Previously: Angel had a sex-piphany. He’s dropped the Cr in Angel. At least for now.
Lorraine: We open at the Brooding Hotel, where Angel sits behind a desk, while Wesley lectures him about engaging with his co-workers and being sensitive to their feelings. Angel is wearing a gray shirt that might almost be described as light gray.
Wesley pauses the lecture and points out that this must be torture for Angel. Why, yes it is. “Good,” Wesley answers. They are done for now, though. Angel says he’ll sit around and absorb it, but not in the office, because it is now Wesley’s office. Good thing, just outside the doors, Cordelia and Gunn are preparing a little bitch-work area for Angel. Also, they want coffee. Punny Angel (remember him?!) says, “Man. Atonement’s a bitch,” and that takes us into the credits.
Kirsti: I loved them treating Angel as the general dogsbody in the office. Because of reasons. And YOU SHUT YOUR PUNNY FACE, ANGEL. You brought this on yourself.
Sweeney: He definitely brought this on himself, but I’ve missed Punny Angel.
Lor: Well, see, I have no idea where Forever falls into the overall timeline, and I know that it didn’t change anything CrAngel did, but I can’t help that my heart is a little softened to him now! Man, being this fickle is hard.
After the credits, two young folk listen to music and make out in their car. This happy fun time is interrupted when people in hoodies break the windows on their car.
At Brooding HQ, ALYSON HANNIGAN’S NAME IS IN THE GUEST CREDITS. CROSSOVER MAGIC.
Sweeney: I had about this reaction when I was looking up the episode for the “next time” on the last post. AND NOW AGAIN. MAGIC. Willow is the best crossover magic.
Lor: Gunn, Wesley and Cordelia are cleaning up around the Hyperion when Angel comes downstairs. Wesley gives him a little nod. Angel takes a breath and approaches Cordelia. She stops him short, saying she doesn’t want to hear his stuttering attempt at small talk.
She tells the rest of the gang where the car is parked and off they go. Angel stays behind to tell Cordelia to go home and take the night off. He awkwards all over himself, and runs to catch up with the other boys.
Later, Cordelia packs up for the night. She turns off the lights in the Hyperion, but hears something. She calls out to whoever is there, and one second later, Harmony reveals herself. The girls squee over the fact that they haven’t seen each other since their high school blew up. The girls catch up awkwardly, neither of them being entirely forthcoming. Harmony makes these great, vampire-tinted observations, like how Cordy’s hair looks adorable off of her neck.
Sweeney: Cordelia fails to notice Harmony’s bad girl leather pants! You should always be at least a little suspicious of leather pants in the Buffyverse.
Lor: So very true.
Cordy wonders if Harm has a place to stay, but Harmony pretty much says she needs a bit more of an invitation than that. It depends who you ask, and what episode it is, girl.
K: A+ observation, Lor. Also, even though Harmony is evil(-lite), I love that there’s someone for Cordy to be all girly with. It’s one thing to have friends you can rely on. But it’s another thing completely to have someone who’s known you for years to have a wine and nail painting party with.
Sweeney: The show’s faily invitation rules aside, I LOL’d at the, “Do I have to say it?”
Lor: Wesley, Gunn and Angel find the smashed up car, and soon hear a woman screaming. They head off in that direction, and find the woman struggling with a figure in a green robe. Green Robe Baddie throws the woman at the Fang Gang in an attempt to get away. It’s kind of hilarious. Angel catches the woman, and Gunn punches Green Robe Baddie who, surprise, surprise, is a vampire. They tussle for a bit, and it is Angel who later stakes the vampire. Gunn notes that Cordelia said she saw someone in a blue robe, and Wesley thinks she must’ve been mistaken. Angel speaks up and says they should give her the benefit of the doubt. This gets him weird looks.
Gunn heads off the do a sweep of the place. Wesley notes that there is a weird symbol on the green robe they snatched: a snake in the shape of a number 2. Angel can’t identify it (K: SLYTHERIN??) (S: SAME THOUGHT.), so Wes wants to put Cordy on the case, except, oops, Angel gave her the rest of the night off. And, also, should he buy Cordelia some flowers maybe? To say, “thanks.’ Uhm. ‘Sorry about the migraines.’ Uhm, you know, ‘I appreciate you?’” Wesley response, “Yes, by all means. And uh, while you’re at it pick me up one of those ‘sorry you were shot in the gut’ bouquets.” Well, Wesley, I’m not sure you did that for Angel. I think you just want flowers. Anyway, the point is that Angel can’t buy back Cordelia’s trust. It will take time because she’s in a lot of pain.
Cut to Cordelia laughing. She’s with Harmony and they are sitting on the couch in Cordy’s apartment, hair wrapped up in towels, reliving their mean girl glory days. Harmony fondly remembers being powerful, rich, and popular. Cordelia says that while she is no longer powerful, rich, or popular, she is much happier now than she was before. She tries to explain that she’s less empty, but Harmony just starts laughing at her.
Cordelia tries to get some information out of Harm, but she just says things are “faboo” (no. stop that.) and that she’s feeling good about herself. Harmony does start to get hungry, though, and she looks at Cordelia’s neck longingly. Cordy doesn’t notice and just says she’ll order pizza.
Later, the girls have gone to bed. Cordelia is in her room and we see Harmony, clad in fuzzy slippers and little cotton nightie, slip into her room. Harmony walks over to the bed and sits on the edge, when suddenly, the door slams. It’s good because I haven’t had a chance lately to say how much I love Phantom Dennis.
Sweeney: We can just start saying that in the middle of other posts for other stuff, apropos of nothing other than the fact that we can always remember our love of Phantom Dennis.
Lor: Sounds like a plan!
What follows is a big HAHAHAHA misunderstanding, in which Harmony is trying to explain that she wanted to eat Cordy, but Cordy thinks she means she wants to, well, never mind. You know. Harmony says she couldn’t control her urges, but that it was stupid, and she’ll go back to bed if Cordelia promises to keep her secret.
K: This scene was so awful. After all the brilliant stuff that Whedon’s done with the relationship between Willow and Tara, we then get this she’s-really-a-vampire-but-Cordy-thinks-she’s-just-got-a-big-gay-crush scene of blurgh. It was positively Moffat-esque.
Lor: Cut to Cordy on the phone with Willow! I mean, it is Willow! but this is way less exciting crossover magic than I wanted it to be. I mean, I’m happy that Harmony made it to LA, but in this scene, Willow truly looks like part of a different show. It’s kind of weird.
Cordy asks Willow why no one told her about Harmony and there is more HAHAHA misunderstanding! until Willow spells it out for Cordy:
K: As much as I loved the crossover magic, this scene was further uber-suckage for me.
Lor: Back at the Brooding Hotel, Angel is trying to figure out how he can help, and thankfully, the phone rings so he can answer that. It’s Willow and this time we don’t even see her. I feel like I wasted my confetti gif.
Willow presumably tells Angel all about dangerous Harmony, all up in Cordelia’s apartment, and the boys run off to her rescue.
Cordelia tells them to calm down, because she knows Harmony is a vampire. She claims Harm came looking for help, which is what they do. Angel says that if Cordelia believes there is no threat, they should respect her wishes. This earns him a few more weird looks. Wes says Cordelia is needed in the office, and Harmony doesn’t want to stay alone with a ghost, so guess who’s tagging along?
We head once more to the Brooding Hotel, where everyone is getting their research on, except Harmony who is smacking her gum. I feel like we’ve had a gum smacker around these parts before, and I was all about that person dying. I stand by that sentiment. Everyone is trying to identify a bird statue Cordy saw in her vision, when Wesley finally loses his patience and tells Harmony to lose the gum. She does, in a page of an ancient text. Wesley nearly stakes her.
K: NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. #TeamWesley
Sweeney: Also? #TEAMBOOKS
Lor: Angel grabs Harmony and gets her some pigs blood from the fridge. She thinks it tastes nasty, and asks Angel how he manages the deprivation. She’s very poetic about the rich feel of human blood, and I’d say more, but ew. Angel gets lost in her descriptions until Gunn comes in, announcing that he’s back. “Me too!” Angel says as he turns away from Harmony. Gunn spots Harmony, who gives him a wink as she pours sugar into her pigs blood. Wesley introduces her as Harmony, the vampire, and Gunn asks if they even kill vampires anymore. Gunn’s found out that robed people have been grabbing people off the streets for months now, but no bodies are showing up. They are turning them into vampires.
With that, we cut to some Cult Leader Vamp saying that the time is now. The camera pans to reveal a bunch of Drinking the Kool-Aid Vamps, dressed in different colored robes. The gist of Cult Leader Vamp’s spiel is that they should maximize their potential. If every vampire turns two human into vampires, their numbers can grow exponentially. All they need to do is bring one human in for the food back. We see that behind him, there is a cage of humans. All the Drinking the Kool-Aid Vamps start chanting, “you turn two, the rest is food.” Not really the rest, but whatevs.
K: Because what this show really needed was a vampire pyramid scheme…
Lor: Wesley and Gunn are pushing pins into a map to illustrate where people have been taken recently. Harmony can’t believe that Cordy ended up as an office manager and she ended up dead, but there’s no time to linger on that, because Cordy’s found something. It turns out to be the symbol they saw on the robes, and it belongs to a defunct scheme of a motivational speaker and life coach. They are about to pull up a picture of the person we know to be Cult Leader Vamp, when Harmony accidentally spills blood all over the computer, causing it to spark and short circuit. Uh, is that a thing that would happen?
K: I’m going with no, especially as Harm spills the blood ON THE KEYBOARD.
Sweeney: OF A DESKTOP COMPUTER. It’s not even like it was a laptop. This was annoying.
Lor: She has vamp-strength. Surely there was another way to make her destructive.
Cordelia takes Harmony away before anyone can punch her in the face. In the lobby, Harm says it was a mistake coming here. She has no friends and no one who can understand her. Cordelia gets idea face.
Next we see, Harmony is onstage at Lorne’s bar, singing Memories.
Terrible performance done, Harmony joins Cordelia and Lorne at their table. Lorne says he’s picking up on Harmony’s “betwixed and between, got to find my corner of the sky’ vibe,” but that Cordelia’s her guide on this journey. Lorne blows her a kiss and leaves.
The rest of the Fang Gang arrive. They’ve narrowed the possible locations of the Drinking the Kool-aid Vamps and want to drive around and see if Cordy recognizes anything. Cordelia tries to leave Harmony behind, but she tags along despite the promise of free blood, potato skins and more karaoke. See, she thinks that Lorne meant her place is with them now, fighting evil.
After a break, Harmony sits in the back seat of Angel’s convertible, between Cordy and Gunn. Harmony is babbling, of course, and Wesley wants Angel to do something, but he’s either the boss, or he isn’t, yeah? Cordelia yells for him to stop the car, because she’s seen something. It’s a bird statue, but it isn’t red, like in her vision. The guys doubt her, but Angel walks off, and a moment later, the bird is bathed in red light from the store next door. I’m not sure how Angel managed to turn on the lights in the store next door, but okay!
Wesley gives everyone their attack assignments, and tells Harmony to guard the car, which she hears as, “killing and maiming people if they come close.” Angel takes this opportunity to try and talk sense into Cordelia. He says Harmony’s evil, and Cordy should want her dead. She doesn’t have a soul.
Cordy: Oh. That’s it, is it? You’re better than her because you have a soul?
Angel: Well, yeah.
Cordy: I noticed yours didn’t get in the way of betraying the people who worked with you, who cared about you.
Angel: I never…
Cordy: And you know, you didn’t just betray me, Angel. You didn’t just hurt me. You gave away my clothes.
Angel: To the needy.
Cordy: I am the needy!
Cordelia gets down to the real issue, though, about how scared she was he was turning into Angelus again.
Gunn interrupts with the news that there is no way into the building despite the fact that one of them is super strong and can Mario jump. (S: I hope they added that to the business cards.) Angel suggests that he pretend to join the cult, but the others think he’s too easily recognizable now. That only leaves Harmony. She hems and haws a bit before deciding that she’ll do it. She puts her vamp grill on and strides towards the theater.
Inside, Harmony sits down in the audience and listens as Cult Leader Vamp promotes someone up a level.
Outside, the Fang Gang worries because Harmony is running late. They argue about what to do if Harmony is in trouble, but she shows up just then, telling them that there are 100 vampires inside and a dozen people locked in a cage. Pretty skinny ration there, Cult Leader. The Gang follows her inside the theater, and it’s soon clear that Harmony has led them into a trap. She says she belongs with the vampire organization.
K: I bet they gave her a plastic unicorn for drinking the Kool-aid.
Lor: Cult Leader Vamp gives his bad boy spiel and then tells them to put down their weapons. Angel defers to Wesley, who simply says, “kill them all.”
Fighting ensues, and it includes Cordelia punching Harmony one good time, in the face. Angel fights with Cult Leader Vamp and Wesley goes to free the captured people. Harmony throws Cordelia down onto the floor, but when she rolls her over, finds that Cordy has a crossbow trained to her throat. Harm laughs, because an arrow to the throat won’t kill her. Cordelia says that no, it will just hurt like hell. She pulls out another crossbow and aims it at Harmony’s heart. BAMF Cordy, everyone. Except, she hesitates when it comes time to kill Harmony.
K: Oh, Cordy. You were so BAMFy and then failed on the dismount. Sigh.
Lor: Angel beheads Cult Leader Vamp.
Harmony asks Cordelia if they are still friends, and no, they aren’t. Cordy wants her out of the city and as far away as possible. Harmony scampers off. Angel is lurking behind Cordelia, and without turning, she tells him she doesn’t want to hear it.
Some following day, Wesley is in his office. Angel comes in at his behest for a little chat. Apparently, Wesley just wants to reinforce to Angel that time and space are what will fix his relationship with Cordelia. We hear a scream from outside.
Angel bought Cordelia clothes.
Sweeney: I do hope that she resumes being mad in the next episode, but for now: OMG THE GIFS ARE SO CUTE.
Lor: Angel smiling is the best. Look how happy he is!
This episode was far from the worst we’ve ever seen, but man, is it oddly placed in the season. I don’t think we’ve had an episode this light-hearted in a while, and they put it as the direct follow up to two very heavy hitting episodes. That isn’t terrible in and of itself, except that this episode tried to deal with the fallout. It just felt like, well, “disharmony.”
K: Yup. I liked elements of it – the Cordy having a female friend to talk to thing, the Harmony turning up thing, the Fang Gang treating Angel like crap thing – but at the same time, other parts of it grated on every single nerve. Cordy’s come so far, but then they go ahead and give her a super shallow “he bought me clothes so we’re cool now” moment? Nope. It’s a massive backwards step for her, AND it makes Angel seem like a manipulative douchebag again. “Atonement? Pfff. I’ll just buy her some clothes! Bitches love new clothes.” That said, when I watched it the other day, I enjoyed it. It’s only with hindsight that I’ve started nitpicking all the things. So…IDK.
Lor: Readers, what say you?