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Season 2: Angst, Anger, & Karaoke


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#1

Lutanite

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Posted Jan 1, 2004 @ 6:08 PM

Naxus, what do you think the brown leather jacket could mean? Maybe it's the closest to beige they could get him in?

Watched Happy Anniversary and The Thin Dead Line. Wherein Lorne enlists Angel to save the world from a physics grad student unlucky at love and Anne enlists Gunn to save street kids from dead cops.

HA carried the standard Angel mythic theme of the Evil Messiah (The Master couldn’t have more consciously aped messianic language if he’d been quoting). With a twist; here we have the clueless messiah. The demons that are helping Grad Student Gene to his destiny of freezing time let us know that “from nothingness the human pestulance came. Into nothingness it goes” as he fixes the magic spell/equation.

Only change to the math I understood was the change of 9 to the 11th to 9 to the 17th. 9 is the end of the cycle; 11 is sacred order, but 17 . . . 17 is hope and warning. The Star. The omen of birth and death of gods.

Gene proves his concept by suspending four drops of mercury in the field. Four is balance, completion, stable structure. Mercury is messenger of the gods and the soul's guide to and from the land of death.

The demons bean Angel with a Hunga Munga, an African throwing knife that looks like a scythe. Buffy fought demons with a hunga munga when she dove into a hell dimension after Anne. The Scythe is the weapon of Chronus; he used it to castrate his father. It is the weapon of Death and Time, making it utterly appropriate to this context. It also ties this episode to Buffy’s dark time after killing Angel; she fled to LA numb and could only return after she went to hell and back. And it harkens to Buffy’s ultimate triumph using another long handled scythe, but that’s for another thread.

Poor Angel; he knows he is frozen in darkness. He doesn’t deny it when Lorne, playing Guide, puts it to him that he wouldn’t care if the world ended. Darla had a shot at redemption, and W&H took it from her. Now he has to hunt her down and kill her, and he will do it, but he’s taking no joy in it. He is a legendary dark warrior who does not believe he can ever be redeemed from a 100 years of brutal evil. He’s frozen in horror at his own acts; he’s frozen in horror at Darla’s death and resurrection; he’s frozen, the way Gene wants to be.

And Lorne pushes both of them out of the dead spot, like Mercury moving -- not everything is going to be this way. The song changes. Though we keep coming back to this theme; can Angel be redeemed? Or is the best thing to do -- do good because there is nothing else right to do?

In the end, Angel destroys the time freezing machine with the hunga munga; using the weapon of time, death, and Buffy to save the world. We need all three; he needs all three, and maybe holding it in his hand gave him some spark of hope.

As for TTDL . . . great episode on a sociological/plot advancing/story telling level. Not so much on the mythic, and I’m on a mythic kick these days. Maybe if I knew more about zombies. The police, the forces of order, imposing order. Bad order. But it kept the rapes and the murders down at the price of some outcasts. Like it so often happens, if they’d stuck to killing street kids, maybe no one would have noticed, but they hassled someone with powerful friends.

Nice bit of meta, having Angel, a dead body animated by a committee, take down the zombies, dead bodies animated by a zombie master/police captain. It was fun seeing Wesley take on a leadership role even if it was self mocking. And it was fun seeing ordinary courage; the paramedics; the kids in the shelter, Wesley -- all stood up when it mattered.

Wonder what Anne would think about W&H these days. She was a good character. Nice how well she morphed, represented by the name changes. From a mushroom (that feeds on the dead) to a flower (that adorns the dead) to the mother of the mother of god. Quite a character arc.

Edited by Lutanite, Jan 2, 2004 @ 12:57 PM.

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#2

Naxus

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 5:44 AM

Maybe it's the closest to beige they could get him in?

Heh.

he used it to castrate his father.

Those Titans (and Olympians) are a violent, incestuous, tempermental bunch. From castrations (that squickingly create new life), to family members getting together, to rape...Bad gods.

Back to the topic, tonight I rewatched "The Trial" and "Reunion." I've actually seen "The Trial" fairly recently, since I have it on tape. I really like this episode, an hadn't remembered that Doug Petrie wrote it. It has a nice mix of darkness (Darla dying), emotion (pretty much all of Angel and Darla's scenes together, at least), comedy ("We will hit you...""On the head...""With very large objects") and one hell of a shocker ending. I think that last scene is one of my favorites. I also liked the butler guy at the trials. Oh, and Lindsey cut his hair.

As for "Reunion," I was really looking forward to watching it. Haven't seen it in some time, since I haven't been able to find the tape it's on for a while. But it's probably my favorite episode of S2, and might be in my all-time Top 5. I mean, it's got dark Angel, a lot of great interaction between Darla and Dru, and my three favorite lawyers (although I hadn't realized that Lilah had such a small part). Plus another great ending.

I hadn't realized how much work Tim Minear did on the whole Darla arc. He wrote "Darla," her big insight episode; then he was co-writer on "The Trial"; he wrote "Reunion" (with Shawn Ryan); and he wrote "Reprise," the climax of the arc.

Oh, when Angel says "This time when I kick that door down, I go through it." Huh? First of all, he went through it last time, too, eventually. And second, what else would you do after kicking down a door? Turn around and leave? Walk down the hallway to see if any other doors need a good being destroyed? Guess I shouldn't put anything past Angel, knowing how he feels about them.

Edited by Naxus, Jan 2, 2004 @ 5:49 AM.

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#3

Lutanite

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Posted Jan 2, 2004 @ 1:59 PM

Yeah, Naxus, Angel doesn't much like doors. Maybe he doesn't like thresholds? My dogs don't like closed doors. Maybe it reflects the quasi-domesticated animalistic nature of his demon.

I love having the week off. Marched through the 15th and 16th episodes, Reprise and Epiphany. For the first time, I was struck by how well the episodes reflected their corresponding Major Arcana key. 15 is The Devil, and in the 15th Episode, Angel goes as deep into the darkness as we see the soul-ed Angel goes. He threatens Cordelia. He embarks on a quest down to the Home Office intending on suicide by senior partners. He decides to give in, lift the curse, and be a soulless demon again. It is the darkest time of his soul.

While I tend to think that these mythic drops are largely unconscious on the part of the writers, I think the Whedon-minions may have been consciously playing with the arcanic significance of 15 this time. There are a lot of goats in the teaser. Way more goats than are necessary if one isn’t trying to make a point. And they summon the senior partner on the 15th floor.

Thing about The Devil? What ever else he is, he’s also the id; the depository and source of all those dark and unsuitable desires. Making him a source of fantastic strength. All those desires we repress and sublimate. There are those that say supressed English desires powered the British Empire. Angel is his demon, is his own devil. Holland counseled Angel that the world doesn’t work despite evil, it works with it is absolutely true if “evil” is these dark and reptilian desires that are absolutely necessary and must be channeled.

This episode weirdly presages the current season again. Holland Manners says “hop in, you’ve certainly earned it.” After Angel kills a senior partner, dives out of a window (doing The Fall?) and slips on the ring. Angel and Darla getting it on is weirdly similar to Spike and Buffy doing so -- Buffy and Angel both want to feel something warm, and they both turn to a demon. They both turn to their own darkness. And by embracing that darkness, heal.

Incidentally, Darla says a line we also hear from the lips of The First and Buffy -- a truth I tend to believe -- that it’s all about power. Gave me a frission of delight.

After The Devil comes Key 16, The Tower. The Tower of Babel, burst open by celestial lightnings. Marduk slaying Tiamut, bringing back the waters. That moment when the old world is destroy by the wrath of god, the moment of psychedelic, religious, mathematical clarity. For good or ill. It’s what gets us out of hell, out of Plato’s cave, out of the old order, whether we liked it or not. For Angel, it was turning to his sire to become a demon again. It breaks him through, not in the direction he intended, but that’s the magic of slipping that little pill in your mouth, of taking the trip. They may be conscious of this one too; we see and hear the storm outside Angel’s window after he and Darla consummate. He’s blown open. Darla, again, played the initiator. Guinevere (in the old Welsh Goddess of initiator sense, not in the pale imitation of Camelot).

These two episodes are bookended by The Moon. Caritas’s address is 459, Lindsey’s license plate is 42633. Both equal 18, the Moon. The waxing and waning; the hidden force that pulls all water. Another symbol of the unconscious; this can be understood with the right maths. And Angel finally got it. Great fun. I think this might have been the bestest season.
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#4

Naxus

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 5:20 AM

You've got some really interesting mythical insights into the show, Lutanite.

I also just watched "Reprise" and "Epiphany." I'd seen "Reprise" recently, but I love it so much that I had to watch it again with the followup. So much goodness in this episode. Angel at his darkest; big Wolfram and Heart goings-on; Lindsey and Lilah; Angel getting his 'despair' on with Darla; the reappearance of Denver; and Holland!

I loved the chaos after Angel crashed the W&H Review, with Angel running around, security fighting Darla, Lindsey trying to protect her, Lilah yelling "Stake the bitch" (and getting punched by Lindsey), and Angel tackling the Senior Partner.

"Epiphany" I hadn't seen in I have no idea how long. I really didn't remember much about it, except that Angel kicks Darla out and rescues Kate, that it's Kate's last episode, and that Cordy is eventually saved.

I hadn't remembered most of the details, and some of the major stuff. I'd forgotten about Lindsey and Darla's little spat, and Lindsey going crazy on Angel. I didn't remember how they wound up saving Cordy.

As far as Kate goes, I didn't have as much of a problem with her as some do. I think it's for the best that she left when she did, but I thought Elisabeth Rohm actually played the role fairly well most of the time. I think her story was brought to good closure, but I noticed that it isn't really obvious from this episode that she would no longer be on the show.

That's probably why I couldn't remember details about it being her last episode, since (if I hadn't known better) I probably wouldn't have realized it was. I can't remember what I thought when it first aired. But yeah, the closure's definitely there, and I'm glad they didn't feel the need to do a big send-off, but it seems a little odd. I mean, after that I'd think she might be more inclined than ever to hang out with Angel -- not just because he saved her life, but because she seemed to have accepted him and was friendly with him again.

Also, she's unemployed, knows the streets, and knows about demons. Between that, being acquainted with Angel, being saved by Angel, and hating and then respecting Angel -- she's pretty much covered the list of 'Reasons Why People Move into the Hotel.'

Anyway, like I said, I think it's good that the character left (about) when she did, but a little more to show that she wouldn't be around anymore might have been nice.

Oh, and after talking about how involved Tim Minear was with the arc, I find that he also wrote "Epiphany." Not a big Darla episode, but it is her last of the season. That makes five episodes that he wrote (or co-wrote) just on the Darla/Angel arc. I don't think I've ever seen one writer on either show (except maybe Joss) contribute so much to the seasonal arc. Throw in "Are You Now...," which moves the gang into the hotel, and "Through the Looking Glass," and that guy worked on a third of the episodes. Even including Joss, I've never seen anyone with that many actual credits in one season.

Oh, I hadn't realized his name is pronounced 'My-near,' but anyway....

Edited by Naxus, Jan 4, 2004 @ 5:35 AM.

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#5

jerry

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 1:47 PM

As far as Kate goes, I didn't have as much of a problem with her as some do. I think it's for the best that she left when she did, but I thought Elisabeth Rohm actually played the role fairly well most of the time. I think her story was brought to good closure, but I noticed that it isn't really obvious from this episode that she would no longer be on the show.

Yeah, naxus. When this episode aired, I just thought Angel/Kate had turned a page, and didn't suspect they were closing the book altogether. I didn't know she was gone until she showed up on Law & Order.

I must be some kind of romantic, because I'm always supportive of Angel getting the girl. Almost any girl will do... except Cordy, or Eve, but that's later. In Kate's case, I supported their 'ship because she was an adult, not a girl, and I thought maturity would look good on Angel.

That said, I really didn't mind her departure, except I wanted another contact in the police department. And it didn't have to be a woman.
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#6

Ailiana

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 1:32 PM

Am I the only one who watches Epiphany and every time *hopes* that Angel will be too late to save Kate? Since it was ER's last episode anyway, it didn't matter in terms of her character, and I think it would have been good for Angel (in a shoveling-snow-builds-character kind of way) if someone he thought of as "good" had died because of his beige-ness.
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#7

DaBigDave

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 2:19 PM

Am I the only one who watches Epiphany and every time *hopes* that Angel will be too late to save Kate?

Not me. I've never felt like random extra characters need to be killed just to punish or spite the protagonist.

Kate's deterioration began back in S1 and quite a lot of it has to be placed upon her shoulders. I think learning of her suicide attempt is really lesson enough. Beyond which - I think it's equally important that by the end of the episode Kate is ready to save herself, just as Angel is saving himself.

The parallel doesn't work nearly as well if Kate dies.
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#8

Ailiana

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 5:07 PM

NOt to punish him, but because I don't think he did learn the lesson. Certrainly the current season, IMO, doesn't reflect that he really learned the lesson. The thing I want him to see was that his attitude about how he fights evil is just as important as that he fights it. So some evil lawyers died? No big deal, the world is possibly even better off. Deaths attributable to Dru and Darla aren't his fault, because he was trying to stop them. But Kate would have been a lot about how his attitude and lack of awareness of others was not just emotionally hurtful, but even life-threatening to the people around him. By saving her, even with their little talk at the end, I think this was blunted, or even obliterated for Angel. And I still see problems in his attitude later on.

ETA: Also, I really dislike Kate.

Edited by Ailiana, Jan 5, 2004 @ 5:07 PM.

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#9

Autodidact

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 5:42 PM

It's not that I dislike Kate. It's that I dislike ER, the actress who played Kate. She could play some of the scenes, but I never believed her when she was dealing with other cops.
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#10

CCR

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 7:53 PM

Honestly, Ailiana, I wouldn't take anything you see in S5 as evidence of past lessions learned. The writers seem to have conveniently forgotten about anything that didn't suit their brand new story.

It's sort of odd we never hear what Kate's doing again, but it's also satisfying that she had her own little epiphany that gave her some sense of self-worth again. I never thought she was mentally equipped to join AI though; she was never comfortable with the world of evil things.
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#11

jerry

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 1:14 AM

Ailiana, remind me the relationship between Kate's suicide attempt and Angel's beigeness? I'm not fully recollecting that episode, so all I can think of is the ignored answering machine message. What else did he do?
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#12

Naxus

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 4:50 AM

I'm not Ailiana, but here's what happened AFAIR (and my memory should be pretty good, since I just watched the episodes a day or two ago). Aside from the tension and outright hostility that had been going on between them since Kate's dad died in S1, Kate was kicked off of the police force in "Reprise" because of her obsession with working on bizarre cases and alienating herself from her colleagues. At the end of the episode, she breaks down and attempts suicide by downing a bunch of pills and liquor.

This is the same episode that is the climax of Angel's "beige arc." After his disappointing and crushing elevator trip with Holland, Angel returned to the hotel just as Kate was leaving him a drunken mid-suicide message. Angel ignored the message and went upstairs to find Darla, and slept with her.

In the next episode, "Epiphany," Angel realizes the error of his ways, kicks Darla out, and rushes off to save Kate. He gets to her -- despite not having an invite into her apartment -- and saves her life, but she pretty much kicks him out after. However, later on they have a nice little conversation in the garden. Kate says she feels stupid, and Angel talks about how there's no grand plan, so all that matters is what they do, and helping people who are suffering, and other stuff like that. And Kate, who seems to have accepted Angel and has found peace, notes to him that she thinks maybe they aren't alone, since she never invited him. And that's the last we see of her.

Edited by Naxus, Jan 6, 2004 @ 4:53 AM.

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#13

jerry

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 5:43 AM

I thought perhaps ailiana was saying Angel was responsible in some way for her attempted suicide? I couldn't think of anything he'd done to Kate, so I was asking if I missed something.

But based on naxus' summary of the episode, which fits my recollection too, I'd say ailiana just meant he would feel guilty about ignoring her cry for help, and not that he had any personal responsibility for her suicide attempt.

Correct me if I'm still wrong, ailiana.
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#14

Ailiana

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 7:06 AM

Yeah, that's sort of it. Not that he specifically did something to her, and not in that episode, but that his general attitude led him to ignore the call. But also, the night she arrested him and let him go in Reunion didn't help with her reputation on the force, and he was generally using and abusing her need to fight the unseen evil. He was generally using people, and Kate was one of those who paid the price. I'm not sure he realized that he was contributing so much emotional pain to others, even when he talked to Kate later. She certainly was all about the forgiving. Only Cordelia really tried to show that the way he was behaving was hurting her, but though Angel looks devestated at the end of Epiphany when she tells him he hurt her feelings, by the end of the next episode he bought her clothes, and all is forgiven. Now, I love that scene, but I think the combination of Kate and Cordy's forgiveness, essentially without ever really letting him know how destructive his attitude had become for them, let Angel off the hook for his beige-ness in a way that I wish hadn't happened.
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#15

Naxus

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Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 3:52 AM

A couple of days ago I rewatched "Dead End," "Through the Looking Glass," and "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb."

I love "Dead End," but just because of Lindsey. Although since the ep is centered on Lindsey, I guess that's really the only reason necessary. And especially because of the comic gold of Lindsey and Angel together. The scene where Angel is interrogating the parole officer while Lindsey watches is priceless.

Lindsey: "You don't tell me what to do."
Angel: (to the guy) "He's so immature."
Lindsey: (waving gun) "Shut up!!!"

Not to mention when Angel puts on his game face:

Angel: "Mmmm, can't you just taste that butterfat?"
Lindsey: "You are really gross, you know that?"

That's good stuff. Let's hope they make good use of him now. I also have to say that I felt bad for Cordy in the episode. The guy stabbing out his own eye is a pretty horrific vision to get, and I can understand her being freaked out afterwards. And while I don't think she's always great with some types of drama, I think CC is really excellent with hurt/upset/broken/etc.

As far as the final two episodes go, they definitely aren't great, but I guess it's a nice little character-driven fantasy escape. I mean, how else would they have done a story with castles, peasants, town guards, and a mutilation chamber?

Gunn, as he does throughout much of S2, repeatedly cracked me up. I love his "Have I mentioned just how glad I am I decided to leave my people behind
in L.A. so I could come here to die?" Good line, great delivery. And his exchange with Wes when they're about to get beheaded:

Gunn: "I've got a plan."
Wesley: "Oh thank God! What is it?"
Gunn: "We die horribly and painfully, you go to hell and I spend eternity in the
arms of Baby Jesus."

A thought came to me while I was watching these episodes. If the writers had been able to do whatever arc they had originally planned, instead of Plylea, would Fred or Groo ever have been introduced? I'm guessing 'no' for Groo, but I'm not sure about Fred. And if neither of those characters had come onto the show, I wonder how they would've complicated things for Angel/Cordy and Wes/Gunn in S3 (which would be a topic for the S3 thread, I assume).

Edited by Naxus, Jan 8, 2004 @ 3:57 AM.

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#16

Imsuperorginal

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Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 1:00 PM

Would someone mind telling me where all the commentaries on the S2 DVDs are? I might be an idiot or something, but I haven't seen any. I only see the option to look at the scripts..and I don't care about that.

Thanks in advance.
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#17

jerry

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Posted Jan 8, 2004 @ 1:17 PM

This is a list I have, I hope it's correct:

Disc 1, Episode 2, Are You Now or Have You Ever Been? - excellent commentary by writer, Tim Minear

Disc 3 has Special Features, showing Featurettes and Art Gallery, and then under Featurettes you can see: Making Up the Monsters (make-up) and Inside the Agency (tour the set)

Disc 6, Episode 20, Over the Rainbow - commentary by the director, Fred Keller
and Special Features: Stunts and Season 2 Overview

Edited by jerry, Jan 8, 2004 @ 1:58 PM.

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#18

SistaKaren

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Posted Jan 10, 2004 @ 12:29 PM

I was just rewatching some mid-S2 episodes, and I decided to rewatch "The Shroud of Rahmon". For an episode with a fairly pedestrian main plot, I really enjoyed this episode. I wish that Jim Kouf had done more episodes. I throughly enjoy the ones that he wrote by himself ("Five by Five" is the other one he did) and I kinda enjoy "The Thin Dead Line" which he co-wrote with Shawn Ryan.

Anyway, about the episode itself: it does a good job of furthering the relationship between Kate and Angel without making the episode all about their relationship. The scene in Angel's suite was really well done. Poor Kate -- she looked like she was about to shit her pants when he grabbed her. It was definitely a nice illustration of how Kate thinks she knows what it means that Angel's a vampire -- but she doesn't realize that because of this Angel can be a very dangerous person. I guess she does know that, but I suppose it was shocking for her because he had never threatened her like that before. Also, it was a nice way to touch on the way Angel's feeling about the whole Darla situation and how that's changed his demeanor somewhat without dwelling on it.

It also does a good job with the relationship between Angel and Gunn. That's something I wish was followed up on later: how Gunn is also a natural leader type and naturally he and Angel should clash about who's in charge. That and seeing Angel feed off of Kate totally disgusted Gunn to the point where I wish they had shown Gunn fretting about working with Angel more. And no, I don't mean how they "touched" on it in "That Old Gang of Mine". Ugh. I hate that episode. Anyway, I thought that despite everything it was at least intelligently written.

And then there are the little things about the episode: The mention of Chow Yun Fat at the beginning and then the demon pulls out two pistols John Woo-style later (Chow Yun Fat starred in many of his earlier works). Then the fact that Wesley didn't immediately notice Cordelia's hair, and later how he talks to Kate about her hair (which hasn't changed) and makes sure to mention that he noticed it right away.

Anyway, I really like this episode. It's full of neat little things that make it much better than...well..pretty much any other standalone in S2.
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#19

rikraq

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 10:42 AM

I've been watching my S2 dvds again. I love Thin Dead Line, but I don't get why Gunn didn't drive the ambulance to the emergency room instead of the shelter. I doubt that the police captain would've had the zombie cops take out the entire hospital.

Disharmony cracks me up. When Harmony rips out the page of one of Wesley's books to put her gum in and Wes freaks, you can see David and Charisma laughing in the background. And Cordelia thinking Harmony is a lesbian. Hee.
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#20

areacode212

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 11:40 AM

Yeah, I noticed them cracking up in the background too. DB starts grinning, then he lowers his head to try & hide it. I think it's a good candidate for the caption thread.

ETA: Am I the only one who was bugged by the fact that, in the year and a half since "The Harsh Light of Day", nobody bothered to tell Cordelia that her former best friend was (un)dead? We know that the Scoobies have had *some* contact with her while she was in L.A.. What's up with that? Damn Scoobies.

Edited by areacode212, Jan 13, 2004 @ 11:46 AM.

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#21

Phishtar

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 11:43 AM

I loved the phone call to Willow. "Yeah, I thought she was a big ol' lesbo... oh? You are? Well... good for you."
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#22

nil

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 3:23 PM

Watching the featurettes I'd have to concur that Julie Benz's makeup, both in and out of vamp face, is probably the best they've ever done on the show.
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#23

Lutanite

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 3:28 PM

I love Thin Dead Line, but I don't get why Gunn didn't drive the ambulance to the emergency room instead of the shelter. I doubt that the police captain would've had the zombie cops take out the entire hospital


I think Gunn was worried about Anne and the other kids, and wanted to warn and protect them.

I finished the Pylea arc. While I utterly enjoyed them (all hail the Dance of Numfar), they were thin. Seemed sorta like a thesis project; clever, expertly done, slightly snide but overall, upholding core values of the thesis examiners. With just enough cheekiness as not to suck up too obviously. Kinda like what a Harvard Law Professor tells CNN.

I kept trying to mine something out of the idea that the sojourn to Pylea was like dream time; Cordy, Angel, and Wes got to play out some barely surpressed fantasies. I think that's what ME was going for, just off of the titles of the episodes -- shout outs to two of the best knwon trips through dream time. While that's there, it didn't take me to any deeper place. Just took me to itself.

I hear tell that these episodes were last minute replacement ideas; I don't know if that's true. Cordy with an ax announcing emmancipation and reconstruction and the principles of the modern civil rights movement simultaneously; that had something. The ax made it for me; gave the whole thing more . . . nuance. Gotta merge the revolutionary with the institutional somehow, the ax wasn't bad.

Lots of character development. Lots of moments I wanted to have be meaningful in some deeper way, like when Fred stood over the fight between Angel, Gunn, and Wes holding her arm up like the lady in the lake, dripping blood from her hands -- that evoked a raw response. But not much else. I suppose some attenuated Statute of Liberty, as she does get them back to Earth.

I did feel a little like they were making fun of the "hero being the one who defeats death" by having Lorne be the one who dies and comes back. Cheeky, guys.

Anyhoo, fun, but could have had more there there.

Edited by Lutanite, Jan 13, 2004 @ 3:29 PM.

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#24

CleaPet

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 8:09 PM

Lutanite, I like your idea about using Pylea to play out the MoG's fantasies. Cordy did, but perhaps a parallel with one of the MoG would have enriched the overall story. (The parallel - a predictable story device but dangit, I like it.)

And I think you hit the nail on the head: it isn't so much that the episodes weren't deep, it's that they kept hinting that they were, urging us to look deeper when there wasn't anything there. I still find myself musing about Angel's beast taking him over but I always end up with it as just an incredibly obvious way to illustrate Angel's dilemma. Nothing new.

Edited by CleaPet, Jan 13, 2004 @ 8:11 PM.

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#25

sarcasmdetected

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 9:20 PM

And I think you hit the nail on the head: it isn't so much that the episodes weren't deep, it's that they kept hinting that they were, urging us to look deeper when there wasn't anything there.


Wow, I have always loved the Pylea arc...it was so pastorial, and romantic, and, well, bright. And, yes, I agree that while they're painfully illustrative of Angel/MOGs dilemas (i.e. be careful of what you want cause you might just get it); but if was for that reason that I loved it:

Alot of the subtext/inner turmoil ALL the characters had been going through throughout the season were finally, dramatically expunged*. Leaving, of course, entirely new dilemas for Seaon 3 & beyond.

YMMV: After all, it's been awhile since I've seen season 3, so I might just be completely off.

Incidentally, another reason why I thought the Pylea arc was so brilliant is because these thoughts came up the minute I saw the Host's head on the platter in the S2's penultimate episode. The tragedy! The realization that wish fulfullment has serious consequences!

The shock from that moment has never really been removed, though, duh, he's happily alive.

I guess this is all very obvious, but hey, I'm easy to please.

*A far tamer, and meandering version of "Home": let's just get this out of the way for the good stuff.


NAXUS While I haven't seen it, I've heard that Amy Acker's screen test (included in the S3 Special Features) has her reading a script from an ep where everyone speaks in Shakespeare prose. So she was bound to be introduced; this is probably the genesis for her employment at a library. (cause that's not the ideal place for a physics student)

Edited by sarcasmdetected, Jan 13, 2004 @ 9:29 PM.

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#26

CleaPet

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 10:16 PM

Whoa, I never said I didn't like the eps. I raved about the Trionic books as my favorite fantasy genre moment a little while ago. It's just that it's not living up to its potential...it could be much, much more. But it's definitely enjoyable.

If I come down hard on an episode, it's out of love. 'Cept for Untouched. I really dislike that one.

Edited by CleaPet, Jan 13, 2004 @ 10:18 PM.

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#27

jerry

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Posted Jan 13, 2004 @ 10:57 PM

...nobody bothered to tell Cordelia that her former best friend was (un)dead?

A similar observation was made in the BtVS forum about the Scoobies not knowing either, when HarmonyVamp returns in S4.
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#28

Lutanite

Lutanite

Posted Jan 23, 2004 @ 12:09 AM

Over in the Soul Purpose thread, Nightmare astutely touched on something I'd totally missed. I'd made some reference to the "right magic dance to renew the universe," (though when I was writing it I was thinking of "magic dance" mostly in terms of satisifying the current arcana of establishing standing in federal court, but that's just me indulging in self referentiality. 'Cause none of you guys are real or anything.)

Would that dance, Lutanite, be Numfar's dance of joy? Because frankly, it should be ensconced in mythology.


It has! Sort of. The Japanese have a legend about the Sun getting peeved because her brother (?) was a twit -- snotted on her laundry or something. So she hid in a cave. Which was bad for photosynthesis and all that, so the other gods came up with A Plan. They got a young and beautiful goddess to do an obscene dance right outside of Ameratsu's cave, and Ameratsu got so curious why everyone was laughing so hard that she peered out. Which let a crack team of gods block her cave up so she couldn't hide any more. There was a rope involved.

So, maybe our Numfar is a shout out to a wanton Japanese goddess, amply endowed with . . . abilities. I mean, now that I come to think of it, it isn't completely unlike my image of Joss Whedon.

I have the warm glow of Numfar related joy now. Thank you.
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#29

Lxndr

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Posted Feb 10, 2004 @ 10:12 PM

Hi guys! Season 2, Episode 1.

1. Will Gunn suffer the fate of Pete Ross? Or will he actually get more than brief cameo appearances despite his name in the credits, eventually? So far he's just a glorified errand boy who's seen Cordelia and Wesley in bed.

2. So... Cordelia's acting job allows her to dash off on any 911 call? Wow.

3. You know, I honestly think if someone wandered around and they had no reflection, I might miss it even in a gym. I just don't look at mirrors. I'm a natural vampire, I guess.

4. Okay. Pet peeve: writing on the marker board was nice and neat, but all the writing the characters did in the episode, totally messy. What, does Cordelia (or Dennis!) re-write it all super-neatly every night or something?

5. Heh. Lindsay's still one-handed. No, the lawfirm can't spend money on any sort of magic that'll make a new hand re-grow. Or some sort of animated magical prosthetic. Damn cheapo health plans.

6. So... am I supposed to assume that when this episode was filmed, Darla wasn't yet supposed to be obviously HUMAN? Dark room with a character who was once a vampire inside it, etc. etc.? Yeah, I'm spoiled on that little bit.

7. Where does Angel get all that money to pay these demons off?

8. And what's the name of this singing green horned guy? I think he shows up again... I at least remember him when walking through the room while my old roommate was watching Angel.

9. So Angel kills a good demon. Ha ha ha. Sorry, but, well, ha. And compounded by "I can kill this one, right?" Snerk.

10. So... this place that Angel randomly wandered into for no good reason, I'm assuming they didn't build that entire set for one pointless scene. His new office, maybe?

11. Okay, so Angel doesn't do three things, and on that list one of them ISN'T dancing? Then please, let's see him dance again.

12. So... knight on horseback, a second horse miraculously appears, jousting... all really, really, hokey stuff. Although I loved the line "You know how you're not really good at anything?"

13. So how does the tribunal's protection entirely work?

14. How does destroying the whiteboard help them solve these things? The whiteboard isn't a race, it's a tool to track open cases, right?

15. Yay Faith!
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#30

SistaKaren

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Posted Feb 10, 2004 @ 11:10 PM

1. Will Gunn suffer the fate of Pete Ross?


There's just not enough "no" in the world for that one. Gunn rocks, and he definitely shows up more as the season goes on. He even has his own storylines!

"Judgment" is an episode I'm generally fond of, but cognizant of its faults. But I liked the fact that he tossed out the whiteboard. It doesn't really solve anything, but it was representative of a mindset that Angel had for the interim between "To Shanshu..." and "Judgment" that he lost sight of the point of what he was doing. He was just breezing through the cases, and not taking enough interest in the actual people that he's supposed to be helping. I think that was his big revelation that episode: he should be helping people for the sake of helping them, not just collecting points so he can send in for his Shanshu.

And the green demon is Lorne.
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