Saturday, January 26, 2008

Angel Wednesday (January 23rd)

I brought it upon myself. We've gotten behind on "Angel" episodes again, so there will be no Buffy until next week.

No big deal, though. After the last "Buffy," I can afford to wait a bit (turns out 2001 audiences had to wait almost two months, so two weeks in't so bad). Our two "Angel" episodes from this Wednesday were "The Thin Dead Line" and "Reprise."

The first was written by Jim BOOGENS/RUSH HOUR/SNOW DOGS Kouf and Shawn "The Shield" Ryan. It's interesting how different the show is now from when it started. Makes me wonder where the show will go in the future.

At the Angel-free Angel Investigations, a rich woman brings in her (mute) daughter who has sprouted a third eye on the back of her head (third eye total, she didn't already have two eyes back there). Wesley assures her they can remove the eye and he is my favourite character on this show by far.

We get to see Anne again over at her teen shelter (I found myself really attracted to Anne in this episode. Is that weird?). Apparently, it's overflowing with young people and she's the only employee (don't know where that two million dollars went, exactly). So when a couple of twenty-seven year old kids show up, having been attacked by a streetcop, she lets them inside, though there's no room at the inn.

Apparently the police are being even rougher than usual in the 'hood, 'cause it's not an isolated incident. Anne goes to her friend, Gunn, to tell him about the trouble. Angel, still seeming awfully stalky to me, follows Anne, watching her from the street.

Suddenly, a cop tries to arrest Angel. Angel fights with him and kicks his head off. I'm wondering, if he hadn't been a zombie, wouldn't this have been a little excessive for Angel?

Angel goes to PolicewomanOfficer Kate Lockley, who is slightly warmer to him than usual (but still not first season warm), and gives her the zombie cop's badge. They look it up and find he died six months ago.

Gunn calls some of his homeys (I know they don't use that term anymore, but some of these guys are so comically "black" that I wouldn't be surprised if they used words like "honkey" and "blud" in everyday conversation) to go out and wander the streets until they find one of these over-enthusiastic cops. One of the homeys will videotape the others presumably being harassed and/or beaten for no reason, and then, well, it'll be used to juice up their MySpace pages or something. Wesley and Cordelia aren't thrilled with this plan, and he follows them, in case they need some stodgy British backup.

Sure enough, they run into a pudgy stereotypical moustached cop who wants to arrest them for being black after ten pm. Gunn continually asks what they're being charged with, and the cop won't answer. Wesley steps out and asks the same question, and the cop shoots him.

The cop is in turn shot by one of the homeys, but he gets right up again. Gunn gets the wounded Wesley to an ambulance, but a trio of police cars arrives, and they open fire on the ambulance, hitting the driver. Gunn drives the ambulance, evading the cops, and going to the teen shelter instead of a hospital.

They take Wesley inside, and he's doing badly. Everybody else boards up the windows and doors, and the zombie cops arrive, combining NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, and try to get inside.

Meanwhile, back at the police station, Kate Lockley tells Angel who the captain of the zombie cops is, and gets Angel in to confront him. The cop tells Angel that he's cleaning up the streets, and sure, he used black magic to do so, but it's not so different from what they did in ROBOCOP, and everybody loved that movie.

The captain then shoots Angel, but because he's a vampire, he doesn't die. In fact, he smashes the statue that's reanimating policemen

The zombie cops have broken into the teen shelter, and mayhem is ensuing. Suddenly, they all drop dead again, rotting and very probably stinking up the place.

Kate and Angel talk about the stresses of her job, and she reveals that the neighbourhoods where the zombie cops were patrolling have had far fewer murders, muggings, and rapes since this started.*

Gunn, who has become very protective of Wesley, gets him to a hospital, where he is going to be alright. In a nice turn, those two appear to be friends now. And in another turn, Angel comes to the hospital to see about Wesley, and Cordelia tells him they don't want his presence or need his help (which is almost the lyrics of a Crowded House song), and sends him packing. The end.

Good stuff. But, we're a little behind, so let's continue.

"Reprise" was written by our man Tim Minear and directed by James Whitmore Junior, who used to direct all the "Quantum Leap"s. Picking up from the last episode, Wesley (who is in a wheelchair recovering from his gunshot wound) has managed to remove the third eye from the rich mute girl, but her mother refuses to pay her bill, claiming that it was all just a set up and so dark the con of man and quoting the hotel manager in GHOSTBUSTERS ("I had no idea it would be so much; I won't pay it.").

Meanwhile, over at Wolfram & Hart, everyone is gearing up for "The Review," which is when the high-ups at the organisation determine who is beneficial and who is expendable.

Angel prevents a couple of employees from a sacrifice to protect them, and goes to talk to Policewomanofficer Lockley. She has been getting all kinds of problems at work due to what happened in the last episode, and has discovered that the door to Holland Manners's wine cellar was locked from the outside (presumably by Angel). Hence, all her good feelings from the last episode are gone again.

So Angel goes to Lorne at the karaoke bar. Lorne has been getting a ton of W&H employees at his bar, all worried about The Review, and none of them like Angel. Turns out there's a senior partner on the way up from . . . well, you know.

Evillawyerchick Lilah tells Evillawyerdude Lindsay that they should team up to prepare for The Review, but he doesn't seem particularly worried. Turns out that Darla has been crashing at his place while she recovers from the burns Angel inflicted on her. He's been bringing her blood, but she's not nearly as weak as she pretends to be.

Angel needs a book that's in Angel Investigations's possession
and when he goes to "borrow" it, Cordelia tries to throw him out. Wesley tears some stitches telling Angel to take the book and get the smeg out.

Angel goes back to the bookstore he went to in the 1950's flashback episode about the hotel ("Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been," I think it was called) and the proprieter remembers him. In fact, he's overjoyed to see him, having changed his life half a century before with their encounter. He tells Angel that the Senior Partner will be wearing a ring that lets him travel to and from the underworld, and that he just happens to have a supernatural glove that can protect Angel from the Senior Partner.

This guy is great, really. So great that I was saddened when Darla stepped out from behind the bookshelves and skewers him with a sword ("Killed me, Mal. Killed me with a sword."). She takes the glove, titters, and runs away.

Internal Affairs has Kate Lockley before a review panel and we can tell that they've been pouring over all her recent actions with a razor-sharp-toothed comb. In fact, it's one of those silly stupid bureaucratic formalities when the whole point is to take her gun and badge and fire her. One of the panel even goes as far as to say, "If your father could see you now," which I hope ensures he is eaten by fistula demons in a future episode.

Kate Lockley goes home, trashes her police trophies, and gets good and drunk.

Wesley and his girlfriend Virginia are sharing a quiet moment together, with her talking about his dangerous lifestyle, struggling to tell him something. He lets her off the hook and
tells her he knows she's breaking up with him. He calls Cordelia afterward and finds her depressed as well. Wesley and Cordelia talk on the phone, both depressed about their lives right now.

Cordelia gets a call from the rich woman with the previously third-eyed (but still mute) daughter. She has changed her mind and will pay, if Cordelia comes over to get the check. Little does she know that there's a demon standing beside the woman, coercing her into the phone call.

Angel goes to the Wolfram & Hart building and enters the room where The Review is taking place. The alarms go off, revealing a vampire in their midst. But hey, it could be Darla, who is also there, skulking in the shadows. To make things easier for the security guards, Angel tosses some holy water on Darla and the men tackle her. Angel gets the magic glove away from her and uses it to attack the Senior Partner who arrives in a hooded, unviewable form. The Senior Partner is destroyed in roughly .00072 seconds, and Angel crashes through one of the windows and falls to the ground below (no one down there notices).

He puts on the ring he got from the Senior Partner and an elevator door opens in front of him. In the lift is Holland Manners, looking the same as always (save a bit of a vampire bite). Turns out he is still contracted to work for Wolfram & Hart, and offers to take Angel to the home office. Angel agrees and the elevator doors open to reveal the home office . . . the same Los Angeles they left half a minute before.

Angel, it may be, knew this all along (but the dude has been to Hell before, so I don't know why this bums him out so much), and wanders out into the night, seeing suffering and greed and pain and hate all around him.

He goes back to the hotel just as Kate Lockley calls and leaves a drunken message on his machine about taking a bunch of pills. He doesn't react to this, but goes upstairs.

Darla is waiting for him. Instead of kicking her (admittedly-lovely) arse, he grabs her, kisses, her and flops her onto the bed. A bit of boffing ensues.

Afterward, Angel's eyes open and he awakens. But is it still Angel? I don't know, it was the end.

This episode was another good one (heck, they both were), but with all the talk about THE SENIOR PARTNER!! and such, I thought it was going to be a big two-parter (or maybe even three). It may well have been a more satisfying episode were that the case.

But ah well.

I thought we could watch one more, wanting to know if Angel had become Angelus again, if they were going by the "Buffy" rules of "a moment of true happiness," or the "Angel" rules of "no sex for Angel." But Tyranist showed great restraint and kicked me the sod out of his house. At least until next week.

Rish "Crowded House" Outfield

*Tyranist pointed out that it's probably because people were so damned afraid of the cops that they didn't report any of it. I thought that maybe people would be so afraid of the cops that they wouldn't steal or rape. Could go either way.

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