(S01E16) And now, ladies and gentlemen, the gratuitous illegal fight episode. You know, the one that's usually featured in every science fiction or fantasy show ever made. The one where the hero, in this case our pal Angel, is kidnapped to partake in fight-to-the-death matches against other people, who in this case would be demons. It's the episode where the hero of the show, once again our friend Angel, tries to get the other fighters to join him in an escape attempt. Come on, you've seen it all before!
Well, so have I. But it was still enjoyable.
(S01E14) Wesley: You've heard of Lizzie Borden? she killed her parents with an ax.
Cordelia: I remember the children's rhyme. And how come they're all full of death and cradles falling and mice getting tails cut off? Anyway, the whole thing needs a ratings system, don't you think?
Getting a supernatural or science fiction based show on the air is a tricky concept. If the show isn't fresh week after week, if it begins to get into a rut, it has a pretty good chance of having a short run or losing its audience. Star Trek:The Next Generation is a good example of a show getting into a rut. Towards the end of the series run you could pretty much predict what was going to happen: Data would say something foolish, Deanna would sense nothing from the aliens, and it would all be solved through some technical mumbo jumbo.
This did not happen to Angel during the first season. Sure, most episodes dealt with one supernatural being or another, but it remained fresh throughout. The episode 'I've Got You Under My Skin' is no exception. In fact, this villain isn't even a supernatural being this time around.
It's a little boy.
(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.
(S01E12) Angel: (sees Cordelia drinking blood) I don't think I've ever realized just how disgusting that was.
I have got to say that this episode of Angel creeped me out a bit. And, it wasn't for what was shown, but what wasn't. I'm talking in particular about the seven (perhaps more) demon spawn that were living in Cordelia's womb for a good portion of the episode. It was never shown what they looked like, but for some reason it just didn't make me feel right. And, that's what makes a good supernatural drama: theater of the mind.
That's fine, because the whole demon pregnancy was the only thing that kept this fairly flat episode afloat.
(S01E11) Cordelia: (to Wesley): I don't care how many files you have on all the horrible things that he did back in the Powdered Wig Days. He is good now. And he is my friend. And nothing you or anyone else can say will make me turn on a friend.
Angel: Cordelia, he's right.
Cordelia: You stake him, and I'll cut his head off.
There wasn't much revelation of Angel's infamous past in the first half of the first season of Angel. We had appearances from both Spike and Buffy (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) to represent his recent past, but most of the episodes featured evil from the present. However, with this episode we took a look far back into the past of Angel, actually back to Angelus to be more specific, and the consequences of his evil doings in the bad ol' days.
(S01E10) Angel: Wesley.
Wesley: I'll wager you never thought you'd see me again.
Angel: To tell you the truth, I hadn't given it much thought one way or the other.
Hello, and welcome to Angel, Season 1A. You're probably scratching your heads at this categorization, since you're pretty sure that the first season of Angel wasn't broken up into two separate pieces. Well, actually, if you think about it, it really was two separate seasons.
Season one (the first nine episodes) set up the environment where Angel took place. We saw the beginning of some threads that would be carried throughout the series (The Powers That Be, Wolfram & Hart), but they were very subtle. With Doyle being the one who had the visions, and Cordelia trying to find her purpose in life, it seemed like a very different show. With the tenth episode, however, the dynamic of the show changed dramatically and set the stage for many events that would continue to the very end of the series. Hence, the reason that Season 1A begins with this episode.
(S01E09) Doyle: You never know until you've been tested. I get that now.
Alas, poor Doyle, we hardly knew ye. And, we were really starting to like you. You had a charming edginess to your personality. You were a tough bloke; yet, you were shy and uncomfortable that your face became a human pin cushion whenever you sneezed or got angry. You were also loyal to your boss, Angel, and would sacrifice anything to save him because you knew (from being a vassal for The Powers That Be) that he was destined for grander things than just being a paranormal detective.
However, your destiny was already set (by the producers of the show, that is) and you decided to take the classy way out and become a hero. And heroism is pretty much what this whole episode of Angel is about.
(S01E08) Cordelia: Batten down the hatches, here comes Hurricane Buffy!
For the last two months (has it been that long already?) I've been pretty much praising the first season episodes of Angel. While still having ties to the Buffyverse, it was working its way to becoming something different and, dare I say it, a bit more sophisticated than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And, the last seven episodes showed growing inner strength and maturity in the characters.
The eighth episode? Well, not so much of that strength and maturity. In fact, it actually seemed that both Angel and Cordelia took a big step backwards in their character development all because Buffy Anne Summers decided to show up in Los Angeles. Thanks loads, Slayer!
(S01E07) Cordelia: I was thinking that maybe I haven't been entirely fair to you. Maybe you don't actually have zero potential.
Doyle: Wow, Cordelia. Thanks.
It was a shame that Allen Francis Doyle, played by the late Glenn Quinn, was only a temporary character on Angel. Viewers barely got to know the man before his departure in episode nine. Yet, his charming roughness was beginning to grow on us.
So, it was nice to see Doyle have a shot in the spotlight, just like Charisma Carpenter's character Cordelia Chase had in the episode 'Rm w/a Vu'. With the title of this weeks episode, and Doyle being involved, you would think that it would be an uproarious hour of comedic hijinks. Well, while there was a good bit of levity, 'Bachelor Party' was actually a pretty deep character study of our half man/half demon friend.
(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".
(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.
(S01E04) When you come right down to it, Angel is really not a show about vampires and demons and evil law firms (well, more evil than normal) and one man's journey of redemption to prove that the soul returned to him was justified. In reality, Angel is a very good mystery. And, that was given
prudence credence with this week's show.
There were no vampires, no demons, no evil law firms (although Wolfram & Hart was mentioned). Heck, even Angel (David Boreanaz) didn't go vamp this episode. Other than the fact that the perpetrator was able to physically separate his body parts and rejoin them at will, this could have been an episode of Law and Order: SVU. Come to think of it, this could be an episode of SVU for the future. I can see it now: Detectives Benson and Stabler get attacked by disembodied hands and are hospitalized, leaving Munch and Tutuola to solve the case and become the darlings of the SVU unit. I smell Emmy!
(S01E03) Oz (Seth Green) about Angel: He's very pale. Paler than most people.
If there was any doubt that Angel was still part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe it was smothered quickly with this episode as not one, but two members of the Buffy cast appeared. Actually, when the show first aired back in October of 1999, it was the second part of a story that began on Buffy, which appeared on the same network as Angel back in the olden days.
In the Buffy episode vampire Spike (James Masters) searches for the Gem of Ammara: a ring that makes vampires impervious to death and allows them to go out into the sunlight without bursting into flame. Buffy manages to find the ring and asks Oz (Seth Green) to deliver it to Angel (David Borenanz) in Los Angeles. Spike also travels to L.A. to meet up with his old blood-sucking friend and torture him to death. Ah, friendship.
(S01E02) Cordelia: I guess the single life is particularly tough on you.
Cordelia: Well, a couple hundred years ago, the only thing you had to worry about was a hangover. Today, because of your curse thingy, you can't sleep with anyone or else you might feel a moment of true happiness and lose your soul, become evil -- again -- and kill everyone.
Angel: Thanks Cordelia. I always appreciate your perspective.
Loneliness sucks. I remember the time before I met my lovely wife how I'd spend countless days and nights alone, never going out, never talking to anyone. Now that I've been married seven years, and have four beautiful children (two of them just born this past April). I'm never lonely. And, Lord, how I miss it! I need the loneliness like a man needs water. Just five minutes of solitude. Just five minutes. And, would you stop jumping on the sofa, for Pete's sake!
Ahem. Bit of a nervous breakdown there. Sorry about that.
Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of your favorite shows, in order, every week.
(S01E01) Quiet. If there's one word that can describe the essence of the Angel series premiere it would be 'quiet'. Oh, sure, there are battles, there are chase scenes, and Angel tosses another vampire out the window to a fiery, sunlit death, but even those were very subdued.
Of course, that's the nature of the main character, Angel (David Boreanaz); the quiet, loner vampire with a soul who kills other vampires and demons to atone for his past sins. We didn't notice this when he was in Sunnydale because Buffy Summers and the rest of the Scooby gang of Buffy the Vampire Slayer made up for it with their snappy dialog and daily battles against the demons of the Hellmouth. In fact, Angel left Buffy, his one time lover, and the town of Sunnydale, after a particularly bloody battle to save the town from a human-eating demon. It's just when he relocates to Los Angeles do we realize that Angel is quite the brooder, quite the wandering soul . . . and very much unsure of what his role in life is.
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