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Angel: Parting Gifts

Cordelia: "Doyle. I thought our kiss meant something. And instead he used that moment to pass it on to me. Why couldn't it have been mono or herpes?"

Well, I didn't hate it. I wasn't thrilled, either.

I did like that Doyle passed his gift to Cordy with a kiss (reminding me of Spock bending over an unconscious Dr. McCoy and whispering "Remember") and I enjoyed Cordy kissing every guy she met in an attempt to get rid of it. I liked Cordy's audition. I liked Wesley in black leather... right up until he opened his mouth. But...

Who knew that Barney was bad right from the beginning? (counting the show of hands) Nearly everyone, you say? I hate predictability. That may be why I watch more sci-fi/fantasy/horror than detective shows and sitcoms. And I think Angel and Wesley have absolutely no chemistry together as characters. None. Nada. Zilch. This more than anything makes me think that adding Wesley to the cast permanently would be a big mistake, especially if they plan to keep Angel a three-character show.

Note from 2005: Okay, I'm not going to second-guess, revise, or in any other way change my earlier reviews because they were written when the episodes aired, but I'd just like to add in a mildly spoilery way that Wesley eventually became my favorite character, and Alexis Denisof is a god.

Bits and pieces:

— Angel cooks? Can you say, out of character? I know, it was just supposed to make him part of the little bonding scene at the end, and maybe I'm just being bitchy, but it felt wrong.

— Angel speaks Korean? When did that happen? I thought he'd been in America since he got his soul back. Maybe he took tae kwon do.

— What was with Angel's tirade about coffins? Was it an acknowledgment that the Buffy/Angel universe vampire rules have been relaxed a bit? It felt like it was written in as a response to fan complaints, or something.

— Glenn Quinn is still in the cast. Must be a contractual hiccup.

— Did y'all notice that Charisma has a tramp stamp in the small of her back? It was showing during that kitchen scene right before predictably evil Barney tied her up.


Barney: "I'm sensing a little performance anxiety here. Little trick, picture everybody..."
Cordelia: "In their underwear."
Barney: "I was going to say dead, but hey, if that underwear thing works for you..."

Wesley: "I'm a rogue demon hunter now."
Cordelia: "Oh, wow. What's a rogue demon?"

Cordelia: "That's one spooky talent you got there. You can just look at me grinding my teeth, sighing, grunting and sense that I'm frustrated? Amazing."
Barney: "It's pretty good at sensing sarcasm, too."

Cordelia: "I'm never going to forgive him for doing this to me."
Barney: "What? Choosing you? Trusting you with an enormous responsibility? Believing that you where the only one worthy of such a rare and important gift?"
Cordelia: "Did I mention the drooling?"

Cordelia: "I hope you like your coffee black, because the only lightener the boss has in his refrigerator is O positive."

It had some stuff I liked, and some stuff I didn't. I hope things will improve. Maybe I spoke too soon when I made that Chris Carter Syndrome crack a few weeks ago. Two out of four stakes,

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


  1. I was going to tease you about your Wesley comment until I saw your added note. Together, they made me grin.

    Granted, this isn't the strongest of episodes, but I do love Wesley and it's fun to remember how he came into the fold.

    Cordelia has aged a bit. Assuming she graduated when she was 18, how could she be 20-something a year later? Oh well, having her a bit older suits the story.

  2. I enjoyed this episode more than I remembered, probably because, like Billie, I didn't care for Wesley at this point and now he's a favourite character.

    I like the end scene when Angel's cooking them both eggs. Wesley so was desperate to be asked, and seemed so lonely beneath his bluster.

  3. Past Billie isn't often wrong about stuff, but man did she get it wrong on Wesley. :)

  4. Another fairly dull first-season ep.

    I think the only reason to watch this is Wesley. Billie, I’m happy to read your revision—I love Wesley so much now that I can’t remember if I disliked him at first. I think I might have.

    I do like the tension between him and Angel, though. It chafes almost as much as those leather pants. :-)

  5. I guess I'm atually one of the few people that always loved Wesley, even when he was this version of himself. Even when some of the his buffoonish traits at this point can be grating, I've always had a soft spot for the quiet desperation and loneliness he exudes (and that fact that I can see this despite all the silliness just proves how awesome Alexis Denisof is). Guys, Wesley just wants to be loved. He wants to belong so bad, and he's so used to standing on the outside that he's like a little child asking to be loved.

  6. Well, I was taken in by Barney. Until he'd turned nasty My impression is that he might turn out to be Doyle's replacement. I think he might have been quite good at that.

    I look forward to seeing Wesley develop into the character people seem to love. (But doesn't that count as a spoiler? With Billie initiating it?) I actually quite liked Wesley in his Buffy days. I wasn't too happy with him in this episode.

    I liked seeing how Cordelia bidded up her selling price. Very much in character.

  7. Not only was I taken in by Barn-Barn (sorry) the first time, I was again fooled by him this time too lol.. but I mean c'mon, he's an Empath demon and that made me immediately think of another trustworthy character of a similar type.
    I really liked the ending scene with Angel cooking breakfast, even if I guess yeah it should be weird to see him doing that. But it works for me, I feel like he would hold onto some positive things regarding his recent day as a human and figured as a party of 3 it wouldn't hurt to get back into basic cooking. I dunno.
    Wesley's such a loser lol but yeah I still liked him from the get-go. I can't defend it and your original feelings are all fair. I don't mind the harmlessly lonely and klutzy characters even if they feel useless as an addition.


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