snark squad | where nostalgia comes to die

Angel S02 E15 – One ring to rule them all.

and on July 29, 2013 · 42 comments in Angel,Season 2,TV

Previously: Los Angeles had a bit of a zombie cop problem, one of them shot Wes in the gut, and Cordy told Angel to fuck off.

Reprise

Kirsti: We open in an abandoned looking place full of corridors and the camera promptly zooms in on a shopping trolley with a creepy doll sitting in it. But not a Drusilla creepy doll. More like a Chucky creepy doll. Thanks, Zoomy Cameraman, for weirding me out like 10 seconds into the episode.

Angel appears in the background. He heads past the creepy doll and opens a door. He heads into the room, closes the door behind him, then turns on the light. The room is filled with goats. Angel looks as confused as I do.

Sweeney: His confusion is excellent. I mean, I’m not sure how well his confused face translates to people who don’t watch this show, given that his facial ranges are so limited, but as we are now attuned the minute facial twitches that mark Angel’s different emotions, it’s excellent.

Lorraine: His confusion makes no sense, considering all the bleating and also his super whiffing powers, but I like it all the same.

K: YES, LOR. The more I stare at that amazing gif that Sweeney made for me (there was grovelling), the more I’m like “…So he can smell a drop of blood from a million miles away and do a Sherlock Holmes impersonation, but he can’t smell a room full of goats?!” YAY JOKEY CONTRIVANCE!

There’s a door on the opposite side of the room, and he heads towards it. On the other side of the door, two guys are reading from the Idiot’s Guide to Goat Sacrificing, and complaining about how the kit didn’t include the preblessed ceremonial dagger it claims to. That would be because Angel has it. He sasses at them about their ineptitude, and then reveals to us that the building is owned by Wolfram & Hart. He wants to know who our resident evil lawyer have them sacrificing goats to. They don’t know, apparently, because the ritual is in Latin. The sacrifice needs to be done by midnight though. Angel lets the men go, and they run out as he starts smashing up the altar. Roll Electric Cellos.

After the credits, we’re over at the Fangless Gang’s misery office. They’ve successfully de-third-eyeballed the girl from the last episode. However, instead of being grateful, the girl’s mother insists that she can’t pay them. Her husband has deemed the bill ridiculous and has decided that they’re running a scam. Therefore, no money for the Fangless Gang. She grabs her kid and storms out as Cordy yells after them that the back of their kid’s head was blinking, dammit!

Lor: And this kids, is why you collect payment BEFORE you de-eye anyone.

K: SRSLY. Wes – currently in a wheelchair – says to let them go. He suggests that they’ll come around given time. Gunn is less convinced and heads out to see if there’s any evil brewing in his neighbourhood that needs taking care of. Cordy suggests that maybe things have been slow because evil’s been stuck in traffic. Having hung out with Sweeney in LA for like four hours in January, this seems completely plausible.

Sweeney: I laughed at this line because I knew you’d mention it, being that LA traffic was a significant player in the 4 hours where you ventured beyond the confines of LAX.

K: It really was. Cut to Wolfram & Hart, where everyone looks slightly panicky. Lilah tells Lindsey that she’s been looking for him, because the review is in two days. He’s all “And your point is?” and she hands him a file covering everything she’s dug up on the last 75 year review.

Oh. Sorry. Wrong 75 year thing.

Lor: A+

K: Thank you. Lindsey thinks they’ll either pass or not, and that it’s too late to do anything now, but Lilah insists that a few last minute sacrifices and rituals can’t hurt. She reminds him of their mistakes, including but not limited to Darla and Dru. She asks if he’s heard from them, and he says that even vampires as powerful as those two need time to recover after being set on fire by CrAngel. She gets paranoid about them popping up and causing more havoc before the review, and the list of guest stars would seem to back her up on a Darla appearance.

We head over to the police precinct where Angel is filling Kate in on all the goat sacrificing evil he’s been finding all over town. She wants to know why it’s so important to him, and he replies “Because it’s important to them.” He suggests that she charge them with butchering animals without permission, but Kate has no fucks to give because the captain of the Zombie Precinct has filed a complaint against her and she’s on desk duty. Apparently Internal Affairs have been looking for an excuse to get rid of her, and she couldn’t handle that because she doesn’t know how to be anything but a cop. She pulls out pictures of the wine cellar victims, and says that she’s done helping him. Does this mean we’re done with her as a character? Because I’m totally on board with that!

Sweeney: Word. We’re all over your presence, Kate.

K: Cut over to Lindsey’s apartment. He apologises for being home late, and says that he didn’t call because that would have been his house guest would have had to get up to answer the phone. The camera pans across to show Darla wrapped in a blanket on the sofa. (L: As if we expected anyone else.) (The credits gave it away for one thing, but also, yeah.) She says that she feels a little stronger today, and that she’s glad he saved her from that sewer, and that now that Dru’s left town, he’s the only one who hasn’t left her. “And I never will,” he replies. She strokes his face, and DUDE. HOW STUPID ARE YOU?

Anyway, he offers her a bottle of blood and says he’s going to take a shower to wash off the Wolfram & Hart cooties. He walks into the bathroom, and she rolls her eyes, then throws the blanket off and wanders around the room. She opens his briefcase, finds the file Lilah gave him, and flips through it while sipping on her blood.

Sweeney: Darla’s eye roll after he goes into the shower, brooding about always being dirty is excellent. Julie Benz gives excellent bitch-face-eye-roll. (Something we can never have too many gifs of around here.)

darlaeyeroll

Lor: I think her secret is like a back to back, whiplash eyeroll. Go stare at that gif for a few more seconds.

K: I foresee that turning into a reaction gif that sees a lot of use around here.

Lorne’s bar. The place is packed. Angel pushes through the crowd and tells Lorne that they need to talk because something’s coming. Lorne’s all “Uh, DUH” and points out the table full of Wolfram & Hart lawyers on the other side of the room. Angel gets CraAngel-y, and Lorne tells him to calm down. Angel demands that Lorne tell him what he saw when the lawyers sang, and Lorne refuses because of some kind of karaoke singer-empath demon confidentiality agreement? IDK. But he can basically tell him anyway because some lawyers were blabbing in the bathroom – the big panic is less about the review and more about the reviewer: one of the senior partners. Fade to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, Angel demands more information, and tells Lorne that killing the senior partners is his destiny. Angel wants to know what the senior partner is and how he can stop it, but Lorne informs him that a) he doesn’t know, and b) Angel doesn’t stop it. In the end, he gives him three tips, although he doesn’t really know what they mean:

1. The band of Blacknil;
2. Home office; and
3. All the Wolfram & Hart lawyers really want him dead, which Lorne picked up through the death stares the entire table is giving Angel.

Seizure cut back to the Hyperion. Angel’s flipping through books as the Violins of OMG TENSION! get to work. He hurls books around the office, because what he wants isn’t there. Over at the Fangless Gang’s office, the door bursts open and Angel strides in. He heads straight to the books as Cordy and Wes are all, “DUDE, WHAT THE FUCK”. He grabs the book he wants, and heads for the door. Cordy snatches it back, and hands him the Yellow Pages instead, then stands between him and the bookshelf. “Don’t make me move you,” he threatens. Wes stands up from his wheelchair and tells Cordy to give Angel the book. She glances at Wes, then shoves the book at Angel and tells him that she doesn’t even know what he is any more. “I’m a vampire. Look it up,” he says on his way out.

She tearily calls him a jerk as Wes collapses back into his wheelchair. Cordy says that if it were anyone but Angel, she’d tell them to get laid, and then says maybe Angel SHOULD get laid because then they could just stake him. Wes interrupts to ask her to phone an ambulance because he’s popped his stitches and is bleeding everywhere again.

Sweeney: This scene broke my heart. I’m so torn on this whole CrAngel arc, because while I appreciate the idea behind what we’re doing, it’s getting too painful to watch. CrAngel threatening to move Cordelia? NO. This scene was the first time that I really wanted someone to kick his ass. Anne slapping him was gratifying, but the slap was sufficient. I get all his epic feels directed elsewhere — Wolfram & Hart is fucking with him in a big way. Fine. I even get firing the gang. But watching him have this interaction with them? That shit was painful.

Lor: AGREED. And especially since I expected him to be a little more repented after the last two episodes. I hate CrAngel.

K: Seriously. Also, I feel like he’s verged away from crazy and heading straight for Asshole Territory.

Seizure cut to the police station.  The review panel are asking Kate to explain her actions over the past eight months, and she complains that they’ve taken everything out of context, which makes it impossible for her to explain. The head of the panel says that she’s been isolating herself, and that she’s bound to be frustrated that no arrests have been made in regards to her father’s murder. Another member of the panel notes that Kate didn’t take any time off after Trevor’s death, and says that they’ll make counselling available to her as part of her severance package. She tears up as they demand her gun and badge, and then says they have no idea what’s happening in the city. As she leaves, her lieutenant says that he’s glad her father’s not alive to see it. Uh, RUDE.

Lor: Seriously. “Good thing your dad is dead,” is not an okay line, dude.

K: At a bookstore somewhere, Angel’s paying a visit to an old friend – Denver, the bookstore attendant that he threatened in 1952 and who apparently still hasn’t retired 49 years later. Sucks to be you, Denver. Denver asks how that whole paranoia demon thing went, and Angel’s all “Oh, I let it kill everyone. Now about my current problem…” Denver’s taken aback – unsurprisingly – then says that he thinks the senior partner is a Kleynach demon, because they use a special ring to manifest between dimensions. Angel wants to know if anyone can use the ring, because his Worst Plan Ever is that he’ll kill the demon, take the ring, zip over to the hell dimension known as Home Office and kill the rest of the senior partners.

Angel asks how to kill a Kleynach demon, and contrivance demands that Denver is the only person with the means to do so – a magic armoured glove that he bought at a garage sale. He gives it to Angel, and promptly get stabbed to death by Darla. Angel steps towards Denver, and Darla pushes her sword all the way through Denver and into Angel. He collapses onto the floor with Denver’s dead body on top of him, and Darla grabs the glove. She says that this is about power, not revenge, and that the revenge is still coming. She kicks Angel in the face on her way out the door and leaves him to pull himself off the sword as we fade to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, Wesley’s telling Virginia that he stood up to Angel, and that’s what’s important. She, on the other hand, thinks that standing up METAPHORICALLY would have been a better option, as it wouldn’t have popped six stitches and required a trip to hospital. She goes on to say that while she knew about the demons and the monsters, she didn’t know his job was Real Life Dangerous and of the gun involving variety. She wants to know if he’d give it up, and he reads between the lines (either that or he can hear the Flutes of Feels):

Wesley:  “This is difficult for you, isn’t it?” 
Virginia:  “I just don’t like to see you hurt.” 
Wesley:  “No. I mean…I mean breaking up with me.” 

She just looks at him without saying anything.

Sweeney: We haven’t seen enough of Wesley/Virgina for me to care about their relationship for its own sake, but this scene was brilliantly acted by Alexis Denisof, because it made me feel like we had been following this relationship closely. I just want to give him a hug.

Lor: Agreed! Also, I don’t need to know much about the Virginia equation of this to know that I don’t want Wesley hurt. Also, also, I just want to always give him a hug.

K: Agreed – it’s hard to care about a relationship that largely took place off screen, but Alexis Denisof was fantastic in this scene. Cut to Kate’s apartment. She carries in a box of stuff from her desk and dumps it on the floor. She pours herself a drink, slugs it back and pours another. Heading over to a shelf of trophies, accomplishments and photos, she bursts into tears and sweeps them all to the floor. She picks up a photo of her father and cries.

Sweeney: Another thing we can never have enough? Gifs of people sobbing and throwing shit.

katecrysmash

K: Another one that will prove useful as a reaction gif in the future!

Wolfram & Hart. A town car pulls up out the front and Lilah gets out. She and her two security guards head for the front door, but before she gets there, Angel jumps out and knocks her guards unconscious. She asks what he wants, and he says “The same thing I took from Lindsey.” He grabs her hand, and scans her thumbprint to access the elevator. She mentions the vampire detectors inside, but CrAngel is a honey badger.

Lor: I thought he was actually going to chop off her hand. I know this is terrible but Angel cutting Lindsey’s hand off is still one of my favorite Angel things ever.

K: YES. I thought the same, and I agree on that being one of the best things to come out of Angel thus far.

Over at the Fangless Gang’s office, the phone rings. Cordy answers and Wes says that he’s not coming in the next day. She says they’ll cope without him, and he tells her that it’s a Friday night and she should be out having fun instead of at the office. She says that having fun would require friends, and she doesn’t have any of those. He says that it’s not true, and she says he doesn’t count. He tears up a little because OUCH before she insists that he knows what she means. He says that things are going to get better, and hangs up. A moment later, the phone rings again. It’s Backward Cyclops’s mother. After a minute, Cordy says something about how they can take a personal cheque, and writes down their address. We head to Backward Cyclops’s mother’s end of the conversation where a creepy white faced demon is standing behind her. “One of them is on their way here,” she says and the demon snaps her neck.

Sweeney: This whole Backward Cyclops plot is weird. The other thing that the show is struggling with, I think, during this CrAngel business, is running the tandem plots. I feel like we’re not getting enough of the Fangless Gang’s story and I don’t just mean that in the sense of, “I WANT TO SEE MORE FANG GANG,” but in the sense that these bits with Eyeball Kid keep feeling super random. I suppose there is good reason for that — being that it’s still Angel’s show — but it’s weird and I’m not fond of it.

K: Seizure cut to Wolfram & Hart. A bunch of lawyers are standing around a big Day-glo pentagram on the floor, looking nervous. The boss guy that was introduced to Anne back in Blood Money asks Lindsey where Lilah is, and then gets cranky when a member of security informs him that a vampire is on the floor. Angel drags Lilah into the room. Lindsey spots them just as Lilah elbows Angel in his stab wound and runs away. Security runs after Angel, but he…I don’t even know, you guys. He magically escapes and ducks back into the room without anyone noticing.

He scans the crowd, then notices a brunette in a red cocktail dress. He pulls a bottle of holy water out of his pocket, pops the top, pulls off her brown wig, and throws the holy water in Darla’s face. She vamps out, and he yells “VAMPIRE!!”

Lor: Weird. I thought holy water would do a lot more if SPLASHED IN THE FACE. Huh.

K: On account of that time someone threw holy water in Darla’s face in Buffy season 1 and she ran away screaming and sizzling? Yeah, me too.

As everyone freaks out, he tries to grab the glove from her, but she punches him in the face. They fight a little, and Lindsey is horrified to see Darla. There’s a weird fingernails-on-chalkboard sound, and a red robed demon starts to appear in the pentagram. Angel wrestles the glove from Darla and puts it on as Lindsey knocks out the security guards holding Darla. Angel launches himself at the Kleynach, and it bursts into ashes as they fall through the window and down to the street below. Lindsey helps Darla escape as Angel hits the ground. The ring tinkles to the ground beside him, and I’m gonna call bullshit because I have a ring that has a tendency to fall off, and it ends up slightly misshapen when it falls from like a metre off the ground. After a 15 storey fall, that shit wouldn’t be ring shaped any more.

Lor: Kirsti. It’s a magic, fall resistant ring.

K: Of course. How foolish of me. ANYWAY. He tells it that he wants to go to Home Office, and slides it on. With a ding, the doors on an elevator in the side of the building open. Fade to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, there’s a round of applause from the elevator. It’s Holland Manners, because when you work for Wolfram & Hart, you don’t get to stop working just because you’re dead. He informs Angel that it’s a one way trip, but Angel pretty much channels Catherine Tate:

The doors close and the lift descends rapidly. On the way down, Holland asks Angel what he plans to accomplish with his Big Damn Heroes plan. Angel says that it will be the end. Holland replies that while it will be the end of Angel, he was thinking about the broader sense. Angel says that he doesn’t care, and Holland brings up the Spirit Stick Prophecy. Apparently Angel doesn’t really care about preventing the apocalypse, because he thinks he can stop Wolfram & Hart from starting one at all. Angel tells Holland that they’re not going to win, and Holland laughs a little because they don’t care about winning. They know that there’s no fight. Evil goes on regardless. It’s been there from the beginning and it will be there until the end.

With that, the elevator comes to a stop. The doors open to reveal that they’re back exactly where they started – outside Wolfram & Hart’s LA office:

Holland:  “Welcome to the home office.” 
Angel:  “This isn’t…” 
Holland:  “Well, you know it is. You know that better than anyone.  Things you’ve seen.  Things you’ve, well – done.  You see, if there wasn’t evil in every single one of them out there? Why, they wouldn’t be people. They’d all be angels.” 

Angel tears up as the glove drops to the floor of the elevator. He walks out into the street and DUDE. I’m pretty sure that glove was worth keeping hold of…

Sweeney: Angel does have a problem with abandoning potentially useful stuff. He needs to work on that.

K: RIGHT?? He walks through the streets, looking at the people around him as the Tinkly Piano of Doom starts up.

Sweeney: Pause, because this is kind of brilliant. I was a skeptic about the W&H plan and I admit to being wrong. They’ve essentially just convinced Angel that he’s living in a hell dimension. His 100 years of brooding were wasted because he was only repenting for murder and destruction in a dimension where that is to be expected. The show has done a lot of set-up for this prior to this moment — prior, even, to the big epic W&H plan. I did a bit of a slow clap in my bedroom when I watched this. Not really. In my head though — totally did it in my head. Maybe.

clap2

Lor: My favorite part of this full circle thing is that in addition to giving him the full picture, it was meant to convince him not to fight. There is no fight. There is no winning. Even CrAngel had a mission, but this is beyond that, because there is no mission.

K: We cut briefly to Kate’s apartment where she gets out a bottle of pills, then to Wesley staring at nothing, then to Cordy leaving the office, then back to Angel. He reaches the Hyperion just as the answering machine picks up a call. It’s Kate. We cut to her apartment, where there are pills on the floor and an almost empty bottle of vodka next to her, and now I feel really bad for saying that I was on board with the end of her as a character… She says that Angel made him trust her, and that they’re all going to say that she couldn’t take the heat, but that she won’t feel a thing. He turns the volume down on the machine.

Sweeney: WELP. Having a fictional character you loathe leave by way of suicide? The exact opposite of gratifying. Now I just feel awkward about telling her to GTFO each episode.

Lor: Right. Like, that’s not really what we meant Kate...

K: Seriously. Upstairs, he walks into his room, then stops to ask what Darla wants. He throws the ring on the floor and she runs to it. He grabs her and throws her across the room, then kisses her. She tells him not to play games, and he says that he isn’t – he just wants to feel something. They kiss some more, and then Darla starts to laugh. He throws her through the glass doors into the bedroom and crazies a little more. He tells her that nothing matters, and a really bizarrely cut sex scene follows. Cut to an unspecified time later. Lightning flashes outside as we pan through the bedroom to see Angel and Darla asleep. Thunder crashes and Angel sits up in bed with a gasp.

Fade to black.

Sweeney: WOMP.

K: I dunno, you guys. I know a lot of people refer to this as one of the best episodes of season 2, but it was decidedly so-so for me. There were so many different things going on at once that it was hard for anything to be fleshed out suitably. Maybe I’ll feel differently once I’ve seen the follow up episode, but the fact that it wasn’t billed as a two parter implies that this is meant to be a stand alone, and from that perspective it just didn’t quite deliver for me. Also, it was kind of heavy on the feels, and we all know how Team Heartless Cow feels about those. I’ll be on my ottoman, eye-rolling with Darla.

Sweeney: I can +1 your general grievance that there was a little too much going on, but this moment in the W&H plot was excellent, so I can see why people love this episode so much. This show fucking adores broody montages of Angel walking, and that was one of the few times where that didn’t feel forced or cheesy. I was watching it and my feels were right there with Angel and a general feeling of, “Well, shit.

Lor: I think if this episode suffers, it suffers from set-up. There was a lot that came to a head here, and we haven’t quite reached the payoff. I still enjoyed watching it crescendo, however. I don’t think it was especially feels-y either. Or, I mean, not especially sappy or maudlin. There was a lot of commentary on evil, standing up to it, and what you lose when you do. I enjoyed it a lot, and most of all, I wanted to hit play on the next episode immediately.

K: Honestly? I think I might have felt differently if they’d just added “TO BE CONTINUED” at the end…

Next time on Angel: Will Angel lose his soul on account of all the Darla sexytimes? And what will happen to Cordy when she heads off to get that cheque? Find out in S02 E16 – Epiphany

 

Kirsti (all posts)

I'm a 30-something under-employed librarian and I still live with my parents because I'm super broke. Leader of Team Heartless Cow. I have an inexplicable love for 90s television, eat too much chocolate, and tweet about the random crap that happens to me on public transport more than I should.





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 earned my MA in Global Communications and watching too many YouTube videos. 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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  • Clément Polge

    You think this was the pay-off ? MWAHAHA YOU SNOWS.

    And I’m always amazed at that break-up scene, there must have been like 2 scenes with Virginia before that, and always none with only Wesley and her, and we still feel for Wesley and what seemed like a cute relationship. Aw.

    And I think Angel being an ass to Cordy was (in-character explanation) because he needed that book, and didn’t know how to ask politely after all the shit that went down. So he went full asshole, which made him easier for him…

    And this episode is great because so many episodes have been about Angel fighting the war, and here we learn that no one gives a shit about the war, there isn’t even a war, evil’s here, and as long as it’s here, what can he do ? Kill everyone ? Get zombie cops everywhere ? He’s even MORE fucked than he thought he was.

    And I love Kate, I do think she started a bit wrong with her realistic character in a fantasy world, but I think we can really see her inner turmoil through this season. She both trust and hate Angel, that must be tough…

    • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

      I don’t think either one of us meant to say that we thought this was the payoff. I was just saying that I felt like this was a brilliant development in the Big Evil Plot. It is only E15; we know there is more!

      • Clément Polge

        Oh right, I read that wrong.

        This show doesn’t really have your classic “season build-up to a season finale” though, and that’s one of the things I like about it, it drops some stuff here and there, and all of sudden links it all up and you’re all “OMAGAD WAT THE F?”

        Anyway, I’m starting to venture into spoilerland, and that’s bad. Bad me, bad.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          I think you just wanted to call us Snows. *shakes fist*

          • Clément Polge

            In all honesty ? Yes. That was my main reason.

  • Jojo

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre

    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst

    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Yeah – Yeats. Things fall apart….Angel is finally able to look beyond his delusion of effectiveness. He is meta, really. What is evil – and why fight when it has already won.

    The ceremony of innocence is drowned.

    Yeah, the Wesley break-up is oddly intense given that the Wesley/Virgina pairing happened off screen. I love the intuition, and the empathy for the person breaking up with him. Rather than get angry, or get hurt, he’s sympathetic and caring….and I can’t help but just want to curl up and hug him.

    • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

      That is my favorite poem! It’s one of only a few that I can recite by heart :)

      • Jojo

        It’s actually applicable to this show on several levels – and I love it too :)

  • Anagnorisis

    Angel Reprise
    Goats!! OMG, that made me laugh out loud for real
    He was so serious and then goats.
    (Also, one of the guys from this scene is David Fury! Writer/producer cameo!)
    He is tearing the room apart again!!!!!
    lol Lilah wants to have children to sacrifice.
    Kate :( (that sad face it’s because I’m sad for her, you heartless snarkers) lol
    oh I wonder who is Lindsey talking to… I’m so intrigued. Yay Darla :)
    Lawyers are a special kind of demon.
    Oh not no the Senior Partner! Anything but that.
    What’s a Senior Partner? XD
    lol Angel needs to get laid. Or not… wait… Ohh!! I get it! I know what happens in this episode! This is brilliant
    Kate can talk about monsters all she wants. Fuck u panel
    The Power Globe! It’s so bad
    Nooo, nice librarian :(
    Yeah, demons, vampires, zombies, dark magic, that sucks, but you know what’s really evil?: guns You are not being subtle show.
    ‘I want the same thing for you that I took from Lindsey’ You, know, my mind is going places.
    Oh, Lilah, you are smart. You are a total Slytherin, paying attention to their weaknesses
    Not the power glove!
    It’s that scene from the credits!
    Not cool Lindsay ¬¬
    Hi Holland :) he is not dead, is he undead?
    oh, I get it! Hell is real life. Wow, I’ve never hear that one before
    However, I do understand where this is going, and since I know the future, this is perfect! I knew where we where going but not how we got there, there’s a line in the next episode that I just adore, but we’ll get there. For now I appreciate what we have and I’ll watch how it all makes sense.
    At least I still love you Kate! Can you hear me? Kaaaaaaaaaaate
    Well that happened! Dangel sex scene! yay!! I knew it!

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      We often realize we are heartless snarkers. But she set herself up! There is only so much brood one can handle and Angel really had the market on brood. Kate’s brood was also nagging brood and UGH. I mean, it really sucks about the suicide though, but my feels are mostly spent elsewhere.

      GUNS KILL PEOPLE. I didn’t even pick up on the big! message! there because I was busy wanting to hug Wesley.

      I think hell is real life is what Buffy and Angel have been exploring since the beginning, but having it be such an A-HA! moment for the main character was fantastic. Seriously, I loved it so much.

      • Anagnorisis

        I know, I understand why people hate this character, even I became annoyed with her at some point (I think season finale?) but for some reason I still like her.
        I don’t know all I see is that she lost her mother and now her father was murdered and she is alone in the world, and now she is alienated and then loses her job (she loves her job!) and we know the story of Angel, she doesn’t, and everything she encountered was kind of horrible (even if she was seeing it with a negative light).
        Maybe is because I have a weakness for action girls or for girls who love their jobs more than anything, or blonde girls (I don’t know what I’m saying anymore lol).
        And yeah, I’m loving this season arc, I’m liking this season more than the last one, even with CrAngel :D

  • SnazzyO

    Well I do love this episode because I think it’s pretty daring. Let’s review the bidding hmmmm…
    – The Hero FAILS epically. He literally gets the brass ring all to find out everything he does is pointless
    – The Hero is an ASSHAT to his friends who would have died for him
    – The Hero rapes his ex (I know, it’s a touchy word, but honestly, I feel Angel was intending to get his end off whether or not Darla cooperated .. and the interviews/commentary support this).
    – The Hero WANTS TO BECOME EVIL (ANGELUS). Why else have sex with Darla??? That is a pretty big risk to take with the protagonist.

    And then there’s the fun bits:
    – Perpetuity clause! I’m telling you, the dental plan is SO not worth it.
    – Lilah being Lilah
    – Wesley’s preemptive break-up speech

    It really is Pt 1 of a two-parter, although not billed that way. The structure of this season is odd but I think the whole reveal of the W&H long-con was well done. And as I said, I love how Joss just throws Angel (and hey, the ENTIRE PLANET) under the bus.

    • Jojo

      Preemptive – I like that. So much with the ‘I’ve seen this road and let’s spare both of us the pain.’ And it’s more than the job – she wants to remake him and he is having a hard enough time remaking himself – losing his fear of abandonment Wesley seems to know quite well when he is being thrown over.. I think it’s painful but it also has to be a big step forward since I’m sure the Wesley of even a year ago would have tried to make himself into anything she wanted him to be. Kind of another step, like standing up to Angel.

      • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

        I like how this little exchange just speaks so much. I don’t thing that Virginia was breaking up with him, all the way. She was getting ready to provide him an ultimatum. He shut that shit down. Wesley has to stand up, and not just metaphorically. Maybe I’m making this all up BECAUSE I LOVE HIM.

        • Jojo

          I am so glad that Wesley love is contagious, and you caught the bug. He is just so noble and good – and he tries so hard to keep the Fangless Four together – I think because this is probably the only family he has ever had.

    • Melodie Hatley

      Angel didn’t rape Darla. He WOULD HAVE if she had not consented, but she did, and enthusiastically so. If we condemned people for what they would have done, or what people think, then christ, lock me up cause I’m for certain a mass murderer then. And yes, the scene was supposed to be much worse, but in the end, it’s not. What we have left is rough vampire sex that’s consensual. Doesn’t matter if his plan was to take, no matter what. Darla knew that, and she consented. She didn’t fight, and she damn well could have if she had chosen. IIRC, she laughed throughout much of the scene, yes? Nor in the episode after that does she express any regret or anything but “DAMN THAT WAS AWESOME NOW LOSE YOUR SOUL.”

      • Anagnorisis

        Yes! I was going to point that. I’m the first one to call it rape if I think it is but in this case I don’t see it.
        We don’t know what Angel would have done if Darla didn’t consent, we can assume something but it’s still a very heavy assumption. Still, she consents (and it’s not forced or coerced to it) so it’s sex and not rape.
        But again, it’s only how I see it, I’m not invalidating anyone’s opinion.

  • Jojo

    Oh, about the goats – I always assumed Angel smelled and saw them…..but wtf, anyway….cuz…wtf.

    • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

      Samesies. Lor’s comment was added after mine but even if it hadn’t been I probably wouldn’t have said anything because most of our posts have too many comments from people-other-than-the-main recapper. Regardless, yes, I agree with you. His look is more, “Y GOATS? IDGI.”

  • Raluca

    LOL I am surprised no one really commented on Angel’s rape-y sex with Darla :D
    I thought you guys would be all over him for this! I was expecting HUGE words. Spike gets all the criticism for merely stalking and stealing clothes and Angel gets not even a reprimand for beating a woman (a vampire, granted, but she doesn’t even vamp out in the scene) and then sleeping with her?! Wow :D

    • Jojo

      I just thought it was hot vampire sex – tender doesn’t seem to go with the demon. But stalking Buffy and stealing her clothes is kinda cute and pathetic and skeevy all at once. When you know the arc, see the big picture, it is easier to cut slack. :)

      • behind blueiz

        Totally agree!

      • Raluca

        Even so… look at then scene w/o thinking they are vamps. Think they are baddies – like murderers. The scene looks to me like a man is beating+kissing into submission a woman and then having sex with her. It looks like abuse.
        Even for vamps, it is abuse. He doesn’t care if she reacts – and she doesn’t. If she put up a fight, yes, hot vampire sex. But she didn’t.

        • Jojo

          Well, yeah, between humans is definitely human – but then humans seldom bite each other or teach each other how to kill. Dark!Angel is definitely not big on the foreplay but Darla has over a century of history and I am sure she had to know that. She’s a vampire now – and I have to apply vampire standards.

    • SnazzyO

      See my comments below….

      • Raluca

        Darla didn’t even put up a fight. I understand the scene was to be even worse, but the “TV network police” intervened or something.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      The scene was super disturbing and even beyond a regular “vampire” disturbing. The difference between this and anything we say about Spike is (1) – Spike is trying to win over and/or date Buffy. And he steals her underwear. It’s weird and it’s creepy.

      (2) – We’re more inclined to pick on Spikes oddities because he often gets so much love IN SPITE OF all his legit creepy behavior. We have yet to see anyone woo over Angel and the way he lights his ex-girlfriends on fire, ya know? I think we’re all on board that CrAngel is, well, crazy. Spike, it’s more humorous to point out his weird behavior because WE LOVE HIM ANYWAYS.

      (3) – Darla raped him for many episodes. Not that his make this scene fair; NOT AT ALL. My only point is that I’ve stopped viewing those two as anything that could ever resemble anything normal.

      (4) – The scene is complicated, more for what could be insinuated than from what was shown. We can take this in all sorts of, “but he could’ve!” directions. Never ending, really. Darla came over to probably beat the shit out of Angel for the ring. And he hit her. And it ended it sex which neither of them stopped.

      *shrug*

      IDK WHAT THE RIGHT ANSWER IS.

      • Jojo

        IDK if there is a right answer. Angel is dark and desperate, and so is Darla. And you get more information about the sex in the next episode, and actually later on in the series come to think of it. That’s all I can say because….spollers.

      • Raluca

        LOL I love Spike. In spite of his creepy behaviour. But you know what? I love Angel as well. I like them both. And I DO find excuses for them both.

        However, this particular scene was hard to watch – harder than Spikey stealing underwear and even chaining Buffy up.

        Think back about the Spike scenes – the ones in “Crush”. Imagine you watching those scenes out of context – just the “Buffy chained up scene” with no knowledge of the past or future context. You are a one-time viewer. I think that scene is not so disturbing in the sense that it is mostly played for fun. Buffy is chained but she has the upper hand. She talks back, she is strong, she is well… on top of the situation.
        And now think about the Angel and Darla scene – also out of context. Is it funny in any way?! What do you see? I see a man beating a woman and then I see them having sex. I do not see a strong woman or a woman in control. I see a woman being hit and thrown around by a man who is stronger and in control. No fun there.

        I am aware Angel is a much darker show than Buffy.

        Well, ’nuff said. I like this episode a lot, for what it’s worth. And the Angel/ Darla scene is one of my favs in both shows. I like the acting and how real it is, how hard to watch and creepy and, well, a bit hot at the same time it appears to be. :)

        • Jojo

          I ship Spangel so obviously I love them both.

          I’m not excusing rape or abuse – but any type of fiction relies on conflict. Since it is fiction, and they are not human, the my ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ extends to examining the entire interaction (in fact all the interactions) between two vampires – Darla and Angel.

          There shouldn’t be any one sort of conflict that is censored because it’s too likely to trigger someone, mainly because everyone has different triggers. The scene does what it needs to do in Whedon’s universe. It examines a violent sexual interaction between two beings with 240 years of history. Do I object to sexualized violence in reality – of course. Do I object to a pivotal scene in a tv drama showing this type of violence in the context of that long and very sexual and violent relationship. Not really. And since Spike has established that fighting makes vampires horny – hot sex.

          I don’t think we’re going to fully agree here – while I do know abuse, I’m just not triggered by this. Obviously you are, if only to protect others.. ((hug))

          • Raluca

            LOL I think I gave the wrong impression. I am not triggered by this, nor do I really care in any way. I was just surprised by the lack of reaction in the commentaries and in the episode synopsis, as I was expecting more of a rant iro Angel’s behaviour. That is all :)
            I do not really mind the scene – I understand its purpose and it’s wonderfully acted and directed. And thanks for the hug! ;)

          • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

            I totally understand how/why you got the rapey vibe from this, particularly if you have read/heard commentary on it. I haven’t, though. I just saw what was there. Personally? I found it majorly unpleasant to watch because of the violence, but Darla seemed pretty on board to me. Her only hesitation was that Angel was just messing with her and not serious (“Don’t toy with me.”) and when it comes to teh sex, she undresses him. Coming into his bed each night while he was sleeping was rape. This was abusive but not rape and since she stabbed him earlier in the same episode I can’t really rant too much about him being abusive.

            I mentioned in this post that I’m pretty ready for someone to kick CrAngel’s ass because he’s gotten awful, so this isn’t coming from a Let’s Defend Angel place.. it’s that I don’t think what transpired was rape. Again, this was my first watch and I haven’t read/seen any commentary so I don’t know what was originally intended. I mostly just saw an uncomfortably violent but ultimately consensual sex scene.

            Definitely 100% with you on this not being an enjoyable scene to watch, though.

          • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

            I’d give you a hug too, but I don’t really do hugs if I can avoid it. AWKWARD PAT ON THE BACK.

  • behind blueiz

    I really enjoy this episode. Yes, there was a lot going on, but I think it was done on purpose in showing how the characters are all moving in different directions and things for them are chaotic.

    Big time giggles for the goat-scene. I think Angel totally knew the goats were there before turning on the light, it was more ‘seeing is believing’ thing. Believe me, anyone that’s been around those pellet-pooping machines totally doesn’t need enhanced vampire senses to figure out the sound of and definitely the smell of goats.

    On a more serious note, the end scene with Darla was very powerful. This was Angel’s breaking point. This was utter desperation. He finally gave in and stop fighting. Stop fighting the “good fight”, stop fighting desires and wants, stop fighting period.

    Initially, WH brought Darla back so she could sex the soul right out of Angel. When Angel figured this out and WH backed out, Darla still had every intention of getting Angel(us) back.

    She wanted him as he was. The soulless, heartless vampire that caused mayhem and bloodshed across continents. My belief, the brutality shown at the beginning of this scene was just vampire foreplay. {Remember, Angelus and Darla were together for 150 years and I highly doubt they were gentle nor kind to one another during sex. Hell, just look at the scene with Dru: she’s about to take her holy vows, Angelus munches a bunch of nuns and then he and Darla have sex on Dru’s lap! }

    • Raluca

      No. Nowhere in the BtVS or AtS do we see Angel or Spike beating their women. Hot rough vamp sex is NOT Angel beating a defenseless Darla. She appears defenseless. She doesn’t punch back. It is hot, if you want, in a sick, perverted way. But it is abuse, not “hot vamp sex”.

      • behind blueiz

        Um, did you forget BtV Season 6? True, there were punches and kicks traded back and forth between Spike and _______,(won’t be a spoiler) but there was fighting all the same. (Proof in point, just look at the first time they were together)

        Darla was not defenseless. She’s a vampire and could’ve easily fought back, she just chose not to.

        Also, I NEVER said “hot vamp sex.” NOT ONCE. Nor did I say I found this hot. I said this was “vampire foreplay.”

        Abuse is when one takes advantage of another whom is weaker. Whether it’s physically, emotionally, financially, mentally etc.

        Yes, he used her shamelessly and without guilt, and it was totally wrong, but this wasn’t abuse.

        • Jojo

          I find it so hard to see Darla of all vamps as a victim. I really believe Darla knew what was going to happen and wanted it to happen this way. That’s not to say I would feel the same way if it happened between humans. But we’ve already established that vamps get off on fighting. I believe she had her own reasons – wanting to turn him dark. So gentle tender sex would have been off the table for those two. Frankly, I think Darla is still in town because she wants Angel back – she wants the soul gone.

          As for hot vampire sex – I meant that in their world it would be hot for them. Because fighting – fucking and feeding are kinda all the same thing. This is the closest she has been able to push Angel into acting like Angelus and we know that is her goal.

          It’s hard for me to take the scene out of context. Do I believe Angel(us) is capable of rape – of course. I just find it hard to believe Darla is capable of being victimized against her will.

          • Raluca

            Yes, fighting… but I saw no fight. I can think of rough sex preceded by violence in the Buffyverse, but both parties were kicking, not just one. In that Angel scene, he beats the shit out of her. She doesn’t even punch him once. I get her reasons, she wants him dark, she used to rape him too, but still… what I see in that scene is a man beating the shit out of a woman.
            Well, in real life, I know women who take that same behavior over and over again and think it is normal (some even think it is to be wished for and deserved). I am sorry, but the scene is awful and, as far as I’ve read, Joss Whedon intended it to be awful and hard to watch.

  • darkalter2000

    If you look at the episode titles, Reprise and Epiphany, it is pretty obvious they are a two parter. Joss should have probably put “To be continued…” at the end though.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      Eh. I think that mostly bothered Kirsti. Being on this side of it airing long ago, I sort of understood that this was a two-parter, but I guess it would’ve been different for people watching real time?

      • darkalter2000

        It didn’t confuse me because I watched Buffy first and the moment at the end has all the elements of when Angel first lost his soul. But people who didn’t watch Buffy wouldn’t get why the rain and suddenly waking up from bed with a blonde girl would be a ‘thing’. Plus we had a “To be continued…” when he lost his soul in Buffy.

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