In the twelfth episode of the fifth season of Angel, thank you. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.
Thank you, Cordelia Chase.
It’s no secret that Cordelia Chase is my favorite character in the Buffyverse, and I know I’ve been a broken record about her (lack of a) presence in season five. It’s difficult to think about season four without feeling some sense of anger about the treatment of her character, but it didn’t change my opinion of her. I was fascinated by her character growth, from being a foil to Buffy Summers as one of the Cordettes to her eventual role as a higher power. I enjoyed that she was explicitly feminine and the writers never really took that away from her. She had a brilliant sense of humor and a (generally) flawless taste for fashion. And when it came down to it, her growth on Angel was all about her understanding about the difference between good and evil. She lost her status as a popular rich girl, and in the process, she appreciated the satisfaction she got from helping the helpless.
I will admit that I spent most of “You’re Welcome” excited that Cordelia had returned, that I would get an entire batch of episodes with my favorite character in them, and that I’d get her wit and spirit on my screen again. The Cordelia Chase here in this episode is the character I fell in love with, both in the way she’s written and in the way that Charisma Carpenter portrayed her. And it’s not as if the writers forgot her journey over the four seasons of Angel that she appeared in; her character is openly aware of everything that has happened. She is also precisely what Angel needed, especially after the events of “Damage.” In that sense, this episode establishes that Cordelia often was the glue that kept everyone together, and that without her, Angel has fallen apart. Like Doyle once did with Cordelia, Cordelia is able to inspire Angel to believe in the fight for good.
I suppose, then, that I should have seen the parallel. Doyle died. Cordelia couldn’t have lived either. It’s so entirely fitting that Cordelia would use her one “wish” that the Powers That Be owed her to help out someone else, sacrificing herself in the process. Noble to the end, that Cordelia Chase.
I don’t want to spend time discussing Lindsey or Eve, because I hate them, and I hope Lindsay was sucked to some demon dimension and is currently being forced to watch the QVC channel for the rest of eternity. Instead, I want to thank Cordelia Chase and remember all the wonderful times she gave me.
- I love that she chose her affection with Xander over her popularity.
- I love that her thoughts in “Earshot” aligned perfectly with her actions.
- I love that her reaction to Xander’s magic in “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” was to appreciate Xander. She always had such a unique view of how she wanted to be treated, and she went after it.
- She kissed Wesley twice at one point, and mutually agreed with him that things weren’t ever going to work out between them based on a kiss. See? She knows exactly what she wants. I respect that.
- Let us all remember the day she first dusted a vampire: her own Graduation Day. WHO KNEW THAT SHE WOULD SOON MOVE TO LOS ANGELES? Wait, most of you did. Okay, I didn’t know shhhhh.
- Let us also remember that it was Cordelia who essentially convinced Angel to form Angel Investigations. THAT COMPANY WOULD PROBABLY NOT HAVE EXISTED WITHOUT HER. <3<3<3<3
- Cordelia’s visions from the Powers That Be gave her splitting headaches that caused her an immense amount of pain, and she came to view them as gifts. THIS IS SUCH INCREDIBLE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, I SWEAR.
- Cordelia has always been a blunt person, and I find it fitting that her development of a sense of empathy for others only came about when she was bluntly made to feel the same pain the victims in her visions did.
- When given an alternate world where she is a superstar actress, Cordelia eventually gave up such a reality because it wasn’t her, and because she no longer wanted to see her friends suffer.
- ALSO REMEMBER THAT SHE WAS A GODDAMN QUEEN IN PYLEA. HELL YEAH.
- Also, remember when Connor was born and she was the best mommy to him and let’s not talk about what they did later because what.
- As hokey and unfortunate in hindsight as it was, I still think it’s incredible that Cordelia gave up her chance to be happy with Angel so she could ascend to a higher plane and be a force for good for other people. Again, she chose so many times to put her own personal happiness last.
And even here in “You’re Welcome,” we get a portrait of a character who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself or her friends. She’s just as sassy and witty as ever before, and at the end of the day, she put someone else’s needs before her own.
I will miss you so, so much, Cordelia Chase. I’m glad I got one last episode with you. And now, WATCH ME TEAR UP FOR LIKE TEN MINUTES.
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