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Discussion of 3.21 "Benediction" - Aired 5/13/2002 (WB-US)

Flannen

Flannix
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Angel and Connor successfully engage in some much-needed father-son bonding when they find themselves fighting side-by-side. Then foster-father Holtz stirs things up by suggesting Connor should leave him to live with Angel. Meanwhile, Lilah continues to work on recruiting Wesley for the bad guys; and Cordelia's closeness with Angel causes a rift in her relationship with Groosalugg.

Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 

PassionBecoming

Minuscule Redheaded One
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
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2,316
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Northern Minnesota
Sineya
I can't lie, I've been stalling a little bit on my watch. But I'm also a little curious.

-Aw, Angel. When he says "His name is Steven now." Sad.
-Connor v. Vending machine. I'm sure that will end well. Yup.
-I highly doubt Holtz told Connor the whole truth.
-I just heart Lorne.
-Cordy is always gorgeous, but I really dislike her haircut.
-Awww, Lorne and Groo's conversation. "Well, aren't you sneaky with the sub-text." I feel so sad for Groo. Reminds me of Buffy and Riley. :(
-Wes is eating a microwave dinner and some wine. Very classsy. I do love his apartment.
-Hee, hee, Fred. "I didn't mean to click at ya." So cute.
-I'm wondering if Connor is practicing his acting chops or is he really feeling all awkward or...?
-Interesting way to get a vision from Cordy this ep.
-Wes at a rave. That's not awkward or anything. Lilah again. Shocking. Ah, she set it up.
-"They aren't like me." Case in point, Connor. Listen up. I love how well they naturally fight together. Love the sparring in the alley.
-Holtz is apparently up to something if he's sending Connor back to Angel. Hmmm.
-Yeah, Connor needs the attitude slapped out of him ASAP.
-Whoa, glowy Cordy. Do her powers bring peace or something? Interesting.
-Oh, great, Justine found Holtz again. Let the crazy begin again.
-Ugh, Angel, it's not a good idea to go there. Though I would want to smash his face in, too.
-Oi, Cordy, mistaking Groo for Angel. Not good.
-I really dislike Holtz, but I kind of like that he and Angel are having an actual conversation about their issues.
-Oh, great, so Connor is going to think Angel did something to Holtz. Wonderful. Maybe he's going to have Justine kill him and stage it? Grrr.
-I knew it!!!! Ugh.
-Justine needs a good smacking around, too. Angel has saved her how many times?? Jeepers.

These eps are making me more annoyed with every one. ARgh!
 

Jules

Bite Me
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Black Thorn
Wesley is very much like Angel in season 2, when he went all dark. The fact that Wesley didnt even think to save Justine shows how much he's changed, evn is Justine is evil.

I felt so sorry for Connor he was just a pawn in Holtz's game. Hotlz didnt love Connor enough to give up his vengence, he ruined Connor's life just to get one over on Angel.

I'm not seeing this chemestry that Gru is seeing between Angel and Cordy. I still just think of them as having a sibling relationship, for me there's just no spark between them. That's probably the Bangel in me :)
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
[No message]
Charmander
Charmander
Haha it definitely is just the Bangel in you not letting you see the truth. ;)
Mr Trick
Mr Trick
Yeah good link to Angel from S2. I agree.

AnthonyCordova

modulating between criticism and reconstruction
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Sineya
In the end I don't think Holtz really loved Connor. Going to all this trouble to get the final laugh at Angel is also going to mess up Connor in the process. If Holtz had really loved him, he would realize that he is hurting Connor long-term to accomplish his vengeance. That, or Holtz is so blinded with the thoughts of revenge that he couldn't think or feel straight regarding Connor. That's probably it.
 

Carrie Hopewell

Little girl lost in the woods
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Sineya
I liked this episode a lot, but not even Tim Minear could fix the horribleness that is Cordelia.

- Holtz is exceptionally well written in this episode. I actually think he works well as a villain here, and Justine is more or less interesting...wow!
- Groo sneaking in the subtext with Lorne is clever writing, but I'm tired of this Groo/Cordelia/Angel nonsense.
- Angel: "Yeah. Everything's temporary. There's just so much I thought we'd be able to do together before he, you know... Hated me." That's sad...
- That scene with Cordelia in the club/hotel yelling at Angel is fun.
- Wes/Lilah are amazing as usual. I love them...
- Love Connor and Angel fighting together (including the cute, playful fighting at the end).
- Holtz manipulating Connor is just...manipulative...And now Cordelia is going to wipe out Connor's hate? I think I threw up in my mouth a little... "Well, I'm part demon. Yeah. By choice. I did it so that I could help people." Yeah, yeah...you go off on vacation and decide to only care about Angel. What a hero you are... Also, I get weird incestuous vibes from Connor and Cordelia: "Just let it go, baby.".
- I really don't see the Cordy/Angel love thing. Angel is treating Cordy the way he treats everyone else, there's no difference in how he looks at her in comparison with Lorne. And Cordy's feelings for Angel are only obvious because we keep talking about them. And could Cordelia's makeup and wardrobe be any worse?

- This entire conversation is awful:
Cordy: "Wait. Angel, before you go we have to do that thing." [...] "That thing we do. You know that thing where I say 'are you sure you know what you're doing, Angel, please think about this' and then you ignore me and rush head long into trouble?"
[...]
Cordy: "Angel, please think about this. In fact, don't go there at all."
Angel: "I have to."
Cordy: "I know. But don't."
Angel: "I'm not gonna kill him even though he deserves it."
Cordy: "Oh, I don't care if you kill him. He stole Connor's childhood, so kill him. But don't lie to your son. He's been here like a day. Way to build the trust."
Angel: "I'm not lying to him."
Cordy: "No, you're just sending him off to be distracted while you go confront the man he thinks of as his father."
Angel: "I'm his father."

So much condescension Cordelia. Right, remember this: Well, I'm part demon. Yeah. By choice. I did it so that I could help people."? Because Cordelia doesn't: "Oh, I don't care if you kill him. He stole Connor's childhood, so kill him. But don't lie to your son. He's been here like a day. Way to build the trust.". And Cordelia, Angel has a right to (I'm gonna paraphrase Gunn now) confront the kidnapper. Why is she so hell-bent on Angel not going? So she can say "I told you so" when things go badly?

- Angel and Holtz's talk is very engrossing. How much of it is true? I also thought the letter was a nice touch. Holtz was a better villain in this episode than in all the other episodes of this season combined.
- I did like Justine killing Holtz, the actress actually pulled it off.

In conclusion, Angel isn't in love with Cordy and someone should kill her... Kidding, in conclusion: Benediction is way superior to Tomorrow (even with the cringe worthy Cordelia moments) and I actually tried to write a short-ish review!
 
Bluebird
Bluebird
Oh god I hate the scene with Cordy and Connor, that dialogue is AWFUL.
NeonSlayer
NeonSlayer
"Angel isn't in love with Cordy and someone should kill her" did I write this?

Give Us A Kiss

Fuffy Apologist
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2,753
Sineya
Angel still doesn't know how to use a cellphone :(

Holtz looks like he could turn to a pile of dust any minute...

Connor seems to be figuring things out, not...

The devil ??? o_O

Angel is a vampire, vampires don't have to keep in shape...

The groo has gone for a walk, may he have a nice walk :)

Cordy, not a guarantee that he will come back...

Meanwhile at Wes' house...

Connor, come along, even though you are still a minor...

So Lilah arranged it all ??? o_O

Lilah doesn't know the first thing about Wes...

Wes could recognize Connor straight away :eek:

Cordy's affection for the groo has waned quite a bit...

Is god=Wesley ??? o_O

I bet Lorne misses his bar and his sanctuary spells...

Connor :mad:

So the hell dimension is also a disease ??? o_O

Daniel ??? o_O

Holtz is old, he's coughing like one and looks like he just wants to die...

Connor :mad:

Her affection for The Groo has definitely waned.

Holtz wants to die, he gets to die...

Holtz is dead, it's the end of an era.

Next time: Connor moves in.
 

PaulParmar1

Spuffy Forever
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Sineya
This episode is a great one but what annoys me most in this is Holtz.
I love whenever Connor & Angel fight together like a father & son.
Connors character is so so good at his debut. He doesn't deserve the hate he gets. Love him.
He's been through so much.
 

NeddaSai

Potential
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Jun 22, 2011
Messages
230
I just rewatched this episode and man I remember how excited I was about Connor's potential.. Connor/Angel play fighting in the alley was so heartwarming and sweet.. it's heartbreaking how the whole thing turned out.
 

Mr Trick

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Angel still doesn't know how to use a cellphone :(

Holtz looks like he could turn to a pile of dust any minute...

Connor seems to be figuring things out, not...

The devil ??? o_O

Angel is a vampire, vampires don't have to keep in shape...

The groo has gone for a walk, may he have a nice walk :)

Cordy, not a guarantee that he will come back...

Meanwhile at Wes' house...

Connor, come along, even though you are still a minor...

So Lilah arranged it all ??? o_O

Lilah doesn't know the first thing about Wes...

Wes could recognize Connor straight away :eek:

Cordy's affection for the groo has waned quite a bit...

Is god=Wesley ??? o_O

I bet Lorne misses his bar and his sanctuary spells...

Connor :mad:

So the hell dimension is also a disease ??? o_O

Daniel ??? o_O

Holtz is old, he's coughing like one and looks like he just wants to die...

Connor :mad:

Her affection for The Groo has definitely waned.

Holtz wants to die, he gets to die...

Holtz is dead, it's the end of an era.

Next time: Connor moves in.

Gotta call b-shit on that one. I've seen Angel answer a cell phone in a previous episode. But he still doesn't know how to use voice mail is the thing!:D

Holtz plan was kinda great;) Some good storytelling papers over the cracks in this one. Nice set up for the finale all in all.
 

Stake fodder

Soulless
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Caught on a root
So, the bugs are called Sluks. Connor followed the Sluks. I keep saying it out loud, "Sluks." Their name feels gross, just like them.

Not that Holtz doesn't ever lie, but I'm pondering why he told Angel that Connor would never even know of him, and then told Connor all about him. It seems like it would have been crueler to tell Angel, "he will be raised to hate you." And cruel was what Holtz was going for. It looks like he had a hard 16 years in Quor'Toth.

I know there are strong opinions about Connor and the actor who plays him, but so far he seems fine to me. (I just keep thinking of him as Pete in "Mad Men.") I thought he had good body language in the scene where he returns to the hotel, first uncertain, and then defensive. Interesting that Angel mirrors the latter, as if he's not as open to Connor as he acts.

Connor is still a teen, no matter what. Only a teen could eat just vending-machine junk food and still have tons of energy!

I wish I could care about Justine. She's so hapless, wanting to be a slayer, and yet being so inept at it. She was forewarned that the bar was full of vampires, and yet she still has to be saved by Angel and Connor. It should make her somewhat endearing, but she's just annoying. And she seems to have more daddy issues, than dead-sister ones.

I wasn't so sure Angel should trust Connor with a stake quite yet for that bar fight.

The ending twist was shocking. Holtz wants Connor to be willing to kill Angel, and he's willing to sacrifice his own life for that purpose. That's some serious desire for vengeance, which ultimately is greater than his love and wanting the best for Connor.

I was thinking that Holtz and Angel are mirror images in a way, both with this intense, religious sense of fulfilling their purpose in life, both brooding and dark. Angel is the better person, and yet I can see him being just like Holtz, if their fates had been switched.
 
Antho
Antho
Interesting parallel between Holtz and Angel
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