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Angel: The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco

Gunn: "Notice no matter how uptown we go, we always wind up in some stanky hole in the middle of the night?

Today's theme is the nature of heroism.

This episode reminded me of the way I reacted to "The Zeppo." It was very good, but it was different; I had to think about how to take it. Heroic, dead Mexican wrestlers in masks who helped the helpless? How weird, and how delightful.

Angel isn't dealing well with corporate life; he's disconnected, doesn't believe in a "shiny reward" any more, doesn't believe in the Shanshu prophecy... his heart isn't in it, pun intended. Numero Cinco's feelings of worthlessness, and his unhappiness about working for Wolfram & Hart, paralleled Angel's feelings exactly. Throughout the episode, Angel kept telling Numero Cinco about being a hero. These were things Angel needed to tell himself.

Fred gives Spike respect. It's refreshing. She treats him like the hero he is, while Spike, for the most part, is unaware of his own heroism. Could that be because of how he was treated in Sunnydale during the past few years? It's probably worse because Spike is truly disconnected, much more so than Angel, and missing his physical body. His current helplessness reminds me of when he was first chipped. Spike is adjusting, though, and his intuitive nature makes him a good detective. He's the one who figured out Tezcatcatl's vulnerability, and he did it without a magic book or a microscope.

Spike is now curious about the Shanshu prophecy, and talking with Wesley about it. I had a feeling Wesley might be the one Spike would connect with next. Angel may have made a serious mistake mentioning "The father will kill the son" prophecy to Wesley; no one but Angel remembers Connor. (I wonder what the rest of them actually do remember of the last two years? Did Jasmine exist for them?) I bet Wesley will remember what Angel said, and research it. If all mystic contracts and bargains are on record in the W&H archives, Angel's contract concerning Connor will be there, won't it?

Gunn loves going to work in the morning? He's doing a lot of good, if that list of accomplishments he gave Angel is genuine. I like the new Gunn; he's like the old Gunn, only more so, and he looks terrific in a suit. But shouldn't he still wear jeans to a fight?

The great lines in these episodes just make me want to quote them; I have to stop myself from going overboard. I'm also getting accustomed to the snazzy new set, and the change in how Angel Investigations carries out their mission. I've been very happy with Angel so far this season, and it isn't just the pleasure of still having Spike in the picture. Bravo.

Bits and pieces:

— Numero Cinco was in the season opener, delivering the envelope with Spike in it to Angel. Has he been in other episodes as well?

— The great victory over the Devils' Robot? The best part of this was Angel asking Wesley about it, and Wesley saying wisely, "El Diablo Robotico."

— The coordinated wrestling scenes were impressive. The masks were a smart idea from a casting perspective.

— How about those four gorgeous guys in a red convertible? Angel, Spike, Wesley, and Gunn. Yum.

— What happened to the invitation rules at Numero Cinco's apartment? Were they revoked because Numero Cinco pulled Angel into the room? Has that ever happened before?

— The card that Holland gave Numero Cinco said: "Wolfram & Hart / Attorneys at Law / 1127 Spring Street / Los Angeles, California / Holland Manners / Legal Associate / [finger over it] 5-5000."

— In this episode, Lorne called Angel: honeybuns, sweetie pie, and our avenging Angel. Spike beat him this week, though; he called Angel a drama queen, General Grumpypants, and tall-dark-and-dreary.

— As mentioned in the Buffy episode "Lessons," there's always a talisman, isn't there?

Quotes:

Lorne: "Fred, sweetie, you're sort of like a woman..."

Lorne: "Don't sweat it, sweetie pie. I've got my flak catcher spinning this into P.R. gold. Once the word spreads you beat up an innocent old man, well, the truly terrible will think twice before going toe-to-toe with our avenging Angel."
Spike: "Yes. The geriatric community will be soiling their nappies when they hear you're on the case. Bravo."

Spike: "Can't drink, smoke, diddle my willy. Doesn't leave much to do other than watch you blokes stumble around playing Agatha Christie."

Wesley: "Less reptilian, and the mouth was larger. Think predatory bird meets demonic gladiator."

Numero Cinco: "Perhaps I wasn't clear in our last conversation."
Angel: "What conversation? You threw me through a window."
Numero Cinco: "I heard you speaking. You were going to drag me into your quest for the Aztec demon."
Angel: "No, I wasn't. I was gonna give you some mail."
Numero Cinco: "Oh. Sorry."

Numero Cinco: "Never disrespect the memory of my brothers. They were honorable men... luchadores. Mexican wrestlers. The greatest that ever lived. Together we were known as Los Hermanos Numeros."
Angel: "The number brothers? Huh. Boy, you guys had no problem getting past the whole irony thing now, did you?"


Wesley: "I'd forgotten that Aztec culture was so violent."
Gunn: "Yeah, 'cause our culture's so at peace."
Wesley: "All right, but by and large, we don't eat our victims."

Wesley: "I understand you're feeling rejected. But this Aztec warrior, it wants the hearts for sustenance. It wants it for the meat, not the metaphor."
Angel: "What are you saying?"
Gunn: "As meat goes, your heart's a dried-up hunk of gnarly-ass beef jerky."

Angel: "Wes, did you ever hear that the devil built a robot?"
Wesley: "El Diablo Robotico. Why?"
Angel: "Nobody ever tells me anything."

No stake number this week. I have to think about it,

Billie
---
Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.

4 comments:

  1. I'd vote for four out of four stakes. Or five out of five, to honor Numero Cinco.

    I didn't like this episode much the first time, but it has grown on me. I love the cheesiness of the luchadores, which fits perfectly with the idea that fighting evil was a simpler and more heartfelt task in the 1950s and 1960s.

    And, as you mentioned, the choreography of the fight scenes was awesome. I wonder if they used stunt people with a dancing background.

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  2. I think we have seen Numero Cinco at least twice, maybe three times before. He's been around with his mail in the background.

    I still think this is the weakest episode of the season. It's a bit sad and teary at the end, but that isn't enough for a great episode.

    Beginning with the next episode, Angel season 5 shines all the way imo.

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  3. >>"Fred gives Spike respect. It's refreshing. She treats him like the hero he is, while Spike, for the most part, is unaware of his own heroism."
    Spike should give her a "but you treat me like a man" speech of her own, and this time it wouldn't come across as a little delusional. The cynic in me has to consider that he already considers himself a hero and is just working Fred to stroke his ego and get his conceited ass off because there isn't much else to do in his condition.

    >>"Has he been in other episodes as well?"
    At least one other, to be sure.

    El Diablo Robotico was indeed funny, but the Peepee demon is still the best comedic thing to come out of this season so far, and I'm sorry that I neglected to pay tribute to it in the previous episode. I mean I audibly chuckled at it, not just grinned as I usually do in my shit-eating way. Masterful acting, whoever that guy is.
    #Rare #Based Cinco's "Nobody remembers the good stuff.." got me too.

    Decent episode, I liked it for the same reason I loved the Pylea arc. I'm already kind of sad we're not gonna get more shots of him wheeling the trolley anymore. This episode happened way sooner than I remember :(

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  4. >>> The masks were a smart idea from a casting perspective.
    The masks are very standard for Mexican lucha libre (and I think that the masks have been known to help characters around in their wrestling longer than individual wrestlers).
    And superhero luchadores have been a staple of Mexican movies for decades, back to at least the late 50s (they were featured in an Aztec Mummy trilogy that I've seen from back then.)
    So, the masks were just a matter of following the existing basic tropes of the genre that they were working with.

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