Angel: Tomorrow

Angel: "Is this kid a chip off the old block, or what?"

Cordelia in white ascending into the heavens, Angel in black descending helplessly into the ocean's depths, and neither of them reachable by cell phone? Metaphor anvils, anyone?

Connor is more like Angel – actually more like Angelus – than we all expected. Teach me how to fight like you do, Dad? It was like taking candy from a baby getting under Angel's guard, because Angel wanted it so badly. Eternity on a liquid diet, watching the fish swim by? Gee, I sure wouldn't want Connor mad at me.

What's this Cordelia ascension thing coming out of left field? Don't tell me Charisma Carpenter is leaving the show. I like Cordelia, damn it, she's important to the group dynamic, or what's left of it. Or did the PTB decide not to pursue the Angel/Cordelia thing? All that build-up and no double demon smoochies?


I dare say that if Wesley had still been with Angel Investigations, this whole Angel-at-the-bottom-of-the-sea thing might not have happened. Let me add that I would have enjoyed being a fly on the wall during that Wesley/Lilah sexual tryst; must have been really interesting. Lilah has pretty much carried the Wolfram & Hart subplots this year, and she did rather well. Especially in the last few.

There were several cool moments in this episode. I liked Fred poking Angel with a stake. I especially liked Groo and Lorne enlightening Angel and Cordelia simultaneously about their feelings. Angel forgiving Connor as Connor was welding him in was rather touching, too; I'm glad he did it.

But as a whole, after an exciting year, this season-ender didn't quite satisfy. With Lorne leaving for Vegas (no!!!), Groo giving up on Cordelia and taking off, and Connor and Justine possibly off on a summer-long vampire-killing spree, what do we have left now? The Fred and Gunn show?

Bits and pieces:

— Schlug-tee is tense neck muscles. I've always wondered what to call them.

— Lorne called Angel "bubelah" and "Angel-hair."

— This year, Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Marsters have grown way too thin, while David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter have done the opposite. Almost as if the pounds crept across the networks from UPN to the WB.

— Tuna and ice cream. Gahhh. I'm glad they didn't kill off Groo; he groo on me.

— That silly mirror on the wall thing in Cordelia's apartment was actually a flash-forward to her conversation with Skip. Didn't catch that the first time I watched.

— Connor is sixteen? Come to think of it, Angel was actually dating a sixteen-year-old not that long ago. Talk about irony.

— Angel has his favorite books from when he was sixteen? Why do I have trouble believing that? He didn't seem like the reading kind; he seemed like the hanging out in a pub getting sloshed kind. Plus, back then, his choices would have been seriously limited. Reading didn't become popular with the masses until the mid-1800s.

Quotes:

Cordelia: "Kind of looks like muddy water."
Groo: "Yes. The mud gives it body and flavor. Of course, there is no plock weed in this dimension, so I made do with creeping fig and some cress in the garden. Though it is not true Mock-Na, it is very close to the real thing."
Cordelia: "So it's mock Mock-Na."

Cordelia: "Well, that's, ah... I mean, I can feel the tension draining already. And a little sediment going down the wrong... (Coughs a little then smiles at him brightly) Hmm, tasty."
Groo: "And might I further relieve you by at first gently then more rapidly rubbing your schlug-tee?"

Angel: "I don't even own a TV. He's going to want to watch TV. Not too much, I mean, after homework and chores. He's gonna need clothes, weekly allowance... What's good nowadays? Fifty cents, a dollar?"
Cordelia: "Yeah. If you're Tom Sawyer painting the fence."

Angel: "Me. A vampire."
Cordelia: "You, a vampire."
Angel: "Who drinks blood, keeps to the shadows, and is older than everybody he knows put together."
Cordelia: "You're all those things, plus tight with a buck."

Cordelia: "Well, what about rebuilding your club here?"
Lorne: "That's a great idea, pixie-cat. Except every time I do, you all seem to destroy it."
Cordelia: "It was only three times."

Lilah: "Mind if I join you?"
Wesley: "On many levels and with great intensity."

Cordelia: "I'm not telling your sixteen year old boy that."
Angel: "Well, someone has to make sure he knows the facts of life. My track record with the whole man/woman thing isn't, you know... I don't want to use the words 'tragic farce'..."

Fred: "I want to be the vampire!"
Gunn: "I want to be in a hot tub."
Cordelia: "I want to know who's cleaning this stuff up."

Angel: (points at Fred) "Okay. Vampire."
(Fred raises her hands like claws and lets out a growl.)
Angel: "Vampire. You're not in Cats."


Cordelia: "Hi, honey. It's me! And I got your favorites, tuna and ice cream. How about tonight you try not mixing it together?"

Angel: "Yeah. I'm taking the kid to the movies. He's going to love it."
Lorne: "Oh. No subtitles or dreary Leitmotive, all bloody action?"
Angel: "You bet."
Lorne: "Oh, he'll love you for it."

Gunn: "He's whistling. I've never heard him whistle."
Fred: "He's happy."
Angel: (to phone) "Angel Investigations. We can help you. I know we can!"

Gunn: "Now he's humming."
Fred: "He's really happy. (pokes Angel with a stake) But not perfectly happy, I hope."
Angel: "No. Ouch."
Fred: "Just checking."

Wesley: "You know that sinking feeling you sometimes get the morning after? It arrived early."

Wesley: "Get out."
Lilah: "What? No sweet kiss? No 'when can I see you again?' (Wesley gives her a look) Watch the dirty looks. That's what got me going in the first place."

Lilah: "Don't be thinking about me when I'm gone."
Wesley: "I wasn't thinking about you when you were here."

Skip: "Power corrupts. And they gave you a lot of power."
Cordelia: "The glowy thing."
Skip: "Which you used well. To fight evil, and heal Connor."
Cordelia: "And only that one time as a night light."

Some clever lines and plot twists, but I still found this episode mildly disappointing. I'm not sure exactly what I wanted, but this wasn't it.

Three out of four stakes,

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

9 comments:

Dimitri A.C. Ly said...

Having now rewatched the entirety of season three while waiting for my fever to pass, I can say it holds up a lot better on second viewing.

For me, the third season of Angel consists of a series of terrible ideas very well executed: I wasn't sold on the pregnancy, but it gave Darla a really beautiful ending for her character; I cringed when they introduced the baby, but that paid off nicely with Holtz; teenage Connor seemed like a bad idea, but again the convoluted Holtz revenge was interesting.

I still don't think what they did with Cordy worked, but, hey, the season gave us Tortured Wes. Tortured Wes (as opposed to Fussy Wes) is my favourite character in all of Buffy lore.

Thank you, as always, for the reviews, Billie. It's like having someone watching with you, except she doesn't nag and complain that men are total weaklings when they're sick (which I don't deny) and then says she'll be staying at her mother's when you just groan and pull the covers up.

Mark Greig said...

Hey, tortured Wesley is my favourite character in all of Buffy lore as well. Oh, how I wished he and Faith could've got their own show.

Gus Brunetti said...

Mine too.

It seems we have enough people to start a fan club.

Josie Kafka said...

I'm in.

Dimitri A.C. Ly said...

Here I thought it might have been a comic book reader thing: when you think about it, Wesley is the Batman to the LA scoobies' Justice League. However, it looks like he's got much broader appeal...

I'm going to get some punch and pie. Clubs need punch and pie.

Billie Doux said...

Wesley forever.

Anonymous said...

Count me in too.
Anna

Jess Lynde said...

This is my second favorite season because of the advent of Tortured Wes. I absolutely loved the direction they took his character, and the way it dramatically affected the group dynamic, dark as it was. His struggles and his journey were my favorite part of Angel.

Of course, his development apparently came at the cost of poor Cordelia. I agree, Dimitri, that her that her slide into grating "Mama Bear" figure was excruciating. And the way she completely sided with Angel and couldn't even be bothered to hear Wes out and try to see his point of view bugged the hell out of me. After all they'd been through together, particularly when Angel went dark in Season 2, she couldn't give his position due consideration? Argh.

magritte said...

I guess I'm in the minority here, but I have zero sympathy for Wesley. It was his decision to go on his own; he knew when he beat up Lorne and ran off with Connor, he was closing that door. He showed that he had faith only in supernatural prophecies and none in the people around him. He had no interest in their views on how to handle the prophecy; why should they care what he was thinking? What Fred said to him at the hospital sums up my feelings exactly.

I liked Cordelia's development in the early part of season 3 but the Angel love interest (and for that matter the Wesley/Gunn/Fred triangle) didn't feel organic. And the end of her arc was just plain weird, though maybe as a higher being she'll be able to get Angel out of his predicament. In general, I felt like season 3 was too driven by plot, with the characters being forced to play along instead of driving the action.

I do hope that Lorne going to Las Vegas was just a plot device to keep him from reading Connor. He's my favorite character on the show, and Caritas was my favorite place in the Buffyverse.