Angel S02 E11 – Fangless.

Previously: Darla and Dru went on a bad girls rampage and Angel crossed a dark side line.


Lorraine: A seizure cut introduces the episode as Cordelia, Wesley and Gunn leave the Brooding Hotel with their possessions in white boxes. Cordelia echoes our feelings at the end of last episode with a, “what just happened?”

Sweeney: The end of the last episode was a reminder of how fun being a new watcher of a show can be. I’m surprisingly spoiled on this show, BUT I STILL CAN’T STOP ASKING THIS QUESTION, CORDELIA. Good job show. But also, PLEASE EXPLAIN YOURSELF.

K: Agreed. Also, A+ gif selection, Lor.

Lor: I knew you would like it.

Wesley thinks that maybe Angel will change his mind and Gunn reminds them (and the viewing audience!) that Angel locked 20 lawyers in a room with Darla and Dru. “I’d say his mind is changed enough.”

Gunn is cavalier about the whole thing, saying it was only a side job and Angel going cray is no skin off his nose. Cordelia says that her nose skin is angry and hurt. Wesley offers, “disappointed” for good measure, and Cordy nods sadly. The Feels Soundtrack backs her up as Wesley suggests that maybe Angel just needs to be alone, and that they should let him be. The Fangless Gang take off in different directions.

Angel burns all of his creepy stalker Darla art. It’s for the best, Angel. Roll electric cellos.

After the credits, Angel is doing pull-ups in the Brooding Hotel basement. This fades into a mini-montage of him doing various other exercises as his voice over proclaims, “I’m not ready yet. Too many years spent sleeping in soft beds, living in a world where I don’t belong. I can’t fight them. Not yet. But soon.”

Sweeney: LOL. The fight-prep montage set to broody monologue feels a touch ridiculous to me.

K: Only a touch, Sweeney? I thought that there’d been a mishap that caused the DVD to be replaced by an 80s movie about boxing.

Lor: About Batman boxing.

To really hammer home the crazy Angel (can I call him CrAngel?) we head the basement where Dru and Darla ate themselves a bunch of Wolfram & Hart lawyers. I randomly start wondering if vampires don’t get full. 20ish lawyers seems like a lot for two petite women to eat. Anyways, the real point of this scene is the Lindsey is alive and he’s shocked to discover Lilah is too.

K: Maybe they tipped it into wine bottles and took it home for later? Also, Lindsey and Lilah being alive was the biggest piece of contrivance of EVER.

Lor: Virginia sits on the couch in Wesley’s very nice apartment. I guess maybe some of the Racist Bag o’ Money went to putting them up in nice digs. She’s having a hard time understanding that Wesley was fired. She asks if he was in a union, but Wesley doesn’t even know what his job title was. Wesley guesses that Angel will be hunting Dru and Darla down and doesn’t want anyone in his way. Virginia cutely assures Wesley that he’ll be employed in no time! Except Wesley admits that he doesn’t actually know how to do much.

Angel continues training in the basement while his voice over let’s us know that it’s time. He dons his billowy coat, looks over his apartment and heads down into the sewers. “I’m not on their level. But I can get there. And when I do, I’ll be right up close. I’ll bring the fight to them.”

Sweeney: Setting aside my feeling that these montages are accidentally campy (BUT ALSO BATMAN-ISH) it’s also interesting. Doyle’s whole thing was that Angel needed to be part of the world in order to help it (and, by consequence, himself). It’s fitting that his response to his failure with Darla would be to turn on that philosophy. I mean, I’m sure the show is going to show us that he’s all sorts of wrong, but I get it.

Lor: At Wolfram & Hart, Lindsey is checking for messages but there are none for him. Lilah comes up to him and asks if he’s being frozen out too. Lindsey is generally pissy as Lilah points out that they’ve been treated with a marked lack of empathy since the massacre. She thinks they are in prime position to be made scapegoats, even though Lindsey insists he was just following orders by bringing Dru in. Lilah says that someone is going to pay for what happened and they are the only ones left.

Except of course, Darla and Dru who are waiting in Lindsey’s office. Drusilla crazies about Lindsey having cow eyes and I remember a time not too long ago when Dru’s crazy was really, really annoying to me. Maybe it helps that right now it’s being directed at Lindsey, because LOL.

Sweeney: Right? Her crazy is infinitely more welcome in Los Angeles. Fitting.

K: It also reminded me of Helena in Orphan Black baaing down the phone at Sarah. Different brand of crazy, still highly entertaining.

Lor: Anyways, he asks Darla why she spared him.

A few gifs per episode | Angel - 2x11 - “Redefinition"

Sweeney: This moment was the best, but this gif somehow makes it even better. AWESOME. Worthless Snark Lady Credit for everyone!

K: YES. This scene was FABULOUS.

Lor: Darla’s real reasoning is that she thinks that either Lindsey or Lilah will get promoted and she wants the in with Wolfram & Hart still, for power and money, but I guess the sort of power that isn’t being a super strong vampire and the kind of money she can’t steal for herself. Lindsey wonders if all this power has a target, like say a broody vampire. Darla gets defensive at the mention of Angel, but does say she’ll kill him in good time.

Batman, I mean Angel, descends upon a group of vampires in the tunnel and stakes all but one of them. The last one, he decapitates with a sword and then he weirdly abandons the sword and his Billowy Coat of Pain, while the voice over once again proclaims that he is ready.

Sweeney: Word. I get your symbolic disposal of your broody billowy coat, but the sword too? Really?

K: Pretty much all I noticed from these voice over Batvamp sections was that Angel is wearing pants that are enormously baggy, and it weirded me out. Maybe he’s always worn them and the Billowy Coat of Pain has just covered them?? IDK.

Lor: At my favorite place ever, Lorne’s bar, Lorne is singing Lady Marmalade. Wesley enters and orders a Bloody Mary, but has to specify that he would like it sans real blood. Lorne finishes up and says they’ll take a break before seeing who will be the next brave soul to participate. Wesley steadies himself: “Steady-on Wesley. Perhaps something by Cat Stevens.”

Wesley freaks a little when he sees that Cordelia is just arriving too. They banter about what each of them is doing there until they both just settle down at the bar and admit that they are there to see what their destiny is post-Angel-wiggage. Wesley asks who was going to help Cordelia in her destiny-finding. Shania Twain or Madonna. Wesley says he’s embarrassed and we hear Gunn ask, “how do you think I feel?” Cordelia calls him out on his whole homeboy, this is a side piece act. Wesley asks what he was planning on singing, and he puts a hand on his shoulder and says, “You wouldn’t know it.” Everyone knows Gangster’s Paradise, Gunn!

K: I loved this scene SO MUCH. Fangless Gang Karaoke Night!! I feel like we should hold a Snark Squad Karaoke Night at some point. Except not in public, because NOPE. 

Lor: Angel is torturing some information out of a demon we’ve seen before by dunking him under water. The demon tells him that Darla and Dru have been recruiting demons, and have yet to hit up one particular baddie club. Angel stalks off and leaves his reluctant informant suspended from the ceiling.

At the club, a demon with noodle hair is fitting a vampire, surrounded by a group of assorted baddies. The vampire is pinned down and taps out of the fight. D&D [Darla and Dru] enter with some sarcastic clapping. They introduce themselves, but Darla says their reputation probably proceeds them. Noodle Hair says he’s never heard of them, so Drusilla RIPS HIS EARS OFF. Darla says they have a proposition for everyone in the room that still has ears (something like that) and the camera heads into the crowd to reveal that Angel is there, in vamp-grill and wearing a gray hoodie.

After a Not Commercial Break, Darla goes on about recruiting muscular slaves. Angel makes his way through the crowd, and Dru senses him. She tells Darla that he sees her and she’ll never be alone again. Darla freaks, even more so when Dru says that Angel is watching her at this moment. Darla pushes the crowd aside a little, as Dru goes on that Angel wants to punish them for being naughty, and that he remembers what Darla felt like when she was warm. Darla tells Dru to STFU and hurriedly finishes her speech to the baddies. There will be muscular slave auditions later that night.

Angel is catching his breath as his voice over tells us that he isn’t ready. We get a flash of Darla whispering his name as the VO says that he’s still too close to her to fight her.

Sweeney: Is it just me or does he have an extra-layer of pasty!vamp makeup in this scene?


K: If so, it’s probably to emphasise his move towards the Dark Side. Remember how Angelus always had a couple of extra layers of pasty!vamp make up back in BtVS season 2??

Lor: At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah enters Lindsey’s office and says she can’t put up with the waiting to see which one of them will die, and which one will be promoted. Lilah suggest they run away together instead and take files with them as insurance. She’s being super flirty and suspicious. Lindsey leans into her, but only so he can grab the wire she has tucked into her shirt. He speaks directly into the mic when he says that of course he would never steal files from his employer. Lindsey tells her that one of them is gonna die and she should just take it like a man.

At Caritas, Cordelia is slurring her way through blaming Wesley for Angel firing them. Gunn says that if he had to hear those two bicker all day long, he’d kill them, not fire them. In this way, they go around blaming each other– Gunn for not being able to take orders, Cordelia for not getting nearly enough visions. They even start name-calling:

A few gifs per episode | Angel - 2x11 - “Redefinition"

K: The true brilliance of this moment is lost in this gif, because Wes actually says “arse” and not “ass” and it’s grating on my nerves…

Lor: I’ll tell Sweeney to make you an arse gif.

They all start talking over each other and then we cut to the three of them up on stage, singing We Are the Champions, terribly off key, but with a lot more stage presence than Angel ever had.

A few gifs per episode | Angel - 2x11 - “Redefinition"

Then we cut to the three of them sitting around a table, as Cordelia calls tequila a true evil (K: Agreed). Wesley: I need to be dead now. Lorne comes over and says he sees they’ve reached the maudlin portion of the night. Cordy asks for the guidance they’re supposed to get since they sang, but Lorne says that when the big guys talk, he just shuts his trap. With that, Cordelia gets a vision of a demon dragging a bloodied woman down an alley. Cordy tells them what she saw and they mobilize.

Sweeney: Lorne sweetly folds his jacket to use as a pillow to catch Cordelia’s head when it snaps back for her seizure vision. It’s kind of adorable. Also, he’s sporting some bright blue and red and it really pops with the bright green skin.

Lor: Speaking of fashion choices, Angel is filling up a bag with weapons and accessorizing with wrist stakes. It really is a statement piece.

Cordy, Wes and Gunn arrive at the alley from the vision, and find a pool of blood. They freak out about being fang-less, but Wesley snaps that Angel isn’t there, but that they can’t also walk away from their duties. Wesley crouches down to examine the pool of blood and in the process, discovers a trail leading up a wall into an abandoned building. Cordy asks how they are supposed to get in there.

D&D are leaving another baddie bar, and Drusilla references her obsession with poking out eyeballs. She also licks her fingers, which EW. Drusilla brings up Angel again, and how he’ll never leave them alone.

Darla: Why is everybody trying to make this about Angel?!  I mean, for God’s sake, can’t a woman wreak a little havoc without there being a man involved?
Dru: You miss him, like a heartbeat.
Darla: I don’t miss my heartbeat, Dru.  It was a symptom of a disease I’ve since been cured of.

Darla does say that in a perfect world, she’d have Angel by her side. She says Angel and not Angelus. Then Drusilla just starts doing her crazy writhing while talking about fires. Darla’s all, “that’s nice, dear.”

Angel heads over to the muscular slave auditions, and drops his bag of weapons down in slow motion.

K: Because, obviously. It just doesn’t have the impact if you don’t drop your bag of weapons in slow motion.

Lor: He took all that time packing it. He can at least enjoy a slow motion drop. Inside the abandoned building, the Fangless Gang spot the injured woman just as the demon drops down in front of them. Cordelia goes off to get the woman while Wesley and Gunn do their best to fight off the demon. At one point, the demon is on top of Wesley, and just starts chomping on his shoulder. Gunn grabs a nearby stool and breaks it over the demon’s back. Then, he uses a splintered piece of wood to kill the demon. Wesley stands and says they need to get the woman to the hospital. Wesley tries to down play his own injuries until he gets a good look at his chewed on shoulder. Gunn says they were nearly ripped to shreds and Cordelia rather strongly says, “Yeah, but out of everybody here, which one of us is the dead one?”

D&D arrive to their auditions to find that all of their soldiers are already dead.

Angel is leaning against a car, looking pretty beat up, and smoking a Bad! Guy! Cigarette. Drusilla calls him a shadow and Darla asks why he’s so far away. He doesn’t say anything even when she asks, “Angelus?” Angel drops his cigarette into a trail of gasoline, and walks away while Darla and Dru are engulfed in flames.

K: It’s pretty BAMF-y.

Lor: Much better than his training montages.

Darla picks up a sledge hammer and runs outside where she knocks the top off of a conveniently placed fire hydrant. D&D stand under the water until the flames are extinguished. Darla holds Dru and she says that what they just saw wasn’t Angel and it wasn’t Angelus. Dru says that it hurts, as Darla wonder who that was. DARLA, IT WAS CRANGEL.

At Wolfram& Hart, Lilah and Lindsey are called into a meeting. They are both reminded of their list of foiled villain plans, and how they aren’t really qualified to take Holland Manner’s place. However, it has been decided that the competition between the two of them keeps them in line, so they are both being promoted. Lindsey kind of looks like he’d rather have died.

Sweeney: That gif is also priceless.


Lor: In the Brooding Hotel Basement, Angel is throwing knives at a target with precision. Wesley enters the basement and informs him that the Fangless Gang are choosing to keep the agency open without him. Angel doesn’t respond or acknowledge him at all. “You may have turned your back on your mission, but we haven’t. Someone has to fight the good fight.” Wesley leaves.

Angel throws the next knife and it is way off to the side. He closes his eyes as the voice over says, “Let them fight the good fight. Someone has to fight the war.” The next knife he throws hits the bulls-eye.

So, a few things: (1) I’m not a fan of CrAngel. Angelus has his whole bad, IDGAF thing going on, and Angel is broody, but he has the knight in shining armor thing. CrAngel is some weird combination of all of that – bad AND broody. Trying to save the world AND not giving a fuck.

(2) That said, I’m still a fan of the development. It’s such a good carry over of all the themes we’ve seen playing out on Angel and his worry was that he wouldn’t be able to fight Wolfram & Hart because they didn’t fight fair. He’s stooping to their level.

(3) The Fangless Gang moments were the highlight of the episode, because as I mentioned, CrAngel? Not so much.

(4) I liked a lot of little things about this episode, like the way Angel set Darla on fire at the beginning and end of the episode, and like how Drusilla foresaw the fire. I liked that Angel didn’t speak a line of dialogue throughout, even if the voice overs were campy. I liked how it was implied that fighting the good fight distracts Angel from his current focus.

Sweeney: Agreed on all counts. CrAngel is a bit unpleasant to watch, even if it is a logical and solid development. The rest of the episode was pretty great for me, but points must be deducted when CrAngel comprised such a large portion of it.

K: Seeing as how I’m not really a fan of Angel and his uber-brood at the best of times, CrAngel tipped things over the edge into a place where I actually wasn’t really paying attention to his voiceover scenes at all. This entire episode could have just been the Fangless Gang and I would have been perfectly happy with it.

Lor: As with most of my episodes because the Number Gods are not a fan of me, not amazing, but good.


Next time on Angel: Angel helps a woman being cheated by Wolfram and Hart on S02 E12 – Blood Money.


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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  • SnazzyO

    CrAngel is most excellent term, now forever my head canon.

    The bar scene was THE BEST. I love the drunk huggy karaoke. I also notice Cordy is experimenting with highlighting her hair now.

    Druscilla was on FIRE this ep (rim shot please). Seriously, her schtick was awesomesauce. Tie for best moment: reipping off ears and scollding the soldiers fir being dead. And Darla ought to listen to her. I also wish to channel Dru with a boo-hiss for how many versions of wrong was Angel’s redefinition:
    1. The mini montage lasted like 4 hrs or those lawyers were in the basement a looooong time.
    2. Throwing away a $2000 wool coat as a mic drop is about as lame and pointless as you can get.
    3. While I agree that torching D&D was BAMF-worthy, the whole evil-now because I am smoking a cigarette really took me out the moment.

    Lindsey has a death wish.

  • Anagnorisis

    Angel Redefinition
    ‘It’s always some little blond driving him over the edge’ So you know about Spike, Cordy?
    No!! Not the drawings!!
    Of course! Lindsey and Lilah survive! Lindsey/Lilah/Life forever pleaseeee
    What’s with this Angel’s voiceover? what. weird. Not very effective, I mean, I don’t know what this is trying to achieve but it’s not working.
    Can we spend the rest of the season in an office with Darla, Drusilla, Lindsey and Lilah?
    It’s like Angel is filming a movie somewhere else. In the 80s. I don’t know, everything feels so disjointed.
    Eww at Drusilla with those ears. ew ew
    Did Darla just said ‘me and my girl’? I think the subtext is rapidly becoming text.
    That Lilah/Lindsey scene was really good. I like that Lilah is taller than him 🙂
    OMG that was the best scene ever. We are the champions indeed. I changed my mind, I want the rest of the season to be Cordy, Gunn and Wesley in Lorne’s bar.
    Dru, I love you, but what’s with that sweater?
    (Lilah: “Anybody’s going down in here, it’s gonna be you.”
    Lindsey: “If that’s what it takes.” (Well ok. ummm… what was that implying?))
    Well, they fight very well for being drunk.
    Fire Bad!

    ‘The Fangless Gang’ is the best name ever. They should keep it and make it canon. Now.
    ‘DARLA, IT WAS CRANGEL’ thank you, I’m laughing so much now XD
    I found the voiceovers unintentionally hilarious but it is important to point out that Angel doesn’t speak on screen with ANYONE. Nothing, not a word. Amazing! And I do like this development, I like a hero that screws up badly and is genuinely flawed.

    • Danna

      ‘It’s always some little blond driving him over the edge’ So you know about Spike, Cordy?

      Hahahaha! and so true.

      • SnazzyO

        And did you notice Cordy’s blondish highlights LATER in the ep? Compensating?

  • Jen

    For me, Angel’s extended S2 temper tantrum here is comparable to Kate’s issues: understandable, but annoying. Also, I’m generally a fan of Angel’s character, so Evil (lite) Angel is a bit hard to watch. The “we are the champions” group sing almost makes the whole thing worthwhile though.

    Also, I remember that at some point in this episode, Angel VO’s “I’ve got the moves,” which makes me laugh hysterically because its SO ridiculous. 🙂

  • Jojo

    “The Feels Soundtrack backs her up as Wesley suggests that maybe Angel just needs to be alone, and that they should let him be.” Yes – do not annoy the really angry vampire because it’s a bad idea, which Holland Manners would definitely attest to, if he wasn’t roasting in a hell dimension.

    I totally think Darla would save Lilah and Lindsey because she can see how much they play Angel and she’s not happy that she didn’t give him the big happy. Darla – seriously vengeful! Dru – willing to do whatever Mummy!Daughter wants. Besides, Darla always did like money and status. W&H will be useful to hold in reserve, and Lindsey is fun to torment. After all, death is so quick.

    I do need to warn everyone who comes to snark squad karaoke to bring earplugs because I make Angel sound like….some better singer….way better. I sound like goose farts on a muggy day.

    Noodle hair is fitting a guy – sounds kinky in a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy kinda way I think you wanted to say fighting. And I will totally be a judge at the muscular slave auditions. Number three, could you flex those biceps again – now turn around and show me your glutes.

    Fangless Gang is so perfect – and they are so perfect – and Wesley’s arse is so not pansy. I know because I saw him flex. OTH CrAngel is gonna drive me insane one day when I try to figure out whose name starts with CR, and who is shipping the pair. Besides, I don’t think he’s crazy – he’s Issues!Angel. But since even I cannot see ISANGEL I will accept CRANGEL because it sounds like a cranberry drink.

    The rescue is so perfect – and I really love the way they bonded even closer to each other in their drunken maudlin way – and then get stone cold sober when things get serious. And the rescue with no big vamp there to twist off demon head! And my Wesley feels just go off the charts with his final scene with Angel. My baby has been kicked out of the nest, and look – he’s flying. All three are flying together. They are still a family.

    I have to say I love the fire scene – and I love the fact that Angel finally breaks under all the pressure W&H have put him under. And I will beat the Spangel drum once again to point out that Angel has either staked (Darla, Penn) or set fire to (Darla and Dru) every member of his family except the one who hired a perv to torture him. I do believe that Lilah and Lindsey are not the only ones who got on their knees.

  • darkalter2000

    Least interesting person this episode: CrAngel. I mean Goddess! Everyone else is showing of in cool interactions and CrayCray is brooding up the place and not even throwing out sarcastic remarks to make it fun.

    I have never said this before but the inklings of it were formulating since Adam. Demons are really very community conscious. If you want to form a gang you just go in and declare yourself, maybe kill/maim a couple people and you can form up a gang at any time. It is oddly refreshing.

    I call contrivance on the fact that Darla can freak out in front of the demon crowd and they don’t kill her or call her out at all though. That was dumb.

    Angel should have killed Darla and Drusilla while they burned. Or better yet he should have called Willow and asked her to do the Ritual of Restoration on Darla… in fact I can’t think of a single reason not to. Other than the title of the show being ‘Angel’ and not ‘Angel and Darla’. It is the best of all solutions. At one point he even considered turning her. Nobody says anything about resouling Darla even though Gunn is the only one who hasn’t actually seen the ritual in action. The ritual is good enough for him but not her? Bullshit.

    I think Liliah being a woman is held against her more than a bunch of Linsay’s stuff. She is hitting the corporate glass ceiling. She is more vicious than Linsey, more motivated, and less prone to Chronic Backstabbing Disorder than Linsey. She should have gotten the job and Linsey should have been axed.

    • You are absolutely right. There’s no logical reason that he didn’t either (a) seek out Willow to resoul her -or- (b) actually see to it that they died in that fire. Pretty ridiculous.

      I also like your theory about the W&H corporate glass ceiling.

      • Clément Polge

        Don’t they need one of Giles’ paperweight for re-ensouling ? I remember that he had two, one broke, and the other one was used to re-ensoul Angel, and I think those things are sort of one-time use.

        But it’s still a valid point, he should have tried. Especially with Darla so close to redemption, as soon as she was turned in Darla-us he sort of turned his back on her. Which, when you think about it, is kind of hypocritical of Angel.

        • That’s true — and if they didn’t want to go the resoul route, it would have been pretty simple to explain it away with “we don’t have another paper weight.” No crossover magic budget would have even been needed because a simple phone call could have covered that ground.

          I hadn’t thought about this until it was brought up here, but it’s an excellent point. Damn it, Angel. Really?

          • darkalter2000

            They need an Orb of Thesulah. Those things are uncommon but not unavailable. It is not even a plot point. They just buy them. They have the dubious honour of being considered pretty much useless, but people still sell them.

        • SnazzyO

          Darla-us. I like that.

          ITA it IS hypocritical. But let me put on my CrAngel brooding hat of logic and say:
          – Once turned her soul is gone. So he wanted to “save” her by letting her die. MAYBE fair, she was dying as a human but I’m not sure her soul matters at that point as it’s gone.
          – Once she’s up and about, I think Angel believes his existence is that of the damned so I could see him NOT wanting to give Darla a soul because her second soul has departed the premises. So he’d be taking her THIRD chance and making it immortal torture — like he’s experiencing.

          Angel doesn’t see his existence as a gift. I don’t know if it was cowardice or raised Catholicness that stopped him from trying to commit suicide during the 100+ years he had without a soul and was just wandering around. Whatever it was, we know from Amends he was a mess. Then he thought his “purpose” was to help Buffy – she was his salvation. Then after a stint in Hell, he’s brought back and now TPTB are using him as a champion and he thinks he’s fighting for his redemption.

          Just sticking another soul in Darla won’t get her a redemption gig. And she was ready to die when she was forceably turned. So maybe he figures she got her best shot already. IDK. CrAngel logic is hard.

          • Jojo

            Good thinking. It’s also a matter of who he is dealing with. Once Darla rose and got over her vamp!issues Angel was pulled back into memory time. He knows just how evil the forces are that he is dealing with. He also knows the crazy pain. It’s really a much bigger issue – he could have had Willow soul the entire family after his stint in hell. But he does still love them – that’s why he could get pulled back in.

            Being souled – as a curse – has done little to improve his life. So the choice is to soul them or burn them – burning them sent a strong message. Resouling them would be far more cruel (can’t just stop with Darla – gonna have to do Dru, and Spike for the same reasons). So I think that this would be the vamp!med equivalent of inducing severe mental illness in your entire family. As good as Angel wants to be, he also has some strong emotional ties to his vamp!family (except Penn). It’s why he tried to get back together with them.

            Then we get into the metaphysics of why we just don’t have Orbs aplenty
            and resoul all vamps and soul all demons – and WTF do you do with Clem,
            Lorne and Anya. There are a few more seasons of pondering the whole vamp!soul issue – but I’d like to point out that Angel is proving right now that even a soul is not a guarantee of morality. All the W&H folks are souled – well, except any demon ones – and they are why he has given up. I think right now he doesn’t have a whole lot of faith in souls being a cure-all.

  • Melodie Hatley

    Lorne is the best!

    I guess I have nothing else to say, other than the Fangless Gang is also the best!

  • Clément Polge

    A few things I’d like to point out for this episode: if we forget the voice-over, Angel actually doesn’t say one word of the whole episode. Which is kind of ballsy for a show named after him.

    And I really love what they did, so many shows have a storyline with “the good guy starts getting dark but gets pulled off at the last second by love and the power of FRIENDSHIP”. Here, the last second was when Angel decided to lock up the lawyers. He went totally over and they’re really playing it honestly.

    And this CrAngel might be a little cray-cray in the cabeza, but he’s super-badass, so I’ll give him a pass… This time.

    • SnazzyO

      IA about the no dialogue being kind of cool but I would have preferred they actually skipped the voice over. Here’s how:
      – Wesley show up the next day to find Angel training and WESLEY makes a comment like “you’re getting ready to take on Darla and Dru”. Then Wesley says Angel need’s the Fang Gang because taking on two Master vampires alone is a mistake.* All Angel has to do is give him a withering look and Wesley leave. Then show Angel getting progressively stronger.
      Keep the 4-vamp attack scene.
      When Angel leaves the meeting where Darla is inviting people to try out, they can do two things: 1) have Angel have a Feels Flashback where he holds Darla and says he’ll be with her til the end, and 2) have Darla tell Dru that Angel’s soul is going to stop him from confronting both directly because he feels guilty about being unable to “save” Darla. Maybe have Angel overhear that and show him angsting over that.
      Finally keep the burning scene as is.

      This conveys that Angel had to gear up to kill Darla and Dru and that rather than directly confront, he used a standoff attack with fire.

      *I think it’s fanon vice canon that drinking animal blood makes him weaker BUTif that is a canon statement, Wesley could have said something to that effect to further explain why a stand-off attack was necessary.

      • Clément Polge

        I think the voice-over was more used to avoid losing any new viewers rather than as a necessity, so for us continuity porn addict, it does seem a little useless and cliché, but I can see why they would do that.

        Replacing it with some “unspoken words” or backstory would just add confusion to the new viewer, and discourage him from watching the show any further.

        You know, just like if someone wanted to watch Firefly, and started with the train job instead of the 2 hour pilot.

        • SnazzyO

          Firefly tangent: While I totally agree that not airing the Pilot before the Train Job was a massive mistake, I gotta say the Train Job is a nice cold opening to these characters — ESPECIALLY with Mal kicking the guy into the engine. Or maybe I just totally love that episode.

          • Clément Polge

            Well, this was the episode who sold me Firefly, and the scene you mention had a huge part in this.

            But I understand that it can be confusing to have all these characters at once and not really understanding who they are, or their relation to each other, especially when the pilot does such a good job of introducing each and every one of them properly.

            I know that when I randomly stumble on a show of which I know nothing about, the more I feel lost the more likely I am to change channel, so I get that TV often spell things out for the sake of those random viewers 🙂

  • lev36

    The montage brings up a logical inconsistency – given that vampires are technically demons inhabiting dead bodies, how would exercise be at all helpful? I mean, it’s not like the muscles can grow, is it?

    Of course, I am looking for logic in all the wrong places, but I can’t help but wonder.

    Maybe it’s not the exercise that helps per se, but simply the power of a good montage, as Team America: World Police so wonderfully depicted.

    • Clément Polge

      I think we lack real-world examples of how undead works to say with any certainty that demons possessing dead bodies can’t grow muscles.

      • Plus, I think the overall biology of vampires is an area where we have to suspend a lot of disbelief.

        • Clément Polge


          • Obviously this would be first question asked in Vamp Bio 101

          • lev36

            Voluntary control of blood flow. Vampire hearts don’t beat, but they obviously must be able to move that stuff around somehow!

          • SnazzyO

            I refuse to accept this on the basis of #awkwardboner in the She episode.

            I’m going with “A Wizard Did It” because really, no heartbeat is just no heartbeat. Yet they bleed, heal, get boners, drink blood, eat food, etc… So MagicVampireBiology MVB is all I got.

          • lev36

            I think UC Sunnydale offers a degree in Magic Vampire Biology…

          • Jojo

            I got my Master degree there – Bada-bing!

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  • SonicRulez

    I am a massive fan of CrAngel. 10000 points to your individual houses, whatever they may be.

    I wanted to note Darla referring to him as Angel and not Angelus, but they’re so inconsistent with that, I never know when it’s supposed to be important. Spike and Drusilla referred to him as Angel more than once in S2 of Buffy. I will note the Bad Guy Cig though, I appreciate the callback to that. This arc of Angel works so well for me because it’s so rewarding if you were paying attention in the early season. Are You Now or Have You Ever Been let us know that Angel + Smoking = Giving Up. Sad face!