Angel: Players

Gunn: "Listen, I've spent most of this year trapped in what I can only describe as a turgid supernatural soap opera."

Gwen's back, and Gunn's got her. Didn't see that one coming.

But I liked it. Gwen needed someone suave and Gunn clearly needed the ego-boo, even though she almost made toast out of him. But I can forgive her because it was in character, and because of the perceptive comments she made about how the L.A. Scoobies treat Gunn like brainless muscle ("Man, they have done a number on you"). Remember back at the start of season two when it was obvious that Gunn was the best actual detective in their so-called detective agency? Plus she gave him that gorgeous suit, making the world a more beautiful place. They were a gorgeous couple.

Under the circumstances, Gwen would have to be a virgin. I thought back when the character was introduced that she'd go for Angel. Are Gwen and Gunn going to be a thing? Gwen's freakish talents were a big part of what makes her a fun character. If that talent is now neutralized, won't that make her less interesting? Or will LISA just give her control over her power?

Angel was back from his Angelus vacation and he seemed to have adjusted already. Fortunately, he didn't have to go through those pesky centuries of torture in a hell dimension this time. But it was still not happy happy joy joy. When Cordelia first came down the stairs with the dress and the belly, the looks on their faces were outright hilarious — Gunn's especially — except for Angel, who just looked numb.

I had a feeling early on that Angel suspected Cordelia because of Lilah's death, but I didn't realize that Lorne's ceremony was a set-up until the end; I just thought Lorne was going to get beaten up again. Angel must have told Wesley and Fred at the last minute, although Lorne may have known early on. And I absolutely loved the eight-ball. "Has Cordy been a bad, bad girl?" Eight ball: "Definitely." Even Connor was finally getting a clue, way too late, but I noticed he wasn't with the gang who confronted Cordelia at the end. I wonder how he's going to take the news.

I'm starting to think that the "baby" is controlling Cordelia. When it comes right down to it, Cordelia as a villain has been wildly unsuccessful; she's been foiled repeatedly. She even told Angel outright that she was the Beastmaster while pretending to be psyching It out. Maybe the real Cordelia is still in there, and trying to exert whatever influence she can to foil the "baby"? Although this still doesn't explain how the Beast fits in, since he was rampaging about before she conceived.

The couples were reshuffling again. Wesley and Fred did some bonding over books and coffee, comparing the weirdness of Connor and Cordelia to his affair with Lilah ("It's not always about holding hands"). With Gwen and Gunn exploring non-electric sex, and Connor as the confused father of Cordelia's baby, that left poor Angel out in the cold again, with Lorne. And no, I don't think Angel is going to reunite with Buffy at the rapidly approaching Buffy series finale. Joss Whedon just doesn't do happy endings.

Bits and pieces:

— LISA stands for Localized Ionic Sensory Activator. It regulates body chemistry. Yeah.

— J. August Richards was gorgeous in that suit, and did an impressive job in that fight scene with the staffs. I've always liked Gunn. He's underutilized.

— How does Gwen shower?

— Congratulations to Charisma Carpenter on the birth of her son on March 24!

Quotes:

Cordelia: "Everything's been so Clash of the Titans around here. I didn't want to be a distraction."
Lorne: "Well, put me on the short bus and send me off to clueless school. A mystical pregnancy right under my beak and not even a tingle. Huh."

Gunn: "Well, congratulations. You're going to have a grandspawn."

Angel: "Easy-bake, flop-a-palooza, whoosh, pop. I don't skulk."

Angel: "We've got two pressing matters: figuring out what we can about Cordelia's pregnancy, and destroying the Beast's master. Lorne, you're..."
Lorne: "Reliable as a cheap fortune cookie?"

Guard: "The electronic imprint on your invitation's been altered."
Gwen: "I can explain that. I was struck by lightning. Really. (to Gunn) See how my life sucks?"

Fred: "I can't stop thinking about Connor and Cordy, hiding up in that room, imagining what they do up there... it's like being stuck in a really bad movie with those Clockwork Orange clampy things on my eyeballs."
Wesley: "Why imagine? Reality's disturbing enough."

Gunn: "You know, I can't believe I actually took time out of the apocalypse for this."

Cordelia: "Then you'll be able to read me?"
Lorne: "No worries, dumpling. Come morning, I'll be a lean, mean, belly-reading machine."

Gwen: "You know, that device, it's a prototype. It might not hold."
Gunn: "Well, you already killed me once. If it happens again, you know where my battery is."

Angel is continuing to have a terrific season. Three out of four stakes,

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

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