In the fourth episode of the first season of Angel, the team helps out a woman who is being stalked by a particularly pervasive and nightmarish doctor. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.
I’ve only done this once before, and I don’t really want to make a habit out of it. I like discussing things that are difficult. I enjoy that I have a community that has consistently and regularly made me feel safe enough to post about things like racism, being abused, being bullied, or my atheism without having to worry about what happens on the rest of the Internet. OH GODS THE REST OF THE INTERNET. :: shudders :: I like that the conversations in the comments goes a million different ways. I like that I can be open and truthful about things many of us are told to keep to ourselves. It’s why I like doing this day after day! It’s an extreme pleasure of mine to write everything on this site, and y’all are a huge part of that.
There are just some things I need to keep to myself. I thought about just not saying anything, but the concept of stalking is so intrinsically tied to “I Fall To Pieces” that it is impossible for me to even attempt to address this episode without drawing on my experience with stalking.
It’s sort of a joke amongst my close circle of friends that I am a stalker magnet. It’s a joke I accept because it’s how I cope. If I make something funny, it can’t hurt me anymore. At least, I tell myself that a lot of the time, and then I watched “I Fall To Pieces” and I was reminded that I’ll never be able to escape the people who have stalked me. And I’m not talking about casual obsessions or creepy attachments. I’ve had people follow me, break into my dorm room, sexually assault me, harass my friends, steal my property… I won’t continue. Note that I said “people.” I have been stalked no less than fifteen times in my life. I’ve tried to come up with theories as to why: I am too nice to people. I don’t set my own boundaries clearly enough. I am so overly empathetic that my behavior is interpreted as interest. There’s no universal reason I can find, so I usually just end up on WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE.
I don’t know how to talk about “I Fall To Pieces” without having to relive so many memories I would love to forget. Let this be a compliment, for what it’s worth. There was nothing I saw portrayed in this episode that offended me or rubbed me the wrong way. This is what stalking feels like. I was particularly disturbed by Kate’s line about power. Honestly, that’s what every stalking situation I’ve been can be easily reduced down to: my power was taken from me, and even though these people are no longer in my life, they won. And I can’t escape that! It’s just something I have to live with.
For real, this episode felt like someone was staring into my whole life. OH GOD DE. MELTZER’S EYE IS LOOKING INTO MY ~SOUL~ OH MY GOD.
Seriously, I swear I don’t like doing this, but I can’t talk about this stuff at all. I don’t want to turn my blog into UPSET PARTY 2012, so I’m totally cool reading what other people thought about this particular episode and then just choosing what to respond to. However, there are a few non-stalkery points I needed to make:
- KATE IS BACK OH MY GOD HOW AWESOME.
- ANGEL WORE A SWEATER THAT WASN’T BLACK. OH MY GOD.
- Wolfram & Hart is back? I didn’t expect that. Well, they were just mentioned. Perhaps they don’t have anything to do with the season at all.
- For late 1999, the special effects were kind of amazing.
- I’m sorry, but the actor who played Dr. Natpudian was Popeye in Blood In, Blood Out and it’s just too distracting to me.
- God, Cordy is so good at interrogating people in that nice, condescending way of hers. BLESS.
- I feel so old because I instantly understood the Johnnie Cochran reference.
- “We need the clients. Have a vision.” I cannot state enough how happy I am that Cordelia is on Angel, and that we get so much of her every episode.
- My brain shipped Doyle and Angel for like five seconds after Doyle said he might be attracted to Angel. Whoops.
So this was a much better episode than the last Angel story. MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE.