All The Portals from opening.
  • Oh Aggie. Aggie-not-Aura knows, I guess?
  • All four literally fasten their seatbelts before driving in and that means they weren’t fastened on the drive over!!!!! Come on, people.
  • Oops the book got left behind when they drove through.
  • And luckily for Angel, the two suns of Pylea are not setting on Angel on fire.
  •  “Can everyone just notice how much fire I’m not on?”
  • David runs so dorkily excited to gather branches “in that patch of sun” 

  • So … Lorne had advised them not to show up in Pylea looking all human and they’re here looking all human and I feel like they could have at least done some kind of makeup disguise.
  • Anyway, Cordy’s been brought before the Constable who seized Fred earlier, and they identify her visions as the curse of sight.
  • Wes says “Yes, we’re all heartily aware that you’re not on fire. Shall we go?” and I love the amused and tolerant way he says it. You just know Angel has been babbling about it this whole time.
  • Also Wes logics that the book couldn’t travel to Pylea because it opens portals from the home dimension, and that means they probably need a new book to portal their way home.
  • So we never get to see what kind of terrible tests they ran on Cordy, but she’s curled up on the floor in tears, so that’s fucking awful.
  • Anyway our fearless heroes who are here to rescue Cordelia are now surrounded by hostile folk with weapons.
  • Gunn, “I take the twenty on the left, you take the fifty on the right.” // Angel: “Okay.”
  • Oh man, I’d forgotten the line in the series finale is a callback to this moment.
  • And then we get one of those ironic cuts from Wes, wielding a sword of some sort and saying “I think we’re winning” to the four of them on their knees, tied up.
  • Gunn, who’s too used to people in authority positions treating him like he’s nothing, starts mouthing off and it would be great but each smartass remark earns him another punch.
  • And now they’re in a jail cell, but Angel’s enhanced vampire eardrums means he can hear the guards talking about Cordy.
  • I would just like to point out that Angel and Wes are managing to still look cool with their ankles shackled but that Wes is literally hopping from foot to foot because Alexis loves to clown.
  • It’s interesting that here we have a species who can all read auras all over the place (we learned last episode that it’s not just Lorne). So why are they all het up about Cordy’s visions? It … doesn’t make a lot of sense to me? Like … it seems like in this world everyone’s a little bit psychic sometimes?
  • Anyway, they bring our four boys to their royal highness … who is Cordelia.
  • So … while I’m not saying I don’t enjoy Queen C, I don’t really get why they would do that with a species they keep calling a cow, a beast of burden.
  • Also she’s in a spangly bikini top and I think even this is a foil moment for her commercial shoot, where she was similarly scantily clad but treated as an object. Here she’s on a throne, her power celebrated. And also she has a bowl of grapes.
Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • We start where we left off last episode: Cordelia is in a different dimension/planet.  She searches for her friends who are not there.
  • She clicks her heels three times just in case. Apt for the title, though.
  • “Silver of Lining”, she says. Silver OF lining?
  • Time to run from a guy in a hyena looking costume!

  • Back on Earth, Lorne panics.
  • Oh, Daniel Dae Kim is in the credits!
  • Angel tries to open up another portal.  It doesn’t work.
  • “You don’t want to be jumping into my world looking like [human].”  Cut to human-looking Cordelia being chased.
  • Luckily hyena/demon boy is like a tame dog.   Unfortunately his owner is not.  He kidnaps Cordelia.
  • Lorne name-checks his world: Pylea.  
  • Lorne says Pylea is similar to a hell dimension because there’s no music there. 
  • Wes says Caritas, as a hotspot, is cold.  They can’t reopen it because it’s out of energy.
  • Gunn’s back from his friend’s Viking funeral.  And he makes a decision not to go with the gang.
  • Back on Pylea, there seems to be two races of humanoids.  One looks kinda like Clem.  The other is Lorne’s race of green demon-like people. 
  • There also seems to be humans there, too, used as slaves.
  • Cordy, who is being bought, tries to use “I am an American!”
  • She has a shock collar around her neck.
  • Who’s that watching? It’s Fred, the librarian!  At this point, in my first rewatch, I just dismissed Fred as a minimal guest character.  In her first episode, she's in a blurry flashback with no lines. In this one, she basically has one speaking scene - and I don't think I gave her much thought as anything more until season 3's premiere episode.
  • Lorne visits a friend running a psychic phone scam.  But she seems to have some psychic power.
  • “I’d rather sit through a junior high production of Cats.” Heh.
  • DANIEL DAE KIM: Gavin Park’s first episode. I almost forgot he was a lawyer on this show.  He and another lawyer want to purchase the Hyperion.
  • Cordy is shoveling demon horse poo.  And the demon horse is so cute.

  • Fred & her adorable Texan accent talk to Cordy.
  • She warns Cordy not to take off the collar or it could implode.  Ooh, like Battle Royale.

  • “I’m just waiting for Wes to have the Eureka Moment.” Wes: “Eureka!”
  • Cordelia has a vision!  And the whole town goes mad.
  • As they’re about to head to the new portal, Gunn joins them. Yay!  Well that was a quick turn-around.
  • Angel takes absolutely no precautions of it possibly being day on the other side of the portal.
  • They all buckle up and drive through the portal.
  • OOPS. The book stays on this side.
  • But on the other side of the portal, they realize that Angel is not affected by the suns here.
  • “I’m not on fire!”
  • “And we didn’t turn into a freakish four-man Siamese twin!”
  • Some of these Pylea demons look like Shrek.
  • A third species of demon conducts a test on Cordy which looks like he’s about to shove something sharp up her nose.  Ooh, like a Covid test!
  • “Don’t forget the book!”  And then there’s a whole “who has the book,” conversation until they realize they no longer have the book.
  • Meanwhile, it has been determined by red demon man that Cordelia indeed has “the curse”
  • “Why are they afraid of Xena?”  Oh Gunn.  Please don't make him the Xander.
  • Lorne goes into a residence and is immediately chased out by Pyleans with axes.
  • Chase!  Fight!
  • “I think we’re winning!” Smash cut to all four of them being tied up.
  • They take Lorne away.  They take the other three away to a different place – tied up in a dungeon.
  • Angel uses his super vampire hearing to discover they found Cordy & discovered her visions.
  • The gang is brought back together with Lorne.
  • Pyleans threaten a death sentence – but first? QUEEN CORDY.

Wes: Yes, we’re all heartily aware that you’re not on fire.
D: How did they not prepare for that?
Z: Maybe they assumed they would land at night since they left at night?
D: Well, you know what happens when you assume.
Z: You turn into a pile of—
D: You catch on fire.
Favorite Lines:
Zelda: “All my life, I thought I was crazy. That I had ghosts in my head or something. Simply because I could hear music. Of course I didn’t know it was music. All I knew is that it was something beautiful and painful and right. And I was the only one who could hear it.” – Lorne
Daniel: “I’d rather sit through a junior high production of Cats.” – Lorne
First Appearance: Gavin Park, Silas, Constable Narwek, Priest #1
Recurring: Lorne, Fred
Future Famous Person: Daniel Dae Kim
Generally Known TV Face: Susan Blommaert, Persia White, William Newman
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Persia White (Aura on Buffy, Agnes “Aggie” Belfleur on Angel), Drew Wicks (second of two roles on Angel, Man on Dollhouse), Jackson Bolt (Pylea Demon on Angel, Viking Warrior on Buffy)
Lorne’s Nicknames: Copernicus (Wes)
Angel! In! History!
Angel remembers being imprisoned in the Tower of London: “Wasn’t that bad.”

Cordelia’s Hair – pinstraight bob with highlights, then extremely very mussed
Dead Humans – 0
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 – 1
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 0

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