Friday, February 22, 2008

The End of Angel Season Two Continued

Tyranist, undaunted by work, sleep, or bowel movements, kept watching "Angel," into the night.

Next, we got "Through the Looking Glass," written and directed by Mister Tim Minear. It picked up right there, with Angel, Wesley, and Gunn standing in front of Princess Cordelia. She tells the guards to leave and explains that her visions made her the one prophesied to save the world. Or something. Angel doesn't really pay attention, as he's staring at himself in the mirror, checking out his hair (which he somehow didn't expect to look like he used six and a half bottles of premium gel on). So, he can be in the sun and reflect in this world, what happens when he gets happy?

Princess Cordelia stays their executions and our guys manage to sneak out of the castle through a secret entrance (the sewer). Lorne takes Angel to meet his family. We meet Numfar the dancing demon, who made me and tyranist laugh more than anything ever has on this show. We also meet Lorne's mother, who is a big burly man with a long beard and little respect for her son.

But Cousin Landok has told everyone about Angel's bravery two episodes before fighting the demon, and they welcome him into the clan. The villagers all gather round him to hear him tell stories of the first season of his show. He also gets the honour of killing the cow for their village feast. The cow ends up being Fred, the girl who tried to help Cordelia last episode.

Angel insults the demon villagers when he refuses to chop off Fred's head, and Lorne starts singing a song to disable all his people, who roll on the ground in agony the way I did in 1999 when was forced to listen to Lou Vega's album. Lorne and Angel escape.

Wesley is back at the castle, looking through their holy books. He discovers that Cordelia is going to have to ritually "com-shuk" with a Grusalug. With a name like Grusalug, it has to be good for you.* He also discovers that the three books have a Wolf, a Ram, and a Hart on the cover, which is pretty cute, even for this show.

Princess Cordelia is told that the Grusalug is on its way, and that she will have to com-shuk with him, and yes, that does involve the bathing suit area. Now her situation seems a little less ideal than before. And little does she know that the priests are scheming, evil dudes, planning to kill her and take Pylea's power for their own.

In other words, not at all like the priests we've got here on earth.

Gunn and Wesley try to smuggle Cordelia out through the sewer tunnel, but the priests catch her. Back in her throne room, she meets the Grusalug . . . a long haired underwear model with muscles the size of hubcaps. He has long been ostracised for his ugliness, and has become the most fearsome warrior in the land as a sort of compensation, and seems to be a decent guy. Plus, he just LOVES kids, snuggling, taking romantic walks, and going to church!

Fred the crazy cow takes Angel to her home, which is a cave she's been hiding in for years. She has covered the walls with nonsensical(?) numbers and symbols, and seems to have lost her mind rather completely. But she puts a pair of glasses on, and damn if she's not the most attractive woman on the show.

But then, I like glasses, for some reason.

Angel realises that this was the woman from the library who got sucked into a portal five years before, and tells her he's from L.A. and everyone got cellphones in the time she's been gone. When he tells her that George Lucas finally got to making those STAR WARS Prequels and that the first one was disappointing, she doesn't believe him, and starts to doubt that he even exists.

Guards are scouring the countryside, looking for the escaped prisoners (and the cows that roam free and cause trouble). When one discovers Angel and Fred, Angel tells her not to be afraid when he changes to fight him. But she should be afraid, because Angel transforms, not into a vampire, but into the demon he was inside, with scales and fangs and claws and a monstrous, mindless disposition. He kills the guard and ends up attacking Wesley and Gunn when they happen by. Wesley recognises Angel's tattoo, but the demonangel can't be reasoned with. Fred distracts Demonangel by dipping her hand in blood, and he is drawn by the smell.

She goes back to her cave, and Demonangel follows her. When he sees his monstrous reflection in a puddle (at least I hope it's just a puddle), his bloodlust stops, and he reverts to an unconscious human form.

Wesley and Gunn get captured by the wandering band of free cows, who think they are in league with the evil princess and the priests. They think that they should cut off their heads and send them to Princess Cordelia as a message (we find that this is as common as sending e-mail here in Pylea).

Fred nurses Angel's wounds and tries to comfort his wounded soul as well. I like her. He's ashamed at what he became, and was mortified to actually see the demon he constantly carries inside. He wonders if he can ever face his friends again.

Princess Cordelia, however, is enjoying life again. She finds the Grusalug to be a good Wisconsin man, without the silly accent, and flaunts her newfound power by pardoning Lorne for his "crimes." She gets it into her head that she can do a lot of good in her position, so she begins to write up proclamations, like that all cows are free in the South.

The chief priest (name o' Silas) is displeased, and tells her to get the com-shuking over with. To put her in her place, he sends her a gift . . . Lorne's head on a platter. The end.

Wow, I was really enjoying this foray into Pylea. Tyranist pointed out to me that Numfar the dancing one was played by Joss Whedon. I wish I had known that, though I doubt it could have made me laugh any harder.
The last episode in this arc (and of the season) was called "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb," and it was written and directed by David Greenwalt.

Princess Cordelia is surprised when Lorne's severed head begins to talk to her. His species, it seems, can survive decapitated until their body is destroyed.

Silas the evil high priest plans to cut all Cordelia's friends' heads off, and sends his soldiers after Wesley and Gunn and Angel. He also has a device that can make all the human cows' heads explode, and plans to use it if he gets any more trouble.

Elsewhere, Wesley and Gunn are prisoners of the freed rebel cows and guess what they're going to do to them? Oh yeah, cut off their heads. But before that can happen, the soldiers arrive and attack. Gunn and Wesley help out, and in doing so, convince the rebels that not only should they not be killed, but should lead them. Wesley comes up with a plan for storming the castle.

Fred and Angel get to know each other in her cave hideout. From her mutterings, Angel realises that she has inadvertently been opening portals back to earth, but is a little too far gone to know it. When one of the castle's soldiers discovers them, Angel fights him, but holds back, afraid of turning into the creature again. Fred ends up saving him, knocking out the soldier. She tends to Angel's wounds, while the tied-up soldier boasts about killing Lorne and the plan to kill Princess Cordelia. Angel and Fred take off to try and save, well, everyone.

Cordelia, meanwhile, dresses is a servant's rags and sneaks down to where the bodies are kept.** Lorne's body is there, in pieces, yet Lorne's head is still alive. We discover that the Groosalugg, in honour of Cordelia, took her friend's body and replaced it with another one. Lorne's actual body is safe with his family.

Groo also reveals that after the mating ritual, he will take Cordelia's visions onto himself (something tyranist reminded me yesterday, 'cause I had just plain forgotten). But she tries to explain to him that, as painful as the visions are, they make her special, and enable her to help people.

Angel and Fred meet up with Wesley's band of rebels, and Wesley explains that Angel will have to kill the bad guys' champion, the Groosalugg. Angel doesn't want to do this, since he's teetering on the brink of inner darkness, and one you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you, it will.

Nevertheless, the time to attack the castle comes, and there is much fighting. The evil priest Silas tells the Groosalugg that Angel has come to defile and murder Princess Cordelia, so he goes out to face him. They do battle, and Angel tries to keep his human side in control.

Meanwhile, Silas goes to use his weapon to blow the heads off of all the cows, and Cordelia decapitates him. I'm not exaggerating with the beheadings here. She then runs out and tells the Groosalugg not to kill Angel, because she loves him. Groo stops fighting, and pretty much, only the good guys are left standing.

Even Lorne gets his head and body reunited, and makes peace with his family, even though he knows his place is away from Pylea . . . and they know it too.

Cordelia decides to go back to our world, where she can continue to make a difference in people's lives (and breathe in that delicious L.A. air). Before she goes, she appoints Groosalugg to rule in her stead.

Fred has that way about her of opening portals to earth, and she does it again, transporting Angel, Lorne, Wesley, Gunn, Cordelia, and herself back to Caritas in Angel's car, which crashes through the bar. But no big deal, all's well that ends well.

Angel and gang get back to the Angel Investigations building, and as the episode hadn't ended yet, we knew they would find something bad there. Tyranist and I both thought it would be the Wolfram & Hart lawyers, or worse, but it turns out to be Willow Rosenberg. How she got in there is not explained, but she's there to break the bad news to Angel. What the bad news is is not explained, because who on earth would be watching this episode that hadn't seen the "Buffy" season ender first? Whoops.

The end of "Angel" season two.

Now, I've got to hand it to tyranist that, when he saw Willow was there, he fumbled for the remote control, trying to shield me from the revelation that was coming . . . or maybe he was just upset that, by watching them out of order, this moment was the price we had to pay. Hmm.

Regardless, this four-part marathon was a great departure for the series, and was a very enjoyable way to spend an evening.*** It was like watching an "Angel" movie (though what we saw would've been a director's cut, with all the slow bits left it), and more than encourages me to keep on watching the series.

This post has been a long time in coming, but now that it's done, I hope you don't mind. I hope you don't mind what I put down it words.

The Rishalugg Outfield

*In looking it up, I found that the word is spelled "Groosalugg," which is, in fairness, a much better spelling than mine. I might go through and fix it, but then, I might not. I'm lazy that way.

**I believe they call it "the mutilation chamber," which is what they also called Mr. Brethwait's shop class in my high school.

***Or a month, if you saw it as it originally aired. How would that have been?

No comments: