(S01E13) Wesley: Angel, we need a plan.
Angel: Here's the plan: I go in, start hitting people hard in the face, see where it takes us.
This was an interesting episode. Not because of what is was about, but because of what it was not about. It wasn't about vampires, vampire slayers, vengeful spirits, or anything else related to the supernatural world that we live in. This episode was actually more science fiction in nature as warriors from another dimension continued their gender warfare through the streets of Los Angeles. How did they get here? Well, they came through an extra-dimensional portal, silly!
Inter-dimensional warriors? Gender warfare? Portals? Gosh, you'd think this was an episode of Stargate SG-1 or something. Well, it wasn't, but it was just as fun.
The DVD box set of Angel Season 1 does not offer any commentary about the episodes (well, at least mine doesn't). So I'm not too sure if the other-dimensional princess Jheira (played by Bai Ling) was supposed to be a recurring character on Angel or perhaps being prepped for a spin-off of her own. She certainly could have had a show of her own with the set-up she had in this episode.
Jheira came to our realm to get away from a brutal war in her dimension. In her world women were mutilated when they came of age in order to diminish their physical and sexual power. Ridges on the females' backs were the key to that power source and also indicated sexual arousal (when it glowed red). Her goal was to get as many females into our world in order to save them. After battling a number of males from her dimension Jheira managed to find a hiding place for her and the other females. If that wasn't an introduction to episode 1 of Jheira, Demon Princess I don't know what was.
Like I said in the beginning . . . very interesting. It was also a nice piece of action-adventure television; much more well-rounded than last week's 'demon pregnancy' episode. Wesley officially became a member of Angel Investigations and actually showed the audience that he wasn't just the same British prat we saw in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Granted, this wasn't the rough-around-the-edges Wesley we'd see in later seasons, but we did get a sense of some of his more physical abilities this episode.
David Boreanaz as Angel also put on a good show this time around. There are two scenes from the episode that really showed his versatility. Once scene takes place at an art gallery that he has followed Jheira into. Hiding from security, Angel begins a narration on one of the 19th century paintings at the gallery. You could tell from his descriptions of the artwork that he was probably not too far from where it was originally painted. The second scene that comes to mind is between Angel and Jheira as she explains her plight. It just seemed like an innocent question and answer scene, but you could feel the sexual tensions oozing from the television screen. It was a bit intense, to say the least.
Oh, and the dancing scene that ran behind the credits? You know, the one that showed Angel and Wesley dancing like the whitest white men at Cordelia's party? Probably the best scene of the entire episode.