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Angel: Spin the Bottle

Gunn: "Oh, good. Symbols on the floor. That always goes well."

I loved this episode so much that I didn't even mind that it was part two of "Tabula Rasa." I have no objection to something being done again if it's done this well. Returning all of the characters to their teenage personas was inspired. Trust Joss Whedon to think of such a thing.

It was great seeing smart-ass Cordelia back in the saddle again; couldn't we keep her this way? She must have been sixteen or younger, because Cordelia met Angel at sixteen and she didn't know him here. (Did you notice that the first thing Cordelia said when she saw Angel was "Hello, salty goodness?" That was the same thing Cordelia said when she saw Angel for the first time back on Buffy. Nice continuity there.)

It made perfect sense, Wesley figuring out (erroneously) that they were being tested a la Buffy's eighteenth birthday. Alexis Denisof probably had a ball returning to his old characterization of Wesley as prissy, clumsy head boy watcher-in-training (or as Cordelia called him, "head cheese.") I just loved the accidental emergence of his concealed, um, weapons in particular. And Wesley duct-taping Lorne to the lobby sofa. Even Fred and Gunn were consistently delightful, with Fred trying to score weed, talking about alien abductions and government conspiracies, and Gunn back in his first year distrustful vampire-hunter persona. (It was also touching and sad in the beginning when Gunn was talking about just being the muscle. Gunn is afraid of losing Fred to Wesley, and I'm starting to think he might be right.)

Angel's Liam was very young and uncertain, probably from before he began rebelling against his father. I thought Angel being unable to make himself speak with an Irish accent was a total hoot. That morphing scene in the bathroom where he figured out he was the vampire they were all hunting was also priceless, and I loved the fake-out with the cross. (Although I thought the way Fred ran the cross over herself like a metal detector was even funnier.)

Angel got points for telling Cordelia the truth about their aborted love affair at the beginning; and the ending, when they were talking about it again and she said, "we were," was sad. Are we supposed to believe that it's over before it even began? Somehow I doubt that. No Powers That Be on any television show have gone this far with a romantic relationship only to let it drop.

The amnesia is now gone. Is the fun gone, too? Perhaps Cordelia made the amnesia happen because she didn't want to know what was coming. Whatever it is, it looks like it arrives next week.

Bits and pieces:

— Did Joss Whedon intentionally address some of the specifics that are constantly discussed on the internet? i.e., the slashability of Wesley and Gunn, Angel not being able to pull off an Irish accent, and how much everybody hates Cordelia's new hair?

— I thought Cordelia referred to Connor at one point as eighteen. Close-captioning says that Cordelia said "he is a teen." That's good; he was only sixteen a few months ago, and as far as I know, he hasn't spent any more time aging in an alternate dimension.

— Lorne called Gunn "poutybritches," Wesley "crumpet," and Fred "Freddikins."

— Another Buffy reference. Angel thought the cars were demons, just as Buffy did in "Halloween."

— It was wonderfully satisfying seeing Angel beat the crap out of Connor.


Angel: "I was never... in the workplace... I... well, there was that one time with the ballet and the stripping and the roundness, but that was a spell."

Cordelia: "I know my ABC's, my history, I know who's president and that I sort of wish I didn't, I know the name of every shoe store in the Beverly Center, but I don't even recognize the sound of my own name."

Lorne: "Now she swears up and down that with the right mix, we can stop this talking and cut straight to the Cordelia Chase, in two ticks of a... ticking thing."
Angel: "I don't know. Spells, I don't trust them."
Cordelia: "I'm in."
Angel: "Cordy, I just..."
Cordelia: "I don't care. Pain, side effects, this thing turns me into a moussaka, I'm happy, as long as I can remember I'm a moussaka."

Gunn: "What happened to you, man?"
Wesley: "I had my throat cut, and all my friends abandoned me."

Wesley: "There's no call to be snippity, miss."
Cordelia: "This is a clarion call for snippity, Princess Charles."

Lorne: "Poor Connor. Engine revving and stuck in park."
Connor clearly needs to get laid even more than Angel does.

Gunn: "I say we cut his head off."
Wesley: "Thank you very much, Marie Antoinette."
Gunn: "What you call me?"
Cordelia: "Hey, hey, you two want to pause the homoerotic buddy cop session long enough to explain this? Wooden stakes? A guy with horns?"

Cordelia: "Aren't you going to go in there and stop them?"
Angel: "It's about time the English got what's coming to him. I'm rooting for the slave."
Lorne: "I know I'm still unconscious during this part of the story, but can you believe these mooks?"

Wesley: "The cross obviously doesn't affect me or our friend, the pugilist."
Gunn: "Your ass better pray I don't look that word up."

Lorne: "Oh. Guys. Hey. That was quite a whammy. A little trip through the transitive nightfall of diamonds, if you know what I mean."

Angel: "So, who's going to be the first course? Hard to chose between you two girls."
Cordelia: "What do you mean it's hard? I mean, (points at Fred) she's the tasty one. Look at her. Half of her is neck."

Lorne: "Well, it's been a long night. For everyone. I hope that you all enjoyed my little tale so much that you tip your waitresses with obnoxious abandon."

Four out of four stakes, of course,

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


  1. I wouldn't mind if Lorne narrated every episode. He's very pleasant, ane would certainly make a very good friend.

    On the other hand, I hate amnesia plots as much as you hate evil baby plots, Billie. Even if they're well done, like here and Tabula Rasa, I don't care for them. I just sort of go through it and cheer when it's over.

  2. I am with Billie - I LOVED this episode. There were so many funny lines. It was great to see everyone as their old selves and to see how much they have grown and changed. Cordy's zingers - man, I miss that Cordy! It was fun to see the old Gunn and Fred, who we never knew (Fred wanting to score some weed was especially funny). I also laughed out loud at Fred's matter-of-fact (and somewhat down) realization that she had developed as much as she was going to. Lorne narrating (to what turned out to be an empty room) - brilliant. He knows what's coming, doesn't he? The end with Cordy's admission that her and Angel were in love, and Angel's reaction actually got to me, even though I am not a big fan of the two of them being a couple. It would actually be fine with me if they left it at that.

  3. I'm firmly in the "Love It" camp. This episode is perfect for all the reasons you mentioned.

    The next two are perfect, too. I always get excited at this point in Season Four for the awesome that is to come. Let's not lose probe. Uh, hope.

    The closed-captioning on the DVDs says "He's 18" for Connor.

  4. >>"and how much everybody hates Cordelia's new hair"
    I'm in agreement with Cordelia herself that her worst hair was still that first picture she eurgh'd at before. And she was a brunette in that one.

    Good episode, better than Tabula Rasa, although I preferred the ambience of the set-up more than the contents of the episode itself (Gunn basically becoming self-aware lol). So I'm with @Gus Brunetti on that front.

    Why did the episode have to end so sadly? D:


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