Belly of the Beast Review: Supersymmetry

beast916 Ė November 4, 2002

Synopsis

We come upon the Hyperion and hear Fred screaming. Angel, with his on- and off-super hearing, doesnít run to see what is going on. Then the cameraman decides we need a close-up of every pore on Amy Ackerís cheek. Look, I think sheís a very attractive woman, but I donít think I need to be that close unless Iím getting a little sumtiní sumtiní. She runs and throws her arms around Chucky, holding a magazine in her hand. Gunn tells her to let him see it. He opens it and finds the article by Winnifred Burkle about "Supersymmetry and P-Dimensional something-or-other." Both Gunn and I are going to pretend we know what the hell all this science talk is about. He sits down to read and she sits next to him, giving us a pleasant view of her thigh. Well, considering the way the male-female interrelationships will be presented in this episode, I might as well be the pig I am. It seems the sound of physics turns Fred on, as she begins to get her mack on with Gunn. I wonder how she would respond to some Isaac Asimov. Fred, the three laws of robotics are. . .She rolls on top of him, and we get to see just how short her skirt is. Suddenly, I feel like Iím a gynecologist. Gunn rolls her over so heís on top, in case anybody forgot he is the alpha male.

In Lorneís room, Angel is bringing him a meal on a tray. Obviously, he wants something. Lorne admits he has been jumpy recently, but he was wondering if he just heard a scream. Angel says itís just Fred, and it must be a Texas thing. Dude, thatís a generalization. All Texans donít talk like that. Just for that, Iím going down there, drag some of them out of a bar, let them get in their pickup trucks, and have them plant their cowboy boots in your ass. Lorne takes a few sip of what I am hoping is soup, then says he doesnít have much of an appetite. It was probably meatloaf, anyway. The hole between Lorneís horns isnít helping. Angel, completely non-smoothly, mentions the "Slouching toward Bethlehem". Itís a good thing he looks good, because he couldnít get in a girlís pants any other way. Lorne tells him no. Angel thinks the topic is not bothering Lorne, but what Lorne means is he isnít going to read Cordy again. I wouldnít, either, not even if she sucked helium and did it in one of those funny chipmunk voices. Angel says he wasnít going to ask that immediately, but was going to build up to it. Yes, because heís so smooth. Lorne says heís not a champion, and I reach through the screen and pop his head off. Lorne mentions if he tries again, maybe Wolfram and Hart might not stop with a little gray matter. Is it gray? Iím just wondering; I mean heís green, so maybe his brains are a different color. Okay, maybe a little too Riley-like there. Angel says heís listening, and Lorne goes on, before realizing itís not him Angel is listening to. Angel tells him itís probably just Fred. Lorne pulls an axe from under his covers, and yells to him that he has his back. Maybe not the right thing to say to a fairly unbalanced vampire while youíre holding an axe, Lorne.

Angel walks down the hall. He can hear things from inside Lorneís room, but has to be right next to the door to hear something moving in there. He quietly opens the door, and sees a shape which is obviously Connor. Angel throws him into the wall anyway, because thatís the only aspect of parenting heís really picked up so far. He apologizes, and Connor says heís used to it. He should just start throwing himself into walls before Angel can start. Angel tells him he can come through the front door, and he doesnít have to sneak in. Angel, anybody can come through that front door, except for Adult Black-clad Ninja Lawyers. Connor lets him know heís just there for Cordyís things. Divorces are always messy. Angel wants to know if anything has come back to her. Yeah, Angel, the son you were angsting over last season? Heís right in front of you. Remember? Hello? Connor says she remembers nothing about Angel. Heh. Little prick. I like him. Angel wonders if sheís alone right now, because that would be bad. Connor, showing a lot of restraint, doesnít stab him in the eye, and says Cordy is safe. "Safe" is becoming the new "champion". Connor starts to leave, and Angel tells him to bring her fuzzy slippers, because her feet get cold. Yes, Iím sure that came up in all your pillow talk. Connor says he knows, because she always steals the covers. Angel gets a pissed look on his face, but considering his little Concentration game later in the show, you would think he realized there was only one bed at Connorís.

Holy cow, itís daylight. I didnít think they did that anymore. Angel comes downstairs to see Gunn chilliní. He tells Angel he doesnít want to go into the office. Angel looks up to see Fred animatedly talking to Lorne. Gunn says she kept him up all night and she is unstoppable. Angel says thatís more than he needed to know, because obvious sexual miscommunication is a laff riot. Fred comes out and asks if Gunn told Angel. Angel says Gunn didnít describe it, but he wish he would because itís been a really looooong time. She explains about the physics article, and Angel and Gunn look bemused as she chatters away. Small smart women are funny and peculiar, arenít they, fellows? Fred runs back into the office, and Lorne shows the loving support all the males at AI always show. Gunn says she has been like that all night. . .well, that and something else. Yeah, like Angel didnít hear it all with the supersonic auditory receptors. Angel didnít know Fred was getting back into physics. Angel didnít know something was going on under his own nose? Well, slap my ass and call me Judy! They go into the office, and Fred explains itís not really anything special, and Gunn looks on silently. She thinks it sounds silly, and Angel assures her it isnít. Ah, you big lug, you just won me back. She says itís something sheís always dreamed on. Gunn looks on silently. It seems they have hours of footage of J. August Richards just staring that they need to use up. She says she wanted people to pay attention to her, but when she was in Pylea she didnít want anybody looking at her. Gunn, realizing the most common fear, even above death, is public speaking, decides to mention everybody will be looking at her now. Fred looks panicked. She starts to get a little nervous and asks if theyíll be there. Lorne, realizing every time he is around these people he gets hurt, gets a heavy look on his face. Gunn says theyíll be cheering her on. Angel felt heís already given Fred more attention than he did the last four episodes combined, and is thinking about himself. Lorne mentions Connor had stopped by. Gunn hopes he didnít want to kiss and make up. Yeah, if everybody hasnít figured it out yet, Gunn has some issues. . .later on this episode he will get volumes. Fred says it will out work out, and Mr. Glummy just gives her a look. Fred talks about how things working out, mentioning how her time in Pylea helped her figure out whatever the hell she figured out. Gee, they mentioned her trip to Pylea three times already. You donít think it will come up later, do you? Gunn tries to pretend he knows what sheís talking about. So do I. Fred almost busts a gut (quite a task for her) trying not to laugh at him.

Wesley is reading the magazine with Fredís article in it. Thereís a knock on the door, which Wes doesnít hear or ignores. After more knocking, he opens the door to see Lilah with a package. "Oh, look, a bribe," he says. Hey, donít look down on bribes. He says maybe itís a set-up. She says itís just a gift and asks him to open it. Look, honey, I know I set up your friends and made you look bad in front of them, but if we canít get past a little thing like that, how will this relationship ever work? She looks on anxiously, as he pulls out a helmet. She says they have been butting heads so lately that this will give him the advantage. Okay, she must be in love, because that was pretty lame. Wes says it must have cost a fortune, and Lilah grins that it did. She lets him know he can pay her back by putting out. Why canít I get women to mistreat me like this? They kiss. She says she took the afternoon off, and then Wes drops that he has to go. Now Iím wondering how Wes gets any action. Jeez, Wes, a little quickie wouldnít hurt. Put out, you bastard! He does thank her for the gift, and she canít believe she just got dissed. She lifts the gift wrap up, so I guess she figures if she ainít getting none, he isnít keeping the gift. She sees the magazine with Fredís article in it.

Cordy is tacking pictures up. One of them has a sticker with "me and Wesley" stuck to it, which is more time she thought about Wesley than then entire second half of last season. Thereís a picture of her parents, and they are so not her parents, no way, no how. She asks Connor why thereís no picture of Angel. Connor, comes out all WB-ed up, and says he couldnít find any. For some reason, Cordy doesnít mention there were pictures of Angel when she was looking through them before. She says he got all the other important stuff, and shows us her fuzzy slippers. She spreads something over a table and Connor catches a view of her cleavage. "Heh heh. Cool. I saw near-boob. Heh heh. This is the coolest thing ever." She says she thought she would feel different once she had all her stuff. Connor is putting on shoes to match the clothes he stole from Pacey and Dawson. It feels like thereís still something missing to her. This is the point in the show when the writers are instructed to just pound the BIG HINT button like a bad mutha. Connor lifts up an axe, so apparently he doesnít like buttons. He hands her the axe and asks how it feels. Connor, you have to be careful on how you hand your axe to women. And always remember to clean and sheathe it. She says it feels woodsy. "Heh heh." Connor thinks maybe she misses the action, the thrill of the kill. He has his daddyís suaveness. He says he can train her. Sure you can, junior. She wonders what she should wear. I would suggest taking off the fuzzy slippers.

Fred, Angel, and Gunn are walking up to the seminar. Fred looks cute. Gunn is there. She says sheís just a minor speaker, then sees she is scheduled to speak between people she compares to Nomar Garciaparra and Sammy Sosa. The physicist-equal to Barry Bonds was supposed to be there, but he got in a fight with another physicists and thinks heís too good to talk to anybody. Gunn and Angel are impressed. Being a native New Englander, I would be impressed if she didnít mention the BoSox, although Nomah does indeed rock. Fred sees a Professor Seidel, who is standing next to a timid, bespectacled woman named Laurie. He tells Fred itís been two years or so. She says itís heavy on the "or so". I think itís great they have people who canít figure out calendars teach physics. He says he is going to introduce her, and he had to wrangle it away from somebody else. Well, that gave him plenty of time to set up what he wanted to do, instead of, I donít know, doing it some place not overly crowded, since he knows she is around. Gunn feels he needs to embarrass himself, so he fake-coughs to get Fredís attention. She introduces them to the professor. She gives a little history lesson (he groaned), explaining she was majoring in history until she took a physics class. What, they didnít have physics in high school? Hell, I did, and I was in Arkansas. Professor Seidel says Fred was a natural and was taking on WIMPs in no time. Gunn says he should see her left-hook now. There you go, Gunn. Fred explains WIMPS are weakly interactive something or other. . .dumbass (thatís for me and Gunn). Gunn sinks down to the floor in a puddle. Fred and the professor start to talk about stuff that bores me and Angel, so Angel goes to find his seat. Gunn looks like he got left behind with the fat aunt who pinches your cheeks. Fred and the professor make an appointment to meet the next day, and then start to talk about more physics blah blah blah, and leave Gunn behind. They leave Gunn behind! Do you get it? His girlfriend is moving beyond him! Oh what, oh what, can he do about this?

Angel sits down and notices Wes sitting in the back. He could have told Wes he saved him a seat. The professor introduces Fred to other people, so as many people as possible remember them together. Fred and the prof head up to the front, and Gunn sits down next to Angel. He tells Angel he will need him to translate. Angel says sure, except he doesnít know what the hell Fred is talking about. Gunn wants him to tell Fred that, so she doesnít think Gunn is the only dumbass. The prof starts to introduce Fred. There are about five empty seats behind the podium, so apparently all the other speakers have already been sucked into another dimension. The prof blah blah blahs. Gunn and Wes look on proudly. Fred shouldnít do her article about strings; she should do them about triangles. Lilah comes in, and Angel spots her. Fred starts to speak, beginning with a non-joke joke I wonít make fun of since I froze up in my first speech class. Lilah sees Wes watching Fred. . .so is it a quadrangle, or two triangles now? Damn, you need a physics class just to figure this out. Lilah gets on her cell phone and leaves, and Angel notices this too. I wonít try to add him to the theorem, because I donít even know what you would call it for five. Fred talks about superstring theory. All I now is if you spray that stuff on your girlfriend, she is gonna be pissed. Wait, thatís silly string. The camera pans up to let us know something bad will be happening, since we wonít get the clue from all the people who will soon gasp in surprise when the director tells them to. CGI tentacles come out of a portal, and Fred just stands there, because she thinks thatís pretty crappy CGI.

Gunn and Angel attack the CGI, and Wes pulls out a knife, but holds back, waiting for the right time to save the day. Some kid takes pictures. And the CGI wraps itself around Angelís neck, but Angel says itís lousy CGI and therefore cannot hurt him. Angel pulls out a itsy-bitsy knife and chops off a tentacle with it. The CGI is a real WIMP and it sucks itself back into the portal. Fred lands on top of Gunn, and he says sheís all right, even though she clearly isnít.

Lilah drives along, and Angel rips her roof off. A pretty clean rip, too. Actually, it looks like she just rolled the sun roof down. She stops and looks to check it out, as Angel makes a smartass remark. He pulls her out of the car, but since that isnít going to be the worst treatment of humans in this show, I wonít mention it. Much. She tells him heís lucky Lorne is still alive, but Angel wants to make an appointment to talk about that later. He says itís about Fred now. She asks if tragedy struck Gidget. Somebodyís jealous! Bitch, you best keep your hands off my manóon the next Jerry Springer. Lilah doesnít seem too concerned that the "twig" might be dead. I bet Amy Acker just loves receiving each new script. Angel finally clues in that Lilah didnít do it. She gets in the car, and he gives her an idle threat, and thank the heavens, she calls him on it. He tries to mention the ripping the car top off, but she gets off the first mention of comic strips here.

At the Hyperion, Gunn rolls over in bed, and notices Fred isnít there. Instead, sheís drawing on the walls. Gunn decides this is a good time to have a laugh at her sanity. She says she dreams of Pylea, and Gunn does the dumb guy thing, and says he knows. She says he doesnít know, and he tells her sheís never going back to that place. Gunn says tomorrow will be different, and Fred starts to worry about meeting the professor. He says thereís nothing wrong with her, this or any other way. She says, yeah, to him. Bro, you just got dogged, and you didnít even notice. He tells her he and Angel will take care of the manly stuff, so she shouldnít worry her purty little head about it.

Gunn comes downstairs and says "our girlís" not the only one redecorating. I finally figured what Gunn contributes: condescension. Angel has chairs set up the same way as the night before. Angel points out where everybody was, and the director helps us by showing it as if the auditorium were transported to the Hyperion. Thanks, Bill. Now, can I have that slice of my life back? Gunn wonders where this power came from. Angel explained the writers just handed it to him, ignoring his usual scatterbrain tendencies. He also mentions Lilah was there. He realizes she was stalking Wesley. Gunn realizes if Wes was there, he can blame everything on Wesley. Well, he was going to anyway, but having him there makes it much easier. Angel realizes the nerdy kid was taking pictures, and Gunn, figuring itís unfair for Angel to have powers mysteriously pop up, decides he has extensive knowledge of comic books. We do a switch from Gunn saying, "when my girlís not happy

"Iím not happy!" Good, now grunt and throw feces, Gunn. And keep calling her your "girl". Thatís endearing. Gunn tosses the kid around, but Angel obviously hasnít trained him well, since Gunn tosses him into a comic stand rather than a wall. Gunn compares himself to Bullseye and the kid to Electra in Daredevil #181. Now, I donít read comic books unless theyíre Spider-man, but a quick search let me know Bullseye also gets paralyzed after a fight with Daredevil, so Gunn may want to come up with another geek reference. Apparently, at least one Daredevil comic was written by Harlan Ellison, which automatically ups the cool quota. Can you tell Iím bored with the scene in the comic shop? Gunn asks why the kid was taking pictures of Fred. The kid mentions the ceiling opening. Thatís a good point. Also, he wanted to see if she was one of the many students who have disappeared.

Fred is talking with the prof, explaining in a non-quiet voice all about hell dimensions. Itís a good thing this crew doesnít need to keep a secret identity. The prof points out she is naming hell dimensions. Whatever. Move on. He reintroduces Laurie. Fred recognizes her as a TA when she was a student. Laurie says she still is, not everybody is a genius. Damn, chill out, you got a bit part in the show, not a bitter part. They go into the office, and the prof gives her an old paper with an A-. He says he had to grade her differently than others. Uh, shouldnít everybody be graded the same? He says he wants to teach her again, but she says she has another life. And ainít it a grand one? The prof says he sees a very talented woman who deserves to live in the world she was meant for. Oh, you sneaky devil.

The kid is explaining how you just hear things, while Angel is so interested in Fredís problems he is reading a comic book. Gunn mentions the girl, the cat, and the peanut butter, which Angel confirms is a true story. I donít know if I should feel good or bad I donít know what that story is. The kid mentions Angel is talked about on the Internet, because he thinks Angelís ego needs stroking. He says there were three people and one after Fred who were missing. They were all science types. Why wonít anybody ever send televangelists to other dimensions? The kid talks about working for them as an intern. Gunn, already knowing heís low man on the totem, disses him, afraid he may end up lower.

In the profís office, Laurie comes in to conveniently get the prof out of the room. He asks Fred to write her number down for him. She does, then looks at the bookshelf and automatically sees a book that seems out of place. She looks through it and sees an illustration that looks like the tentacles. The prof comes back in, and they stare at each other.

At the Hyperion, Angel and Gunn are realizing Professor Seidel has something to do with this. It seems though "chatty" rooms are beyond him, Angel still knows how to use a computer. Fred comes in and confirms the prof was the one who sent her to Pylea. Ooooh, she said "bitch" too. Fresh. Gunn assures her the prof will pay. She lets him know the prof will die, as she brings her tone down a notch.

"What do you mean, die?" "I donít know yet, but itís going to be about pain." Wow, did I walk into an episode of <I>All My Children</I> by mistake. Lame dialogue, bad camera movement. . .it sure seems like it. She grabs an axe and starts waving it around, talking about the prof, as Gunn and Fred move back away from her. She wonders if flail whipping would take a long time. Angel says it would be hours if you do it right, then remembers to tell her she shouldnít do it at all. Fred talks about how the prof is a killer and how heís going to pay. Gunn tries to calm her down. He says a few years ago he would have done in the guy himself, but heís changed. Uh huh. He decides bringing up their missionóand tries to remind us they supposedly have oneóin the face of her five years of torture. He tells her the demons she will be living with (groan) wonít be the horned kind. She says heís wrong. Angel agrees with him, and they team up her in an ainít-it-ironic-that-the-soul-seller-and-lawyer-killing-accessory-are-doing-this kind of way. Gunn tells her not to let the prof define what she is now, and asks for the axe back. She gives it to him and blows smoke up his ass, so she can go upstairs and sneak out. Personally, I feel she could have just walked through the front door. That would have been so unique they would never have seen it coming. He offers to make her cocoa. Oh hell. I know you were trapped in a hell dimension, but cocoa will make it better. Cocoa sucks. Once the little woman is away, Gunn and Angel wonder what they are going to do with the guy, because, Gunn says, vengeance can get ugly.

"Vengeance. . .sounds good," says Wesley the pragmatic and not at all bitter. He hands Fred a bottle. Wes is more popular with these guys now than when he was when he was in AI. She complains about Gunn and Angel telling her to turn the other cheek. Wes says they handled it well enough when the portal opened, smoothly letting her know he was there. He is able to talk somewhat on her level about her article, which puts him leaps and bounds above Angel and Gunn. She realizes heís been keeping track of her. He agrees, and then tries to move on, but both of them were imagining clothes flying. He asks what she had in mind for the professor. Beyond pain, she doesnít know, which is why she came to him. Thatís sweet. "Whenever I think of unspeakable torture, I think of you." He points out Angel and Gunn were correct about vengeance having its price, and starts to get Angel disease, turning it around to being about him. She says the prof is a serial killer, and Wes, having gotten the legalities out of the way, goes to the bookshelf to find something. He opens a book and she comes up behind him, reading over his shoulder. He thinks thatís kind of rude and that he would like to toss her onto the couch. They look at the book, and Fred asks if thatís a guyís tongue. I have the wrong library. Fredís phone rings, and she opens it to see some symbols on the display. Another portal opensócan we send that Verizon kid there? Can you hear me now, bitch? Wes grabs Fred to keep her from being sucked into the portal and practically pulls her sweater over her head. Oh, sure, every time a portal comes around, he tries to undress her! Rude. He leaps with her over the couch.

And we switch to Connor and Cordy, as she lands on top of him. He now has to buy new pants. A vampire comes towards them. He attacks Connor, who thinks heís Spider-man, but turns into a baseball when he comes down. Cordy attacks the vamp with an axe. He knocks it out of her hand, and she does a spin-kick on him, then grabs a stake and dusts him. Connor is so happy for her. Your first kill. . .yay! She hugs him and gives him a small peck on the lips, and then their lips mesh together, and my ears bleed and my eyeballs pop out. When I recover, Cordy pulls away from him.

Angel and Gunn realize Fred is missing. Gunn chastises himself for offering her cocoa. Cheer up, bucko, it could have been juice and cookies. They realize Fred is gonna kill the professor, if he doesnít kill her first. They go off their separate ways to stop her.

Fred is putting an arrow in her crossbow. Wes is watching her, when he should be watching the road. Look out, Wes! He makes sure she remembers everything they went over. She says she does and will give the prof what he deserves, thanks to Wes. Wes wonders why Gunn isnít there, no matter what the circumstances. Fred says Gunn doesnít have it in him, and thatís part of why she loves him. I can see that relationship is going to last, and why donít you kick Wes while heís down while youíre at it. He tells her she can still back out, if she thinks Gunn is right. Weíre going to have to expand the show to 90 minutes to account for all the jealousy going around. Fred says itís not about what is right. Wes pulls over and says he would offer to go with her, but, she finishes his sentence, he knows what the answer would be.

The prof is in his office. Angel comes in and asks him if heís going somewhere. He tosses a desk aside. The desk did nothing to Angel, but he has wood issues. The prof, realizing everybody knows heís a bad guy, talks in a gravelly voice, as Angel chastises him for not being nice. Leave the jokes to your ex, Angel. The prof grabs a book and read from it, as Angel stands around to give him time. A creature pops out from a portal. The prof runs away only to get clocked by Fredís crossbow. "You know what they say about payback, she asks. "Well, Iím the bitch." Damn. . .I find that so sexy in a woman.

Cordy folds clothes, and Connor comes up and wraps his arms around her, not realizing this is real and not one of his wet dreams. He asks if she wants to do any more training. And I donít think he means fighting. She says they need to talk. Connor is inexperienced and doesnít realize he just got crapped on. They sit down and she brings up the non-CPR. Connor smiles and says, when you kissed me. Poor little guy. He doesnít even see the sky falling. She says she shouldnít have done that. She doesnít know who she is or where she belongs. Except for the amnesia, a lot of guys have heard this speech. She mentions a picture of him as a baby that is only eight months old. He accuses her of going back to Angel. Hey, at least that brooding, possessive guy has a job. . .kind of. She tells him she just needs some time to think. And itís not you, itís me. And I just want to be friends. Connor looks sad and punches the wall. Hey, now, thatís there for Pops to throw you into.

Speaking of throwing, dad is tossing the portal demon around. He hits the demon with a telephone. So the demon must be a telemarketer. And itís not dead, as it gets up and tosses Angel into the wall.

The prof asks Fred to talk about this. Fred aims the crossbow at his head and looks hot. She says, sure, since he gave her such a chance. . .oh, wait, he didnít. Bored now. He says sheís not capable of hurting anyone. She thinks he doesnít know her, and five years in a hell dimension would change anyone. Hey, try spending the holidays with my family. No, really, please. . .I donít want to.

The demon gets up, and Angel canít believe it, since he is holding the demonís head. Well, that seems a bit presumptuous for a first date, but okay.

Fred backs the prof back against the desk, and gripes at him for sending her to a hell dimension because he was jealous of her. The only reason he kept Laurie around is because she isnít smart. Well, jeez, Fred, canít you wait until sheís around before you say that? The prof asks her to let him go. She says, sure, she already has a good-bye speech, which she starts to say, causing a portal to open up. Well, that really is a good-BYE speech. And she probably didnít even get him a gold watch. Gunn comes in, too late as usual, and chastises her. She says he asked her not to kill the prof, and sheís not, kind of. Sheís just sending him to a hell dimension, and hey, if he dies, well, thatís his problem, isnít it? Gunn tells her not to let the prof do this to her. She canít believe he would say that; he doesnít know what it was like. Gunn is clearly confused. . .um, more confused than usual. . .damn it, heís flummoxed, okay? The prof is on top of a desk which seems to be sliding toward the portal, while Gunn and Fred are standing right next to it. Gunn tell her if she kills the prof, he will lose her. Well, as long as youíre considering her feelings, Gunn. The prof wriggles on the desk, as we see mere feet from him Gunn and Fred standing still. Gunn grabs the prof right as the desk goes into the portal. He and Fred look at each other. Gunn snaps the guyís neck and throws him into the portal. Thatís good, Gunn, donít let her worrying about being a killerólet her worry about being with a murderer who wonít let her make her own decisions. They stare at each other for approximately 23 minutes, until Angel comes in and asks what happened to the professor. Gunn says itís taken care of. Itís a good thing Gunn isnít the one always harping on truth and loyalty. And, just in case we havenít had enough triangles in this show, they give a bonus visual one in an overhead shot.

Back at the Hyperion, Angel is talking about the professor being sucked into his own portal, wishing he had seen his face. Angel seems to think this was poetic justice, and I tend to agree, but Gunn had to ruin it for all of us. And again, Gunn doesnít mind being the big ole liar; he just doesnít like being lied to. Gunn goes up there, and Fred follows him, but she brings her crossbow, because she canít trust murderers. Angel looks confused. He turns and sees Cordelia. Seriously, canít they buy some security or can Angel at least keep his vampire senses working all the time? Cordy asks if they can talk outside.

They sit on a bench together the same way Connor and Cordy sat, and I expect her to tell Angel she just wants to be friends. She reaches toward the cut on his face. He says it will be okay and mentions the Voynock demon he ran into, that apparently had nine lives. If you knew what it was, how come you didnít know how many lives it had? She tells him she knows they were friends, and not just from the pictures. Then, how? She also realizes why he felt he had to lie, because we canít go too long on this show without everybody forgiving Angel for everything. She mentions she staked a vamp that day, and he starts to get upset that Connor took her demon hunting. Only Daddy can do that. She says she is the same person she was before, and she doesnít need protecting. She says no more lies, and he agrees. She thinks thatís good, because thereís something she needs to know. Were they in love? What, no way, you have to drag this out for about three seasons, not just blurt it out like that.

Review

Note: The views expressed here are the authorís alone. If you are easily offended by his viewpoints, you really shouldnít read any further. Go back to your mundane life. Iím kidding. No, Iím not. Really, I am. Okay, youíve been warned.

The only thing I can find that first-time Angel writers Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain have done before is the Kevin Williamson show <I>Glory Days</I>. Being a writer on a Kevin Williamson show is not a sure sign of talent, but I am willing to give them a chance. After all, Mike White wrote for <I>Dawsonís Creek</I>, and he was able to move on and write the movies <I>Chuck&Buck, Orange County</I>, and <I>The Good Girl</I>. Having no idea what to expect from these two and being cold-cocked by WBís awful promos, I viewed this episode with apprehension. What I got was a really good meal followed by some wicked aftertaste. I would enjoy the meal again, but the aftertaste would always be in the back of my mind.

The episode had its basis in physics (and donít even ask me to explain how), but it seems more suited for geometry, because there were triangles all over the place. Connor, Cordelia, and Angel are a triangle more at home on a soap opera or one of those movies on Cinemax late at night that you pretend you never watch. Fred, Gunn, and Wes form another of two people in love, with another who used to be the best friend of one and who used to (and perhaps still does) love the other. A different extension of that triangle would be Wes, Fred, and Lilah. Angel, Gunn, and Fred form another one, at first when the first two try to talk the latter out of her plan, and later as the latter two hide a secret from Angel and a wall builds up between them. Other triangles are Fred, Gunn, and Professor Seidel (and donít think for an instant it didnít mean something they kept showing Gunn feeling out of place) and Fred, Professor Seidel, and Laurie (Iíll talk about her later). I felt like I was watching World Championship Wrestling, but the Von Erichs and the Freebirds had been cloned and mutated. The writers have formed all these little groups, and all they needed was something to start a chemical reaction. Except for the father/son grudge match, that chemical reaction was Fred, either by her presence in Wesís life or by her desire for vengeance.

I will discuss Connor, Cordelia, and Angel to get it out of the way and because itís the least interesting aspect of this episode. After all of the fervor about it, it turns out to be a plot point to get Cordelia to question what was between her and Angel, and also to put up more barriers between father and son. I didnít particularly enjoy the kissing and "training" scene between Cordelia and Connor, but that is because I was embarrassed for the kid more than anything else. The writers used Cordeliaís amnesia and Connorís need for love, and let it lead all back to Angel. Was it manipulative as hell? Yes, but entertainment is manipulation. Itís just sometimes you can see the strings. I thought all parties played their parts well, even if I did not enjoy watching it.

Wes and Lilah continue to play their games. This week, Lilah is the one who wants to work on their relationship, while Wes is recovering from his naiveté. Although he is still attracted to her (he didnít try very hard to pull away from the kissing), he is trying to back away from her, much the same way he moved away from AI. Of course, in backing away, he gets closer to Fred, setting up a life-sized version of Watcher ping pong. Lilah knew in "Tomorrow" that Wes had feelings for Fred (look who she goaded him with), and when she finds Wes at the auditorium, the evil lawyer-bitch is hit with one of the basest of emotionsójealousy. Lilah is part of this Jossian universe, where nothing is black or white anymore. She may be all for the worldís destruction, but she also has deep feelings (I wonít quite call it love) for a man whose every action (if not his words) go against what she believes in. Wes feels the pull of Lilah on one side, and the pull of Fred on the other, but to follow either string (I knew I would work it back to string theory) would end up in further alienation from AI. Obviously, if he gets closer to Lilah, he is extremely close to being their enemy, whereas if he attempts a reconciliation with Fred (or, as it seems they have already reconciled, to renew their friendship), this brings him in direct conflict with Gunn, who has set himself up as the moral judge of honesty and loyalty, although itís a robe he now wears a little hypocritically. Wes continues to be the most intriguing person to watch on the show, and I enjoy his interaction with both Lilah and Fred. My only fear is they may end the Wes/Lilah relationship too soon in an effort to reconnect him with AI. This would be a mistake, since there is still much story to be told with these two. This is one of the first times I have been interested in a relationship on the shows, not because I want Wes and Lilah to live happily ever after (we all know this isnít going to happen), but I just want to see what happens next.

Amy Acker once again proves she is able to stand, if not right next to, then right behind Alexis Denisof when it comes to acting. She carried each scene she was in, from excited published Fred to vengeance-seeking Fred to shell-shocked Fred.

And now we come to the aftertaste. Last year, when "Billy" aired, there was a lot of talk about what the episode said about the misogynistic instincts of males. I liked "Billy". I thought it was an excellent episode that came at us a little heavy-handed in its dialogue, but also started us on the way to the Wesley we see today. I didnít have any problems with the "message" of the episode, because I thought many people were making much too big an ado over what one character said. But I do have some problems with "Supersymmetry". As I said, on the surface, I thought it was an excellent episode, although with plenty of mistakes. What upset me, and what has me in disagreement with several people, is the action of Gunn. It did not bother me that Gunn killed the professor. If we look back at the Gunn we knew up until halfway through Season 2, it actually seems in character for him (which the writers helpfully point out to us through Gunnís own words). It was what led up to this that bothered me. The writers may not have even intended it to perceived this way, and looking at some of the chatty boards, there are very few people who seem to have the same opinion as me, but I have watched the episode three times, and the feeling is still sticking. Gunn didnít kill the professor for Fred; he killed him for himself. Let me explain myself. We have seen several examples this season of Gunn being resentful of being called a sidekick or trying to assert his dominance as the alpha male. However, he is a sidekick and a sixteen-year-old boy doesnít even take him seriously. Gunn used to be in control of a large gang, and now he is listening to a vampire and a skinny physicist. He asserts his power whenever he can, which usually involves Fred. Look at all the times he makes decisions about Wes, as if Fred were subservient to him. There are several scenes in this episode of Gunn looking confused or being left behind by Fred. I donít think these are there by accident. Then Fred learns about the professor, and decides to exact revenge, which doesnít connect with Gunnís view of her. He wants her to give him the axe and offers her cocoa; in other words, to take away her power and make her docile. When he comes to the classroom, he tells Fred if she kills the professor heíll lose her. However, by killing the professor, has he not lost her? Not only did Gunn steal Fredís choice away from her, he lied to Angel, a crime for which he has turned his back on Wesley for. Strangely enough, I find Gunn a more interesting character now.

Another topic up for debate is whether or not Fred should have been allowed to exact her vengeance. Angel and Gunn tried to talk her out of it, and Wes warned her of the consequences, but consented to help her once he realized she was going through with it. The professor took five years of Fredís life away from her, and just the thought of being trapped in another dimension again makes her regress to wall-drawing Fred. I read one person who compared what the professor did to rape, and while I will not presume to make a correlation, I think there is value in looking at it the same way when it comes to retribution. Some people turn the other cheek; some people fight back. Fred decided to fight back, to pay due for what was done to her. I donít know if I can decide the professor deserved to die for his crime, but the crime was not done to me. The legal system would say no, but I donít always agree with the legal system. I wish we knew more about the portal Fred opened upóif it led to Pylea, for instance, I think it would have been more than a suitable punishment. The professor would have to opportunity to survive, the same as Fred did. Even if it was some other hell dimension, he may have had an opportunity to survive, slim as it may have been. But we do not know where the portal led. Neither did Gunn. He murdered a man to. . .what? Save his girlfriend from facing the consequences of her own actions? Fred still has to face the consequences of his actions and to face that he made a decision for her that she feels he had no right to, because he didnít know what it was like. Iím not trying to condone retaliatory murder, but I donít think I can lay facts on one side of the chart or the other, when there is so much fog in the middle. My feelings fall pretty much in line with Wesís, it seems. I realize there are consequences for vengeance, but if Fred is going to go for it anyway, the best thing to do is ensure she does it safely. This has nothing to do with my preference for Wesley and my dislike for Gunnóit has to do with my own moral guidelines, jaded as they may be.

Other than being irritated by Gunnís treatment of Fred (cocoa. . .sigh) I did enjoy the episode. Every character on the show has now moved away from the original intent. . .or perhaps not. It is not likely unintended we have seen no actual customers this season or the end of last season. Angel Investigations is no longer about helping the helpless. They are the helpless. Besieged by upcoming apocalypse, betrayal, amnesia, relationship issues, and moral failures, they can barely care for themselves, much less anybody else.

Something else that seems to be up for debate is whether or not the professor was actually the one who opened the portal. The fact he was able to open one on Angel and also told Angel he could prove nothing, rather than denying any knowledge of it, makes me believe it was him. Others point to Laurie as the culprit. I do agree Laurie could have been involved, but I believe if she was, it was as a co-conspirator, not as a solo artist.

Before I stop, I just want to mention a few things that made me scratch my head. Many of my questions and nitpicks have already been covered by Wren, who posts on An Angelís Soul board, so I wonít cover a lot that was already covered there. Why was the professor being sucked into the portal, while Fred and Gunn, who were standing right next to it, were not? Were there crosswinds? Does anybody find it mildly ironic that Amnesiac Cordy has a picture of Wesley, while the former version hadnít paid him a thought since she went on vacation with Groo? Does Cordelia still have visions? Is she still a demon? Does anybody even think about installing a security system? Why does Connor sneak in upstairs, when he could have walked through the front door? What is with Angel worrying so much about Cordelia, but not having a problem at all with his own son being on the street alone?

Congratulations to Esmerelda, Cibby, tim, and Sehkmet (who has been correct two weeks in a row) for guessing Lorne would be the one to say "champion". Please reply to this review or send me an e-mail at beast916@intplsrv.net for your guess who will say it next week. I am compiling points and will submit to the person with the most correct guesses an as-of-yet unnamed prize at the end of the season.


The essays are copyrighted by the respective authors. Fiction authors own the copyrights on their plots, word choices, and indedependent characters, but do not hold copyright over any characters already created or owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enterprises, Twentieth Century Fox, or anyone else we've forgotten. Copying an author's original work without permission is still a no-no; if you're going to quote an author, please ask permission and give credit. If you'd like to link to an author's work, please link to the main site. Thank you.