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October 13, 2015

Angel: Sense & Sensitivity

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 11th 2006 5:19PM

Ange's Elizabeth Rohm(S01E06) Angel: I'm a little reserved, it doesn't mean I don't care.

Cordelia: It's like you don't have a pulse.

Angel: Well... I don't.

Hi, everybody! I'm back from a few days in Canada, also known as the home to every science fiction show currently being made, ready to tackle the newest retro episode of Angel. Except, there isn't that much to tackle this week. Oh, don't get me wrong, there are two plot points introduced that setup future episodes; however, other than those, this is one of the lightest, least substantial shows of the season.

It is also the first time for the series that Angel doesn't focus on one of the three main characters:  Angel (David Boreanaz), Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) and Doyle (Glenn Quinn). It actually focuses on Los Angeles police detective Kate Lockley (Elisabeth Rohm), who receives the most screen time since her introduction in the episode "Lonely Hearts".

To summarize:  Detective Lockley and her precinct are visited by a sensitivity trainer after Kate gets a bit rough with one of her suspects. The trainer passes around a 'talking stick', which allows the precinct members to express their feelings without fear of repercussions from family or friends. Unfortunately, the 'talking stick' is demon-possessed and anyone who touches it gets in touch with their feelings tenfold. This includes Kate and, eventually, Angel.

It turns out the trainer was hired by the law firm Wolfram & Hart on behalf of one of their recently arrested clients (a mob boss who was denied escape, courtesy of Angel)  who would like to see Detective Lockley severely dead. So, as Lockley and the precinct have a collective emotional breakdown the mob boss escapes the jail cells below the precinct and prepares to kill Kate. Luckily, even in his touchy-feely state, Angel comes to the rescue. And, that's about it.

As I mentioned, two plot points are introduced that will be reflected in future episodes. The first is the introduction of Kate's father Trevor (John Mahon), a recently retired police officer. Distant with Kate after her mother's death, Trevor seems to have nothing but disdain for his daughter. This is particularly true after a demon-cursed Kate rips Dad a new one during a speech at his retirement party. The relationship between Kate and her Dad comes to a head in the episode "The Prodigal".

The second plot point to be introduced was the existence of the law firm Wolfram & Hart as something more than a simple collection of attorneys. There had been mention of the firm and appearances of its attorneys right from the first episode. But, with this episode we see that it actually has some direct ties to the demon world and is willing to get its hands dirty to protect one of its clients. This revelation sets Wolfram & Hart up to be the main instigator in Angel's life throughout the entire series run.

Elisabeth Rohm had a fine performance in this episode of Angel, particularly in the retirement speech to her Dad, and it's a shame that she wasn't utilized to her full potential on the series. And, while the regular players took to the sidelines this episode, they all had their good moments. Particularly Boreanaz as Angel, who portrayed Herb Saunders from Baltimore with perfection (hey, watch the show if you don't believe me).

Next week, spotlight on Doyle.

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the herb saunders part is even funnier if you watch the bloopers of it. "hey, herb saunders, baltimore. my, the freeways you have he...hey, herb saunders, baltimore..."

this is far from my favorite episode, as i generally don't really get into the "comedy" episodes of either btvs or ats so much as what the shows do best--the episodes that rip your heart out or are very dark. but even some of the saddest/darkest episodes have a biting sense of humor too.

but for me, this episode can be filed with guise will be guise as funny fillers. and i can't stand smile time--or rather, the people who think that was ats' best episode. :gag: yeah, we all know where they come from. the same people who rant and rave about tabula rasa (which was done better in spin the bottle)...i personally vote spin the bottle as one of the most amusing ats episodes. though one of the best insults of the series has to be "pansy-ass british guy" which becomes "ass-pansy!"

david's funniest (and darkest) humor has to be the angelus stuff though. "doing your mother and trying to kill your dad. there should be a play."

that's the less infantile kind of humor that i gravitate to as way funnier than the "painbow" variety (that was one of the worst lines in the show's history). though..."manpire" was a winner for me. i'm not much a fan of dork angel (especially when cordelia's involved). i like him teetering on the edge of psychosis and dispair, dark, a kick-ass, or extremely vulnerable/sad.

but hey, it takes all types. and david could pull off quite a range of personalities.

July 28 2006 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rich Keller

Accioa, I think the lines you mentioned in your comments are, while good, standard for DB's deadpan delivery. It was the quick role as Herb Saunders that impressed me because it was so unlike the Angel role.

July 14 2006 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the funniest episode of Angel, bar none. Brilliant script, brilliant acting from all - Boreanaz, Rohn and the rest.
I didn't watch L&O but Rohm was always great on Angel - and this was her best episode.
As for DB, his brilliance was way beyond Herb Saunders. The memorable moment was "Someone needs a hug"
Of course, how can you go wrong with lines like" My parents? Tasted a lot like chicken"
What was that about not believing you about his performance? I missed the reason for which your praise was anything but expected.

July 14 2006 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What's with the snark?
" Particularly Boreanaz as Angel, who portrayed Herb Saunders from Baltimore with perfection (hey, watch the show if you don't believe me)."
What's so hard to believe about an actor who got several best actor awards for Angel?
Isn't it time to give up absurd resentments on behalf of has-beens already?
David was brilliant in this - way beyond Herb Saunders. How about the memorable "Someone needs a hug" scene?
Or "you could be a rainbow instead of a ..painbow"?
Or "My Parents- they tasted like chicken"
Of course, the lines are brilliant as well - this is Minear at his best.
This episode is one of the greatest of Angel/TV. It's also a Rohrshack test for me for people who judge this series based solely on season 5 - only one they watched. When they only give Smile Time as example of comedy and leave out Sense and Sensitivity, I know where they come from.

July 14 2006 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Justin, Diane, please...is this because she's a lesbian?

July 12 2006 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

yes, he said "Elisabeth Rohm had a fine performance in this episode of Angel"

Which I have always agreed with, I was stunned to see how poor (IMNSHO) her performances in L&O were, when she really showed a lot of promise in Angel.

I suspect it has a lot more to do with her being able to shine with the right Writers and Directors.

and I'm a L&O fan, I just never thought she was as good as her predecessors.

July 11 2006 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Elisabeth Rohm - fine perfomance?

July 11 2006 at 5:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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