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Angel: Damage

Andrew: "Check the view screen, Uhura. I got twelve vampire slayers behind me, and not one of them has ever dated you."

Lots of good stuff, but there were also beaucoup de possible boo-boos. And I could have done without my favorite character being dismembered.

The best part of this episode (for me, anyway) was Angel and Spike finally bonding, especially in that final scene in the hospital room. We heard their takes on the nature of their own evil: Spike thought of it as one big party, while Angel acknowledged that he was the type who would have tortured Dana. Despite the wonderful barbs they keep throwing at each other, Angel and Spike can't help relating. They have too much in common. (Angel: "She's an innocent victim." Spike: "So were we, once upon a time.")

It was fun to see a very British, 82% more manly Andrew, and of course, the Andrew/Spike scenes were as good as they always were. I also enjoyed the army of slayers scene at the end. But why would a firm that specializes in the supernatural, especially one run by a vampire, not know about all the new slayers? Spike tends to "yammer," too. He didn't tell them?

The actress who played Dana was great (note from much later: that was Navi Rawat, who ended up on Numb3rs) and the storyline was strong. She often seemed Faith-like to me. But part of me hated seeing a vicious, homicidal slayer running around attacking people with a bone saw. (Speaking of which, Dana knew what Spike was. Why didn't she stake him? And why didn't his hands dissolve into dust?)


Secondly, even though they said that her mental illness intensified them, it seems unlikely that a slayer would have such specific, detailed memories of the lives of past slayers. There have been zillions of them over the centuries. How could Dana remember only those few who have encountered Spike? Buffy certainly didn't remember how earlier slayers died, even in a dream, or my favorite BtVS episode, "Fool for Love," wouldn't have happened. And if Dana had every slayer's memory, why doesn't she have Buffy's memories of Spike, too? On the third hand, there was no suspense for me, since I never once suspected that Spike was actually Dana's kidnapper. Pre-soul Spike wasn't into torture (see the BtVS episode, "What's My Line").

It's a bummer that Buffy and the Sunnydale Scoobies don't trust Angel and the L.A. Scoobies any more. Angel must have been hurt. Wesley, a former Watcher, must have been offended, too. But then again, he's used to the Watchers Council treating him like crap.

Bits and pieces:-

— One of my favorite bits was Andrew's rundown on what's happening with the Scooby Gang. Xander is in Africa, Willow and Kennedy are in Brazil, Buffy and Dawn are in Rome, and Dawn is in an Italian school. And we can infer that Giles is in England training a whole new gaggle of Watchers.

— Ripoff alert: At the beginning of the episode, Dana looked exactly like the girl in The Ring. There were even videotapes of her sessions with the doctor, like in the movie.

— "Sorry, love. I don't speak Chinese" was a line from "Fool for Love."

— Gunn makes plea bargains on the golf course? Even though I think he looks cool and his current cloudy affiliations make him more interesting, I agree with Angel: "I think I liked you better when you just wanted to hit people."

— No resolution with Eve. I was kind of hoping that the Senior Partners had done her in.

— There was a reference to the Angel episode, "Dead End," in which Lindsey had an expensive, mystical hand transplant at Wolfram & Hart's expense. (Fred: "For god's sake, tell the shaman, no cadavers. We have his hands.")

— The real estate agent didn't look at Lorne twice. As far as I know, Lorne still looks a bit unusual, doesn't he?

— Wouldn't the drugs have dried up in fifteen years, and/or lost potency?

— Yeah, Andrew. Pick up a penny off a wharf in Pedro and put it in your mouth?

— In this week's hair report, I'm starting to like David Boreanaz's Elvis impersonation. And his wardrobe is looking cooler, too. He used to wear black on black; the new duds are Becoming. (That was a Buffy pun.)

Quotes:

Angel: (re: Spike) "Is 'pathological idiot' an actual condition?"

Angel: "What happened?"
Spike: "Oh, I just thought I'd see what it was like to bounce off the pavement. Pretty much what I expected.

Andrew: "You're like Gandalf the White resurrected from the pit of the Balrog. More beautiful than ever. He's alive, Frodo, he's alive."

Fred: "In every generation, one is chosen."
Andrew: "Yes, attractive slender woman."

Spike: "We can play cat and mouse all night, or I could wedgie you unconscious and be done with it."
Andrew: "Bravo. I see your senses seem to be as well honed as your Viggo Mortenson pectorals."

Lorne: "Vernon's top drawer. He does all of Tom Arnold's readings."

Angel: "Start cracking the whip."
Lorne: "You got it, chief. (yells) Danny, we're gonna need a whip!"

Andrew: "What's it smell like? Blood, I mean."
Spike: "Metallic, sort of. You ever taste a penny?"

Later:

Spike: "Blood. Smells different. Stronger."
Andrew: "Like nickels?"

Spike: "She's one of us now. She's a monster."
Angel: "She's an innocent victim."
Spike: "So were we, once upon a time."
Angel: "Once upon a time."

I'm not coming up with a stake number. What do you think? How many stakes?

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

5 comments:

  1. I don't like these Buffy-centric-without-Buffy episodes. I remember the season having quite a few of them. They always feel like they're telling a mythology instead of a story, which is great for some viewers, I'm sure, but I tuned in for a story.

    This story doesn't work unless you know and care about the empowered slayers, Andrew, and what's going on in Buffy's life. For me, Buffy's story ended twice: beautifully in season 5 (the WB finale) and more definitely in season 7 (the UPN finale). I'm all for returning to the character and starting a new story, but this whole checking in vicariously thing seems...unnecessary. The finale (either of them) said all there was left to say about Buffy. If the writers are just going to fill in gaps that didn't need filling without bringing anything new, I'd rather they do it in comics and not hijack a show that used to stand on its own perfectly well.

    Also, I don't see the point of Andrew. He doesn't have a particularly strong relationship with any of the Angel cast. At the risk of incurring Billie's wrath, I would have preferred they sent in Dawn only because she has a special relationship with Spike and brings out a different side of him.

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  2. Dimitri,

    I won't spoil it, so all I can say is that, at that time, it was impossible for Dawn to leave Europe, as per what I read in the comics.

    I think they sent Andrew because he had no baggage at all with any of the LA Scoobies. Spike was a surprise. And it should be someone who couldn't fight. If they'd sent Xander, his telling Angel he was not considered one of the good guys anymore wouldn't have the same impact, because he hates Angel. So, you see, Andrew was pretty much the only choice, hence his point.

    And I love Andrew! "Attractive Slender Woman" is a perfect and odd way to describe Fred.

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  3. Like Billie, I like his line about the dimes.

    But I think dramatically you absolutely want someone with baggage with the LA scoobies because we're watching a show specifically about the LA scoobies.

    I'm a firm believer that every episode of a series should be about the characters in that series, not characters and concepts from another series that were specifically chosen so that they would not affect the heroes of the series we are supposed to be invested in. I do believe I have made my point as convolutedly as humanly possible... Wait. I feel a metaphor coming:

    It's like the writers were drinking a cup of Angel while working on a spec Buffy script and then they knocked the cup over and said, "Oh, no! I got Angel all over my Buffy! I guess that goes in the Angel pile now!"

    There, now it's as convoluted as humanly possible.

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  4. I understand. Let me try to be clearer: the writers should have sent someone with a lot of baggage, but Buffy shouldn't. She made the smart choice.

    Plus, Anthony Stewart Head would be too expensive to star-guest. He lives too far.

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  5. 4/4 stakes for me even if it's not flawless. I can't properly explain why and I'm not gonna try. I'll just start off by saying that I'm amused by the idea that Buffy didn't give the order so much as just wanting to get rid of Andrew for a while, and was hoping he'd get lost in LA so he wouldn't be waiting on her when she's finally had her fill of living it up in Europe and joy rides on the cock carousel (nobody deserves vacation more). I reject comics from my headcanon so I refuse to believe she was back on her missions... she's gallivanting around Europe bonding with Dawn. If she comes back it's from sheer boredom with civilian life, simple as. It'll take years to recharge her batteries.

    A psychotic Slayer's the closest I'll ever get to seeing a vamped Slayer so this episode was always gonna be a winner, plus Andrew's rejection by proxy really made it sink in for me what a bad call it was (though not from a storytelling perspective) to become W&H. I mean I wanted to slap Andrew (very very glad about no smug quipping from any of the Slayers though) but mostly I just felt hurt for the AI crew. More effective than Angel's growing disconnect with The Mission. It's brilliant, considering Buffy's last appearance on the show was being told by Angel to stay out of town, Andrew being the one to pop in felt just right to me. I don't know why they wanted Dawn (if that's true, it's not an episode commentary I heard that from), and I think she would've been more infuriating than Andrew so thank G-d Trachtenberg was unavailable. There's still an inherent feeling of amusement I feel with Andrew even when he's pissing me off that's not physically possible with Dawn, much as she's grown on me.

    If Spike was there I would've loved to see the AI crew + SWAT team friends take on Andrew and the Slayers. Call his fucking bluff, I'd love to hear him scream again

    ReplyDelete

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