In the fifteenth episode of the second season of Angel, Angel’s unhealthy obsession with Wolfram & Hart continues to adversely affect the lives of those around him, but it does earn him a trip to an unlikely place. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.
I refuse to organize my thoughts into essay-form after that shit. We have too much to talk about.
- So I need to give you an example of how my brain works. This will work better if you remember that I write all of my posts on a somewhat defined schedule. In order to give myself time to write all my ebooks, do site maintenance, add in time to do training for the AIDS rides, and give myself the smallest modicum of free time to pursue A REALLY HOT DUDE, I write all my reviews for Mark Watches in one day: Tuesday! It’s actually really helpful for me to watch five episodes in a row because I’m able to see and appreciate emotional and story continuity since it’s only hours between watching one episode of Buffy or Angel and then seeing the next one. However, that also means that I go an ENTIRE week without watching episodes of either show. I sort of do a refresher and read the last review I wrote to get myself in the right mindset for whatever I’m about to watch.
- In the case of “Reprise,” this meant that I started thinking about things I’d not brought up in any reviews. This helps me decide what I’m going to write about. Forty-five minutes of any television show, especially one that’s as plot- and character-dense as Angel and Buffy are, generally provides me with about a billion different things I could choose to write about. I don’t write about everything; I’ll have thoughts I never include because I don’t know how to fit them in the narrative flow of the review. (That’s actually why I like these lists so much; I can say any and every single thing I’m thinking, and I don’t need it to fit anything.)
- During “Reprise,” I had two thoughts that were instantaneously answered, thereby ruining the entire bit of the review I wanted to write. First, just before Lindsey went home, I thought, “Wait, what the fuck happened to Darla? We haven’t seen her (or Julie Benz’s fabulousness) in a long time. I miss Darla.” BAM. SHE’S ON THE COUCH. Oh shit.
- When Angel went to go see Denver again, I really came to love the fascinating dynamic the two had. Denver was interested in what Angel was doing, but at the same time, he was afraid of the vampire. But he was so excited about the possibility of giving Angel the power to go to Hell. I mean, I was pretty excited, too! So this thought entered my brain: “Holy shit, wouldn’t it be awesome if Angel eventually reconciled with Wesley and Cordelia and Gunn, but he brought Denver along with him? Man, that would rule.” STAB THRUST OH FUCK DARLA JUST SHOWED UP AND KILLED DENVER AND STOLE THE GLOVE WHAT THE FUCK.
- So then I entertained the notion that I should stop thinking about anything while watch Angel because then it would be addressed immediately in the worst way imaginable. Retroactively. Or in the past. WHATEVER.
- SO RIGHT THAT’S JUST THE INTRO TO MY LIST HOPE THAT WAS FUN
- Jesus christ, how fucking great was this episode.
- That is a statement, not a question.
- Kate is fantastic, and this episode broke my heart in NUMEROUS ways, but hers was the worst. ugh, I have such a thing for tragic story arcs, and Kate’s looks like it’s going to be a sobfest.
- You know, this show is called Angel, but so much of what the writers do is give us the stories of multiple characters. We spent a lot of time with Kate and Wesley, and their stories only peripherally had to do with Angel. I appreciate it this so much! It’s worth it to me because it builds this fascinating and powerful cast of characters, and it makes me care about nearly everyone on the screen. It’s one of the reasons I liked LOST so much. They weren’t perfect about it, but the character-centric episodes were a brilliant framing device for the series.
- Which makes me think of Bernard and Rose, and then makes me think of Holland, whose appearance in the elevator made me shriek in confusion. I seriously make a lot of noises while watching television.
- Angel, you need to trust Lorne, and you need to treat him better. Dude is like your only friend at this part.
- Oh my god, my excitement for meeting a Senior Partner was off the charts, and I don’t even know what charts I’m talking about!
- Angel, you are fucked up in this episode. I was so furious with him when he busted into the new Angel Investigations office to take a book back. STOP IT. STOP IT NOW. :: raps Angel on the head with a rolled up magazine :: BAD ANGEL, BAD.
- Wesley literally stood up to Angel and hurt himself. 🙁
- Kate’s meeting with Internal Affairs was so frustrating that I just wanted to cry. I can’t even imagine having to cope with something like that.
- Virginia broke up with Wesley, and I had just figured out they were dating. 🙁 I thought she was just employing them, but I’m so clueless I didn’t catch the OBVIOUS. They were MAKING OUT BEFORE THIS. How did I think that was a working relationship? Oh christ, Wesley being heartbroken on his couch, in pain, and calling Cordelia is going to forever destroy me.
- WHAT THE FUCK WHY DOESN’T THIS EPISODE TELL US WHAT HAPPENS TO CORDELIA. SHE IS GOING TO THE SHARP’S HOUSE. DON’T GO THERE, CORDELIA.
- Oh god, I am going to make a prediction: neither Lindsey or Lilah will survive season two of Angel. It’s impossible at this point. THEY HAVE FUCKED UP SO MANY TIMES.
- Still, that fight during the Review was pretty damn awesome and chaotic. Angel literally punched a demon out of a window and out of existence. That is amazing!
- Look, okay, it’s weird to me to explain why everything involving the ring to Hell was so fantastic to me. I feel like I have to use LOST as an example, and without spoiling anything, it’s similar to something that show did. When the mythology of a fictional world hints at something for quite a long time, you get this sense of anticipation for seeing it or witnessing it or experiencing it. Both Buffy and Angel have been talking about Hell for a long, long time. As much as I wanted to see it, I figured the show would find a way to never quite peel back the curtain. LOST is a deeply flawed show (THAT I LOVE FOREVER AND EVER), but if you ever watched it, you know how utterly spectacular some of their “Pulling Back The Curtain” moments are. THERE’S LITERALLY AN EPISODE CALLED “THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN” AND IT IS A FUCKING MASTERPIECE.
- Every goddamn second with Holland was fucking perfect. For me, that is. I get when people are disappointed by reveals. Some on LOST disappointed me. Most didn’t. But that varies based on taste, anticipation, and our own disparate expectations. But a literal elevator to Hell that reveals that HELL’S HOME OFFICE IS ON EARTH? Yeah, this is wonderful. I love it. Do we get to see Hell? No. But I’m okay with this sleight of hand because of what we get after it. The capacity for evil was right here all along. Who better to represent that than the human race? Who better to have this epiphany than a man who is slowly giving himself over to that force? It’s awful to watch, but this is where Angel was headed: to a full-on existential crisis.
- As Angel falls into a nihilistic depression, it turns to violence when Darla shows up. I admit that I didn’t like the image of him beating her around. It was a little too raw for me, but I get why it’s here. Angel has given up. He feels nothing, and he hopes that Darla will help him feel something. Ugh, I feel so uncomfortable.
- Oh my fucking god, the title of this episode is referencing “Surprise” from season two of Buffy HOLY SHIT WHAT JUST HAPPENED WHY DID ANGEL WAKE UP LIKE THAT WHAT THE FUCK
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