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Angel: Underneath

Tonight's theme was what's underneath, hence the title: layers, scratching the surface, painting on happy faces, digging beneath... even the hell metaphor chewy center scene with Zack. (I kept thinking, "From beneath you it devours.")

Yes, we already knew that running Wolfram & Hart was selling out, but wow, we really know it now. Plus, nearly all of "Angel's Avengers" are suffering from depression: a drunken Wesley babysitting Illyria; a drunken Lorne mourning Fred; a morose Gunn in his hospital bed. Even Illyria is deeply depressed. Dark episode, huh?

The credits changed. Mercedes McNab is now in the cast for what's left of the series, and most of Amy Acker's credit shots are now of Illyria, suggesting that Fred is gone for good. (Or is this just classic Whedonesque credit manipulation?) Illyria's references to being out of control and not knowing what her face will say, along with Wesley's dream about Fred, are strong hints that Fred still exists somewhere inside Illyria. What will remain if Illyria vacates, as Wesley is attempting to make her do?

Hell fire was also a theme. Spike's descriptions of hell dimensions included fire (okay, and toy poodles, but there was fire) and the Wrath resembled fire. There was even a reference to Greek mythology, with Lindsey's chosen torture strongly resembling what the Olympian gods did to Prometheus for bringing fire to humankind. (And isn't it interesting, what that says about Lindsey?) Hey, we can even include the mention of the oven light in the basement as a hellfire reference. Does that mean that the basement was "hell lite"?

Lindsey told Angel, "The apocalypse, man. You're soaking in it." This isn't just the yearly apocalypse that causes havoc during the May sweeps, but The Big One – and Angel is now on the wrong side, with two players down. Is Angel about to deep six his bargain with the Senior Partners?

Bits and pieces:

— We now have three vamps in the cast, as well as two demons. I'm just saying.

— "Trish," the blonde in Lindsey's holding dimension, looked and sounded a lot like Darla.

— I absolutely loved Lorne, Eve, and Harmony doing Macauley Culkin as Adam Baldwin was Terminating the security guard.

— Speaking of which, since this is the third time, is it now a Joss Whedon tradition to cast a Firefly alum as a major guest star at the end of a season?

— Spike was actually Angel's right hand man in this episode. Plus, in the basement garage when Marcus Hamilton came in, Angel and Spike were standing in exactly the same position, legs apart and hands on hips, Tweedlevamp and Tweedledee. Love it.

— It was nice to see Gunn back in sweats. It was not nice to see Gunn left behind in the penalty box, though. Lindsey said that his torture was what he himself felt was appropriate for his crime. What does Gunn feel that Gunn deserves?

— What did Wesley's un-joke about the two men actually mean? And is "rapio salvus" a real legal thingy, or did the writers make it up?

— This week's best Buffy reference was, "One world with nothing but shrimp. I tired of that one quickly." Anya mentioned shrimp world when she was trying to explain alternate dimensions to the Scoobies.

— The WB announcer said in the promo, "Two hundred years saving the world, redeeming his soul..." Wow. They can't even be bothered to check the facts about the main character in one of their own shows? Have I mentioned lately how pissed off I am at The WB?

— In this week's hair report, Christian Kane needs to visit Supercuts. He looks better with shorter hair so that you can see more of his extremely gorgeous face.


Spike: "I'm listening. With beer."

Illyria: "You've been sitting for a long time."
Wesley: "Yeah. Dozed off."
Illyria: "You drank a great deal of that poison, you called me a lot of names meant to hurt feelings I no longer have, and then you sat there for hours making noise with your nose."
Wesley: "I was dreaming, you twit."

Wesley: "This world must be a terrible disappointment to you."
Illyria: "Grievous."
Wesley: "I'm not too impressed with it myself."

Eve: "I'm not lying. Tell them I'm not lying."
Lorne: "No one can fake it through the piña colada song. Not once the chorus kicks in."

Angel: "Which apocalypse? The one last year, or the year before that?"

Spike: "This isn't hell. It's the 'burbs. (pause) Close enough."

Illyria: "I traveled all of them as I pleased. I walked worlds of smoke and half-truths, intangible. Worlds of torment and of unnamable beauty. Opaline towers as high as small moons. Glaciers that rippled with insensate lust. And one world with nothing but shrimp. I tired of that one quickly."

Lindsey: "Make it quick."
Angel: "If I was going to kill you, it wouldn't be quick."

Lorne: "This thing coming after you, how bad on a scale of, say, one to Terminator?"

Angel: "Damn, he is well-dressed."

Illyria: "I lived seven lives at once. I was power in the ecstasy of death. I was god to a god. Now, I'm trapped on a roof, just one roof, in this time and this place with an unstable human who drinks too much whiskey and called me a Smurf."

Lindsey: "That's what I like to see. Angel of yore. Takes no prisoners. Suffers no fools. How about this? It's here. It's been here all along, underneath. You're just too damn stupid to see it."
Angel: "See what?"
Lindsey: "The Apocalypse, man. You're soaking in it."

Illyria: "I reek of humanity."
Wesley: "Don't flatter yourself."

Five episodes to go, until The WB yanks the Buffyverse rug out from under us. I hope the rumors of possible Buffyverse TV movies are true, because the alternative, like Gunn's current predicament, is unthinkable.

Three out of four stakes,

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


  1. I think Marcus, in his violent and matter-of-fact way, represents W&H much better than a flirty girl.

    Just to be clear: Lyla was not a flirty girl, she was a flitry woman, and that makes a whole lot of difference.

    And he *is* really well-dressed!

  2. Now I know how Spuffy fans feel. I can't get enough of the Weslillyria navel-gazing. But those lucky bastards got seasons of it! And according to the commentary those are the only scenes Sweden wrote for the episode... because of course he did.

    "— Speaking of which, since this is the third time, is it now a Joss Whedon tradition to cast a Firefly alum as a major guest star at the end of a season?"
    Why are they all villains now :(

    Eve: "I'm not lying. Tell them I'm not lying."
    Lorne: "No one can fake it through the piña colada song. Not once the chorus kicks in."
    lol. And Angel's response to Lindsey's "Make it quick" was great, too.

    I'm gonna remember this episode for the next time I hear someone being asked to fetch something from the basement and being reluctant to rush to it. That's so funny to me.

    I didn't love the episode as much as I should've, considering Lindsey's back in the picture again. But it was decent. And at least Lindsey's Doyle shit made some respectable sense - he thought he was being a hero and punishing Angel for selling out.


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