Mark Watches ‘Angel’: S01E12 – Expecting

In the twelfth episode of the first season of Angel, Cordeliaaaaaaaaaa! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.

Let me get two things out of the way.

First of all, I am so bored with science fiction and fantasy shows using women to be hosts to babies they did not ask for. It is one of the most pervasive tropes in the history of both genres, especially science fiction. It’s so common that I just assume a science fiction show or series will have it in some form at one point. Hell, even my precious The X-Files centered an entire character around a forced birth. There are a billion problems with this trope, namely the fact that no one in the actual show ever calls it what it is: rape. Cordelia was raped, and there’s not a single mention or reference to what actually happened to her. So yeah, could this stop happening?

Additionally, could anyone in the Buffy/Angel universe actually have sex without it being a complete and utter disaster? I suppose Willow and Oz count, but then that makes me think about Oz and how upset I am that he left, and it makes me want to not count any of that. Still, even with the jokey nod towards the Angel/Buffy storyline in season two, I just felt weird about another woman having sex and then facing consequences for the act that are ridiculously unfair. NO FUN.

Even given this, I still made an effort to find things to like in “Expecting.” I wouldn’t say the episode was ruined by this, but I don’t imagine this will be an episode I’m eager to re-watch. I did happen to like ALL OF THE FOLLOWING THINGS:

  • I could sense a very strong David Cronenberg tone to the entire episode. Thankfully, Cordelia’s mystical pregnancy wasn’t played as a joke. That would have ruined the episode. At the very least, it’s a serious episode that leans towards being a body horror story.
  • The use of Ken Marino. To be entirely honest, I couldn’t unsee him as the guy from The State or Ron Donald from Party Down for a good while, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play someone so unsettling, so bravo to him.
  • Seeing Cordelia happy. I know it’s ruined, but I’ll accept the joy where I can get it.
  • Wesley and Angel breaking into the wrong house. Whoops!
  • DENNIS!!! Oh my god, I’d forgotten about him. What a WONDERFUL bit of continuity. So, was Dennis warning Cordelia earlier in the episode not to do anything with Wilson? THIS IS MY HEAD CANON. And then he got her tissues and helped tuck her into bed OH MY GOD. He’s adorable!
  • I do enjoy that Angel and Wesley really do care about Cordelia. She makes sure they know this at the end of the episode, but I was pleased to see how far they were willing to go to help their best friend.
  • I did not expect to spend so much time with Serena, and to give her a more fleshed-out character was really nice.
  • It was totally Wesley’s idea to go with Mr. and Mrs. Pangborn, wasn’t it?
  • I admit that the entire segment in the clinic was HORRIFYING. Like, seven heartbeats? Amniotic fluid that’s very much like acid? Cordelia creepily becoming super protective? WHAT IS HAPPENING.
  • The babies communicating with Cordelia. I mean, bless Charisma Carpenter for taking this tired ass trope and making me appreciate the way she portrayed it. That’s talent.
  • Cordelia. Drinking. Blood. What the fuck?
  • Wesley’s entire David and Goliath routine is a work of art.
  • Cordy destroying the frozen Haxil demon. Very cathartic.

I’d rather not deal with this sort of story again, but there were moments I could appreciate. Onwards, then! Tomorrow is a double feature day, as is Friday! EXCITE.

Mark Links Stuff

– My eBook adaptations of reviews I’ve posted are on sale at Harry Potter, Twilight, and Firefly books are priced from $2.99 to $3.99 a piece, and are available in ePub (iBook, iPod, iPad, Nook), Kindle, and PDF files.
– I now have a Lulu storefront, where you can purchase physical copies of all of my previously released books, including a full Mark Reads Twilight book that includes all four sets of Twilight reviews.
– I am going on tour in April and May across the western half of North America! Please check this post for tour dates and to see which cities I still need help finding venues in. You can RSVP for any date by clicking on the city name and using the Facebook page for it, or you can just leave a comment! If you have access to a venue, know of a good book store or coffee shop that hosts events, or would be willing to host an event at your house or work (I DON’T CARE WHERE, I WILL SHOW UP), please comment on that post to let me know. I can also be reached at markreadsandwatches [at] gmail [dot] com.
– I am presenting for three days at Ascendio 2012! Come hang out and have the best weekend ever in July!
– Liveblogs for Game of Thrones season 2 start on April 1st. For the time being, there will be no proper reviews, just liveblogs.
– Since Legend of Korra has now been released, I’ll review the first two episodes over the course of the next week or two; once the show starts back up again, we’ll do weekly liveblogs and I’ll have reviews of it up on Sunday.
– Mark Watches The Lord of the Rings films starts on March 31st. Each consecutive Saturday, I’ll watch the three LOTR films in order and host a liveblog; I’ll post a loose review of them on Sunday morning!
– I’m on Twitter (@MarkDoesStuff) and I have a Facebook page y’all can Like and flail about on. Join me!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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2 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Angel’: S01E12 – Expecting

  1. T says:

    Cordelia was NOT raped. She consented. To sex. That sex had consequences which she was not informed of, which were undesirable. I dare say this happens to most people at some point in their lives. Unplanned, unwanted pregnancies are a kind of violation all their own, and comparing them to rape just disguises the unique and important ways that they can screw up a person’s life.

    Not all assholes are Hitler. Not all violations are rape.

  2. Jeldaly says:

    Dennis/Cordelia shipping? Is that a thing?

Comments are closed.