Angel S01 E14 – Ominous sound effects can’t be trusted.

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 GuyI 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.

Sweeney: Sure.

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.


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.

Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. I spend too much time on YouTube. Reconciling my aversion to leaving the house/wearing pants with my deep desire to explore everything is my life's great struggle.

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  • Polge Clément

    I actually like this episode for the double twist, we start by thinking something’s wrong with the dad, but NOPE, it’s the kid, so by then we’re pretty confident the twist’s done, but NOPE AGAIN. Me likey.

    Also, for the possession-killing thing, I guess that an Ethros demon takes its time to posses someone, but when he’s kicked out he’s weakened and need to just rush in the next one, killing him in the process ? Kind of like putting a shirt on too fast and ripping ?

    As for the demon resisting the excorcism from baby dexter… I got nothing. Maybe that now that he’s on the surface he actually wants to stay in control ?

    • Alex

      Excellent analogy there with the shirt-ripping! That’s what I thought they meant too – the force of the Ethros being kicked out of one body and rushing into the next available one would be too much for the unfortunate new host, and would probably kill them. But if the Ethros just wanders in of its own accord, then that’s OK.

      • And so the moral of the story is: remove your shirts carefully.

    • I appreciate the twists but am still meh on the episode.

      I believe you are right about it being the specific force with which the demon is expelled. I don’t think you are right about the Ethros wanting to remain in control. He still sent the SAVE ME marbles message to Angel. He wanted out.

  • Jen

    I’m not a huge fan of this episode. The fang gang is cute in the beginning, but that’s pretty much the highlight for me: Cordy is sort of grating with the possessed boy’s parents (“let’s watch TV; you won’t even hear your son’s pain!”), and I was really rooting for Wesley to successfully exorcize the demon, since everything up to that point was making me feel bad for him.

    Oh, well. I’m glad they brought Doyle into the story to emphasize that Cordy and Angel still think about him. It’d be awful if the writers just swept such an awesome character under the rug.

    I think the possession-killing thing only applies when the Ethros demon is exorcized – I’m with Polge on that one.

    The demon resisting the exorcism if he really wants out makes zero sense. The only thing I can think of is that the boy can somehow draw on the demon’s powers in the same way that Angel can draw on his inner vamp-demon to make himself stronger. The comparison doesn’t feel valid to me, since Angel’s a vampire and being demon-y is sort of integral to what he is, but I suppose there’s some similarity between the two: Ryan/Ethros are stuck in the same body, and so are Angel (Liam)/Angelus. …And I’m way too lazy to try to pick that apart further. 🙂

    • Oh, yes! After his badass moment with the cross toss, it would’ve been excellent if he were the one to finish the deed. But this is Angel’s show so I guess 9/10 he’s got to save the day.

      Agreed about Doyle. Along with the Kate still being a bit weird around Angel, these were my favorite consistency things.

      Ooooh, interesting. I suppose it’s a theory that could be defended, though I wonder at the boy being that aware/knowledgeable about the demon and the possession and all. Anyways. LAZINESS WINS.

  • darkalter2000

    The mother is the creepist person in the episode to me. With her angel fetish and brokeness at the beginning and her suicidal stupidity near the end. The family puposely moves to different parts of the country to avoid detection and she invites a random dude into her house. She refuses to believe anything at all is wrong with her kid even though she moves to different parts of the country to avoid detection! [Moving across the country repeated for emphasis] She is the weird one in this episode. Everyone else acts true to their nature, she acts insane.

    • SnazzyO

      IA, Mom was a bag of nuts.

    • Interesting! I don’t disagree that Mom was crazy, but I don’t think it was weird per se. It seemed like the appropriate level of cracked to be if your son was going around the country lighting people on fire. The inviting the random dude was just contrivance/stupidity. I think her need to protect her son was pretty apparent and to me that felt like she was acting from a good, natural place, even if in practice it was batshit.

  • SnazzyO

    Most excellent review. I think you should have called the health department on the restaurant because anyone who offers Mac and cheese and makes it bad is just criminal.

    Also, see if Joss will support a little therapy along with those issues. Or ice cream which is just as good.

    LOVED the Doyle references. I’m glad they went there. As for the parents, lets add aiding and abetting to the list of crimes they’ll be charged with. Still, I suppose better than dead.

    And fetal Wesley is starting to show he’s growing up with the “kill Angel if he has to” plan.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      The main problem with the mac and bonfire was that it was made with smoked cheddar. Hence the bonfire part of mac and bonfire. And if we’d been paying attention and not flailing about how we could have it instead of fries, we probably would have noticed the “smoked” part. So while I agree that bad mac and cheese is a criminal offence, in this case I suspect the Ladies of Snark were responsible for our own fate…

      • SnazzyO

        “Smoked”. Check. But STILL, who would use smoked cheese on mac & cheese? IDK, they seem kinda shifty to me.

        • It was shifty indeed. And that waitress was totally judging.

      • I think we may have even been excited about the prospect of smoked mac and cheese. IDK what we were on, but probably exhaustion and Zebra Cakes for breakfast and sadness that we were about to be going home.

        • SnazzyO

          +1 for Zebra Cake breakfast

  • Anagnorisis

    Lol at the boning moment, I was getting excited! But seriously, little things I love: the fact that Cordelia makes Angel smile or laugh. That’s cute, and exactly what someone like Angel needs, to have someone like Cordelia around. I really like that this characters were put together in this series. They fit.

    Loved Wesley in this! He is getting so much better, tossing the cross to Angel was such a great move. Also, apparently he has daddy issues, character history!

    (Random, but I’m not a native English speaker and a lot of the possessed boy dialogue got lost. It was way too hard to understand for me.)

    I have to give Joss Whedon something: he manages to surprise me once in a while. We are smart enough to not fall for ‘the father is evil’ red herring, but the idea that the demon was trying to escape the boy, who was a psychopath… WOW!!!

    Also, great for the show to actually have the balls to go through a storyline like this.

    Hi Kate 🙂

    (Plot twist: Wesley is Harry Potter)

    • Polge Clément

      Yeah, whenever I rewatch some Angel it’s painful to see Wesley reduced to the comedy sidekick. This episode is starting to give us some badass Wesley, being actually superior to Angel in some prospect, being able to do things he can’t. In a way, he fits more than Doyle into the team.

      • The comedy sidekick didn’t jive with me either, even though I don’t know much of what Wes becomes. Especially all the klutzy physical comedy. It’s cheap.

        Wes will have more opportunity to fit in with the team. We’ll never know what Doyle could’ve become.

        • Jojo

          It’s actually kind of…..the reason why I can both dislike and empathize with Wesley is that who hasn’t done something perfectly asinine and had to deal with all the embarrassing crap that goes with doing the asinine. So he can really make me cringe and also feel bad for him at the same time.

          I think it’s important that it’s the bond with Angel and Cordy that gives Wesley the courage to take risks, and as he shows what he *can* do. And as he gets more confidence he takes more risks. Wesley’s growth curve is the most obvious of all of them, but he is also the one with the most to learn. But he has a fundamentally honest and moral core.

    • Jen

      Cordelia, Wesley, and Angel do work great together as characters. Cordy helps shake up Angel’s broodiness, and Wesley adds a lot to the team with his intelligence and ingenuity – as seen in the previous episode, Angel’s plans generally stop at “punch monster in face.” Which is fine and all, but doesn’t always cut it. The cross thing was awesome.

      Yeah, hi Kate. 🙂 I forgot she was in this episode.

      • They do balance each other out in a much more clear cut way than maybe even the Scoobies. I SAID IT. Not that that is a bad thing, but just that there is a visible balance in the Fang Gang and they have more clear cut roles.

    • I wasn’t sure about Cordelia/Angel at first because they just seemed like the most unlikely duo, but it does work. I love Cordy’s blunt style and I love that she’s consistently desensitized to a large majority of the supernatural stuff. She’s a Hellmouth girl, for sure. I was going to keep typing about how Angel takes care of Cordy, but that was going to wander into sappy territory. But yes. The cast is really, really falling into line. It’s excellent.

      That was an excellent moment for Wes, as well as the moment where Angel recognizes that Wesley will kill him if need be. For all his bumbling about, and the complete lack of backbone he arrived to Sunnydale with, he shows extreme amounts of courage, even if he doesn’t quite have the skill to back that up. That’s his saving grace.

      I glossed over Kate, but it was nice to see she’s still not over the Angel is a vampire thing. I like that. She shouldn’t be quite yet.

  • Jojo

    Yeah, but HP had a complete bedroom under the stairs and he probably had a lamp – while Wes was locked in a dark closet for hours at a time, and his father terrorized him…and I think we know already that his father is a member of the council that fired him. So it’s kinda like the Xmas ep where Xander was sleeping outside in the snow but even worse. Just my poor heart aches for fetal Wes, and I am so proud that he is growing up so quickly. Because he tossed the cross to Angel and I think that was not only funny but a great way of making his point.

    Oh, damn. I’m doing my Spike adoration all over Wesley. Who I also adore but he really kinda starts from a way different place.

    I kinda liked the double twist too because not being completely educated in the ominous music fairy I really did think it was daddy and then I really did think It was a demon. Then I found out that the demon was terrified of the kid and that was kinda tricky to my young and impressionable mind. (Hey, I was barely 50!)

    And the calling Wes Doyle – sadness for all of them.

    • I’m not sure if we knew that council bit yet but it’s possible I missed it. The hinting to Wes’s childhood traumas was a nicely done tidbit in this episode. Not too heavy handed, unlike some of the other stuff that went on.

      We were onto the dad not being evil pretty early, but I wasn’t expecting the evil little boy thing.

      And yep. That can’t have felt good for Wes, either, but for very different reasons. Adding to his insecurities fire.

      • Polge Clément

        Not sure it’s been said, but Watchers seem to be sort of a family thing anyway, so it’s safe to assume that either mommy or daddy were in the council, and probably both.

        • GILES TOO?

          • Polge Clément

            Honestly ? I can’t even remember. I think the answer is somewhere in the comic, who have a small passage on Giles’ youth, but I can’t remember anything being said about his parents.

            And actually, I can’t even remember where i read/heard that the Council was a family thing, but it sort of makes sense, you probably have to grow up in all that demon-y stuff to spend your youth studying it, I don’t really see them hand-picking children here and there, that’d be… weird.

          • My memory of the comics is hazy (for some reason they just don’t stick in my head, even from one month to the next) but I believe Giles’ father and grandmother were both Watchers. Giles went all rock and roll dark magic rebellious part way through his Watcher training.

          • behind blueiz

            Giles’ youth was brought up both during the BTVS episodes “The Dark Age” (the one when Eyghon was killing all his friends) and in “Band Candy” we got to see “Ripper” first-hand.

          • behind blueiz

            Not too be all spoil-ery, but it does come out that Wes’ dad was a Watcher. Also, Giles’ grandmother and father were both Watchers. Like you said, Polge, a family thing.

          • Jojo

            I believe that there are some references that would leave you to believe that this is also in his family line. We do know that Giles had a future laid out for him and he rebelled. I assume that Ethan named him Ripper (and oh what stories that could be). Then after Eyeghon (and the death of their friend) Giles went back to his roots, studied, and became a watcher.

          • Alex

            Giles explains it in ‘Never Kill A Boy On The First Date’:
            “I was ten years old when my father told me I was destined to be
            a Watcher. He was one, and his mother before
            him, and I was to be next”.

  • savoringtheprocess

     “That’s what I found in the boy. No conscience, no fear, no humanity, just a black void.”
    The kid was a ginger, wasn’t he?

    For real though, high on my list of movie/tv pet peeves is evil children. It just always feels like a cheap and easy way to creep out an audience without requiring writers to develop a 3-dimensional character who has a believable motivation for doing the evil things they do.

    Also, that “don’t have sex…” gif pretty much sums up a lot of Angel episodes (remember the one with that lonely demon who went from host to host after hooking up with it’s victims?) AND a significant part of the Angel/Buffy relationship. As a sex-positive advocate, this theme was one of the big disappointments in the show for me…

    • Jojo

      ((Psst – spoilers…we are keeping Lorraine innocent so we can enjoy her wonder and awful predictions…don’t tell her I said that last part.))


        Just like my ability to stealthily hide unwanted macaroni and cheese. Haters gonna hate.

        • Jojo

          Oh, they are. There are times when I laugh and….I mean…..amazing predictions! In every sense of the word. 🙂

          You know the best way to hide mac and cheese? Take a handful, find a small child at a table, walk by and drop it on the ground. I mean, who is even gonna notice? Of course having all 3 of you do it, and probably needing to walk by a few times, the kid might catch on. Then you can tell the parents that you’re looking for the new Dalai Lama because how can they be sure you aren’t? Or you can circle the table playing choo-choo but it’s harder to reload.

    • Ginger, LOL. A+

      I don’t like evil children because they are scary and will haunt my dreams, but you are dead on why they are problematic in the larger sense. I said this to @disqus_Fwdrj9Js31:disqus, but I had a problem with the whole, “this kid is just EVIL” message that was conveyed. I don’t know. It was weird.

  • Alex

    I think this episode is an interesting one, because the idea of a soulless human sort of ties into the continuing theme of good/bad not being clear-cut, and certainly not being as simple as human/demon. But it also bothers me because it sort of implies that to be seriously evil or disturbed you also have to be soulless, and I don’t think that’s really the message that it wanted to convey. So I guess I like the way the episode makes me stop and think, and introduces all these new ideas, but ultimately it seems a bit confused about what it’s actually trying to say.

    And I agree that the execution is a bit sloppy. I figured that once the demon came to the surface it was venting all its pent-up rage by screwing with Wesley the way it did, but it still didn’t really make any sense.

    The reaction of the parents at the end also always really bothered me. When you look at the chain of events from their point of view: a complete stranger convinces them that their son’s possessed, persuades them to let him do an exorcism, claims it’s all sorted… and then that very night their son tries to kill the whole family. I’m really surprised that their reaction is ‘yeah, we knew he was evil all along really’ and not ‘what the fuck did you do to our son?!’

    I know this is supposed to be them finally facing up to the truth, but I have a hard time believing that the whole demonic possession/exorcism thing would make them MORE likely to do that

    • We’re on the same page. I think the premise has potential, the double switch at the end with the kid being evil was good, but the execution and then the overall message that was conveyed are meh. Especially because in the continuing theme of good/bad, I like “complicated.” This little kid was just EVIL, for no cause that the episode conveyed to us.

      AGREED about the parents. I went on a whole rant about why they would invite this perfect stranger into their house and then just walk away and leave him at the table with their kids. Not to mention all the other stuff that goes on, like the magic brownies and yes, the end where “whoops! Exorcism didn’t work…” I cut it out for length, but YEP. I NOTICED.

      • Alex

        ‘In the continuing theme of good/bad, I like “complicated”‘

        Yes, that’s a much more succinct way of saying what I was trying to say! Thanks. Basically this episode shifts the whole good/evil thing away from human/non-human a bit, but it still makes it a soul/no-soul thing which isn’t that much better. It’s always a shame when you really get what an episode’s trying to say, and you can see what awesome potential it had, but you know it could have been done SO much better.

        Still, the creepy kid NOT being possessed (or at least his creepiness not being the result of the possession) was a pretty daring twist. I can’t imagine anyone seeing that coming.

  • Angi Black

    I think the demon fighting the exorcism was a suicide thing. Trying to make Angel kill the boy. The demon would be free or dead and the soulless boy would be dead too. I interpreted it as that. *shrugs* maybe, maybe not. But it works for me.

    • Alex

      Excellent theory! I like it.

  • Melodie Hatley

    I loved this episode. My take on the demon/kid reading their thoughts was that once Angel had “manifested” the demon, the kid took control of the demon’s powers since the demon was trapped in him. I really love this episode… it just… was very creepy. I remember watching it for the first time and being all, “Oh SNAP” when the demon was saying how evil the kid was.

    And yes, reason millionty and first for reasons why I never had kids too.

  • Jojo

    I do have to say -in the spirit of clarity – that not all children grow up to be homicidal demon scaring psychopaths. So if anyone really wants to have kids, you don’t need to worry. As for the rest of child rearing – worry.

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