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AtS Season 2 Rewatch


Mar 23, 2017
Black Thorn
Guise Will Be Guise

I love this episode so much. I find everything about it enjoyable, except perhaps for Cordelia's hair, which has definitely begun its long and strange journey. And, well, Gunn's line about Virginia obviously not being a virgin is...not my favorite.

But those are all of my complaints!

I really, really want to hug Angel throughout this episode. Poor guy. Both Cordelia and Wesley do excellent Angel impressions, though I have to give the edge to Cordy, lol. I especially enjoy the scenes with the faux T'ish Magev. I just love how Angel is trying to be open to the therapy aspect. Like, he's a little defensive at the line of questioning, but he doesn't blow up or say "screw this." He is even willing to admit his persona is somewhat affected. It just makes me love him so much.

This is probably me reaching, but it made me think of Faith in Revelations with Gwendolyn Post. Both Faith and Angel show they are willing to do the work to the person who is holding them accountable. They know things won't be easy, and they're not even looking for easy. But getting them to open up and then turning on them is the worst thing you can do (which we also saw in AYNOHYEB, with Angel). GP effectively poisoned Faith's relationships with Buffy and the Scoobies, and the encounter with the fake TM, which had the potential to really help Angel, instead possibly reinforces for Angel that no one can help/understand him, or worse, that he's at his core a demon and shouldn't resist that. (And that's the part that responds to Darla, that is obsessed with her.)

I'm really looking forward to getting back into the Darla arc in earnest, but I'm glad to have this reminder of just how much I love Angel. (And Wes and Cordy and Gunn and Lorne. I even like Virginia a lot.)


The Trial

Welcome to Syphilis Girl, starring Darla as Buffy, Lindsay as Xander, Holland as the freaky hentai monster and Angel as himself.

This episode gives us both the Angel that I love and the Angel I find kinda off-putting. The scenes where Angel puts on a facade of calm in front of Wes and Cor and the scene where he mocks Lindsay for his obsession with Darla truly disturb me. I think there are two reasons. First, more than any other character, Angel's journey is about being a champion, so his story necisserily becomes just as much about failing to be that champion. Second, Angel is just so extremely casual about lying to his friends and so unfazed about being caught. I miss the crying and the hugging and the making up of the Scoobies.

So, continuing my idea of Darla as a pop star fallen on hard times, the scene with her basically prostituting herself to the freak in the bar. Darla is vaguely similar to the singer Nico, who I really admire. Nico was a heroin addict for 15 years, which is quite the achievement, and seeing as she never came close to commercial success, it is not hard to imagine that she found herself forced into some really disturbing situations during that time. Like Darla, Nico had a reputation for being kinda evil and often looked vampire-esque, but she had this beautiful fragility that Darla has as both a human and as a souled vampire. Darla even sings. And she's good. Real good.

I love the ridiculousness of Angel jumping into a pool. The juxtaposition of the fantastical and the mundane is one of the most charming things about the show.

The titular trial itself is a nice bit of meta commentary. This is what Angel wants, not just in this case but in general. He wants the universe to tell him what it requires of him, so that he can provide that and be forgiven. If everything could be solved this way, then he would have no need for his later epiphany ... an epiphany that is really just a rephrasing of things that both Angel and Buffy have said in the past ... but the path to wisdom is ongoing and circular. However, S2 of Angel may be the first time we really tackle the consequences of this type of fatalism.

The episode shows what was supposed to be Buffy's fate ... and Ford's fate. Xander and Angel gave Buffy a get-out-of-jail-free card. It is really now that we see how harsh the central moral imperative of the show is.

Angel's words about how Darla never had a chance is one of the most heartbreaking things ever uttered on a television show. However, the moral lesson here is that the universe does not care. It does not distribute chances equally ... and we're all going to die and we will probably panic when it happens and it will probably hurt. Most of us won't die of a syphilitic heart condition, but it can't be that much worse than cancer, can it?

Drusilla is majestic. It is very hard for me to watch her and not be team evil.

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
Jul 11, 2017
Black Thorn
First Impressions:

Not to sound redundant but... I love this one too. "I haven't bothered to see a movie since Denzel was robbed of the Oscar for his role in Malcom X" I love Gunn!

Angel and Darla look beautiful in this episode. Especially in Caritas and the bathing suit scenes.

"Hope on board gorgeous." - I. die. I love it.... love it so much.

I love angry Gunn and Cordy's cut-the-bullshit attitude. It just... works so well for me. S2 is my favorite AtS season for a myriad of different reasons but one of them is I really love Cordy. And I particularly love her in this episode. She is so brave and she is relentless with Gunn. Gunn could use someone to cut through his tough exterior because he has alot of anger and resentment. But also - I love that Gunn takes Cordy out of her element. Gunn's world is very different from Cordy's world (especially the one she grew up in). I know they don't really go there here but it was ripe for such a cool storyline. For her to get to know a little more about some of his life. I think it could be eye-opening for her. The hospital scene is so heartwarming between those two and ... I. Ship. It.

I also love Cordy as having all of this medical knowledge but I'd love a story about how she got it. Like wouldn't it be cool if she said she took a first aid class or something?

The Darla creep factor at the end always gives me chills.

I have always thought that the dreams are like Angel's raw desires. Darla is feeding into Angel's raw lusty feelings. And she is using that desire to control him in the dream.

Ugh not looking forward to this one.

Cordy doesn't like Bethany from the very get-go it seems. She doesn't trust her and her reasons for not trusting her are kinda effed up? Because she gets a sex vibe??

The dad abuse story ....blargh.

The bedroom scene between Bethany and Angel makes me uncomfortable. The whole "he's got a boner" innuendo. And the way that Bethany talks about sex is heartbreaking. I also hate x 100 the Cordy and Bethany scene. And I don't feel like talking about it.

Anyway, I love the moment at the end with Lilah and Angel. They just have good chemistry.

I don't really know what else to say on this one. I'm not a fan.

My fav line:
"I'm very well preserved." Yes, yes you are.
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