Originally posted by Matt TrackerWith all of the ways he can reappear and bother Angel so often, and his oddly spectral nature, who's to say he isn't The First?
Plus, just how do you mail yourself somewhere when you're a pile of dust in an amulet?
In the first episode they showed a small child mailing the amulet to Angel. Well at least they showed a small child addressing the envelope the amulet was in.
I'm guessing that Spike is going to be a "tweener", leaning toward good. They've built him up as being good (or at least wanting to be good) for quite some time and his character seems to function better that way. Good friction with Angel and Spike, too. If Spike remains a good guy, Angel must keep his resentment/dislike/jealousy of Spike in check. If Spike goes bad, it makes it too easy for Angel to go after Spike and an interesting dynamic is lost.
I thought it was a pretty entertaining episode, to be sure. As mentioned, the dynamic between Angel and Spike is gonna be a hoot.
I loved the moment when they (and we) all found out Spike was a ghost. I hadn't read any of the spoilers, so it was quite unexpected. It's interesting to see how much the technology has improved since the boys from the Dwarf interacted with it in 1988, or even since Willow was a ghost in the "Halloween" episode of Buffy in Season 2.
The buckets o' lawyer was a nice visual, and Spike attacking Angel "wearing" the necromancer's dead body was great, just because it teases the brawls that will occur between the two if/when Spike gets a body. Of course, Spike could calm down some as the season progresses, but what fun would that be?
During that fight, it was a bit reminiscent of the whole Buffy/Faith dynamic early in Season 3 of Buffy, but instead of two Slayers, you've got two vampires with souls. Of course, Buffy and Faith lack the history that Angel and Spike have together, but this is the first time we've really seen the two interact when they both had souls. Sure, there was the last ep. of Buffy, but if I remember right, they never came in contact with each other.
I dunno about Spike's quadruple hinted turns, though. It made sense, but it just seemed excessive to me. At least in the "Enemies" episode in S3 of Buffy, Angel pretended to be bad the whole time. Then again, there wasn't any one-on-one interaction between Buffy and Angel in that episode either.
Ack, too much referencing old Buffy episodes.
One question I do have though - if it was only 19 days between Sunnydale becoming a gravel pit and Spike arrival in L.A., who was mischievious enough to go digging through all that and send the amulet to Angel? I don't remember seeing the small child thing either, but if it indeed was, did The Annointed One somehow come back, or is there a new Annointed One or something? I hope that situation will reveal itself in the coming weeks.
Oh yeah, and not enough Wesley, Gunn, or Lorne either. Yeah, I know it was the big Spike "introduction to L.A." episode, but I would have liked to have seen them a little more. And yes, the Spike/Fred thing should be interesting.
I popped big time when Spike went through the desk. Its nice to be spoiler free. I knew they wanted to do something to Spike to make his sacrifice mean something (at least, that's what Joss said in some post-Buffy interview right after the news broke that Marsters was jumping), but never in a million years did I think they'd do this. This was a good enough twist that a lot of my complaints stemming from last week's episode have been quelled.
It did annoy me that Spike occupied so much of the episode (when does a *new* character get as much face time as Spike did? He was in just about every scene! I feel like there should be a Joss Whedon interview somewhere where he says "Spike is just one character. He is only in one of sixteen segments." Or something like that...) Still, I don't mind it since Spike's presence does require some explanation. I just hope that this doesn't turn into the Angel and Spike show (or just Spike), and leave the rest of the cast relegated to background characters.
It occured to me today sitting at work that Spike could indeed be the First, but I don't think he is. The first couldn't directly manipulate any physical objects, but Spike was able to control the necromancer's body for a bit. Given how badly the First complained about wanting to be corporeal, if it would have been possible with necromantic magic, I think the First would have done it before. Plus, I don't think a mere necromancer would be able to control something as powerful as the First Evil.
I liked Spike's monologue at the end to Fred. I'm probably being a total fanboy, but if they gave Marster's more stuff like that, he'd be emmy material. But then they screw it up with his overdub for the ep. The only thing I can think is that they needed to edit the episode for length, and one way to cut it down was to speed up his lines, by having him record them faster. Because I did get the impression that most of his lines were delivered quicker than normal.
The main thing I like about Spike's return is that it leaves way too many unanswered questions. Without knowing who sent Spike to Angel, or even if Angel was supposed to get that fate, the only thing we know for sure is that we don't know anything for sure. I've come to a resolution not unlike the Jasmine explanation for the events of Angel seasons 1-4, where she said that everything that had happened to that point (Angel failing the trial, sleeping with Darla, fathering Connor, etc. up to Jasmine's birth) had been part of her plan. Here, everything that's happened thus far has mostly been the working of the First. Assuming that he let Jasmine come down (and in the process, have Angel father Connor), and create such havoc that between cleaning up her mess and resolving the issue between him and his son, Angel would have no choice but to accept the offer at Wolfram and Hart. (Heck, the initial destruction of W&H was part of all this, so again, it all fits together nicely.) In the process, he gets the amulet. He takes it to Sunnydale, where the First has established a need for it. The First intentionally loses the fight to Buffy (this helps explain its crappy behaviour at the end of the season, for an omniscient sentience), so that a souled vampire would be sacrificed and become a ghost in the amulet. Whether it was supposed to be Spike or Angel remains to be seen. Maybe it doesn't matter which was supposed to be which. All we know from the prophecies is that a souled vampire (presumably Angel) playes a big role in the apocalypse (or was it armageddon?). Perhaps, thus far, this has all been the First's attempts at converting Angel and/or Spike.
Yes, I do realize that the "well, this is really what the villain intended to happen" concept is nothing more than a way to explain away weak plot, but it also provides a lot of intrigue, so I'll accept it in this case.
As for the rest of the episode, I enjoyed it. It was a nice cross of mixing character development and seasonal arc exposition with a monster of the week.
Why does part of me think Spike's "I need help" to Fred is nothing more than his way of coming on to her? And was there ever resolution to the Fred-Wes-Gunn triangle? (Did they all just move on?)
The dates for everything are now officially wonky. I wish someone would establish a timeline for how long the sun was out in LA, exactly how long a time period the events in season four occured (and consequently, Buffy season seven, due to cross-overness), and when Sunnydale imploded. I would guess nineteen days after would place this ep of Angel at about early to mid-June. Given the weekly nature of the show, and the continual fun with ending one ep with the beginning of the next, these shows are turning into a 24, of sorts.
And something is wrong when Angel brings more workrate than most of the WWE roster. Was that a Sliced Bread #2 that he hit on the demon? This show should be eligible for the rspw awards. (Angel vs Faith is still a MOTYC, imho.)
I do hope that the spoon(!!!) antics were the work of Ben Edlund.
I enjoyed this ep alot. This season is going to RAWK!!!!
Edit: I use (way) too many parenthetical notes.
(edited by EddieBurkett on 10.10.03 0012) Low tide for the time being.
My favourite development of this new season has been Fred wearing skirts. Huzzah!
I think they killed the necromancer a bit too early...he could've been a fun recurring villain, seeing as how he could totally immobilize Angel and whatnot. Though since Angel knew the guy's ability before he left, why not take along Gunn or Wesley as backup?
"When this bogus term alternative rock was being thrown at every '70s retro rehash folk group, we were challenging people to new sonic ideas. If some little snotty anarchist with an Apple Mac and an attitude thinks he invented dance music and the big rock group is coming into his territory, [that's] ridiculous." - Bono, 1997