Angel: Rm w/a Vu
(S01E05) Maude (the ghost in Cordelia's apartment): You are going to make yourself a noose and put it around...
Cordelia: Back off! Polygrip. You think you're bad? Being all mean and haunty? Picking on poor pathetic Cordy? Well, get ready to haul your wrinkly translucent ass out of this place, because lady, the bitch is back.
If you were going to subtitle this episode it would probably be called "Denials, Lies & Deconstruction" because, other than Angel, the other major characters (and the supernatural villain du jour) go through at least one of these acts. In fact our beloved Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) goes through all three in her search for a place to live.
You see, our beloved Cordelia is not having the grand old time she though\t she would when she moved from Sunnydale to Los Angeles. Her acting career has gone nowhere, she's constantly out of money, and she lives in an apartment with brown water and roaches on the television. The person that she once was is slowly coming apart. So the discovery of a beautiful apartment by one of Doyle's (Glenn Quinn) 'people' is definitely a bright spot in her life as she feels that this could be just the turnaround she needs. Turns out that the apartment is not a perfect as she believes. Ooooohhhh. Jump ahead to read on.
The apartment is haunted, and not just by one of your friendly spirits. Instead, it's haunted by Maude Pearson, an angry old biddy who thinks Cordelia (and all of the other women who occupied the apartment in the past) is trying to take away her little boy from her. Frankly, she doesn't think any of them have been good for her boy Dennis, so she's killed them all . . . and Cordelia is her next target.
Meanwhile, our friend Alan Francis Doyle is having problems of his own: someone wants money they are owed by Doyle, and they've hired demons to make the collection. Angel (David Borenanz) finds out about his predicament and agrees to help with two conditions. One is to find Cordelia an apartment (see above) and the other is to find out a bit more about about Doyle's private life. Doyle finds the apartment, but hems and haws about his lifestyle. In the end, nothing more is learned about Doyle's secretive past.
Everything comes to a head back at the haunted apartment. For Doyle it all comes apart when the demon collectors find him at the Cordelia's apartment and demand their money, or else. For Cordelia the consequences are worse. She thought that this apartment would be the end of her punishment; the punishment given to her for the crappy way she treated people back at Sunnydale High. Instead, it was the near destruction of her as Maude continued to torment her and tell her how worthless she was. She was almost ready to give in, to kill herself like the ghost wanted her to do.
And then Maude called her a bitch. Suddenly, it all turned around for Cordelia as she found strength deep inside her that she didn't know that she had. With this strength, and her announcement that the bitch was back, she overcame the ghosts suggestions and brought the evil biddy to her knees. This is when we learned about Maude's lies and denials. For, you see, Ms. Pearson had buried her son Dennis behind the apartment wall several decades ago to punish him for going out with an apparent street walker. She was then deconstructed, literally, by the spirit of the buried boy.
All in all, this was a refreshing episode of Angel, as the focus was shifted to the secondary characters while Angel actually played more of a supporting role. It was good to see Cordelia in the spotlight and watch as her character gained the confidence that she lost during the first four episodes. This would set her up for future episodes when she would . . . Oh, that would spoil it for those who haven't watched later episodes of the series, wouldn't it?
I have not watched the first season of Angel in its entireity, so I don't know if Doyle's back story was ever flushed out. However, I do know that he is only on a handful more of episodes, and I hope that we get to learn more about that character before his . . . Oh, wait, that would spoil it for everyone else. Gosh, I can't say anything!
Next week, everyone gets all huggy. Aww!