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Discussion of 1.18 "Five By Five" - Aired 4/25/2000 (WB-US)

Out for a walk

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Fantastic episode. The first season needed more of this. Too bad Faith couldn’t have been a regular character on Angel.
 

spikenbuffy

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Great episode and amazing episode, one in my top 5 from ATS S1

- Love that Faith appears in ATS, love her, this episode is the beggining besides the episode of BTVS "Who Are You" that Faith is not fine with being a murderer and will go later make a confession and will go in jail by herself.
- Angel & Lindsay scene at Wolfram & Hart is great, they are amazing together:).
- The scene at AI is hilarious, I love the lines of Cordelia to Angel about Wesley when she refers to the events in Consequence of BTVS " Angel, it's not Wesley's fault that some British guy ruined your , oh wait, (to Wes) that was you. (to Angel) Go on. ":D
- Faith dancing wildly and provocking fights is good, love it, Faith is sexy as hell.
- Angel wearing a suit & tie is class :cool: and his scene with the lawyer who believes that Angel was in a meeting before is funny:D. I'm always laughing at Angel 's face when the lawyer's coming to him and pointing to him and then Angel is relieved when the lawyer don't know that he is Angel :D. Plus Angel faking that he was in a meeting is also great and hilarious lol.
- Lindsay & Lilah are also great and funny in this episode BUT I dislike Lee.:mad:
- Like I said I dislike Lee, so I was happy that Faith hit him a lot of times, it's good to see for me.
- Love that Denny is protective and love Cordy by trying to not let her enter in her apartment to protect Wes & Cordy from Faith, I love all the time in ATS when Denny the ghost is sweet with Cordy. :)
- Poor Wesley, Faith tortures him :(.
- Faith VS Angel is amazing :cool:.
- Faith break down scene at the end is very well done, it's heartbreaking for me, I had tears in my eyes when I rewatched this scene recently. :(
 

Btvs fan

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Best episode of the season and one of the best the show did. That final scene is so powerful even today
 

RiverandFaith

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Fantastic episode. The first season needed more of this. Too bad Faith couldn’t have been a regular character on Angel.
While I don't wish Faith would have been a regular, I do wish she would've had more appearances. This episode is great for me because it break Faith down more than any other episode so far. We've seen her have some not so awesome relationships with the scoobies, finding a father figure in the mayor and starting off on her own, but in this we see her really break down. She starts off as careless, dancing, only worried about having fun and being on her own. Then she gets to confront parts of her past and she by the end she just collapses. I think one of the best details in the "I'm bad, Kill me" scene, is that there is no music, no background except for rain and her crying.
 

Oromous

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And thus I've finally arrived at what is possibly the best episode of Angel season 1 thus far, an episode so well-written I'm able to put behind me Faith's transgressions in "Who Are You".

Faith blends into the dark and gothic world of Angel perfectly with her eye-shadows and skintight black leather. Her wrecking havoc in LA nightclubs works tonally well and easily made me comfortable with her appearance rather than made it jarring. Faith works as an addition to the show and I wouldn't even mind having her moving over here entirely, leaving Buffy behind (like Cordelia). I mentioned before that I wanted a brilliant Joker-like antagonist to play against Angel, someone who is the dark reflection of Angel the way Moriarty/Sherlock and Joker/Batman's relationships work. While Faith is the dark reflection of Buffy, she works well as a mirror reflection of Angel as well since both made bad choices in the face of bad circumstances. Her entering the Angelverse in this episode is also made more entertaining because of the personal stake not only Angel has against her, but also Wesley. Angel's heated exchange with Wesley's poor actions when handling Faith in Buffy S3 was not only nail-biting great writing, it's also an important step here for Wesley's character development as he rectifies his past failure as a Watcher, a failure that ultimately led to his loss of confidence in himself.

And I just couldn't overstate enough how much I love antagonists whom the hero has a personal stake against, someone who knows the things that would hurt the protagonist the most. It's an old storytelling tool, and it's worked effectively for a long time. There's just this danger someone like Faith brings along that threatens the very things the hero cares about that's different from a Big Bad villain who's all-powerful, and it's that level of threat that makes her appearance so exciting. And Faith didn't disappoint me as a villain when she kidnaps Wesley and proceeds to torture him in ways similar to Angelus' methods.

However, whereas watching Angelus work his magic is good entertainment, watching Faith in this episode offers me something deeper: a realization of how much I was like her once in terms of being this self-destructive person who accepts the fact that she's beyond saving and goes on a suicidal rampage. It's not a fun feeling to have because you're in so much pain having no one to love you in this world, leaving your heart bleeding dry 'till it's an empty vessel. And when thinking of her character that way, I could relate to her a whole lot deeper than I initially thought. Prior to this episode, I knew well enough that she bears more hatred for herself than for others, but I didn't quite comprehend yet what that meant; "Five by Five" is the first time I come to understand that concept and begin to truly feel for Faith and the way she's hurting as if I was looking into a mirror. Even as she's torturing Wesley, you could see in her eyes that she's seeking his approval as her ex-Watcher, someone who could have genuinely cared about her in spite of her flaws. She's convinced herself that this, and I quote Faith, "disgusting murderous bitch," is the best version of herself she could ever hope to be, so she yearns for someone like the Mayor to accept that broken spirit and still love her for whom she is. Unfortunately for her and me, the world doesn't work that way.

But what I really want to talk about for this episode is something Passion of the Nerd has inspired me to talk about when it comes to the Buffyverse: choices. In his video, he has more eloquently expressed why Faith's character is such a great examination of Angel's existentialist values. As I mentioned above, Faith works as an effective mirror reflection for Angel as well because of the similarity in their tragic background. Both Angel and Faith were thrust into circumstances beyond their control: Faith was born to a lonely life, an alcoholic mother and an absent father, while Liam's struggle with earning approval from his father ultimately led to him being turned into a soulless vampire by Darla, and he's still seeking approval even after his father's death. The difference is the choices they make in spite of how indifferent the universe is towards their circumstances. Angel chooses the higher calling of redemption rather than let his past sins define him; Faith chose the opposite and allowed her worst self to be her only self. To sum up what this means in the Buffyverse, I'd like to quote a brilliant line that has now become my favorite quote from Buffy: "You don't have a good choice, but you have a choice!" (Buffy Season 2, Episode 17, "Lie to Me") Both Faith and Angel had a choice to be better, even if it doesn't necessarily grant them happiness.

An interesting line Faith has said this episode also gives you further insight on the way she sees fate as being responsible for the way she is now:

Faith (to a tied up Wesley): "Did you ever wonder if things would've been different if we never met? And what if you had Buffy and Giles had been my Watcher? Think we'd still be here right now? Or is it just like fate, where there's no choice? Ever think about that stuff? Fate and destiny? I don't."

However, as can seen from the flashbacks of Angel/Liam here in this episode, Liam was also similarly dealt a bad hand and continued to make poor choices even after regaining his soul (attacking a woman out of hunger). It wasn't until he began his arduous path towards redemption (letting that woman go) that his life began to change, ultimately gaining him a family in Cordelia, Doyle and Wesley. Faith could've had that. Both Buffy and Angel had earned their happiness in the face of tragic circumstances only by making countless hard choices; Faith, tragically, gave into fate.

Even without knowledge of the rest of the series, I could tell that this episode marked an important milestone in AtS. Not only did it show us a darker side of Wesley who's harboring this vengeful desire to become the better Watcher he wasn't (being ready to kill Faith with the knife), it also possesses the kind of layered storytelling similar to peak Buffy in season 2 that produced powerful messages about life, allowing the audience to grow with believable characters that feel true to life. While Angel has had some fantastic episodes so far, this feels like the one that has a clear identity for the first time in knowing what messages it wants to convey to the audience without all the distracting tropes and cliches in previous episodes. This is the kind of storytelling that made Buffy such a powerful series for adolescences in the '90s, and as I've predicted correctly come this episode, Angel will do the same for an older audience. Upon the closing scene with the hard rain pouring over Angel, Wesley and Faith, I felt a deep sense of poignancy and elation, having experienced such a lesson in growth and life choices from the show. I for one can't wait to see what comes next for both AtS and Faith.
 
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DeadlyDuo

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And I just couldn't overstate enough how much I love antagonists whom the hero has a personal stake against, someone who knows the things that would hurt the protagonist the most. It's an old storytelling tool, and it's worked effectively for a long time.
In general, whilst having villains somehow connected to the hero is a great storytelling device, it should also be used in moderation. When every villain is connected to one of the heroes in some way, not only does it become eye rollingly unoriginal, it also breaks the suspension of disbelief. I think Buffy and Angel got the mixture right because other than the Whirlwind and Faith, none of the other "big" villains have any personal connection to Angel and Buffy. On OUAT, it's a completely different story where all but one villain (who was part of a trio) have connections to at least one of the main group of heroes. There's a few Buffy connections in OUAT such as some cast members, some writers, same producer, plus a scene that blatantly rips off the Bangel Becoming scene. It's a fairly decent show, though it does get annoying at times storywise and characterwise. There's currently a re-watch going on if you're interested?
 

Oromous

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In general, whilst having villains somehow connected to the hero is a great storytelling device, it should also be used in moderation.
Agreed. I found it annoying when it's used that way in Marc Webb's "Amazing Spider-Man" universe, where Peter Parker, instead of being the Average Joe we've known and love, became this special Chosen One whom every single villain was tied to.

But I guess my point was that there's just this feeling that's evoked when you have a threatening villain that knows how the hero works and what he/she fears the most. It's a kind of relationship you can't get with a new villain every episode that needs new introduction and built-up. I agree that it's best used in moderation, yes, and I'm not saying that every single season needs a villain that's tied to Buffy or Angel. But for what it's worth, there have been good examples of other shows stretching a Big Bad over an entire seasonal arc without overselling the archenemy's presence, such as the likes of Netflix's Jessica Jones, season 1, where the titular heroine has a very deep-rooted agenda against the Big Bad of the season, The Purple Man, the man who mind-controlled her to do his bidding. All I'm saying is that the story and drama can be more fun and engrossing when it's done well like that.

And I don't think a "personal connection" is necessary for such a villain to exist either. The Joker knew of Batman before The Dark Knight but he only met the hero in the movie itself; likewise with Bullseye in Netflix's Daredevil, season 3, or The Kingpin in season 1, the latter of whom only met DD in the season itself, not in some backstory event prior to the series premiere. You can have a villain who knows the in-and-outs of a hero by gradually building him up from the season premiere.

On a side note, Buffy technically does have one other Big Bad with personal connection to her: Angelus in season 2, though admittedly, he only became a 'bad' mid-season. When I think back to The Mayor, I feel like, while he's a fun enough villain with enough charm and relatability as a father figure to Faith... I just wasn't that invested in him when the time came for his defeat in Graduation. He felt like just another end of the world villain that needs to be defeated like The Master in spite of his connection with Faith. This wasn't the case with Angelus, whom Buffy had to struggle even harder against because of how she feels about Angel. And again, I'm not saying that every season needs a villain with a personal connection to Buffy; the Mayor worked well enough as an obligatory Big Bad in season 3. But as you can see from my lack of enthusiasm towards him, such a villain just isn't as effective. This is probably even more true with The Institute and Adam, both of whom I give zero F about.

There comes a point in a show like Buffy when the Big Bad just becomes a typical Big Bad the hero needs to defeat at the end of the season. That's the trapping of a TV series. And I feel that such a pattern is just becoming boring for me. It makes me feel like Buffy is the janitor who needs to take out the trash every new season (as opposed to an epic battle where the hero and villain clashes with their contrasting philosophies). I think with modern TV series especially, showrunners are making an active effort to make every season feel special and unique in some way, further developing the main character in a distinct and meaningful way every season rather than winging it with just, "Oh, Buffy is starting college now, I guess. Maybe we can have her explore post-highschool life and how new everything feels." It's one reason why season 4 felt so dull for me in spite of all its funny episodes.

On OUAT, it's a completely different story where all but one villain (who was part of a trio) have connections to at least one of the main group of heroes. There's a few Buffy connections in OUAT such as some cast members, some writers, same producer, plus a scene that blatantly rips off the Bangel Becoming scene. It's a fairly decent show, though it does get annoying at times storywise and characterwise. There's currently a re-watch going on if you're interested?
Erm, I think I'll pass. 😆 No offense, but I'm just busy enough as it is, not having sufficient time to watch the shows I haven't seen, let alone rewatching shows I have. And yes, I have seen OUAT up 'till season six. It was a decent show for what it was, though I only watched it because of my fascination with fairy tales (plus, Ginnifer Goodwin was SO beautiful in her perfect casting as the innocent Snow White). I've enjoyed myself though in spite of my problems with the later seasons (the Frozen one in particular). It was a nice modern take on fairy tales, even if I wish someone would just make a horror show based on the darker variations of the original fairy tales.
 
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DeadlyDuo

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such as the likes of Netflix's Jessica Jones, season 1, where the titular heroine has a very deep-rooted agenda against the Big Bad of the season, The Purple Man, the man who mind-controlled her to do his bidding. All I'm saying is that the story and drama can be more fun and engrossing when it's done well like that.
On a side note, Buffy technically does have one other Big Bad with personal connection to her: Angelus in season 2, though admittedly, he only became a 'bad' mid-season.
I was counting Angelus within the Whirlwind. You had Spike and Dru connected to Angel, then you had Angelus connected to Buffy. On Angel, you had Darla and Dru connected to Angel, then you also had Faith. I suppose you could count Penn as well alongside James and Elizabeth, but they're more "here's some characters from Angel's past that we've not seen or heard about before this episode and won't hear about again afterwards"

I thin the first series of Angel relied on a fair few crossovers in order to get people to watch the new series and sort of help it to "bed in" so to speak.

It's one reason why season 4 felt so dull for me in spite of all its funny episodes.
Season 4 is the last season before the start of what I call the "Dawnverse" so I consider it to be the last of the original canon. Certainly it's no Season 2, but I prefer it to Seasons 5-7. I dislike the notion that life turns to crap when you become an adult which seems to be the theme that is pushed from Season 5 onwards.

Erm, I think I'll pass. 😆 No offense, but I'm just busy enough as it is, not having sufficient time to watch the shows I haven't seen, let alone rewatching shows I have. And yes, I have seen OUAT up 'till season six. It was a decent show for what it was, though I only watched it because of my fascination with fairy tales (plus, Ginnifer Goodwin was SO beautiful in her perfect casting as the innocent Snow White). I've enjoyed myself though in spite of my problems with the later seasons (the Frozen one in particular). It was a nice modern take on fairy tales, even if I wish someone would just make a horror show based on the darker variations of the original fairy tales.
No offense taken. :)Feel free to change your mind though. :p

I only saw the Season 6 finale last month. I've not seen Season 7 yet though I do know some of the stuff that happens.

I dislike what they did with Snow's character in Season 3 onwards. They made her stupider (even Dopey could've guessed Zelena was the Wicked Witch everyone was looking for since she just randomly inserted herself into Snow's life) but also her clothes became a lot frumpier. In the earlier seasons her clothes were conservative but cute, but post-baby, they were just frumpy. Belle had the same problem fashion wise. In Season 2 she had some nice dresses and wears skirts and blouses yet as the seasons progress, her clothes become a bit frumpy. There was a slight improvement in the back half of Season 6 where it was more "Belle-like" but I'd say from the back half of Season 3 to the end of Season 5, her clothes weren't that nice.

The Frozen arc was awful and definitely my least favourite of the series. It was lazy and basically relied on people having seen the Frozen film. There was no reimagining of the characters, it was a simple cut and paste, and Anna was so annoying especially when they inserted her into the flashbacks of Charming and Belle and became the reason why they were who they were personality wise. I only liked her in the scene where she nearly drowned. The guy playing Kristoff and the reindeer were good though.

In Season 7 a grown up Hansel is a serial killer. There's elements in Season 7 that are darker than the the first 6 seasons but it certainly doesn't delve into horror show territory (though in my opinion the Season 6 episode with the giant spider was kind of veering into that territory).
 

Oromous

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I was counting Angelus within the Whirlwind.
*looks up "The Whirlwind*

Ohhhh, so that's what you meant by the Whirlwind... lol I tend to be kinda dense when it comes to names like that.

Season 4 is the last season before the start of what I call the "Dawnverse" so I consider it to be the last of the original canon. Certainly it's no Season 2, but I prefer it to Seasons 5-7. I dislike the notion that life turns to crap when you become an adult which seems to be the theme that is pushed from Season 5 onwards.
I don't know. Adulthood is pretty crappy for myself compared to my childhood. 😆 I also have an attraction to stories with angst, so if Buffy focuses on "life turning to crap" even more from season 5 onward, it might actually be something I would like. On the other hand, too much of that angst (without believable reasoning) can become melodrama, which is something I don't enjoy. Guess I'll have to wait and see.

I dislike what they did with Snow's character in Season 3 onwards. They made her stupider (even Dopey could've guessed Zelena was the Wicked Witch everyone was looking for since she just randomly inserted herself into Snow's life) but also her clothes became a lot frumpier. In the earlier seasons her clothes were conservative but cute, but post-baby, they were just frumpy.
Yeah, I feel like they did Snow dirty in the show. She was such a refreshing take on Snow White at the beginning, smart and independent rather than "waiting for her prince to come" like Disney's animated version. She, along with much of the early seasons of OUAT, actually felt like they were basing off of the darker and more grounded vibe from the original Brothers Grimm's fairy tales, but by the time Frozen came along, it felt like there was this bubbly naivete present that made me grow out of Disney movies to begin with.

Also, I don't think they just made her stupider - she was practically a wallflower by season 3. There wasn't much for her character to do other than being Emma's mother (until she became interesting again for the first time as the Evil Queen for one episode).

I think in terms of her clothing, it was something out of the producers' hands, seeing as Ginnifer had a baby coming. It's just one of those behind-the-scenes circumstance that I don't mind because real life happens. *shrug*

I only liked her in the scene where she nearly drowned.
OUCH! Brutal! 🤣 I don't really care much for her either, running off with the first man she did a musical number with in the movie. I also didn't care much for the movie either to be honest. I wish Elsa was instead a sympathetic villain in that movie, maybe as the only pragmatic character whose head isn't stuck in some Disney La La Land. Yeah, I have issues with Disney. 🤣

In Season 7 a grown up Hansel is a serial killer. There's elements in Season 7 that are darker than the the first 6 seasons but it certainly doesn't delve into horror show territory (though in my opinion the Season 6 episode with the giant spider was kind of veering into that territory).
That sounds like an interesting development, but half the reason why I stuck around for so long was the charisma of the original cast members, especially Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison, which is why I really didn't feel like picking up season 7 where they're gone. I loved the Dark Swan arc (even though I felt it was kinda squandered), and Jennifer's performance was a big reason why I kept watching.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Yeah, I feel like they did Snow dirty in the show. She was such a refreshing take on Snow White at the beginning, smart and independent rather than "waiting for her prince to come" like Disney's animated version. She, along with much of the early seasons of OUAT, actually felt like they were basing off of the darker and more grounded vibe from the original Brothers Grimm's fairy tales, but by the time Frozen came along, it felt like there was this bubbly naivete present that made me grow out of Disney movies to begin with.
They kind of started messing with the whole premise of the show when they killed off Baelfire (Rumple's entire reason for the cark curse) and then started adding other realm jumping devices and then it became all about the macguffins and deux ex machina.

Belle was constantly screwed over by the show. Her role literally consisted of being absent for several episodes at a time, walking out on Rumple, reuniting with Rumple, or being the one to info dump and exposition. Even though Giles had that exposition role in Buffy, they did it in such a way where it wasn't obvious.

Also, I don't think they just made her stupider - she was practically a wallflower by season 3. There wasn't much for her character to do other than being Emma's mother (until she became interesting again for the first time as the Evil Queen for one episode).
I think they focussed too heavily on the Snow White story in Season 1 and 2 that they didn't have anywhere really to go beyond that so they began inserting incessant Regina vs Snow flashbacks and you knew they weren't going to kill each other so it got very repetitive. The Medusa Snowing flashback in Season 3 was complete filler and a waste of time, they could've used that episode for a Felix flashback, especially since he died in the next episode. Neverland had so many wasted opportunities. They could've used all the Season's flashbacks on the Neverland characters and Baelfire's time there such as how did he escape the island the first time? Even Hook, who was featured to heavily in other seasons, was ironically underused during the Neverland arc despite it being the story he originated from. I did like Pan and Felix's genuine friendship, there's always something about villain relationships, be they romantic or platonic, that are just so much more interesting than the heroes' relationships. It's one of the reasons I like Sprusilla so much in the Buffyverse.

I think in terms of her clothing, it was something out of the producers' hands, seeing as Ginnifer had a baby coming. It's just one of those behind-the-scenes circumstance that I don't mind because real life happens. *shrug*
Her pregnancy was written into the show in the back half of Season 3 though her second one wasn't, but it was Snow's attitude as well. She became unlikeable.

It did give a funny visual though where Robin helps Regina off the ground whilst leaving a heavily pregnant woman lying on the floor. Snow wasn't supposed to be pregnant at that point in time but the actress clearly was.

I also found Robin annoying with his simpering over Regina, then it turns out she killed Marian and yet Robin doesn't seem to care. Also he was immediately attracted to her even though as far as he knew she was still the evil queen etc. That relationship was very rushed. Dark Robin from the wish realm was much more interesting (so it wasn't the actor's fault), but then they even changed the premise of the wish realm.

That sounds like an interesting development, but half the reason why I stuck around for so long was the charisma of the original cast members, especially Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison, which is why I really didn't feel like picking up season 7 where they're gone. I loved the Dark Swan arc (even though I felt it was kinda squandered), and Jennifer's performance was a big reason why I kept watching.
I didn't really like Emma in Season 6 especially when she basically forced Hook to propose because she'd been rummaging through his things. I wasn't a big fan of Hook but he grew on me in Season 6 and he could do a lot better than Emma. Again, Emma's fashion sense also took a nosedive and she looked constantly miserable and ill.

The Dark Swan arc was a bit of a let down for me. How they set it up at the end of Season 4 is not what it turned out to be. The concept was interesting, the execution not so much.

The actor who played adult Hansel was very good, he could elicit sympathy for the character and for why the character was behaving as he was, even though his actions ultimately made him a "villain".
 

Oromous

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Belle was constantly screwed over by the show. Her role literally consisted of being absent for several episodes at a time, walking out on Rumple, reuniting with Rumple, or being the one to info dump and exposition.
Not to mention the annoying mind-wipe they did on her. It was a contrived way to take away Rumple's one source of happiness in order to make him evil again. It's unearned character development, unlike the way Angel was slowly built up to become Angelus again. It's this kind of half-ass writing that irks me about OUAT. In fact, a lot of development in OUAT happened just as spontaneously just for the sake of creating drama (as opposed to creating character development that's realistic and makes sense).

Neverland had so many wasted opportunities. They could've used all the Season's flashbacks on the Neverland characters and Baelfire's time there such as how did he escape the island the first time? Even Hook, who was featured to heavily in other seasons, was ironically underused during the Neverland arc despite it being the story he originated from.
I feel like Hook's character arc was one of the character writing that I really enjoyed about the show because he has this viciousness that reminds me of just how mature the writing can be. Like his whole shtick is to swear vengeance against the guy who killed his beloved, something you wouldn't think of coming from Disney's campier Hook. And as someone who's fascinated by how twisted the original Peter Pan really was (belonging to a time and age when female sexuality wasn't as respected as it is today), I like the idea of Evil Pan, especially with how far they were willing to push his character (killing a child to extend his immortality). And I like that they deconstructed Peter's desire to stay as a kid forever, something that was played around with in a more innocent manner in the animated Disney film.

If you like OUAT's take on Peter Pan as much as me, you should check out the underrated 2003 adaptation of the book. It sticks closer to the source material and actually had Wendy address Pan's childish delusion of "staying as a kid forever." I especially liked this particular exchange between Wendy and Pan:

Peter: "I want always to be a boy, and have fun."
Wendy: "You say so, but I think it is your biggest pretend."


I also found Robin annoying with his simpering over Regina, then it turns out she killed Marian and yet Robin doesn't seem to care. Also he was immediately attracted to her even though as far as he knew she was still the evil queen etc.
I had major problems with Regina's writing when I was watching the show. It had nothing to do with her being a psychotic murderer, but rather, the fact that I was expected to believe she had somehow grew a heart just because she had a son (who's not even her blood)? It just felt kinda silly, this vain Evil Queen just suddenly changing her spots, and everyone including Henry forgiving her down the road in spite of all the lives she's taken. It felt like the kind of childish logic that is better suited for a dumb Disney cartoon, not a live action drama. I don't mind a villain being evil, just as long as the good guys remember her transgressions (like the Scoobies being wary around the murderous Spike). The fact that no legal punishments were carried out for her past murders also didn't sit well with me. In Singapore, she would've long gotten the death penalty. Faith accidentally killed one person and the cops were already hunting her down.

But putting aside the details surrounding her murderer status, I actually liked Regina as a no-nonsense Queen Bitch. At the best of times, she can be a more satisfying character to watch than Emma, having the kind of teeth and ruthlessness the rest of the good guys did not when it comes to saving the day. Lana Parrilla had such fun playing evil and I really loved her performance as well, maybe even more than Rebecca Mader's sympathetic Zelena. I feel like, as lackluster as season 6 was, the return of the Evil Queen and Lana stealing every scene made it quite a worthwhile watch. I was glad to have sat through 'till the end of that season at least.

The Dark Swan arc was a bit of a let down for me. How they set it up at the end of Season 4 is not what it turned out to be. The concept was interesting, the execution not so much.
I think what sold it for me was the tragedy element of it. How Emma ended up giving up her Dark One powers was the only part of the arc that was unsatisfying for me, but Emma becoming the Dark One out of her love for Hook and forced to make the impossible decision of letting him die was just so tearjerking. It was a lose-lose situation and there was no way for Emma to win.

The actor who played adult Hansel was very good, he could elicit sympathy for the character and for why the character was behaving as he was, even though his actions ultimately made him a "villain".
I might give it a chance someday, but season 7 probably won't be high in my backlog. :p So many other better shows out there waiting in line.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Not to mention the annoying mind-wipe they did on her. It was a contrived way to take away Rumple's one source of happiness in order to make him evil again. It's unearned character development, unlike the way Angel was slowly built up to become Angelus again. It's this kind of half-ass writing that irks me about OUAT. In fact, a lot of development in OUAT happened just as spontaneously just for the sake of creating drama (as opposed to creating character development that's realistic and makes sense).
Rumple was constantly redeemed and villainised to suit the plot. Killing Baelfire was a massive disservice to Rumple's character since reuniting with his son had always been Rumple's primary motivation for everything he did.

With Angel, you had his big slide into villainy in Season 2 of Buffy but that served as part of the narrative of Angel's story of redemption. He wasn't constantly backsliding every season as a place holder villain until the next big bad came along.

I feel like Hook's character arc was one of the character writing that I really enjoyed about the show because he has this viciousness that reminds me of just how mature the writing can be. Like his whole shtick is to swear vengeance against the guy who killed his beloved, something you wouldn't think of coming from Disney's campier Hook. And as someone who's fascinated by how twisted the original Peter Pan really was (belonging to a time and age when female sexuality wasn't as respected as it is today), I like the idea of Evil Pan, especially with how far they were willing to push his character (killing a child to extend his immortality). And I like that they deconstructed Peter's desire to stay as a kid forever, something that was played around with in a more innocent manner in the animated Disney film.

If you like OUAT's take on Peter Pan as much as me, you should check out the underrated 2003 adaptation of the book.
I've seen the 2003 film. OUAT Pan was great but I could've done without the familial relation to Rumple. That's one thing Buffy and Angel got right where the villains weren't all related the the main group of characters. That also allowed them to be more of a threat without the heroes wanting to save them.

I had major problems with Regina's writing when I was watching the show. It had nothing to do with her being a psychotic murderer, but rather, the fact that I was expected to believe she had somehow grew a heart just because she had a son (who's not even her blood)? It just felt kinda silly, this vain Evil Queen just suddenly changing her spots, and everyone including Henry forgiving her down the road in spite of all the lives she's taken. It felt like the kind of childish logic that is better suited for a dumb Disney cartoon, not a live action drama. I don't mind a villain being evil, just as long as the good guys remember her transgressions (like the Scoobies being wary around the murderous Spike). The fact that no legal punishments were carried out for her past murders also didn't sit well with me. In Singapore, she would've long gotten the death penalty. Faith accidentally killed one person and the cops were already hunting her down.
I can buy Regina loving Henry since she spent 17 years cursed before she got him then raised him, but Henry's treatment of Regina in Season 2 was awful. I hated how he'd dangle a carrot of affection then next moment he takes it away. He needed to choose one side or the other. What I did dislike in the writing of Regina and Zelena from Season 3 onwards is how their victims were then made out to be the bad guys for wanting revenge.

I do think the scoobies were too harsh in their treatment of Spike, they don't have to like him but they could at least treat him civilly, whereas Regina and Zelena were given a free pass by the heroes way to easily. Robin literally met Regina, the woman he's only known as the evil queen, yet he's immediately fawning over her. Buffy took the time to build up its relationships whereas OUAT used plot devices such as magic dust and proclamations of soulmates. What's even more annoying is that the big things that were made an issue over eg "soulmates" and Rumple's "undoing" weren't even about those versions of the characters.

They also changed the wish realm from being a wishverse to an actual alternate universe.

But putting aside the details surrounding her murderer status, I actually liked Regina as a no-nonsense Queen Bitch. At the best of times, she can be a more satisfying character to watch than Emma, having the kind of teeth and ruthlessness the rest of the good guys did not when it comes to saving the day. Lana Parrilla had such fun playing evil and I really loved her performance as well, maybe even more than Rebecca Mader's sympathetic Zelena. I feel like, as lackluster as season 6 was, the return of the Evil Queen and Lana stealing every scene made it quite a worthwhile watch. I was glad to have sat through 'till the end of that season at least.
Regina is a bit like Spike in some regards. Great when evil, fun when morally grey, but the moment the writers try to turn them good, they lose that something that made them so fun to begin with. At least Spike stopped at attempted rape though, Regina didn't. A common flaw between Buffy and OUAT is that it doesn't acknowledge the female on male rape that occurs. They're two shows that are more or less a decade apart yet they seem to have the same problem.

Faith's rape of Riley is never really addressed and neither is Regina's rape of Graham.
 

RDHWesley

Odd Individual
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
135
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UK
A highlight of the first season, with probably the best depiction of Faith in either series; this is Faith at her most dangerous and vulnerable. Eliza Dushku is incredibly talented and plays every scene perfectly. The inclusion of Wolfram and Hart certainly raises the stakes, though it's here where you have to question why Lindsey wasn't in more episodes this season. They build him up as this big character, but he's barely in it; this is the first time he's come back since the first episode.

Minor criticism aside, the episode really is awesome and culminates in possibly my favourite fight scene in the Buffyverse; it is just so brutal and unrelenting and ends with that gut punch scene in the alley where Faith begs Angel to kill her. Powerful stuff which is expanded upon next time. This is also the catalyst for Wes' character development; I guess being ruthlessly tortured does that to someone. Telling Faith that she'll never hear him scream is glorious. Overall, a fantastic episode, few other Season One outings can rival it.
 
Athene
Athene
The fight makes both Angel and Faith look really powerful so it's my favourite :)

Stake fodder

Soulless
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Feb 6, 2021
Messages
296
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Caught on a root
Two great episodes continuing Faith's arc. I kept wondering why Faith apparently forgot her moment of reflection in "Who Are You?", and I did not see the twist coming.

Some here think Faith planned to find Angel in LA, to commit suicide-by-vampire. I think she didn't plan anything, just that there is a sense of inner conflict always present that made her subconsciously sabotage her own assassination attempts. It's there also in the grim torture scene, where she is trying to convince herself that it's all Wesley's fault that she went wrong.

Good catch from @Antho about all the W&H employees having the initials L.M. Perhaps it's a writer's in-joke, but all I could think is that they are the middle of the alphabet, and W&H are the middlemen helping evil win over good?

I thought the flashback scenes were very well-written, making the most of a little time in a busy episode. The pre-soul scene of Angelus killing the gypsy woman in a sexual way quickly establishes that Angelus is more evil than even most vampires in one scene for those who may not have seen him on BtVS. It's interesting that a souled vampire seems as horrible to an unsouled one, as the opposite seems to humans. It also emphasizes Darla's soullessness, that she does not hesitate to kill someone she has been with and loved for 140 years. I did think she was rather quick to realize Angelus has a soul, when such a thing has never happened before, but I felt they made the most of the few scenes they had.

They didn't have much about the trial Angel was involved in, but the witness is also clearly a parallel: "He just needed a little guidance, a push in the right direction." Another well-written bit, as we only see enough of this character to give us an impression of a hardened gang member, not someone easy to redeem, yet Angel sees that in him.
 
Antho
Antho
You give me envy to rewatch it 😀
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