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Angel: Hero

"Is that it? Am I done?"

I had certainly heard through the grapevine long ago that Doyle would die in the ninth episode, and that according to the producers, it had been planned all along. Poppycock. The lack of set-up in a show that has done so well with plot up until this point made this reek of a forced write-out. What we got was a bad episode of Sliders, complete with demons acting like Cro-Mags and machines that dissolved the good guys.

And I'm not bitching just because I liked Doyle. I really did. I liked his eyes, his accent, the way Quinn delivered his lines, his chemistry with Angel and Cordy. Several people whose opinions I respect said they didn't care much for the Doyle character, though, and since the two Doyle-centered episodes we've seen (this one and "The Bachelor Party") were particularly weak, it made me wonder what the problem with Doyle really was.

Was it that the character wasn't well defined? Was it that they weren't writing for him? Was it a lack in the actor? I did realize in this one that even though I liked Doyle, the whole half-demon thing never worked for me. How is "half-demon" defined? As a half-breed like Doyle? A demon-possessed ex-human like Angel? How can a whole group of related demons be half-breeds?

The demon refugees really didn't work for me, either; maybe I have a problem putting "demon" and "helpless" together. Did they have to have one of the kids go back for his teddy bear? Well, so it wasn't a teddy bear, but you know what I mean; having one kid wander off during a crisis is such an old, tired device. And wouldn't a troop of Nazi demons stand out, even in L.A.?

Promised one. End of days again. *yawn*

There was one really good bit of writing – the commercial Cordy and Doyle were taping at the beginning, and seeing it again at the end. I also think that David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter held up their end as far as the acting was concerned, while Glenn Quinn felt bit off. I guess that was understandable, though.


— Can Angel be photographed if he casts no reflection?

— Angel with slicked back hair dressed as Hitler Youth. Interesting look for him.

— Note from 2005: My original review of Hero was pretty negative. I still think it's a poor episode, although I admit that Glenn Quinn's passing in 2002 has made it a lot more poignant now than it originally was. May his troubled soul rest in peace.


Cordelia: "Come over here into the light, and let's see if we can create some cheekbones."

Cordelia: "Well, the guy is a bona fide hero. Would it kill him to put on some tights and a cape and garner us some free publicity?"
Doyle: "I don't see Angel putting on some tights... oooh, now I do, and it's really disturbing."

Doyle: "One of us has been drinking and, I'm sad to say, it's not me."

Cordelia: "What do you think I am, superficial? So you're half demon. That's so far down the list, way under 'short' and 'poor'."

Doyle: "If you need help, then look no further. Angel Investigations is the best. Our rats are low."
Cordelia: "Rates."
Doyle: "It says 'rats'. Our rates are low, but our standards are high. When the chips are down, and you're at the end of your rope, you need someone that you can count on. And that's what you'll find here. Someone that will go all the way, no matter what. So don't lose hope. Come on over to our offices and you'll see that there's still heroes in this world. (pause) Is that it? Am I done?"

Two out of four stakes, and I think I'm being generous,

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


  1. I loved Doyle! I couldn't believe he was knocked off so quickly, so I checked here right after watching to see if perhaps he comes back later...and not only was I sad to see that wasn't so - but then your post-script in 2005! So now I am mourning an actor I had never even heard of until now...9 years after his death.
    I don't like Wes...but all your notes indicate he gets better, so I will hang in there.
    Angel (the show, not the character) hasn't quite grabbed me yet - it is Cordy who keeps me watching. She gets all the best lines.

  2. Hang in there, Sooze. Angel got better every season. The first was its weakest, and the fifth is my favorite. I didn't like Wesley, either, but I grew to love him.

  3. Sooze, it's worth it. And Wes is one of the best, if not THE best character in the Buffyverse.

  4. I wasn't a fan of the demon-nazis and was confused like you Billie by the demon half-breeds all in the same family. Not a very good storyline.

    Oh Doyle, we hardly kenw ya. I always liked Doyle, and think that the character deserved a better send off then this. I read somewhere that Glenn Quinn's drug problems were the reason he was written off the show so I'm sure the writers didn't have a lot of time to plan a good end to his storyline. His death kind of got to me this time though. The only reason this episode is worth re-watching.

  5. Miguel - We don't know if Doyle was written off because of Quinn's problems or not. It's been rumored for years, but Joss has also said that it was always his intention to kill him off quickly in order to subvert the expectation that, if one is in the main credits, one is safe.

  6. I’m torn about this episode. On the one hand, I love the way Doyle gets to complete his atonement cycle. And I’ve enjoyed him in his short arc on the series. On the other hand, the Nazi demons were impossibly silly, and the idea of a sudden messianism for Doyle felt too…sudden.

  7. It *was* too sudden. I know that Joss Whedon has always wanted to kill off someone in the credits to shock people, but I honestly don't believe this was planned. There were too many rumors going around at the time that they were having a lot of trouble working with Quinn.

  8. I never was a fan of Doyle. Maybe this is one of the reasons why I thought the first season of Angel so uneven. That and the whole demon underground/clan thing. All those guys with little bumps on their heads was too much Star Trek for me.

    Strange. On Buffy I liked all characters, even the new ones which came along. On Angel though I either liked them a lot or really couldn't stand them.

  9. I don't hate this episode, but it does feel rushed. Having said that, I always get a tear in my eye when Cordy breaks down at the end.

  10. I don't enjoy this episode, I liked Doyle as a character and I guess knowing how it all ended for Glen Quinn just makes me feel a bit sad.
    Forgetting that aspect, its just not a great episode and the plot really does seem to have been rushed.

    I do really like the scene when Cordelia confronts Doyle about being half demon, its funny and sweet.

  11. I loved this episode, at the time and now (less so since Quinn died perhaps, since what I enjoyed was the tragedy of it all - not as enjoyable when it's real). The video of Doyle saying 'Is that it? Am I done?' is one of the all-time great poignant send-offs for me.

  12. One of my favorite Angel openings of all time. I like it when DB gets to do something other than brood. You can tell he's having fun being cheesy commercial guy.

    It really annoys me that Joss missed this opportunity, though: when Cordelia says, "I mean you're half demon, that's why down the list, way under short and poor. Is there anything else I should know?" Doyle TOTALLY should've said "I'm also short and poor."

    I do wish Doyle had gotten a better story send off than the neo Nazi demon people, especially because it introduces some continuity errors into the mythology and we never address the whole thing again, etc. Hey, one of the demons was Lee Arenberg (PotC, OUAT). Who knew?

    I do think Doyle was probably written off sooner than intended because of Glenn Quinn's difficulties, but I also think it's really classy of Joss to absolutely refuse to admit it. "Is that it? Am I done?" is one of the most poignant moments of the entire series for me. The first time watching it, you think aw, he's all awkward and wants to get out of the commercial, but the way they use it the second time is like…cue the waterworks. It still feels like a punch in the stomach even now that I know it's coming. It's even sadder since Glenn Quinn died. I'm really apprehensive about Andy Hallett showing up next season. This will be my first time rewatching Angel since we lost him. :(

  13. I find it so sad that Glenn Quinn had to be written out, especially now that we know that this was pretty much the end of his life. His chemistry with the rest of the cast was so good, imagine what could have happened if he had gotten the opportunity to play the character for years! I bet Joss Whedon recognized the potential and tried to keep him for as long as possible. A truly promising actor destroyed by personal demons.

  14. I was annoyed at first reading about Whedon saying his early death was all about subverting expectations, especially after coping with My Game Of Thronies recently, then I felt like smacking my forehead realizing it sounds like a poor explanation only because he didn't want to out the actor.
    I wish I paced myself better, it's too soon to be done with Doyle already :(

  15. I thought the Scourge's claiming to be pure breeds was contradictory to what Anya said in Graduation Day Part 1, she said that pure demons were much larger and that vampires and other demons that look humanoid (a head, two arms and two legs), were diluted with human blood. I think whoever wrote thissl should have watch prior Buffy episodes to get the mythology straight.


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