snark squad | where nostalgia comes to die

Angel S03 E06 – Misogy-logues.

and on September 19, 2013 · 61 comments in Angel,Season 3,TV

Previously: Fred’s parents turned up and turned out to be totally awesome. Also, Fred decided to join the Fang Gang.

Billy

Kirsti: First of all, I’m not handing out gold stars in this episode because it would be like a freaking Oprah show – EVERYONE GETS A GOLD STAR!! Second of all, I hate this episode with the fire of a thousand suns. It’s not that it’s badly acted or shot or anything like that. It’s just 42 minutes of bullshit that makes me indescribably angry, and I kind of can’t believe the network signed off on producing this.

Sweeney: Woo! That’s…uh…promising. -_-

Lorraine: Hold on:

READY.

K: ANYWAY.

We open in what I assume is the basement of the Hyperion where Angel is teaching Cordy how to sword fight. It’s kind of reminiscent of That Time He Taught Buffy Tai Chi, except without the Flutes of Feels.

He walks her through a sequence of moves and then says they’ll take it at half speed until she picks it up. She replies that there’s no need, because she was a cheerleader and is a master at picking up moves. Angel scoffs, so she yells “Ready? Okay!” and runs through the exercise at full speed, pushing him back and finishing with the sword against his throat. “Go team?” he says weakly.

Sweeney: Cuuuute. I love this Cordelia.

K: It’s about the only thing I liked about this episode.

Cut to Wolfram & Hart. Lilah walks frantically down the hall, berating her secretary for not pulling her out of a meeting earlier. She heads into her office where Billy – the guy Angel rescued from the Big Box o’ Fire – is sitting, chatting to Daniel Dae Kim. Lilah demands to know where Billy’s been, and says that he’s not meant to go out alone on account of he might end up back in the Big Box o’ Fire. Billy has very few fucks to give. A middle aged white dude in a suit walks in and is all “No one wants Billy to end up back in the Big Box o’ Fire.” There are precisely zero surprises when Lilah addresses him as “Congressman”. Billy is his nephew apparently, and he’s super glad that W&H found him. Twice. “You’re welcome,” says DDK, and Lilah gets pissed because he had nothing to do with it.

The Congressman and his entourage leave with Billy. Lilah tells DDK to get out and to stop harassing her clients. He tells her that no one gave her permission to think and that she needs to shut her fat mouth. When she sasses at him, he grabs her by the hair, throws her into a set of glass shelves, then starts to choke her. Out in the hallway, Billy smiles. Roll electric cellos.

After the credits, we’re at Wesley’s apartment. Fred, Gunn and Angel are sitting on the sofa playing video games while Cordy and Wes make tea in the kitchen. Wes tells Cordy that he’s proud of her for taking the initiative and learning to fight, because they should all be ready for battle. He suggests that maybe Fred needs some training too, and Cordy’s all “Sure, just don’t invite the rest of us next time you want to be alone with her.” Wes awkwards because he didn’t think it was that obvious, and she reassures him that no one else noticed. He says that office romances are a bad idea, but she says that if he likes Fred he should…chop her into little pieces, because obviously she’d get a vision mid-wingman.

Sweeney: Poor, precious Wesley! His crush is super precious and adds to the 900 reasons I want to give him a hug.

Lor: In here somewhere, Wes arrived to the logic that they all belong with each other. Cordelias, “PFFT. ALONE FOREVER,” is funny for several reasons. You keep singing that tune, girl. I’ve seen gifs of the future.

K: Spoilers, sweetie.

Cordy falls to the ground, clutching her head. The gang rush in and pull her up. She fills them in on her vision – a guy attacking his wife in a convenience store. Angel asks how many convenience stores there are in that area, and Fred starts rattling off a bunch of factors to consider. Gunn cuts her off with “A lot.” Wes starts to give orders, but Cordy says it’s too late, because the murder happened a week ago and why would the Powers That Be (Contriving) send her a week old murder vision?

Cut to the Hyperion the next day. Wes slaps a file down on the front counter, and informs Cordy that it’s all the information she could possibly want on the crime, including the crime scene photos. Angel snatches them from her hand, saying that she shouldn’t be looking at those, and she gives him “bitch, please” face, because she already saw it happen in real time in her head. She asks Wes how he got the information, and he bought it from a source. Remember when Angel could just go visit Kate and steal the file when she wasn’t looking? Good times…

Lor: Except for the part where we had to see Kate.

K: Truth. Anyway, Wes says that the victim and her husband had been married for thirty years with no history of violence, and that the guy confessed. Gunn wonders why, if the crime is solved, the PTB(C) are giving Cordy visions. Angel says he knows why, and pulls out a CCTV photo. Billy’s in it. Wes and Gunn get all “Ohhhhh shit” while Cordy’s confused because who the hell is that guy?

Sweeney: Oof. This is rough. Cordelia and her many, many feels. I can’t imagine this is headed anywhere good.

K: Nope.

Cut to sometime later after they’ve filled her in. Cordy says that she knows now why she got the vision – the woman died because of her. Angel says that he’s the one who broke Billy out of the Big Box o’ Fire, and she reminds him that he did it to save her. He says that neither of them are responsible, but he knows who is. Lilah’s apartment. She’s shakily pouring herself a drink in the dark when the door gets kicked open. It’s Angel. She refuses to let him in, and he’s all “You’re awfully jumpy.” She says that it was a rough day at work, and he says that if that’s the case, she must know that Billy’s on the loose. She walks towards the door and her face is covered in cuts and bruises. Angel’s taken aback, and says that he’ll take down the guy who did it. She says that Billy never touched her, and that he can’t either because Billy’s Congressman Blim’s nephew and that family are the fictional version of the Kennedys, and the law won’t touch them. “I’m not the law,” he says, and I laugh because that’s very Batman of you, Angel. (S: ANGEL-IS-BATMAN SHOTS!) She tells him to stay away from her client, even as her hands shake.

Angel, Wes and Gunn pull up outside the Blim estate, and really? The writers couldn’t come up with a better name for the family? Anyway, there are massive gates and a high wall around it. Wes and Gunn wonder out loud about how to get in. Angel does a gravity defying jump over the gate, and Wes and Gunn decide to just wait where they are. Angel runs up to the house and peers through a window. Billy stares back at him. Angel grabs a chair, throws it through the window, and strolls on in. He says that it doesn’t surprise him that he doesn’t need an invitation to enter, because Billy’s not quite human.

Lor: Interesting. If this is the Blim Estate, does that mean that Billy just being there means that Angel doesn’t need an invitation at all? Does the estate belong to him or his uncle? Will I ever learn to stop asking questions?

K: Sometimes it’s safer not to ask, Lor.

Billy says that Angel has a standing invitation as thanks for pulling him out of the Big Box o’ Fire. Angel says that he’s done hurting women and it’s time to go back to hell. Billy says he’s never hurt a woman in his life, he just likes to watch, and NOPE. NOT OKAY WITH THIS, EPISODE.

Sweeney: Well that’s fucking gross. Like Wednesday gross. ABORT MISSION. I QUIT.

K: Right there with you.

Anyway, Billy says that he’s not going back just as the police turn up. Angel raises his hands, but Billy’s all, “They’re here for me.” He asks if the body was where he said it was, and the female detective orders the patrolman to read Billy his rights. Billy touches the patrolman’s arm as he asks if handcuffs are entirely necessary, and his fingers leave a glowing red mark. The female detective nods that the cuffs can be left off, and they take Billy away leaving Angel standing awkwardly in the house he just broke into. Cut to Billy in the back of a squad car. The patrolman from earlier gripes at his female partner about the route she’s taking, and she sasses at him. Billy smiles in the back seat. The patrolman tells his partner to pull over, and she’s all “WTF?” The camera closes in on Billy’s face as we hear sounds of a struggle and the car swerving all over the road. Fade to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, Wes announces that a woman’s body was found earlier, and that must have been the tip Billy phoned in. The gang wonder why Billy would have confessed to a crime he didn’t technically commit, and Angel says that it gets him out of his family’s estate. Gunn’s not sure that trading a palatial estate for a holding cell is a good idea, but Angel says that he’ll only be in the cell for as long as it takes Lilah to bail him out. He grabs his coat and keys, planning to get to the station before she does and break Billy out to take him back to the Big Box o’ Fire. Fred enter-nounces that she’s been listening to the police scanner and the patrol car never made it to the station.

Cut to the scene of the accident. Wes has been talking to the officers at the scene, and tells Gunn that the female officer had to shoot her partner to get him off her, and that she’s been taken to hospital. Gunn says that he’ll go to the hospital and do some sneaky interrogating to see if he can find out what Billy did to the patrolman. Dude. Just ask Angel – he was LITERALLY right there when it happened…

Anyway, Gunn heads off, and Wes wanders over to where Angel is standing across the road from the smashed up patrol car. He’s been using his super sniffing powers, and informs Wes that some of the blood in the car is Billy’s, that it’s not human, and that he can track it. Wes takes a blood sample and says that he’ll head back to the hotel to try and figure out what Billy is as Angel heads off to impersonate a bloodhound.

Back at the hotel, Cordy is loading up a bag of weapons. Fred tells her that she can’t go, but Cordy says she has to. She leaves and Fred stands there helplessly for a second.

Wes walks in the main doors and asks Fred if she wants to help him work out what kind of beastie Billy is. She’s one step ahead of him and already has the glass slides out and is handing him one just as he starts to ask if she can go get them. He gives her a goofy smile. Cut to Cordy turning up at Lilah’s apartment. She barges in and demands information about Billy. Lilah scoffs, saying that she’s not Lindsey – changing sides every five minutes – and besides, she thought Angel was the Dark Revenger. I’m gonna go ahead and call AVENGERS SHOTS! because it’s been a while since we’ve had them and I miss it.

Sweeney: And also because of all the alcohol this episode seems to call for.

K: You’re not wrong. Anyway, there’s some stupid bonding over shoes and Lilah eventually gives up the information on Billy – his touch turns men into primal misogynists, because apparently we didn’t get enough of that shit yesterday. Cordy wonders out loud why it didn’t work on Angel, and Lilah informs her that it works on some guys instantly while it takes hours for others. She sasses that she hopes Angel’s not starting to feel like an asshat because she’s seen his dark side. “You really haven’t,” Cordy replies. (L: That was CrAngel not Angelus. DUH.) She goes on to say that she needs to find Billy, and Lilah’s all “Pff, why should I help you?” Cordy puts on her BAMF pants for some brilliance:

Cordy: “You know that guy that you hired to hack into my visions? What he did to me? What it felt like? I was cut, my face disfigured, and burning with pain every second not knowing if it was gonna end or just get worse till I died.”
Lilah: “So you think I owe you…”
Cordy: “It’s not the pain. It’s the helplessness. The certainty that there is nothing you can do to stop it, that your life can be thrown away in an instant by someone else. He doesn’t care. He’ll beat you down until you stay down because he doesn’t even *think* of you as alive. No woman should ever have to go through that, and no woman strong enough to wear the mantel of ‘vicious bitch’ would ever put up with it. *Where* is Billy going?”

Sweeney: BAMF CORDY. This episode has been really, really hard to watch, but Cordelia’s had some stellar moments. I’d like to see the shortened only-Cordelia-scenes version.

K: Me too. Cut to Angel approaching two taxi drivers. They’re discussing a third taxi driver who beat the shit out of a female fare, and mention to Angel that the woman probably deserved it for nagging in the back seat. Excuse me. I have to go and Hulk smash the entire fucking planet for a minute.

Angel apparently agrees with me, because he grabs the driver who said the woman deserved it, slams him against a car, and demands to know where the third driver’s last stop was. Cut to a party in a classy looking apartment where Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz is playing. A guy walks up to a dude playing pool and informs him that his cousin Billy is there. Pool Dude is taken aback because Billy’s meant to be safely locked up, and turns in shock to see Billy standing there with a streak of blood on his forehead. Billy murder-stares at a couple making out the sofa, and tells his cousin that he should talk to them about appropriate public behaviour.

Back at the Hyperion, Wes is looking at Billy’s blood through a microscope. He asks Fred to take a look, and she says that it looks like some of his red blood cells are supercharged, and if his power is in his blood, it’s also in his spit and his sweat and his touch. Wes asks where Cordy is, and she replies that she thinks Cordy went out. He asks where, and when she answers, he’s all “AHA! You don’t think she went out, you KNOW she went out.” Fred’s taken aback. Wes looks through the microscope again and says, “Lie to me again, and we’re going to have a problem…” Fade to black.

Sweeney: DISLIKE. MAKE IT STOP. MAKE IT STOP.

Lor: Even though it should’ve been obvious, there was a moment of being all, “oh, he’s being boss man. Wait, he’s being a dick. OH. EW.”

K: After the Not Commercial Break, Fred moves hurriedly around Wes’ desk. He asks where she’s going, and she says that she’s going to phone Cordy and find out where she is. He says in a cold voice that it won’t be necessary, and demands that she sit down. He tells her that she needs to make some changes, starting with the provocative outfits she wears. He slides the strap of her dress off her shoulder as he says it, and NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. He continues, saying that she needs to stop waving it in his face, daring him to take it, taunting him and then humiliating him behind his back. She jumps up and he slaps her to the ground. She runs for the door, but he slams it shut just as she gets there and grabs her by the hair. “What do you tell a woman who has two black eyes? Nothing you haven’t already told her twice,” he says as he throws her against the stairs. Fred runs upstairs and he follows, grabbing a battle axe on his way past the weapons cabinet.

Sweeney: THAT IS NOT THE WAY I WANTED YOU TO MAKE IT STOP, EPISODE. NOT COOL.

K: This fucking episode, you guys. Cut to the cousin’s apartment. Angel knocks on the door and says that he’s looking for Billy, because he wants to kill him. The cousin – Dylan – invites him in. Angel’s surprised by the lack of bloodshed, and Dylan says that everyone in the family knows the rules where Billy’s concerned – don’t leave him alone with your girlfriend, don’t let him near your pets, and don’t let him touch you. Apparently Billy came there for money and left when Dylan gave it to him. Angel wants to know how come Dylan let him in when he said he wanted to kill Billy. Dylan says that Cordelia came by and said that a melodramatic guy named Angel would turn up looking for Billy. Obviously, Angel’s response is, “She thinks I’m melodramatic?” INSECURE ANGEL SHOTS!! He asks where she went, and Dylan says that he sent her to Santa Monica, because his family has a plane and Billy wanted to fly somewhere.

Back to the Hyperion. Wes is walking through the darkened upper floors of the hotel, pushing doors open with his axe as he goes on a misogynistic monologue. He finds a room with the safety chain on, and kicks the door in. He heads into the room, which is dark and full of junk. He continues his misogy-logue, saying that the deception of women goes all the way back to Eve and the serpent, plotting behind men’s backs, that women are dirty and weak and trying to bring men down into the muck with them. He smashes a stool, and there’s a little gasp from under the bed. We see Fred hiding under there as Wes’ shoes approach. The mattress gets ripped off the bed, and he grabs her by the neck, pulling her upright. He pins her against the wall and kisses her, but she stabs a nail into his shoulder, knees him in the groin and runs.

An airfield. Billy stands in a hangar as a private jet rolls towards him. Cordy walks towards him and calls out his name. She tells him that she’s the one Wolfram & Hart tortured to get him out of hell, and he wants to know if she’s there to whine about it. She whips out a taser and jabs it into his stomach. He falls to the ground, gasping. “No, asswipe. I’m here to send you back,” she says as she pulls a crossbow on him.

Hyperion. Fred hurries through the hall with Wes calling out behind her that he’s not a girl and he won’t give up until it’s done. She rushes up the stairs to the next floor, and he grins before turning to take a different route. On the floor above, Fred sprints down the corridor, then trips and falls. (L: THIS IS MY STRESS DREAM.) She scurries backwards on her hands and knees for a second before standing and running straight into someone. It’s Gunn. He puts a hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming, then pulls her gently around a corner.

Back at the airfield. Billy stands up, and informs Cordy that he doesn’t hate women, despite the fact that they’re all sluts and whores. Men are just as bad, because they’re willing to give up everything for what’s under women’s skirts. “I’m wearing pants.

 

He says she doesn’t have the nerve to shoot him, and she takes a step closer, pressing the arrow to his neck. Angel appears and knocks the crossbow away. Billy is thrilled that Angel’s saved him again, but Angel tells Cordy that he can’t let her do it, and that he’s going to be the one to destroy Billy. Cordy points out that Billy can’t hurt her, but it’s too late. Billy grabs Angel’s face, leaving two red handprints. Fade to black.

After the Not Commercial Break, Fred and Gunn are racing down a corridor at the hotel trying doors. One opens, and they rush in. Gunn barricades the door behind them and asks Fred what happened to Wes. She says that she thinks he got infected from touching the blood sample, and Gunn’s all “You mean that blood sample I picked up and studied?” He heads for the door, telling her to lock it behind him. But it’s too late – Wes is doing a Shining recreation on the door. Gunn says it’s time to go to Plan B. Fred asks what that is, and he turns out her, saying that Plan B is the one where she shuts up before he bashes her…he trails off and says “Oh God” as he realises what’s happening.

Sweeney: YOU DIDN’T MAKE IT STOP, YOU MADE IT EVEN WORSE. WHY, EPISODE, WHY? Also, the look on his face as he realizes? Feels. I mean, I hate everything that’s happening, but also. Fuck.

K: Yup. Airfield. Angel tells Cordy to leave, but she refuses, telling him to fight it. She says that it’s her fault it’s happening to him and that she can’t leave. Meanwhile, I’m distracted by the fact that Cordy’s meant to be 21 but she looks about 40. Angel asks if she knows what her real problem is. She backs up a little, looking scared. “Guys like THIS,” he says as he spins and punches Billy, who apparently has no power over vampires. Cordy smiles a little.

Sweeney: Inappropriate time to fuck with her, Angel.

Lor: Seriously. Catching Billy off guard was not worth scaring the shit of Cordelia at that moment.

K: Nope. Hyperion. Gunn rips the leg off a chair and Fred backs away in fear. He offers it to her, telling her to knock him out with it. She refuses at first, and he yells at her to give it back so he can smash her head in. She whacks him, and he’s knocked to the ground, but starts to get to his feet telling her she’ll pay for it. She whacks him again, and this time he’s out cold. She leans back in relief just as Wes’ axe bursts through the door.

Airfield. Angel and Billy fight, and Billy’s starting to get the upper hand. Cordy goes for her crossbow, but can’t get a clean shot. Angel tosses Billy away, and Cordy aims at him just as two gunshots ring out. Billy drops to the ground and the camera pans across to reveal Lilah, standing rock solid with her gun outstretched. She walks away without a word. Angel and Cordy just look at each other in surprise and relief.

Sweeney: There’s a lot to hate in this episode, but I appreciated this. It wasn’t all that unexpected, but I’m glad it happened that way.

K: Hyperion. Wes pushes into the room and sees Gunn unconscious on the floor. He misogy-logues some more, saying that Fred likes to hide in dark places, trying to recreate the cave she spent five years in because she’s stupid. He pulls open a cupboard, and we see in the mirror that she’s behind him. She informs him that he may be right about her liking to hide in the dark, but he forgot that she also likes to build things. She pulls a cord which sends a fire extinguisher flying across the room. It hits him in the chest, and knocks him through some broken floorboards, falling into the room below. She stares down at his unconscious body.

In the basement the next day, Angel and Cordy are training some more. She wonders out loud why Billy’s power didn’t work on him, and he says that it’s because he doesn’t feel anger and hatred – Angelus killed for pleasure and to inflict pain. She decides that having a demon half makes him less petty than humans, and kind of noble in a really fucked up way. He’s unsure if that’s a compliment.

We’s apartment. He sits in the dark with balled up paper around his feet. There’s a knock at the door. It’s Fred. She goes to touch a cut on his face and he pulls away, ashamed and disgusted with himself. He apologises with tears in his eyes. She tells him that he needs to come back to work, and he says that he can’t, because he tried to kill her, that something inside him was forced out. She tells him that he’s a good man, and it was something that was done to him, not something that’s in him. She says that she’ll see him back at the office, and leaves. He closes the door behind her and breaks down. Out in the hall, Fred hears him crying and hesitates for a moment, then turns and walks away. Fade to black.

Sweeney: OOF. THAT JUST HAPPENED. There were a few great moments in this shitpile of an episode. I also think that even the horror could have been done in a way that wasn’t so reprehensible; there were things to unpack with this misogyny demon. I think that any way you do it would have been horrifying to watch and not a thing I’d ever want to watch again, but that doesn’t necessarily equal awful television. Where this runs into NO! BAD IDEA! DO NOT DO THIS! territory is making victims out of the abusers. Fred’s line sums it up perfectly: this was something done to him. While it’s all fine and good to demonstrate that things aren’t as simple as good/evil black/white — something this show loves to do — this was not the thing to do it with. Given the pervasiveness of victim blaming in this society, and the ease with which our society makes up excuses for and defends abusers, this was not OK. A plot device in which the misogynistic men who beat/rape/murder women are themselves the victim? NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. That was just gross to watch and pretty much ruined the rest of my day. So, thanks, show!

Lor: I think perhaps the message wasn’t clear enough here, for sure, but I don’t think this episode was a shitpile exactly. It took on a heck of a big subject and tried to convey the scope of it all in 45 minutes. It got things right and it got things wrong, and in the end, I don’t think it was clear enough.

First, I think it tried to subtlely show that while the big! abuse! moments! were courtesy of a demon (and “not the abusers fault”), women in the story face daily sexism which are simply NOT OKAY. We start with Angel showing Cordelia only defense moves, assuming that he’s always going to be there to save her. Even the comments made my the Cabby Extra about women always yapping were subtle little inserts about the way misogyny exists in the simple, everyday things women encounter.

Even with the last scene. I hated that Fred was the one to come over and try and talk Wesley out of his hole. At the same time, the scene showed us that it was NOT okay no matter what Fred said. Wesley cries, overwhelmed with the not-okay-ness of it all.

It tried. It was difficult to watch at points but engaging. I loved that in the end it was Cordelia and Fred who displayed the most courage, strength and ingenuity. I loved that Cordelia is taking it upon herself to be more than just the “heart.”

K: While I loved the moments of BAMF Cordy and Fred being brave and all that stuff, I still hated this episode with a fiery passion. If Angel hadn’t stepped in to “save” Cordy, I might have liked it more. If Lilah had shot Billy IN HIS FACE and not in the back, I might have liked it more. If they’d had Fred be hesitant to be around Wes – even though she knows it was something that was done to him – I might have liked it more. If Cordy, Fred and Liliah had banded together to take Billy down and get him back to his Big Box o’ Fire to suffer eternal torment, YES! FOUR FOR YOU, EPISODE. But it didn’t happen that way. So I’m stuck firmly in Hatred Town.

 

Next time: Darla’s back and has some rather unexpected news for Angel. Find out how he reacts in Angel S03 E07 – Offspring.

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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  • Danna

    I considered suggesting that you skip this episode, but I knew that really wouldn’t work. I just don’t know why they had to go there. It was really difficult to watch. Some great moments with Cordy, though. And my heart broke for Wes.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      The Cordy moments were literally the only thing that made this episode bearable.

  • Anagnorisis

    Ok, so I really don’t want to watch this episode.
    Yes! Cordy learning to fight is the best thing ever.
    No!! Lilah! Ok, here we go ¬¬
    Aww, Wes has feelings for Fred
    ‘I’m fine, you should see the other guy’. Lilah, I love you.
    I….. have nothing
    Nice speech Cordy, maybe a little heavy handled but I like the vicious bitch line. Reappropriation of the term! See, I hate the word ‘bitch’ but if someone has the right to used that’s Cordy (‘the bitch is back’) and I love the way she does it in this conversation, actually using it as a good title, something a strong woman can handle to be called.
    Gorillaz?
    Oh no! Wesley is turning into Christian Grey! ugg, this is horrible
    A melodramatic guy named Angel. lol
    It was not an apple, it was a ‘forbidden fruit’ but in nowhere it says it was an apple, IDK why people think that, it’s not like apples are that tasty. I mean, I could understand a banana (ugg, no, too freudian).
    Yes, I’d rather focus on anything else.
    Billy is not a subtle character, right?
    Angel, stop ruining Cordy’s scene, she was being amazing
    what, floor, what
    LILAH MORGAN Lilah Fucking Morgan, everybody. YES!

    Well, that was… it. I thought it was going to be the worst but it was actually… there. I mean, not subtle at all but the twist with the girls all saving themselves in the end made it a little better.
    It’s not 50Shades bad because we are indeed supposed to hate this guy, he is wrong, there’s no way around it. If the storyline was different, with him ending up falling for Fred/Cordy/Lilah and ‘rescued by love’ then I’d have a problem. Didn’t realize about how problematic it is to have the guys being ‘turned into abusers’ by a demon and therefore victims themselves, I actually didn’t catch that, so it’s great for you to point it out. Oh well.
    And yes I hate the idea of primordial misogyny or the reason why Angel wasn’t affected. WTF.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      I think the fact that I had to spend two and a half hours watching this episode in order to write the recap upped my hatred level by at least 25%.

      But the idea that misogyny is a primordial force? NOPE TIMES INFINITY.

  • SnazzyO

    First, can I give a 1430? If so, 1430 for the “More Wine” gif because Cersei’s face was so my face at that moment. And I’m drinking a very nice Cabernet right now and this gif seemed like a call to action (which I promptly took and refilled my glass).

    While I loathe Billy with the heat of 1000 suns I don’t hate this episode. I certainly GET the hate and see it as a totally reasonable feels for this episode. I just took this episode at a different “layer”? IDK, Here’s what I got from this ep:
    – All misogynists are demon spawn from EVIL demons and should be burned for all eternity.
    – The men were weak, except for Angel but he did not save the day
    – The women in this ep were the BadAsses who both emotionally and physically were the winners

    I also had some major FEELS moments:
    – Cordy’s “vicious bitch” speech
    – Lilah shooting Billy (this was a fist-pump moment for me and I love Lilah even tho she’s evil)
    – How utterly BROKEN Wesley was by his actions

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      The problem is though, that not all the women were the badasses. There were numerous nameless women that were berated and abused and killed because of Billy’s actions who couldn’t fight back and didn’t have a champion there to rescue them. And every time, there were men who stood on the side lines – men who HADN’T been touched by Billy – going “Welp, she probably deserved it”.

      I honestly think it’s a concept that would have worked better on Buffy – we’ve already seen the Scoobies standing up to Tara’s (misogynistic and possibly abusive) family, and it was Buffy and Dawn and Willow who led the charge. Having them *PROVE* BILLY WRONG would have been phenomenal.

      • Jojo

        Just curious – was it worth getting Billy out of his own hell and bringing him back in order to save Cordelia?

        • Melbourne on my Mind

          I think there could have been another way to do it – arrange some kind of plan with Skip in which Billy THINKS he’s been freed. Angel hands him off to Lilah, Cordy is saved, Angel kills Skull-less Kal Penn, and Billy gets magically whisked back to his Big Box o’ Fire when Skip appears out of nowhere. Or something…

          • Jojo

            Well, there are forces at work that we don’t know about yet. Let’s just say there will be other interactions with Skip. But I do see what you mean – the problem is that by saving Cordelia they damned every woman who was affected by Billy.

            Next question – if their positions were reversed – if Gunn had handled the hand print back at the wall and brought it to the office to carefully examine – while Wesley had touched a small bit only moments before seeing Fred and being told what was happening – would the outcomes be the same? How much do you think was innate and how much was timing and circumstances?

  • theghostofpinchy

    This episode is difficult to watch, but I don’t think it’s a shitpile. Basically, I agree with what Lorraine said toward the end.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Oh, I don’t think it’s a shitpile. It’s not awful in the same way that, say, the guy who can remove his own body parts and hover them around the room episode was awful. But there were so many ways that they could have taken this episode full spectrum from “difficult to watch” to “YES OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING”, but they didn’t.

  • darkalter2000

    You guys kinda skipped the part were Cordelia says she is learning to fight because she can’t rely on “some man” (aka Angel) being there to save her.

    Lor, in answer to your question about Angel entering Billy’s den, I think it is like the Hyperion. There are main ways and suites. The suites get threshold protection from human occupants but the main parts of the house aren’t actually lived in, they are just the connecting parts.

    Fred forgiving Wesley was probably the worst thing she could have done to comfort him. Wesley comes from an abusive home, he knows how abusers control their victims. The abuser gets the victim to forgive them, or even more ideally have the victim apologize to the abuser. Wesley already feels like this whole thing is his fault because of his upbringing. Fred’s forgiveness was an unintentional knife to his heart, the abuse victim, Fred, forgiving the abuser, himself.

    I find this whole episode kind of interesting because every person who is controlled is a victim and every person who gets attacked is a victim as well. Like a guy who drops PCP in a punch bowl Billy abuses everyone around him and manages to escape blame. He sees himself as above the petty actions of normal people and enjoys watching them suffer. I don’t think this episode needed to stay “on point” about misogyny, the only misogynist in the episode (besides the taxi drivers) is Billy. Billy is just a disease that spreads what he is. He is a regular misogynist with a superpower.

    I will concede the episode could have used more girl power. I tend to think every show could use more girl power though. Buffy is probably in my top three TV shows, so I tend to think they could all use a little more Buffy.

    I could watch Billy getting gunned down by Lilah for hours. I don’t think he got any less than he deserved and honestly don’t see why Kirsti is down on Lilah for shooting him in the back intead of giving him some kind of ‘honorable chance’ thing. I like how practical she is when it comes to revenge. “No faffing about, just do the damage and get gone.”

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Oh, I’m not down on Lilah for shooting him in the back. He doesn’t deserve an honourable chance, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m merely arguing that having him see her face and the direct consequences of his actions when he dies would be so much more satisfying. And Lilah’s character – being the vicious bitch that she’s described as in this episode – deserves the chance to SHOW HIM that she’s more than a punching bag, more than the worthless whore he thinks all women are. She’s strong and she’s a fighter and she knows without a doubt that he deserves to die. I wish that he could have died knowing that it happened at the hand of one of the women he victimised. Being shot in the back deprived us of that.

      • darkalter2000

        I tend to think of showy kills as being too much for the benefit of the one you are killing. Why show them who you are? They are going to be dead seconds later. Unless they see you coming and get a chance to defend themselves. We actually see Billy crack the pavement with his bare hands. That is not someone you want to give a chance to see you as you kill him.

        The is a problem in stories. It is more dramatic to confront a person then to simply kill them. It is also Bond Villain Stupidity. If there isn’t a practical reason to do it, other than the fact that it is a story, then the character shouldn’t do it. Lilah decides that she wasn’t letting Billy get away with hospitalizing her, so she killed him. Adding more steps into the plan just increases the chances of failure. The brevity is more dramatic to me because it feels more real. Giving a speech to someone you are going to kill is pure “Fallacy of the Talking Killer”. It takes me out of the moment.

        • Alex

          Agree 100%. Lilah does the smart thing by shooting Billy where he stands and not giving him a chance to hurt her or anyone else again. Any kind of ‘I want you to look me in the eyes when I kill you’ business would have just been foolish. And I find it oddly satisfying to see a villain executed so unceremoniously: no last words, no final dig at his victims, just BANG – death. It works for me.

        • Melbourne on my Mind

          Oh, I’m not saying she needed to give him a speech or confront him in a dramatic way. I would have been happy if they’d simply had her yell “BILLY!” leading to him turning around, because “Oh look, my lawyer’s here to tell Angel to fuck off”, and then BAM. Double tap to the chest. It takes his power away AND he dies pissed off because one of his victims took him down.

          Honestly, I think a big part of my disappointment in regards to this is because I know if it had been Buffy who was fighting Billy, she would have ripped his heart out and held it in front of him, and punned as she did so.

          • Jojo

            Right – put it in BTVS – now I wonder what would happen to Giles and Xander, and Spike.

          • Melbourne on my Mind

            I think we’ve kind of already seen what would happen with Xander way back in season 1 and that time he got turned into a hyena… And as for Spike, well, spoilers…

          • Jojo

            True – though if both had warning they may have been able to resist. Giles – now that would have been interesting.

        • lev36

          Reminds me of a quote from Terry Pratchett:

          “Something Vimes had learned as a young guard drifted up from memory. If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you’re going to die. So they’ll talk. They’ll gloat.

          They’ll watch you squirm. They’ll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar.

          So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word.”
          ― Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

          Though I wouldn’t call Lilah a good person; just smarter than most other evil ones.

        • darkalter2000

          I’m not sure how to respond to all these comments. I made my points and I don’t see any new arguments, and the agreements don’t really need a response…? Not sure. :/

  • Jojo

    I’m with Lor on this one. It’s hellish difficult to watch. If we weren’t snarking the series I wouldn’t want to watch much of this. I love the Cordelia and Lilah scenes. I also love the fact that Fred found and built the weapons she needed to take care of herself.

    But the Wes scenes are what appall me. It’s horrifying, but it’s also so layered. I think we see here exactly the abuse that he lived with – and why he ended up spending so much time in the dark under the stairs. More than that – he’s the one who would agree with Sweeney. There was something inside him he never knew about – an abuser as vicious as the abuser that tortured him. He doesn’t want his behavior excused. He doesn’t believe he was the victim, or that something was done to him. He has seen a darkness inside him that he never realized existed and….he doesn’t even know what kind of man he is anymore. It really is horrifying when you have been abused to find yourself doing what was done to you. This really does shake him to his core. I think the reason he agrees to go back to work is not that he feels forgiven because that won’t help anyway – just that he’s more afraid that Fred and/or the others will keep trying to forgive him and that hurts more than pretending everything is all right.

    I love Cordy and Lilah – particularly the vicious bitch scene. “- No woman should ever have to go through that, and no woman strong enough to wear the mantel of ‘vicious bitch’ would ever put up with it.” Exactly, because bitch is the term men use when women use tactics men want to reserve for themselves. I love the fact that Lilah killed Billy and it was purely out of revenge. There was no good girl – will save everyone – excuse me for being powerful moment. Lilah wanted him dead so she tracked him down and shot him, and the only reason he was shot in the back was because Billy was too smart to turn his back on Angel.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      I find it interesting that Gunn was able to realise what was happening and take measures to stop himself from hurting Fred, while Wes wasn’t. I’m probably thinking too much into things, but it’s almost like he just accepted the darkness inside himself when it started to take over, which would take the fact that he’s shaken to his core to a whole other level. Not only does he have darkness inside him, but HE ACCEPTED IT. You know?

      • darkalter2000

        I think your acceptance view is very much part of what Wesley thought had happened. But I personally think he was being affected slowly enough that he didn’t realize anything was wrong till it was too late. Like when you suddenly realize you are about to crap yourself unless you run to the toilet, it just sneaks up on you.

        I just used bowel movement as an analogy for mind control. I think I have become enlightened.

        • Jojo

          That is some heavy shit! XD

        • Melbourne on my Mind

          That analogy made me snort laugh so hard that I’m sure America heard it.

          • darkalter2000

            Thank you, thank you. I’m here Mondays and Thursdays, with occasional drops in.

      • Jojo

        I’d say it’s the opposite – Gunn knew the darkness inside him and was able to warn Fred. But I think part of why it so completely took over Wes was he had no idea that it was even in him. Gunn has so much more experience with fighting, and feeling that anger. Wesley is the poster boy for repression and self control. Once that control broke and these feelings took over he had no tools to combat them. When he was crying at the end he said he didn’t know what kind of man he was anymore – he was literally shaken to the core, the soul by that dark side he had never allowed himself to realize.

        Of course, there is also the fact that Wesley was infected by touching the blood even before he got back to the Hyperion – Gunn got to Fred within minutes of being exposed and he knew immediately what exposure would do to both him and Fred.

      • Alex

        I think that the biggest reason that Gunn was able to fight it was that he knew it was coming within a few minutes of touching the blood, and was able to recognise it happening and try to resist. There may also be an element of Gunn’s character vs. Wesleys’ in there, but I think the time factor is the main explanation. That said, I think the fact that Gunn did manage to resist must make it 100 times worse for Wesley when he comes out the other side. No matter how hard he tries to justify it, Gunn’s self-control must make Wesley question why he wasn’t able to do the same.

        Not to mention the fact that Gunn’s resistance and Angel’s apparent immunity mean that Wesley is the only one in the gang who actually did anything awful under Billy’s influence. You can see how it would have been so much easier, in a weird way, if all three of the guys had been affected and were able to console each other afterwards.

        In a nutshell: poor, poor Wesley. I really hate the writers for doing this to him.

        • Melbourne on my Mind

          Me too. And you’re probably right about Gunn. I find it a little strange that Angel – who’s done so many terrible things and atoned for them – wasn’t there for Wes. He was so integral to Faith’s redemption arc, and yet when it’s one of his own he’s not there? WEIRD.

          I mean, it’s possible that Angel was there off camera. But it’s weird that the guy who’s redeemed himself and has helped others redeem themselves isn’t there for Wes when he’s needed.

          • Alex

            That sort of thing is one of my main complaints about the series as it goes on; I think the bonding moments between the Fang Gang members get fewer and further between. Sometimes there are good reasons for it but sometimes it just feels like the writers forgot to include those kinds of scenes.

          • Jojo

            Change is the one constant in life. It’s more obvious in Buffy – kids graduate and go to college, move out, get engaged. But the same forces are in effect in both universes. Know one thing – when everything is at its peak and it is all working great, Whedon will send in the reaper….or some other instrument of pain.

          • Jojo

            Foreshadowing? Alex is right – the bonding moments are getting further and further apart – there is less actual communication. All of these small changes will have repercussions.

        • Jojo

          It really is an actual tragedy for Wes. There are two men vying for Fred, the one who rescued her and the one who threatened her in graphic terms. I think that even more than the others being able to resist, and more than hurting Fred, the fact that there is so much powerful darkness inside him that he never knew about – that’s what has stunned him. Both Angel and Gunn had experienced that part of themselves. I really believe that Wes is so repressed he didn’t even know it existed – given the way he was abused growing up he would have had to pack that rage away somewhere.

  • Melodie Hatley

    I liked this episode and it’s for a very, very basic reason: It put the topic of abuse in front of a relatively big audience. We women live with misogyny every day, and I’m sad to say that probably a fair portion of us have had experience with it or abuse in a very real way. Yet, like Sweeney’s tweet of not so long ago, if you point out to men (in general) that this misogyny exists? They’re like, “NO WAY. I don’t see it at all, so it MUST NOT EXIST.” I don’t care if any guys reading this get butthurt that I’m including them in the generic group men… even though they might be able to see their privilege, they don’t have to LIVE through what we do, as women. I could go on a whole feminist rant here, but I shan’t since that would be terribly long.

    So, I like this episode by virtue of it bringing some serious matters to light, for a wider viewing audience. No, it’s not as strong as some would like, and yes, the abusers in this case were also victims (although one could argue that could showcase the cycle of abuse, but that’s neither here nor there), but it showed abuse and misogyny straight up as evil, which I believe it is. Not only did it show it (and not in a “Lifetime movie of the week” thing, or as a half hour afterschool special deal), but it did so in Primetime, which reaches a lot more viewers.

    The episode itself had some strong acting in it, too, and it’s nice to hate a clear cut villain sometimes without all of the ambivalence that sometimes is showcased in Angel & Buffy.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      I agree that it’s great that they brought serious issues to life. But like I said somewhere else in the comments, I feel like it’s a concept that would have worked better on Buffy, where we have strong female characters who’ve stood up to misogynistic bullshit before and not taken any of it.

      Hell, even if they’d linked it back to the training Angel was giving Cordy at the start of the episode by having him interrupt her, and saying “I can’t let you do this.”, and then adjusting her aim slightly and saying “OKAY, GO”. Because like she said during the training, he won’t always be there to save her. She needs to know how to take down the bad guys on her own. Besides, she’s killed vampires before, and they’ve established that Billy’s not human. He doesn’t need to save her soul like after Faith killed a man.

      • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

        I’m not even going to fully open up this can of worms, but just casually mention that Buffy has not been immune to a certain share of sexism, and unlike this episode, I don’t believe all of it is intentionally done. I try to ignore sex in the Buffyverse for that reason. I think it isn’t fair to Cordelia and Fred– two every day women NOT blessed with Slayer strength, abilities or magic (beyond the visions) to say that Buffy would’ve handled it better. Whatever the problems with this episode, the girls here handled themselves just fine. More than fine.

      • Melodie Hatley

        Gotta remember that this tv show was on over a decade ago, and a lot has changed since then. If you wanted SRS DRAMA about abuse, you pretty much watched cop shows. [which I almost typoed as ‘cop shops’] Hell, I remember watching the show “Family Ties” where they had Tom Hanks as an alcoholic uncle which was played for laughs, and the Brady Bunch reboot which had… was it Marcia? I think so. One of the girls as an alcoholic… played for laughs… WITH a laugh track. And Different Strokes dealt with pedophilia… in a way gathered to get laughs. [what’s wrong with me that I remember watching all of that on live TV? Gaaah.] Hell, even just in Buffy, season 4, it was a BIG DEAL to have lesbians on the show because it wasn’t done. TV has changed a lot in a couple decades, and for a show that is not a family drama, cop show, afterschool special, and so on to bring a serious issue to light was a pretty big deal, or at least it was to me.

        Was it handled as awesomely as it could have been? Of course not. But that the content of the show is STILL relevant today and showcases a few different kinds of strength from women [Lilah, Cordy, and Fred all] is still a big deal in television today, sadly.

        • Jojo

          +1 I remember the news coverage when Willow and Tara had the first lesbian relationship in a prime time show. News Coverage….very different time!

    • darkalter2000

      People who pretend misogyny doesn’t exist because they “haven’t seen it” are either assholes or retards. It is everywhere, maybe they just think “That isn’t misogyny! That is just how things are.” or some other flimsy excuse but if they thought about it without bias they would realize they see small bits of it everywhere even without the more blatant showings.
      Also the “I haven’t seen it.” excuse is a fundamentally stupid argument. I haven’ seen 99% of the planet does that leave me free to believe that the middle east doesn’t exist? No it doesn’t.

      • Melodie Hatley

        I agree, but a lot of people can’t see their privilege.

  • Alex

    The biggest problem with this episode, I think, is the way that it depicts misogyny as a ‘primordial force’ – i.e. something inherent in all men that Billy just ‘brings out’ of them. The idea that men are somehow biologically programmed to despise and abuse women is just NOT the right way to approach this topic. Billy being a big fat misogynist and channeling that through the men he touches? That could work. But instead it feels like we’re being told that deep down, Wesley and Gunn and all the other guys actually really hate women too, and want to hurt them, and that this is something that they’ve been suppressing which Billy is able to unleash. Suggesting that it’s in men’s nature to be violent, misogynistic assholes who despise women is horribly insulting, to both sexes.

    You could argue that the ‘primordial’ thing is Lilah’s words, and purely her own (incorrect) interpretation of Billy’s power, but I think when you’re dealing with a topic like this you can’t leave things like that down to conjecture. We shouldn’t have to fanwank in order to make the message of the episode more acceptable.

    I think episodes like this are almost worse than the ones which are just plain crappy, because you can see what they were trying to do and you can see how it could have been awesome, and that makes it all the more frustrating that they just didn’t quite get there.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Your last paragraph – YES. I would happily rewatch that shitty episode with Bai Ling from season 1 or the museum-object-that-makes-everyone-crazy episide from season 2 in a heartbeat over this, and both of those were ranked at the bottom of our wrap up rankings. Because they may have been shit, but at least they weren’t frustrating in their not-quite-there-ness.

      • Jojo

        I head canon it to mean…okay, all infants are born with the capacity to speak any language, both brain capacity and physical ability. It is in speaking a language (or more) that the other capacities are pared down. But they don’t go away – you can still learn a language later in life but it will be much harder.

        If you take that sort of setup and apply it to emotions and biases, then all humans would have the capacity to feel and direct any emotion. That could make misogyny primordial in some sense, as sort of a package deal.

        However, in evolutionary reality misogyny would not be a survival trait. Survival would pretty much guarantee a misogynist’s genes would not survive. We are actually hard wired to cooperate – it took more than one hunter to bring down a mammoth. And hunters were anyone able bodied – male and female.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          You can get into a whole bunch here when it comes to “primordial,” and it doesn’t have to necessarily mean that it’s biological. Constructionist theories say that ideas and concepts build through history and culture. In that case, what is more primordial that patriarchy?

          I personally didn’t interpret the episode as Billy pulling on something inherent in the men, but if so, that adds the layer of perhaps it was something socially built in– ideas and theories taught to women and men about roles and self worth that have to constantly be fought against. I, for one, was raised to be a good ole housewife by my immigrant mother who was taught by her mother that getting married was the end all be all of life’s goals. I am NOT making excuses for this way of thinking, but only pointing out that it is something that you can arguable say needs to be fought against and reeducated.

          Food for thought!

          • Jojo

            I just assume something closer to xenophobia – an us and a them. All you need then is to identify the *them* and you have your set-up – patriarchy, racism, and all the others isms. I do have to say that Melbourne is right about the show being aired – just imagine if Billy brought primordial racism! Somehow I doubt that would be deemed alright.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      It wasn’t fanwank for me at all– or it didn’t feel like it– while I was watching the episode. The primordial thing was all Lilah’s own interpretation, and doesn’t it just fit with who she is and what world she’s in that she would feel that men are out to get her? Born with evil just built up inside of them that directly opposes who she is and what she wants. That’s Lilah’s spin on it, or that’s how it felt to me while watching. I didn’t think the episode needed to say, “THIS IS NOT TRUE,” because it followed this up with that scene of Gunn fighting what was happening to him as well as Wesley’s deep regret and admittance that of course no part of him wants to kill Fred.

    • darkalter2000

      I personally think they just used primordial incorrectly. Mostly because the word is steeped in storytelling tradition. Words like primordial, eldritch, abomination, ancient etc. get used a great deal more. Even when there are more accurate wordings that are more contemporary but don’t have the thematic feel of certain words. Sometimes the story’s atmosphere is maintained to the detriment of clarity.

      Looking at Billy’s power I would say he is more a catalyst than a real power. He isn’t a guy who can tap into misogynistic sociological bias of people and bring it to the surface, he just pushes his own misogyny into people as a template and ramps up their rage. Maybe his demon progenitor (I was so tempted to use sire here) had real power and could inflict any paradigm it could imagine and ramp up any emotion it desired but Billy is a half-or-less deal. I doubt we can really ascribe anything ‘primordial’ to what he does.

      It seems like this week is my week for talking about story conventions and tropes.

      Footnote: I really wanted to use ‘sire’ up there but it would have made people think of vampires and wasn’t really the correct word anyway. We don’t know how many generations back Billy’s demon ancestor is so sire just isn’t correct.

  • Clément Polge

    So, uh, please don’t hit me, but I actually like this episode. It’s not *great* but it’s a good one. In short, I agree with Lorraine’s conclusions.

    I also get Fred going to see Wes, she’s really the brainy one, so I guess she’s able to rationalize that this wasn’t really Wesley, but demon-y influence-y Wesley. It really have to do with Fred’s character.

    Also this episode just give me so many Wes feels. But, you know, buisness as usual. Also a lot of Fred feels.

    And obviously, BAMF Cordy all the way, and The Mantle Of Vicious Bitch should totally be a thing.

    And I actually like that Lilah shot him in the back, because it had a “I don’t really care about the how” element to it. She didn’t want to be all chivalrous or whatever, she wanted something done, so she did it. Period. It just *happened* to be this way, doesn’t mean that it was planned to go like this.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      There was never any chance of me liking this episode. After the better part of five years spent in a male dominated workplace where I dealt with gender role bullshit on a daily basis, I have an incredibly low threshold when it comes to misogyny…

      • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

        I understand what you mean whole heartedly. I didn’t “like” the episode because it presents very little to like, but it gets credit from me for being one with an interesting story that takes our characters interesting places, that riles feathers and flares up feels. It managed to bring up this issue and add the supernatural twist so that the characters could make some progress.

        I think if at the end you weren’t left thinking MISOGYNY IS THE WORST, well, then I might punch you.

        • Jojo

          It had enough substance that we actually ended up with more comments on the Angel review than the Buffy. You know, there are other episodes that touch on sensitive matters – some of which are key to the plot (and some of which make you wonder what the writer was smoking). Take this as a test run – it does get worse on occasion.

          • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

            These are my favorite kinds of episodes! The ones where everyone’s all, “yeah. Don’t know what to say. It was okay.” are the worst, in my opinion. If you go in knowing that probably no one is going to change your mind, it’s still fun to be all, “but this is how I saw it.” Because everyone sees things slightly different.

            That said just to say: worse should be interesting. :)

          • Melodie Hatley

            I totally agree, and that we’re talking about a decade+ old show dealing with an issue–however good or bad it’s dealing with it–should say something about the storytelling power. No, it wasn’t the best way to showcase a serious issue, but it’s got all of US talking about it, and how it could have been handled better, and how it’s relevant to people’s lives. That says a LOT.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      I like that Lilah shot him in the back too. There was the element of surprise that was good for the story telling aspect (because you didn’t see it coming) and the aspect where he didn’t deserve to see it coming. This was NOT a guy who was going to feel regret or remorse for his actions. He wasn’t going do or think anything that would’ve given Lilah any more or less satisfaction than killing him.

  • behind blueiz

    True, there were many things wrong with the episode but at least one message was clear: abuse=bad. Not like our resident Wednesday snark who glamourizes abuse on the reg.

  • behind blueiz

    Maybe Christian Grey is actually part demon, like Billy. Hey! Maybe we can get a big o’box of flames for him as well.

    Oh well. One can be an optimistic–or delusional. Take your pick.

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  • Meagan Malachite

    I didn’t think of the victim blaming angle on this til you pointed it out, and while I see how that is disturbing, I also liked Fred saying “this was something that was done to you” for a different reason:

    I was really upset when Lilah told Cordy that Billy awakens a “primal misogyny” in men. This implies that misogyny is inherent and a biological fact of our evolutionary history, which is a common belief academically but by no means do I buy it. I’m reading The Chalice and the Blade right now which is a powerful look at this assumption that women are and have always been inferior and how it pervades anthropology, archeology, etc.

    When Fred said it was something done to you I thanked the episode because I saw it more as her saying that about all men: that violence towards women is not an inherent element of humanity’s male half and is something socially learned, so we can’t justify it with biology. AND that if it’s learned it can be unlearned. Hopefully.

    It bothered me too that Angel got in the way of letting Cordy kill Billy. I don’t know if this was intentional but maybe it was meant to leave the viewer disappointed, instead of feeding us the story that women are totally empowered and liberated, something we sometimes see on TV but isn’t true in real life.

    • http://www.sweeneysays.com Sweeney

      Aah, that is a really interesting point. I hated Lilah suggesting that this is just ~*innate*~ and that line does something really important in noting how that’s bullshit.

    • darkalter2000

      I’d would like to point you up to my comment that ascribes the use of primordial as simply bad word usage. Instead of an endorsement of the view that misogyny is intrinsic to the human condition.

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