Mark Watches ‘Angel’: S04E08 – Habeas Corpses

In the eighth episode of the fourth season of Angel, WOW, EVERYTHING IS WAY MORE FUCKED UP THAN I COULD EVER IMAGINE. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.

Okay, I have to say it. I can’t rationalize Cordelia/Connor anymore, especially after Cordelia herself is disgusted with it. I think I grasped at straws at best last week when I tried to explain, but the truth is, after nearly more than a week of thinking about it, I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. And this is less about trying to analyze a character’s behavior and more of me scratching my head at the writers. Like… why? Why even have Cordelia do this? Why force Angel and her apart? Why make Connor even more bitter and angry than he already is? I can’t believe I’m going to say something so pretentious, but it feels so out of character for Cordelia that I don’t think anyone thought this through. Okay, wait, that’s harsh. Maybe they did, but I just can’t see how this jives with who Cordelia is. Not only that, but I don’t get the point of it. Oh god, WHAT IF IT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A POINT EXCEPT TO CREATE DRAMA.

Blah. It’s that I’m not used to this. I had issues with the choices the writers made during the latter half of season six of Buffy. And I am a diehard LOST fan, which means I also suffered for YEARS because of poor writing choices. But just… no. Nope! The S.S. Nope has left the harbor, and can it go find the edge of the world and sail off of it? That would be awesome.

There are some interesting character moments in this episode aside from this disaster. I think Gunn and Fred are okay for the moment, though they’re still on shaky ground after “Supersymmetry.” Having Wesley around might be pleasing and entertaining to me, but it is not helping Gunn. Simultaneous to this, Wesley breaks things off from Lilah. I wasn’t that surprised with this development. Truthfully, I’ve been expecting it; Wesley has been drifting away from her for a few episodes. (And towards Fred. I see you, Wesley. I see you.) And his reasoning might be pretty faulty, but I do recognize that he’s trying to rectify his moral standing in the world. At the same time, while I despise that awful “black” comment from Lilah, I’m glad she calls him out for being so reductive. The world really isn’t black and white, and breaking up with her for that reason is kind of cowardly.

Yet their separation gives me that scene in the sewer, and SO MUCH WAS COMMUNICATED WITHOUT A SINGLE GODDAMN WORD. Wow, that scene was incredible. In that moment of terror, after Lilah just lost pretty much every employee she has ever worked with ever, she is completely open. There is no pretension. There is no wall hoisted up around her. She looks at Wesley, and she already misses him. She appreciates that he saved her. And she knows it’ll be a long time before she ever sees him again.

Stephanie Romanov, you’re incredible.

For the bulk of “Habeas Corpses” (get it DEAD PEOPLE get it???), this is all one giant, gritty horror movie, an unintentional reference to Resident Evil (come on! zombie infection inside of an office while people try to escape???), and one of the most thrilling episodes of the whole show. Like the Turok-Han on Buffy, the Beast is so frightening because we know of no weaknesses it possesses. We know these people can’t defeat it. On top of that, the cinematography is PERFECT. Utilizing only available light for most of the scenes, the terror is heightened by making feel like I’m trapped in Wolfram & Hart myself. The zombie reveal doesn’t even come until the last fifteen minutes! AND THEN THEY TEASE ME WITH THE IDEA THAT GUNN SACRIFICED HIMSELF TO SAVE FRED.

Honestly, though, THE FUCKING WHITE ROOM. OH MY GOD. YES. YES. YES ON ALL POSSIBLE PLANETS IN EVERY UNIVERSE. Do I understand why the Beast went there to suck that evil entity of its powers? NOPE. I understand 0.00% of this. All I know is that I also believed that this Beast was there for Connor, when it’s clearly on Earth for something else. So what the fuck is that being in the White Room, and what did it possess that the Beast needed? Why did the little girl thingy save Angel and his friend?

See, it’s this plot that I’m totally excited about. Angel hating Cordelia for sleeping with Connor? NOPE. CAST THE S.S. NOPE OUT TO SEA, AND MAY IT CRASH INTO THIRTY BILLION ICEBERGS ALONG THE WAY.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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