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Angel: Lineage

Fred: "It's like an M.C. Escher picture, but with wires and flesh instead of geese."

For the past four years, Wesley has made occasional offhand comments about his father, the man who put the "D" in Dysfunctional. I've often thought that Wesley's father should guest star some day and die a suitably gruesome death at the hands of some skanky demon. I must admit I never expected Wesley to empty an entire clip into him.

Alexis Denisof's Wesley already has my heart, and this episode just made me love him more. We saw Wesley's strength and determination, his desire to do good, his loyalty to his friends, and his love for Fred. We also saw reminders of the old Wesley, the pratfall Wesley, who seemed to show up every time that Roger belittled him. Equally strong performance by Roy Dotrice as Roger Wyndham-Pryce. He was perfect for the part, and so easy to despise.

Despite the clues (Roger knew how to disarm the self-destruct device, and showed way too much interest in Wesley's security measures), I was still completely taken in. I thought Roger was probably after something very important to the Watcher's Council. I also actually believed for several seconds that Wesley had killed his real father. So did Dan.

The Buffy continuity was just delightful here. Spike talked about people and robots having sexual relationships. I wonder where he got that idea? :) My favorite was Angel and Spike both trying to comfort Wesley by describing their own parent-killing experiences.

While Spike was mostly comic relief, he had two particularly fine moments. He saved Gunn's life by figuring out how to punch through Gunn and hit the cyborg. And he had a serious confrontation with Eve about the amulet. The reason for Spike's current incorporeal condition is still a big question mark. Was the amulet meant for Angel, or for Spike?

And hey, is Eve still in the elevator? We can only hope.

Bits and pieces:

— Roy Dotrice, appropriately enough, played "Father" on Beauty and the Beast.


— Were we ever told before that Wesley's father was a former Watcher? I don't think so, because I was surprised. The fact that Giles' father and grandmother were Watchers implies that it's an occupation that runs in families, though, so maybe I should have guessed.

— Angel and Eve talked about Connor again. After mention of "The father will kill the son" last week, I wonder if Connor is returning. Or hey, maybe Angel just needs to work through his issues.

— The password is... Elysium.

— I need to stop bitching about Fred passing up a guy like Wesley for Knox, who is still an unknown quantity. But I can't help myself. What can that girl be thinking?

— What were the Ninja Cyborgs really after? Were those pitiful things white hats or black hats? Why did they want to control Angel?

— I have a cat named Spike. (Three guesses whom I named him after.) He loves to knock things off tables for the sake of seeing them fall. When Spike pushed the beaker off the shelf in the lab scene, I laughed out loud.

— In this week's hair report, Fred managed to look dangerous and professional, and a lot of it was her hairdo. Well, okay, some of it was her mannerisms, and the really big gun.

Quotes:

Emil: "God, you are making me so hot right now."
Fred: "Wow. Turned on by a woman holding an enormous gun. What a surprise."

Lorne: "Well, look at you. It's like Winston Churchill and a young Richard Harris had a beautiful love child, which, according to my sources, may not be as ridiculous as it sounds."
Wesley: "Lorne runs our entertainment division."
Roger: "Entertainment division. Well, I can see how that would be very useful in the fight against evil."
Gunn: "You'd be amazed at how many horrible movies we've stopped."

Fred: "This thing really blurs the line between human and robot."
Spike: "A ha! So you're not ruling out that a human being could've boffed a robot. Sex with robots is more common than most people think."

Roger: "No, we've met. 1963. My colleagues and I fell upon you slaughtering an orphanage in Vienna. Killed two of my men before you escaped."
Spike. "Oh. How've you been?"

Lorne: "So I am covered in cherries, the police are just pounding on the door, and Judi Dench starts screaming, 'Oh, that's way too much to pay for a pair of pants!'"
I don't know why this one strikes me so funny, but I absolutely love it.

Angel: "You know, I killed my actual dad. It was one of the first things I did when I became a vampire."
Wesley: "I hardly see how that's the same situation."
Angel: "Yeah. I didn't really think that one through."
Spike: "Don't know if you know this, but, uh, I killed my mum. Actually, I'd already killed her, and then she tried to shag me, so I had to, uh..."
Wesley: "Thank you. I'm very comforted."

Wesley: (to Fred) "If you're here to tell me about how you killed your parents, perhaps it could wait for another time."

Four stakes, of course. This is the best episode of the season so far,

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

4 comments:

  1. This is one of my favorites. Tortured Wesley (as Dimitri puts it) is at his best here. And I don't get Fred. As far as romantic gestures go, killing your own father to protect the girl you love is at the top of the list. It beats even killing the guy who ruined her life, and I think what Gunn did was already impressive enough.

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  2. I love this episode and hate it for the same reason: poor Wesley. Alexis Denisof does such a wonderful job of conveying utter misery without going over the top.

    (By the way, in light of this episode's themes, the Google Comment thingy that asks me to "Please prove you're not a robot" feels very weird.)

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  3. This was the first episode Drew Goddard wrote for Angel. Just like his first episode on Buffy (Selfless), it is full of backstory and references. Just brilliant. Goddard really did some great work for Angel this season as executive story editor.

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  4. Holy shit, best episode of the season so far (and not just for the Buffybot reference, Never Forget She Was Dismembered For Our Sins). And look, like last season's Apocalypse, Nowish it's episode 7

    I approve of the way they got away with Wes committing patricide without really doing it. Not contrived at all, and I liked Wes making it clear that he had no inkling of a doubt that it may not be his father. Of course vomiting right after the deed should've been proof enough, nobody does that after killing a robot. No offense to AI, which I'm sure will start picking up any day now *snicker.* Speaking of which I liked the gurgling from that unmasked robot Wes pumped for info. They made it sound robotic while still, you know, biological or whatever. Interesting sound, I was grossly fascinated by it and wanted to hear more.

    I find myself sorta defending Fred here. Even with Connor's effect on tampered memories that possibly means Wes never kissed her, Wes is still the guy she listened to break down after assaulting her. Not to mention this is too similar to Gunn killing in her name. I don't like it, that she can't just make a fucking move herself, but it's all consistent with what a girl she is (having said that I was momentarily fooled by her in the cold open and took a full second to recognize her). And despite that she WAS pushing for a moment with him until Good Knox interrupted... and, still needed Wes to dismiss them before she finally left.

    >>"Lorne: "So I am covered in cherries, the police are just pounding on the door, and Judi Dench starts screaming, 'Oh, that's way too much to pay for a pair of pants!'"
    I don't know why this one strikes me so funny, but I absolutely love it."
    Lol yeah, same here. I don't know what that style of in media res humor is called but I love trying to fill in the blanks.

    Spike's weird new form of combat was cool, needing to deliberate like that. And funny of course. I mean I don't like his condition but I'd like to see more of him fighting this way.

    @TJ: Very cool... Selfless definitely was my favourite of the last season

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