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Angel Season 2 Watch-through With My Niece

Discussion in 'Season 2' started by thetopher, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    No, he's practical. There's a scene in the present day where he climbs something, pulls the bag down, dusts it off and pulls out a handful of bills that look just fine. He couldn't return it - so he put it to good use. And since I am one of the people who said he did this - let me say I have always said it was despicable that Angel left the people to die. It was borderline that he profited when he took the money and bought the hotel. It was redemption that he took the money, leased the hotel and used the money to do good. It's the difference between the Angel of each time.

    The wife-beater....I love this dour and introverted time. It's past the party life in Vegas, but before the godawful 70's look.

    That's my assumption as well.

    The real slash is the fact that Wesley gives him a nice look before he says anything about naked. :D
     
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  2. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Untouched
    Apparently this is a Joss Whedon penned episode. Huh? Funny it didn't feel like a Joss episode. There wasn't a lot of sparkle here and I found that the episodes around it tend to shine a bit more. It was a very dark, mature episode, and difficult to watch because of its (well-handled) subject matter. I felt that it was 'interesting' rather than 'enjoyable'.
    There were some fun parts though; the opening with Wesley and Cordelia sniping at each other was a joy, Angel pretending to be a cop was so convincing that I suspect he watches a lot of police procedures on TV or else has known quite a few cops in the past. He really was quite good.

    The meat of the story was well written, and the acting was top notch. Both Wesley and Cordelia handled their respective roles well, even if I didn't think they were 'helpful' exactly. Cordelia's speech to Bethany- or warning- felt a little...*sigh* look Cor, there are some people (victims of abuse for example) who like a little tact and support y'know?
    And I definitly saw a parallel between how Bethany acted towards Angel and how Faith initially reacted- try and initiate sex because that's obviously what all men are after. It's just the technique/mindset that was different.
    All in all I felt that Bethany went from scared helpless victim to 'in control and empowered by the end' a bit too quickly and easily. I suppose having Angel supporting her must've been very important, but on the whole it felt to 'neat' for an episode that mostly been gritty/messy. Still, the ending was good.

    My niece really liked it! She likes her Angel episodes dark and gritty I suspect and this was serious stuff, crazy psychic powers, bawdy humour, intense vampire flashback/dreams (complete with bodices and biting!), and W&H doing so many sneaky things their tripping over each other. She also liked seeing Holland Manners again, and Lilah being so manipulative.
    From the opening with Darla and Lilah in the office to Lilah's dark hint to Angel she's very interested in W&H's larger scheme- getting Darla inside his dreams/head to make Angel confused and tired seems like a prelude to something darker. Oh, she has no idea.
    Specific things:
    Liked: Darla's description of dreams 'chambers that can be used to understand and control someone'. My niece thought that was poetic (and creepy), especially the 'horrors' part.
    Loved: Wesley and Cordelia's pettiness 'you're a sheep'...'at least I've opened a book!'...'top ten per cent of my class...'in what, advanced bosoms?...' :D She also liked the fact that Cordy wants them to start paying Gunn. Although she also saw Wesley's side.
    Loved: 'You can't fire me, I'm vision-girl' *sticks out tongue* Even grumpy Angel was charmed.
    Liked: Wesely's concern over Angel's werid sleeping patterns. My niece remembered that he'd been concerned about that last season. Man, she has a better memory than me. :eek:
    Liked: Angel pretending to be a cynical world-weary cop and ordering around the patrol officer. The following the blood trail.
    Liked: Angel getting a rebar stuck in him but then still trying to comfort the terrified Bethany. Then colapsing in pain after she left.
    Liked: The revelation that Bethany was staying with Lilah.
    Loved: 'stop flexing you manly boob muscle or whatever!'
    Liked: Wesley not knowing that much about Telekinesis. :D

    Liked: Gunn's enthusiasm about his cool homemade axe. Also 'thought I might get a chance to stick it something.' Cordelia: Men are all alike.' was a great double entendre.

    Liked: 'The poor man can't even afford a real axe!'
    Yikes: The Angelus/Darla dreams. Getting all excited before their gypsy girl main course...
    Liked: Cordelia sensing a vibe with Bethany. Wes's apparent obliviousness. Then he confronts her about her father. Yikes!
    Loved: Angel toWesley: 'You're gone.' Cordelia: 'You can't fire Wesley!...unless your firm.'
    Liked: 'That creepy guy' (Holland Manners) appearing to talk to Lilah about her project. Very sinister.
    Liked: Angel and Bethany talking in the damaged part of the hotel. My niece said it was 'like that time Faith was all chained up'- at least in the way of what Angel was saying about people. :)

    Disliked: Bethany propositioning Angel. She found this part the most disturbing in the episode. Although she did like Angel's reaction like he was genuinely trying to help. Like Cordelia observes 'he's old-fashioned that way.'
    Liked: The kidnap attempt on Bethany. Cordelia throwing coffee in the kidnappers faces and then telling Angel and Gunn to 'fetch!' the van. Brilliant. My niece thought it was all very slick and mini-action movie.
    Loved: Lilah 'pulling the trigger' on little miss timebomb and sending Bethany's father in. Bethany going 'kinda Dark Pheonix' as my niece described it. Or 'Carrie' as I would describe it. :D
    Liked: Lilah (about Angel): He's a vampire, y'know. Bethany: Weird. *shrugs*

    Next time (we had a week's break due to my niece having some school project) a supernatural blonde makes herself known in the hero's life and mixes things up. Hang on...
     
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  3. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Dear Boy
    For me this was a very bitty episode that kicks off the main Darla plot (that will be skilfully weaved into the 'Angel going dark' plot) and it was...okay I guess. I was actually surprised at some of the weak plotting. Every time Darla was on-screen the episode was brilliant- Julie Benz gives a great, darkly charismatic performance- but the re-introduction of Det. Lockley, the rather unsubtle frame-job on Angel by W&H and the gang's reactions to Angel's darker turn were all a bit disappointing to me.
    I mean, Cordy and Wes know that 'perfect happiness' is the thing that makes Angel unstable/dangerous (this is their chief concern about their friend-as they explain to Gunn), but clearly Angel isn't acting that way. He's angry not happy. And they've both seen him angry before. It semed like an overreaction and also a clumsy foreshadowing of Angel's turn towards the dark- other episodes handle it better.

    What makes this episode great though are two things- the 'alien abduction' case of the week is hilarious, as are the various reactions of the gang- Cordelia's especially.
    Secondly its end confrontation between Darla and Angel- as bruising psychologically for Angel as ever we've seen. It's a long, electrifying scene with top performances, lots of great dialogue and fantastic chemisty (Angel/Darla is really the only other relationship that Angel was inother than that had that super-charged sexual tension in) from both DB and JB. It elevates the entire episode and gives the upcoming plot a nice shot in the arm.
    I remember the first time being somewhat shocked at Angel's dark attitude towards her, but since she's been violating his dreams (and perhaps physically) for going on a month now, I completely understand his reactions, even if Angel himself is shocked by them.

    My niece enjoyed this a hell of a lot since it was the (seeming) payoff to the past few weeks worth of plot. Seeing Angel and Darla interacting again was what really pleased her (although initially she doubted that the human was actually Daral- her acting was really that good). She also enjoyed the opening fight with the thrall demon- she liked the set with the pillers- and also Gunn's reaction to the news that Angel might just go evil under the right circumstances. I agree that its fun when the characters get to exposition and recap to a newbie about all those past references- building on the shows own history. Always fun.
    She wasn't too thrilled to see a certain detective though, and found her attitudes and actions for most of the episode to be downright obnoxious- especially her self-righteous speech to the AI gang in the hotel.
    All told however my niece liked the ncrease in tension. Angel knows that Darla is back, so now what? She can't wait.

    Last point: I should've mentioned that since 'First Impressions' and then again in 'Untouched' my niece sorta started shipping Cordy/Gunn. She likes them together. I can't say I've seen many advocates for this. Anyone else?

    Other stuff:
    Liked: Lazy Angel. Cordelia's comment that he's turning into a moody teenager.
    Liked: Cordelia and Wesley squabbling about pay. Especially Wesley getting snippy about his salary.
    Loved: The flashbacks with Angelus and Darla and how they both initially targetted poor Drusilla. Also Angelus' idea to turn Dru- 'eternal torment', the the confirmation that Angelus has a thing for nun's and convents (good thing he never saw Buffy try on that wimple...:eek:)
    Liked: Cordelia thinking that Angel was obsessing over Buffy again. Angel saying that he wasn't crazy when he saw Darla 'betweeen the clown and the big talking hotdog!'

    Loved: 'Could be aliens, could be adultery. It's a corker.'
    Loved: 'Personal bubble! Personal bubble!'
    Disliked: The return of Detective Kate. Or 'insane cop-lady' as dubbed by my niece. :p
    Liked: Angel singing again. Badly yet enthusiastically. And the 'I'm very sorry' there at the end. :) Although she's not that keen on Lorne/The Host. She called him a 'walking MacGuffin'. :eek:
    Loved; Gunn's reaction to the news that Angel 'smetimes turns evil', plus the numerous continuity references.
    Ooh!: Darla's proper seduction job on Lindsey. 'Do you feel anything?' 'Not in my hand.'
    Liked: The W&H frame-job of Angel, which was pretty good, but my niece poked holes in it before Gunn did 'How could he have been invited in?' etc. My niece did like Cordy's 'we did more than help, we solved your damn case!' line at the cops.
    Liked: Gunn and Lockley meeting for the first time and Gunn treating her exactly how my niece would. ;)

    Stupid: The fact that Detective Kate researched all about Angelus but never once came across any reference to Darla? 'Some detective' :rolleyes:
    Hated: Kate's rant about people getting caught in the crossfire of Angel/W&H's 'games'. Urgh! I agree it was a bit self-righteous.

    Loved: Angel's showdown with Darla. The back-and-forth tug of war between them was fascinating. Especially Darla's delight about being bitten, Angel telling Darla she should embrace the 'mediocraty' of being human, Darla's jealousy over Buffy and Angel's assertion that Darla never made him happy because he never had a soul, the capacity to love and be loved. Plus the brillaint 'God doesn't want you, but I still do!'


    Next time (not this week- scheduling conflict!): Wesley decides to cos-play as Angel. It goes about as well as you'd expect.
     
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  4. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Well it's better than Fred/Gunn that's sure.
     
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  5. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Guise Will Be Guise
    Ah, this is a real treat. The first solid comedy episode we've had since 'Rm W/a Vu' and 'Sense & Sensitivity' way back in S1, and its written by Jane Espenson and this is a Wesley episode to boot. So of course I was going to enjoy the hell out of it. And I did.
    ...Why? Basically Alexis' performance, the growth of Wesley as he finally gets some bloody respect thrown his way. The guy really tries his best to step up to the plate and so we get a Wesley who has shades of his old self but also shows grit and bravery where it counts.

    The episode has a lot of charm, not just in regards to Wesley's character but also Angel being the butt of a couple of nice jokes about well, everything- his hair, his fashion, his name, his car, his curse...everything about him is deconstructed. :)
    Overall the episode is clever and has a shades of a great gangster noir or Hitchcock film, with warring gangs of magic-users, a dame in peril and a case of mistaken/assumed identity that leads to danger and complications. Thrown in a 'virgin' sacrifice and this one of my top Angel episodes ever.

    My niece liked it less- hard to like it more to be honest- but she thought it was a really hilarious, throwaway episode. She loved every bit with Wesley pretending to be 'Angel the vampire' and even ended up being impressed by his comedic ruse. She also loved Angel complaining bitterly about not being a eunuch, about Wesley stealing his lines and his coat, even joining Cordy in envying Wesley's fame at the end ('who says squired?').
    She thought the 'protection detail' was interesting enough, although she guessed Virginia was as much in danger from her father than outside forces. She greatly enjoyed the twist that Virginia hadn't been a virgin for quite a while, and especially liked the cross-talking dialogue at the climax that's very much an Espensen signature.
    The one sore point for her was lack of Cordelia and Gunn, what with the focus being mainly on Angel and Wesley, but this was minor stuff.

    Other minor stuff:
    Liked: Poor pratfall Wesley at the start driving away business (at least his falling was more organic here- rather than just random tripping over or whatever)
    Loved: Angel and Gunn going to inflitrate W&H. Cordelia's disguise as she intervene's 'Hello, lawyer!' *wiggles glasses* (couldn't we have had her in Season 5?) and Gunn's reaction to Angel's 'plan': 'walkin' real quick was the plan!'
    Liked: Cordelia's reaction to finding out Angel doesn't have to sing. :)
    Disliked: Karitas in general and she's still not sure about the Host. But at least he's helping Angel.
    Liked: Wesley pretending to be Angel to the heavy. 'That gun won't kill me, I'm a vampire.' etc.
    Loved: Cordelia's glorious Angel impression (not as good as Wesley's)- spinning in his chair, 'I can't do anything fun tonight, I have to count my past sins, then alphabetise them. Oh, by the way I'm thinking of snapping on Friday.' :D

    Liked; Most of the 'T'ish Magev's commentary about Angel, his car, his wardrobe. Angel getting defensive and confused. 'You're deeply ambivelent', 'Well I am and I'm not.'
    Especially on how Angel should get over Darla. 'You go out and find some little blonde thing, you love her, use her, break her heart, you and your inner demon will thank me.' Ouch.
    Eeeww!: Wesley having to drink blood. 'God! That's...nummy.'

    Liked: Wesley bonding with Virginia and promising to protect her.
    Impressed: Wesley intimidating a couple of heavies at the magic showroom, and then later fighting off two assassins.
    Liked: Wesley's half-hearted persuasion about 'the curse' 'more of a guide really', later echoed by Angel. :)
    Loved: Wesley's reaction to daylight 'No, don't, for I am a vampire. Oh..it burns!' He looks rather embarrased afterwards.

    Ow!!: Angel 'landing' the fake Magev with a fishing line.
    Liked: The bit where Wesley works out the entire plot whilst Angel is trying to figure out what's going on and then asking for his coat back.
    Liked: 'Release her or die!', 'Don't I say that?'
    Ick: The Davrik demon- pretty darn creepy.
    Loved: 'Rick the cultist' awkwardly sidling out away from the action when he was 'outed' by Virginia as a former beau. Hysterical. :D
    Loved: Angel's defiant 'I'm not a eunuch'.
    Loved: Cordelia being bitter at Wesley's new found fame. Also she liked that Wesley got the girl. :)

    Next time: Darla's origin story. Plus Crossover magic!
     
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  6. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    It's only directed by Joss Whedon. Mere Smith wrote it.

    It's very interesting that the imposer had so many insights of Angel. He didn't seem like a mind reader to me, so he must have used to be an Angel groupie like Lydia is a Spike groupie.:D

    I don't like Virginia's actress in this episode. Her line reading occasionally sounds like reciting.
     
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  7. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    It was really eerie how on-the-nose he was in an episode all about putting on a front and deception.
    I like to think that it was part of his training- he's some sort of martial arts/mercenary guy (how else can he give Angel a decent hand-to-hand fight?) so maybe he's good at 'cold reading' like a lot of con artists are. *shrug*

    I don't like Virginia period.
    In this episode she's pretty much the bitchy/spoilt/protected daughter and then she's just bland. I only remember that she has one funny line later on and then she breaks up with Wesley.
    That's right, she dumped Wesley. The woman is an idiot.
     
  8. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Darla
    To me this episode isn't as good a stand-alone as 'Fool For Love', it draws its appeal from being the linchpin in the on-going Darla storyline. The focus in the present is more about Darla's deteriorating mental state and W&H's machinations that anything else. It was nice to see everyone's mindset, Darla's confusion, Lindsey becoming more personally involved in his concern for Darla, Angel's desperation and Holland Manner's moving three moves ahead of everyone else.
    I did enjoy this a little more than FFL precisely because it feels more like part of the established arc and is a little more skillfully written. Also I was much more unfamilar with it so the ending had a stronger impact to me.

    The highlightsd for me were the flashbacks (we find out about Darla's origin, always great to see the Mater again, and Angel's desperate attempt to be accepted by 'his' gang of monsters again, leading to its inevitable failure) and that stunning final scene between Angel and Darla.
    Again the cutting between present day and the past worked really well and managing to give great symmetry between the episodes.

    My niece really enjoyed it for similar reasons (although overall FFL made much more of an impression on her) and because of all the flashback revelations weaved into the main narrative. She enjoyed seeing more of The Master and Drusilla and how the gang was brought about. She's also quite invested in the Darla storyline and is busily wondering what W&H hope to do to her and Angel, she does like that they're a sneaky bunch of bad guys who have some complex agenda that's more than just 'kill Angel'.

    Things she liked/disliked:
    Eek!: Angel's obsessively drawing Darla and Wesley's reactions to it. 'Right, so nothing wrong at all then.'
    Loved: Darla's declaration that she and Angel are 'soul-mates' and her horror at it.
    Loved: Actually all of Darla's breakdown. i think this is the first time she actually reacted to Julie Benz' impressive acting ability. Her confusion at 'what' she is now- human or vampire, her despair at her soul and wanting the pain to stop.
    Liked: Darla declaring (with some horror) that she and Angel are 'soul-mates'.
    Liked: Gunn's common sense solution to finding out where Darla has been stashed by W&H.

    Loved: The Master! Holy crap she almost squeed! (the first time in a while actually) when he pulled his cloak back and then he turned Darla.
    Loved: Angelus meeting The Mater for the first time, his arrogance and the way he seduces Darla away from her sire's side. My niece wondered if that's why Darla was second-class to Luke at the start of Buffy S1.

    Liked: Drusilla siring Spike from Angel's pov- bumping into some random guy in the street.
    Loved: Cordelia's 'tracking down' of Darla by prentending to be her long lost sister. Her actings getting better!
    Liked: Lindsey and Darla kissing. Darla biting him. :eek:
    Also: 'It's not me you wanna screw.'
    Loved: The shocking fact that Angel went back to darla even though he had a soul.
    Loved: The Boxer's Rebellion from Angel's pov, how it was all just chaos and confusion to him.

    Liked: That the whole Darla escaped/Lindsey helping her was carefully staged by Holland Manners. Like Mission Impossible, only evil. :eek:

    Liked: Spike blithely eating the Gypsy elder's family whilst Darla tries to strike a deal. :D

    Loved: The twist ending that goes from a sweet tender moment to 'awkward' when Darla asks Angel to make the pain stop. 'A favour?' You think you did me a favour?' You damned me.'
    Liked: The cross-cutting between Angel fleeing into the night and Darla fleeing into daylight.

    Angel as part of the Fanged Four:
    It's been claimed often by many fans that Angel (with a soul) spent years (or perhaps just many months) at Darla's side wantonly slaughtering humans and trying to be Angelus again. 'For shame, they say, 'look how bad he was with a soul.'.

    After I watched this episode that theory just doesn't hold water. At all.

    Let's look at the facts that are shown:
    1) In S1 'Five-By-Five' we see Angel return to where he and Darla lived, confronted with the memory of all the evil 'he' has commited. He's a hot-mess (only not so hot...) Darla's immediate reaction is to condemn his for his filthy soul and threaten to stake him. With the words 'you're not like anything!' ringing in his ears Angel flees into the night.
    2) Angel later tries to attack and feed/kill of a woman, beating up a bunch of men-folk and loudly claiming that he is a 'monster'. He is unable to do it and flees into the night.
    3) (in 'Darla') Meanwhile Darla- perhaps having calmed down and reconsidered a life without Angelus- has found the gypsies that cursed him and bargains with them to remove the curse. She says that she will spare the elders family from the massacre if he agree. Whoops, Spike puts an end to that plan.
    Also Angel wanders around the countryside looking grotty.
    4) During the Boxer Rebellion Angel manages to track Darla down and pursuades her to give him another chance, that they can be together again. Darla notes that he 'reeks of vermin' so we can say he hasn't killed people in the interum, he's 'Rat boy: Year One'.
    4) The rebellion reaches fever pitch. Spike kills his first slayer and Angel saves a cowering missionary family from a Boxer. This is important for later.
    5) Some short time (judging from the clothing and architecture they're almost certainly still in China) after Angel is coming in from a night out is confronted by Darla, who asks where he's been. He says he's been out feeding. She asks if he's been down at the waterfront feeding on rats again. Angel like all 'pfft, I've killed...stuff, people, lots of people, you were there'. Darla all 'bitch please, they were all evil so don't even start!' (murderers and rapists and the like).

    6) Then (and this is the key bit) Darla says that she went back to the slaughter and found the same missionary family still hiding where Angel left them. Darla then demands that Angel eats the cute lil' missionary baby (after she slaughtered the rest no doubt). Angel, unable to do it, flees with the child and the next time we see him he's moving around Ellis island reaking of rats again. (Faith asks if he missed out on the invention of the bath. etc)

    So...the question is: how long had that missionary family been hiding there? Many months? Weeks even? That doesn't make even the remotest bit of sense. At a stretch you could say a week. A fearful week of hiding in the same place hoping that the monsters/boxers wouldn't return. More likely it was a few days.

    So there you have it. Not years, or a year or even a month. A week, at the most.

    Next time: Talkin' 'bout a crazy little thing called the Shround Of Rahmon.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 29, 2016 ---
    The Shroud Of Rahmon
    Oof.
    This was surprisingly rough going for the both of us, so much so that we didn't feel like messing around with our Easter schedule to bother with another episode until we recovered (but we are watching four whole ones on April 1st!).
    I was surprised at this, I remember liking itmore, the heist set-up, the dark opening, the sense of foreboding, but ultimatly a lot of it is disjointed and just bad. Also Detective Kate is shoe-horned in and is at her most annoying that I've seen her so far.
    She shows up at the hotel with a cross (but no warrent) and rudely confronts Angel in his dark hotel room. I mean, I'm okay the fact that she's not dead but I could've seen her get a little more hurt y'know. Also, a couple of good lines not withstanding Cordelia and Wesley feel wasted here.

    The other main problem; the Shroud, or rather its 'madness' effects, are all over the place. Crazy can mean 'wacky' on one person, 'drunk' on another, 'bitter' on a third and 'homicidal' on the last. It's effects (and when it effects) are entirely inconsistent to the point of 'whaa?'
    Which means the overall tone of the episode that starts off well but then is all over the place, jarringly so. It's a shame because there's some interesting performances and again, I like heist set-ups.

    My niece was in a similar mind-set. She doesn't really like the 'characters are mind-controlled/affected/possessed' trope that appears in a lot of tv shows, so she quickly grew tired of the 'dangerous' shroud that made Wesley laugh a lot and Cordelia steal jewelry. The only bit she did enjoy was Angel impersonating Jay-Don the Vegas vamp, which was refreshing to see. His act that morphed into his personality was a subtle change that gave Angel's character a nice sense of ambiguity in this episode. She also liked Gunn getting a more active role in things.
    She, of course, wasn't pleased to see 'lady detective' again either and couldn't have cared less if Angel had killed actually her dead, especially after their first encounter in the hotel room. She liked the idea of a scary demon-religious artefact that has special powers but the execution was a big let-down for her.

    The mixed bag of things:
    Disliked (in hindsight) the opening with Wesley in police custody. Well-acted but in the end a bit of a let-down.
    Hated: Kate pulling a cross on Angel after barging into his private area!! (her emphasis)
    Loved: How Angel knocked the cross away and gave cop-lady a good scare. :D
    The only thing she liked about Kate this episode: She wanted her nice red leather jacket. :)
    Urgh!: Cordelia's terrible haircut. Also the insistance of everybody that it's...nice?

    Liked: Cordy's obvious jealousy at Wesley's parying life-style.
    Liked: Angel saying that he wanted 'something dark' to Gunn's sarcastic 'knitting' comment.
    Loved: Angel's impressed that Wes met Chow Yun Fat.
    Liked; Wesley being pleased that Angel's working a case.
    Loved: Angel's impression of Jay-Don. A lot of his Vegas speak was a hoot.
    Liked: 'People, you've got to leave your tombs earthed.'
    Awesome!: Cordelia's speech about virgin purity being about dominance. She loved that and thought it might actually be spot-on (in-verse) :D
    Disliked: The rest of the gang of crooks. Sher mostly found them boring, especially the bearded 'demon' who she thought could've just been some guy with a skin condition. Maybe he was, I dunno.
    Hated: Cop-lady driving to the museum alone. 'Is she crazy yet? Then why?' :p

    Hated: Most of the oot 'crazy' actions by everyone. Hyper or paraniod or whatever. It grated on her a lot.
    Loved: 'Look at you rushing in here all by yourself. You're the best cop ever!' Also his 'impression of Kate', shades of Angelus there.
    Meh: Kate surviving. At least she explained that Wesley was innocent.
    Liked: Cordelia and Wesley reviewing their efforts to help Angel this week. Bad, bad efforts.

    Next up: Angel undergoes a series of dangerous magical trials to prove his worth to some blonde. Sheesh, that vampire, always copying Spike...
     
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  9. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Does she think that Darla is gonna be Angel's love interest like she thought Kate was? What's her opinion about it?:D
     
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  10. Fuffy Baith

    Fuffy Baith 2017 (and 2016) Cutest BB member

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    Sineya
    Shroud of Rahmon is pretty bad. It feels life a season 1 episode. Angel pretending to be Jay Don is pretty funny though. I like when he has to do some acting and interact with new people. It's a break from him brooding.lol
     
    vellavu: But I love broody Angel. :D
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  11. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    My niece is learning a bit. She sees Darla as more of an antagonist at the moment. Last episode threw her for a bit of a loop so hopefully 'The Trial' will have her thinking that Angel/Darla could be a ship-thing and then Bam! Dru shows up.
    It's a brilliant twist and the story gets really good after that.

    I think that's fair. It's not terrible but it feels badly disjointed and there ain't much plot beyond 'macguffin that drives people weird'. It could've been a lot darker but some of it gets silly.

    One of the better parts of the episode. It was before 'wacky hyper Angel' became a big thing in S3 and soured me a little.
     
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  12. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    Since I am about to start season two for my thread I will comment on your reviews then and try and catch up. But yeah I think it is possibly the best of the five seasons and am really looking forward to this run through.:)
     
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  13. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    The Trial
    And here we have the beginning of the first turning point of the season. In an episode with a fairly shaky premise- one that turns out to be a red herring anyway- we see Angel desparate to save Darla from W&H and herself.
    Although its a fairly thinnly sketched plot, it does a lot with what it does have. The pacing is fast, the dungeon trials are well-handled (and painful to watch in places) and Darla is at her most vulnerable/lovely-a actual damsel in distress. And we know that Angel hasn't got the best track record when it comes to saving them...
    It's very interesting to see Angel's mind-set here, his single-minded determination (despite being warned by Lorne) and already his tendancy to split off from the group and go his own way is in full affect. More often than not Wesley and Cordelia are left spinning their wheels at the hotel whilst Angel is off on his own- doing his own thing. He's even keeping secrets from them, figuring that they'd nag and not wanting to deal with their opinions. Things are about to get dark.

    My niece really liked this episode; she's really caught up in the Darla plot, especially W&H's seeming contentment with her being out of their clutches in the world. her favourite parts were all the Darla/Angel scenes and the magical trial. She said it reminded her of the first episode of S2- Judgement'; something medieval and anacronistic being hidden in the middle of LA.
    Overall she enjoyed the build-up of tension, the apparent success, and then the rug being pulled out- Darla is doomed to die a mortal death despite everything Angel endured.
    And then Drusilla arrived!
    Safe to say that at this time she had a bit of trouble getting through 'Into The Woods' because she wanted to get back to this..

    What she liked/loathed:
    Liked: Cordelia and Wesley eavesdropping on Angel in the basement and speculating what he's up to down there.
    Liked: Wesley saying that making tea is how men talk about things in England.
    Loved: The reveal- turns out Angel's doing laundry. She also liked his mature speech about his conflicted feelings surronding Darla
    Loved: Wesley's smug: 'We had tea.'
    Disliked: Angel lying about all of the above and having Gunn search for Darla, his dismissal of his friends concerns. She even called Gun a 'big fat enabler!' :p
    Liked: Didn't we learn anything from the tea?'
    Uh-oh: W&H bringing Darla in to give her some bad news. Then letting her go.
    Liked: The Darla/Angelus flashback to the mob chasing them. (The first mention of Holtz!) I was surprised about how how brave Angelus was here, willing to go out in a blaze of glory. It's Darla that does the back-stabbing.
    Loved: Darla trying to convince/seduce a loser-vampire into siring her. His obvious pride in being sired over a decade ago.
    Liked: Angel confronting Darla about 'giving up' on being human. Darla's declaration that she's dying.
    Loved: Cordelia's reaction to Darla dying 'so just the one night then'. Plus, after Angel leaves, her and Wes declaring that Darla definitely is a prisoner. Their double act her had my niece grinning.
    Liked; Angel threatening Lindsey from the doorway. Lindsey just inviting Angel in, and then Angel going ahead and strangling Lindsey. Hehehe.
    Disliked: Lindsey saying that Angel can save Darla but won't. 'No, he'd be killing her and then she's become a demon- different'. That's her pov.
    Loved: Angel's statement to his friends that Darla never gever had a chance (which of course is a telling reveal about Angel wanting to save himself through Darla).
    Liked: Darla singing at Karitas. Plus Lorne's 'channel surfing'. She liked him this episode, especially his lamenting the loss of his barman.
    Loved: The whole trial. Angel diving into the swimming pool, Darla's life being at stake. Angel asking questions anf being all heroic/determined. The three trials themselves- a really hard fight, a gauntlet of pain, and the acceptance of death.
    Loved: The valet-guy. Very suave.
    Eek: Angel hulk-smashes as he rages out when its revealed that Darla cannot be saved.
    Liked: Angel saying that he could turn Darla- maybe
    Loved: Darla saying that nobody had cared about her before -really cared- and that's what matters. She's now content to die naturally. Angel stating that he'd be with her.
    Surprise!: W&H busting in and beating on Angel.
    Disliked: Lindsey's gloating 'how did you think this would end?' to Angel. She wondered how long Lindsey had known about this part of the plan. How much of before was an act?
    Loved! OMG!! Drusilla! Drusilla gives Darla and drains her as Angel watches on in despair. :eek::D
     
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  14. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I like this one. But unfortunately the actings of both David and Julie are all over the place. During the trial, Darla's concern and Angel's determination/despair are very unconvincing. I cringe every time I saw Darla's reaction of Angel's suffering.:rolleyes: In the confrontation of Angel/Lindsey, Angel looks more like a school boy than Lindsey does.

    Gunn's obedience is very inconsistent. He swings from rebellious to meek in different episodes, depending on how the story needs him to be.

    The Cordy and Wesley's make-ups are awful and this would last in the next few episodes.:eek:

    Yeah. It's amusing that Angelus is supposed to be the "survivor" and Spike is the hot headed, but I can't imagine Angelus coming to Giles' house begging for help when he needs to. This guy's sense of honor is definitely higher than Spike's.
     
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  15. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya
    Reunion
    Oof.
    Good oof, not bad. This episode is so dark and unexpectedly disturbing the final scenes leave you reeling. Up until that point its very well told, in turns funny and tense, dramatic and horrifying. Drusilla is a joy here, in actual fact I think I liked her better here than in S2 of BtVS. I suppose because she's acting on her own initiative instead of being part of a pair. It's great to see her interact first with the W&H staff and then with a newly revived Darla. Great to see Angel and co working together again if only briefly- and Gunn again showing that his perspective adds another strength to the group.

    The episode showcases so many great moments; chiefly the Darla/Drusilla double-act, previously only ever seen in flashbacks- and the chillingly evil Holland Manners. His first confrontation with Angel was classic villainy, the second was a whole different type of villain- insideous.
    I have to say the only downside about this particular arc is there hasn't been much Cordelia/Wesley stuff for a good few episodes, they've been sidelined since 'Guise Will Be Guise'. The focus has very much been on Angel's particular destination. That will change for the better soon, as we'll have the two diverging storylines both given plenty of screentime.

    And my niece loved it as well. The ending shocked her- as well it should- and was left wondering how Angel could come back from this, given that he's been spiralling down this path for a while. She half expected Darla and Dru to escape, not...well, what happened. The gang's reaction back at base mirrored hers nicely. And then the 'you're all fired' was just another holy crap moment to add to all the others.
    It's telling that she thought that this twist was a natural progression of what had been seen over previous episodes but the Riley/Buffy stuff seemed forced/unnatural.
    So

    What she liked in particular.
    Liked: Angel's weary delirium as Gunn brings him back tot he hotel. The others struggling to make sense of things. Then the reaction to Drusilla being mentioned.
    Loved: Angel's grabbing a stake and saying that Darla would live to rise again (or words to that effect).

    Liked: Gunn trying to make sense of the muddled timeline. Darla getting kiled, then revived, and then turned by her 'Granddaughter'. Getting weirded out by that last bit.

    Loved: Drusilla preparing the nursery and Darla's body as she talks nonsense. Lindsey asking 'Can she hear you?' 'She's dead.' :)
    Loved: Cordelia declaring that Dru's a loony.
    Liked: The gang narrowing down where Drusilla would be performing her ritual/birth thing- using the clues that have been given away with all the crazy talk. Drusilla, she's like a hot, female Riddler in this episode. :D
    Loved: The awesome thresway rooftop brawl. My niece especially liked seeing Drusilla in a fight, and the factt hat Darla was really strong.
    Liked: Darla's violent reaction to be re-turned. Drusilla's confusion before she gets upset and Darla ends up comforting her.
    Liked: Cordelia asking if Angel had any idea where Darla was going to be, or maybe a hunch, or perhaps even an inkling?
    Loved: Angel's dismissive attitude towards the person the PtB had sent him to save. Ranting about Margag and telling the guy he had plenty to live for. Probably.
    Loved: Drusilla: 'I'm ringing, I'm ringing' with a phone in her cleavage.
    Liked: Angel finally facing off with Manners. Manners coolly evil speech- very Lex Luthor.

    Disliked: Kate Lockley being there, even if she did surprise my niece by doing something sensible/not awful and releasing Angel from police custody.
    Liked: Darla and Drusilla terrorising the previously self-satisfyed W&H suits. Manners trying to reason his way out of it. Lindsey's calm indifference (my niece thought that was weird), Drusilla's sensing what the cellar used to be and Darla savoring not being a victim.
    Liked: 'Dru honey, in our next place we have to get ourselves a people cellar.'
    Loved: 'And yet somehow I just can't seem to care.' The face-off and then Angel leaves them to it. Actually Angel locking the door and calmly walking off as Darla and Dru have their 'massacre'.
    Liked: The gang's shocked reactions. Some anger and condemnation but also the offer of support. Wesley's appeal that the three of them are the only ones who are keeping Angel grounded.
    Loved: 'You're all fired.' And then Angel gets up and leaves.

    Next time: Angel gets dark. The rest get drunk.


    Interesting thought: Did Drusilla do the same 'ritual' thing with Spike as she did with Darla? She is a classicist after all and she picked William for an important reason- to be 'hers'. So presumably she would've liked the ritual there too. Might've been why Spike was gone for so long when he was first turned.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2016
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  16. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Spike told Buffy that he had clawed his way out of the soil too. So I guess it was the case.
     
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  17. Fuffy Baith

    Fuffy Baith 2017 (and 2016) Cutest BB member

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    Sineya
    Renuion is one of my favorite episodes of Angel. I love Darla and Drusilla.
    I love that line and that scene. It's not what anyone was expecting from Angel. He just let's those people die and doesn't seem to care. Then fires the gang! I really like the season progression of dark Angel. It's more interesting than brooding Angel. lol

    I just love that moment. Drusilla doesn't know what's happening, but Darla just grabs the phone and answers it knowing that it's Holland. She's a lot smarter than she looks.

    Haha! Even Drusilla is not that crazy Lindsey. lol.
     
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  18. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    And we're just about at the same place so a good time for me to dive in!:D

    Didn't think much to the storytelling personally, part of that might have been that it felt out of step with the direction. I thought the actress playing Bethany was really one note, and her part was that stereotypical damsel in distress. Good point on Cordy's point speech to Bethany. Guess they are setting the table for deeper feelings for Angel later, but still its a shitty thing to say.

    That and it is difficult to sell telekinesis as a credible and dramatically engaging condition on television even the X-Files failed;) Didn't like the set piece with the father, felt cheap, over blown and predictable. The bit with Lilah was quite well done through.

    Think it was a missed opprtunity with Lilah myself. They had a chance to at least hint at a more human side and could have explored that tension further even if it is ultimately revealed to be part of another W&H scheme. They had the reveal too soon and then just having her told off by Holland was such a waste. This should have been a Lilah episode IMO.

    Liked that too! Highlight of the episode for me. Its good that they keep the Darla arc slowly burning while still telling a different story. Its somthing their quite critical of on the dusted podcast but it works for me, and its not like every scene has to be about the story of that episode.
     
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  19. vellavu

    vellavu Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Did she assume that Lilah and Lindsey got killed along with Manners?:p
     
  20. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    She must have, and what a diffferent show it might have been without them.
     
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