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The 7 - Random - Angel 5x01...Spoilers?
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Excalibur05
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#1 Posted on 5.10.03 0256.32
Reposted on: 5.10.10 0257.46
Am I really the first one to mention this? Eh.

Good:

-I like the new girl. She gives the season focus, is evilly perky, and, hey, she's cute.

-Charles Gunn, Attorney at Law has some promise. Hell, it'd be a fun spinoff that has nothing to do with the Mutant Enemy Universe.

-I love the inclusion of Harmony as a pure comic character.

-It's finally paired up with a show (Smallville) that makes sense (and the lead-in didn't hurt, Angel scored a 3.8 this week)

-They seem to have really relaxed this season, and are just kind of going with what feels right. While they were very good, storywise, the past few seasons were a really deep and elongated arch, and a return to more episodic TV with a different story every week and one major story in the back ground until the end of the season is refreshing.

-Lorne is great in his element.

-The ending was as unsurprising as can be (until the "Blondie Bear!" line), but still...it worked for me. Spike in an envelope

Bad:

-Fred and Mr. Assistant are a terrible couple, and I can already see Joss trying to wedge them together. No.

-Angel Investigations v. The Inside of Wolfram and Hart has the feel of a really tired feud, even with the switch in dynamics.

-If every week is Angel chasing down another evil client only to have Eve pull the rug out from under him...I don't know. It's going to get boring. It's a good way to get around the lack of Cordelia and the visions (easily giving them a new "case" every week), but they have to be careful in making everything different enough that it can stay interesting.

-Mister Pain.

It was a really sharp and fun episode (typical of Joss), but I've got a feeling that this is going to be a difficult season for the crew to keep things going at this pace. Next week with Spike full time should be fun though. I hope they can keep up this ratings surge too.
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#2 Posted on 5.10.03 0301.10
Reposted on: 5.10.10 0307.52
I caught the last few episodes of last season, but must've missed something.

So what DID happen to Cordelia and Connor?
Excalibur05
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#3 Posted on 5.10.03 0322.12
Reposted on: 5.10.10 0322.52
    Originally posted by Tod deKindes
    I caught the last few episodes of last season, but must've missed something.

    So what DID happen to Cordelia and Connor?


Cordellia was put into a coma by the "birth" of her and Conner's daughter Jasmine, who came out a full sized demi-goddess. When Angel took over Wolfram and Hart, Lilah offered to ship Cordelia off to be worked on by W&H's top medics, and that's where she is to this time. In actuality, after having her role somewhat limited last season, Charisma Carpenter's contract was cut entirely this year, and she's not really expected back any time soon, especially with James Marsters eating up a sizable portion of the casting budget.

Conner was so devistated by the loss of his true love (Cordelia) that he killed off Jasmine and went on a murderous rage climaxing when he and Angel had a fight in a sporting goods store, which Conner was threatening to blow up (along with several hostages). However, as part of his agreement with W&H, Angel had Conner removed from everyone's (except his own, Lilah's, and apparently Eve's) memories, and had him placed in a "regular family", all of whom recognize Conner as their brilliant son. I'm not sure why they cut loose Vincent Kartheiser, I guess they just thought his storyline and character were played out, which I wouldn't disagree with necessarily, but I thought he was one of the better third tier actors on the show, he just got shafted with a bad story.
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#4 Posted on 5.10.03 0959.12
Reposted on: 5.10.10 1001.18
Yeah, but what about this line?

I loved everything about the premiere, but to borrow a phrase from you, Ex...

It needed more Spike.
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#5 Posted on 5.10.03 1533.51
Reposted on: 5.10.10 1536.47
Smallville did a 6.7, Angel did a 4.4, courtesy of KryptonSite!
Excalibur05
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#6 Posted on 5.10.03 1719.50
Reposted on: 5.10.10 1720.00
    Originally posted by Freeway420
    Smallville did a 6.7, Angel did a 4.4, courtesy of KryptonSite!


That's the overnight major metered market rating, much like the initial ratings for Smackdown, these only have the top markets reporting, and usually skews higher than normal. It's not that important, but I figured I'd mention it.
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#7 Posted on 5.10.03 1957.11
Reposted on: 5.10.10 1957.11
I'm still not sure how they're going to explain the Connor mindwipe, since it pretty much obliterates any semblance of continuity for the last two seasons. If you asked the Angel gang HOW they ended up at Wolfram and Hart, what would the answer possibly be without involving Connor in the scenario?

It might be better to just sweep everything under the rug, since this would take a monumental amount of retconning.

In other news, the season premiere was pretty good. Joss Whedon's Angel episodes always ring a bit hollow to me, since he makes them a bit too jokey and Buffy-esque for my liking.
Excalibur05
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#8 Posted on 5.10.03 2150.29
Reposted on: 5.10.10 2152.18
    Originally posted by Big Bad
    If you asked the Angel gang HOW they ended up at Wolfram and Hart, what would the answer possibly be without involving Connor in the scenario?


Cordelia was impregnated by the Power that Isn't Jasmine in order that Jasmine recieve physical form. Jasmine tries to spred peace and love, but eventually Angel and crew come around and aren't buying it. In an epic battle, Angel kills Jasmine, and Wolfram and Hart are so giddy they hand over the keys.
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#9 Posted on 5.10.03 2308.12
Reposted on: 5.10.10 2310.40
Excalibur, where did you get that plot-explanation, or did you arrive at it yourself?

I can't say I've liked the way the show has evolved, especially having watched seasons one and two in their entirety between last season's finale and this season's premiere. Granted he is the show's namesake, but it bothers me that the only character to survive for the show's entire duration has been Angel. One of the appealing aspects of Buffy was that you got to watch a group develop. Now that Cordelia's gone, there's been no continuous group. Wesley is the closest, having been around since episode ten.

I enjoyed the dynamic the group achieved last season, and wouldn't have minded seeing last season's group thrust into the Wolfram and Hart situation, but there have been too many perturbations for my tastes. The additions of Spike, Harmony, and Eve have muddled things too much, and the sudden metamorphosis of Gunn effectively relegates him to new character status. With all these (re-)introductions, this felt almost like a pilot episode as much as a season premiere.

ALl the problems I have with the show stem entirely from the resoltion of the Connor situation. Given how the events with Connor affected everyone's relationships, if we don't know how the events *actually* played out, and consequently don't know how everyone's relationships played out, how are we to follow these characters and empathize and care about them? Did Gunn and Wesley have a falling out after Wesley *betrayed* the group? I still recall them having tension up until the end of last season. But if Connor was never born, did Wesley ever betray the group, and did the subsequent chaos ensue? Did Angel ever try to smother Wesley? Did Angel spend three months in an inverted aquarium? Did Wesley save Angel?

On a sidenote, they better reference Knoxy's double roles now that Spike has firmed the cross-over nature of the two shows. All they need is a throw-away line of recognition, not unlike Halfrek's shocked acknowledgement of "William?" in Buffy's "Older and Far Away". I'm not saying that Knox must be Holdon, but they shouldn't let it go ignored.)

Harmony's current role also complicates the rules of the Joss-verse. I don't mind her as bumbling comic relief, but her existance mutes the threat that vampires are supposed to be. I was willing to watch Spike act heroic on Buffy once he had his chip, as he was castrated in a fashion, and that explained his altered behavior. But Harmony is a regular vampire; how is she able to forego her evil instincts and willingly get a job and attempt to make something of herself (even if its for a *evil* lawfirm)? What reason did she have for willingly make the switch to pig's blood? And if she can behave this way, can other vampires behave this way? I refuse to believe that her naivette and stupidity are why she is working with the group as opposed to being a regular run of the mill vampire getting dusted in the opening montage of any given episode this season? Is she living proof that vampires can be rehabilitated, and if so, does that mean that Buffy had a more compassionate alternative to her career, and that she may have unjustly murdered a large portion of the Sunnydale population?

As for Spike's return, I like that they seemed to replay the disintegration graphic from the Buffy finale in reverse. However, there must have been a better way than him re-emerging from the amulet that killed him. I should reserve my judgment till we learn more about what exactly happened. Still, comparing his spontaneous (and obvious) return at the end of the first episode with Angel's re-appearance in Buffy season three, where they built to his return over the course of three episodes, I can't help but think it could have been more of an event than simply a *shocking* finale to lead into the "To Be Continued".

And how conveneint was it that everywhere Angel went during the day, everyone had tons of curtains up? I specifically think of the spanking-guy, who, if he had just thought to rip down a curtain would have made his day that much easier? Or why didn't the trained soldiers think to shoot out the windows (and the blinds) in the school room when fighting Angel?

As for the rest of the episode, it was pretty good. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of Angel's classic save and the sudden appearance of Wolfram & Hart to muck it up in the pre-credits scene. I also liked how the everyone was able to regroup in Angel's office despite having other duties within the firm. And although the Angel spanking line was fun, I really enjoyed Wesley's crack about Feng Shui.

I'm sure this will be a good season. I'm just doing that fanboy thing where I focus on the negative and complain instead of talking about the positive.
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#10 Posted on 6.10.03 0048.26
Reposted on: 6.10.10 0048.55
I tend to agree with Eddie....keep in mind that the first few episodes of last season were pretty hit and miss until they got into the whole Beast/Angelus/Faith/Jasmine arc, which was pretty much the best thing I've seen on TV in two years.
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#11 Posted on 6.10.03 1445.18
Reposted on: 6.10.10 1445.36
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett
    Excalibur, where did you get that plot-explanation, or did you arrive at it yourself?


That was my own work, though I can say I found it pretty easy to be able to gloss over the Connor portions, actually. Hey, if they could do it with Dawn, they can do it with Connor.


    Granted he is the show's namesake, but it bothers me that the only character to survive for the show's entire duration has been Angel. One of the appealing aspects of Buffy was that you got to watch a group develop. Now that Cordelia's gone, there's been no continuous group. Wesley is the closest, having been around since episode ten.


Angel was never meant to be an ensemble show. It was supposed to be about Angel and his quest for redemption in LA. You get to watch the character develope. That's one of the reasons there was only three people in the initial dynamic. But, eventually, the characters started piling up, and they each got their own storylines and now we're at where we are. Doyle's death was meant to shock people and Cordelia's disappearence was more a result of a contract issue than anything else.


    With all these (re-)introductions, this felt almost like a pilot episode as much as a season premiere.


Which is what they were trying to do anyway. If they didn't do something drastic to the show's dynamic, it was going to get cancelled. The additions of Eve and Harmony and especially Spike shake up the norm. Eve's a villian, so I don't have any trouble with her addition, Harmony is still a background character, and we're trading Connor and Cordelia for Spike. I don't have any problem with that.


    how are we to follow these characters and empathize and care about them?


Seeing as how only Fred and Lorne are the only ones that haven't been around since first season, not everybody's character revolves around Connor. Only Wesley's arch was really affected because he was the only one that was connected directly to the Connor storyline (Angel is still in that reality, so he's out of this discussion). Gunn's story was with Fred and Wesley, and that was pretty much dismissed last season, though I expect more to come from it later this season.


    Did Gunn and Wesley have a falling out after Wesley *betrayed* the group? I still recall them having tension up until the end of last season. But if Connor was never born, did Wesley ever betray the group, and did the subsequent chaos ensue?


Yes. It wouldn't be that difficult to fudge Sajin's prophecy, make it about Angel being the cause of an apocolypse, Wes sides with Lilah and (sort of) Holtz, and Holtz gets away with some spiritual doohickey of great importance. Angel wants after Holtz to get the doohickey back so that he can stop the coming appocolypse. Or something of that sort.


    Did Angel ever try to smother Wesley?


Sure.


    Did Angel spend three months in an inverted aquarium?


That was just as much Justine as it was Connor, so you could say that it was all Justine.


    Did Wesley save Angel?


Yes. Again, that was Justine, not Connor.


    Harmony's current role also complicates the rules of the Joss-verse. I don't mind her as bumbling comic relief, but her existance mutes the threat that vampires are supposed to be.


In the ME Universe, there are are good demons and there are bad demons. Both Buffy and Angel, especially Angel, have had to struggle with this fact. Angeleus and Spike were decidedly evil. Maybe Harmony just isn't, but she feels like she should be. The idea of good and evil vampires hasn't really ever come up, but almost every time you see a vampire getting staked, it's a decidedly evil one. But most of the vamps we see have personalities and survival instinct. I imagine Harmony fits this mold. She still has her ditzy/brownnosing personality, along with the will to not get staked. That doesn't really make her good.


    And how conveneint was it that everywhere Angel went during the day, everyone had tons of curtains up? I specifically think of the spanking-guy, who, if he had just thought to rip down a curtain would have made his day that much easier?


Of course, he didn't know that Angel was a vampire until it was too late. And I imagine that his curtains were closed because he was running a not quite legitimate business, and his clients probably demanded a certain amount of secrecy. I'm no sexpert, but if I'm running a House of Pain, even in the middle of L.A., I'm going to be a bit secretive about it. As for the school, Angel obviously had a team (to extract the boy) with him, so they could very easily have dropped the blinds.


    Or why didn't the trained soldiers think to shoot out the windows (and the blinds) in the school room when fighting Angel?


Too bad you weren't in charge.


    I'm sure this will be a good season. I'm just doing that fanboy thing where I focus on the negative and complain instead of talking about the positive.


I know. And I'm doing the fanboy thing of defending everything that happens. Honestly though, that was one episode, let things play out. I'm sure the delicate fabric that is the Connor storyline will come apart soon enough.
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#12 Posted on 6.10.03 2316.21
Reposted on: 6.10.10 2316.59
    Originally posted by Excalibur05
    That was my own work, though I can say I found it pretty easy to be able to gloss over the Connor portions, actually. Hey, if they could do it with Dawn, they can do it with Connor.


Again, I say that's a good explanation, but the fans shouldn't be expected to write their own histories for characters. And removing Connor from history is not the same as adding Dawn. Events can more or less remain the same with Dawn around, as she just becomes a background character who was there. You could rewatch all of the first four seasons, and just pretend taht Dawn is standing around in the background, or just off-screen, and everything is fine. With Connor though, there are distinct events that he either triggers or is involved in, and it requires work (which you do by answering my rhetorical questions) to resolve that.

    Originally posted by Excalibur05
    Angel was never meant to be an ensemble show. It was supposed to be about Angel and his quest for redemption in LA. You get to watch the character develope. That's one of the reasons there was only three people in the initial dynamic. But, eventually, the characters started piling up, and they each got their own storylines and now we're at where we are. Doyle's death was meant to shock people and Cordelia's disappearence was more a result of a contract issue than anything else.


As I recall, Angel was also supposed to be an episodic show, with less of an overarching plot and soap opera element than Buffy. But last season didn't really achieve that.

I think what bothers me is that Angel now is not what Angel was. The fact that the show has visibly gone through *stages* is a bit disconcerting, especially since some of the stages seemed promising until they were cut off.

And I thought Doyle was killed because Glenn Quinn didn't get along with one of the executives (Whedon? Greenwalt?) The *shock* value was simply an added bonus.

    Originally posted by Excalibur05
    Which is what they were trying to do anyway. If they didn't do something drastic to the show's dynamic, it was going to get cancelled. The additions of Eve and Harmony and especially Spike shake up the norm. Eve's a villian, so I don't have any trouble with her addition, Harmony is still a background character, and we're trading Connor and Cordelia for Spike. I don't have any problem with that.


Just because I know why the show changed direction doesn't mean I have to like it. Not that I'd rather the show be cancelled, but I enjoyed the show the way it was. My problem with everything is simply that they shaked up the norm and that they made the trades. That said, I'm sure once this season gets going I'll be over this fairly quickly.

    Originally posted by Excalibur05
    Seeing as how only Fred and Lorne are the only ones that haven't been around since first season, not everybody's character revolves around Connor.


Its not that everyone's character revolved around Connor as much as Connor impacted everyone's character. Connor was the catalyst that destroyed Gunn and Wesley's friendship (which in turn led to the love triangle aspect of last season). You do a good job jumping through hoops to explain everything and reassign responsibility for what happened. I just hope that in an upcoming episode, Fred or Wesley can go off on a tangent and recount how they believe last season went down.

    Originally posted by Excalibur05
    In the ME Universe, there are are good demons and there are bad demons. Both Buffy and Angel, especially Angel, have had to struggle with this fact. Angeleus and Spike were decidedly evil. Maybe Harmony just isn't, but she feels like she should be. The idea of good and evil vampires hasn't really ever come up, but almost every time you see a vampire getting staked, it's a decidedly evil one. But most of the vamps we see have personalities and survival instinct. I imagine Harmony fits this mold. She still has her ditzy/brownnosing personality, along with the will to not get staked. That doesn't really make her good.


While there are good and evil demons, vampires have expressly been stated to always be evil. Aside from the fact that they lack a soul and kill people for food, the official explanation of what a vampire is is that the demon inhabits the body and takes it over. While the *person* may retain memories and character traits of their former life, they are not the same and flat out evil. (At least, I think that's the gist of what Giles said...) The episode that introduced Harmony to Angel, "Disharmony", dealt with this, as Cordelia tried to integrate her friend into the group even though she was a vampire, only for Harmony to betray the group at the first opportunity. Granted, Harmony doesn't rank high on the threat scale, her willingness to *behave* combined with the group's sudden tolerance for her mutes the impact of all vampires.

And I still don't understand her rationale for switching to pig's blood. How's anybody gonna know?

    Originally posted by Excalibur05
    I'm sure the delicate fabric that is the Connor storyline will come apart soon enough.


And it will be awesome when it does.

This fanboy stuff is fun.
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#13 Posted on 7.10.03 0020.29
Reposted on: 7.10.10 0021.17
Some demons are good. Skip is good. The Judge smelled love on Spike (not William). And I can't remember who said it here, but it was either Eddie or Excalibur, all of Spike's evil deeds as a vampire were done more or less to compensate for the inferiority complex he had as a human. Except for the rape. That was Joss trying to make shippers stop rooting for Buffy/Spike.

Eve is hot and evil. Nice casting Joss!

The following people better show up this season
Andrew (being haunted by First Jonathon!)
Faith (training Slayerettes)
Darla (and explain how the fuck she was haunting Conner when they never adressed the concept of First Good on either show)
Xander (Like you don't miss the guy)
Adam Baldwin (The Firefly crew is like Pokemon. Why stop until we've caught em all?)

Did anyone else expect Gunn to get SUPAH-STRENGTH as part of his deal?

Finally, does anyone else have a nagging suspicion that on the Whedon True Hollywood Story we're gonna find out he's a bisexaul who had failed affairs with everyone who ever got booted from a show unceremoniously? Seth, Charisma, Marc, Amber....
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#14 Posted on 7.10.03 0048.48
Reposted on: 7.10.10 0049.42
    Originally posted by AngryJohnny
    Some demons are good. Skip is good. The Judge smelled love on Spike (not William). And I can't remember who said it here, but it was either Eddie or Excalibur, all of Spike's evil deeds as a vampire were done more or less to compensate for the inferiority complex he had as a human. Except for the rape. That was Joss trying to make shippers stop rooting for Buffy/Spike.


I've had a theory for a while that Spike always had a soul, and that *he* is the vampire referred to in the prophecies and that Angel is just an aberration. It would explain a lot of the stuff, especially the love aspect of his relationship with Drucilla.

That said, just because Spike's neurosis carried on into his afterlife, it doesn't make him any less demonically-possessed as a vampire. Unless Giles is wrong...

And while I wouldn't mind seeing what happened to Andrew and Faith and everyone, I'd rather keep the Buffy reunion tour to a minimum. Save that for the Willow show. Taking time away from the main Angel cast to devote it to the Buffugees only serves to establish that Angel and co. are still playing second fiddle to Buffy, even after that show's demise.

(Although after the Andrew-centricism of last season, I could go without seeing him for quite a while...)

I still want someone to explain the relationship between the Senior Partners and the First Evil. Assuming the Partners are subordinate to the First, just how close to the top of the food chain are they? (Are they the same?)


    Did anyone else expect Gunn to get SUPAH-STRENGTH as part of his deal?


I wouldn't put it past Joss to have Gunn just play lawyer until at some key point in the season he beats the hell out of something and it turns out that, yeah, he did have more than just the law implanted.


    Finally, does anyone else have a nagging suspicion that on the Whedon True Hollywood Story we're gonna find out he's a bisexaul who had failed affairs with everyone who ever got booted from a show unceremoniously? Seth, Charisma, Marc, Amber....


Well, Joss and Seth have since made up, so that relationship might be back on. (listen to the commentary on Oz's farewell ep on the season 4 DVD -- they go on and on and on) Tara was always meant to die, so I don't think anything happened between Amber and Joss. Maybe last season during rehearsals for the Connor-Cordy love scenes he tried for three way, and that's also why Connor got booted this season?

I can't believe I'm playing along...

(edited by EddieBurkett on 7.10.03 0151)
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#15 Posted on 7.10.03 0130.08
Reposted on: 7.10.10 0130.22
    Originally posted by AngryJohnny
    Adam Baldwin (The Firefly crew is like Pokemon. Why stop until we've caught em all?)


I'd vote for Jewel Staite myself.

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#16 Posted on 7.10.03 0433.41
Reposted on: 7.10.10 0434.08
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett
    That said, just because Spike's neurosis carried on into his afterlife, it doesn't make him any less demonically-possessed as a vampire. Unless Giles is wrong...


I've always had something of a problem with the Buffyverse's "vampires are demons" schtick. If the vamps are demonic beings who just take over corpses, then by inference they have an existance before inhabiting the body as... something, and most likely personalities of their own, so why would they suddenly take on the memories and whatnot of the shell they hijacked? And why hasn't anyone run into one of these proto-vamps?

I think it's more of a parasitic thing, that turns the original person into something new and partially demonic. But if that's the case, it IS still the original person, it's not a case of "they're not the Bob you knew, he's dead, kill him!" and they're in a hell of a lot more of an ambiguous area as far as killing 'em off willy-nilly.

I mean... ok, you die. You wake up, rather unexpectedly, in a box buried in the earth. After digging your way out, which has GOT to mess with a person's mind, you discover that suddenly you are REALLY hungry, and you've got all sorts of neat new powers and a predator's instincts. Someone comes wandering along past the graveyard ('cause in Sunnydale, it was apparently the dominating feature of the entire town and you couldn't go anywhere without passing it) and they smell really good. Instinct kicks in, chomp, etcetera. If you're not immediately killed by some scrawny cheerleader you run into some other people like you, who inform you that this is the way things are, get used to it, here's your choice of leather garments.

But what about the few who, say, don't get the chance to immediately attack someone, or who have a stronger will to fight back the urges?

I think they missed a golden opportunity towards the end... instead of all the interminable week after week of "Military Buffy, she's so conflicted!" they could've gone down a slightly different route and discovered that the whole "vamps are soulless monsters, demons, no hope, kill 'em all!" thing was just some kind of line they fed the slayers to keep them on the straight and narrow. It would have added a lot more to the Giles/Watchers subplot, and may have kept Buffy from looking like a titanic bitch for the entire season.
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#17 Posted on 7.10.03 0940.38
Reposted on: 7.10.10 0942.16
    Originally posted by Mild Mannered Madman
    I'd vote for Jewel Staite myself.


Oooh. Did ya see her on Dead Like Me?
She was all gothed out.
Uber-sexy.

As you were.
Big Bad
Scrapple
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#18 Posted on 7.10.03 2136.34
Reposted on: 7.10.10 2137.31

    Some demons are good. Skip is good.


He sure seemed pretty evil last season as an agent for Jasmine. The only 'good' demons in the Buffyverse seemed to be Anya, Lorne, Clem, Doyle and some of Angel's various underworld sources.
J. Kyle
Boudin blanc
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Y!:
#19 Posted on 8.10.03 0427.02
Reposted on: 8.10.10 0427.21
    Originally posted by Big Bad

      Some demons are good. Skip is good.


    He sure seemed pretty evil last season as an agent for Jasmine. The only 'good' demons in the Buffyverse seemed to be Anya, Lorne, Clem, Doyle and some of Angel's various underworld sources.

Well I meant Clem...
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