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Angel: Orpheus

Angel: "How are you feeling?"
Faith: "Like I did mushrooms and got eaten by a bear."

Faith, Angelus, and Angel took a magical mystery brain-tour together. The flashbacks were a hoot, although they lacked some of the resonance of flashbacks past:

(1) New York, 1902, also known as lack-of-hygiene world (although if Faith was incorporeal, how could she smell it?) as Angel landed on our shores.

(2) Chicago in the 1920s, as Angel completely freaked Angelus out by rescuing a puppy. Loved that scene. You have to have puppies, as Joss Whedon would probably say.

(3) 1970s, the disco era, and some nice continuity with Angel playing "Mandy" before succumbing to the temptation of free blood ("Oops! dinner by armed robbery!"). But what was with that horrendous wig? It looked nearly as bad as the one he was wearing for the...

(4) 1990s flashback with the rats. And may I just say, yuk?

The climactic Angel/Angelus fight in the alley had its moments, but I couldn't stop noticing (again) how different he looked than he did in the flashbacks only two years ago. Am I shallow for missing the muscle definition?

Charisma Carpenter looked like a happy, pretty, pregnant woman; she just didn't generate fear and dread in me. (And why must one of the cast go evil every season now?) Was Connor extremely gullible, or what? She actually hit him not once, but twice ("Are my hormones out of whack, or what?"), her belly was expanding exponentially, the sanctuary spell didn't work on her, she goaded him into making a pre-emptive strike on Angelus, and he still didn't notice that something was wrong? Let's hope that last scene with her coming down the steps as pregnant-mama-slut-o-rama finally tips him off. That was some outfit. Whoah.

It was considerate of the Angel Powers That Be to have Charisma deliver many of her lines from a bed. It was also wonderful of them to give Alyson and Alexis a long, one-on-one scene together; they had to know we would all want to see one. It was a good one, too; very cute, with the two of them trying to out-evil each other. The chemistry between real-life couples doesn't always translate to the screen, but I thought it did with them.

Speaking of on-screen chemistry, the Willow and Fred bonding, yammering, research and mutual admiration society was delightful. Was Fred attracted? Willow clearly was, or she wouldn't have said so abruptly, "I'm seeing someone."

The final re-ensouling made me nostalgic for Buffy season two, since they were using the same spell. Except, being the obsessed fan that I am, I noticed that Willow pronounced some of the Latin differently than she did the first time. Okay, it was five years ago, Alyson, I forgive you.

So the point of all this was that Faith was ready to sacrifice her life for Angel, and Angel taught her that dying was easier than redemption, like we didn't know that already. (Angel: "I'm not perfect, Faith. Even with a soul, I've done things I've wished a thousand times I could take back." Angelus: "Yeah, like those Manilow concerts.")

Bits and pieces:

— Fred: "What happened?" Gunn: "Wes called. I went." I've been noticing that the Wesley/Gunn friendship seemed to be recovering. This is a good.

— Faith seemed more Faith-like in this episode than she did in the previous two. Welcome back, Faith.

— Why haven't the cops showed up at the hotel looking for Faith?

— Cordelia said, when fighting Willow's power ("You wanna go, Glinda?") that she wished it were a few weeks later. Will she be stronger when the "baby" is born, probably just in time for the season finale? Or was she just referring to powers that the "baby" will have?

— Faith got to beat up Connor. I always like it when someone beats up Connor. Don't get me wrong, he's a great character and he's grown on me... but it's just so satisfying when someone trounces the crap out of him. Gunn felt the same way.

— Lorne was basically around just to nurture this time; Willow got all the best lines.

— The no hugging thing was extremely cute.


Faith: "You know what the definition of insanity is, baby? Performing the same task over and over, and expecting different results. Learned that in murder rehab."

Faith: "Way I figure, I got one last job. Babysit the psycho until they shove a soul up your..."
Angelus: "Not gonna happen."
Faith: "Then I'm, whatever. Dust in the wind. Candle in the wind. There'll be a general wind theme."

Willow: "Hi. You must be Angel's handsome yet androgynous son."
Connor: "It's Connor."
Willow: "And the sneer's genetic. Who knew?"

Willow: "Oh, and it's the Marlboro Man. Or at least his extra stubbly, mentally unstable, insomniac first cousin... oh, for the love of Hecate, somebody stop me."

Wesley: "Are there forces gathering? Did the call of magick draw you here?"
Willow: "Oh, no. More like the call of Fred."

Willow: "How have you been?"
Cordelia: "Higher power. You?"
Willow: "Ultimate evil, but I got better. You heard about Faith?"
Cordelia: "Coma again." Fun and clever, and much like the Buffy/Amy rat-dead conversation in "Smashed."

Faith: "'Mandy', huh? It must kill you he's got a jones for the power ballads."

Willow: "There's lots of jars in the world. Can't shatter 'em all. Well, I mean, you could, but good things come in jars. Peanut butter, jelly, those two-headed fetal pigs at the natural history museum... Come on. Everybody loves fetal pigs."
Wesley: "Sorry. I think my sense of humor's trapped in a jar somewhere."
Willow: "It does seem like you've given in to the grumpy side of the Force."

Faith: "You kiss your mama with that mouth?"
Angelus: "No, but I ate her with it."

Angel: "I'm not perfect, Faith. Even with a soul, I've done things I've wished a thousand times I could take back."
Angelus: "Yeah. Like those Manilow concerts, you son of a bitch."

Clever writing, flashbacks, continuity, Connor getting beat up... this was clearly a four out of four stakes, although I didn't feel as gung ho about it as I probably would have if it hadn't been for what was on the news before it aired. Excuse me while I go put a "war is not the answer" bumper sticker on my car,

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


  1. I really enjoyed all of the Faith and Wesley scenes in these last few episodes. It was great having Faith back. Nice to see Willow too.

    Cordy's outfit - really? Just that alone should have tipped everyone off that she is not herself. The real Cordy would have some stylish maternity wear, for sure.

    Did I miss it or did no one grill Connor as to why he was trying to kill Angel yet again? (I was working while watching, so may have missed some dialogue). It is taking them way too long to figure all this out.

  2. "Excuse me while I go put a "war is not the answer" bumper sticker on my car"

    That sentence hit me hard at the time and has always been with me, Billie.

    And still, 17 years later, this sentence needs to be repeated again and again...

    The episode? Just having a re-watch and this is the highlight of the season.

  3. TJ, thanks. I remember getting some shit for that on the now defunct website where I initially posted these reviews.

  4. I loved Faith sharing headspace with Angelus, even if nothing particularly profound came of it. It was just really fun, Faith and Angelus switching places in being amused or upset by whatever memory Angel's revisiting as cheering/jeering spectators. They could've given me way more of that, it's something I still remembered in detail after all these years, although what I really remember most about the season is somehow yet to come (actually, same goes for Buffy... the arcs in which Firefly alum return as villains).

    Faith: "Then I'm, whatever. Dust in the wind. Candle in the wind. There'll be a general wind theme."
    I liked the bantering but this line didn't really feel like Faith to me.

    Great to have Willow though. "It does seem like you've given in to the grumpy side of the Force."

    I don't love the hotel as a setting anymore, it no longer feels comfy D: But maybe that's just the effect of the apocalypse, I felt more gloom than doom

  5. I'm actually watching this for the first time in 2022, so getting to see Willow again just warms my heart. It's like getting to watch a tiny bit of Buffy one more time.

    I also feel terrible for poor Connor. What a great character he turned out to be. It would be great if he's the one who gets to kill the big bad.

    @Onigirli: That wind line totally sounds like something Buffy would say. And the hotel just needs some nice comfy sofas. That round sofa thing that they have just looks super uncomfortable.

  6. Talking about how long it is taking the gang to realize that Evil Cordy is a thing: I'm assuming that the then-upcoming arrival of Evil Cordy is why the show felt the need to explicitly show loss of Cordy's apartment. I mean, there's now way that Phantom Dennis would taken more than a few hours of Evil Cordy in the apartment before recognizing that she was wrong. No way that Evil Cordy could have hidden all of the odd spell work etc from Phantom Dennis.


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