PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE

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

REVIEW ARCHIVES

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
#WeStandWithCharismaCarpenter

 

 

 

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


Arc/Continuity:

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”

 

Stats:

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

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