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Discussion of 3.13 "Waiting in the Wings" - Aired 2/4/2002 (WB-US)

Guy

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Black Thorn
Is it really though?

I don't know if I'm missing something but this episode, to me, feels like complete filler. Whenever I watch the episode, I get the feeling that Whedon just really wanted to do a ballet episode and that's it. If I compare it to I Only Have Eyes For You who has a lot of the same elements (ghost, tragedy without closure, etc.), it really pales in comparison. Maybe it's just me but I don't understand how I'm supposed to care about the ballerina and her lover and why Angel and Cordelia are reliving those moments. What made an episode like IOHEFY special and worth telling was the link that existed between James and Buffy and how it showed what was going on in Buffy's head/heart. The episode also dealt with Giles's grieving of Jenny which was something important going on with the character that we hadn't seen much of. This to me is an episode worth telling even if it seems like a filler. Waiting in the Wings just doesn't do any of that. It doesn't tell me anything I don't already know about the characters I love, it's just a whole bunch of romance angst without much meaning and I couldn't care less about the ghosts.
This episode does the same thing that 'IOHEFY' did, I think. It explores the characters' psyche in a similiar way.
The story of the ballerina parallels the story of Angel and Wesley - they wanted Cordelia/Fred (like the Ballerina wanted her lover), but they were afraid of what could happen if they went for it, so they hesitated (again, like the ballerina), and as a result, they lost their chance (like the ballerina) - Wesley lost Fred to Gunn, Angel lost Cordy to Groo, and the ballerina lost her chance for love and got trapped in an eternal loop.

There's also the element of the shadow self, the magician who created the loop: If Angel and Wesley would keep "waiting in the wings" for Cordelia and Fred, then they'd become pathetic monsters like the magician, who destroyed his life and the life of everyone around him because he couldn't move on from his unrequited love. They need to either approach the girl of their dreams directly, or let her go and move on. Both Angel and Wesley missed their chance in this episode, and so they both needed to move on (like the magician needed to move on, because the ballerina didn't love him) - but only one of them managed to do so. At the end of the episode, Angel manages to move on because he has Connor, but Wesley can't quite bring himself to do it - he remains bitter about losing Fred (he KEEPS waiting in the wings), and that bitternes plays a big part in the terrible mistakes that Wesley makes in the following episodes.


I think that one's reaction to the two episodes (IOHEFY and WITW) depends on one's reaction to the couples in these episodes - if you're invested in the story of Buffy and Angel, then you'd like the story of IOHEFY, and if you're invested in the story of Cordelia/Angel and Wesley/Fred, then you'd like WITW. I'm going to guess that you're NOT a fan of Cangel and/or Fresley (at least not in season 3), which is why you don't like WITW.
 
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Mylie

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This episode does the same thing that 'IOHEFY' did, I think. It explores the characters' psyche in a similiar way.
The story of the ballerina parallels the story of Angel and Wesley - they wanted Cordelia/Fred (like the Ballerina wanted her lover), but they were afraid of what could happen if they went for it, so they hesitated (again, like the ballerina), and as a result, they lost their chance (like the ballerina) - Wesley lost Fred to Gunn, Angel lost Cordy to Groo, and the ballerina lost her chance for love and got trapped in an eternal loop.

There's also the element of the shadow self, the magician who created the loop: If Angel and Wesley would keep "waiting in the wings" for Cordelia and Fred, then they'd become pathetic monsters like the magician. They need to either approach the girl of their dreams directly, or let her go and move on. They both missed their chance in this episode, and so they both needed to move on - but only one of them managed to do so. At the end of the episode, Angel manages to move on because he has Connor, but Wesley can't quite bring himself to do it - he remains bitter about losing Fred (he KEEPS waiting in the wings), and that bitternes plays a big part in the terrible mistakes that Wesley makes in the following episodes.


I think that one's reaction to the two episodes (IOHEFY and WITW) depends on one's reaction to the couples in these episodes - if you're invested in the story of Buffy and Angel, then you'd like the story of IOHEFY, and if you're invested in the story of Cordelia/Angel and Wesley/Fred, then you'd like WITW. I'm going to guess that you're NOT a fan of Cangel and/or Fresley (at least not in season 3), which is why you don't like WITW.
Thank you. I did think it was possible I was missing something so I'm glad to know other people are seeing worth in the episode that I can't see myself. I still feel that it's unnecessary angst but that's one of the things I wasn't a fan of in season 3.

I wouldn't say I'm not a fan of Cangel. I loved them as friends, they give me a lot of feelings and I was really open to them becoming more. But I wasn't a fan of the way it was executed in this episode and the rest of of the season (and season 4). Before that, I had no problems with it. And I absolutely adore You're Welcome so I don't think it's about Cangel itself but how it was done in that episode. You are right about me not being invested in the Wesley/Fred pairing though.
 
Guy
Guy
My thoughts about romantic Cangel are pretty similiar to yours, actually. I am invested in the Fred/Wesley relationship, though, so that's what I mostly like in this episode.
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Give Us A Kiss

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Wes, I don't think Fred has six breasts...

Did Wes get a haircut ???

Cordy has sex with Dennis ??? o_O

Fred, Gunn can't be PC all the time, he will call you a stick sometimes :p

Angel has a thing for ballet ??? That's cute.

Fred, that's a bit TMI...

Fred, let's not and make sure Cangel never happens instead, OK ???

Angel, I don't think Lorne is capable of not calling people names of pastries...

The tux isn't laugh worthy.

Cordy, I don't like ballet but I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of people under 70 who appreciate it.

Cordy, please stop snoring :mad:

Angel, is everything OK ??? :(

1890 ??? o_O We don't have anyone from the 1800's left so the idea that the dancers danced in 1890 is just creepy...

What's the difference between no and absolutely no ??? o_O

Angel, I thought that you are always cold, not warm...

If Buffy were to find out that Cordy and Angel kissed, she would have a hissy fit and go all the way to LA to tell Angel that he should still be completely devoted to her :rolleyes:

Angel, as long as you don't lose your soul, I don't care...

Wes the pervert :p

Stefan ??? o_O This isn't TVD...

Angel and Cordy having sex, I need to block that one out again...

Those giggling things creep me out...

They are just multiplying now :eek:

No, he doesn't own you.

That's a sad state of affairs :(

At least that's over :)

Groo :eek:

Next time: Groo is here, now what ???
 

Mr Trick

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Think we see Joss's touch in this one. In a way the episode has almost no plot, and yet his skillful direction, and sharp storytelling just gets the most out of it. He makes the ballet the most engrossing, but sinister setting. Some wonderful character moments, and the Gunn-Fred-Wes arc during the episode is beautifully handled. Its only the end with Groo which is a let down.
 

Cangel1987

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I really have enjoyed this episode - it's one of my favorite episodes ♥ At least until Groo was there. Not that I don't like him but I was like: Wow...no that's can't be...and why just now? *sigh*
 

PaulParmar1

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My fav Angel episode ever!
I loved this one so much where do I start.
First of all I screamed at Cordy's comment about Fred having six breasts haha too funny.
Cangel is my fav couple on AtS !
I loved Cordy's dress & Angel looked super hot in his tuxedo.
Gunn calling Fred gorgeous was so cute.
I love the ballet! I've been to see live ballet & I adore it.
I love when Cangel kiss and get all passionate with each other.
"I'm only alive when your inside me" I got chills. Team Cangel.
I also love the part where they go back in so they can do the mission and they keep kissing passionately. They work so well together.
Fred and Gunn kissing was adorable too but I felt bad for poor Wesley.
The story/mystery was great and I'm so happy the dancer got free.
The fight scene was incredible I loved it.
I can never get tired of this episode & even the sexy Groosalugg arrives even tho it's to interrupt Cangel o_O
Overall amazing on the re watch!!!

:) Credit to Fanpop
 

spikenbuffy

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Angelus crying over a ballet is ridiculous :rolleyes:, in BTVS S2 he was a sadist who never seemed to be sad about putting a letter with the words "Upstairs" when he let Jenny's dead body with an opera 's song so that Giles suffers horribly seeing Jenny's dead body. I know apparently the "Angelus crying in seeing a ballet" lines was to make us (the viewers) laugh but I will pretend that Angel's reference to Angelus never happened or was him just joking. I think it diminishes Angelus's sadistic evilness and Angelus is one of the few enemy in the Buffyverse that make me truly scared and intrigued.

Other than that, great episode with some hilarious moments like Gunn's lines "I was cool before I met you all " :D. Wesley is also great and badass in fighting the bad guys of this episode with his sword.
 

telperion66

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Angelus crying over a ballet is ridiculous :rolleyes:
I think Angelus, despite his horrific acts of evil, would have been capable of crying at a ballet.

I see him having that depth of character. He wasn't your regular vampire who growls then assaults you. He had layers; the careful lengths he went through to torture Giles when preparing the scene of Jenny's body at Giles' house proves this.

Angelus, in another of his moods, I think had the romance in him to shed a tear at the arts.
 
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