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Discussion of 4.06 "Spin the Bottle" - Aired 11/10/2002 (WB-US)

Flannen

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When Lorne performs a spell on Cordelia to restore her memory, it inadvertently causes the gang to revert back to their high school personas and leaves them with no memories of each other. Eventually, Wesley theorizes that the only way to reverse the spell may be to kill a vampire, just as Angel realizes that he is one.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 

kittenpoker

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Sineya
I love this episode!!!! I laughed so hard throughout the whole thing (starting from when lorne first introduces the story - literally translating fred's mispronunciation of pilyian) till the end...

One thing I'm curious about...why do you guys think cordelia stepped on the bottle?
 

kittenpoker

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Ok, I've been a bit obsessed with this episode lately so I'm back to talk about it some more. :)

So, I have a theory (not bunnies ;-)) about why cordy steps on the bottle. I think she feels jasmine trying to take control and she steps on the bottle to stop her. I believe it is her last act out of her own free will and it's to try and stop jasmine from taking control. Had she not broken the bottle I believe after the trippy feelings faded (which I think was an effect of jasmine awakening) she would have remembered who she was, "I'm cordelia chase, dumbass" ;-) only she wouldn't be anymore... as happened when she got a bit of what was in the bottle on her tongue in the end of the ep.

Also - every moment - during the memory loss part is absolutely hysterical and priceless. My current favorite, and what gets me giggling when I think about it randomly throughout the day - is Wesley's pronunciation of the demon he thinks Lorne is.

I love it.
 
Taake
Taake
I knew it! It was the bunnies!! (no seriously though, nice theory, it makes sense) :)

nightshade

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Black Thorn
I watched this again this morning :) I love how loose the tape is around Lorne when he wakes up, despite Wesley going around again and again! and how when Angel is asked to describe the "demons" he replies shiny! And of course Lorne's telling of the events that happened, although I didn't think the lights that they used on him were very good
 
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
Shiny demons!

Jules

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Black Thorn
I liked how this episode started with Lorne doing a commentary of what had happened. Connor looks so angry as he's walking through the streets. He needs to see someone about anger management I liked that Angel was honest with Cordy, that he couldnt tell her if she loved him or not. I wish they would just leave these two as really close friends! Not that I want her with Conno because that would be eww!

I loved Wesley's weapon thing, it was very cool! I'm also glad that he said yes to helping Cordy. Its like he's overcoming his guilt and those dark feelings but Fred and Gunn arent. Gunn killed a man and his goodness was what Fred loved, the fact that his biggest sacrifice to help her is what tears them apart is heartbreaking. The confrontation between Gunn and Wes was sad as well, especially considering how close they had become once Angel had left in season 2.

I really enjoyed watching the after effects of that mind spell. I also loved that what Cordy says when she sees Angel again is the exact same thing she says in season 1 of Buffy when he walks into the Bronze. Seeing Cordy from Season 1 and Wes from Season 3 of Buffy was refreshing, which I never thought I'd say.

I laughed out loud at the Wes and Fred kung fu dance and when those stakes kept poping out of Wesley's sleeve. It was so funny. Also Angel thinking he was in hell, if only he knew that he'd actually been to a real hell dimension. Fred asking for weed was a surprise, I would never have thought that of her. Watching everyone being clueless was so funny.

Poor Connor, he keeps getting all these mixed messages from Cordy, but he really should have stopped fighing Angel when he realised he'd lost his memory. And Poor Angel, asking Cordy if they were in love and her answer seemed so final, so in the past. I felt sorry for them both.

I've listened to the commentary by Joss Whedon and Alexis Denisof.

This episode came about because Joss and Alexis were talking about how they missed dorky Wesley. This was a way to bring him back along with snarky Cordy and see what everyone else was like when they were younger.

A bit of trivia, the scene were Cordy and Angel are talking in the court yard is a follow on from the last episode. Charisma had wanted to get her hair cut but they'd had to tell her no but David went out and got his hair cut so its shorter in this episode than it was in the last, also there's no longer any cut on his face.

This episode came out a little long so they cut a Fred/Gunn scene. The scene with Fred and Wes up close and Gunn in the background between them is shot as symbolism for their relationship. Also the confrontation with Gunn and Wes were Gunn is sat in the shadows represents what a dark place he's in at the moment.

The writers always struggle with the character of Gunn and were he fits within the group. The writers also didnt want this episode to resemble the Tabula Rasa episode on Buffy too much, so instead of having them black out after the spell he has them doing mushrooms. Cordy smashing the bottle was her representing those people that ''always ruin the high.''

Alexis points out that it was difficult to go back and act as if they didnt know each other after having worked with each other for 4 years. The writers showed the conflict between Gunn and Wesley with all the history and then showed their conflict without it, once they lost their memory.

The kung fu dance that Alexis originally did was a lot wilder than the one used. The shot with Fred touching Lorne when he's tied to the couch took a few takes because Amy and Andy kept giggling and J and Alexis kept giggling during the fight scene.

Lorne's comment about ''Werent they some exciting products'' was a reference to the adverts that had just aired. It obviously works better when watching on live TV and not on DVD.

The scene were Angel runs back into the hotel after seeing the cars took an extra hour to shoot because David and Alexis could not stop laughing. If you notice they dont look at each other throughout the whole scene.

The arc between Connor and Cordy sleeping together happened a lot quicker than Joss wanted but they had to write it that way because Charisma had become pregnant.

Alexis kept adding tape to Andy so that he couldnt get out between takes and tickling him as well.
 

PassionBecoming

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Sineya
I've heard this ep referenced a few times, so I'm interested to see what's it's about...

-Aww, Lorne singing. Yay!
-"There's nothing more unreliable or annoying than magic." Willow and Lorne should chat.
-Cordelia with no memory is so annoying.
-"There's no way this could fail." Yeah, you never want to say things like that.
-Lorne is a fun narrator. :)
-Hmmm, Wes got some new toys.
-So...everyone is all awkward in the hotel?
-"Did...English go away?" I miss fun Wesley.
-Poor clueless Lorne assembling a very hostile group. Heh.
-I'm not a fan of creepy angry Gunn lurking in the shadows. Or of him and Gunn fighting.
-Looks like everyone's going on a bad trip...
-High school Cordy! Salty goodness! YAY!! She's even mean to everyone. Heh.
-And dorky Watch Wes! Angel is Liam?! Hoo boy, this could get crazy.
-Cordelia noticing her short hair. Hahahaha.
-Wes scaring himself with his own stake. Hahaha.
-"Why is the devil sleeping?" Hee
-Connor gets some rocking fight music. And ooo, hormones.
-Fred is a pothead?!
-"It's about time the English got what's coming to them. I'm rooting for the slave." Oh, boy, Angel!
-Shouldn't Cordy know about vampires?? Unless she's in pre-Buffy high school. And Wes thinking she's the Slayer. Oi.
-Love Cordelia and Fred concerned about their boobs.
-"You stopped the tiny men from singing!" It's just like Buffy in "Halloween".
-Angel figuring out he's a vamp is hilarious.
-Hmmm, Wes still likes Fred.
-Car demons. Yup, Buffy pt. 2
-HAHAHAHA. Gunn punching Wesley.
-Oh, crap, Angel is getting the shaft again. He should carry a note or dog tag or something that says "Vampire with Soul: Does not eat people"
-Frick. Connor.
-Ooo, is Fred going to save the day?!
-Lorne said "Oh, balls." !!!! I say that all the time! :D
-Glad to see Angel can still wipe the floor with Connor. Odd that Connor seems to be making some connections with logic during all this. About time!!
-Oh, Angel. "Were we in love?" "We were." Sigh.
 

heidiisablonde

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I love the light hearted episodes, but it makes it so much harder when they all get their memories back. Angel asking cordilia if they were in love and she says they "were". Ugggh
 

SlayerPrincess

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I love this episode! Wesley is so funny when he goes back to old dorky wesley I was weak. And Angel as Liam is so funny too. He called Lorne the devil and he was scared of the cars. (See I wanna go watch it now) Oh and I love Gunn back at his old hood self lol. And I like the Salty goodness part cuz it reminded me of that time on Buffy. But one thing I dont understand is how come Cordelia dident know about Vampires? She definatly knew about them at 17...
 

Cordy_Chase

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Sineya
This was a very interesting and enjoyable episode, Wesley reminded me of Percy Weasley in Harry potter "I'm head boy!" and the spats between him and Gunn, LOL XD. It was also interesting to have Liam in this episode. We know from flashbacks that he was pretty much a worthless drunk young man who was treated like dirt by his parents but we never met him at 17. When he tells Connor "I didn't ask to be born", wow. Apparently he had been through some kind of depression at that age. Becoming Angel was actually a pretty good thing for him, even if it required Angelus to get there. I also really liked Liam's hate of Wesley because of his being British, very good period characterization. Their introduction where he says the line about the Irish having defeated the Brits was well done. Both were by far the most interesting to see at age 17.

Some things did not add up however in Cordelia's scenario. When she was 17 she was not only in on the Scoobies and familiar with Buffy taking control of the type of situation they were in thus should have asked for her, but also she knew Angel. This actually would have provided a intriguing conflict since Angel was Liam in this instance. By 17 she probably even knew Wesley, Buffy for sure was 17 by the time he had taken over as her's and Faith's watcher.
They still kept her 17 year old self well done though otherwise, the stunt she pulled with Connor was classic.

Another thing that didn't make sense was a few factors with Lorne. His telling the story was very unique and interesting as well as some commentary pretty funny but how was he aware of what was going on while he was unconscious and why had the spell not effected him (other than for writing purposes since he needed to recover the rest of the characters)? He had been just as exposed to it as Fred, Cordy and Gunn as well as even more so than Angel who had been outside.

Despite the flaws I found this story to be far more interesting than the Buffy counterpart where Willow had done a forgetting spell that had gone wrong. In the Angel version the scenario was more specific, detailed and interesting. I am also very glad it didn't take long to get Cordy her real memory back and even more so that they didn't do a whole arc with the Amnesia Cordy/Connor thing. That was burning my eyes! XP
But the whole she needs to be alone thing, come on! She and Angel need to get together already, the evidence is so obvious they can't possibly avoid it again! Hell, it's right there at the end of this episode:
"Were we in love?"
"Yes we were"
I don't like the sound of that 'were' though. Why 'were' Cordy!?
 

Charmander

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Connor is 18? He looks (and acts) 15.
The confrontation scene between Wes and Gunn before the spell was very telling; Gunn and Fred's relationship was badly effected by the events of the last episode.
I think it would've been hilarious if Cordy had started crushing on Wes again rather than Angel, especially since he looks hotter now! And oh, how I've missed geeky Wesley!
On the other hand, I really hated younger Gunn.
So many funny moments, especially Wes being horrified over his facial hair and Angel messing with his vamp face noisily in the bathroom.
And no Connor, Angel didn't suck as a father. That should have already been established. Urgh. After Holtz dies they really should have worked at making Connor likeable.
 

Priceless

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First time I've watched this episode in years, but @Taake convinved me in her and @Athena's excellent Podcast to take a second look.

I liked the initial set-up, with Lorne telling the story. Is there anyone who doesn't like Lorne? Is that even possible? I also like Cangel and wish that could have continued, instead of the writers butchering Cordy's character. It was great to see the old Cordy and her wonderful hair obsession.

Why did Cordy smash the bottle? Surely with all her years of experience around magic she should have been more careful, or was it meant to seem like an accident? Some very funny lines; 'head boy . . .' 'handy capable . . .', paranoid Fred. Wesley was so funny and his 'seafairing adventures' line made me laugh out loud.

I have changed my mind and admit this episode is much funnier than Tabula Rasa :eek::) But I am not sure it is as important in the storyline or character development.
 

Priceless

Scooby
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I like this episode way more than Tabula Rasa. I felt the LA gang at 17 to be more interesting and realistic than amnesia Scoobies.
I think the difference is that the LA gang regressed to 17, and kept their memories/personalaity from that time, whereas the scoobies lost their complete memories, which left a totally blank slate, which was great for character development.
 

Mr Trick

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Wasn't so convinced by the Weed thing with Fred;) That just felt forced and like it was Joss doing something out of left field to shake things up.
 

Priceless

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Wasn't so convinced by the Weed thing with Fred;) That just felt forced and like it was Joss doing something out of left field to shake things up.
Yes I know what you mean, and the paranoia was a little over played, but it was so funny I forgave it
 

Bluebird

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Wasn't so convinced by the Weed thing with Fred;) That just felt forced and like it was Joss doing something out of left field to shake things up.
I thought it was in character, and her paranoia with her conspiracy theories was nice foreshadowing to the Jasmine story. :D
 
P
Priceless
Good point, didn't think of that
Carrie Hopewell
Carrie Hopewell
I had never thought of that either.

Athena

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I have changed my mind and admit this episode is much funnier than Tabula Rasa :eek::) But I am not sure it is as important in the storyline or character development.
Say whaaaaaaat?!!? :eek:

I think, to be honest, when I watched it, it was pretty close to the time I also watched Tabula Rasa. I think to truly appreciate Spin the Bottle, you need to not watch it so close to Tabula Rasa. ;) That's just my opinion though. I think on its own it's up there as one of Angel's best episodes. :)
 

Taake

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First time I've watched this episode in years, but @Taake convinved me in her and @Athena's excellent Podcast to take a second look.

I liked the initial set-up, with Lorne telling the story. Is there anyone who doesn't like Lorne? Is that even possible? I also like Cangel and wish that could have continued, instead of the writers butchering Cordy's character. It was great to see the old Cordy and her wonderful hair obsession.

Why did Cordy smash the bottle? Surely with all her years of experience around magic she should have been more careful, or was it meant to seem like an accident?

I have changed my mind and admit this episode is much funnier than Tabula Rasa :eek::) But I am not sure it is as important in the storyline or character development.
Yay :)

Smashing the bottle: A bad reaction to the 'trip' they were on? Seemed like she wanted to break the spell.

I'm not sure either it's as important for the rest of the characters in terms of storyline and character development as TR, except for the Cangel stuff (and getting Cordy back of course). They wanted to close that door, and while it's sad (especially considering the Connor thing...), the tragic romance part of the episode is really effective, makes the ending very powerful. *sigh* I'll miss this Cordy.

Tabula Rasa, Spin the bottle, Echoes (Dollhouse) - Joss sure likes to mess with memories or get his characters high and loosened up for an episode. :)
 
P
Priceless
It really is a great episode, thanks for persuading me to watch it again :-)

Carrie Hopewell

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I'm not sure either it's as important for the rest of the characters in terms of storyline and character development as TR, except for the Cangel stuff (and getting Cordy back of course). They wanted to close that door, and while it's sad (especially considering the Connor thing...), the tragic romance part of the episode is really effective, makes the ending very powerful. *sigh* I'll miss this Cordy.
The first time I watched the episode I was actually sad for Angel. When I rewatched it I was beyond tired of the drama. Angel didn't know if he was in love? After 3 months in the ocean and all those episodes spent looking for Cordy? He needed Cordelia to tell him? At the end of the episode when he asks "Were we in love?" and Cordy replies "We were" I was just like...oh for the love of f***, cry me a river! Somebody please kill Cordelia already. So yeah, the ending wasn't very powerful for me, more like gag inducing.

Also, you mentioned that you liked my banner in a thread. It was made by the lovely @GwenRaiden :) We both enjoy painships, I mean, Weslah :p
 
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