Mark Watches ‘Angel': S04E20 – Sacrifice

In the twentieth episode of Angel, the team goes underground to escape Jasmine, running into others unaffected by her spell. There, Wes comes across a possible way to defeat her. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.

HAHAHAHA YES. YES. Lord, this is a fantastic episode of this show. Obligatory Cordelia hate: the writers literally made her disappear. Goddamn it, what have you done with this character?

All right, that’s out of the way. Can we discuss why “Sacrifice” rules?

  • It’s tense as hell. By making these characters accessible to Jasmine’s power at all times they around humans, the writers brilliant infuse this story with suspense. Like, when has getting gas been so nerve-wracking?
  • As you’ll see in the video, the gas station scene got me thinking about the gasoline fight in Zoolander. Anything that does that is beautiful.
  • Ostensibly, there had to be people that didn’t own a television or radio and didn’t have access to any method of seeing/hearing Jasmine. This episode address that with the group of teenagers hiding out in the sewers. It’s got a great continuity with earlier events in this season, too. They were all underground after the sun blacked out. Why would they have any reason to believe they should come aboveground? You are quite clever, writers.
  • That spider/crab monster has one of the best designs and costumes on the whole show. IT’S SO CREEPY, but it makes sense in this weird biological sense. It was also SUPER GORY AND GROSS.
  • Bless you, Jeff Ricketts, for how you portrayed this monster. It would not have been as creepy and fascinating as it was without you.
  • This episode used Fred and Gunn’s past to develop a necessary conversation between the two of them. Angel’s comments about disassociating from one’s emotions to survive Jasmine is ultimately proved to be a lot more difficult to follow. Understandably, all these characters are upset and shaken by their experience with this being. So on some level, I get that Angel and Gunn want to ignore their emotions or any sort of moral quandary so that they can survive. Fred challenges this because she refuses to forget Cordelia. She refuses to ignore her sense of right and wrong in an attempt to survive. And then Gunn tries to use the events of “Supersymmetry” to shut her down, and she throws it right back at them. Oh god, they are finally openly talking about this. IS THIS A GOOD SIGN. IS IT.
  • I won’t get my hopes up, though. Look what show I’m watching.
  • Really, no character was better suited to confront the spider demon thingy than Wes. I love that he’s the one stuck down there because he’s so good at doing exactly what he does here. He’s fearless in the face of imminent death. I don’t know that the same Wesley I met back on Buffy would be able to do this. UGH, CHARACTER GROWTH. I LOVE YOU.
  • OH MY GOD THERE ARE CREATURES THAT USED TO WORSHIP JASMINE. So she’s known as the Devourer to them? Well, clearly she eats everything. Is that her ultimate plan? To just eat everyone around her? I still don’t know what it is. Regardless, I liked that the power of blood and names plays such an important part of this story arc. It’s consistent, which is refreshing from a season that’s been all over the map.
  • Oh lord, do I love a clever, witty line just before a villain is killed. We hadn’t had a good one in a long time.
  • Jasmine speaking through other people is just so eerie. Well done.
  • And for the best moment: ANGEL WALKED INTO ANOTHER DIMENSION TO LEARN JASMINE’S TRUE NAME AND THE SHOW ACTUALLY SHOWED US WHAT WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE. Oh my god, you have no idea how pleasing this is to me. There’s a part of me that’s always wanted to see Quor’toth, so I assumed Angel would cross into the spider crab monster’s world, and then we’d never see anything. Instead, we get a long glimpse of a MONSTER WORLD. Granted, it’s not the best special effects ever, but I don’t care. Oh god, THIS IS SO GREAT.

Unrelated to these bullet points, I kind of feel bad for Connor. Like, shit, he hasn’t made a good decision in a while, has he? He was manipulated by Holtz, and now he’s manipulated by Jasmine. He ricochets between loyalties every other episode. That must be tiring. Can’t he just be on one side? Can’t he be his own person for a while? Vincent Kartheiser must have been like COME ON, WRITERS. GIVE ME A SIDE TO BE ON.

This is a little briefer than usual, and honestly? It’s because I am extremely eager to get through the next Buffy episode so I can see episode 21 of this show. After the shit-show that was Cordy’s plot, I never expected to like the rest of this season, so this is a pleasant surprise! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. Right now.

Onwards!

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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