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


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

You Think We Might Make It, Season Two?

Series Stats:

Dead Humans - 67+
Dead Undeads - 115+
Dead Flashbacks - 26 (+)
Alterna-Dead Humans - 2
Alterna-Dead Undeads - 1
Dead Lawyers - 16
Doyle Has a Vision - 7
Cordelia Has a Vision - 21
Wesley Prat-Falls - 9
Lawyered Ex Machina - 9
Evil Reveal - 13
Unevil Reveal - 11
Shenanigans Called - 26
Apocalypse Called - 4
Prophecy Called - 7
Champion Called - 4

Season Two Stats (including comparison to previous season):

Dead Humans: 40+ (+13)
Dead Undeads: 53+ (-9)
Dead Flashbacks: 9+ (-8/?)
Alterna-Dead Humans: 0 (-2)
Alterna-Dead Undeads: 0 (-1)
Dead Lawyers: 15 (+15)
Doyle Has a Vision: 0 (-9)
Cordelia Has a Vision: 14 (+7)
Wesley Prat-Falls: 2 (-5)
(Angel Prat-Falls: 1)
Lawyered Ex Machina: 1 (-7)
(Evil Handed Ex Machina: 1)
Evil Reveal: 4 (-5)
Unevil Reveal: 4 (-3)
(Eyeroll Reveal: 1)
(Duh Reveal: 1)
Shenanigans Called: 15 (+5)
Apocalypse Called: 3 (+2)
Prophecy Called: 4 (+1)
Champion Called: 4 (+40

Additional Stats
New Recurring Characters: 25 (The Host (Lorne), Caritas, the Hyperion, Angel's love for Manilow, Gunn's hubcap axe, Drusilla, Virginia Bryce, Anne Steele, Nathan Reed, Rondell, George, Francine Sharp, Stephanie Sharp, Skilosh Demon, Harmony Kendall, Willow Rosenberg, Fred Burkle, Landok, Gavin Park, Silas, Constable Narwek, Priest #1, Lorne's Mom, Groosalugg, Rebel Leader)
Future Famous Person: 2 (Justina Machado, Daniel Dae Kim)
Already/Past Famous Person: 1 (Tony Todd)
Generally Known TV Face: 51  (Brett Rickaby, J.P. Manoux, Tony Amendola, Christopher Babers, Edwin Hodge, Angel Parker, Ray Campbell, Gareth Williams, David Meunier (as David J. Miller), Stewart Skelton, Cheryl White, Rich Hutchman, Brigid Brannagh, Todd Susman, Saul Stein, Michael Yama, Patrick Kilpatrick, W. Earl Brown, Dwayne Barnes, Tom Kiesche, Jim Piddock, Evan Arnold, Nicolas Surovy, Jamie McShane, Gerry Becker, Mark Rolston, Darby Stanchfield, Matt Champagne, Mike Hagerty, Victoria Kelleher, Eric Lange, Norma Michaels, Cory Hadrict, Kyle Davis, Darris Love, Leah Pipes, Thomas Kopache, Pat Healy, Rebecca Avery, Michael Dempsey, Kavita Patil, Pete Gardner, Stephanie Nash, Brody Hutzler, Susan Blommaert, Persia White, William Newman, Tom McCleistser, Mark Lutz, Adoni Maropis, Lee Reherman)
Generally Known Face: 1 (Art LaFleur)
Buffy Crossover: 8 (Faith, Drusilla, The Master, Spike, Romani Man, Anne Steele, Harmony Kendall, Willow Rosenberg)
Whedonverse Hat Trick: 25 (Rob Boltin, Keith Campbell, Edward James Gage, David Meunier (as David J. Miller), Drew Wicks, Stewart Skelton, Michael Nagy, Jim Piddock, Joel Stoffer, Jamie McShane, Jason Padgett, Brendan Wayne, Eric Lange, Norma Michaels, Jarrod Crawford, Darris Love, David Fury, Adam Weiner, Kavita Patil, Stephanie Nash, Amy Acker, Persia White, Jackson Bolt, Joss Whedon, Whitney Dylan)
Angel's Alias: 4 (Police Detective, Jay-Don fanboy, Jay-Don, Leonard Taubman from the Taubman Foundation)
Cordelia's Alias: 3 (Lawyer, "Angel," Darla's sister)
Darla's Alias: 1 (DeEtta Kramer)
Wesley's Alias: 1 (Angel)
Gunn's Alias: 1 (Lester)
Lorne's Nicknames: 19 (Mr. Tall, Dark and Rockin', Curt Jurgens in The Enemy Below, Angelito, Hunk of Hero Sandwich, Mr. Get-to-the-point-y-pants, Angel Face, Goliath, F. Scott, Angelcakes (x2), My Lamb, Sparky, My Little Cacophany, Pilgrim, Sugar, Lorne, Golden Spawn, Copernicus, Pudding, Hans Christian Tarantino)
Cordy's Nicknames: 3 (Mr. I-don't-take-orders-now-where-do-I-stick-my-axe, Ass-pansy, Mr. Big Mojo Guy)
Lilah's Nicknames: 1 (Napoleon)
Merl's Nicknames: 1 (Fluffy)
Lindsey's Nicknames: 1 (Mr. Save-a-Soul)

The body count is getting significantly harder to track, thanks to a few slaughters and battles. We're counting as best we can, but you'll notice each one now has a + next to it, to indicate that the body count may be higher but we have no real way to calculate. Meanwhile in visions, it looks like Cordy's vision count has doubled, but if you take into account that she acquired that vision thing midway through season one, the total this season of 14 is equal to last season's. Our shenanigan count is way up, and we expect that trend to continue. We've also introduced a Champion count because ... that's a thing now.

Angel! In! History!
  • In 1952 Angel combed his hair with a side part, lived in the Hyperion Hotel, smoked, and tried to mind his own cynical business.
  • Angel prays to forget several fashion trends he's lived through.
  • Flashback!Angel had Flashback!kinkysex with Flashback!Darla while the Romani girl was tied up in the room, forced to watch.
  • Angel is 247. He was with Darla for 150 years. And he has a thing for convents.
  • Darla picked out Drusilla for Angelus. He murdered her entire family, pursued her to a convent, murdered everyone there, and then had sex with Darla in her lap. She didn't take it well.
  • He staked Darla 3.5 years ago.
  • There are a few hells. Angel's been to one of them.
  • It took Angel a century of soul-having but soul-not-wanting to start his redemption arc. During the Boxer Rebellion (when Spike murdered his first Slayer), Angel was souled but trying to get Darla back. It didn't work out.
  • In 1765 Darla and Angelus were on the run from Holtz in France (Spike and Dru presumably not yet part of the gang), though Angelus wants to go to Romania next (le gasp!). And when he was in Italy he wanted to go to France. Also Darla leaves him in a burning barn to face the horde alone, but promising to meet him in Vienna if he survives.
  • In the 1920s Angel was in Juarez in Mexico and got into a 3.5 hour fight with Boone over "a senorita." It ended when the sun came out.
  • "Back in the 50s, we all thought life was gonna be like The Jetsons by now."
  • Also Angel is old enough to think $1 is a good tip on a whole bunch of delivery food.
  • 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.
  • Angel remembers being imprisoned in the Tower of London: "Wasn't that bad."

Darla! In! History!
  • In 1609 Darla was a sex worker dying in the Virginia colony, and was turned by the Master.
  • After siring Angelus, she brought him to meet the Master in 1760, but then left the Master's Order of Aurelius to go on Angelus adventures.
  • In 1880 London the group picked up Spike.
  • In 1898 she tried to bargain with the Romani tribe to remove Angelus's soul.
  • In 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion she tried to reconcile with Angel, but ultimately rejected him.
  • We don't know when she returned to serve the Master, but it was sometime after this.

Caritas Song List:
"I Will Survive"
"I'm So Excited"
"Sexual Healing"
"Achy Breaky Heart"
"Send in the Clowns"
"Tears of a Clown"
"Get Here (If You Can)"
"Everybody Have Fun Tonight"
"I Got You, Babe"
"Ill Wind"
"Lady Marmalade"
"We are the Champions"
"Bye Bye Love"
"All By Myself"
"The Way We Were"
"LA Song"

Caritas on Tour Song List
"Star Spangled Banner"
"For He's a Jolly Good Fellow"
"Stop! In the Name of Love"
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

Zelda's Thoughts:
Two weeks ago, this would be a very different post. Honestly, two years ago this would be a very different post. Although I'm grateful Daniel and I managed to find a way to continue the blog, even if we're no longer watching together under the same roof, 2020 has been a sufficient clusterfluff for all of us that I'm having a lot of trouble even holding the season in my head. It was only through going back through the stats that I remembered this season contained so much Darla because right now it all feels so long ago. Heck, even Beige Angel feels long ago. Basically anything before Pylea. Anything before the truth about the toxic culture perpetuated by Whedon on his sets came out. Let's see what I can remember ... S2 is in general a lot stronger shape than S1, because they're getting a better sense of who the characters are, as well as fleshing it out beyond just the "core" three of S1. Gunn is here, and while he's not perfectly written (a white writers room writing for a Black character will do that to ya), he is still a lovely addition with a nuanced performance by J. August Richards. Lindsey and Lilah also get a lot more to do, and both actors are clearly relishing the chance to play more colors. Cordelia's arc feels grounded and honest, showing her conflicting desires to be part of the larger mission and her waning desire to be a respected actor. But we see a lot more of her willingly taking on the hero mantle, during the Beige Angel arc especially, and then in Pylea, as she refused to let Groo lift the visions from her. Darla of course had an amazing arc, brilliantly performed by Julie Benz--such a gift to the series. Angel ... well he had some stuff. I dunno. The Beige Angel arc is so blah to me, the Obsessed Angel arc was making me all kinds of uncomfortable (remember when he was sniffing Cordy's hair for no damn reason?), and it feels like once he had his epiphany (which, don't get me wrong, is a great thesis statement for the whole series) he sort of factory-reset his personality: heroic, comically petty and vain, with that zest of self-hatred. Other good things: this season introduced us to Lorne, and I love him so so much. He and Caritas are such a gift of flavor (and music) to the series, and a great way of really establishing a flavor to Angel that is entirely separate from Buffy

I'm not sure what moving forward is going to look like for us. I'm not sure if I'll be able to stomach the Cordelia pregnancy storyline in two seasons, knowing how awful it was for Charisma Carpenter to survive any of that. I'm also not that kicked on getting into the Holtz of it all next season, even if we'll also be getting more greatness from Julie Benz as Darla. If I remember correctly, things are about to get all gnarled up in every direction. I guess we'll see how we do.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Enchiladas Out of Tree Bark

 Episode 2.22: There’s No Place Like Plrtz Glrb. Original Airdate: 5.22.01


“Wesley and Gunn storm the Pylean castle while Angle fights the Groosalugg.”



Like many of you, we’ve been struggling this past week. While we already knew some degree of Joss Whedon’s general dirtbag-ness, we didn’t yet understand how horrifying or widespread his abusive and cruel behavior was, nor how deeply it poisoned the sets of the shows we love so much, deeply harming the actors, writers, stunt coordinators, and crew members. We believe Charisma Carpenter and Amber Benson and Michelle Trachtenberg. We believe Jose Molina. We believe Ray Fisher. We support these survivors and we are infuriated by Whedon’s behavior. We’ve been wrestling with how to move forward, having no wish to continue to support his projects.
But we also think Buffy and Angel don’t just belong to him. These stories belong to the rest of the writers and actors and artists involved with the shows, and they belong to the fans. They belong to us. We want to continue to honor their work, and what these shows have meant to us. Buffy changed both our lives and remains deeply important to us. But fuck Joss Whedon. 

–   Zelda and Daniel




Zelda’s Thoughts:

  • Finale time!
  • We pick up where we left off, with Cordy’s sobbing over Lorne’s severed head. “You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t do anything. I don’t like it here anymore. I just wanna go home.” // Lorne’s severed head: “Oh honey, I’m right there with ya.”
  • There’s some awkward greenscreen action but I’m so glad Lorne is still alive. He tells Cordelia he’ll be fine until they mutilate his body, so they need to go rescue that stat.
  • Hey remember how this whole arc started with Cordy getting debased and objectified on a commercial set, and how part of the point was probably the showrunners saying “hey this is toxic behavior that we would never do,” and now we know the truth? Yeah that’s all I can think about when I see her in her “empowered” princess bikini.
  • In this world vampires are called van-tals.
  • “He brings hope to the cows, for if one can be free, hope arises that all can be free.”
  • Hey it turns out they can explode the heads of anyone wearing the slave collars.
  • Gunn and Wes are about to be executed. Gunn: “I got a plan.” // Wes: “Oh, thank god! What is it?” // G: “We die horribly and painfully, you go to hell, and I spend eternity in the arms of Baby Jesus.” // W: “Oh.”
  • But before that can happen, the rebels are beset by evil oppressor knights. Gunn “I’ve really had about enough of this world.”
  • So so far this episode can be summed up with:

  • Meanwhile, back at the cave, Fred is making the Pylean version of oatmeal, Angel’s all sore and groany.
  • And he’s still upset about how extreme his pylean vampire self is. Fred: “We all got our demons.”
  • Fred loves tacos and misses them and I hear ya, Fred. “I been trying to make enchiladas out of tree bark.” Aw cuz she’s from Texas.
  • Hey, Fred’s smart science self rears to explain that the portal opening words aren’t words. “They’re consonant representations of a mathematical transfiguration formula.”
  • Fuuuuuuck the evil oppressor knights found the cave and I legit jumped and gasped when they grabbed Fred.
  • Angel’s afraid to change and so he can’t properly fight them. Luckily they miss his heart, the tiniest heart a vampire has ever had, and Fred knocks him out with a big rock [I can’t wait to tell my friends. They don’t have a rock this big. – Fred]
  • Anyway the rebels like Wes and Gunn now because they fought against the oppressor knights.
  • Wes is ready to forgive and let them off the hook, and Gunn gives Wes major side-eye and heyyyyyyyy real world resonance. 

  • Anyway, Gunn reminds us that he’s way smarter than the rest of the gang ever gives him credit for, and realizes they should join forces with the Rebels.
  • Fred doesn’t want Angel to go try to rescue his friends, reminding him he doesn’t want them to see the beast version of him. But he looks at her and quietly says “But my friends are in trouble” and sometimes I do love him.
  • Cordy and Lorne are confused because they see a mutilated, chopped up body in Lorne’s suit … but he’s still alive. “Since when do I have five toes?”
  • Awwww Groo, he saved Lorne’s body. I love him too.
  • Back to the rebels, Wes uses his research brain and knowledge of battle tactics to advise them to use guerilla warfare, rather than a frontal attack.
  • Rebel: “Hail to our new leader!”// Wes: “Why do people keep putting me in charge of things?” // Gunn: “I have no idea.” Because, Wes, your arc for these episodes is reinforcing your leadership skillz, pay attention.
  • Groo says he’s not a real champion because he only fights who he’s told to fight. Cordelia: “Nonsense, you’re way worthy.”
  • Anyway, we’re finally told that the Com-shuk would pass Cordelia’s visions to Groo, but she’s not willing to subsume her power and gift, to give it over to a man. “You are pure human. You are not meant to carry such a burden.” // “Maybe not, but I’m not ready to give them up either. They’re a part of who I am now, they’re an honor.”
  • Oops a vision where she sees Groo fighting a demon … that is totally Van-tal Angel.
  • Gunn, looking at Wes’s plan. “I wouldn’t split up my crew this much if I was leading this charge.” // Wes: “I’m leading this charge.”
  • Ooh Angel and Fred found the rebel camp!
  • Wes tries to cede generalship to Angel, which is surprising, since he’s in charge back in LA. Angel turns it down though, worried about his control, and apologizes to a stoic Gunn.
  • Lol this camp is the least covert camp ever. Landok finds them, and he’s carrying Lorne’s head.
  • A: “He was.” // G: “Yeah.” // W: “Hmm.” // Lorne’s head: “That’s it?” Then all the guys jump back while Fred is still cutely staying in frame to peer at Lorne. 

  • Gunn’s beef with Wes is that the plan will certainly lead to death. Wes, with a similar general energy to Buffy ca. S7, “You try not to get anybody killed, you wind up getting everybody killed.” Maybe it’s what Gunn needs to hear to begin to forgive himself for George’s death.
  • Wes, still being a good leader, tells Angel what he needs to hear too. “We know you. We know you’re man with a demon inside, not the other way around.” When Gunn asks him if he really thinks Angel will come back from this, “I need him to think it.”
  • Angel, with Fred’s help, has lit the three-pronged challenge torch for Groo.
  • Also this is all a diversion so the rebels can break into the castle. They said that earlier but I was paying attention to other stuff.
  • Groo puts his bare palm over the flame of the challenge torch and it looks badass but also his fingers look swollen because they’re covered in protective gel shhhhhh no one say anything anyway Angel and Groo fighty fight.
  • Silas backhands Cordy and can we kill him already?
  • Also it turns out his device can kill all the humans in one blow? That’s incredibly genocidal of him.
  • Groo is wailing on Angel, convinced Angel will super-rape Cordy. And now, Angel van-trals out.
  • As Silas villain-speeches at Wes, Cordy … slices his head off. A+
  • Van Angel manages to not kill Groo. He turns back to his human face. “We’re not gonna do this. We’re gonna find another way. I’m not an animal.” And then Cordy jumps in to stop them, saying she loves Groo (which Angel momentarily misunderstands as her saying she loves Angel, and that arc has begun). “She loves me too right? As a friend and co-worker. Maybe love’s too strong a term.”
  • Lorne makes a … sort-of peace with his mom. Sort of. He tries but then his mom is the absolute worst so maybe just fuck that noise? Also his mom uses the South’s complaint, “Who’s supposed to do our [free] labor now that your cow-friend has freed the slaves?” and just wow the trash of it all.
  • Lorne’s actual peace is “I had to come back here to find out I didn’t have to come back here. I hate it here.”
  • Cordy, before she leaves town, makes a new constitution with slavery and religious persecution outlawed (no polyester?), and then she smashes the human-killing device.
  • Wes, armed with the portal books, is ready to take everybody home.
  • They leave Groo in charge, with Gunn explaining to him what Reconstruction is (in a bit of awkward Have-the-Black-guy-explain-it-ness) “Sayin’ people are free don’t make ‘em free. You got races that hate each other, you got some folks getting work they don’t want, others losing the little they had. You’re looking at social confusion, economic depression, and probably some riots. Good luck.”
  • As Cordy kisses Groo goodbye, only Fred looks on unabashed. Ugh, she’s so cute.
  • Woot! Back at Caritas! … in the car. Oh man. Poor Caritas.
  • And as we all troop back to the Hyperion, tired but satisfied, Angel rushes forward to open the doors with a “There’s no place like …”
  • But Willow is there. Sitting on the couch. Eyes overflowing. Waiting for them.
  • “It’s Buffy.”
  • It still kills me.


Daniel’s Thoughts:


  • We start where we left off.  Cordelia is staring at poor Lorne’s head on a plate, John the Baptist style.
  • Cordelia is really upset crying for poor Lorne.

  • Cordelia comes to a realization in that as awful as Earth is, she just wants to go home.And then Lorne’s decapitated head starts talking and Cordelia gives the longest scream & it’s brilliant.
  • Apparently Lorne’s people can continue to live headless until their body is….mutilated.   What mutilated means is unclear.  Like does he just need to be stabbed?  Or does he need to be completely torn apart? 
  • This would definitely help in battle if Lorne were a fighter.
  • The red demon priests talk to a new race of demons.  Green guys. They seem like a hunter race.
  • Silas makes a “cow’s” head explode, Battle Royale style.
  • Meanwhile Wes & Gunn are about to be beheaded when the hunter demons arrive and shoot an arrow into the executioner.
  • Gunn & Wes use the boards around their necks as weapons which is pretty cool.
  • Fred is continuing to take care of Angel.
  • Apparently Angel was having night terrors. 
  • Cordy calling her servant Geraldo because she can’t remember her name. I’m getting Eleanor Shellstrop vibes.
  • Fred & Angel talk portals but they’re interrupted by some hunters.  Angel fights hard not to change even tho it’ll make him fight better.
  • The villagers talk to Wes & Gunn about Cordelia’s Groosalugg prophesy.
  • The villagers finally let them go since they fought with each other.
  • Gunn wants to protect the villagers  - he’s still feeling guilty about letting his friend die a few episodes ago and I’m glad they didn’t just forget about that.  It’s something that drives Gunn.
  • Angel realizes Lorne’s been “killed” and he needs to go save Cordelia.  Fred wants him to stay.
  • Cordelia, dressed in her servant's clothes, sneaks into the dungeon carrying Lorne’s head in a bucket.
  • Aww, Groo helped Cordelia by switching Lorne’s body with another so that he wouldn’t be mutilated.
  • He also transported his real body to his family’s house.
  • Meanwhile Wes explains the plan to the villagers and they make him their leader.
  • “Why do people continue to put me in charge of things?” “I have no idea” – Wes/Gunn
  • Cordelia gives Groo a pep talk.  Meanwhile Groo tells Cordelia the 2nd part of the prophesy.  Apparently once they….err...cum-shuk….the visions will be passed over to Groo.
  • And then of course Cordy has a vision.  She sees Groo fighting with this bluish demon which we of course know is Angel – but Cordy doesn’t.  She hasn’t seen Angel like that yet.
  • Angel & Fred find Wes & Gunn, and Fred meets her two future boyfriends.
  • Angel expresses shame in what he did.  He also tells them that Fred is the key to getting them home. And then Fred talks a lot of weird nonsense science/math stuff not that no one else understands.
  • Landok  arrives with Lorne’s head.
  • The plan is for Angel to kill Groo.  Angel tells them that he can’t do that without his demon coming out and that it’s 10 times worse than it is in his world.
  • The red demons want Cordy and Groo to screw in front of them so that's a thing.
  • Meanwhile Angel comes into the village with a speech to challenge the Groo.
  • Cordelia doesn’t recognize Angel’s voice but knows due to her vision that Groo can’t fight anyone right now.
  • While Angel gets ready to fight, Wes, Gunn & the villagers stand by and get ready to storm the castle.
  • They start with the guards at the gate.
  • “This guy, he doesn’t feel pain?” “Oh he feels it, he just overcomes all things – good luck!
  • Groo & Angel start to fight. Angel hasn’t turned yet and he’s getting his ass whooped. Unfortunately Cordelia is not there to see/stop it.
  • Cordelia is the only member of the gang who hasn’t met Fred.  So far, this episode has not passed the Bechdel test – but I mean, what episode has?
  • Cordy tries to stop the fight by pleading with Silas but he knocks her down threatening all the “cows” in the land.
  • And then Angel turns but he seems more in control than he was the other day and finally  starts kicking Groo’s butt.
  • And then Cordy chops Silas’s head off.  YAY. Cordy saves the day!
  • But then Wes tells Cordy that the beast that Groo fights is actually Angel.
  • “What part of me being noble didn’t get through to you?”
  • “I love him!” says Cordy and for a moment Angel thinks she means him.
  • Anyway all is well.  Lorne has his head put back on his body.
  • Angel encourages Lorne to make things right with his mom.
  • But then he realizes that….it’s okay to cut yourself from toxic family members.
  • Lorne makes the realization that he doesn’t belong in Pylea.  He belongs in LA with all the other people who don't belong.  Aww.
  • Cordy frees the slaves & destroys the object that will make their heads explode…It'd be awkward if that actually set it off.
  • Gunn succinctly explains that freeing slaves doesn’t mean racism is over.
  • And the crew finally goes home.  It’s nice that they rescued Fred and all but I wonder if the other humans in Pylea were from Earth as well…Did they have the option to come back?

  • And here’s Willow.  To deliver the news that Buffy’s dead.  Angel knows it before she even says anything.  And I get all teary eyed. [You, me, and all of us. - Z]

Favorite Lines:

Zelda: “You know where I belong? L.A. You know why? Nobody belongs there. It’s the perfect place for guys like us.” – Lorne

Daniel: “This guy, he doesn’t feel pain?” “Oh he feels it, he just overcomes all things – good luck!” Angel/Fred


Recurring: Lorne, Fred, Landok, Groosalugg, Silas, Lorne’s Mom, Rebel Leader, Rebel #1, Priest #1, Willow Rosenberg

Generally Known TV Face: Lee Reherman

Buffy Crossover: Willow Rosenberg

Whedonverse Hat Trick: Jamie McShane (second of two roles on Angel, Man on Firefly), Whitney Dylan (Lysette on Buffy, Server-Marelda on Angel)


Caritas on Tour Song List

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”



Cordelia’s Hair – still tiaraed (can you blame her?)

Dead Humans – 4+

Dead Undeads – 9+

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

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Free the Slaves and Outlaw Polyester

Episode 2.21: Through the Looking Glass. Original Airdate: 5.15.01

“Cordelia meets the Groosalugg while Wesley, Gunn and Angel get a good look at the beast that lives within Angel.”

Daniel’s Thoughts:
  • We begin where we left off.  Our four guys are captured – but oops, Cordy is Queen!
  • Her…clothes? I’m not sure if you can call them clothes, but they sure are shiny.
  • “Off with their heads,” Cordelia jokes as quirky music plays so we know she’s joking.
  • Cordelia excuses the guards.  The gang races for the food.
  • Prophecy called!  Lorne explains: Cursed one, pure sight, messiah. Blah blah blah.
  • Now a plan to get back. 
  • Angel, meanwhile, is staring at himself in the mirror. And he can’t believe his hair.

  • The red demons plan and conspire.  There will be something called the com-shuk…which the princess (we call her queen) may not survive
  • Meanwhile Lorne goes to visit his family and introduces his “roommate” Angel. Wait, I might be mixing things up.
  • Lorne’s mom has a beard. So that’s funny.
  • Lorne’s cousin recognizes Angel as a warrior.  In my continued made-up story in my head, Lorne’s family is accepting of his “roommate”.
  • Ooh…Wesley finds a book with a Hart on the cover.   
  • The holy books are split into three – I wonder what the other two covers will be.
  • And Wes finally puts it together.  The other two covers are a WOLF & a RAM.
  • A lot of make-up work here which is impressive. Fish people and Deathwok clan demons.  Must have taken a lot of work with all these extras.
  • Lorne is annoyed that his family is treating his “roommate” (continuing the narrative) – better then him.
  • The red demon priests tell Cordelia that the Groosalugg is on his way.
  • The com-shuk is a mating ritual, which duh. Listen to its name.
  • “It’s been a really long time since I’ve had a good com-shuk”
  • Fred has been captured and they want Angel to cut off her head.
  • But Fred won’t die today.  Maybe in a few spoilers.
  • We need a distraction!  Lorne!  Sing your heart out!
  • There are horses…in this dimension.  Horses in every dimension!  Angel rescues Fred and steals one.
  • Meanwhile Cordy tries to escape with Wes & Gunn…through the sewers.  But Cordy gets caught before she can escape.
  • “Handsome man…saved me from the monsters.  Bye!”  
That’s our Fred.
  • We find where Fred’s been staying – in a cave.
  • Angel realizes that Fred was the one who disappeared from the library in Cordy’s vision.
  • “Cordy? She’s fine. They made her princess.” “Really? Oh.  When I got here they didn’t do that.  Well.  That’s nice for her.”  Every single moment of Fred’s line delivered wonderfully.
  • So the Groosalugg appears.  And he’s kinda hot in a ‘cover of a fantasy novel’ kinda way.
  • It’s time for Angel to fight.  He goes to vamp face but since we’re in another dimension, his vamp face is a bit…different….all green and thorny and he doesn’t seem to be able to control himself much either.
  • So Groosalugg talks about his cursed looks/deformities. So it’s like that Twilight Zone episode where the hot people are ugly and the ugly people are hot.
  • Guards bring Lorne in all tied up and Cordy almost gets Lorne executed because she’s distracted by the Groosalugg’s backstory.  But she finally snaps out of it & pardons him.
  • Meanwhile Gunn & Wes bump into green bumpy Angel. Angel is out of control but Fred calms him by dipping her hand into a bag of blood…  “And that’s how I met your mother,” says Wes.
  • According to Wes, that’s what Angel’s demon looks like in its purest form.  Because as Anya has explained, most demons we’ve seen on Earth – including vampires – are only hybrids.
  • Wes & Gunn get captured by cows (humans).
  • Fred tries to calm the beast within Angel.  She lures him back to the cave and shows him his reflection.  This seems to do it.
  • Angel is a bit overwhelmed by what he’s done/seen.
  • Cordelia, who has been listening to Groo’s story, finally feels vulnerable enough to share her own story.
  • Groo convinces Cordy of her worth as a princess.
  • The red demons aren’t happy that Cordy wants to make proclamations.
  • Wes & Gunn are tied up.  Wes tries to convince the humans that they’re not spies and that they’re friends with the princess.
  • Angel’s still in complete shock. Wow, that took a lot out of him.  Fred is looking after him.
  • Cordy tries to write a proclamation to free the slaves & outlaw polyester…
  • The red demons make sure to let Cordy know that they’re the ones in charge.
  • And oh no!  Lorne’s head is cut off and on a platter!
Zelda’s Thoughts:
  • And right where we left off, with Queen C on the throne!
  • “You’re … safe” // “Little bit. They made me their ruler.”
  • The music tells us that we’re in the quirky hijinks portion of the arc, with Cordelia munching on grapes and jokingly ordering “off with their heads” about her friends. “Kidding!” *opening credits*
  • I mean … they did follow you to a different dimension, Cords. Maybe be a little nicer?
  • Wes hangs a lantern on the whole thing I was getting ornery about last episode: “It doesn’t make sense, does it? I mean, in a world where humans are slaves and chattel—why would they elevate one to monarch?”
  • Lorne cites a prophecy (stats!) that heralded Cordelia and her visions as the messiah, a “direct link to the powers that be,” and again I ask why this is a thing for a species that already has psychic powers.
  • Angel’s all excited about his reflection slash confused about his hairstyle. “This is because of going through the portal, right?” // “No, it always looks like that.” … “Why didn’t anybody tell me about this?” Having recently gotten a very different haircut than I’ve ever had, I get the fixation on the surprising reflection.
  • Meanwhile in priestland, it turns out they are pissed about crowning a human after all, so that’s cool. They’re still planning to kill Cordy after the Com-shuk and I guess they had a lot of fun finding a S&P approved sex euphemism there.
  • Lorne’s mom hates him a lot.
  • And then we have the weirdest cameo ever, as Joss Whedon does Numfar’s dance of joy in the background of a shot. Which would be more fun if we didn’t know what a shit he turned out to be. It bums me out, because it used to be one of my favorite things.

  • Anyway he’s now doing the dance of honor in the background that looks the same as the dance of joy, while Lorne’s family happily celebrates Angel the Drokken Slayer and treats Lorne like shit.
  • Wes is looking at the three mystical books the priests were using. He catches that a Hart is on one of them, and that the three are meant to be read together, not as a trilogy, but concurrent. Anyway, everyone put a pin in the Hart, right? Right? Cuz that’s a thing.
  • And Wes looks at the covers of the other two. A wolf. A ram.
  • JINKIES! WOLF RAM AND HART. “I’m not sure the priests can be trusted.” It’s nice to have stakes again.
  • Angel’s regaling the family with the story of cutting off the evil lawyer-beast’s hand. Lorne: “Nice to be seen as the hero without all the pesky moral ambiguities you get back home, isn’t it?” Lorne has to remind Angel that for all that it’s nice to feel celebrated for his achievements, these are the same people who see our beloved Lorne as useless. “They see you a certain way, you start to see yourself that way. You become that image. I get it. I do. Because I know how they see me!”
  • “The Com-shuk is a mating ritual.” // Gunn: “I told you it was dirty.”
  • So random government question. They crowned Cordelia and had this whole throneroom and whatnot … was there a monarch before that she’s now unseated? And if not … why was there a throne room? Who’s in charge?

  • Anyway, they want Angel to swing the thingamajig and behead … FRED! It’s Fred. Please don’t kill Fred. Girl’s got another few seasons in her.
  • And as Angel protects Fred, Lorne distracts them from attacking him by serenading them and it’s so lovely and these idiots all think their ears are on fire and how can they insult his beautiful tenor that way?
  • “I want you to find me a dimension where some demon doesn’t want to impregnate me with its spawn!” Cordy, I have super bad news about Season Four. “What is it about me anyway? Do I put out some kind of Com-shuk me vibe?” and you know they called it that solely for that joke. Anyway, they’re fleeing the castle through the sewers and Cordy wants to take a bunch of jewelry with her and so she gets caught by the priests while Wes and Gunn abscond.
  • Very Shawshank.
  • Meanwhile Angel’s still rocking the hero vibe, riding away with Fred on a horse in the countryside. I don’t think he recognizes her as the woman from Cordy’s vision yet.
  • “Handsome man. Saved me from the monsters. Bye.” Poor Fred, still so broken. He follows her to a cave whose walls are covered with mathematical equations.
  • “Why won’t you [talk to me]?” “Because you’re not real. Or I’m not real. Somebody here isn’t real and I suspect it’s you. So if you’re not real, that means my head came off back there and that I’m dead now. Dead. And with me being dead and you not being real I can hardly be expected to have some big conversation with you at the moment.”
  • He finds her ID and so finally he knows she’s the one they were looking for.
  • Fred’s a little put out that Cordy’s a princess. “Really? Oh. When I got here they didn’t do that. Well, that’s nice for her.” Very southern politeness.
  • Anyway we finally meet the Groosalugg and he’s a hunk with Fabio hair.
  • Oh lawd. I’d remembered that Angel’s vampface was more demonic here but I’d forgotten it was all green and horny. Poor Fred. “Bad things always happen here.” Because also Angel’s a lotttttttt more feral. He’s not killing Fred, but he doesn’t seem to recognize her.
  • Meanwhile back at the romance novel, Groo thinks he’s grotesque for his pretty mouth, biceps, and human heart. So I guess he’s of mixed race? Kinda like Doyle but super buff. I imagine Doyle having a similar reaction to Fred’s about Cordy being a princess.
  • Apparently Groosalugg means “brave and undefeated”
  • Omg and Cordy’s lusty enough to almost let them execute Lorne. Luckily she catches sight of him in time. So that’s twice in twelve hours Lorne’s been brought to her throne room for punishment.
  • Oop FeralAngel finds Wes and Gunn and they start fighting … until Wes recognizes Angel’s tattoo.
  • Oh shit I’d forgotten how magical and strange and beautiful this moment is (the music underneath is gorgeous), of Fred standing with her hand soaked in blood, to lure Angel away from his friends before he kills them.
  • And Wes has a Magical Explanation for Angel’s weird vampire action here in Pylea. His vamp weaknesses were sublimated in his human form, but now that he’s turned full vamp, all his humanness is likewise sublimated.
  • I do have a question about their declaration that Green Horned Angel is the vampire in its purest form, since he looks nothing like the Turok-Han and I thought that was the pure vampire?

  • Anyway, Wes and Gunn keep going from frying pan to bonfire, and now they’re surrounded by human rebels. “Oh good. More fun.”
  • Fred lures FeralAngel back to the cave, where he finally sees his vamp reflection, and is horrified enough to stop tracking her, and transform back.
  • God I really love Fred. They’re doing a lot to make us love her quickly, since she’s going to join the cast, and it’s partly working and partly just me remembering that I love her. But there’s so much beauty in her cave scenes, in the quiet between the madness babbling.
  • Anyway, Angel is shooketh and shaking, looking pretty broken himself by the events of the day.
  • Cordy, after hearing Groo’s story, tells him she’s not a princess. She agrees she has the visions, but that doesn’t make her royalty. A really interesting shift from high school Cordy, who had the license plate Queen C on her car.
  • Groo (slightly) confuses me by saying Cordelia’s beautiful (I mean she is but stay with me), since he thinks his own appearance isn’t beautiful. That’s a confusing double standard?
  • The human rebels who’ve tied up Gunn and Wes want to send a message to the princess and again I ask, did Cordy unseat someone when she became princess? How do they already know she’s a princess when she’s been in throne-office only a day or so? HOW THE HELL DOES THIS ALL WORK AND WHY ARE THE WRITERS BEING LAZY ABOUT THIS.
  • Oh right. We always knew Joss was a bit lazy in the world-building, sacrificing world logic for whatever story he wanted to tell.
  • Gunn: “Have I mentioned just how glad I am I decided to leave my people behind in L.A. so I could come here to die?”
  • Angel, still shooketh, “They saw it. They looked right at it … the monster. They saw what I really am. I can’t go back. Not now, I can never go back.”
  • Silas tells Cordy she has no actual power, that she’s just a tool of the Covenant. And again I ask why the rebels wanted to send their one-day princess a message, and not send a message to the priests???? I’m calling a general shenanigan over the logistics of this society’s government/sovereign power and the lack of clarity thereof.
  • Anyway, they’ve literally served Lorne’s head to Cordy on a silver platter and it’s all very biblical.

Favorite Lines:
Daniel: Angel: “Cordy? She’s fine. They made her princess.” Fred: “Really? Oh.  When I got here they didn’t do that.  Well.  That’s nice for her.”  
Zelda: I tried to find a line but honestly this is my favorite moment  in the whole episode.


First Appearance:
Lorne’s Mom, Groosalugg, Rebel Leader
Recurring: Lorne, Fred, Landok, Silas, Constable Narwek, Priest #1
Generally Known TV Face: Tom McCleister, Mark Lutz, Adoni Maropis
Whedonverse Hat Trick: Joss Whedon (not sure who this guy is or how he’s connected to the show but he plays Numfar)
Lorne’s Nicknames: Pudding (Cordelia), Hans Christian Tarantino (Angel)

Caritas on Tour Song List
“Stop! In the Name of Love”

Cordelia’s Hair – half-up, with a tiara, because princess
Dead Humans – 0
Dead Undeads – 1
Dead Flashbacks – 0
Dead Lawyers – 0
Cordelia Has a Vision – 0
Wesley Prat-falls – 0
Lawyered Ex Machina – 0
Evil Reveal – 0
Unevil Reveal – 0
Shenanigans Called – 1
Apocalypse Called – 0
Prophecy Called – 1