Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Angel: Why We Fight

Spike: "Don't ever go to a free virgin blood party. Turns out it's probably a trap."

I assumed that World War II, Nazis, submarines, and vampires wouldn't mix. Wrong. This episode was a hoot and a half. Nazis experimenting on vampires? The United States launching a Demon Research Initiative (operative word, "initiative"), which must have been the forerunner of Riley's outfit in Buffy season four? Angel even reminded me of Riley a few times, looking all stark and turtlenecked and serious. It was a good look for him.

Of course, Angel would have a patriotic stage; he may be a creature of the night, but he's still an undead American. Majorly broody Angel in 1943 was a lot like majorly broody Angel in 1952 ("Are Y Now or Have You Ever Been") which must have been before his lengthy homeless, rat-eating period. What I found the most interesting was Angel's paternal feelings toward the vampires he sired. Although he had no trouble staking Nostoyev and the hilarious Prince of Lies, Angel gave both Spike and Lawson a chance to "live." He even called Lawson "son." (Before I start getting letters, yes, I know Drusilla sired Spike. But Angelus sired Drusilla, making Angel indirectly responsible for Spike's existence.)

I saw the end coming. After all, how many ways could Lawson have ended up a vamp? He was miserable and purposeless as a vampire, and his attack on Wolfram & Hart was transparently suicidal. Good actor, and interesting character. And an interesting thought, that a souled vampire might be able to pass on the ability to retain a soul on those he sired. Too bad it didn't work on Lawson, although three souled vampires in one series might have been a bit much. Or did Lawson have a bit of a soul? He remembered what he used to be, and longed for it. He hated what he was. Poor Lawson.

We had yet another wonderful Angel/Spike bonding moment at the end. I know I've said it already, but this season of Angel just keeps getting better.

Bits and pieces:

— Charlie Baker Oboe Victor? CBOV? Let's think of some fun acronym for that. The V has to stand for vampire, of course.

— Tied up, wires around their necks, balanced on office chairs? Must have been terribly uncomfortable to film. I bet Richards, Acker, and Denisof were glad when this episode was over.

— We got an update on Eve and Lindsey. Eve has disappeared. (As Angel remarked, "Well I can't say I'm particularly depressed by that news.") Lindsey is gone, too. I hope the Senior Partners aren't dissecting him.

— The new management staff of Wolfram & Hart are all suffering from overwork. Gunn was actually fumbling for words. Was he just tired, or could it be that his programming is fading because the cat in the white room is gone?

— The fact that Wolfram & Hart is constantly breached was acknowledged. "You'd be amazed at how many people break into this building on a regular basis." and "This place might as well be a bus station."

— Angel said, "Spike's not in the S.S. He just likes wearing the jacket." I couldn't see Spike as a Nazi, anyway. He doesn't care about politics.

— The Prince of Lies was played by perennial Buffyverse monster, Camden Toy. Toy has played one of the Gentlemen, Gnarl, and the Ubervamp. We've seen him four times, and we still don't know what he really looks like.

— In this week's hair report, James Marsters is a bit too fair to carry off black hair, while David Boreanaz got his clipped so that he could look like military guy. He wore it like he did in "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been." It becomes him.


Fred: "What did we do with our lives before we got these jobs?"
Wesley: "I seem to recall lots and lots of Jenga."

Angel: "You're a Nazi."
Spike: "What? Oh, no, I just ate one."

Lawson: "Aren't you gonna ask me how I got in here?"
Angel: "No. You'd be amazed at how many people break into this building on a regular basis."

Prince of Lies: "I will suck your brain from your skull and digest your thoughts like a sour pudding."

Spike: "Took him long enough. Know revenge is best served cold and all, but his must have been frozen solid."

Three out of four stakes. Not major or memorable, but lots of fun. This week Nazis, next week Muppets? I love it,

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


  1. for a vampire to be sired, don't they have to be buried after the whole biting situation? Cos Lawson definitely doesn't get buried while on the submarine, and it doesn't seem to take too long for him to turn, or maybe I'm just getting the rules of vampirism confused!

  2. Yeah, same question here. I don't think burying is actually necessary in BtVS (I think there was some mention about Drusila burying Darla only because it was tradition, not sure), but vampires usually only awake the night after they died (hence they constant number of vampires coming out of graves in the Sunnydale cemetery)

    Anyway, I didn't care much for this one, although it had fun moments (and the discussion on whether Lawson had a soul was interesting).

  3. I feel there should be a discussion about how this episode should have been dedicated entirely to the reaction of Cordelia's death.

    It should have picked up right where "You're Welcome" left off. Angel on the phone and someone, Fred or Lorne, walking in and Angel telling them.

    This follow up should have been so much more.

    We have since learned why it wasn't (personal issues) but still...Cordy was too important to all but disregard her death the way they did.

  4. @Sidney Maybe you're right, but Cordy's exit has already been a long denouement and I didn't have a problem with them (the writers) wanting to move on.

    I liked it but I was already a fan of naval/submarine kino so the flashback stuff for once was immediately the best part of an episode.

    >>"Angel even reminded me of Riley a few times, looking all stark and turtlenecked and serious. It was a good look for him."
    Sure was, and I liked the hair better here too than in Are You Now.

    There was something jarring and funny to me in how unsurprised/uninterested Angel was by Lawson's appearance in the present. About the only indicator that, yes, Cordy just recently died on him. The whole thing was just kind of depressing though, and I felt like the title should've been posed as a question, not as a Here's Why We Fight! Lawson dies with nothing, no great or small insight, and it was like seeing Connor's end even though they're not that comparable. I sympathize with Connor's anguish but Lawson's apathy from the metaphysically "botched" turning was somehow both interesting and really boring. I mean really, what was said about it? What is there to be said about it? It's relatable but it makes for pointless, sad subplots. Sociopaths have nothing and it freaks me out to stare at the abyss like this for too long.

    >>"He even called Lawson "son.""
    M-maybe it's just a nickname for Lawson, 'Son.

    I'm intrigued by Gunn's little flubbing. And fug I can't believe I've already arrived at Smile Time D:


We love comments! We actively monitor, and feed mean, nasty comments to our cats. It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.