In the twelfth episode of the second season of Angel, Cordelia, Gunn, and Wesley work on forming their own agency while Angel gets increasingly more fucked up. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.
Let me start off with a recommendation. It is rare for fiction to feature a protagonist in a way that progressively makes them look more and more horrific. I’m not saying that there aren’t flawed main characters. What’s happening here in the mid-point of season two of Angel just doesn’t happen all that often. Angel is barely likable (if likable at all) at the end of this episode, and this is the titular character we’re talking about. It’s very risky, especially for television, to write your main character in a way that makes him utterly unappealing. So, before we go any further, if you are enjoying this descent here on Angel, let me recommend the show Breaking Bad to you. That’s all I’m gonna say, as it’s best to experience it as beautifully unspoiled as possible.
As fascinating as it is to watch this happen, I must say that it’s very uncomfortable to watch Angel become so careless and obsessed. At the same time, though, I really do love that Gunn, Cordelia, and Wesley are spending so much time together. I feel that eventually, they’ll have to join back up with Angel. By then, though, I sense that their journey without him will help them feel like they contribute far more than they used to. They even feel more honest with one another in this episode. There’s that moment where Cordelia is listening to the others as they relate their tale of how they defeated the two-headed, fire-breathing demon, and she asks them if they were at all scared. For a brief moment, it seems they’ll act as if it was no big deal, but both guys drop their bravado to admit that they were piss-your-pants scared. That wouldn’t happen with Angel around. Oh god, why don’t we get to see their new office? I WANT MORE.
But this episode largely focuses on Angel. I spent at least ten minutes thinking, “Jesus, where do I know this woman? Why does she look so familiar? WHY IS ANGEL BEING A TOTAL FUCKING CREEP?” It wasn’t until much later in the episode when she says she once met a vampire that this all fell into place. HOLY SHIT IT’S ANNE. Or Chanterelle? Either way, oh my god, I think this is such a brilliant way to bring her character back because LOOK AT HER. LOOK WHAT SHE IS DOING. She is helping out the homeless and disenfranchised in Los Angeles because that’s who she used to be at one time. Oh fuck, THIS CHARACTER IS AMAZING.
And that’s precisely why this episode had me shaking my head at Angel for the duration of it. There’s a very direct contrast between what Angel is doing and what Anne is doing. This contrast makes Angel look awful. He stalks Anne, steals her wallet, secretly photographs her, and then thinks she’ll get past this in order to trust him? Angel, are you Spike? How dense can you be?
BOONE. THEN THERE’S BOONE. I kind of like him? A lot? He’s just so ridiculously easy to figure out. He is a man of ~honor~. I’m not even sure I understand that, but I believe it. I thought he’d be the main focus of the episode, but once things switched more to the Highway Robbery Ball, I was confused about why he was there at all. It wasn’t until we got scenes with Lilah and Lindsey that everything began to make sense. This was a story about how these two parties (Wolfram & Hart and Angle) were at war, and we were seeing the collateral damage. What’s ultimately infuriating about Angel’s actions in “Blood Money” is the fact that he used Anne’s charity event to play out his unhealthy obsession, making him no better than Wolfram & Hart. Well, to be fair, he didn’t really steal money from the charity to fund his law firm, but I can’t get over the fact that he used Anne.
If these characters and the writing on this show wasn’t so interesting, I think it would be easy to be bored by this ongoing feud. Oh my god, just murder one another and be over with it, right? But here’s the thing: I am intrigued by Lilah and Lindsey and by the way they try to navigate their own personal morals in this situation. I’m very fascinated by Angel’s exploration of his own dark side. I am very satisfied that the end of the episode validates Anne’s feeling on the whole affair, essentially condemning both Wolfram & Hart and Angel for their actions. These are the things that are keeping my attention. And hell, Angel’s fight with Boone was pretty damn incredible.
But now I have something else to occupy my attention on Angel, and if you’ll allow me this moment, I need to freak out a bit. So:
OH MY GOD WHAT THE HOLY HELP ME WHAT THE FUCK NOW I KNOW WHY THEY HAVEN’T KILLED ANGEL. WHAT1?!?!?!?!?! HE IS PART OF THE APOCALYPSE? WHAT THE FUCK. I FORGOT ABOUT THE PROPHECY. OH MY GOD. WHY DO THEY WANT TO BRING ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD. OHSAD;A AD;FKJ A;A;DKFK AKDF A;KJASDF A;DFKJ A;;AKLDFJ
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