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Discussion of 2.11 "Redefinition" - Aired 1/16/2001 (WB-US)

Flannen

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After firing his staff and cutting himself off from all help, Angel begins intense physical and mental training to become strong enough to stop Darla and Drusilla before they destroy the City of Angels. Meanwhile, Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn try to continue the good fight on their own now that Angel has abandoned the cause.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 

PassionBecoming

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Sineya
Oh, my! Angel definitely went around the bend. Darla really has a hold on him.

I understand his need to stop what Dru and Darla are up to, but is it really necessary for him to ignore his other calling? On that note, I think I need more information on TPTB and the visions they send to Angel. Was Angel ever told he HAD to do what they said for some specific purpose? Love how bad-ass he was in the garage scene.

I do love Cordy, Wes, and Gunn taking the firm into their own hands and helping those who need it. The bar scenes were freaking hilarious!!! "We are the champions..." Oh, yes, you are!!
 

Jules

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Black Thorn
The best quotes from this episode were:

Cordy: Darla. It's all about Darla. One thing you can say about Angel at least he's consistent. It's always some little blonde driving him over the edge.

Darla: That wasn't Angel.
Dru: He's gone. He's all gone. Oh - it hurts! It hurts!
Darla: Wasn't Angelus either.
Dru: Darla, help me. Help me, please! Please.
Darla: Who was that?

Other than the voiceover parts Angel doesnt speak at all. I think that shows how cut off he is from everyone.

I love the gang arguing then singing on karaoke. I think they do really well killing that demon considering how drunk they were 10 minutes before :)
 

AnthonyCordova

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Sineya
This is a good episode. Drusilla is my favorite secondary character in the Buffy-verse. I absolutely just love her style, sensibility, personality...everything. She was great in this episode, just great.

I was also amused by Gunn, Wes and Cordy getting drunk together. I also liked how they all thought of going to the karaoke bar independently from each other. And they all acted surprised (and embarrassed) to see each other there, how funny!
 

Mr Trick

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Another good episode although good for different reasons than Reunion. This has less drama or big rich setpieces, but still has some strong character growth. The scene with Cordy, Wes and Gunn getting drunk is a great scene. More Dru and Darla is always a win!:p

The only thing is I'm not really sure why they dropped the partneship after this episode? They were set up as this new deadly threat to Angel. Would they really give up just because they were almost set alight?
 

Guy

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Everything with Drusilla, Lindsey, Lilah, Cordy, Gunn, Wesley, and Lorne was absolutely great. "My ARSE is not PANSY!" "Ooh, flogging... Ew, churches..." "You know what's really, REALLY evil? Tequila". :D

Everything with Darla was as unconvincing as ever.

Angel, however, is the real disappointment. The show spent AGES hyping up his dark turn, and the last episode really made that turn impressive... and then this episode totally wasted any potential this story had, and made Angel more boring than ever. He's just such a CLICHE! Everything about him, every line and every shot and every expression he makes... It's all such a RIP-OFF! I always complained about Angel being a cheap Batman knock-off, and in this episode it's more obvious and more annoying than ever. The writers don't do anything new or interesting with the Batman formula, they just recreate it precisely. There's NONE of the subversive quality that made me love the Buffyverse, it's just a replication of every Batman/Daredevil story ever. With the training montage, and the pretentious voice-over, and the dark shadows he hides in, and the undercover reconnaissance, and the "I have to cut off all my human connections because they make me weak" thing, and the broody silences... Ugh. There's literally NOTHING original here. Angel's arc was never really innovative before, but it at least had innovative stuff in it - innovative plots, or innovative subversions of the genre (remember 'War Zone', when he was about to be jumped by a vampire who was hiding in the ceiling, and just stepped aside to make him miss?), or innovative philosophical ideas, etc... This, though, has absolutely nothing. It's a total knock-off, from start to finish.

At least the part where he sets Darla and Dru on fire was cool...
 
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Give Us A Kiss

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What just happened ??? Angel has gone crazy...

What is it with Angel and blondes ??? o_O

Angel, what are you doing ??? :eek:

Angel is narrating again :)

Darla and Dru sure did a good job with the massacre.

Wes, you are renowned :)

Wes was a horrible Angel...

More of Angel's narration :)

Darla and Dru have survived :eek:

Cow eyes ??? o_O

Darla...:rolleyes:

Darla hates being a puppet ??? not surprising...

250 years is a long time...

People are greasy, just like the food :p

Sword vs stake, which is more effective ??? o_O

Lorne is singing Lady Marmalade, wonder if he knows what the French lyrics mean...

Wes, go and sing.

Cordy, neither of them give a shit about you...

Angel is brutal, and not in a good way...

Demon wrestling :eek:

Dru :mad:

Eyes like needles ??? o_O

Angel, the hoodie isn't doing you any favors...

Lilah, everyone dies eventually...

Lilah :eek:

Cordy is drunk...

Wes, your ass may or may not be pansy...

Cordy, go home...

Tequila=evil ??? o_O

Vision :(

Angel, the phone is annoying, don't ignore it...

3 inch long teeth :eek:

Drusilla :mad:

Lots of pointy demons...

Wes, go to the hospital...

Dru, you are creeping me out...

Angel, why are you smoking ??? o_O

Angelus is back :eek:

If it's not Angel or Angelus, then who is it ??? o_O

W&H grieves ??? :eek:

Angel, go back to AI...

Next time: W&H aren't greving anymore...
 

FaithLehane16

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I feel more sorry for Angel than Cordy/Wesley/Gunner. He is very depressed about the events that happened in the last 2 episodes. The guy needs some space, and Cordy and Wesley(somewhat) can't understand it.

The ending was great.

Darla was beautiful in this episode. :)
 

Mr Trick

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Another strong episode on the back of one of the best episodes ever. My only complaint is some of the 80's montage training stuff with Angel. Its a little on the nose and cheesy. Not sure we needed a voice over either. Plus I hate the way he coolly lights a match and tosses it at Dru and Darla (this image seems lifted from the Usual Suspects). They've been built up as this massive threat and Angel just casually takes them out with a match. The rest of the stuff in the episode I pretty much love.
 

telperion66

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Another strong episode on the back of one of the best episodes ever. My only complaint is some of the 80's montage training stuff with Angel. Its a little on the nose and cheesy. Not sure we needed a voice over either. Plus I hate the way he coolly lights a match and tosses it at Dru and Darla (this image seems lifted from the Usual Suspects). They've been built up as this massive threat and Angel just casually takes them out with a match. The rest of the stuff in the episode I pretty much love.
Hey Mr Trick :)

I really appreciate your passion for this episode and your seemingly deep well of knowledge when it comes to TV and movies. Bravo on all counts hombre!
 
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
Thank-you!

Oromous

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Not gonna lie, I like this new darker Angel, be it the titular character or the series itself. In fact, I'll admit to having an inner pleasure in watching the good guys get a "dark period" where they forgo all morals to take the bad guys down through any means necessary. Man, Spidey has done this plenty of times and so did Netflix's Daredevil, and it was exhilarating seeing them get things done for once where they previously couldn't because of moral obligations. It's unethical and taints the hero's soul, yes, but it makes for great fiction in an escapism fashion. Angel was savage af when he lit Darla and Dru on fire. Look at his eyes of cruelty doing so, even in his non-Angelus form. Angel has certainly learned to channel his inner demon without getting "happy," and this proves that the demon has always been inside him, not just a literal incarnation that's Angelus alone.

God, I'd love to see more of Dark Angel. Best appreciate it while he's still around for now.
 

Faded90

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Another strong episode on the back of one of the best episodes ever. My only complaint is some of the 80's montage training stuff with Angel. Its a little on the nose and cheesy. Not sure we needed a voice over either. Plus I hate the way he coolly lights a match and tosses it at Dru and Darla (this image seems lifted from the Usual Suspects). They've been built up as this massive threat and Angel just casually takes them out with a match. The rest of the stuff in the episode I pretty much love.
Yeah I’ve always felt this episode crosses the pretentiousness line with Angels ‘I’m so tortured’ stuff. Plus this is such an anticlimax to the building Dru/Darla plot
 

Oromous

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Yeah I’ve always felt this episode crosses the pretentiousness line with Angels ‘I’m so tortured’ stuff. Plus this is such an anticlimax to the building Dru/Darla plot
I don't find it pretentious at all. His usual self-pity that you're describing was usually due to his loss of Buffy in season 1. This season around, he's moved on from Buffy-love and has become lighter and more comedic before Darla arrived and ruined his day. His "tortured stuff" here is justifiable, not without good reasoning, largely because of his frustration with villains like W&H using the law to get away with evil acts that he couldn't stop with his fists alone. Add that to his pent up frustration over not being able to save ensouled Darla the same way no one was there to save him for 100 over years (before Buffy came along), add that to his past sin (Drucilla) coming back to assault Darla in front of him as he's forced down to watch helplessly, I'd say the man's anger is more than justified and not pretentious at all. I'd have done far worse if I was in his shoes.

To me, Angel losing himself to the anger and darkness is the most natural progression for the show's theme tackling the road to redemption. Angel lets himself become tainted by the hatred that was caused by his past sins, almost a self-hatred really that motivated him to not care about anything else except fix his mistake that was Dru (and by extension, ensouled Darla who was vampified by Dru), and that has led him to be blinded to what it means to redeem himself. It makes for a sensible and logical conflict if you ask me.
 
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Faded90

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I don't find it pretentious at all. His usual self-pity that you're describing was usually due to his loss of Buffy in season 1. This season around, he's moved on from Buffy-love and has become lighter and more comedic before Darla arrived and ruined his day. His "tortured stuff" here is justifiable, not without good reasoning, largely because of his frustration with villains like W&H using the law to get away with evil acts that he couldn't stop with his fists alone. Add that to his pent up frustration over not being able to save ensouled Darla the same way no one was there to save him for 100 over years (before Buffy came along), add that to his past sin (Drucilla) coming back to assault Darla in front of him as he's forced down to watch helplessly, I'd say the man's anger is more than justified and not pretentious at all. I'd have done far worse if I was in his shoes.

To me, Angel losing himself to the anger and darkness is the most natural progression for the show's theme tackling the road to redemption. Angel lets himself become tainted by the hatred that was caused by his past sins, almost a self-hatred really that motivated him to not care about anything else except fix his mistake that was Dru (and by extension, ensouled Darla who was vampified by Dru), and that has led him to be blinded to what it means to redeem himself. It makes for a sensible and logical conflict if you ask me.
Oh yes I didn’t really mean Angel himself. I meant more the way the episode was presented with the cheesy montages and his face being in the shadows and the voiceovers. I understand Angel himself being angst ridden it’s mostly just this episode itself
 

Oromous

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Oh yes I didn’t really mean Angel himself. I meant more the way the episode was presented with the cheesy montages and his face being in the shadows and the voiceovers. I understand Angel himself being angst ridden it’s mostly just this episode itself
Yeah, I could understand that. It's a bit heavy-handed. I kinda like the final scene myself though; he was sitting in the shadow because it was meant to show how Angel is no longer the person either Dru or Darla recognize, so there's that dramatic pause where Dru and Darla try to figure out who's sitting in the shadows: Angel or Angelus, then figuring out that it's neither and it's someone more monstrous and unrecognizable. I think that scene needed to be done that way, inadvertently making it come off as pretentious and showy, but Angel is a very stylistic show with L.A. and cinematic sequences that feels like a movie, so it sometimes needs that flamboyance.

The training montage didn't really bother me, but I could see why it would be cheesy. I just treated it as any other superhero training montage that I've seen so many times. It was meant to show how Angel has let himself become complacent in his training recently and has now taken on a more focused approach to train his body into the weapon he needs to be to take down people like W&H.

As for the monologue... yeah, I don't really like expositions either, it's a fair point. But again, it's a minor nitpick that never really bothered me because it fits well with the noir tone of the show. Characters monologue all the time in those older noir detective series. It might just be a stylistic choice to reflect that genre. Same with the use of light and shadows; the genre of noir, due to its black-and-white format at the time, plays around with light and shadows to reflect the tone and atmosphere of the scenes, to show a stark contrast between light and dark, good and evil (though the point of those stories was usually to bask the detective character in both light and shadows to reflect the moral ambiguity, not unlike what Whedon has done with Angel here). It makes a lot more sense when you're familiar with that genre (and if you watch Passion of the Nerd videos pointing out these references too).
 
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