Mark Watches ‘Angel’: S05E05 – Life of the Party

In the fifth episode of the fifth season of Angel, Lorne desperately tries to improve Wolfram & Hart’s image through the company’s annual Halloween party. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.

YES. YES. THIS EPISODE TOTALLY RULED.

  • Ugh, a Lorne-centric episode, FUCKING FINALLY.
  • No, seriously, not only does this episode focus on Lorne, but it acknowledges the fact that he’s been left in the background for most of season five.
  • On top of that, this episode explicitly explores the fucked up nature of the Angel Investigations team taking over Wolfram & Hart. They cannot simply use this place to do good. They truly inherited the entire company, and they are expected to run it. That means they have to please people that they otherwise would never even talk to. Or they’d murder. Right. That, too.
  • Look, stories about moral ambiguity are candy to me. On Halloween. See, I can be thematically appropriate!
  • Okay, seriously, that’s what I’m loving so much about season five. The entire show feels so different from the previous four seasons, and it’s this very direct admission that the world of Wolfram & Hart is morally complicated that makes it come off this way. What actual good have these characters been able to do since they took over the law firm? How much has their time been dedicated to pleasing people they hate? How has that affected their relationships with one another?
  • In particular, Lorne has been left to run Wolfram & Hart’s PR department, and “Life of the Party” shows us that Lorne probably has the most difficult job out of anyone else here. He’s left to satisfy countless number of clients who have been ignored since the firm was destroyed by the Beast the year before. (Which made me wonder how anyone could know that the Halloween party the year before was great? Wasn’t everyone killed?) He’s got to prevent the entire evil underworld from turning on Wolfram & Hart. And while he’s doing this, his friends aren’t helping him out in the least. This episode is frustrating to watch in that sense because you can see how hard Lorne is trying to do his best, yet all four of his friends brush him off. Ugh, no, don’t do this, you’re breaking my heart!
  • I simply assumed that the opening scene with Lorne’s reflection talking to him was a hallucination; even more ironic, I thought it was the result of the stress and probable lack of sleep. OH. OH, I WAS SO CLOSE.
  • Wow, this episode really doesn’t want Fred/Wesley to happen. Fredley? Wred? Wow, those are awful. That’s probably 100% of the reason why the writers paired her off with Know, right??? Wait… Knred. Frox. Okay, nevermind, I’m a fool.
  • Okay, the costume/prosthetics/make-up for the Archduke Sebassis was DOWNRIGHT INCREDIBLE. Some of the best work the show has ever done! I’m impressed! Oh god, that little servant demon HAD A SPIGOT FOR IT’S BLOOD, which looked like light blue Kool-Aid.
  • Ugh, okay, that scene between Lorne and Angel in the limo? Just… my heart, y’all. This means so much to Lorne. He lacks any super powers, special knowledge, or intricate training. All he can do is be social and throw a good party. Well, he can do those sort of things because of his capacity for empathy. And while that is a special power, it’s not one on the same level as what Angel possesses. He can’t beat people up. He’s not a genius physicist. He doesn’t have eons of mystical knowledge or multi-dimensional law stocked up in his brain. He can understand other beings, and he can help make them happy. It breaks my heart that he spends so much of “Life of the Party” trying to please other people, all at the expense of himself.
  • Okay, I do think this episode has a very serious purpose behind it, and Lorne’s story just makes me SAD. That being said, holy hell, this episode is also EXTREMELY HILARIOUS.
  • Harmony dancing all by herself because GODDAMN IT, SHE IS NOT GOING TO WAIT FOR THIS PARTY TO START.
  • Fred and Wesley drunk. Fake drunk. Well, they are drunk, but mystically? Whatever, oh my god, they are so entertaining.
  • GUNN IS LITERALLY MARKING HIS TERRITORY.
  • OH MY GOD SPIKE IS SO HAPPY NEVER WOULD I EVER CONSIDER SPIKE ACTING JOYOUS TO BE SO FUNNY.
  • OH LORD WHY ARE ANGEL AND EVE HAVING SEX.
  • OH.
  • OH.
  • LORNE’S WORDS ARE BEING TAKEN FOR THE LITERAL MEANING.
  • Wow, this reminds me a lot of “Something Blue.”
  • Which is funny, because in the beginning of today’s video, I thought this was going to be a musical episode, and then I said I didn’t really care if the Buffyverse repeated concepts on both of their shows, and now we have a mystical force that’s acting because of a person’s subconscious thoughts.
  • Whoa, both episodes have Spike doing stuff out of character that’s hilarious.
  • Yes, more of this!
  • Well, wait, more of this without the super disturbing angle? I mean, Lorne had his need to sleep removed, and that is incredibly fucked up.
  • Also, I viewed the subconscious form of Lorne as the Hulk, and I’m perfectly okay with that.
  • Go ahead, write that pairing. Lorne and Mark Ruffalo Hulk. Go on, my friends. It is calling to you.
  • Hey, at least the company and the Archduke enjoyed the party, right? Everyone wins!
  • Wait, Wesley’s affection for Fred doesn’t win.
  • 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

God, I am loving this season so much.

PS: I will have a Mark Re-Watches Buffy post up later today for “Band Candy,” and then tomorrow, we will do “Surprise”/”Innocence” BE PREPARED! 

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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