Thursday, March 20, 2008

Veronicangel Wednesday

19 March 2008

Tyranist and I spent most of our Buffy Wednesday finishing Season One of "Veronica Mars," which, for some reason, I've begun to refuse to mention by name, as though it's the Scottish play or something. All I know is that it pisses tyranist off, so of course I'm onboard.

I honestly didn't know who had killed Laura Pal--er, Lily Kane, but in just joking around, I guess I stumbled onto the answer. Tyranist told me he was about to pause it and ask how I figured it out, but instead said nothing, so that when the killer was actually revealed, I was fully surprised. Good on him, really.

The show was good, maybe not without its flaws (one of the episodes we watched tonight I didn't like at all, and its plot was so easy to figure out that I started second-guessing it to try and figure out what the twist would be), but kept my interest and my enjoyment from our first sitting to tonight. Mostly I just like the clever dialogue, interesting character dynamics, and a father who is not painted as a jackass or total moron.

Tyranist would've been fine to start watching Season Two tonight, but I'd rather give it a break for a while and maybe watch one of my DVDs for a change.

The one "Angel" episode we watched was called "That Old Gang of Mine," by Tim Minear.

The episode begins at Caritas, the demon karaoke bar, and all the gang has gathered around Merl, the snitch, who has been mistreated by pretty much everyone. I didn't mention it, but he was in the season opener, and has appeared in several episodes, some of which un-notably. But in this one, he is being apologised to by Angel, reading a prepared statement from Cordelia.

Tyranist mentioned that Cordelia looked and acted better in this episode than he ever remembered her before. Surely the visions have matured her . . . but I'm sure she'll backslide to self-centered gold-digging in no time.

Angel, being a man's man, tells Merl he can hit him if he wants to. Merl tries, but is zapped by the spell on the bar that prevents demons from harming demons. Merl is upset and he goes home. Once there, he is attacked and murdered.

There are mixed feelings concerning Merl's death. Wesley seems saddened by it, but Gunn wonders why it's a big deal, since Merl was a demon, and demons are bad. In fact, he's so unconcerned about Wesley's investigation that he goes back to his old hangout and has a reunion with his old (titular) gang. There's a new guy, Geo, there from Florida, who gives Gunn a bottle and a half of 'tude, and there's lots of testosterone and really convoluted black slang (which tyranist usually complains about, since it sounds like the middle-aged Jewish guys writing "Luke Cage" in the Seventies). To make a lengthy bunch of scenes short, Geo is a loudmouthed bag of douche, and he thinks Gunn has gone soft, or worse, is now a vampire-lovin' Uncle Tom.

The gang, now that Gunn is no longer leading them, has been tracking down perfectly-harmless demonfolk and killing them, simply because of their gooey, non-human heritage. Gunn has to make a decision as to which side he's on, and goes as far as to hide evidence to keep Angel Investigations from coming after his old gang.

Cordelia decides to take Fred out on the town, and Wesley, Gunn, Cordelia, and Fred go to Caritas, but that turns out to be the same night Geo is leading the gang there, to kill everybody inside. The gang shoots the place up, kills a few of the demons, and harasses everybody else. Gunn does what he can to protect Lorne, but he and Geo argue about what is right and wrong.

Finally, Geo tells Cordelia she is free to go, as long as she brings Angel back there. She tells Angel what's happening, and he charges her with convincing the trio of Furies who cast the "no demon violence" spell to lift it. They are three hot chicks who talk in succession, and want to make the beast with four backs with Angel.

Angel arrives and Geo tells Gunn to prove his loyalty to humanity by killing Angel. He won't do it, even though Geo taunts him about his sister turning into a vampire back in Season One. Finally, the spell is broken, and one of the timid demons cowering in the corner leaps up and bites Geo's head off. Nice.

Outside, Wesley tells Gunn he'll be fired if he ever hampers an investigation again, and Gunn tells Angel that he hopes he has proven his loyalty by not killing him in there. Angel says Gunn will prove his loyalty when he has to kill Angel and he does. You know, I hate statements like that.* The end.

It wasn't all that good an episode, really, but hey, even the worst "Angel"s have a lot to recommended them. And it's the only one we got in for the week. Unless some kind of miracle happens.

Rish Outfield

*I can't help but be reminded of my pal Matthew, who used to say, "If you're really my friend, you'll kill me if I ever order a fish sandwich at Burger King again." Then he had the temerity to report me to the authorities when I tried.

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