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Angel: I Fall to Pieces

Angel: "He sees her when he is nowhere around. How?"
Cordelia: "Okay, flesh, anytime you want to stop crawling is okay with me."

This episode actually creeped me out. The hand scene had me squirming, and Ronald the Detachable Neurosurgeon was totally ooky. Not that that made it a good episode.

I enjoyed several Doyle-isms in this one: 1. "Pen. Paper. Single malt scotch." 2. The way he says Cordelia's name. 3. "When Angel's finished this case, I guarantee you'll be wanting to jump off a bridge again." I really do like Doyle.

And even though I haven't talked as much about her, I'm liking Cordy, too. She adds the right amount of practicality and comic relief and I'm really glad she's in the cast.

I'm not sure how I feel about Kate the cop. She doesn't feel like a real cop to me. I don't want to perpetuate stereotypes, but most female cops tend to do something practical with their hair instead of looking like they just came out of a salon. She reminds me of Barbie. And that's not good.

Bits and pieces: :)

— I liked Angel trying to wear colors in order to look less creepy. Less creepy according to him, anyway. I like Angel in black. It's a character statement.

— Note from much later: Ronald the neurosurgeon was played by Andy Umberger, who also played D'Hoffryn on Buffy. And the beat cop who went after Ronald's hand was well known character actor Brent Sexton.


Doyle: "He likes playing the hero, walking off into the dark with his long coat flowing behind him in a mysterious and attractive way."
Cordelia: "Is this a private moment? Because I can leave you alone."

Doyle: "Pen. Paper. Single malt scotch."

Angel: "Am I intimidating? I mean, do I put people off?"
Cordelia: "Well, as vampires go, you're pretty cuddly. Maybe you might want to think about mixing up the black-on-black look."

Melissa: "As long as you're not bored."
Doyle: "No, no, I'm good. I have a word jumble right here. That should keep me occupied, sadly, for most of the day."

Melissa: "Bungee jumping."
Doyle: "I've always meant to do that, but I intensely don't want to, so I haven't gotten around to it yet."

Melissa: "You know, I used to do a lot of things. Before."
Doyle: "Don't you worry. When Angel is finished with this case, I can guarantee you'll be wanting to jump off a bridge again."

Kate: "Wolfram and Hart. You know the name?"
Angel: "I've heard it."
Kate: "Yeah. They're the law firm that Johnny Cochran is too ethical to join."

Cordelia: "What is stalking nowadays? The third most popular sport among men?"
Angel: "Fourth, after luge."

Cordelia: "She hooks up with a doctor. That's supposed to be a good thing. I mean you should be able to call home and say, 'Hey Mom, guess what, I've met a doctor!' Not, guess what, I met a psycho and he's stalking me and oh, by the way, his hands and feet come off and he's not even in the circus."

Cordelia: "That guy's never going to put himself back together, right?"
Angel: "He's in twelve steel boxes buried in twenty cubic feet of concrete in the floor of LA's newest subway station."
Doyle: "That ought to bring in the tourists."

One out of four stakes,

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


  1. Wondering why a paralytic would work on a vampire anyway?? Anyone else? I've really enjoyed your reviews of Buffy/Angel episodes - Thanks!

  2. I wonder too! It supposes to stop people's hearth and vampires are not suppose to have a hearth beet.

    I'm new on your page and I love it. Found out about it after intense rewatch of Buffy whole in two month. Love your comments !

  3. I didn’t totally hate it. But it is a bit same old, same old considering this is only the 4th episode of the series.

    I like the theme song of this show.

    Angel needs a Dale Carnegie course. Seriously, how do they reconcile such a long life with such a total lack of basic people skills. It’s a good thing that David Boreanaz is so cute. He distracts me from being too annoyed by this. I guess I could make a case for his stunted development during his Angelus years. Also I can see his overriding wish to make amends making him painfully sincere and innocent but it still beggars belief for me a bit when he gets so very shy and tongue-tied.

    Ok , floating eyeball is just laughable. But the detached hand groping Melissa in bed is definitely creepy. … aaand the hand crawling back up his leg to reattach is kind of silly again.

    “He’s coming undone.” Hee – nice delivery. “He comes apart on me, he’s gonna stay that way.” Not such a successful line.

    The contrast between the Buffy gang’s fears and Melissa’s response to the fear of being stalked is interesting. All of the Scoobies are hero types, their first response is to face the fear. Melissa, much more typical, does the opposite withdrawing into herself.

  4. I enjoy watching this episode well enough because Cordy and Doyle, and Angel make it watchable, but the surgeon antagonist with detachable parts is for me a mixture of too silly and too creepy. He does make the skin crawl, but for me the attempts at daft humor jar with that. I think I'm happier if an antagonist is either really creepy or really daft, not both at the same time.

  5. I like the title song too... Specially as compared to Buffy, its not all 'Yay weapons are fun and we are almost like rockstars'. The song actually shows people in pain..

    My biggest problem with the show till now is that it feels more like a hero and sidekicks thing. I loved that about buffy that they always felt like a group...

    i avoided saying anything about the episode cos it creeps me out too much and I usually skip it on my rewatches...

  6. Not the greatest of episodes, but I enjoy the early ones as watching the group come together is fun. I like the current Cordy/Doyle relationship and the way he keeps trying to, oh so subtly, let her know he's interested.

  7. Creepy.

    It reminded me of a season 1 Supernatural without the good hair. And now we know what happens when Thing goes pervy.

    Having said that, I kinda liked it. Angel was doing his job - protecting the helpless. There were no gratuitous fight scenes. The damsel got saved and Angel, Inc. even got paid!

    I'd say it was just dandy for a first season outing.

  8. I enjoyed the episode but like everyone else was creeped out by the doctor and it actually wasn't his detachable parts that were the creepiest. Stalkers are nasty. I think being awkward in social situations is part of the Angel character. If you have watched Buffy and seen him as Angelus, he has no problems being charming and social when he is evil. Not that I'm saying extroverts are evil or anything. The juxtaposition of creep and funny was a bit stilted but I thought the teeth jumping out at Angel were pretty hilarious.

  9. I wasn't so creeped out until the line "at least it was just his hands down there." Then I want to take a long shower and sleep with the lights on.

    The paralytic didn't work. Angel just pretended it did so he could get the drop on the doctor.

  10. I discovered a lovely chart in my Angel Season One DVD box. I’d forgotten that I’d written it out—it is a list of episodes that must be watched, episodes that are pure enjoyment, and episodes that can be skipped with no loss of mythology or pleasure.

    So I skipped this one.

  11. The first three episodes of Angel showed women in peril/trouble because of troubled relationships or dates gone wrong. When this episode started and Doyle had his vision of another woman in peril, I was like “again?”. I did like this episode, though. The theme of the stalked woman was well handled, and I especially liked some of the things Kate told Angel on the subject.

    The creepy doctor with detachable parts was so X-Files-ish (and so was the creature that moved from body to body two episodes ago), not much Buffyverse-ish, but he did creep me out. I kept wondering how they would pull off a confrontation of Angel and parts of the doctor, and they actually did a better job than I expected.

    “Ronald the neurosurgeon was played by the same actor who played D'Hoffryn on Buffy”

    That is so cool! This may sound weird, but his mouth did look familiar to me.

  12. @Josie Kafka
    can you please link the chart you're talking about? I'm finding it hard to like the first Season of Angel, and would like to skip the episodes that aren't important to watch. Awaiting your answer, thanks!

  13. Sure, Tarek. I might not be able to post it until tomorrow, though. I'll do so in this thread.

  14. Thanks for the fast reply, il be waiting for it! thanks again. I really appreciate it :).

  15. @Josie
    Hey Josie, not to impose on you, but are you going to post the chart anytime soon :)?

  16. Sorry, Tarek. I worked 19 hours yesterday and just woke up from a nap. I'll try to be more on the ball next time.

    Mandatory Episodes:

    1, 2, 3*, 6, 8*, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18-19*, 20, 21, 22. (Asterisks indicate crossovers with Buffy.)

    You can skip: 4,5, 7, 11, 12, 13, 17

  17. Thanks Josie i really appreciate it. But those episodes I'm supposed to skip, they don't have any important scenes or anything important at all? character wise and what not? thanks again.

  18. It's a Whedon show, so you'll get character development in each episode. But if you're willing to sacrifice a bit of that, my best recollection (which might be fuzzy, as I usually skip those eps) is that you'll be fine.

  19. Hey Josie, i just finished watching the first season of Angel, and was wondering if you had a chart for the rest of the seasons? you know with episodes that i can skip? your chart for season 1 really helped. Thanks!

  20. Tarek, Angel's second season is much, much better, and I don't skip episodes after the first season. Plus, in the second season there are usually hints about the larger mythology even within an apparently standalone ep.

  21. Ah okay... Didn't know it gets better at the second season. All i heard is that the only good season in Angel is the 5th and last season. All the rest range from mediocre to terrible, at least from what i read online.

  22. Season five is, in my opinion, the best, and season one is the worst, but season 2-4 are not terrible or even mediocre. They are good. They have their mediocre episodes like most shows, but overall the show found its legs toward the end of season one/beginning of season two. :)

  23. i see, well thanks for the explanation, i appreciate it. Oh and you have a nice avatar, is that from Frozen?

  24. Tarek - Yes! Good eye! It's an early sketch of Elsa.

  25. Ah i thought so. Anyway like i said, nice avatar :)

  26. Meh. I'm still slowly working my way through Buffy and now Angel. Sticking with Buffy season 1 was an exercise of faith ("You're sure this is going to get better?"), but it paid off with consistent greatness in seasons 2 and 3.

    Like BS1, so far Angel is ... not really working for me. I'm kind of watching out of obligation. I assume it's going to get better. It's just a little dull and ... procedural. So again I'm asking the question: you're sure this is going to get better?

  27. Scott, I promise you that Angel gets a lot better. I'm of the opinion that it got better every season and the last season was its best.

  28. Aw jeez @Unknown, why the hell would you consider skipping ANYTHING on the first ever watch of something? You gotta give everything a chance... It boggles the mind, excision decisions should only come with rewatches!
    ...But, yeah, this one is forgettable lol. Well I liked seeing AI getting paid for the first time and Angel just having to deal with asking for pay at all, with Doyle having a clever moment there that Cordy acknowledges where he turns Angel's hero complex around on him and tells him asking for payment would help prevent the client from getting attached and enforce the independence they're trying to restore into these victims. I'm keeping an eye on @Josie's list of s1 skips just to see if I agree with the rest of the picks. It seems fun and I should compile my own for my convenience. I wouldn't place this on there though. I could find something to like in all of Buffy s1's episodes, even though they have some objectively bad ones they still retained a certain Goosebumps charm... I'll see if Angel s1 has any such equivalent to protect its later episodes from my chopping block.
    Oh yeah, when Cordy was answering the phone she said "We help the hopeless" and I always thought it was helpless until now. So that was cool to finally correct. It's less of an alliteration (is that the right term?) now.


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