Quite possibly the best episode of this series ever. Completely heart wrenching and intense and amazing. So many things clicked tonight and this is one of Whedon's shining moments I really and truly think. Thoughts? (as I am still trying to gather mine)
Caped Boy: Excuse me, ladies. You may remember me as the guy who came to dinner a few weeks ago with underwear on my head. My name is Keith Stat from Milbourne, New Jersey. State bird, the mosquito. And as you may have heard I am recently a crowned class B dungeon-master. So if any of you would like to play D&D today, please speak now or forever hold your peace. [He chuckles, and there is an awkward silence at the table.] Caped Boy: Anyone? Alexa! [Alexa gives him a withering glare.] Caped Boy: Maybe you would like to join in? We do need a druid, and you have definitely cast a level 5 charm spell on me. Alexa: In your dreams, douche-bag! Caped Boy: Douche-bags are hygienic products, I take that as a compliment. Thank you. [Keith walks off] Alexa: Ewww!
Spike: If cavemen and astronauts got into a fight, who would win? Wes: And you've been yelling about this for 40 minutes? (long pause) Do the astronauts have weapons? Spike & Angel: NO!
Awesome. I could have listened to that debate for ages. Plus, I pretty much could spend hours watching Spike and Angel bait each other and kill stuff. The clothesline bit was great. When Angel said, "Grab my hand," I started laughing.
Plus having Spike be the one to make the solemn philosophical speech was a nice touch. It's easier to take introspection from someone who has a sense of humor. If you have someone "deadly serious" do it, it smacks of speechifying. Plus I like the image of someone hopelessly staring down into the heart of the world. "There's a hole in the middle of the world. We should have known."
Okay, I'm going to stop now that I'm absolutely reeking of Eau de Fan Boy.
Me at the end of the episode: Didn't we just see the *heroine-possessed-by-evil-higher-power* plot last season?
My girlfriend: Well, at least you won't next season.
Did they really kill Fred? I hope not. Granted, the show is ending, but I liked how Fred and Gunn provided the stability of the group at the end of S3/beginning of S4 when everyone else had gone AWOL for various reasons. I kinda hoped that they would provide stability throughout those rumoured Angel movies that the WB was talking about in the cancellation notice.
Speaking of which, the WB picked a good season to cancel Angel given that Joss has now killed two characters this season (although Cordy was already off the show, more or less) and he didn't know about the show's future. I wonder about the bloodshed if he had.
I like how Gunn's actions last week came back to bite EVERYONE in the ass this week. Gunn vs. Gunn is intriguing. He's turned, and now he's going to be the villain. (Although I imagine he would have been the villain next season with the rate they were progressing things...) Actually, with Fred and Gunn turning evil, this is starting to sound like that rumoured Buffy S5 ending, where Xander was hosting Glory and Willow went evil and Giles and Buffy killed everyone. So Fred is hosting the evil and Gunn turns, and Wesley and Angel kill everyone. And Spike is there, too! I guess since Angel has always been more Angel-centric than Buffy has been Buffy-centric, Joss is a bit less restrained in selecting who he'll off by the finale.
Spike was awesome with the truth-telling guy. I dug the scene with him and Angel in the well.
Bye bye, Knoxy. That twist came out of nowhere.
The lack of music for Fred's death scene was Whedon being Whedon from "The Body".
Cavemen beat Astronauts easy.
Yeah, angles in the ring... someone thought of that a long time ago. They called it pro wrestling." -- the MCS
All right, over in the last Angel thread (my spoilers are all readable now as they have come to pass), I talked about how uncomfortable I was with this storyline, and I still am. Firstly, because I've always hate hate hated Joss' treatment of romance on the show. I was willing to love the Wes/Fred romance, but I couldn't bring myself to do it because I know that it would end shortly after it began, it is the natural order of Romance in the Buffyverse, and I hate it. I understand that he's trying to be dark and macabre with his "Nothing good comes out of Romance" stories, but it's getting a bit ridiculous. I can't get emotionally invested in a story which has no chance of surviving. The second point I'll get to in a second because I want to inject some positivity into this post.
I thought the episode was excellently done. I think Amy Acker is brilliant, and I hope good things are waiting for her once Angel is done at the end of the season. I hope they don't completely kill her off so that she'll be available for an Angel special movie or two. I got choked up when she died because of how much I've grown to like the Fred character over the past few years, and I was quite sad to see her go. Everything else was fantastically played as well. Simpering little Eve, Evil Gunn and Knox, Wesley's slow decent into depression (where have I seen that before ), Lorne and his mean streak in protecting Fred, Angel and Spike. I liked everything in the episode.
But, I have a problem. Angel is now seriously lacking in a decent supporting female role, which is extremely important to the group dynamic. Not only for "eye candy" purposes, but because it provides the group with a whole different perspective, especially on a show where all the men tend to be overly Macho (and when Angel goes into his fits of emotion, it was always Cordelia that dragged him out of it). Buffy would have suffered the same fate had Xander and Giles (and to a lesser extent, Spike in Season 7) not been a part of the show. The series needs a good grounding character for the plot not to go off all willy nilly following the adventures of several people of the exact same character type. At the time this episode was written, Joss had no clue that he was getting canceled, which tells me that he planned on going the whole rest of the season (and perhaps the series) with the only voice of emotion being Lorne, who heretofore was considered a mostly comical character. That doesn't sit very well with me. I'm willing to see the series to a strong conclusion, but I can't help but feel that it's really going to lack something without some sort of base entity for the characters to work around.
Want to see Morgan Webb naked? Let Playboy (playboy.com) know.
Matt, your points are valid, but you forgot one female: Nina the Werewolf. Now, I'm not saying she could ever in a million years hold a candle to Cordelia or Fred, but it's clear from the events of "Smile Time" that Joss was positioning her for a bigger role on the show. And that's the thing about introducing new characters into a Whedonverse dynamic...almost no one likes that character at first. But with time, the writers are quite capable of making that character strong and accepted.
Of course, they don't have that time anymore so the point is moot.
I absolutely loved this episode, but Fred's death didn't get me as weepy as it should have. Probably because she popped right back up as EvilDemonFred. (And yes, this big story arc is becoming cliched, but I'm still excited to see where they go with it. At least BlueHairAnimeFred is uberhot. "Ya gotta have blue hair!") To me, the big emotional sucker punch was Gunn finding out the truth. Truly a "Holy Shit" moment.
"Are you saying we should start annoying other people?" PRICELESS.
Originally posted by EddieBurkettBye bye, Knoxy. That twist came out of nowhere.
Spoiler Below: Highlight text to read
Yeah, but he looked pretty much alive in the first shot of the trailer for next week's episode. Bloody and beaten, yes, but alive.
"Self-esteem is for everybody, Self-esteem is for everyone, You can dream and be anybody, But, self-esteem is how you get it done."
Not reading the spoilers, but I'm wondering what could possibly be in that reply to my Knox comment.
Ex, I agree that Joss gets a bit too heavy-handed with the love always ends badly motif. (Especially on Buffy: Giles/Miss Calendar are about to reconcile and she dies. Tara and Willow reconcile and Tara dies.) Joss has some sort of notion about love he wants to continually display that always involves the female dying, or the man leaving. In every instance that a character has left the show, Joss has killed the women and let the men walk away, except for two special cases. (Spike at the end of Buffy, who was resurrected anyway, and Doyle, who, if not for the issues between Joss and Glenn Quinn would probably not have been killed. I also guess Cordelia could be an exception as sh walked away from Buffy, but she did ultimately meet her fate on Angel.) I don't know why this is, but this is one theme that after eight years is getting a bit repetitive. I'm a bit surprised that the Wes-Fred relationship (Fresley?) was so short, but I guess it served its purpose.
I think that the fact that Angel is seriously lacking a leading female role has to be something that Joss is aware of, and that could possibly be part of the intent of what he's done. As you point out, the group is now out of balance, and given the unstable world in which they reside, that imbalance can only grow. I get the feeling that this is going to play a part in the finale (of the Fred arc, if not the series). I'm surprised the WB let Joss kill off all the main female characters given how that would possibly upset the male fans, but I guess when you're cancelling a show you tend not to care about its drawing power.
I never thought of Nina becoming a main character, but you're right, Schippe. If Angel and Nina were serious next season when Buffy was supposed to show up, that could have been an interesting dynamic.
I've been thinking more about the concept of Fred mimicking the Cordelia plot from last year. Given that we STILL don't know exactly what the characters (save Angel and a few others) think happened last year, its entirely possible they don't remember Jasmine and her possession of Cordelia and subsequent world domination attempt. Jasmine, who was another evil being so old she was not mentioned in the books. Jasmine, who was able to manipulate events so that it would seem as though her "birth" was pre-destined. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
My guess is that much like Gunn realized that the choice he made last week is now biting his friends in the ass, this is the beginning of Angel finding out that by joining Wolfram & Hart he's going to lose all of his friends. First goes Cordelia, then Fred. Gunn's becoming dark (I think...). Especially what with the series finale coming up, it wouldn't be too hard to imagine everyone dying (especially if something like the scenario I proposed above happens). Then, with Angel's life effectively in ruins, he realizes that he shouldn't have chosen to ally with W&H to save Connor, and then somehow, he's able to undo his decision at the end of S4, and this season never happened like that day in Episode 8 when Buffy visits and Angel turns human. Weren't there rumours about Joss doing something like that with Willow and Anya in Buffy S6? (Everyone dies and Buffy wishes to Anyanka for everything to be undone and so it is...) The nice thing is that since there's no next season for continuity purposes, so long as everyone is able to walk out of the finale, there wouldn't be as much backlash as if Joss did that mid-show.
And yes, Lorne was awesome during the Eve interrogation.
Yeah, angles in the ring... someone thought of that a long time ago. They called it pro wrestling." -- the MCS
Originally posted by EddieBurkettOh. Well, I missed that second anyway, but at least its nothing big. Thanks.
Speaking of the trailers, I don't like that the WB refers to the new eps of Angel as 'fresh'. Too slangy.
I never noticed they did it for Angel, I did notice they did that for the Smallville and I thought it was just to try and be "hip" because Smallville might have more of a teen audience. It definitely needs to go for Angel.
I have to agree that I loved this episode, I have some mixed feelings about it though. I mean Fred is the wussiest character ever on this show and I just can't see her being a great bad guy. If they pull it off then it'll be a great turn, but I'll have to wait and see if Fred can pull it off.
I agree that no women character kind of leaves a big hole in the show. I mean the scene where she's laying in bed and everyone is standing around her and she says something about "her guys" painted a perfect picture. Fred was the one that kept the group together. She was the only one that got along with everyone. She had some kind of romantic storyline with Wesley, Gunn, and Knox, Angel was alwasy protectiv of her as if he were her older brother. We saw that Lorne was very fond of her too because of how he talked to Eve and she was even close to Spike. So it does leave a big whole in Angel. But I think that's the point. Without Fred I think it's basically all going to go to hell. Knox will probably get killed by either Wesley or Gunn (if he isn't already). Then Wesley and Gunn will probably face off judging by the trailer for next week and we KNOW Spike and Angel have to go at it again at some point. So I think making Fred the core of group was on purpose so that when they "killed" her would have as much meaning as it does.
Did anybody besides me notice that the few notes Eve sang for Lorne was the same song that Lindsey sang at in the Evil Hand episode?
Could it be possible that Harmony could be elevated into the 'woman of the group' role for the last few episodes? If nothing else, it'd be nice to see Mercedes McNabb (who's been around since the first episode of Buffy) finally get her name into the opening credits.
Wait…if it’s MLK Jr. Day AND Pat Patterson’s Birthday…who gets the token win here?-- Matt "Excalibur05" Hocking on a match between Mark Henry and Rico
MH: What’s a clever way to say that I have a penis? CJ: Uh…Mark, nobody’s going to buy that shirt. MH: How about if I say that I’ve got…a…uh…? CJ: Coming up with T-Shirt ideas is hard Mark, why not leave it to the WWE marketing department. MH: I know! I’ve got it! CJ: Got what? MH: Stank! That’s Mah Stank! I’m gonna make a fortune!! CJ: “That’s Mah Stank”? MH: On the front it’ll say “Can You Smell It?” and on the back it’ll say “That’s Mah Stank”. Everybody’ll buy it because they’ll think it’s a Rock shirt. CJ: You know…you might be on to something there, sad to say. MH: I can’t wait to show mah stank to Trish.
You know, I have a feeling that Spanky didn’t quit, he was fired. Why? So they could repackage Mark Henry as “Stanky.” Think about THAT! --Matt "Excalibur05" Hocking, 1/19/04 Raw Satire
Originally posted by Big BadCould it be possible that Harmony could be elevated into the 'woman of the group' role for the last few episodes? If nothing else, it'd be nice to see Mercedes McNabb (who's been around since the first episode of Buffy) finally get her name into the opening credits.
Kind of related but Buffy didn't change it's opening for the final series (I think) which meant Tom Lenk (Andrew) sort of came after 'Guest starring'
To be honest I like Harmony in the role she's in because I'm finally starting to like her and I know if I saw more of her she would start to get on my nerves again.
Edit: White quote, white background. I keep forgetting about that.
Originally posted by EddieBurkett In every instance that a character has left the show, Joss has killed the women and let the men walk away, except for two special cases. (Spike at the end of Buffy, who was resurrected anyway, and Doyle, who, if not for the issues between Joss and Glenn Quinn would probably not have been killed. I also guess Cordelia could be an exception as sh walked away from Buffy, but she did ultimately meet her fate on Angel.)
What about Oz? or Riley, who got "happily married" after he left Buffy?
Good one...heh. As someone who's done open-mics for the past seven years or so, I've usually just done the Twitter/Facebook thing. Twitter forces you to streamline your jokes to fit the character limit, so I don't know if it'd help for longer bits.