Previously: Angel danced like doof. Really, that’s all you need to know.
I’ve Got You Under my Skin
Lorraine: Wesley is showing Angel a super special knife, useful for killiig Kek demons, which would be great Angel says, if Kek demons weren’t extinct. Wesley holds out hope that there may yet be a sole, hibernating Kek.
The oven buzzes. Cordelia is baking brownies. She enters to collect said brownies as Wesley comments under his breath that he thought what he smelled was something he tracked in. Cordy tells Wesley he’s going to love them. Angel is saved from a taste test because his selective eating says so. (S: I’d abuse the shit out of that too.) (K: +1.) Cordelia predictably can’t even cut through the brownies with a regular knife so she starts using the Kek-killing knife. Wesley protests and they start squabbling. Annoyed, Angel yells at Cordelia… and Doyle.
Welp. If we ever needed this, now would be the time.
The Flutes of We Miss His Accent and His Pretty Face takes us out of that scene into another where two unknown children are also squabbling. See what they did there? Female Pain in the ass child yells for her mom. Mom enters and tells them it’s time for bed. The children protest but the child abuse soundtrack starts up as an imposing man walks in and reinforces it’s time for bed. I think this soundtrack is trying to trick me.
Sweeney: Back when all we did was Childhood Trauma books, it was so easy to detect the shit out of things, because the crap writers would tell you the answer in the first few pages. Since we’ve started watching TV my philosophy has become “TRUST NO ONE, ESPECIALLY NOT THE CREDITS AND THE ZOOMY CAMERAMAN.” Now we have to add the ominous sound effects guy to the list.
Lor: I suppose it’s a good thing we are so good at TV.
We join the Fidgety Mom again after she’s doing tucking in her kids. She walks out into the hallway where her man is waiting to deadbolt the children into their rooms. I guess that’s one way to keep out of your bed at night. Roll Electric Cellos.
Later that night, Cordelia comes into Angel’s office all, “hey, remember that really awkward moment like 20 minutes ago? When you called Wesley Doyle?” She tells Angel that he doesn’t have to be stoic and unflappable on her behalf. Angel admits that he misses Doyle a lot. So do we all. Cordy tells him that it hurts, which segues us into a Migraine Vision. I wonder at which point they’ll run out of ways to make these “ironic.”
K: It makes me kind of sad that they took a nice bonding moment between Angel and Cordy, and turned it into a vision thing. Also, because I literally just woke up and am still a little incoherent, I wrote “nice boning moment” the first time around. NOPE. NOT WHAT THEY DID.
Lor: Not yet at least?
Angel asks what Cordy saw and we fade into the next scene, which is the house of the McCreeperson Family. Angel and Wesley are in a car as they watch the boy, who will shortly get the name Ryan, walk across his yard and into the street, right in front of an approaching vehicle. Angel pushes him out of the way.
Imposing Dad runs out to yell at his son who almost died, and also shake him a little. Alright, abusive soundtrack. Maybe you were being honest. The mom also comes running out to hug and kiss her baby. When she notes that Angel is hurt, she invites him in.
Seizure cut to inside of the house where mom is chatty about having just moved in and still finding friends and people to talk to. Imposing Dad comes in and the Fidgety Mom starts laughing nervously. Angel wants to know how Ryan got out in the street, but Imposing Dad has a ready, and creepy, answer for all his questions.
Sweeney: I don’t know, Lor. Ominous Sound Effects Guy seems to be pushing Imposing Dad’s creep factor pretty hard. Also, we’re only like 10 minutes into the episode and this is getting to be some E. L. James status cheating-at-writing. I’m going to be really annoyed with Whedon if Imposing Dad isn’t a red herring. Not that today’s Buffy has me expecting a lot from Joss…
Lor: And I was just starting to forget today’s Buffy episode.
Outside, Wesley is looking through the family ‘s trash and is freaked out by a doll in the bin. I’m not even gonna hate, because a doll in a trash can is legit scary times. But I guess even scarier is that there is a weird, neon substance splattered on the side of the house.
Back inside, things are no less awkward as Imposing Dad lights a cigarette. Fidgety Mom notices that Angel’s cut has suddenly gotten much better. They ask for his name and Angel offers “Angel Jones.” Fidgety Mom fangirls a little because OMG! She collects angel figurines! As she fawns over Angel, Imposing Dad pretty much kicks him out. Fidgety invites him to dinner the next day, however.
In the car, Angel tells Wesley that something is off. Wesley knows, because he found a glowy substance called Plakticine all around the foundation of the house, and somehow this means that someone in the house is possessed by a demon.
Sweeney: Demons that leave obvious clues are the best! It’s hard to top a clue that glows in the dark for obviousness.
K: The only way it could be a more obvious clue would be if it had a giant flashing sign above it saying “CLUE.”
Lor: The next day, Cordelia tells the boys that the McCreeperson Family has moved a few times within the last few years, and in each city they leave behind an uptick in disturbances, animal deaths and even missing people. Cordy asks what the glowy stuff is, and Wesley identifies it as the demon-poo of a Ethros demon.
K: Just to recap: Someone in the house is possessed by a demon. And is sneaking out in the middle of the night TO POOP ON THE SIDES OF THE HOUSE.
Lor: That demon is EVIL.
Ethros demons like to go on mass murdering rampages. He says Lizzie Borden was possessed by an Ethros. Cordelia knows Lizzie from the nursery rhyme and I most closely associate that rhyme with an episode of Smart Guy. I KNOW. THE SHAME. Angel suggests an exorcism, and Wesley says that they should work on identifying who in the family is possessed. Angel thinks dad, on account of being imposing and kind of a douche. (S: And Angel is totes getting his tips from that Ominous Sound Effects guy, who I want to tell him can’t be trusted.) Wesley offers that a father doesn’t need to be possessed to terrorize his children, but trails off into his own Childhood Trauma before finishing the sentence. I just want to give him a hug.
At dinner, Angel brings over some brownies, made with some powder that will identify the demon. Mom and Dad clear the table and go off to serve dessert, so that Angel is left alone with the children at the table. The Female Pain reveals she was hiding her Brussels sprouts and not eating them.
The first time I met both Kirsti and Sweeney in person, it was in Chicago. We were eating on Navy Pier and while reviewing the menu, we all decided we really wanted macaroni and cheese, but none of the meals we wanted came with it. When the waitress came around, Kirsti was the last to order, and she very astutely inquired if she could switch one of her sides for mac and cheese, and the waitress said yes. We all kind of freaked out about this development and changed our orders and each ordered a serving of our own. Of course, when the mac and cheese came out, it was DISGUSTING. K dubbed it mac and bonfire. Because I suffer from severe, self-diagnosed embarrassment issues, I was worried about being judged by the waitress because we called her back to change all our orders and NO ONE ate the mac and bonfire. I spent the entire rest of the meal hiding bits of mac and bonfire around all of our plates so at least it would look like I ate mine.
Sweeney: The rest of us behaved like normal people and just stopped eating it. Not that it mattered, because she hid bits of it in everyone else’s food too. We all looked ridiculous.
K: While I will admit that hiding it in the salad was a stroke of genius, HIDING IT IN THE SALSA DID NOT WORK. Because apparently mac and bonfire floats.
Lor: NO. No matter what these bitches tell you, all of my super stealth food hiding endeavors were VERY SUCCESSFUL.
K: Except for the salsa, as discussed.
Lor: My point was just that hiding food: I get it.
The brownies come out and and each member of the family takes a bite. The Imposing Dad starts choking, but it’s all misdirection as it is the son who is possessed and starts being attacked by bad special effects before he passes out. Angel assures the parents that it’s okay, he just used his special, magic substance brownies to ID the demon. Mom is freaked but dad wants Angel’s help now.
Angel calls Wesley who is having trouble finding a priest to do the exorcism. In the meanwhile, Angel suggests a binding spell. Before we get to that, Imposing Dad must declare Angel a real life angel because Angel wins the hearts of every person.
Sweeney: At least they haven’t commented on his hotness!
K: For which my liver is grateful.
Lor: Mom, Dad, Ryan and Angel arrive at the Brooding Basement. Wesley and Cordelia quickly start preparing things for the binding spell. Fidgety Mom is reluctant about all this. Angel is all, “your kid is possessed. Deep down you know it’s true.” I just want to yell, “also, because you can look at him right now and see that he looks like a big, fat demon, lady. Duh.” Angel and Wesley are off to a church to find a priest, and he tells the parents not to touch the boy or break the circle. The Ethros will kill them all if he gets the chance.
At a church, Angel looks a little uncomfortable, but giant crucified Jesuses can do that to a person. They are an acquired taste, I think. (Please don’t send me angry emails. I tell Bible stories on the blog all the time!) (S: But when those angry emails start coming, we’ll know we’ve really made it!) Angel and Wesley interrupt a praying nun who immediately identifies Angel as a vampire. It doesn’t matter much anyways because the priest is dead, and the nun thinks that the Ethros is going to own their asses.
Brooding Basement. Ethros-Ryan is calling out for his mom. You can tell I’m not a mom, because I’m sitting here going, “who cares?! Have you seen that face?” Fidgety Mom is apparently really struggling though and wants to go help her kid.
Sweeney: +1 on the Not A Parent reaction. ITS FACE IS GROSS. WHY DO YOU LOVE IT?
K: Seriously. It’s all lumpy and psycho and EW NOPE:
Lor: Wesley stocks up on holy water as he suggests doing the exorcism himself. Angel doesn’t think he has the mental resistance to do it, though, seeing as he doesn’t have the resistance to avoid informercials. Wesley is all, “fine. You do it.” He tosses Angel a cross and there is an awkward fumble and some skin sizzling which effectively proves the point. Angel calls this a vulgar move but I’ll go with A+ (K: Cosigned. Point well made, Wes). Angel says Wesley can do it, but he’ll be there, with his mental strength, which in Angel-language probably means pooh-face.
Cordelia and Imposing Dad bring the Fidgety Mom to the room to just look in on her son. Somehow this seemed like a good idea. Ethros-Ryan calls out to his mom, and then starts thrashing around the bed. Cordy and Imposing Dad have to physically restrain her from going to her son. Upstairs, Angel and Wesley decide to take the elevator. Are there no stairs to use in case of emergency, guys? Anyways, this gives Wesley reading time, and he figures out that when the Ethros is exorcized, it immediately looks for a new host, but he goes out with such force that the next person rarely survives. I’d question this, but I’m already squicked out enough over possessed little humans. Additionally, there is a dramatic camera zoom and DUN DUN DUN music that seems disproportionate to this revelation.
K: I swear to God, I spent like a full five minutes staring blankly at the television and wondering how the hell a little kid could survive possession by a demon if the next person rarely survives being possessed. I’m gonna have to write to Joss Whedon and demand that he start paying for the painkillers I have to take after trying to figure out the logic in his shows…
Lor: Angel and Wesley hear screaming so they rush into the elevator on the double! Downstairs, everyone just STOPS and stares at the elevator like it’s the second coming of Jesus or maybe because they are thinking, “seriously? STAIRS PEOPLE.” This inexplicable staring gives Fidgety Mom the chance to take off running into the bedroom, breaking the binding circle. The bedroom door closes behind her, and she deserves whatever she gets. Also, the elevator goes back up, because the demon can control elevators. (S: As we’ve taken to rating demon skillz/aesthetics, I’m going to declare this a pretty boring power.)
Ethros-Ryan starts choking his mom, but Cordy and Imposing Dad manage to get back in the room. Dad tries to pull Mom out of reach, while Cordy runs back to the elevator to press the button a lot. These people are not inspiring trust in emergency situations right now. At least now, though, Angel and Wesley have decided to use the stairs! Wesley rushes into the bedroom with a cross and some Latin and manages to get the Ethros to let the mom go.
Wesley is preparing for the exorcism and Angel leaves the room and closes the door, because when he said, “I’ll be right there with you,” he meant, “on the other side of a locked door, SUCKER.” Cordelia tells Angel that they needs a Ethros box to trap the demon. Angel sends her to Rick’s Majick ‘n’ Stuff to see if Rick has one laying around.
Meanwhile, Wesley is doing his chanting thing, and Ethros-Ryan tells him his Latin sucks.
K: Which is a little rude, considering NO ONE KNOWS HOW LATIN IS ACTUALLY SPOKEN. Yay, dead languages!! Although, if Wesley’s education in England was anything like mine, he started studying Latin at the age of ten, so homeboy should really have his shit together by now.
Lor: Wesley steels himself, but Ethros-Ryan starts going in for the heavy blows: Everybody knows you got fired ’cause you couldn’t do anything right. Nothing is going to make him proud of you. Wesley calls this a parlor trick and shoves a cross in the demon’s face, though this doesn’t deter it. Ethros, in Wesley’s voice, says, “All those hours locked up under the stairs and you still weren’t good enough. Not good enough for Daddy. Not good enough for the Council.“ Anyone locked up under stairs reminds me of Harry Potter…
Wesley starts to lose himself and the demon goes in for the kill, “what makes you think that these people want you around any more than the others did?“ That is Angel’s cue to finally show up again. He took the long way back. Probably went upstairs and rode the elevator back down. Ethros calls Angel a dumbass for having taken Wesley in. He says Wesley is more afraid of Angel than of the demon. Wesley charges at the demon with the cross, breaking the binding circle, and getting a cross jab to the neck for his trouble.
At Rick’s Majic ‘n’ Stuff, Rick doesn’t have an Ethros box, but he does have a Shorshack box which should be good enough but “might be a little tight across the shoulders” for the Ethros.
Brooding Basement. Angel is forbidding Wesley to continue on with the exorcism, and Ryan’s parents are all, “UH. BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR KID.” Just then the table starts shaking, because now it’s possessed too? And the marbles on the table spill out and spell, “save me.” Everyone is heavy breathing just as we hear Doyle’s voice say, “the good fight, yeah?” (S: BRB, SOBBING.) (K: In that letter to Whedon, I’m gonna add in that he needs to start paying for our tissues.) Ethros says that Doyle is talking to him, and wondering why Angel didn’t save and protect him. That’s the last straw for Angel, because all the other crazy shit that was going on before wasn’t. Whatever. It’s the dramatic climax.
He rips a piece of cloth off of something, and wraps it around his hand. He grabs a crucifix and heads back into the room. Even though his skin is sizzling, he holds the crucifix in place against Ethros-Ryan’s chest as he says the Latin stuff and Wesley translates. Angel finishes by vamping out and telling Ethros to get the hell out. Ryan glows and some light jumps out of him and destroys the box Cordy and Wesley are holding. Imposing Dad and Fidgety Mom rush to their child as the Fang Gang look pretty worried about the broken box.
Upstairs, Wesley has found more demon poo that indicates Ethros came up the elevator shaft and took a dump on the go. Angel thinks it’ll possess someone again, but first it will need time to recharge. It will probably be wandering around in its corporeal form in its favorite hideout spot, a sea cave.
Sweeney: Poor stealthiness, with the neon poo and uncontrollable bladder, and I’m still underwhelmed by the elevator-control ability, but a sea cave seems like a pretty legit demon hideout, as demon hideouts go.
K: 10/10 Voldemorts recommend sea caves as a hideout.
Lor: Wesley and Angel find the cave in question with their mad Nancy Drew skillz. Wesley wants to clarify something, but Angel stops him. He knows that Wesley isn’t planning on killing him, but is willing to, should a magical vagina ever rob him of his soul again. Okay, that is in no way mentioned but that will never stop being my favorite plot development ever. After the buddy, “yes I will kill you” moment, those two head further into the cave and find Ethros. Ethros is a hipster demon, and lets Angel and Wes know that he was being a demon way before it was even cool to be a demon. Wesley says at least he didn’t get Ryan’s soul, and Ethros replies, “what soul?”
Over at the McCreeperson household, Ryan is complaining because his sister has more marshmallows in her hot chocolate. Hardly child abuse, but pretty fucking unfair if you ask me.
K: Unless that shit came out of a packet and there’s literally no way to control it.
Lor: THE UNIVERSE IS UNFAIR.
Ethros asks Angel what the most frightening thing in the world is, and then answers his own question: nothing. “That’s what I found in the boy. No conscience, no fear, no humanity, just a black void. I couldn’t control him. I couldn’t get out. I never even manifested until you brought me out. I just sat there and watched as he destroyed everything around him. Not for a belief in evil; not for any reason at all.”
Ryan is GLARING at his sister and his parents are breathing deep sighs of relief, like they can’t see their son murdering his sister with his eyes. Angel figures out that the marble “save me,” was a message from Ethros. This little kid frightened Ethros so much, he tried to get the kid to kill himself, just to end all the pain. Wesley says they have to hurry back to the McCreeperson household, and Angel agrees but first he kills Ethros.
Sweeney: PROOF THAT CREEPY KIDS ARE THE ACTUAL WORST. A fucking eviling-before-evil-was-cool-demon wanted to commit suicide rather than live inside a creepy kid.
K: A+. At least Whedon doesn’t resort to creepy kids as often as Supernatural does… File under: reasons why I will never have children.
Lor: Fidgety Mom tucks Ryan into bed and he’s still eye murdering everyone in his path. Later that night, Ryan enters his parents room and grabs his dad’s matches. He locks his parents in, take the phone off the dial and then is off to pour gasoline all over his sister’s room. He strikes a match and the dramatic music does overtime again as he lets it drop and the fire ignites. The parents finally gets out of the room, but it is Angel who breaks in through the window and saves the girl child. Everyone makes it out of the house okay.
Police and firefighters are cleaning up the scene. Ryan is in the back of a squad car as Kate is on hand to tell Imposing Dad that social services will take Ryan and evaluate him. Imposing Dad was trying to keep his family together, and Angel assures him that he did. The camera pans out and the episode ends.
I’m not sure about this episode. I mean, I like the concept of this kid being absolute evil, but seriously, that was the kid affecting his own voice and reading Wesley and Angel’s thoughts and fears? No. So the demon was having a little fun in between his bid to escape? Why would he try and stop Wesley then?
I think Angel just keeps trying to teach us: don’t have sex, don’t get pregnant, don’t have kids. Okay, Angel. Okay.
Next time on Angel: Were you guys missing David Boreanaz’s terrible Irish accent? ‘Cause it’s making a comeback in S01 E15 – The Prodigal.