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Knox and Fred - Was anyone else bothered? -- Athena, 00:50:49 02/20/04 Fri

Jumping back to earlier this season, I wonder how Fred could ever be interested in Knox? I mean the guy seems normal at first, but look at this bit in "Conviction".

I think you were right, boss. These guys specialize in quick-fire disease scenarios: Sarin gases and viruses.

(stands, backs away)
Which you all built.

Hey, no. We've contained more plagues than we've ever designed.
I'm not all about destruction here.

I found myself creeped out here. Essentially he's saying "I've designed deadly plagues and sold them to sociapaths, but hey, I've stopped more. It ends up in my favour in the end."

Am I the only one who thinks Fred was a tad dense to ever think about this guy romantically? It's not like he showed even the tiniest bit of awkwardness or guilt when saying this to Fred.


[> Maybe Knox has a cloaking spell! -- kickin' shins, 06:22:53 02/20/04 Fri

Yeah...there's something devious about Knox. Although likely not too devious cause Lorne had the W&H staff sing for their supper...maybe Knox has a cloaking spell!!!

[> [> Re: Maybe Knox has a cloaking spell! -- Jean, 07:22:07 02/20/04 Fri

I think Fred said that Knox didn't have to go sing for Lorne, becuase he didn't have to prove it or something to that effect. So Knox could end up being the big bad for this season and we don't even know

[> [> Has anyone seen Knox's arms? Maybe he has Mojo Tattoos too!! -- kickin' shins, 09:58:22 02/20/04 Fri

[> [> or maybe (spoilers for 5.14 in this whole thread)... -- anom, 10:00:55 02/20/04 Fri

...Knox had his own upgrade (as someone suggested on this board awhile back), & it's fading like Gunn's was. Maybe that's why he's been screwing things up in the lab lately. And maybe the upgrade included a certain degree of charm...OK, I know, why would a science upgrade include charm, aside from the quarky instead of the quirky kind? Well, maybe he put in a request for it, or the Senior Partners added it to sweeten the deal so he'd take it. Anyway, the idea is that now he's losing that, & that's why Fred is losing interest. It fits in w/the events of this episode, doesn't it? So it's all going: the science, the charm, Fred...the messload of Tom Lehrer songs...hmm, what do you suppose Knox, Ace Scientist, could do for Dr. Gepetto? That's the catch, though...Dr. G's a scientist himself, makes his own drugs & all...so maybe poor Knox is stuck!

[> Fred and Her Men -- Claudia, 09:03:12 02/20/04 Fri

To be honest, Fred's habit of jumping into romance with any guy has always been disturbing. It seems as if she's trying to find something that always alludes her. Whatever she's looking for, I don't think she will find it in Wes. He will disappoint her, just as Angel, Gunn and Knox had disappointed her. Is she trying to find something idyllic? Seems like it.

[> [> What's disturbing about it? -- Pip, 10:19:43 02/20/04 Fri

I'm beginning to wonder if it's just me who doesn't see a problem with Fred's relationships.

Four years (ish), gone on dates with four guys. Two of these relationships didn't work out after the first couple of dates (Angel, and it looks like Knox falls in that category). Gunn didn't work out when he proved willing to commit murder for Fred's sake (which sounds romantic in theory, but in practice is a characteristic that can make a girl a little nervous [grin]). Currently making a second attempt with Wesley, her colleague since Pylea.

Sounds OK to me. Four guys in four years is hardly cutting a swathe through the male population of the mystic circles of Los Angeles. Besides, just because you go on a date with someone, it doesn't mean that you're thinking 'long term relationship here'. If that was the rule, Fred and Angel would have been married three years now. ;-)

[> [> [> Cutting a Swath -- Claudia, 13:15:21 02/20/04 Fri

Let's just say that Fred is cutting a swath through the male characters of ANGEL. The only two who have been spared are Spike and Lorne.

And would someone explain why she has suddenly lost interest in Knox and developed an interest in Wes? Had the shooting of RogerBot something to do with her feelings?

[> [> [> [> Re: Cutting a Swath -- pellenaka, 13:32:36 02/20/04 Fri

And would someone explain why she has suddenly lost interest in Knox and developed an interest in Wes?

She did have this look on her face while watching Wesley do magic in You're Welcome. *shrug*

[> [> [> [> [> The Look -- Claudia, 13:56:22 02/20/04 Fri

"She did have this look on her face while watching Wesley do magic in You're Welcome. *shrug*"

So, what brought about this look? Watching Wes pump nine bullets into RogerBot for her? Anyone?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Okay, I'll bite. No. -- LittleBit, 14:34:14 02/20/04 Fri

Had Fred shown no interest whatsoever in Wes from day one, then maybe you'd have a point here. She did. We saw it when she chose between Wes and Gunn. It wasn't a matter of "easy decision" because she did have feelings for them both. She had feelings for Wes after he returned to the group. It was one of the things that contributed to the break-up of Fred and Gunn.

So, in my opinion, "watching Wes pump nine bullets into RogerBot for her" is not the reason she sees romantic potential in Wes. She saw it long before that.

As for Knox (and in many ways this applies to all the characters and relationships), we are 'included' in 42 minutes of their lives per week, actually less because there isn't a new episode every week, and there's no way we see everything. Especially not trivial details. My take on it [spackle, spackle] is that while Knox was extremely charming and personable to Fred, in the longer run (several months of working side by side) his disregard for ethics and consequences was simply not compatible with Fred's outlook on things. The same objection could be made for Wes, but I think the fact that their friendship has been around for years now does make a difference.

Just my opinions.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Okay, I'll bite. No. -- Claudia, 16:22:29 02/20/04 Fri

"Had Fred shown no interest whatsoever in Wes from day one, then maybe you'd have a point here. She did. We saw it when she chose between Wes and Gunn. It wasn't a matter of "easy decision" because she did have feelings for them both. She had feelings for Wes after he returned to the group. It was one of the things that contributed to the break-up of Fred and Gunn."

Actually, this all came about from the events of "Supersymemestry". Fred's disappointment over Gunn's actions eventually led her to turn to Wes. And when he finally dumped her, she was about to turn to Wes . . . again. Until Angelus revealed the Wes/Lilah affair. But if you believe that Wes and Fred were "destined for each other" (Amy Acker's words, not mine), go for it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Huh. -- LittleBit, 17:41:10 02/20/04 Fri

Don't recall saying I thought Fred and Wes were "destined for each other." In point of fact, I don't believe I've shipped any relationship other than Giles/Jenny (which ended quite some time ago with great finality), so I don't personally care if they get together. I just don't think Fred has been entirely indifferent to Wes until Wednesday night.

And I believe my point was that she wasn't suddenly interested in him because she watched him "pump nine bullets into RogetBot." I think we can agree that the events of "Supersymmetry" predate those of "Smile Time."

[> [> [> [> Re: Cutting a Swath -- Lunasea, 18:58:12 02/20/04 Fri

The only two who have been spared are Spike and Lorne.

Gavin Park
the Grusalog
Daniel Holtz
Skip (I'm assuming he's male)
The Beast (he did kiss Cordy, but again an assumption that he is male)

Those are just the male characters that appeared in multiple episodes. What about Merle or Manny?

[> [> [> It worries me because -- KdS, 13:59:10 02/20/04 Fri

The fact that she's been paired either mutually or one-sidedly with every single male regular cast member makes me suspect that ME can't think of anything interesting about her except her sex life.

[> [> [> [> Too true -- Pip, 14:50:49 02/20/04 Fri

They found a non-regular female cast member for Wesley, after all.

But to be fair, most of the non-regular male cast members are either evil lawyers, evil warlocks, evil demons, evil vampires, or just plain evil. :-)

[> [> [> [> [> The "evil" part didn't stop Wes in one case (grin) -- KdS, 15:36:07 02/20/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> Um, except Lorne and Connor -- KdS, 15:40:27 02/20/04 Fri

[> [> [> And yet... -- RadiusRS, 17:15:37 02/22/04 Sun

Gunn didn't work out when he proved willing to commit murder for Fred's sake (which sounds romantic in theory, but in practice is a characteristic that can make a girl a little nervous [grin]).

...it only seems to have brought her closer to Wes, even if it wasn't real murder...how do you think Gunn feels about this?

[> [> [> [> Re: And yet... -- Claudia, 10:24:23 02/23/04 Mon

"...it only seems to have brought her closer to Wes, even if it wasn't real murder...how do you think Gunn feels about this"

Fred was visibly horrified at Wes' killing of his "father". But when Roger turned out to be a cyborg, she had an excuse to dismiss the horror of the shooting. Remember her conversation with Wes at the end of "Lineage"? She seemed insistent upon dismissing the entire incident, based on the fact that Roger was a cyborg. Although Wes didn't put up an argument, deep down, he could not really agree with her.

This conversation reminds me of the one they had in "Players" about Connor and Cordelia . . . and eventually Wes and Lilah. Fred had expressed digust at both relationships, and despite Wes' attempt to get her to understand, she never really changed her mind.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: And yet... -- RadiusRS, 19:12:17 02/23/04 Mon

Nice parallels to earlier eps and putting things in context for Fred's character. And despite the fact that she dismissed it, I still think that the fact that Wes WOULD murder his father for her should make her pause and think. Maybe it just shows us how much Fred has changed since early last season.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Don't See It -- Claudia, 12:39:59 02/24/04 Tue

"Nice parallels to earlier eps and putting things in context for Fred's character. And despite the fact that she dismissed it, I still think that the fact that Wes WOULD murder his father for her should make her pause and think. Maybe it just shows us how much Fred has changed since early last season"

I don't see this as a change for the better in regard to Fred's character. Either she's a hypocrite. Or she was unwilling to face what Wes had done . . . and used the fact that Roger turned out to be a cyborg as an excuse. This does not strike me as a sign of maturity.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Perhaps it's a matter of intent vs. action -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:01:53 02/24/04 Tue

Many people (perhaps most) value the reason people do something as being very important (for example, sleeping with someone to get money versus sleeping with them for pleasure). There are some, however, who put emphasis on the action itself and give less attention to why the action was done; it's possible Fred is one of these people. If this is the case, the fact that Wesley seems willing to kill for her isn't that important since the act itself was certainly justifiable, especially when its discovered Wesley just killed a cyborg. If he didn't do anything that was actually wrong, there's nothing to worry about even if his attentions may or may not have been honorable.

Regarding Seidel, Fred was repulsed that Gunn killed him, but she went into believing she was doing the wrong thing; it was perhaps just the fact that Gunn was the one to do it, who she perhaps saw as above such an action.

Lastly, I must ask this: if the RogerBot had taken someone OTHER than Fred hostage, do you believe Wesley would have acted differently? I personally he would have done things much the same, only perhaps with a little more hesitation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Perhaps it's a matter of intent vs. action -- Rose, 12:33:32 02/25/04 Wed

"If this is the case, the fact that Wesley seems willing to kill for her isn't that important since the act itself was certainly justifiable, especially when its discovered Wesley just killed a cyborg. If he didn't do anything that was actually wrong, there's nothing to worry about even if his attentions may or may not have been honorable."

I just watched this episode, recently. It seems to me that all Wesley had to do was shoot the gun from his father's hand or wound the guy. But shooting him nine times seems very excessive. Even worse, I suspect that several people were right when the posted that the other eight shots had more to do with his negative feelings for his dad, instead of Fred.

If I were Angel, I would be wary of Wesley.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Perhaps it's a matter of intent vs. action -- Gyrus, 14:58:05 02/25/04 Wed

I just watched this episode, recently. It seems to me that all Wesley had to do was shoot the gun from his father's hand or wound the guy.

Attempting either of these would most likely have resulted in the Roger-bot killing Fred. Wesley may have had one or two moments of spectacular aim in his lifetime, but he can't (and shouldn't) count on having them just when he needs them. Even if passion may have driven Wesley to fire more shots than he needed to (a fully rational person might have stopped at four or five -- or they might not have), shooting to kill was nonetheless the wisest choice he could have made.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agreed -- Athena, 17:03:15 02/26/04 Thu

Generally police officers, at least where I come from, only unholster their weapons if they plan to shoot to kill. Of course this happens rarely, but none the less, if a person can't be reasoned with and is going to severely harm someone, it is considered a risk to do anything but.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Don't See It -- RadiusRS, 16:54:24 02/24/04 Tue

I never said it was a change for the better or for the worse. Perhaps she realized how harsh she had been with Gunn, or perhaps she has become grayer as a result. "Supersymmetry" showed us the dark side of Fred, the side with a short temper and an intellect that can become deadly if thus provoked. We've seen more of this side of Fred this season, and largely because of W&H, which tends to make things grayer overall. Or perhaps, after dealing with the murder of Seidel, she's come to understand what drives a person to kill someone who was like a father to them. In the end, I like Fin Mac Cool's explanation that she saw Gunn as "above" murder, when in the same episode, she certainly didn't think Wesley would turn her down, not only because of his love for her, but because of his darker persona.

What do you get if you cross a walnut with a camel? (Angel Odyssey 5.9-5.10) -- Tchaikovsky, 16:09:52 02/23/04 Mon

Hello everyone.

And what's more, I have the 100th episode. I haven't watched it yet, because I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but I'm most excited. In the meantime, some reviews of 'Harm's Way' and 'Soul Purpose'. I wrote a poem a little over a month ago, which I was told would have relevance to 'Harm's Way'. And it kinda does, so here it is.

Life's Arrow

Halfway along the harderroad, in the shadow of Purpose,
I stopped to liedown awhile. In my stillness I drifted.
Away from the targetstotalstrigonometry of life, to
A mishcievousrevelation. Unsuitable for now.
It's not the rush Of the headedship.
This is Modern Life after all. It's pretty much:

-Awoke at six, shaved, flossed and ate
Arrived at work full-briefed by eight
Then typed and argued, stressed elastic
Cutting budgets, futile, drastic-
Twelve reached lunched but no cigar
Driven like the Shooting Star
(Not the beauty, understand
Just the purposed arcing brand)-
Worked, shot, drafted new ideas,
Hurting humans, chopping years
Home at nine to work and bed
Next, next, next, next in my head-

While instead I sidle, halfguiltyhands in yawningjeanpockets
Uncouth and unshaven, the cog that hasn't been oiled.
There's those mysterious shards of people who appear.
Not employeescolleaguesfriendsrelations, parts of me only,
But people. And it's there, that I could perhaps begin to learn
That it's not an order, but a message which is the point of the arrow.

The lesson that Harmony learns in this episode really isn't that far from what I learnt that particular afternoon, although her means of discovery is somewhat difference- she fought a vampire while I sat around at a computer. Possibly one reason why I'm not as pretty as Harmony.

5.9- 'Harm's Way'

I suspect strongly that there is a large group of fans of this dying show for whom Craft and Fain's two offerings this season- 'Unleashed' and 'Harm's Way' have been the weakest episode. I can't concur on either count here. I thought 'Unleashed' was well-written, subtly contrasting Angel, Nina and Spike and providing a lovely crunchy ending under all that apparent fluffiness. And I thought that 'Harm's Way' was very enjoyable (much more so than the lamentable 'Life of the Party'), if never too challenging. The undertones are playing, if not as powerfully as Minear or Smith might have arranged them. Undertones and mixing are Craft and Fain trademarks, and here we see the mixtures from the first moment.

One thing that aliera's generosity has let me understand this Season is what a huge quantity of advertising Americans have to put up with between their shows. In England, away from the uninterrupted BBC, the commercial networks have significantly shorter breaks. And it's extraordinary how they can grind you down, if you're not lucky enough to have a fast forward button, like me. Even more sneaky is the way that the WB tend to go straight into the programme after the break, without any warning. There's usually a prolonged title card on ITV, so that you know, but in America it's like they're taunting you with the possibility that the next one might be your show. So this is one of the reasons that the beginning of the teaser, with corporate advertising for Wolfram and Hart, is so powerful. It's meta-narration on the network, on the power of advertising. They say a lot of negative things in a manner so cheery that you can barely help wanting to become a client. The only stick in the wheel is Angel with his glorious 'If you don't kill us, we won't kill you', unrehearsed and with no conviction whatsoever. Angel is summed up by the advert. Wolfram and Hart may not quite know where they're going, but they're sure flashy about it. Their CEO is lost in a sea of shorthand and dictatphones, but constantly in the eye of the Corporation at large. And like Cordelia in Pylea, it may only be a matter of time before Angel finds out just how hollow his apparent power is within the company.

We've seen this angle before though, the Angel Angle. In many episodes. So the subversion here is to see not Angel's confusion from within, but instead the problems it causes from without. In order to do this, we need a known character who is not a particular confidante of Angel. Enter Harmony. Her everywoman (even if she's not 'straight', and incidentally is everyone else happy with this semantic paralleling?) is played with a good deal of guile by Mercedes McNab. We suddenly see the other side of her face, after all these years. The effect of the episode for me was to be reminded of the way David Greenwalt and his writers fleshed out Cordelia in the show's freshman year. Suddenly the 'vapid tramp', the butt of the central characters' put-downs, becomes the focus. And suddenly, with the shadowkatian perspective change, we see characters in a different and really interesting light, which is in many cases not so positive. We've suffered with Angel, Lorne, Wesley, Gunn and Fred, but to suddenly be Harmony's 'Zeppo', we must look at them from the outside. The results are interesting.

-Angel's brutality, shortness of temper, lack of time and inability to empathise with Harmony all come across. It's understandable for us, but that's not the point of the episode. The point is what an Everywoman sees. And if Angel's gang are now the 'bigwigs', then the everyman becomes an inferior. You can judge a man by how he treats his inferiors, the saying goes [Sidebar- when I attempted an attribution here, I came up, comically, with Sirius Black. But then Rowling is magnificently derivative.] And so we see Angel beheading the only person who has given the time of day to Harmony, he shouts at her for not having his blood ready, he keeps an extraordinary distance, both professionally and personally, from a secretary who for many is their one point of sanity in a work environment. In the end, the problem is solved, and in this kind of episode, there's going to be a small resolution. But notice the way that the difficulties with the demons is due to Harmony's lack of belief that she can talk to Angel about his problems. This divorcement is characteristic of his relationships with all his employees. As he clicks away to the demons, communicating with only marginally less success with them than with the rowing Wesley and Gunn, it's the isolation that is beginning to overpower him.

Look at the one point of engagement that a character tries to make with him in this episode; the one point where he is neither boss nor a person who just needs space. It is Spike. Here, Spike is in wonderful younger brother mode, asking for a little money, and assuring Angel that he's about to take his Viper. And Angel rejects him, repeatedly. It's not that the Angel-Spike relationship should be easy, or that it's all Angel's fault, but his gratuitous insult to be passed on to Buffy is symptomatic of his inability to form meaningful relationships this Season. And, he played like a broken record, that all boils down to Connor and Cordelia.

If we see Gunn and Wesley from Harmony's point of view only momentarily, then it's as shadowy figures controlling things that she barely understands, and leaving her with only thinly veiled irony, (Wesley's sardonic: 'I'm glad you're here Harmony' is shown to be unnecessarily derisive when we're in Harmony's stilettos). The other character we see interact in a less cursory way with Harm is Fred, and she comes off significantly better. She takes a little pity, engages, interacts and believes she has helped Harmony to regain some confidence. That her advice should lead her to a classic set-up is the fault of the Noir genre rather than her good intentions. Fred once again comes out of this episode looking good. I wonder what horrible pain lies in wait for her.

-A list of nouns is built up in this episode which sound like a kind of Rorschach test. We have the camel, a poodle, even more forks (for pity's sake Edlund), and various other random animals, (I draw the line at 'wildebeest' which has Fawlty Towers connotations.).

-The man Harmony bites is called Toby, which gives me a certain involuntary empathy for him. He seemed nice enough, although the astronaut part is just another lash to our ailing Zeppo.

-The resolution of the episode, is, I think rather neat and subversive. I like the way that it was through someone hating Harmony that she realised her own worth, and that Spike should explain this to her is fitting, considering the store he may well have set by Xander's disapproval during his time in Sunnydale. The Harmony/Spike relationship has a (barely) metarelation to the old Buffy/Spike, with Spike as Buffy and Harmony as Spike. Our hero comes back to life (after martyrdom), and the other is delighted, only to be largely ignored and derided. After a key revelation, the Hero gives in, for unrelated reasons, to some irrelevant (to them) sex. The Hero helps the other to grow, but the other still has to win respect from other members of the Hero's clan. If Spike is less of a Hero than Buffy, and Harmony is more of a sap than Spike, then we can chalk it up to the harsher judgements of Angel as a show, along with the fact that Spike is once removed from the central role. Yet in 'Soul Purpose', he starts to develop another interesting aspect of his character, in an episode with two contrasting sides that never quite fit as snugly as they might have done

5.10- 'Soul Purpose'

You'll have to excuse my tendency to refer to this episode as 'Sole Porpoise'. It's just a tic in my character, I can't do anything about. And in any case, there are important fish in the episode, so it's not entirely mal a propos.

This was an interesting directing effort from David Boreanaz, who, as well as bringing good performances from the actors, actually put together some technically really interesting shots from start to finish. The start would be the low shot with Angel on the ground writhing, and the end the shot with the gargantuan Angel in the foreground, and the characters, as if still within his fevered brain, in the foreground. In between, there's a beautiful shot of Angel between Gunn and Wesley. They are arguing about tactics for killing demons. Gunn is the enthusiast for Wolfram and Hart's expertise, Wesley is the perpetual cynic. Angel is stuck in the middle, not in a balanced comfortable centrism, but in a no-man's-land of self-doubt. And we see these in his dreams.

Here, relatively briefly, is what I pull out of the various scenes on one viewing. The scenes are at times deliberately obtuse, and lack the wonderfully clear symbolism, humour and subconscious power of 'Restless', but nonetheless there are some lovely little clues as to Angel's subconscious. Much as in his perfect day in 'Awakenings' we can ascertain a lot about his relationships with the various characters.

-Wesley's scene is obvious and visceral. Wesley is still the betrayer, even though he doesn't realise this. And on this occasion, he's turned to Spike rather than Connor, and therefore, in (woefully ineptly, Angel's conscience assumes) promoting the son, he has killed all the father stands for.

-We have the alternate end of 'Destiny' where Spike's victory really did matter. Admittedly, Angel probably wasn't the only one to shrug blankly at my over-complex 'chromatic rejection of tonality' metaphor, but in simpler terms- it doesn't matter who won, it matters that you talk to each other, he still hasn't accepted it. If he's accepted it on a mind level, then there's still the desire and pain underneath, unquenched. Now, with Spike back it is he, not his grandspawn, who is burning up.

-Fred's dream is stupid and delicious and I can't quite decide whether it's sheer genius (the Burger Loa) or simply too far for Angel ('The House Always Wins'). The lines are certainly meaning things, however. Angel doesn't need his organs. This is because he is all brains- he's isolated from his livers and kidney, Wesley and Gunn and whoever else. Eventually he just feels empty, shorn of connection. As a result of shutting himself off, his heart is a shrivelled walnut. I love Fred's little, almost irrelevant seeming qualifier 'Oh, you heart really is'. They've all guessed how Angel is feeling; they all realise already, without the metaphor. The car registration plate is to do with the clogging and materialism in Angel's new life- the surface things, the many cars and the helicopter. We're then brought into a whole water scene. We get the Jaws reference. We get the pearl necklace, (from the sea, and no, I'm not going on to the other interpretation), and then rather than the Great White Shark, the little goldfish. Angel ain't really a Big Fish, he's just a trapped little swimmer. And while his soul/sole/fish is banging against the edges of its enclosed bowl, it's slowly forgetting, just as Connor is seeping away and is unknown to his friends. And then we get the sound of the Ocean, where Angel had his MC Esher perspective, and lay for months. Is his incarceration in the law firm just a parallel to his summer-long seabed vigil? Watch out for submarine episodes [totally unspoiled, totally ;-)]. Fred's interracting with other company people, much more so than the rest of the gang, and hence the disconnect on the bear. Fred is science-y, almost threateningly logical, although he can't see the logic, and consorts with wild animals.

Although 'bear' is then played with, or at least its phoneme, when we see Angel bare-soled shortly afterwards. Of course, he's baring his soul, and this is another reason why all the footwear stuff that Ann wrote so interestingly about is around, the sole-soul pun. In this soul-baring place, Angel is witnessing an apocalypse. But, in his cut of state it seems little more than a fairy tale. Both the infernal torment outside (a cunning and lovely poke at the over-the-topness of 'Apocalypse Now') and the later fairytale happiness (similarly Season Four referencing, this time Jasmine's peace on earth), are illustrations from Grimm. Angel isn't part of the reality; they seem merely fake. Angel has to see his worst nightmare: Spike's utter self-invention, his tendency not to avert his eyes from life, being applauded by his friends. There's the cake, and it musn't be under-emphasised, there's 'Just a working class bloke'. The deviousness, that Angel doesn't possess and will never adopt triumphs. Spike is just a boy to Angel, a child, and a not-quite-human at that, still wooden. Here comes the fairy, and Pinnochio shall never have to worry about his nose again. Angel's efforts are all part of Spike's narrative, and he can't stand it. I was fascinated to read that Steve De Knight wrote 'Destiny' with Angel winning the fight, and Fury begged him to change it. One of Fury's greatest judgements, because, although if the two would only realise each other, it doesn't matter, while they believe it does, it flips Angel out from his lead character role and allows Spike to move in. And that dynamic is just fascinating. At the end of the scene, in a really beautiful and intelligent piece of filming, Angel leaves the room with the mail cart. Angel has become Numero Cinco, the forgotten Hero and without a word of dialogue, just a shot. This is why this television show has such spectacular genius, and still makes me swoon.

-There's the very simple Buffy/Spike dream, another element of Spike's possession of Angel's character. Buffy mentions 'goldfish' of course, and we're back to 'sole' and thence 'sole'. Dreams are the poetry to consciousness' prose, and that's why I find it so amenable, I'm thinking.

-By the time we get to Lorne and the honkytonk, it's getting a little too silly for my liking. But there are still the odd moments of brilliance. There's Angel having the spotlight thrust onto him, and having to somehow perform, while Fred, Wesley and Gunn heckle. There's Gunn with the roar of a lion. I think I'm going to have to drop the old Animalistic!Gunn complaint, since they're obviously sincerely and repetitively using it to symbolise Gunn's connection with the White Room, and hence the Powers that Be, yet another connection that Angel doesn't have. Meanwhile, we have that hanging 'Junior' and all it connotes about Connor, once again.

Playing against this dream sequence, really, really unconventionally, is a B-plot that parallels Angel's actions. Usually this kind of B-plot would be predictable, but set against the dream it makes the whole thing harder to grasp conceptually. Are there elements of Spike dreaming? Playing a part he has not yet become. Certainly Lindsey as Doyle is playing into some kind of role, but is he distorted from without, or is he the distorter himself. Fascinating stuff, and I won't speculate, cos it would just waste time.

So here's some thoughts on Spike as Angel:
There are bits of the B-plot that in microcosm summarise the entire series- in such an extraordinary way that it deserves some credit. A few highlights.
The way that Lindsey confronts and introduces Spike, explaining to him what his problems and character traits are, is an exact echo of the legendary subversion back in 'City Of'. The subsequent rescue scene with Spike hints at both 1.1 and 5.1, where Angel unlike Spike is mobbed by Wolfram and Hart. Spike's punkish assertion that the woman is a moron however, is a tidy back-reference to his sarcasm way back in 'In the Dark' in the lovely scene on the rooftop. Later, the two boys escape after another of Spike's vigilante crusades, echoing a most similar scene with Connor in 'The House Always Wins'. When Gunn and Wesley turn up at the house, 'hedging their bets' and trying to get Spike on side, who are they but the manipulative, suited lawyers of Lilah and Lindsey himself in early Season Two. Later, the masterminds, the people we don't understand, the supposedly good getting ambiguous and the certainly evil getting blurry, are Lindsey and Eve behind Spike's back rather than Wesley and Lilah behind Angel's in Season Three and Four. Spike has become Hero rather than side-kick, it looks like. But when he calls Lindsey Butch, free-associating minds fly to Spike as the side-kick still, the 'Sundance Kid', (an apposite allusion to 'Chosen' surely not lost on Joss Whedon). The question remains, wo is Spike's Cordelia, as he mopes in the basement, both the haunts of his madness in 'Lessons' (and, beautifully, compare this madness before heroism to Angel's early Buffy Season Three madness before the original 'City of'), and Angel's basement at the start of the series. It's really top-drawer stuff. Lindsey corrects himself- Spike will be hanging a coat not a hat. Does that mean he can give up the Slayer Killer title once and for all?

Twelve episodes left, and although I think this one over-balanced itself at times, and the dream sequences were a little too knowing for their own good, if they're all as good as this one, it would be hard to complain. Congratulations to Brett Fletcher (though how carefully doctored was his script?), and certainly David Boreanaz.

Finally, I appear to be posting these at the same time as Honorificus. I'm deeply humbled. Would that they could bring a sliver of the sunlight her celestial claws emit. Thanks for reading.



[> It's back!! -- Masq, 16:25:02 02/23/04 Mon

The Brits are back in the loop, yes??

[> [> And one little quibble before I move into in-depth contemplation... -- Masq, 16:40:39 02/23/04 Mon

The show is not dying, not yet. Sitting at the wrong end of a loaded gun, yes, but not yet shot.

It can still escape that fate...

[> [> Us English are indeed loopy -- TCH, 03:52:50 02/24/04 Tue

[> Shameless preservation -- Tchaikovsky, 07:06:18 02/24/04 Tue

Yes, so, this post has a really important porpoise, which is not just to make more fish puns.

The reviews are now up here, as are the reviews of the previous 96 episodes, and some stuff about Wittgenstein and snow from long ago.

Plug ends...


[> An animal that's a really hard nut to crack? -- Arethusa, 09:11:33 02/24/04 Tue

I wonder about the pearl necklace. The irritating grain of sand that is running W&H becomes a beautiful and valuable string of pearls for Fred. Does Angel see her as uncorrupted and rewarded for working there, while he is tormented by it?

As far as the other meaning goes, Angel could be protesting again that he's not a eunuch and does in fact have a very long string of pearls, even if he's not marathon man like Spike is in his hallucination. It's interesting that in a sense the curse emasulates him in demon society (as Virginia noted, I believe), a counterpart to the false hyper-masculination implied by siring. The kind of power granted by siring is almost purely physical, since the vampire loses control over his ability to choose between good and evil. Liam embraces traditional methods of exerting male power-fighting and wenching-but as that power usually comes with price, Angel is punished with the curse. He can fight but can't wench, proving the ultimate impotence of purely physical power.

Or it could just be a string of pearls.

Wouldn't Fred be Spike's Cordy, trying to "ground" him and tell him that he really is a hero, whether or not he realizes it?

[> [> Lovely thoughts on masculinity -- Tchaikovsky, 06:11:27 02/25/04 Wed

I'm trying out the Fred as Spike's Cordelia thesis, and it kind of works- although her help to Spike is largely before the recalibration of Spike in 'Soul Purpose'. So, is there a Spike/Eve relationship to be developed, or is Spike's heroism going to develop in a different, more purely masculine way?


[> [> [> masculinity and femininity in men -- Arethusa, 12:37:22 02/25/04 Wed

To understand Spike, look at Angel. Angel's problem was father-related. His father's ideas of what constitutes masculinity warped Liam into trying to live up to an unrealistic ideal. He had to prove hiimself a man, over and over. He still does-to Liam a man is in control at all times, of himself and everyone around him. Angel's still terrified of showing a softer side, unable to be vulnerable for fear of being thought weak. Therefore as a vampire, Angelus is incredibly patriarchal.

But Spike's ideas of masculinity stem from his interactions with his mother, not his father. He's attracted to the feminine, not afraid of it. Hence his ability to wear eye shadow and nail polish without fearing being thought effeminite. Spike, of course, is Angel's counterpoint, who is afraid of the masculine within himself, instead of the feminine. His sexual desirees and aggressive tendecies are what he learned to suppress, probably picking them up inadvertently from his Victorian society and physically weak mother. So it is the masculine traits of physical and sexual aggressivess that Spike seeks to fulfill, instead of Angel's fear of, yet attraction to, control and tender emotions.

The conditioning that makes up a man-his ideas regarding sex, violence, love and control-are embodied in Angel and Spike together. When they become vampires they seek to assert that which they have been taught by parents and sociey over what they feel inside. Both fought against society's image of what makes up a man, gave into them as vampires, and sought as souled men to integragte those fractured parts of themselves.

[> Great stuff! More comments later -- Rahael, 13:07:15 02/24/04 Tue

[> [> Don't worry, I'll keep it on the board -- Masq, 13:41:37 02/24/04 Tue

For I am all powerful!

[> Oh my darling Clementine -- Rahael, 09:07:58 02/25/04 Wed

I was struck by the fact that Lorne plays 'Oh my darling Clementine'

The chorus line "you are lost to me for ever' reminds me of Connor


He heard her calling: father,
Her voice was like a chime,
But alas he was no swimmer,
So he lost his Clementine.

but, the references to Clementine growing up in a cavern, in a canyon, and her 'light she was and like a fairy' simply remind me of Fred. To be true, the cave thing works equally well for Connor!

And the whole drowning, briny waters thing is very fitting for Angel and Connor. In the song, the father misses Clementine so much he joins her.

Anyway the song is fittingly whimsical for the episode.

It's also the title of a Western by John Ford. I've never seen it, but I wonder if someone who has could see any significance?

I also am thinking about the line where Fred can hear the sea through the gaping hole within Angel..is this another hint at Connor, and the epic moments between father and son in 'Tomorrow'?

I liked both these eps, but Harm's Way was my favourite. I loved the alternative vision of Angel as boorish, unfair boss. And the mug with the title "World's #1 Boss", a faint reminder that Angel was once the "World's #1 souled Vampire", indeed he was the only one! Poor Angel. Poor Harmony. That was a great AtS ep.

I really like Craft and Fain. I've loved them ever since Soulless.

[> [> That puts you late on the Craft and Fain train -- Tchaikovsky, 09:35:29 02/25/04 Wed

Since I think many people loved them since Supersymmetry! But 'Soulless' was my favourite episode of Season Four, even including the wonderful 'Deep Down' and 'Home', so they certainly have the skills in my mind.

Somebody mentioned in a post I was reading the other day that there is no Cordelia in 'Sole Porpoise', (hey, the song has 'herrings', I can't help myself). Reading through the lyrics, it occurs to me that if you can get over all the 'daughter' stuff, it actually fits in for her quite well, although Connor obviously works as well.

For the sea, I was drawn back to 'Benediction', where Connor gazes out to sea, at another New World, for a little while peaceful. Then he hears that Angel has gone to see Holtz, and the peace is shattered. Angel's past comes back to haunt Connor again. How much do Angel's problems all derive from his past sins. He helps Darla to except mortal death, only to be waylaid by Drusilla. He believes in himself a little, before meeting up with Penn. All the echoes of Angelus- trying desperately to escape.

I liked both these eps, but Harm's Way was my favourite

I think I marginally preferred 'Soul Purpose', but I got a lot more out of 'Harm's Way' than I was expecting.


[> [> [> I have seen little praise of them, actually -- Rahael, 05:36:34 02/27/04 Fri

I thougth SS was a great episode but it was initially clouded for me by the Gunn/Wes/Fred controversies.........

Request for Unspoiled Spec, Re: Fred (Spoilers for this week's trailer) -- Belladonna, 12:49:40 02/24/04 Tue

Warning: there are spoilers ahead for this week's new episode's trailer! :)
Hey all, I was just wondering what you thought about next week's trailer. Do you really think Fred is going to die? On the one hand, it would certainly add a whole lot of angst to set up any end of the season conflict within the Fang Gang. But on the other hand...they can't kill Fred!! :) Seriously, though, it seems extremely unlikely (or foolish), to kill her off, as that would leave the show without a single strong female character. I wasn't a huge fan of Cordelia (post season 3 "Saint Cordelia), but even I have to admit how much I feel the show lacks since she left. Not that Fred is as strong as Cordelia was, but she is all we have left (I'm not including Harmony and Eve for obvious reasons). I can't imagine how the show would feel if it were completely a "boys" club. So, I'm confident that they won't kill her, but I was curious as to what all of you thought.
Again, I'm asking for UNSPOILED Speculation here. No spoilers, Please!! Thanks!


[> Unspoiled spec -- Seven, 13:28:30 02/24/04 Tue

I think they may actually do her off. Maybe she'll come back at the end of the season (a la Lilah) but I think her (apparent) death would be the spark that sets off the next arc. It would also make sense since Fred and Wes had a happy moment (meaning ME will tear it all down right away).

Someone, (sorry, I forget who, Claudia maybe?) has posted that Angel could possibly be on his way to losing everyone around him in some way or another. If that is where ME is going, this would be a good start. Wes could blame Angel for Fred's (possible--I am unspoiled) death and Gunn could go rogue or evil and, y'know... other stuff could happen along those lines. Also, his group could really abandon him if after Fred's (possible) death, the mind wipe is revealed. That could set up some chaos. One way or the other, we may have to wait a while cause I think this might be the last episode for a while. After this week, there are seven eps left (for the series, waaa) so the EVIL! WB might spread them out.

On another note, maybe we will se Nina join the gang since she seems to be starting a relationship with Angel and the core group would be without a female "lead."

So that's my spec -- Fred will die (or presumably die)

GOD, I really hope they don't pull another coma on us. That would really piss me off cause I would hate to have to explain to my non-angel friends another soap-opera situation like that.

Anywho, that's it. (now back to my mid-term project---Help!!!!)


[> Unspoiled Spec, (Spoilers for this week's trailer and for Whedon's 'teaser' letter) -- Pip, 15:08:38 02/24/04 Tue

Spoilers ahead for this weeks US broadcast trailer, and the Joss Whedon 'teaser' letter about the episode.

I wouldn't be surprised if Fred ended up dead. But permanently dead? Our only remaining regular female cast member? The other thing that makes me suspicious is that the trailer and Whedon's teaser letter seem to be preparing us for the possibility of Fred actually dying. This is the same Whedon who has previously had his regular character deaths as jaw-dropping shocks. I keep remembering those Frat boys with their hearts ripped out in BtVS S7 Selfless. And there's Buffy herself, dead for 147 days.

If Fred does die, and it's a human death by human means, she'll die for real (that's the usual rule in the Buffyverse). If it's a mystical death - hmmm.

The previous character death that might then be most relevant to Angel's current situation was Cordelia in BtVS S3 The Wish , quite definitely dead halfway through the episode - until the wish was reversed. Is Angel in the 'real' universe? Or did his deal with Wolfram and Hart put him in an 'alternate' universe, like the doppelgangerland of The Wish ? And time passed in the alternate world of The Wish , but when Anya's amulet and her demon power were destroyed, it reversed to the moment of the wish itself.

If we are in an alternate universe of Angel's creation, we may well end up with the entire AI team (including Spike ) dead - because Angel has to decide whether Connor's life is worth that. I note that an amulet was also part of Angel's deal (the one that harrowed the Sunnydale hellmouth).

It's all about Connor. Somehow, this season is going to turn out to be all about Connor.

[> [> There are babies and births everywhere Spoilers ALL S 5 episodes -- Ann, 18:17:40 02/24/04 Tue

I agree it is all about Connor and rebirth. Characters have been born/reborn in every episode this season. There are ìbabiesî everywhere. The egg in Smile Time yoked me into thinking about the conceptions (of sorts) that have occurred in every episode. So I made a list.

1.Conviction- AI reborn as CEO and leaders in W&H's LA office. Spike is conceived. Eve is introduced.
2.Just Rewards-Magnus Hainsley replaces or transfers the spirits from a live body into the dead to bring it back to life.
3.Unleashed-Nina is reborn as a werewolf.
4.Hellbound-Fred uses a circular ring of energy that can transform ghosts into real bodies. Pavayne is reborn.
5.Life of the Party-Lorne is reborn as a monster because he was deprived of sleep.
6.Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco-NC remembers his dead brothers, wishing he was with them, feeling sad and unworthy. In the end, he finds his worth and is reborn to be with them.
7.Lineage- The rebirth of Wes's dad. Wes kills his father, but discovers this father was a robot. His dad is alive!
8.Destiny-Spike becomes corporeal and is born.
9.Harm's Way-Harmony, "baby" star for the day, finds that she can make some good choices.
10.Soul Purpose-Doyle is reborn.
11. Damage-Dana is reborn. Andrew is reborn.
12.You're Welcome-Cordelia is reborn to her afterlife.
13. Why we fight-Lawson is reborn as a vampire. Angel comes through a torpedo tube.
14. Smile Time- The Nest Egg tries to be born using children's life energy; Angel is reborn as a puppet, revealing his humanity. An egg, representing the beginnings of all life, is central to this episode.

With every end, there is a beginning.

I wonder when we are going to see a birthday party to celebrate all of these births! Easter (rebirth and resurrection) after all, is just around the corner!

[> [> [> Correction: spoilers only to SmileTime -- Ann, 06:23:52 02/25/04 Wed

[> [> [> [> Re: Correction: spoilers S5 up to SmileTime -- Ann [not typing well this morning], 06:27:46 02/25/04 Wed

[> [> [> There are families everywhere - Spoilers S 5 to Smile Time -- Pip, 15:51:47 02/25/04 Wed

And parents. Parents everywhere. Extend it to 'family', and there's no escape.

In Conviction a father is willing to use his son as container for a deadly virus.

In Just Rewards, Angel the grandsire is apparently willing to kill Spike.

In Unleashed Nina is scared she's going to kill her family.

Hellbound - William and Liam, bickering on the couch in the way that families do. And Angel saying that he wanted to find a way to have Spike be gone.

Life of the Party. More difficult, though it seems to be about the AI team 'family'. Lines do include reference to a 'brotherhood', and Lorne asking demons about their families. Knox tells Fred he fixed their baby.

Numero Cinco is pretty obvious, since the story is about the only survivor of five brothers. Who dies at the end of the episode.

Lineage - lots of family goodness. As a break from Angel being a bloomin' awful father figure to his 'sons', we discover that Roger Wyndham-Pryce is a bloomin' awful father to his son.

Destiny - Spike and Angel as grandsire and 'son'. Again. As a counterpoint to last week's episode, Spike chooses not to kill his abusive father-figure.

Harm's Way - "So go ahead, relax, and enjoy your new Wolfram & Hart family." [But try not to get beheaded. It makes a mess on the carpet.]

Soul Purpose. If in doubt, stick to Angel and Son. Or grandson. [And while Angel is obsessing over Spike taking his place, Spike is refusing Wes and Gunn's offer to - maybe take Angel's old place?]

Damage. Two different families for Spike - his Sunnydale 'family' that love him (represented by Andrew) and, of course, Angel. Then there's Dana's murdered family, replaced at the end of the episode by a new 'family' of fellow Slayers.

You're Welcome. Connor is specifically mentioned here, by Cordelia who was both his 'mother' and had his 'child'. The AI team (plus Spike) end up one big happy family at the end.

Why We Fight. Lawson. Law-son. Yes, thank-you Goddard and De-Knight, I have got the theme of Angel's sons this season. You didn't need to stab me with the screwdriver of metaphor [grin].

I can't do Smile Time, since I have only seen screen shots. Angel the Muppet looks gooood. :-)

So what we have in Season 5 to date is a series of families who are either murdered, or willing to murder each other. The House of Atreus would be proud.

Angel himself has now reached a perfect record of killing his sons, whether biological or vampiric. If you look at the dialogue in Chosen he consistently tells Buffy that the amulet is too dangerous to wear. "I don't know nearly enough about this to risk you wearing it." And then Spike's available, Spike's probably Buffy's boyfriend, and Spike's got a soul, and it's 'bye, Buffy, I have an evil law firm to run. Second front? Sounds great. Unlike your cookie dough analogy. Here, Spike, have an incredibly dangerous amulet.' Spike himself figured out who was the lucky winner in ten seconds flat: "Someone with a soul but more than human? Angel meant to wear it. That means I'm the qualified party." Are we supposed to think that Angel hadn't worked out who the only other 'qualified party' was?

So Angel has killed Penn, 'killed' Connor, kills Lawson in Why We Fight and killed Spike by proxy amulet in Chosen . A perfect record - at least, it would be if Spike would ever do what he was supposed to. But Spike gets reborn after he dies. Will Angel, at the end of this season? Or will it be the rest of his AI 'family' who need rebirth after their deaths?

Like Buffy in BtVS S5, Angel in AtS S5 has death as his gift. Unlike Buffy, he has so far consistently chosen to not give his own death as a gift. Instead he gives death, as his only gift.

[> [> [> [> Good point! -- Rahael, 05:24:35 02/27/04 Fri

I like this (also it fits into my view of the PTB as multi-faceted metaphors for parenting)

Smile Time fits in to - but I don't want to spoil you.

[> [> Could it be about Tara too? Spoilers for Hole in the World -- Arethusa, 08:46:53 02/27/04 Fri

Last year Whedon planned to have Tara come back to Willow, but did not get to do this due to Benson's unavailability. I read an interview in which he stated he had the whole thing worked out and it brought everyone to tears.

It's such a powerfully emotional thing to do, to kill off the woman Wes has loved for so long when he just got her, then bring her back. I would not be able to resist doing this to my audience if I were in his shoes.

[> [> [> I really hope you're right. Would give me chills. -- Jane, 18:20:42 02/27/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> Me too! That would be amazing! -- Rob, 09:13:33 02/28/04 Sat

Keeping in touch (Angel Odyssey 5.11) -- Tchaikovsky, 07:14:16 02/25/04 Wed

...Send me a postcard, Drop me a line
Stating points of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
'Yours sincerely- Wasting away'...

Hello everyone.

Both episodes, which could be summarised as the sound and the Fury, are concerned with re-connection, communication in and re-evaluation of the past, all of which lends credence to the reading of Season Five being a slow realisation by Angel that further interaction with Connor is inevitable, (the two lifts come up, and Masq and me are revealed side by side. Sometimes life works like that.) In 'Damage', Spike is made to confront his past, and in doing so, a mite more resolution is added to the Wood/Spike storyline, as Nikki finally, gruesomely gets the vengeance Wood could never bestow. It's also about the consequences of the end of Buffy, both from a purely plot point of view, and in a more metanarrative sense, about how the effect of Angel's forebear still needs to resound, to keep a consistent Universe.

And internal consistency is a darned hard thing to do. 'Damage' is the 243rd episode I've seen in Whedonland, (which incidentally is 3^5, surely as big a milestone as 100 episodes), and there are little problems, but the fact that it's still revving with understandable continuity, and unharmed emotional punches is as much of a credit to the show as anything else. The emotional punch in the latter episode left me, (admittedly no more than a light-welterweight) absolutely floored, and this is the episode that finally convinced me that David Fury can write. Here, he competently gives eleven characters stuff to do (some of it is a little less crucial than, say, the absolute genius of 'Becoming'), and manages to get a funny, powerful episode with a genuinely painful but not cop-out ending. The bearded one hits the nail on the head just in time for redemption before the end of the Season. Fingers crossed for Angel and Spike.

5.11- 'Damage'

This episode plays all sorts of games with perspective, which is very enjoyable. The first one is that, for the first time in what I'll vaguely suggest is 'quite a while',
we have a complete teaser with no-one we recognise at all, and certainly none of our regular characters. It recalls Faith on two levels: her entry into Los Angeles in 'Five by Five', and, more visually, the nightdress that Dana wears. She appears very similar to Faith at the beginning of 'This Year's Girl', as she awakes from her coma, a Slayer out of control. Given these thoughts, of the Slayer line and of how it goes wrong, the plot then develops much along the line that one expects it to.

Except that in the end, we are left with an overwhelmingly positive message about the new Watcher's Council. Dana is one aspect of the Slayer spell, but notice how the plot carefully shows that it is not the Slayer Spell that has made her who she is, tortured, depressed and dangerous. This is the result of the abuse of the man with the metal, keeping women who are born free in chains of repression. Her strength, while dangerous, also allows her to take the first fragile steps towards recovery, in many ways paralleling Bethany in 'Untouched'. But the wider parallel (not a particular surprise in an episode co-written by the man obsessed with continuity, Drew Goddard), is that this is a beautiful subversion of the episode 'Consequences', in the third season of Buffy.

To whit, a few 'co-incidences'

But, eventually, we get those lovely subersive hints about the new Story, about how life has moved on. Angel, the story runs in 'Consequences', is just getting somewhere with Faith, when Wesley interrupts and the Council attempt to take Faith. Here Spike, with excess baggage really not helping him, gets nowhere in rehabilitating Dana, other than to his own detriment. In the end, when Andrew backed by Slayers takes Andrew away, the viewer is left with the impression that she is in the safest hands, with Giles, Buffy and Andrew as equipped to deal with Dana, largely due to their experience with Faith, as anyone else. Giles has graduated, to be a new Quentin Travers, and one worthy of respect. Buffy, the head of the whole global organisation, if not as administrator then at least as figurehead, is in Rome, the centre of the Empire. What is she, Saint Buffy? No, the Pope presiding over cardinals, and a Caesar presiding over centurions. And you can't help feeling, a damn good one.

'Consequences' is dark and horrible, one of the best nihilistic Noxon offerings of Buffy's run. 'Damage' subverts the shadows and allows that pure, soulful burst of sunlight that encapsulated 'Chosen' to be shed upon the bleak subject of Dana. But what about the instigator of that Ray, the Sundance Kid himself?

Spike is fascinating in this episode, largely because he plays a whole host of subtly different roles at the same time, and all of them equally sum up sides of his character. First of all, we get him as dramatic foil and competitor to Angel, as we see the lifts to the psychiatric ward opening, and the two neatly paralleled. During the conversation that follows with the doctor, Spike shows the slight differences in how he would handle the situation, though mostly stylistic rather than intrinsic. At the end, when he decides to find Dana, he shows off his impulsive streak, his tendency, in a later to be gruesome metaphor, to be hands-on. Angel shows a little more guile in double-checking the story with the nurse, and therefore gets to the truth first- that Dana is a Slayer, mad and overrun by Vision Dreams which meld with reality. In 'Consequences', Buffy is drowning, being pulled down by Allan Finch until his body is washed up in the docks. Here the weight of Slayer lore is slowly asphyxiating Dana, and we have the tiny cell to represent it.

Angel can't help calling Spike a 'pathological idiot', but form the point of view of the sap Andrew, Spike is Gandalf, come back to him at the turning of the tide. Spike as a wise mentor, mighty in counsel, is perhaps a little daft, but there is at least a kernel of truth in Spike's development from the Grey vampire, tending only to do good due to his chip and his love for a Slayer, and now the White, a self-professed Hero. But as soon as we get anywhere near Spike as the Hero of 'Soul Purpose' or the bridge of Khazad-Dum, the text twists on us. It's Whedonland, not Middle Earth.

Spike is made to remember by Dana the deaths of both of the Slayers, and by association his other atrocities in the long years of the twentieth century. Goddard references the line in 'Fool For Love': 'I'm sorry love, I don't speak Chinese', and we're reminded just how callous and thoughtless he was as a vampire. When he comes to find Dana with Andrew, and Andrew gets knocked out, he leaves him and tracks his Slayer, showing his usual persistence in a task and warrior mentality in leaving Andrew. But when he finds her again, all sorts of symbolism comes to town. We have the needle with which Spike injects Dana. Literally, it is her confused remembrances switching Spike for her earlier torturer. But also, how much of that needle reflects what Spike helped do to Dana in 'Chosen'? Do we see Spike as inflicting strength and responsibility on people who have not taken the oath that they 'are ready to be strong'?

And then we get Nikki's reclamation of the leather duster through Dana, and the cutting off of Spike's hands. He's tried to be impulsive, but he's ended up once again leashed, like the wheelchair, the lovelornness, the chip, the trigger, and the ghostliness before this action. Spike the dynamic physical vampire in perpetual conflict with fate's compulsion with making him question his instincts, in pushing him against his cerebral, poetic side. In this case, his corporeal hands come back, but how much has the Spike Hero of 'Soul Purpose been dented?

Brief bites:
-Gunn playing nine holes of golf is a deliberately corporate and lovely detail in his hook, line and sinker approach to the company.

-The answer to the crossword clue [In a mellifluous manner (7)] is, I think almost certainly, 'treacly'. We get a hint in the teaser that Dana will be hanging about with the molasses, and that all fits together with Andrew's rather sugary exposition in Angel's office.

-There's a reverse shot of 'In the Dark' in the third act. Watch the scene with Andrew talking to Spike in an alleyway, and Dana stalking them up on the rooftop. Now the woman is higher, and has the power. Now Spike is the one being chatted up by Andrew, and now Andrew is the verbose (if less cynical), Spike. Neat work.

-Twelve vamPyre slayers for the twelve disciples of Buffy. Or twelve apostles, then leave in Dana, or Faith?, as Judas. Faith I think.

Angel and Spike's 'Nature of Evil' speech at the end is one of the highlights of the fifth Season so far. Angel has enough sympathy, and Spike is shaken sufficiently for them both to actually listen to each other. And, telling us once and for all that this episode is full of beautiful subversions, the final line of the episode is 'Once Upon a Time'. Brilliant writing.

Typing the 100th episode review as you read...



[> Keeping in touch ctd (Angel Odyssey 5.12) -- Tchaikovsky, 07:57:26 02/25/04 Wed

5.12- 'You're Welcome'

What to say about how hard 'You're Welcome' hit me, even at eleven o'clock in the morning on a Wednesday, feeling a little sleep-deprived. In fact the reason why I'd been up until three the previous evening was, along with obligatory student alcohol, that I was finishing A S Byatt's Booker-winning 'Possession', a lovely novel, and one you should read if you get a chance to bite into something truly unfashionable and highly literate. Thanks to luna for the recommendation. At the end of said book, there's a truly heart-rending moment, where two characters who, according to evidence preserved for the following sesquicentury never met, do, thereby establishing a link that has all manner of gentle tragedy. And the book ends, not on this consolation, but on the loss of the record of the meeting, on how people and their feelings are ephemeral and float into the air. Much of what I felt with moistening eyes through 'Possession', ripped through me as I cried buckets over 'You're Welcome'.

It was a dreadfully simple line that did it, all quiet and unimportant. Cordelia, her old, self-assured sassiness, says that she assumed Angel would be lost without her. Angel, with 251 years of anguish contorted into only one face, almost whispers 'I am lost without you'. This isn't gentle, touching banter, it's absolutely corkscrew to the heart [copyright Dylan] sincerity, from a man who always locked himself back in his basement in the dark. The remaining scene, including Cordelia's not-quite-profession that she fell in love with him, just left me a wreck. By the time we got to Lindsey and Eve in bed, I was ready for a somnolent afternoon myself.

So, all well and good, but if you're going to have a reaction like that in a review which is supposed to have elements of objectivity, at least explain it. This is why. It's because Season Four had its own, brilliant, ulterior motive for existing, but that wasn't to do with finishing Cordelia's storyline of Season Three. At the end of 'Peace Out' I was of the conviction that Fury had provided a minor resolution, in explaining how Cordelia represented a character with no free will, perpetually buffeted by Fortune. She was what Angel could have become if he had submitted to Jasmine. But this was only the resolution to the story of Cordelia between 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem' and 'Home'. We still had no real resolution to 'Heartthrob' through to 'Tomorrow', 22 episodes of build-up quenched and supposedly forgotten.

That's why I cried. Because it was about a long-lost friend, and about a long-lost series. The series didn't claim it was possible to revert to its old tenor- one of the greatest strengths of Angel is the dynamic change of its characters, the ability, as Zachsmind explained, to jump the shark repeatedly and provocatively and never lose it. But this was the nod, the moment where we got the old Cordelia back for just long enough, where Angel realises what that past means to him, and another tick in the Connor Lives! box.

This is the best kind of Cordelia- the combative Cordelia who annihilates Eve, (what a fulfilling moment for every viewer), the gently cynical Cordelia who helps Wesley with his research, the slightly brutal Cordelia who commands Angel to torture his lackey for information. The Cordelia to whom Doyle meant so much; his purity, his sincerity, and his sacrifice. This may be Charisma Carpenter's best acting on the programme to date, in her last appearance. When she gets really angry because Lindsey is posing at Doyle, the waves sunk right through me, while Cordelia always used to leave me amused but not quite connected. She explains to Angel that he has raped the memories of his friends (cf Willow in 'Tabula Rasa'). And Wesley's resolution- his profession that he knows heart as well as head that it was not Cordelia who killed Lilah, is a perfect moment, particularly bittersweet when played against Angel's perpetual residual mistrust of Wesley himself.

And so to smaller matters:

-Even in a finely crafted attempt, Fury still gives in to his necessity for pointless crude humour every so often. More positively, we get the repeated existential message of Angel repeated in the line 'I think God's out'.

-Later in the teaser, an effect of the mind-rape is played out, as Angel has to let Wesley and Fred go on their rider 'Even if [parallel dimensions] exist'. He's seen Connor taken to Quortoth after a portal was opened by Sahjihan.

-David Fury appears to be the only writer who still uses Angel's original house style of time passing between scenes with rushing traffics and hierarchical skyscrapers. I miss them, and here they remind us germanely of early Season One.

-Toner is getting obsessive. So, yes, of course it's not absolutely random, (There is no Cheese Man in Angel. Discuss) Toner is the thing that makes the photocopier clearly black or white. Angel is stuck in a multitude of grey: hence his employee's (and Sebassis' slave) strange obsession with drinking the stuff.

-The clothes scene, where they go to buy stuff for Cordelia is a reference back to the end of 'Disharmony', which I'd appreciate more if I didn't think that part of that episode was wildly misjudged.

-Colin Farrell's ubiquity recently but only recently is a fun little line, calling to mind 'Gatorade has a new colour...'

-Spike lost two hands to Lindsey's one. Spike's hands aren't Evil, and he seems to handle the possible playing by Lindsey extremely well, in a rather less impulsive manner than it at first appears. I liked the description of blood as wine, being 'astringent with a slight oaky flavour'.

-Doyle's video is just lovely, and a nice nod to a beautiful episode, and a lovely conceit. I suppose they thought 'We'll show you there are still heroes in this world. Is that it? Am I done?' maybe took the emotion a bit far a bit early. In any case, it re-doubles the impact since of course Glenn Quinn has died, and so the grief is real.

-Fury references his own episode with 'The House Always Wins', but this line seems to have more intelligence in it than the whole of the former episode. Just who is in control at Wolfram and Hart?

-When Angel is stabbed through the chest by Lindsey towards the end, I'm fairly sure there's a deliberate visual reference to 'Becoming', thus heightening the Angel/Cordelia, (and indeed Angel/Lindsey), relationships by inference. At a similar moment, there's one particular look Fred at Wesley which seemed kinda significant.

And then the end. I was dreading Cordelia turning out to be a faux!Cordelia, in the same way that Roger Wyndham-Price was. But they spared me this, and instead we had the real spirit of Cordelia, even if not all of her physically. It was like a concession from the Powers that Be, and a very beautiful one. The link between the Powers that Be and the producers can't be overlooked. Although Cordelia's arc is done, there is a lot she can show Angel about his own journey. Hopefully, she really has done so.

The final kiss, is, even as a person not totally invested in Cordelia and Angel's romance, powerful and meaningful. Because what a kiss means is consummation- the consummation and confirmation that Angel hoped to find at the beach in 'Tomorrow'. Now, when they finally get it, it is still a consummation. But now no longer of their togetherness, but of their loss. Cordelia has already explained she cannot be with Angel. The kiss seals not their love, but their separation.

From our bleak 'I think God's out' over the butchered nuns in the teaser, we reach an ending where Angel says thank you. And this gratitude is threefold. Gratitude to Cordelia, who as always has pre-empted it with her cheery 'You're Welcome'. Gratitude to the Powers that Be for granting Cordelia the final chance to help. And a metanarrative thank you from Angel and possibly David Boreanaz on his one hundred episodes. Achievement tinged with loss. A lot of that going round since the show's cancellation.

Which leaves us, blubbering like a whale's fundament, to think hard about what it is to lose someone, what it is to lose our series, how we'll miss the good times, and it will be painful to remember. For this, be it a romantic feeling or not, we need Rosetti, the stalwart of a thousand funerals:

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

One hundred episodes, one hundred memories. If ME says to me 'You're Welcome', I reply, belatedly, like Angel:

Thank you.


[> [> Re: Keeping in touch ctd (Angel Odyssey 5.12) -- Rahael, 08:45:41 02/25/04 Wed

Well, I haven't seen Damage.......

But I loved You're Welcome. I got a little moist eyed too. If this was Mary-Sue Cordy, well, what can I say? I loved it.

Very elegiac. And in this ep at least, the Cordy/Angel ship showed that it could have romance and tenderness and chemistry. In my opinion. I thought it was, in terms of Angel's Romantic Wish Fulfilment episodes, so very much better than IWRY. And even if you think about Angel's fantasy in Awakenings. Didn't Cordy have exactly the same curly tousled hair style in both these eps? Was it deliberate? After all, for most of S4 i think she had blow-dried sleek hair.

I think it showed us how Angel remembers Cordy, what she means to him. If the dead live again in us, and our feeling that they are still with us, only within us in the interactions and effect they had on us......it's no wonder that this Cordy shone so brightly, and gave succour to Angel.

I also think that this is why Doyle shows up in this ep. He hasn't been referenced for ages. Just as Doyle lived on for Cordy with his last kiss, the visions he passed on to her, Cordy kisses Angel, one last time....

What did she pass on to him?

Was it clarity?

She spoke bluntly to Angel. She knows truths that only Angel himself knows. It's almost as if he externalises his conscience.

In an earlier episode, Spike gets to be Pinocchio, gets to san shue, gets to get everything Angel was meant to have....

[> [> [> A couple of agreements -- Tchaikovsky, 09:21:48 02/25/04 Wed

If this was Mary-Sue Cordy, well, what can I say? I loved it.

Actually, I never even considered that label could be thrown at her until you mentioned it. She's not a new character, and she's not a faultless one in this episode, (her glee over torturing Eve, while perhaps shared by the vicarious audience, can't really be condoned).

I thought it was, in terms of Angel's Romantic Wish Fulfilment episodes, so very much better than IWRY.

As I suspect you've already guessed, I'm in wholehearted agreement here! Whereas Angel and Buffy's day together for me served absolutely no propulsive purpose, confused Season Three which had until then been an unadulterated masterpiece and did that strange distortion thing that happens to Buffy when she appears on 'Angel', Cordelia's return was very firmly locked into the course of the Season. Besides which, 'I Will Remember You' confused the Buffy/Angel resolution, whereas I thought 'You're Welcome' provided a Cordelia-Angel one, for reasons given above.

If the dead live again in us, and our feeling that they are still with us, only within us in the interactions and effect they had on us......it's no wonder that this Cordy shone so brightly, and gave succour to Angel.

An angle I hadn't seen, and absolutely true. The episode could be taken as a metaphor for just a vivd dream of Cordelia or something. The fact that in the reality of the show it wasn't, however, pleased me greatly, since I think assuming a character's real and then finding out they're not almost always cheapens the character development (see 'Lineage').

It's almost as if he externalises his conscience.

But it's double-pronged, because as much as Cordelia is an aspect of Angel's psyche, she is also a person on whom he can lay bare his Soul. That she is a person he can talk to straight is crucially important, given his disconnection from all his other friends; exacerbated by, wait for it...Connor.

So the short version of this post goes more along the lines of: Right on!


[> [> [> [> Lovely review -- KdS, 02:52:22 02/26/04 Thu

Actually, I never even considered that label could be thrown at her

You obviously weren't reading DLgood's reactions to this ep on ATPO and LJ, which were basically that Cordelia is so idealised here that she must be a W & H plant.

[> [> [> just 1 point for now -- anom, 11:26:51 02/25/04 Wed

"I think it showed us how Angel remembers Cordy, what she means to him. If the dead live again in us, and our feeling that they are still with us, only within us in the interactions and effect they had on us......it's no wonder that this Cordy shone so brightly, and gave succour to Angel."

Having the phone call come just as Angel is planning to quit Wolfram & Hart could allow us to look at what happens between the 2 calls (or are they really just 1?) as Angel hearing the news about Cordelia & thinking, "What would she have wanted me to do?" in an Owl Creek Bridge/Secret Miracle scenario. Much of what goes on seems to reflect Angel's view of the situation rather than how it's been shown to us up till now. But at the same time,

"The fact that in the reality of the show it wasn't, however, pleased me greatly...."

Me too. I'm glad that on this show, we can have it both ways. Maybe more than 2 ways!

[> [> [> [> Or indeed, 'It's a Wonderful Life' -- Tchaikovsky, 05:18:46 02/26/04 Thu

Eventually, he doesn't need Clarence to do anything to affect his life, he just needs some kind of reaffirmation of his worth. That Angel's should be through friendship rather than Jimmy Stewart's Vision Time is right up my street.

And sing hey for the multiple interpretations of episodes!


[> [> Great reviews! -- Pony, 09:03:20 02/25/04 Wed

In some ways I prefer your review of You're Welcome to the episode itself. As lovely as Cordelia's farewell was I'm hoping that God or the PTBs continue to stay out and that Angel can move past the need for affirmations, reassurances and certainties that he is special, that he does matter and that something, somehow, will see what he does and judge him as right and worthy.

[> [> [> Mothers, Fathers, the PTB (Spoilers, You're Welcome) -- Rahael, 09:16:47 02/25/04 Wed

Is that Cordy came from within Angel. Hence, she voices both his hopes and fears. His fear that he has made a terrible, terrible decision. His hope that somehow, everything will work out.

I was thinking....Cordy appeared here in a very similar way to Darla to Connor last year. In Inside Out, Cordy and Darla faced off as 'Bad Mother' and 'Good Mother'.

Two sides of the same coin.

What was so squicky about Connor/Cordy was that there was such a conciously maternal air about the way Cordy treated Connor.

In this ep, the 'good mother' vision of Cordy, claims also that the PTB sent her.

AtS S4 dealt so strongly with the mother/father relationship, that i wonder whether we can perhaps regard the PTB, and even the SP not as supernatural beings, but as parent figures. The people who guide us. Who give us meaning. Who give us structure and a world view. Who tell us what's rigth and wrong.

The mother and father who Angel killed. His 'other' mother, Darla, who turned him. Who re-made him.

Jasmine, the terrible mother.....Cordy, heavily pregnant, all consuming. Angel, the father bearing a knife.

Or maybe it's just me!

[> [> [> [> Re: Mothers, Fathers, the PTB (Spoilers, You're Welcome) -- Pony, 09:36:26 02/25/04 Wed

AtS S4 dealt so strongly with the mother/father relationship, that i wonder whether we can perhaps regard the PTB, and even the SP not as supernatural beings, but as parent figures. The people who guide us. Who give us meaning. Who give us structure and a world view. Who tell us what's rigth and wrong.

Yes. And "you're welcome" itself is a very parental phrase, a way of prompting a child to remember politeness and gratitude. Much of Angel's desire for judgement and approval I think comes from the internalized voice of his own father. How different is Angel from the PTBs from Connor's perspective? Angel makes the rules, creates the mission, re-orders the universe.

My problem with Cordelia's appearance in You're Welcome is my problem with the treatment of the PTB for the first 3 seasons - there was no doubt, no questioning. Faith is a wonderful thing (and way hot! no wait I didn't mean the character) but it always struck me as going against the very nature of the show.

[> [> [> [> [> The early seasons -- Rahael, 05:34:45 02/27/04 Fri

Yes, I think the PTB were portrayed differently in the beginning. I think Greenwalt had a different slant from Joss. But I think they were less 'Gods' than they were metaphors for Angel's continuing journey. I cannot see the desire to ameliorate bad situations, the search for meaning, the search for human connections in a bleak world as bad things. I think I see the first seasons as inherently darker than you - Angel really is alone. S2 shows him at his most complex and rebellious.

By the end of S3 to four, the PTB change as a metaphor. They start becoming concrete players, rather than a plot device. But I also loved that aspect. I do think that AtS got lighter.

My main point about the PTB is that in a culture where people kneel down to pray to 'Our Father', there's going to be quite an overlap. For centuries, Europe has seen the divine order and the patriarchal family as being in harmony. And I think Angel has been portrayed as a Patriarchal figure. (He also has a name that I think could faintly echo of divine right! but that's my fancy).

The irony is that this patriarch, adopted by the PTB is also rejected by God.

Finally, I think waht I was trying to get at is that we describe our GOd in the language that we know. Cordy describes her PTB one way, Gunn another, Angel yet again, differently. And so do the writers :). I think that the vision of the PTB and the vocabulary taht describes them could be the same that we give to the greatest authority we acknowledge from the very beginning, the authority that sets the parameters for our world, however unwilling or rejecting we might be of them. The theme of adolescence and growth in AtS S3 and 4 fitted in beautifully with the idea of Angel's greatest rebellion, and, echoes his own early conflict with his father.

[> [> [> [> Re: Mothers, Fathers, the PTB (Spoilers, You're Welcome) -- Arethusa, 09:54:58 02/25/04 Wed

There's an inherent contradiction between Angel saying there's no god here, and Cordy appearing to give a message from TPTB. I thinnk you're right that there's something very parental about TPTB and the Senior Partners, but look at what ME says about parents! Buffy learned both positive and negative things from all her parents, surrogate and otherwise, but in the end she depended on herself to decide what was right or wrong. Cordy reminded Angel of his Powers-given mission, but it was Cordy herself who gave his life meaning, who is the reminder of why he fights. Holland's speech that says evil is a part of mankind echoes Liam's father's harranging of Angel, telling him he's sinful and will never be good. And Jasmine is the sick mother, whose need for control overrides her desire to help her "children." When we grow up we reassess what our parents taught us, and learn to trust our own judgement, even over theirs. In other words, I agree with Pony.)

[> [> [> [> [> I don't think I named any positive aspects!!! -- Rahael, 05:25:58 02/27/04 Fri

I am after all discussing ME here. I didn't give the parental gloss to *praise* the PTB.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Heh. -- Arethusa, 06:27:20 02/27/04 Fri

I think the points you made in your post to pony are very important. I think there's a tremendous desire in people to have an hierarchal society although I have no idea if that's cultural or innate. I tend to think that we try to place an ancient notion of the family on most of our cultural institutions, with a "father" who lays down the law and rewards and punishes, keeping those under him safe. It doesn't matter whether its religion, business or politics, most people seem to be happiest under this type of structure.

In fact, this is the only way I can explain the popularity of our president. He presents an image of a patriarch, which is why his family pedigree is so important to his success. And when his wise and compassionate image is marred by reality, the administration tries to terrify the populace into running to the President of the United States of America for reassurance and guidance.

The need for guidance and structure is not a bad thing, but we still manage to do so many bad things to get it! I was thinking of Eve this morning, who has made Lindsey her entire world. She reminds me a little of Andrew, depending on those around her to create her world for her. (Does that make sense? ;) And it's because of Angel's need for his father's approval, which has become an endless loop of desire, control and destroy, that I think rejecting TPTB and the Senior Partners are an important part of his growth.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> guidance & structure -- Rahael, 07:03:38 02/27/04 Fri

Let me sit on the fence and advocate the middle way!

I think we cannot but help create ordered meanings to the world around us - we all fear disorder. Even if we were to look into the world and see only chance and occurrence, no guiding principles, we still see different patterns there. We still find resonances and harmonies even if we think - well, that wasn't meant, it's just the perspective I'm putting into what I'm seeing.

Some people's overlaid meanings tend to be more inclusive, less simplistic, less dichotomous. There is room for shading and multiple meanings. The understanding that standing at a different point will reveal a whole new way of seeing what's in front of us.

So, you can look at the divine monarchy, the king, the father of his nation, and see the perfect ordered commonwealth. Or you could perhaps see the desperate need for order in a time when so little was controllable, where massive social and economic changes were occurring, when the very notion of divine monarchy was simply only one political vocabulary at odds with another, almost equally powerful one - - that of commonwealth, of God-given covenants, of bad kings and good kings and the right of the political nation to assert their views.

In AtS, there is one vocabulary, espoused by, say, Doyle and Cordy and Inside-Out-Darla - the PTB, benevolent, good, just. Then there's another, Skip's & Jasmine's - of authoritarianism, of benevolent bondage. There's Angel, trying to find his way through - is he free? is anything he does meaningful? is anything he does actually a decision he makes or is it pre-ordained?

I think that rather than there being one vision of order and structure in AtS, there are many conflicting ones. This may partly emanate from changing storylines, and different writers. But I think the tension between the lost, dark, agency-seeking Angel and Angel, the pawn of larger forces, has been there from the very first episode.

It's this tension that I've always found most fascinating about AtS. To the last, the words that echo for me are Darla's marvellous ones:

"God doesn't want you. But I still do!"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: guidance & structure -- Arethusa, 08:26:00 02/27/04 Fri

I think that rather than there being one vision of order and structure in AtS, there are many conflicting ones.

This is the crux of Angel's delimma. Does he go with tradition, find another structure, or create his own?

Darla's words are heartbreaking. She replaces the mother who did not defend Angel (I presume), the father who did not approve of him. When she rejected him he was lost until he found Buffy, a new touchstone. She gave him the strength to start to find this affirmation within himself.

And sitting on the fence gives us the best view of both sides. ;)

[> [> [> I'm of the same mind; I prefer the review to the episode -- MissB, 09:55:27 02/25/04 Wed

[> [> [> Angel's brand of special-ness -- Tchaikovsky, 05:15:21 02/26/04 Thu

I agree that Angel should move beyond the need to believe that he is special, as in a Super-man type character. On the other hand, I think the motif in this episode is just that we all need re-assurance from time to time. I didn't see the underlying message as Angel is better than you, the viewer, so he gets leg-ups from the Powers that Be, so much as Angel is an Everyman Hero, like Buffy, and he can be helped by his oldest friend. I saw the Powers That Be proviso at the end as no more than an ingenious plot resolution. For me it wasn't about fate, but friendship.


[> [> What a marvellous return to form! -- Rob, 10:54:53 02/25/04 Wed

Meaning, judging from your last batch of reviews we once again agree wholeheartedly on things. I was beginning to worry. ;o)

As always, your reviews are such a treat to read--so literate and incisive. But I would like to commend you even further for the You're Welcome review, for your ability to find any level of objectivity in analyzing this episode (and to explain so beautifully the difficulty in that). This was one of the rare episodes on which, after it aired, I read very few posts, and on which I posted very little, because I loved it so much that I didn't want to either overanalyze it or read a negative review that might have caused me to undermine my incredibly high opinion of the episode. Some episodes are brilliant in the respect that they are a feast of symbols, depth, and parallels with other episodes (episodes like Soul Purpose and Damage). That kind of episode I can't wait to get on the board and sink my teeth into. Other brilliant episodes, though, might have all of the same attributes but at the same time have an added charm to them that makes it seem a shame (at least to me) to analyze them, for fear of overanalyzing them and thereby stripping them of their emotion. I know I have said this before about other episodes, but I truly think that when all is said and done, You're Welcome might be my favorite episode of Angel. In the past, I've distinguished the difference in my definition between "favorite" and "best". In terms of quality of writing, symbolism, theme, philosophy, etc., I still hold fast to my claim that Peace Out is the best, finest episode of Angel (with Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?, Lullaby, and Sleep Tight right behind it, in no particular order). And yet You're Welcome reeled me in on a purely emotional level that I find very hard to describe or categorize. This may sound rather childish, but it made me happy as I can't remember another episode of television doing for a long, long time. Actually, I can. Storyteller, Selfless, and Once More, With Feeling all yielded a similar response from me--a feeling of complete satisfaction and wonderment that I could be so touched and personally awed by an episode of television. Each of these episodes have a sort of...magic...for me. And so far, you have captured my feelings on the episode better than anyone else I have read thus far. Thanks again for the great post!


P.S. Completely, utterly, and fully off-topic, unrelated, etc., but I'm halfway through Lolita, and you were right: I absolutely love it. If you'd care to have a discussion on it once I've finished, I'd definitely be up for it.

[> [> [> Agree and thank you -- Tchaikovsky, 00:52:55 02/26/04 Thu

Totally up for the Lolita topic once you've finished. I think it would be relatively spoiler-free to say it may not make you as happy as You're Welcome!


Spoilery question for AtS 5-15 -- turok-han, 17:53:46 02/25/04 Wed

Are the Old ones like ILLyria are closely as powerful as hellgods?

the "Old Ones"--super-powerful and bloodthirsty beings compared to the humans, sorcerers, or demons here now. From what I have read Knox worships her like god and she demonstrates physical power similiar to Glory and some mystical powers as well. She is as strong as Glory and much as invunerable too.


[> A lot going on in this ep...can't wait for Masq's analysis to clear it all up :) -- Nino, 19:14:43 02/25/04 Wed

[> [> The pressures on! -- Masq, 11:51:33 02/26/04 Thu

The Old Ones.

"The Old Ones" are mentioned as early as WttH/The Harvest. The Master wanted to "bring the demons back" to the Earthly dimension by opening up the Hellmouth.

The Old Ones are the pure demons who walked the Earth before the coming of mortal animals (including humans). (Giles, The Harvest)

Jasmine implies that the Powers that Be used to live in the Earthly plane, too, but left after the demons took over our realm (Shiny Happy People)

The demons were driven from the Earth by humans. The last one was killed by a Slayer in ancient California--re: "End of Days/Chosen"). This is also presumably "the last one" who bit a human before it kicked the bucket and created the first vampire (Giles, The Harvest).

There's probably other references to "The Old Ones" in other eps. Will have to do more research...

[> [> [> I can't wait to read your analysis...lots of goods I cn already tell -- Jean, 17:48:21 02/26/04 Thu

[> [> [> Minor quibble dept - Item for consideration -- OnM, 19:36:00 02/26/04 Thu

*** The demons were driven from the Earth by humans. The last one was killed by a Slayer in ancient California--re: "End of Days/Chosen"). ***

I agree it is possible that a Slayer killed the last demon using the Scythe, but just for the record, the text doesn't specifically state as such. From the shooting script:

SHE: Yes. Then you know. And they became the Watchers. And the Watchers watched the
Slayers. But we were watching them.

BUFFY: Oh! So you're like... What are you?

SHE: Guardians. Women who want to help and protect you. This... (re: scythe) ...was forged,
centuries ago, by us. Halfway around the world.

BUFFY: Hence, the Luxor Casino theme.

SHE: Forged there, it was put to use right here. Only once, to kill the last pure demon that
walked upon the earth. The rest were already driven under. And then there were men here, and
then there were monks, and the first men died and were sent away, and then there was a town,
and now there is you. And the scythe remained hidden.

For some reason, when I watched this scene, and for any time I watched the scene thereafter, my assumption was that a guardian killed the last demon. After all, it seems that a major goal of the guardians was to keep the existance of the Scythe hidden, even from the subsequent Slayers, and certainly from the Watchers.

Now I'm curious about what other viewers have assumed re: this.

[> Re: Spoilery question for AtS 5-15 -- Drogmar Orcsmasher, 19:16:20 02/25/04 Wed

I believe Illryia's stats are as follows:

Str 25
Dex 25
Con 20
Int 24
Wis 24
Cha 25

Idealized Love -- Joyce, 12:39:13 02/25/04 Wed

Why do most people prefer an idealized romance to something more complex and real in not only fiction, but also real life?


[> Re: Idealized Love -- Windy, 04:55:46 02/26/04 Thu

Perhaps because it may be easier to face the fantasy and dream wishes in our romantic lives where everything fits neatly into our worldview of the way things ought to be. It's a comfort place. Unfortunately, the real world is what it is, and real people are what they are, and there's really no getting away from that.

[> You do know the meaning of the word 'ideal', right? -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:14:36 02/27/04 Fri

For something to be ideal, it must be the best possibility available. Naturally someone would want to be in an idealized relationship; if "complex and realistic" is your idea of the best relationship possible, than a "complex and realistic" relationship, for you, is idealized.

Now, why many people want idealized relationships to be on TV is a different story.

BtVS-related martial arts question (off-topic) -- Sebastian, 13:39:32 02/25/04 Wed

Is anyone familiar with the style of martial arts used in BtVS: S1-S4? I know Jeff Pruitt Sophia Crawford (As SMG's fight double) were responsible for Buffy's very distinctive fighting style during the first four seasons - so I was hoping that someone on the board was familiar with which brand of martial arts it was.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.



[> Re: BtVS-related martial arts question (off-topic) -- Jean, 15:17:28 02/25/04 Wed

From what I've seen it varies from the weapons at hand to the enemy. But for the most part its a kind of tweaked kick boxing

[> Re: BtVS-related martial arts question (off-topic) -- Majin Gojira, 05:09:40 02/26/04 Thu

Well, we know that SMG practeces Tai Kwon Do, Angel has been shown doing Tai Chi, anda few of the other actresses know Kickboxing...so:

Eclectic Mix is the style used on the show :D

[> Punches are like pantaloons -- Darby, 06:39:06 02/26/04 Thu

Good stage-combat choreographers (and ME has some very good ones) are like good costume designers, able to cast a wide net and have a bag of tricks deep enough to try to suit styles to characters. What you also must get is styles suited to the type of shooting the shows do (for one thing, even though the night shots are incredibly lit, moves must show up against dark muddy backgrounds) and the abilities of the actors as well. Costumes and choreography should them at their best (or worst, as in Wimp Wesley or Helpless Buffy).

One of the more interesting subtexts to the show is picking out the "signature moves," such as Buffy's high kick, Angel's backhand punch, Spike's careful kamikaze, etc. They change over time - Angel's especially. You could read a lot into the differences in fighting style if you had a mind to - how about Vamp Willow vs Dark Willow?

[> [> Re: Punches are like pantaloons -- Sebastian, 08:01:56 02/26/04 Thu

I'm in no way an expert on fight scenes - so take my comments with a grain of salt. ;-)

The one thing I've noticed (at least on BtVS) is that everyone's fighting style seems to have changed a great deal once Jeff Pruitt/Sophia Crawford left.

Buffy's fight style definitely seemed more dance-like and kinetic in S1-S4. It seemed kickboxing was used much more in the first four seasons

From S5-onward - her style was much more inclined to more 'standardized' fight choreography (lots more fist punching, 'brawl' type fighting, etc).

If you look at the more memorable fight scenes you can see a difference (particularly if you compare "Graduation Day: Pt. 1, "The Harsh Light of Day, and "Primeval" vs. "The Gift", "Two to Go/Grave", and the teaser in ìLessonsî).

Even Spike's style seems much more 'rougher'. His fighting style seemed much more 'gymnastic' prior to S5 (his fight with Buffy in 'The Harsh Light of Day' comes to mind).

Interestingly, Vamp Willow and Dark Willow's style seemed relatively similar. But this isn't all that surprising since in "TtG/G", it seemed as if AH did alot of the stunts herself (there were too many close-ups to suggest otherwise), and the same seems to be the case in "Dopplegangland"

Certain episode ideas If Angel gets a sixth season anywhere........ -- Mike, 17:03:35 02/25/04 Wed

I have been thinking here and there about some specualtive
ideas/episodes for Angel if it can get renewed onto
another network. This is another way to say that the series still has some more fresh blood (no pun intended!)in its
life/unlife. I, like many many many, feel there are certain interesting things that can still be explored with AI and the world around them. Whether the stories be stand-alones or story-arcs, I thought of some fun, freaky ideas for episodes. I'll also guess that the only definite people for
this hypothetical sixth season would be Angel and Spike,
maybe Wes and Lorne are back, or Gwen and a new Fang Gang
member are on board.

Here's what I came up with (tell me what you think):

-Angel gets hit with a mystical weapon or spell that
induces continuous blood loss, therefore, reawakening a
blood lust that could make him once again dangerous to
living people.

-Angel and one of the Fang Gang switch places, by that,
meaning Angel is still his own self but as a living human
and one of his friends is now a souled vampire.

-Angel is visited by a ghost in the form of his father
which reawakens some harsh, troubling memories stemming
from when Angel was originally human.

-Angel and the gang meet a popular action-hero, movie star,
and have to play bodyguard to catch a villan out to kill
the star, comparisons b/w Angel's heroics and the star's
on-screen heroics could be humorous.

-Angel and Spike run into Drusilla whose back in L.A., now
aware that both of her -exes hae souls, probably a
counterpoint to the Angel/Buffy/Spike triangle.

-Angel is unknowingly taking in his usual pig's blood supply
with that bliss-inducing drug (the drug that temporarily
turned him back to Angelus), that drug now as a synthetic
mixed into his supply of blood.

-AI face off a psychotic bent on destroying the world by
using the sun to burn everything in the world, sorta
nuclear stuff.

-AI deal with a visitor from outer space who kidnaps one of
the gang, runs tests/experiments on that person, it oughta
be interesting to see how they interact with aliens,
pop culture references and all.

-Angel is visited by a stream of manifestations of the
demon inside him; Angelus-prior to gypsy curse, Pure Demon
(like S2), Angelus-modern-day; I think this would make for
a mindtripping story arc.

-A mild-mannered, mysterious interviewer arrives at AI
and every one of the gang, especally Angel, recounts
the history of AI; yeah, a clip-show, could be a two-
parter, interviewer is collectng heroic stories from
one dimension to another.

-Angel, for whatever essential explanation that makes
sense, becomes more independent from the monster within
him, therefore, that monster -Angelus- is slowly taking on
its own independent form. I wish to see Angel face off
Angelus for numerous eps, a potential Big Bad.

Perhaps these stories, something like these stories, other
creative stories could have a chance. Here's hoping Angel
sees a sixth season.

Like those promos say: LIVE FAST, DIE NEVER!!!!!


[> Re: Certain episode ideas If Angel gets a sixth season anywhere........ -- Invisible Green, 17:32:27 02/25/04 Wed

I'd like to see Druscilla again.

[> On Aliens in the Slayerverse -- Majin Gojira, 20:08:06 02/25/04 Wed

Frankly, Demon is just a word used to describe any entity with either traces of or origins related to the original beings of this planet.

Since they are lovecraftian in nature, they are already known to be Extra Terrestrial.

So an Alien on Angel would simply be a demon who came from the stars (like the Queller (Buffy Season 5-- "Because it's a Killer Snot Monster from Outer Space...I did not just say that" - Giles), instead of another dimension (IE: Pylean Warriors, many others) or home grown (Vampires).

There is no real difference from what we would refer to as "Alien" and "Demon" other than location.

The Puppet Masters -- mamcu, 17:48:23 02/25/04 Wed

Finally got to see Smile Time and wanted to add this thought:

In traditionaly Chinese Daoism, there are a group of practioners, not exactly shamans but sort of, who are the Puppet Masters (Chinese theater grew out of this sort-of religious ritual). By their ritual actions, they could control the puppets, who were really stand-ins for, or actually, the deities.

Oh, yeah, glad to be back! Momentary snit.
So of course Fred and Wes were the Puppet Masters in the scenes where they attack the Nest Egg. But I have to wonder whether the Egg and the puppets were completely independent of everything that's happened before. Are they perhaps sort of similar to Jasmine, avatars, so-to-speak, of something else? And will AI if freed of W&H become the Puppet Masters?


[> Spoilers for Hole in the World in above post -- mamcu, 10:22:08 02/26/04 Thu

hello, opinion and spoilers for a hole in the world -- Jacque Regnier, 19:33:33 02/25/04 Wed

Hello all,
I've been kind of a lurker on here since the mid fifth season of Buffy posting occasionally, I thought I would introduce myself at this time.

I'm a watcher who loves spoilers much to the chagrin of my wife who prefers to remain unspoiled but cant control her curiousity once she knows I know something. Beside the point I normally judge an episode on how well it moves me after I know the majority of the main plot points. The main part of the show that affects me are the character interaction. The circumstances surrounding them don't really matter to me.

That being said I've been saddened since Buffy's end for the pure fact that I haven't felt that unbridled need to see the next episode regardless of spoilers with the exception of "Your Welcome." After it aired I taped the next two episodes and didn't get around to watching them until a couple of days ago. The need wasn't really there.

Tonights episode filled me with that feeling again. My emotions are conflicted I don't want Fred to be dead. I am saddened and upset and yet Illyria looks so cool. Amy Acker looks awesome and I'm conflicted. Thats what I've been missing. Up until this episode I've felt emotionally distant from the characters. Tonight brought those emotions back. It saddens me that it takes the death of a character to bring the true people that I got to know over 5 season back to themselves so that I can relate to them again. Especially with the canbcellation news. The end of the episode shocked me bacause it went by so fast I didn't glance at the clock. I thought it had only been on for thirty minutes and bam theres Joss' name and its over. An emotional roller coaster that I have to wait a week to finish the ride.

Regarding the characters Lorne shocked me moved and brought back why I loved his character in the first place. This season he seemed to have become a shadow of his former self and this episode portrayed his feelings for Fred and the rest of the gang brilliantly. Gunn I feel sorry for and yet he dealt with the devil. But then again they all did. Wes was so sad just when he got her man that sucks so bad.

With the end of the series potentially (not giving up hope) coming up I have a funny feeling that all bets are off.

Maybe Fred will be back maybe not. If not she will be missed but I can't help but be thrilled and excited by the direction shes taken and the job they did making her look as cool and as kick ass as possible. Just a few thoughts.


[> I hear you! -- Belladonna, 12:41:04 02/26/04 Thu

I'm also an avid lurker and occasional poster. :) I agree with what you've said here. I've watched the show this season, but I haven't been nearly as emotionally involved as I had been with Buffy or past seasons of Angel. Outside of You're Welcome and Hellbound, I haven't found myself desperate for the commercial break to end. My poor boyfriend tried to watch it with me, and every time he asked a question, I shushed him vehemently! :) This is definitely the only time this season that I've been involved with the characters, and invested in what's going to happen next. I've really missed that!! And to have this happen on the heels of the cancellation announcement is just too cruel. *sob!* Well, at least the last 8 episodes (if it really is cancelled) look like they're going to be good!

'A Hole in the World' analogy (5.15 spoilers and spec) -- Kenny, 19:49:01 02/25/04 Wed

So, we're presented early on with the idea of caveman vs. astronaut and who would when in a battle between the two. Everyone keeps saying caveman, including Fred herself as she succumbs to disease. The ancient demon that existed before time itself has beaten the scientist. Chaos, as is evidenced by Lorne's psychic illiteracy, is waxing. In the recent years the earth has been invaded by gods (Glory), Powers That Be (Jasmine), The First Evil, and now an Ancient One. Considering how taken by surprise everyone has been about these happenings, it doesn't seem like they've happened in recorded Buffyverse history. And we just saw the potential for chaos that exists. Are we gearing up for the big battle in which the heroes and humanity have to protect our planet from its original owners?

Interesting bits:

In the caveman vs. astronaut debate, Angel included himself as part of humanity when discussing evolution.

Gunn went caveman when killing Knox, the scientist.

Lorne showed a nice balance of both caveman and modern man when dealing with Eve. And it worked.

So, a question that kept coming up in the caveman vs. astronaut debate: do the astronauts have weapons? We're the astronauts, and I'm guessing that the answer is yes. We have weapons. What are they? Is it our humanity (it seems like a Jossian idea)? That's so nebulous, though. It's not just determination, as the "bad guys" seemed quite ready to fight. What about creation? Have any of these beings the heroes have fought over the years truly created anything? Humanity can. Part of the comment on weapons is that modern humans can create weapons, so can the astronauts bring the weapons they created into the fight?

Also, I'm becoming increasingly sure that the Senior Partners invited Angel to be CEO of Wolfram & Hart's Earth branch because they want him to be their champion. Perhaps they've known something like this would happen, and they've put Angel is this position because he's going to need the resources they can provide. Of course, they've probably feel fine about downsizing him once he's served his purpose. Poor guy gets no rest. I can see the situation where, the second he finishes saving the world from this ancient menace, the senior partners do their best to get the guy out of the picture. No rest for the damned weary.


[> Feigenbaum: Alice's White Rabbit ? -- Ekim Rrac, 03:32:18 02/26/04 Thu

It sure seems as though someone in ME likes to mix a lot of higher theories of physics with children's literature to create plots and story-lines. I've seen others on these BBs refer to the use of the mirror images and symmetries of MC Escher in explaining character development and now I see Fred's toy stuffed rabbit is called Feigenbaum, Lord of Chaos; undoubtedly, a shout-out to Mitchell Feigenbaum and his Chaos Theory.

A definition: " Chaos theory is the idea that it is possible to get completely random results from normal equations, and also allows order to be found in what appears to be completely random data."
And: "Chaos theorists feel that they are reversing the trend in science towards reductionism - they believe they are looking for "the whole"."

Shades of Lewis Carrol : A Rabbit (Bunnies?), a Hole ("Whole"), Symmetries ( Through a looking-glass ?)

I'm no physicist nor a literatus. I put this forward to those who might be able to make of it what they will.

[> [> Interesting... (5.15 spoilers) -- Masq, 12:51:47 02/26/04 Thu

Will need to do a little more poking around with this theory. I think the point of raising it, or at least Feigenbaum's name, in the ep, is to point out (what I think is a corollary to Feigenbaum's Chaos Theory), "The Butterfly Effect", the idea that very small actions in one part of the globe can have large effects in other parts of the globe.

This in turn, is a pointer to the huge world-altering effects of Gunn and Knox's "small part" in bringing the Old One back to life.

[> [> [> Re: Interesting... (5.15 spoilers) -- Rob, 11:46:13 02/27/04 Fri

The Butterfly Effect can also be seen in how, were Angel to save Fred's life--a single person--it would cause a ripple effect that would lead to the death of millions worldwide.


[> [> [> [> Yep... -- Masq, 16:04:59 02/27/04 Fri

That was the effect I was thinking of....

[> [> [> [> [> Erp...I just completely stated the obvious there, didn't I? -- Rob, 23:55:19 02/27/04 Fri

I wasn't paying enough attention to your post when I responded there.


[> Re: 'A Hole in the World' analogy (5.15 spoilers and spec) -- Steve, 16:28:12 02/26/04 Thu

"So, a question that kept coming up in the caveman vs. astronaut debate: do the astronauts have weapons? We're the astronauts, and I'm guessing that the answer is yes."

No, the answer to this was no.

What Spike was saying (he was the one who started this) was that sure we might have evolved and all of that, but don't put TOO MUCH importance into that.

If some astronauts got trapped with some cavemen the astronauts would get their butts kicked. None of their intellect, knowledge, or sophistication would help them out there. On a straight one on one face to face fight, cavemen win hands down.

I think that this is clearly correct and finding "outs" such as the astronaut having lazers and such doesn't distract from Spike's point.

Nothing against science, the evolution of civilization, the advancement of human achievement and all that. That's great. But still there are times when brute, savage strength wins the day.

We might want to deny that, but that is just our arrogance. Don't underestimate the barbarian, the savage, the caveman, as for all of our technology, human advancement, etc, they still could come in and destroy us by brute force if we let all that scientific and human achievements turn us into wimps.

Not saying to abandon our astronaut side. We just should learn to appreciate our caveman side as well.

History revised perhaps and contrasts. Spoilers tonight's episode -- Ann, 19:58:50 02/25/04 Wed

So did the fun-making of Spike and Angel/us initiate Bloody Sunday in St. Petersburg in 1905? Many died. This date galvanized support against the czar. Perhaps they have changed history more than they know. Slashy potential too!

Babies again. Conceptions and births- mummies and mothers.

Fred gets two new specimens: the parasite from the nest and Wes. She says, "I always like a new specimen.î Quite the contrast between her specimens.

Other interesting contrasts this episode. The contrast between Fred's home in Texas and her life in LA is spectacular. She began this episode by leaving a nest, killing a nest, and ended it as progeny. She becomes the mummy and the baby. She says, ìget crackingî not unlike what you do to an egg.

The white room had a structure/framework this episode when Gunn visits. I don't remember that from before. When Angel and Spike enter the tree, the well, it too has the same framework, only now not in white. The framework of Gunn, the structure of himself as he sees it. He is battling himself too. The framework of Spike and Angel holding hands, supporting each other. Working together with a common goal.

Fred's men. Knox yuck. She was so right. It was wonderful seeing them all there for her. Her's may have been the first situation to bring W&H to a standstill. Evil was being prevented because they were all working to save her. Unintended consequences. The ìDeep Wellî fight scene and Spike says ìThere is a hole in the world. Seems like we should have knownî followed immediately by a ìloveî scene between Wes and Fred. They were filling the hole with love. Last desperate measure, but so welcomed and wanted. Wes was reading from ìThe Little Princessî by Frances Hodgson Burnett, contrasting with the ìboysî getting together to battle to save the princess. Despite her protestations that she does not need saving.

Ending with Fred's ìWhy can't I stayî and being answered with Fred-demon ìThis will do.î The contrast between the hope of Fred's ìdyingî words to the attitude of a consolation prize from the Fred-demon. Almost sounds like freedom. Another rebirth? Hmm?

Interesting that Lorne released the demon sickness with a song. He revealed the truth of the impregnating. ìYou are my sunshine,î reminded me of Spike and his amulet letting in the sun.

This was not as sad as I thought it might be. But I enjoyed it anyway. I like walking with these heroes.


[> Or should I say revamping history -- Ann, 20:21:45 02/25/04 Wed

[> Great post! (spoilers for 'A Hole in the World' and a smidge of completely unspoiled spec) -- Rob, 21:10:24 02/25/04 Wed

And speaking of revamping history, I was also fascinated by how this episode played with the history of the Buffyverse--Illyria had shades of both Dark Willow and Glory, Knox was reminiscent of Doc and Skip, the taking over of Fred by a higher power, of course, was reminiscent of Jasmine. And then we have all the characters who seem to be on the verge of replaying the rift that occured in the third season, which is perhaps the ultimate cost of Angel having robbed them of their memories of Connor. Not having remembered what led them to split apart in the first place, they are doomed to repeat it. Again, it is because of a birth of sorts. I am completely unspoiled (didn't even watch the preview for next week), but once Wes discovers the part Gunn played in Fred's death (*sob* I can't believe I just wrote the phrase "Fred's death"), I can imagine him sliding completely back into Dark!Wes mode, this time not due to his own questionable moral behavior but Gunn's. Interestingly though Fred is once again the thing that will separate the two characters. And what about Angel? Will Wes hate Angel, too, for not going through with the spell, the thousands of people be damned? If we were to trace this all the way back to them joining W&H, he could very well blame Angel for putting them in this situation in the first place. Angel will no doubt blame himself. Will this somehow all turn out to be linked to Connor? Skip's claim that every single element of the series had been put into place in order to set Jasmine's birth into motion was very similar to Knox's similar claims about lllyria.

Sorry if this post is all jumbly or repititious, but this episode completely tore me apart inside, and it's very hard for me to make much sense out of the random thoughts in my head. But what a brilliant, heartwrenching hour of television this was! Made even more heartwrenching by the fact that I'm not spoiled. Poor Fred...Could her death have truly been permanent?

Damn you, Joss, you made me cry again!


[> [> A little stream of consciousness (Soul Purpose, Hole in the World' spoilers, title of next ep) -- Rob, 21:16:42 02/25/04 Wed

Thinking about the hole in the world reminded me of "Soul Purpose" and Fred examining the hole in Angel's chest.

The dark cavernous emptiness.

She said she could hear the sea through his chest.

It was said in this episode that Fred was being dried out, her skin becoming hard, like shells (also the name of next week's episode).

The hole.

The sound of the sea.




[> [> [> Shells aren't empty -- Lunasea, 07:50:05 02/27/04 Fri

In the sea they contain the body of some animal and the shell is just for protection. Sometimes they contain pearls. The stuff about shells reminded me of when Gunn and Fred take Connor to the beach. He says the ocean is empty and Fred says that things just happen beneath the surface.

So much there I don't see how it can all ever be discussed.

[> [> [> [> Re: Shells aren't empty -- Jane, 18:15:17 02/27/04 Fri

Oh, yes. Dare we hope that the pearl that is Fred is still there deep down in her "shell"?
Like you, I am still trying to absorb all that is in this episode. And trying to keep from getting all weepy everytime I think about it.

[> [> [> [> [> We dare!! -- Ann, 19:32:50 02/27/04 Fri

Or at least I do! I have a w/hole lot of hope for many things regarding this show.

[> [> Re: Great post! (spoilers for 'A Hole in the World' and a smidge of completely unspoiled spec) -- kickin' shins, 06:40:37 02/26/04 Thu

I enjoyed the entire show. I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, the climax really wasn't...a climax. Oh no. We have a formerly shy, brainy chick who is now a kickbutt force of evil. Oh, make that a HOT kickbutt force of evil. Rob mentioned "shades" of evil willow and glory. I'd call it more a carbon copy.
But let me write about the things I loved in this episode.
Oh, (and by the way)...looks like Lorne's mojo is workin' just fine...hmmm...wonder why those puppet demons didn't trigger anything in 'Smile Time'?
But moving on. I really enjoyed the camraderie developing between Angel and Spike. It's soooo nice not to listen to them bicker about some woman. Imagine your best- friend/father/brother all rolled into one. The imagine spending your enire life with him. Then imagine spending two centuries (give or take) with that person...that level of familiarity really shined in this episode.
Gunn: Ahhh...Gunn is in da heeezous! Gunn is now the white room avatar. That's really fabulous!
Someone earlier debated whether not Gunn's power-ups are an "addiction", citing my example comparing him to season six Willow. I think there's no more debate here. He see's himself in that room. He knows the evil he's committed to place himself there. And he hates himself for it. The white room owns him, owns his soul. He understands he's a slave to that evil power. And he keeps going back, again and again and again. Finally realizing he's part of it and he can't escape. He's addicted to that power. If he lost his lawyer mojo he'd be back in that chair signing off someone else's life in a second. Although I'm certain they'll give him a chance to "save" himself...bleh. I hope they don't. I did like how he smashed Knox's head in. Yuck.
Fred. Awww...I really loved the tender moments between Fred and Wesley. Very touching. I just didn't like what came next...
An ancient prophecy speaks of an "old one", a god/demon reborn blah blah blah...
Who's prophecy is this one? Jasmine? Glory? Angel the vampire with a soul? Spike the vampire with a soul? Oh the Slayer prophecy? Maybe they mean Cordy's ascension as a higher being! no...? OH...this prophecy is for Fred this episode arc. OK....rriiiiiight.
I hope Lorne will get a prophecy "A gayly colored, singing demon will wear fabulous shoes and host great parties, so it is written in the Book of the Damned!!!"
Alrighty...Fred is eeeevil now. And really, really eeeeeevil. And she has blue hair!

Eh...I reserve any continued judgement...but the whole thing, right down from cool hair & eyes and sexy outfit, kick boxing to acolytes seeking her rebirth smells of an Evil Willow / Jasmine / Glory super trilogy.

Hey? if they worked seperately why not mix them into one and toss it onto the end of the season? The fans will love it! I just expected a better conclusion.

[> [> Re: Great post! (spoilers for 'A Hole in the World' and a smidge of completely unspoiled spec) -- Ann, 07:08:04 02/26/04 Thu

Thanks. You write "Could her death have truly been permanent?" I haven't decided yet, but I hope not. Maybe the blue hair (liked that very much) contained no peroxide, making it only semi-permanant.

I am unspoiled too! Perhaps this Illyria will be the one to reveal Connor and the mindswipe. I can see how evil would want to do this! That would take up a few episodes so Fred could return later in the season. Would allow for Dark Wes to be explored, Gunn to work out his duality as seen in the battle and allow Angel and Spike to bond some more. I am hoping!!

[> Re: History revised perhaps and contrasts. Spoilers tonight's episode -- Dlgood, 23:07:45 02/25/04 Wed

So did the fun-making of Spike and Angel/us initiate Bloody Sunday in St. Petersburg in 1905?

I don't think so. Angel had gotten his soul, and had landed in America in 1902. It's more likely that their trip to St. Petersburg occured between 1881-1897.

[> [> Re: History revised perhaps and contrasts. Spoilers tonight's episode -- LittleBit, 00:01:17 02/26/04 Thu

Too bad, really. This could have been when Halfrek and Spike/William met.


St. Petersburg, 1905.

Halfrek: I swear, I'm in awe of you.
Anya: Oh, stop.
Halfrek: Oh, I will not.
Anya: I grant wishes. It's all inside the girl. I just bring it out.
Halfrek: Yes, I'm sure this is what she had in mind.
Anya: Well, I don't know about her mind, but it was in her heart. Besides, Russia was ready to explode. All we did is just give it a little push.
Halfrek: What should we do with the rest of our evening? I hear they're going to raze the Winter Mansion.

[> [> [> Re: History revised perhaps and contrasts. Spoilers tonight's episode -- Ann, 06:58:09 02/26/04 Thu

Darn. I was hoping that the "family" was cutting a swath through Europe and Asia (Boxer rebellion), fomenting rebellion and death.

A quick word on attempts to disguise one's identity through the use of multiple posting names -- d'Herblay, 21:32:11 02/25/04 Wed

Look, I don't care if you're "not a morning person" or "Kickin' in the shins" or "Rose" or "more spoiled than I want to be" or "Drogmar Orcsmasher" or "Will never ever read another post made under that name" or "Joyce" or "Hand up your..." or "Martian"; I don't care if you've been labelled a troll or consider yourself to be fighting trolls; I don't care if you're expressing justified anger or taking cheap shots at people or even legitimately making me laugh; I don't care if you're new to the board or you've been garnering accolades for months. If you feel that you have to hide your identity through the use of multiple, unrecognizable posting names to say something, it is probably better that you don't say it at all.

We've discussed this before, so most people will be familiar with the usual caveats that this request does not apply to the use of obvious nicknames or the demonic alter egos. It applies only to deliberate attempts to hide one's identity. Such behavior is rude in and of itself, and it is often used to propogate further rudeness. I must ask that we desist. I don't need to hear confessions; I don't need to hear apologies. I hereby absolve everyone of such actions that occurred in the past. I simply must ask that they not continue in the future.

Thank you.


[> Thanks d'H- preserving -- TCH, 01:15:07 02/26/04 Thu

[> Hello Paranoia! -- Kickin' Shins (the one an only!), 06:08:45 02/26/04 Thu

[> [> Um, you do realize that d'H is a moderator, don't you? -- Sheri, 09:46:40 02/26/04 Thu

And as a moderator, he's able to view your IP address.

If he wasn't capable of viewing IP addresses, I could (sort of) see your point in being a jackass laughing at the situation. But in this case, d'H is really just stating the obvious. Using multiple posting names to obscure one's identity is rude. Try to deal with it, mmm'kay?

[> [> [> re-read my above tease in Buffy speak. ;) -- kickin' shins, 09:58:07 02/26/04 Thu

Tonight's episode -Spoilers -- Steve, 22:58:23 02/25/04 Wed

I thought Angel was actually going to save Fred. And I am very disappointed at the fact that he decided not to.

Yes, it would have caused thousands of others to die, but Fred is a very close friend. And one of the things that make us human is that sometimes you do things for friends regardless of the costs.

Are the needs of the many greater than the needs of the few? Or the one? Not when that one is a close friend.

I think it would have made for a far more interesting story had Angel made the choice to save Fred regardless of the consequences. I think in the end that would be the decision most of us would make.


[> Re: Tonight's episode -Spoilers -- celticross, 23:21:37 02/25/04 Wed

I don't think Angel flatly decided to let Fred die. He's standing on the balcony, says "Screw the world!" and is about to follow the well guardian when he's side-tracked by Spike's musings. Meanwhile, in L.A., Fred dies. I may have missed something (which is not uncommon with me), but it looked to me like Angel was going to go ahead with his screw the world plan, but was simply too late.

As for Angel making a decision for the benefit of the one over the benefits of the many, isn't that the decision he made in Home?

[> [> Re: Tonight's episode -Spoilers -- Jane, 23:33:51 02/25/04 Wed

Perhaps Spike's distracting Angel saved Angel from another big mistake. Saving Fred at the expense of thousands certainly would not add to his peace of mind, but I think he was willing to go there for her.

[> [> It's good for someone NOT to make the 'personal good' choice -- Charles Phipps, 23:49:13 02/25/04 Wed

My friends don't know me at all if they save me for thousands of other lives. In fact they wouldn't be my friends. They'd be my enemies who did a horrible thing and grossly betrayed everything I'd dedicated my life to.

[> [> [> Re: It's good for someone NOT to make the 'personal good' choice -- kickin' shins, 06:55:43 02/26/04 Thu

Exactly! Noone, not even cute Fred, is worth tens of thousands of other souls. Other lives.

[> [> [> [> Re: It's good for someone NOT to make the 'personal good' choice -- Steve, 12:19:10 02/26/04 Thu

If one understands that "friendship" is an human characteristic that is worth preserving in the world, then the fact that the needs of the one can outweigh the needs of the many does make sense.

And does make it the "right" (if such a decision can ever be defined in those terms either way) decision for a human being to make.

Life isn't always a numbers game. Especially when you have a personal stake in it.

[> [> [> [> [> maybe that's another caveman vs. astronaut difference -- anom, 13:19:10 02/26/04 Thu

When Spike says maybe there's someone at the other end of the hole in the world looking down through it, it occurs to me that that person might be trying to make the same kind of decision about someone they care about as much as Fred's "boys" care about her. And every one of the thousands of people who might die if they save Fred has someone who cares about them as much (at least, I hope so). Isn't their friendship worth preserving just as much as yours? If you were one of those "someones," how would you feel about someone else who valued their friend's life over your friend's?

One of the ideas associated with astronauts is that they have the chance to see the world from space, to look at it as a whole. Many of them say it changes the way they look at things, that they see beyond the divisions among people. This may be another aspect of the cavemen vs. astronauts question: cave people valuing only those who share their cave; astronauts seeing the whole & recognizing the value of all lives. And maybe asking, do we really need to fight the cavemen?

Of course, that's not the way the situation is set up on the show....

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: maybe that's another caveman vs. astronaut difference -- Steve, 14:35:48 02/26/04 Thu

But isn't the fact is that one just can't live life "from a distance"?

Life isn't meant to be lived that way. It is very personal and subjective.

Yes, " that that person might be trying to make the same kind of decision about someone they care about as much as Fred's "boys" care about her. " And to that person they would kill Fred a million times over to save the person they care about. Doesn't make them wrong or Fred's "boys" right or vice versa. It's just subjective. The "right" action is determined by who you are.

If you are a love one of one of those killed by the actions it took to save Fred, yeah, you would be very upset at "fred's boys".

But, if you were in the same situation Fred's boys were, you would sacrifice others to protect the one you love.

When you go on in life you will find out that life isn't so much about what's right and wrong, but who you are.

The correctness of certain actions are based on the time and place you were put on this earth. Different time or different place and your actions could be very different.

Often it really is all relative and subjective. That's not saying though there aren't certain guidelines you go by. And loyality and friendship certainly ranks amount the top.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: c vs. a difference spoilers S4,5, Hole in World. -- Age, 18:56:06 02/26/04 Thu

The impregnation and rebirth of Illyria were presented as a contagion which, if Fred were not kept 'isolated,' would become airborne and infect countless others. The infection might even have been propagated by those infected who having died would be, perhaps, marginally re-animated by aspects of Illyria's essence. I think the disease and mortality aspects of the episode ask us to reconsider our personal attachments because our dying is as pre-destined as Illyria's return. That isn't to say we do nothing, give up and not form emotional attachments, but at some point we must take into account our own mortality and realize that we no more have purchase on our lives than has anyone else on theirs. We may indeed infect others and survive for the time being, but at what cost if everyone in the world is doing the same thing in their own way?

Isn't this what Wolfram and Hart stand for: profit at any cost to others weaker than they are? Isn't this the corporate culture in which profit for oneself has been divorced from the reciprocity of simple bartering? Don't we all simply become like the amoral world, reducing one another to things we use to make profit for ourselves? Do we make our living, here in this episode, literally life itself, at the expense of other human beings? Do we simply define one another through this culture, becoming uncaring parts of a machine like Harmony or the twisted Knox whose personal emotions have been directed by his corporate mentality; or, do we define ourselves as human beings using a system (of commerce)? And through this culture do we vilify human beings by seeing them only as out for profit and therefore, as symbolized by the demon/vampire/uncaring human employees of Wolfram and Hart, not worth anything but being used (as resources) and worse having to be controlled (zero tolerance)? Everyone's just out for the same thing, everyone's fair game, may the strongest prevail!

Your posting shows that personal attachments make it hard to come to decisions that would be thought of as morally correct. And I can't help thinking that we are getting a comment about Angel's choosing to come to Wolfram and Hart to help Connor in this episode. Specifically Angel was in a desperate situation emotionally and this was exploited by Wolfram and Hart; more generally, providing for ones family, as Connor's ideal suburban home represents, is a 'weakness' we all have that can be exploited. We want what's best for our family but are we willing to do this at the expense of the unknown other? Do we sacrifice morality simply to exist? Then what makes us different, human, because like any other animal in this world we're going to die anyway?

Still, we don't have to be different; there are no hard and fast rules saying we do, but if we are individual human beings don't we respect the rights of other individuals? The contagion happened to Fred, not to the countless other human beings that would be infected if she were saved. Surely transferring the death to others, using them, is just as morally reprehensible as Knox's violation(impregnation) of Fred?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: c vs. a difference spoilers S4,5, Hole in World. -- Steve, 19:40:15 02/26/04 Thu

"Still, we don't have to be different; there are no hard and fast rules saying we do, but if we are individual human beings don't we respect the rights of other individuals? The contagion happened to Fred, not to the countless other human beings that would be infected if she were saved. Surely transferring the death to others, using them, is just as morally reprehensible as Knox's violation(impregnation) of Fred? "

Love knows no right or wrong. Love only knows love. It has nothing to to about being morally reprehensible or not If it is morally reprehensible to save a close friend, so be it.

Would it be fair to transfer the death to others? No! However life is not fair. But for Angel and the rest of "Fred's Boys" it would be the "right" thing to do in the respect that to save a friend you are often forced to do what you have to do.

It may be "morally reprehensible" but it is human. It would from a personal standpoint be "morally reprehensible" to just sit there and do nothing when there was something that could have been done to save her. That needed to be their focus of concern.

Regardless of the cost.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: maybe that's another caveman vs. astronaut difference -- anom, 23:03:09 02/26/04 Thu

"But isn't the fact is that one just can't live life 'from a distance'?"

The point is that astronauts don't stay at that distance but bring their broadened perspective back to Earth when they return.

"But, if you were in the same situation Fred's boys were, you would sacrifice others to protect the one you love."

You don't know what I'd do. I may not even know what I'd do. You certainly seem to think you know what you'd do, but unless you've actually been in such a situation, you probably don't.

"When you go on in life you will find out that life isn't so much about what's right and wrong, but who you are."

I've been going on in life for 50 years. One thing I've found out is that different people find out different things about life as they go on in it. Maybe as you go on further, you'll find out you can't make assumptions about other people, like how long they've gone on. (Well, you can, but you'll be wrong a certain proportion of the time....)

From your post below in this subthread:

"Love knows no right or wrong. Love only knows love."

Maybe your love does. But not everyone's love is the same. Not everyone interprets "only knowing love" in the same way. Some people wouldn't want others to die to save their own life. Would you sacrifice others to save someone you loved if that person didn't want you to? If they'd feel horrible about the people who died to keep them alive? If they'd hate you for it?

"It would from a personal standpoint be 'morally reprehensible' to just sit there and do nothing when there was something that could have been done to save her."

From my personal standpoint, it depends on what the "something" is. The "something" Angel & the others are faced with is also morally reprehensible. Would it be so easy to make the choice of 1 loved one's life over many strangers' lives if you had to watch those people die? What if you had to kill them yourself, not in some mystical, indirect, hands-off way but by shooting each innocent but unknown person in the face, or stabbing them in the heart, or chopping their heads off? Could you justify that to yourself as an act of "love"? The example is extreme, but it's the logical extension of the position you've stated. It's a lot easier to say you'd sacrifice others when you can think of them as an amorphous mass.

Of course, it is easy to say, because this is all theoretical. The person whose life might be saved, the people who'd have to die to save her, & the people who have to decide are all fictional; none of us are likely to face the same decision in real life (thank God). But there are analogous real situations, usually with not so much at stake & usually not so clear cut...which can make it that much harder to decide what's right. For some of us, anyway.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: maybe that's another caveman vs. astronaut difference -- Jane, 23:14:33 02/26/04 Thu

If someone saved my life by doing something that would destroy other innocent lives, especially if it was done with the knowledge of what would come, I don't think I would feel anything but shame and guilt. Love for another,IMO,also means that sometimes it may mean that the only way to save the other is to accept what is happening may not have an alternative. Accepting that we all have our own destiny, and that may mean an end that our loved ones find hard to understand or find meaning in.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: maybe that's another caveman vs. astronaut difference -- Steve, 09:14:35 02/27/04 Fri

I don't know about other people but I would do anything to protect the ones I love.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: maybe that's another caveman vs. astronaut difference -- Steve, 10:05:38 02/27/04 Fri

"Would you sacrifice others to save someone you loved if that person didn't want you to? If they'd feel horrible about the people who died to keep them alive? If they'd hate you for it?"

Saving that person's life would be more important. If I would have to lose that friendship to do it, well that is how it would have to be.

Isn't that what Wesley did when he took baby Conner. He knew that he would be hated for that act, but he also knew that Angel wouldn't be able to live with himself if he killed Conner.

So he gave up the friendship to save the friend.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: maybe that's another caveman vs. astronaut difference -- Steve, 10:30:50 02/27/04 Fri


"When you go on in life you will find out that life isn't so much about what's right and wrong, but who you are."

I've been going on in life for 50 years. One thing I've found out is that different people find out different things about life as they go on in it. Maybe as you go on further, you'll find out you can't make assumptions about other people, like how long they've gone on. (Well, you can, but you'll be wrong a certain proportion of the time....)

I am afraid I probably didn't make myself clear. I was afraid that would be the case.

Ok, maybe let me explain it this way.

American Settlers vs Native Americans - Who were the evil doers?

I know what the kneejerk PC answer to this would be. But I just ask before you answer this question to put yourself into each individuals position.

First put yourself in the place of the Native American.

Then put yourself in the place of an individual pioneer living out West with your wife (or husband) and children.

Then ask me who were the evil ones?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: maybe that's another caveman vs. astronaut difference -- Steve, 18:02:36 02/27/04 Fri

The answer was - NETHER.

If you were an Native American who's family was just killed by the calvary, you would go out and scalp as many heads as you could.

But if you were a pioneer who's only goal is to make a better life for yourself and your family, and the Indian comes and kills your children, you would go and kill him.

Point is, when you look at the situation from both individuals, nether of them were wrong. Both of them did what they had to do.

Back to "Fred's Boys", they had to save Fred. And if that meant that others had to die, then that is what it meant. It would still be the right thing for them to do. Because when it comes to a close friend love dictates that you do what you have to do to save them.

Now, if I was one of the love ones of one of those who died because of saving Fred, then of course I would have a different perspective of it all. To me what they did would be monsterous.

Again, right and wrong is determined by whether you are "fred's boys" or a love one of one of those killed by saving Fred.

That is what I am trying to say by saying its relative and subjective. What is "right" has to do with who you are in the situation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm disturbed here -- KdS, 02:11:38 02/28/04 Sat

If you were an Native American who's family was just killed by the calvary, you would go out and scalp as many heads as you could.

But if you were a pioneer who's only goal is to make a better life for yourself and your family, and the Indian comes and kills your children, you would go and kill him.

By the ease which which you compare and slide between saving life and vengeance. They're not by any means the same thing.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The problem is some people view life as the ultimate good -- Charles phipps, 18:51:12 02/29/04 Sun

If you were my friend and saved my life at the expense of another persons you were not my friend and I'd think you seriously messed up. I don't particularly care if you are self-justified but essentially you've made me culable to murder.

If one believes in an afterlife you've hurt yourself as well and possibly me....when doing the former would exalt oneself

Sometimes we have to let go for the many and if they are comfortable with that, three cheers for them and the bond we share

[> [> The Gift & Dawn -- pellenaka, 15:12:57 02/26/04 Thu

As for Angel making a decision for the benefit of the one over the benefits of the many, isn't that the decision he made in Home?

That's also the exact thing Buffy did (or intended to do) in The Gift. Saving Dawn was the most important thing. Dawn might have been tortured in the chaos after the dimension walls broke down but no one could touch her before that.

[> [> [> Re: The Gift & Dawn -- Steve, 15:39:09 02/26/04 Thu

It was the most noble decision Buffy ever made.

It was the best moment in the whole series.

I found it deeply moving.

[> Re: Tonight's episode -Spoilers -- luvthistle1, 01:08:01 02/26/04 Thu

i felt Angel should have save Fred too,. Spike would have save Fred over all others. but you see that where Spike and Angel differents. Angel has always been the hero. he always though of the greater good, while Spike had always been the knight, he must always save the girl. he think with his heart. in a way, Spike is like buffy, when she chose to let dawn live, over the whole world. But Angel will always be the hero. he will always save the world first.

[> [> Not this Angel... -- LeeAnn, 04:01:17 02/26/04 Thu

But Angel will always be the hero. he will always save the world first.

Angel of a year ago might have chosen to save the world and let Fred die. But this Angel has had a year at W&H. A year to change. A year to be corrupted. This Angel says "To hell with the world!"

[> [> [> Re: Not this Angel... -- Kenny, 06:24:09 02/26/04 Thu

Angel gets a "to hell with the world" attitude with things get tough. It's the kind of guy he is. There's "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been". There's S2 beige-Angel. He gets that anger response when things don't seem fair. But he's learning to temper it. Years ago, he really would mean "to hell with the world."

[> [> [> A little bit of history repeating... (Hole in the World Spoilers) -- heywhynot, 07:17:47 02/26/04 Thu

But in the end, no matter how much he didn't want to lose another member of his family, Angel stopped. He didn't keep charging in to cast the spell. He stops turns and listens to Spike. Angel chose the lives of thousands over the life of a member of his family.

Like season 3 after Connor's birth, the family is slowly falling apart. Then, Angel lost Connor and Wesley & then it seemed he was on the verge of losing Fred because of the dark magicks he had used to try and find Connor. Now, Angel lost Connor, Cordelia died, and he was on the verge of losing Fred because of the actions of Gunn.

Angel then was willing to sacrifice Fred then to protect the rest of the world but in the last second waivered and was willing to rush her to the hospital. Luckily, Wes from afar was able to come up with the cure. This time, the cure was what threatened the world but Angel was willing for a moment to let thousands perish to save Fred but in the last second choose their lives over Fred's.

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana

The Fang Gang does not their whole history and can not learn from it. Are we seeing the consequences of that fact? History is repeating but as is the nature of things, with the exact details being shuffled around. Connor doesn't disappear to a hell dimension but to a perfect life. Wesley isn't lost to the group, but rather Cordelia and not in an act of betrayal. Gunn is the one who is selfish and unwittingly puts Fred in danger. Wes is the one dating Fred and not Gunn. The stakes it seems have been raised. Wesley & Fred almost died then, this time Cordelia and Fred die.

History repeating with new players, kinda has been the subtle aspect of the show. The opening of the season with Angel saving the day though he won't be working for TPTB but this season WRH. Spike replaying Angel season one with Lindsay playing "Doyle". Cordelia returning like she never left in season 3.

The question is will Angel learn from history? He is the only one at this point that can. He knows their collective history. And what is it that he needs to learn to keep from his family from completely falling apart again?

[> [> In a war, sometimes you must respect people's right to die -- Charles Phipps, 13:52:49 02/26/04 Thu

Fred didn't want to die I'm sure but she risked her life every day when she worked for Angel investigations. No offesne but doesn't it mock the sacrifices she's made to undo them and more with such an action?

To become the source of a greater evil than you were a good in the world?

[> [> [> Princess or not? -- Steve, 15:13:41 02/26/04 Thu

Actually I can't disagree with you in this assessment. In this case, you are right. The only thing they could do would be to let her die. I guess it all has to do with the relationship they want to emphasize. It it's the love between soliders, the "band of brothers (yeah in this case a sister)" relationship that is so tight that one can't appreciate it unless they have really been in battle (I haven't) then even though that love is very intense, still if the only way you could save your brother (sister) in arms was to give the enemy vital secrets that would help them kill others in the war effort, you don't do it. It would be an insult to your comrade if you did.

I so wish I had taped this so I could listen to Fred's dialogue again. Fred was protrayed TWO Ways. Either she was the "princess that needed to be rescued" or she "walked with heroes". Princesses don't "walk with heroes" for walking WITH heroes makes you one of them. Princesses are what heroes rescue.

So, if we see Fred as a princess, then the goal would be to rescue the princess at all cost. But if she walked among the heroes, then of course the larger mission comes first.

If you want to see it in that light (a very legitimate light to see it) it would have been an insult to Fred to save her at the cost of the ultimate mission. Because it would be saying to her that she didn't WALK AMONG HEROES. It would be saying that she wasn't a hero herself.

[> [> Re: Tonight's episode -Spoilers -- Doriander, 02:31:23 02/27/04 Fri

One would think, which is why that scene IMO, more than any this season, between these two is such a revelation. I loved it, though a little miffed about the spliced Fred-Wes within such a crucial scene. I get why they spliced it in there--ironic segue from Fred's ìyou won't leave me...î ìHe's with meî to Angel and Spike at the bridge, Angel realizing Spike wasn't with him. If only the score to thread us between scenes had been as lyrical as Joss' writing aspired to be in the ep.

Once Fred became sick, Angel and Spike were a united front, until this scene, where in the twist was the switch in stances from their earlier argument. It's actually Spike considering the big picture this time. He didn't follow Angel's emotionally driven ìto hell with the worldî. Angel's declaration actually clues you in that his screw the world didn't have much conviction. When he marched towards Drogyn's spellcasting chamber, I loved that pause at the end of the bridge, Angel's dawning realization that at this juncture, Spike's not with him. DB's delivery of ìSpikeî--imploring, desperate, almost innocent--broke me more than the Wes/Fred scenes (I do love both characters, but I plead makesmyskincrawl re the ship. I particularly don't find Wes the least bit appealing in this mode, and I HATE that). They only needed one champion, Angel could have gone on. But fact is, his stance is really really precarious at that moment, he was looking to Spike for SOMETHING--complicity, affirmation, crutch, that they're in this together--but Spike's already on a different tier. Spike's switch from gung ho to surreally calm, his oblique musings, incisive in implying their divergence. Which is what broke Angel I thought, he knows he can't really bring himself to go through with it. And am I wrong, but typically when Angel is firm in his decision on something drastic, nary a declaration or preamble as this ìto hell with the worldî. He'll just stake Darla before Buffy knows what's what, set Darla and Dru on fire before they get a clue, foreplay before Darla realizes it's foreplay, deliver a shocking killing blow to his son, do that cool rifle-fu killing Hauser, etc. Note that in all these, Angel acted alone. Makes you wonder, the effect of the tag team on him. I enjoyed this ep, but it was really overwrought, almost eye rolling in parts (and so funny, considering the level of Fred devotion here is as over the top as the Fred condemnation in Magic Bullet, which incidentally aired the night before on TNT). This particular scene though was personally the most showstoppingly gutting in its subtelty, implications, connotations, just GUH. It recalls Angel's helplessness as he beholds losing Darla and babyConnor (revampification, Quortoth), only this time he has the power, he's culpable, can't claim helplesness due to incapaciation or whatever. It's his call. The stagnancy of that scene killed me. Spike's speech was surreally moving despite my not having a grasp of it's resonance yet, to be honest. It's almost sage like, Spike's already mourning. Kudos to JM for making me shiver. Ditto DB for breaking me with his reaction shots. Excellent outing boys.

Tangent: Spike and Drogyn. LOVE. Love the spectacle. Anyone else want to lock them up in one room and do experiments on them? Like bind them a la Pavayne so they could only communicate verbally? Have their boxes be inches apart, windows facing each other? Anyone?

[> That would have been incredibly selfish -- Sofdog, 07:20:40 02/26/04 Thu

The Deeper Well was in the UK yes? That would have spread the demon through hundreds of millions of people in the United States alone. How would Angel have undone that kind of catastrophe? I don't think Fred would have appreciated being saved under those circumstances. That kind of choice would have violated AI's mission. I would have been terribly disappointed if Angel had actually chosen Fred over the world.

If there had been time I don't see why they couldn't have brought Fred and the sarcophagus in order to draw the demon directly from Fred back into the Well without affecting others. But they had a lot less time than they originally thought it seems.

[> He's tried that before, and it didn't work out well for him. (spoilers) -- Gyrus, 09:23:30 02/26/04 Thu

I think it would have made for a far more interesting story had Angel made the choice to save Fred regardless of the consequences. I think in the end that would be the decision most of us would make.

Angel has chosen loved ones over the greater good in the past, and it's never worked out well for him. For example, opening the hole to Qortoth to get Connor back led to several people's deaths and didn't produce a happy ending for Angel at all. Similarly, Angel's attempt to sacrifice himself to save Darla back in S2 (even though he was advised that the world would be better off with him in it) put him through a whole lot of torture and didn't help her in the least.

[> The wrong answer -Spoilers for HitW -- skeeve, 10:17:59 02/26/04 Thu

Letting Fred die was the wrong answer.

Letting Fred die allowed something else to live.
Something nasty.
'Tain't obvious the death toll will be smaller because Fred is part of it.
It might be a lot higher.

Saving Fred might not have caused as many deaths as assumed.
A straight line from LA to Britain is mostly rather deep underground
where there aren't many people to kill.
Even if the nasty travels above ground,
a lot of deaths could probably be prevented just by moving Fred east of LA.
The primary kill zones would probably be the strip city on the US east coast and perhaps a British city west of the hole.

Buying time by freezing struck me as a silly thing to try.
Last I heard, freezing mammals didn't work very well even without a mystical parasite.
On the other hand, there are dimensions where time runs faster than it does here.
One might expect that there are ones where it runs slower.
Transporting Fred to one of those would have bought a bit more time.

We know of at least two mystical cures that were not even considered:
Mohra demon blood and Slayer blood.
Also, someone owes Angel for not curing Darla.

It's also not clear why Angel settled on a jet.
Teleportation was probably available.
Willow or Giles was just a phone call away.

This one supposes that the writers were so intent on showing how Angel would react to a rather nasty choice, that they forgot to make sure of the choices they were presenting.

[> why didn't they ask (spoilers for 'you're welcome' & 'hole in the world')... -- anom, 10:37:58 02/26/04 Thu

...how many people would be likely to die due to Illyria's successful return? Seems to me that should figure into the balance, although I'd hate to have to balance, say, a cost of thousands of deaths to stop her against millions--plus Fred's--if they didn't. But that would've made the decision too easy, wouldn't it? At least, as "easy" is defined in the Whedonverse....

One thing, a little OT for this thread: I'm glad there was finally a mention of Cordelia's death, esp. after 2 episodes without one. If you hadn't seen You're Welcome, you could've watched them & had no idea of what happened to her. No mention even as Angel starts a new relationship (although admittedly, the puppet ep might not have been the best context for it...).

[> [> Mourning (spoilers for 'You're Welcome' and BTVS season 5 & 7) -- MissB, 12:23:37 02/29/04 Sun

Buffy and Angel characters don't exactly wallow in sorrow do they? Other than Willow's graveside visit in the last season of Buffy there wasn't much mention of Tara either.

Excessive mourning even seems to have dire consequences, e.g. Wood finding the vampire who killed his mother and Dawn trying to resurrect Joyce.

[> [> [> I think it's the 'war' situation -- Pip, 13:03:11 02/29/04 Sun

They're in danger of dying all the time, plus people they know socially drop like flies [grin]. One of the BtVS/AtS 'messages' seems to be that dying is part of living (hence the relatively high death rate for regulars and semi-regulars in the two series) - so characters mourning for a long time would probably negate that subtext.

Wood and Dawn both go against 'dying is part of living'. Wood's search for revenge against Spike is rather like a son seeking revenge against the particular enemy soldier who killed his soldier mother in a war. Nikki died trying to keep the world safe for her son and people like him. Dawn, in trying to resurrect Joyce, is trying to reverse a natural death. Both Robin and Dawn seem to refuse to accept that death is natural - maybe not expected, or even from natural causes, but it is something that will happen, like it or not.

[> [> [> [> Re: I think it's the 'war' situation -- Rahael, 03:47:09 03/02/04 Tue

They're in danger of dying all the time, plus people they know socially drop like flies [grin]. One of the BtVS/AtS 'messages' seems to be that dying is part of living (hence the relatively high death rate for regulars and semi-regulars in the two series) - so characters mourning for a long time would probably negate that subtext.

But this is one of the cases where what is depicted is unrealistic. A moment that really impressed me was Buffy's fears about her turning into stone at the end of S5. That was when I really started sitting up and over-analysing the show.

People dying around you all the time does not make you blase about death, or indeed about life. Life becomes more important.

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