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Angel: Redefinition

Darla: "You know, in a perfect world, Angel would be here right now, helping me burn this city to the ground. This is his job I'm doing. But where is he? Probably flogging himself in a church somewhere."
Drusilla: "Ooh, flogging! Eew, churches."

Now, see, I knew that Lindsey was going to survive the Wine Cellar Massacre, and I even thought he might have planned it in order to move up at Wolfram & Hart... so I was half right, hmmm? I had also thought that Angel had once again become Angelus, though, and I was completely wrong about that. Unfortunately.

Let's start with the good stuff.

I loved every scene in this episode that had Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn in it. I got a huge kick out of them arguing, getting drunk, and singing karaoke together; Dan nearly fell out of his chair laughing. And their decision to follow up on Cordelia's vision alone, and then to keep the agency going in spite of Angel – that was terrific. Good for them. I was reminded of the way the Slayerettes kept up with things when Buffy ran away from home.


The carrying-on at Wolfram & Hart was also a lot of fun. Lindsey just gets better and better; I enjoyed his obvious delight at surviving his co-workers, and his disappointment that Lilah made it, too. Lilah is an amusingly despicable character, and I'm pleased that the writers kept her on board; it was worth it if only for the catty, vicious way Stephanie Romanov and Christian Kane played off of each other.

Darla and Drusilla make an intriguing pair of villains, and I'm still liking them. And is it me, or do they really look striking together? Well, not now, though. I'm assuming Darla and Drusilla will recover from what Angel did... and that brings me to Angel. Setting fire to his former vampire lovers? What the hell is going on? I really, really hated Angel as a dead serious, stone cold, demon slaying commando; it turned me completely off. I hope there's some serious Angel character clarification and progression in the next episode, or at least a change in direction, because I hate where this is going.

Bits and pieces:

— Keep those karaoke bar sequences coming. Love them. Andy Hallett (the Host) is such a unique and wonderful character and the bar itself and the Host's gift is a great plot device.

— Wesley is still involved with Virginia from several episodes ago.

— Another really fun demon. "Godzilla, Darsilla, whatever." :)

— David Boreanaz's profile is just too distinctive. I noticed an obviously-not-David stuntman several times during the fight scenes.

Quotes:

Virginia: "He fired you? He can't fire you! You're on a mission to protect the innocent. You can't fire someone on a mission. What did he say, exactly?"
Wesley: "You're fired."

Lilah: "What's wrong, Lindsey? You bitter because your girlfriend didn't slit my throat?"
Lindsey: "That might be overstating it. More like bummed."

Lilah: "You know what I don't like about suspicion? The part where they find us two weeks from now, dead in some freak accident."
Lindsey: "We did nothing wrong."
Lilah: "I'm sorry, have we met? Because I work for Wolfram and Hart. Responsibility has nothing to do with it. If they're looking for a scapegoat, we might as well grow horns and start eating garbage."

Darla: "Wow. That was something. But violence without victims, see, that's where you lose me."

Lilah: "One of us is going to die, Lindsey."
Lindsey: "Everybody dies, Lilah."
Lilah: "But not everybody ends up in a dog-food processing plant in San Pedro."

Cordelia: "Vampires, sloth demons... you know what's really, really evil? Tequila."
Wesley: "I need to be dead now."
Host: "Well, well, I can see the maudlin segment of tonight's binge is in full swing."

Cordelia: "You, Mr. Big Mojo-guy, are supposed to give us guidance now."
Wesley: "She's right. We came, we sang, we... fought the urge to regurgitate."

Drusilla: "I didn't like that barkeeper. Hmm, can't get his eyes off my fingers."

Drusilla: "Oh, it's beautiful! Dank and dark. It reeks of death."
Darla: "That's motor oil, Dru."

I honestly don't know how to rate this episode, since I loved some of it – a lot – and hated some of it – a lot. So, no rating this week,

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

10 comments:

  1. I find this new dark path for Angel intriguing. Considering that the lawyers were human agents of the devil, I see Angel's point in killing them. Demons can be good and humans can be evil. Angel fights evil. He sometimes tries to save humans from themselves (e.g. Faith, Darla) instead of killing them outright, but the W&H lawyers were so clearly devoted to bringing Angel down, I doubt he would have much success.

    Of course, he might try it anyway at some point in the future...

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  2. ANGEL RE-WATCH comments begin here! Remember, no spoilers for future episodes. Want to talk spoilers and foreshadowing? Season two spoilers are posted here.

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  3. I love this episode - Darla and Drusilla together, lots of Lindsey and Lilah, and the gang getting drunk at Caritas. It has everything I like :)

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  4. I'm with you Billie, I don't much like stone cold Angel but it is interesting to have another facet of him that isn't good or evil but something in between. And I'm not sure why he would just burn Dru and Darla other than as a plot point. He obviously knows they aren't dead. Why didn't he just finish the job? Having Lindsey and Liliah at each other's throats will at least be interesting and an obvious W&H move. Maybe they are hoping that one of them will take out the other and save them the trouble.

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  5. I agree completely, Billie. I loved Wes, Gunn, and Cordy. I liked Lilah and Lindsey, and Darla and Drusilla. I was so utterly bored and slightly repulsed by moody Angel that I fast-forwarded through his scenes. (The joys of a re-watch.) I really do think that Angel needs buddies to make him interesting, fun, and watchable. Alone, he’s all overhanging brow, stupid hair, and scowl.

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  6. Alone, he’s all overhanging brow, stupid hair, and scowl. What a perfect description!

    I'm not a fan of moody Angel, either. Hard to root for a guy who is so utterly repulsive.

    Love the karaoke scenes.

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  7. Any episode that includes the karaoke bar is a good one for me. But I also enjoyed the rest of it. I'm not all that bothered by Angel's choices here - he knows just how nasty Darla & Dru can be - what I am bothered by is that we have no idea what he's thinking as he makes the choices. Why did he choose fire instead of a more straightforward staking? How does he feel about firing the crew? Hey, fire & fire - I could try to draw a parallel here but even I'm not inclined to torture a metaphor that much. Anyway, I think having your hero do unheroic things is risky, but I don't mind waiting for it to pay off.

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  8. The few times I've rewatched this, I've fastforwarded through Angel's bits (as I mention above). This time, I watched it straight through to confirm something I'd suspected for a while: Angel has no lines of dialogue in this entire episode. He has a voiceover, but no dialogue at all.

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  9. "I was reminded of the way the Slayerettes kept up with things when Buffy ran away from home."
    I've always loved that setting and wish the show would let it last just a while longer before Buffy returns. I don't remember how long Angel stays reverse-fired here but I'm having the opposite reaction on the rewatch. I guess I'm getting older, because all I could think this time around is MAKE IT RIGHT WITH YOUR TEAM ALREADY THEY STILL LOVE YOUR ASS
    But I do still remember how cool this was to see the first time. Dru and Darla on fire after having their new crew unceremoniously killed off, just after Holland & his good-time buddies were abandoned by Angel. Badass. Angel being genuinely direction-less (despite his claim about a war, since he shouldn't've stopped at immolation if that was really the case), offered a freedom Buffy never truly had. Not quite so fun to watch now, he's completely humorless about it. Even if it does feel true to character; Angel would definitely take himself too seriously and the inner monologuing was kind of charming/amusing in that regard. Like a lamer version of Angelus in Passion.
    Lorne does his little head nod here that we'll see in future opening credits lol, hope that doesn't count as a spoiler. I love it.

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  10. To me, the quote of the episode belongs to Darla. Of course, you have to ignore the random stuff that Dru says between Darla's phrases, but that seems fair because Darla certainly was ignoring Dru at the time. That is: "That wasn't Angel. ... Wasn't Angelus, either. ... Who was that?"

    As for why Angel used fire instead of trying to stake them. I'm reminded of Spike's truce with Buffy - the bit about neither one alone being able to handle Angelus and Dru together. Angel may well figure that Darla and Dru are old and powerful enough that his chances against the two working together would not be good. Also, fire always has been on the list of ways to kill a vampire - even if it is the least frequently used. Had Darla not remembered that the fire hydrant was there and grabbed the sledge hammer, that likely would have been the end of them.

    Oh, and the funniest single line, to me, was when Dru said "Already dead? Bad soldiers!"

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