Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Angel Wednesdays

I've complained about this before, but blogger has, once again deleted an entire post (one I'd spent the last two hours typing up). It doesn't tell you that it's not saving your work every time you hit Save, and you only lose everything when you hit Publish.

If this were the first, second, or third time this had happened, I could maybe consider it a problem with me, or the program. But now, I'm seriously starting to consider blaming you. For everything wrong in my life, really.

So, it's with sadness, and more cursing than a sailor with Tourette's Syndrome, that I REWRITE my recaps of the next four episodes. Argggh.First up is "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco," which is the closest thing we'll get to a throwaway episode this seas . . . ever.

It was written and directed by Jeffrey Bell, and it focused quite a bit on one of Wolfram & Hart's employees: a mailboy we'd seen walking around, who always wears a Mexican wrestling mask.

Many years ago, this guy was part of a group of five brothers (all wearing numbered wrestling masks) who did battle with the forces of evil, helping the helpless, and saving dubiously hot women from monstrous foes. But when an Aztec demon killed his four brothers, Numero Cinco retired from the hero business.

I'm reminded of that "Star Trek" episode with Teri Garr, and the guy who had the pet cat that he talked to. It was supposed to be a back-door pilot for a spin-off series, but it never went beyond that, and I almost got the feeling that the Mexican wrestler bit was like that.

There is a big confrontation in the cemetery at the end, when the Aztek demon fights Angel and Numero 5, and the four dead brothers come out of their graves to help kill the demon. Numero 5 dies in the process, but presumably gets to go on to further adventures in the great beyond. The end.

So, next up is "Lineage," written by Drew Goddard. And I'll just start off by saying that a) this was an excellent episode, and b) that I am biased because it was Wesley-centric.

Wesley goes out on a mission with Fred and Angel and almost gets Fred killed by cyborgs. This puts Angel and Wesley at odds, since it was Wesley who asked Fred to be there. Eve, the nasty little liason between Angel and the Senior Partners, thinks Angel is still angry at Wesley for stealing Baby Connor away from him a couple of seasons ago. Wesley no longer has any memory of doing that, but it looks like it'll be a sticking point for years to come. Kind of like those times I ran over tyranist's children.

Wesley is not having a very good day. Fred doesn't appreciate his overprotectiveness of her, probably won't ever have sex with him, and calls him a child in front of his father, who has come to Wolfram & Hart to talk to Wesley about reforming the Watchers Council.

We've never met Wesley's father before, but I'd always got the impression that he was a humourless, stern, strong-willed, conservative old school curmudgeon just like my own father. And I couldn't have been righter. This guy, Roger Wyndam-Pryce, has never been anything but disappointed in his son, and almost immediately, he reminds Wesley of his past failures, and the shame he's brought upon the family name for being kicked out of the Council, and now for working for an evil lawfirm.

There's not much Wesley can do to change his father's mind, even though he tries to show him that he has become an important man and is making a difference in the struggle against evil.

Fred thinks she can find out what made the cyborg tick, and Wesley mistranslates the writings on its chest. A bomb starts counting down, and as everyone is being evacuated from the building, Mr. Wyndam-Pryce calmly reads the inscription, then defuses the bomb.

Wesley tries to bond with his father by asking for his help with the cyborg, and showing him the Records Department. It looks like they're going to actually connect--especially when Mr. W-P comments on Wesley's feelings for Fred--but then Wesley shows his father the magical reference books. His father berates him for how dangerous they'd be in the wrong hands, and how inadequate the security behind them is.

Sure enough, a bunch of cyborgs attack the building and while they fight with Gunn and Angel, Wesley takes the books (and his father) to the ultra-secure vault within W&H. As soon as they're inside, his father knocks him out, and steals what appears to be a stick.

He tries to leave the building, and tells Fred that Wesley needs Angel up on the roof. Angel goes up there, and Mr. W-P zaps Angel with the stick, which is really a wand of some kind. It steals Angel's will or something, but Wesley and Fred come up to the roof and Wesley points a gun at his father, demanding that he give the wand back.

Mr. W-P berates Wesley for working with demons and monsters, and tells him he has to eliminate Angel. When that doesn't work, he pulls his own gun and tells Wesley if he doesn't give the wand back, he'll shoot Fred. Wesley shoots his father instead.

But, it turns out, it's not his father. It's also a cyborg. Angel tries to cheer Wesley up by telling him that he actually killed his father once, and Spike tries to cheer Wesley up by telling him that he actually killed his mother once (or twice, technically). After she tried to shag him.

Wesley is not cheered up. Things are made worse when Fred tries to cheer him up, not by describing how she killed her parents, but by stressing why he did it, and that he didn't really do it, and . . . in walks Knox to take Fred home. I don't think that helped much either.

Alone, poor Wesley calls his real parents and asks to speak with his father. Nothing has changed between them, and we hear Mr. Wyndam-Price berating him as we fade to black. The end.

This was an excellent show, and easily the most we've focused on Wesley. My only complaint is the whole father-being-a-cyborg thing. Obviously, the producers thought there was room for more stories about Wesley and his father, not knowing that the end of the series was so near. Had they known they were about to be canceled, I'm sure things would have been different.

But wouldn't they all?*

So, next up was "Des"--you know, I'll come back to that one. I'm going to make sure this one posts alright.


*For example, had I known that all my work was going to disappear, I wouldn't have tried so hard to be clever and insightful and funny. And I sure as hell wouldn't have spell-checked.

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