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Angel: Inside Out

Lorne: "Kid Vicious did the heavy lifting. Cordy just muah-ha-ha'd at us."

I'm sorry, but this whole episode reminded me of that old joke about meeting God where the punchline is, "In the first place, she's black." Maybe now that she has finally given birth to Gina Torres, Cordelia won't be the unconvincing bad guy any more, and this is a good. Maybe Gina Torres will be a more convincing bad guy.

Evil Cordelia, or whatever was possessing her, sure knew how to pick 'em. Is Connor really that dense? Probably not; he was just unable to choose between his two mothers -- the real dead one, and the one who's currently having his spawn. But hey, if the ghost of my mother showed up and started telling me something I already knew in my heart ("You really think that safety can be plucked from the arms of an evil deed?"), I'd listen to her. Connor didn't actually carry out the sacrifice, but did it matter? He aided and abetted, and didn't stop it.

The "virgin sacrifice" was deliberately cast to look uncannily like Darla; the hairstyle, the shape of her face, the color and basic cut of her clothing. And after Cordelia killed her, Connor was actually seeing her as Darla. We were of course intended to see a parallel between Connor allowing the sacrifice of this innocent girl, and the sacrifice that Darla made for him. And, I suspect, the death of goodness in Connor as well.

At least we finally got tons of exposition, delivered unexpectedly, and not always enunciated clearly, by Skip the demon. It really was Cordelia all along, but she "ain't driving." Skip was never working for the good guys. ("I'm just a merc.") And a lot of the heavier plot twists from the entire series were leading up to this? Lorne leaving Pylea, Gunn losing his sister, Fred "opening the wrong book," Darla's impossible pregnancy, Angel rescuing Billy, Cordelia becoming a higher being (as Skip said, that plotline was so completely bogus, anyway), Wesley's affair with Lilah...

All this to bring forth Gina Torres? Okay, I'm clearly having trouble with this one.

On a positive note, it was nice to have the real Angel back. I missed him. How about Angel defeating Skip with that chain? The only thing I liked more was Wesley putting that bullet in Skip's ear.

Skip intimated that giving birth would kill Cordelia. We shall see.

Bits and pieces:

— As usual, being dead has never stopped a character from returning. Even someone who has technically died four times.

— The "Queen Bi-otch" thing came directly from a Buffy episode.

— Angel and Wesley seem to have completely mended their fences.

— In the "Continuity is good" department, Skip referred to Buffy: "Whoah, wait. Nobody comes back from paradise. Okay, a Slayer once, but..." Plus, when Skip was dying, he said, "Well, that ain't right." Didn't Trick say much the same thing?

— The buffalo wings comment reminded me of Clem.

— How about two Firefly actors being key in the season finales of both Buffy and Angel this year? Is Joss Whedon good to the actors he likes, or what?

Quotes:

Cordelia: "So what finally tipped off the great detective?"
Angel: "Tongue. Slip of."

Gunn: "Sorry, just got your message. Being close to Electric Gwen can really screw your equipment. What the hell happened to you?"
Fred: "Cordy's evil. Nice suit."

Angel: "Connor's not a part of this."
Lorne: "Evidence upside my head to the contrary."

Angel: "It stripped down, then gave Manny forty whacks."
Gunn: "A quick sponge-down in the sink and..."
Lorne: "Voila. Shower-fresh murder."

Angel: "We don't know if it's really Cordy."
Fred: "Or what she's got baking in her oven."
Gunn: "Evil and pregnant? I'm guessing it ain't cookies."

Angel: "So why didn't the Powers invite you to that one?"
Skip: "Mysterious ways. They can really drive a guy nuts."

Gunn: "Wait, so the big nasty inside of Cordy is going to give birth to itself?"
Skip: "Circle of life. It's a beautiful thing."

This episode was too anti-climactic for me. Two out of four stakes,

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

4 comments:

  1. I buy into the convoluted Powers That Be plan more than you do, Billie. I think it dots every T and crosses every I quite nicely (no one can read my handwriting) while still ramping up the tension. I find it ironic the penultimate season of Angel gave a stronger sense of epic finality than the final season of Buffy running at the same time.

    However, I'm disappointed Skip turned out a baddie. I liked the idea of a nice guy hell warden just doing his job. Still, gotta love Wesley taking him down with that bullseye, though it does raise the question:

    Why is it Wesley has better aim *without* his glasses?

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  2. Well, I like Skip's explanation a lot better than the idea of Cordy ascending to a higher plane which seemed ridiculous. And her being controlled by the beast all season long makes sense out of the utter mess of her character development this year. The only thing I still can't follow is what Cordy wanted Angelus for in the first place.

    But...I just couldn't buy Connor agreeing to murder a girl in a black magic ritual. He's always so distrustful of magic, and this is rather obviously magic of the darkest kind, and the spells suggested by Cordy so far haven't had the most desirable results. He already has ample reason to distrust her after her sending him down to kill Angel before his soul can be restored. My disbelief just killed the episode for me.

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  3. "Is Joss Whedon good to the actors he likes, or what?"

    This comment did not age well.

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  4. Skip-san... why...
    I wish he retained some of his original demeanor when he turned heel. He was really mean.

    @Dimitri: "I find it ironic the penultimate season of Angel gave a stronger sense of epic finality than the final season of Buffy running at the same time."
    Absofruitly.

    Great episode in terms of pure watchability. I can't defend it but I was fine with Skip's explanation for everything, even though I despise retcons with a passion. Guy was so rude I just assume he was lying about over half the stuff that was allegedly predestined. Cordy's baby's taking credit for everything when it likely only manipulated a handful of events.

    I'm annoyed that the crew didn't just immediately throw out the notion that it really was Cordy. They kept wondering until the very end, shame on them. And I disagree that it was anticlimactic, at least for me. Maybe seeing a grown black woman emerge, sure, but not Angel immediately falling to his knees in awe. And the source of Darla's presence there (it did not cross my mind for a second that it could be The First) was enough lingering intrigue for me. Action and reaction like this merits a higher rating from me... 3 at least.

    >>"— In the "Continuity is good" department [...]"
    Aw callbacks are just a gimmick, I'm more impressed when they address/try to explain a consistency error (or you know, just stay consistent to begin with).

    >>"Plus, when Skip was dying, he said, "Well, that ain't right." Didn't Trick say much the same thing?"
    Huh, I do vaguely remember that, yeah. Maybe that's why I didn't like it. Wish he looked at the camera and reiterated that Gladiator sucked.

    Excited for the remainder of the season. Oh Jasmine... I wanna see if that whole thing holds up, my memory claims it was brilliant, hope it does because the 3-parter ending with Orpheus wasn't quite as phenomenal as I remembered it, while the stuff I neglected to remember like these 2 episodes were much better. So I hope I happen to be right for once before the season ends. I'm not the same person I was when I last watched this show, it seems.

    ReplyDelete

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