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Angel: To Shanshu In L.A.

Cordelia: "Well, it's just a prophecy. It's not like it came from on high."
Wesley: "That's what a prophecy is, Cordelia."

Here's hoping Angel Investigations has major medical.

This episode was disappointing. Part of me wished that Wesley would bite the dust, but part of me didn't. I still think Wesley is improving as a character, plus you gotta feel sorry for someone who's been knocked around as much as he has in only what, a dozen episodes?

But I also don't think this should be a three-character show anymore. I hope they make Gunn (J. August Richards) a regular; he's completely different from the other characters and adds dimension. I still like Cordelia a lot and I thought Charisma was good in this one. She adds a light touch and comic relief, and I like her relationship with Angel. Although she doesn't know him very well yet if she's thinking puppies and paint sets.

I don't think they should add Kate. She could vanish during the summer and I wouldn't miss her. But like I said in an earlier review somewhere, I find her more interesting as a possible villain. It looks like she's losing her rep on the force; perhaps there's a visit to the psych ward in the future for her, too. But the Angel Powers That Be would have to do some major stuff to make me interested in her as a permanent character.

Why slay the Oracles? What purpose did it serve? Motivation for Angel to mutilate Lindsey?

Why mutilate Lindsey? He was turning into a great villain without any additional motivation. Just a bit of overdoing the resemblance to Krycek, don't you think?

Why raise Darla? Angel didn't have much trouble killing her the first time. Certainly she knows more about Angel than anyone – but unless they give her some extra added attractions, I don't see her as a threat.

The part I liked the best was the Shanshu life and death thing. I'm pleased that Angel's reward for what he's going through will be to become human... someday. Maybe he and Buffy can eventually retire together in Santa Monica or something.

Bits and pieces:

— Angel has a billionaire groupie. This could quite possibly be good for their finances.

— If Wesley wants to check info in rare books, he ought to try a library. Some major libraries have a hell of a lot more rare books than rare book stores. And hey. You can look at them for free.

— It's a shame that the episode titles aren't given. This one was a fun pun, wasn't it?


Cordelia: "Is there is torrid romance in my future? Massive wealth? If I have to, I'll settle for enviable fame."
Wesley: "This is an ancient sacred text, not a magic eight ball."
Cordelia: "Nobody gets my humor."
Angel: "I thought it was funny."

Wesley: "After all you did for him he sells his soul for thirty pieces of silver."
Cordelia: "Actually he sold it for a six-figure salary and a full benefits package."

Nabbit: "I blew off my board of directors 'cause tonight's my turn to be dungeon master. What do you think of my cape?"
Cordelia: "Shiny."

Wesley: "I think I know what it means."
Cordelia: "A very wealthy man with just no life at all?"
Wesley: "No. The word in the scroll."
Cordelia: "That shoe shine thing?"
Wesley: "Shanshu."

Cordelia: "Enough with the scratch-and-sniff visions!"

First Cop: "Told you she'd show. She listens to the nut-calls on her scanner."
Second Cop: "Sure she doesn't pick up the radio waves on her brain chip?"

Lilah: "Aren't we going to be late?"
Holland: "You never want to be on time for a ritual. The chanting, the blood rites, they go on forever."

Lilah: "Remember when Robert Price let the senior partners down and they made him eat his liver? I don't know what made me think of that."

Wesley: "Here is something."
Angel: "What is it?"
Wesley: "The beast of Amalfie, a razor toothed six-eyed harbinger of death. No, wait, that's due to arise in 2003 in Reseda."

Wesley: "Ah, oops. I may have made a tiny mistake. The word Shanshu that I said meant you were going to die? Actually I think it means that you are going to live."
Cordelia: "Okay, as tiny mistakes go, that's not one."

Cordelia: "Typical. I hook up with the only person in history who ever came to LA to get older."

Two stakes. As a season-ender, it was disappointing. Although I do think the series had a good first season, and I'm hating the long wait until fall,

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


  1. It is interesting what the perspective of a whole series can give you on an episode. I love the re-watch and spend quite a bit of time going - oh so that's when that happened... This episode was a lot of that. Of course it was terrible to mar beautiful Lindsey but losing the hand is important. I never got why he wasn't just really happy that Angel didn't kill him. It was also good to see what keeps Angel attached to the world - his friends. This is an echo of the last two Buffy episodes.

  2. While the first season is not the best of the five, I do like the wrap-up. Each of the characters has undergone a major change through the year, all of which I think work. I especially love Cordelia, who shows a new found empathy, but still snarks along.

    I like the idea of there being some kind of redemption for Angel down the road. He has probably suffered enough.

    The first time I watched this, I was shocked at the reveal of Darla. I was very glad that I didn't have to wait to see what happened next.

  3. It's embarrassing to admit this now, but when I first watched this episode I barely remembered who Darla was, which made the big reveal completely underwhelming.

    But this might be my favorite episode title in the Buffyverse.

  4. I liked seeing Charisma with no make up. It added realism to the being near death part you don't usually see with TV shows.

  5. I am no big fan of this episode, that villain was very underwhelming and it didn't feel like there was much plot. Also :what was the deal with Gunn etc al?

  6. >>This one was a fun pun, wasn't it?
    What's the pun??? I like the episode title, sadly the main thing I liked/remembered about this first season finale (besides Angel's office exploding), but I never considered that it could be a riff on anything.

    Also I've the same question as the guy above me. I didn't understand how Gunn helped out when Angel went to him after Wes and Cordy were incapacitated. Angel just shows up where the ceremony is happening and alone after he calls for black-up (sorry).

    I found the cliffhanger disappointing that first time, and honestly.. still do now, just on its own merit I mean. For the most part I'm ashamed of my inertia when it comes to shows that really deserve to be dumped but I'm glad it was the case with early Angel too. This first season really, really, does not give the best idea of where this brilliant and moving and daring show will go (same goes for Buffy too tbh, but BTVS's first season only had 12 episodes and its season finale was great). I am so very glad I stuck with it.

    Kate was as irritating as she ever was this episode, somebody up there must really hate her. She's like a little girl here! They should've gone with whatever darker original plan they had for her with the getting-in-too-deep-with-the-prostitution-circle plot. I'm guessing the execs who leaned on them for lighter material either relented starting season 2 or just gave up entirely lol.. It was certainly was for the best.
    I do find her obsession in supernatural-related cases mildly interesting, and I do feel bad to see that her co-workers have noticed and don't really respect her anymore.

    Still a cleansing finale... I mean there's real change that happened here. The old office is gone, we have a prophecy that finally offers an endgame and direction for Angel's trajectory, stupid sexy Lindsey gets his hand cut off (ha-ha), and I have to wonder if Cordelia getting that unfiltered view of the suffering in her city will have more of an effect on her than Wesyboy (sorry again) surviving torture.

    Glad the season's behind me.

  7. Oh haha that's awesome, thank you. All I could reach at was something like "To [city], with love." This is way cooler and should've been more obvious, shame on me. To die [after living] in LA!

  8. Where's the pun or wordplay in "to Live and Die in L A"?

    This felt rather a thrown together episode . But some promising character development. Good to see Cordelia as a real person for a change.

  9. It's a film from the 80s and a Tupac song from the 90s. Tupac is probably the main refence here, given the dates.


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