Mark Watches ‘Angel’: S01E21 – Blind Date

In the twenty-first episode of the first season of Angel, YES. YES. MORE OF THIS. YES. YES GOOD. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.

Oh my god, this last run of episodes has been SO FANTASTIC. I am stoked to have agreed to watch Angel because I AM JUST SO PLEASED WITH WHAT I AM SEEING.

Everything “Blind Date” Did Right

  • More Wolfram & Hart.
  • The entire character of Vanessa Brewer, who reminded me of a more violent Toph. (But not all of the time, and see the last note about the execution of this character. Toph is better.)
  • Casting Sam Anderson as Holland. Oh my god IT’S BERNARD FROM LOST ADLKSFSD A; ADJF;KLADJ A;A;KDFJ
  • SAM ANDERSON’S ENTIRE PORTRAYAL OF HOLLAND. Unsettling, creepy, kind of fatherly, and so goddamn ambiguous it hurts. Does he genuinely care for Lindsey? Does he have an ulterior motive? Is this kind of like Mayor Wilkins and Faith, or are we meant to draw parallels between the two pairings because THIS IS A TRICK? If anything, it was easy for me to discern that Holland was the most genuine person in all of Wolfram & Hart. Oh god, I hope there’s more of him.
  • Focusing the bulk of “Blind Date” on Lindsey instead of Angel. This is especially fantastic after “War Zone” because the show has twice put the main cast in the background to explore a side character. What this does, though, is give us new insight into the law firm, as well as a fascinating story about moral certainty. We have only seen Lindsey a few times over the course of the first season of Angel, and admittedly, he’s been very easy to cast as a complete and total toolbag. That’s okay, though, because it’s not like we’ve been given much otherwise. There was a possibility that his characterization in this episode could have felt rushed and unnatural, but by choosing to write him as deeply conflicted and confused about what he’s been doing, I think “Blind Date” works extremely well as an exploration of Lindsey’s breaking point.
  • Angel’s entire speech about living in the world of Wolfram & Hart and how frustrating that is. Look, Angel’s being emotional for once! Huzzah! Just kidding. But it is nice to see him express frustration instead of brooding!
  • Giving Lindsey a backstory is brilliant, and I loved the emotional motivation he now has: after living in abject poverty, he refuses to go back to a life where things are taken from him. So now he has enough power to take things from others. The best part of that whole scene? Angel fake-dozing off to make fun of Lindsey for being a fucking asshole. Like, that may forever stand as the funniest thing Angel has ever done. After dancing. Yes, after that.
  • This show brought back Gunn in the very next episode. I can’t. I can’t deal with how amazing he is, I can’t deal with his exuberance, I can’t deal with how much shit he talks on rich white people, and I can’t deal with the perfection that is Gunn. This is the single greatest change Angel could ever have made.
  • No, for real, his little scene in the lobby of Wolfram & Hart was pitch-perfect and I will never apologize for feeling nothing but burning desire for Gunn.
  • The execution of Lee Mercer, not only because it’s so horribly shocking, but because it tricks you into thinking that Lindsey got away with everything. Yeah, nope. That’s how Holland showed Lindsey what the stakes were. Holland, you’re just amazing.
  • HAHAHAHA CORDELIA’S CONVERSATION WITH WILLOW. BLESS YOUR HEART, CORDELIA. So was this happening simultaneously with the events in “The Yoko Factor” and “Primeval”? I love continuity.
  • Yeah, the fight between Vanessa and Angel was incredible. IT WAS MOVEMENT. That was the key to beating her. How tense were all those moments where Angel had to stand absolutely still? Also, I didn’t include Lindsey in that fight because I don’t count what he did as “fighting.” I’d be more comfortable calling it “getting beat up.”
  • Angel is in a prophecy? When does this ever end well ever?
  • The entire closing scene is just too much. While Lindsey’s escape from Wolfram & Hart would have made sense, there’s something honest about the fact that Holland got to him, that he appealed to Lindsey’s sense of self-worth in order to get him to stay. Does Lindsay believe his place is here or is he still undecided? Yes, it seems he’s made his choice to stay at the law firm, but that doesn’t mean his heart is in it. I get the sense that this is certainly not the last time we’ll see Holland, and I have a feeling that whatever is going to happen in the finale or with that prophecy, it’ll have something to do with Holland and Lindsey
  • I know I just said this regarding Buffy, but HOW THE FUCK IS THERE ANOTHER EPISODE. What is this season’s arc? Is there even one? WHAT IS GOING ON? Fuck, I am SO NERVOUS.

One Complaint

  • I’m not a big fan of the idea of creating a character with a disability who then uses that disability to cheat and murder others. Like, it’s already bad enough that society generally doesn’t believe the disabled, so can we not further this horrific stereotype through fiction? For real.

Mark Links Stuff

– My eBook adaptations of reviews I’ve posted are on sale at Harry Potter, Twilight, and Firefly books are priced from $2.99 to $3.99 a piece, and are available in ePub (iBook, iPod, iPad, Nook), Kindle, and PDF files.
– I now have a Lulu storefront, where you can purchase physical copies of all of my previously released books, including a full Mark Reads Twilight book that includes all four sets of Twilight reviews.
– I now have a Donate button in the right sidebar. If you’d like to be charitable and help with monthly site costs, please feel free to donate!
– I am going on tour in the following cities this month (click the name for the Facebook RSVP page): San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Albuquerque, Denver, Salt Lake City, Boise, Spokane, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver B.C. I still need venues/spaces in San Diego, Salt Lake City, Spokane, and Portland. Even if it’s your house, I don’t care. I’ll show up! Please let me know if you have any ideas. I can also be reached at markreadsandwatches [at] gmail [dot] com.
– I am presenting for three days at Ascendio 2012! Come hang out and have the best weekend ever in July!
– Mark Watches The Return of the King will happen most likely on Sunday at 1pm PDT, which is the same as this past weekend. Y’all better break the comment record again.
– I finish Mark Reads The Princess Bride on April 13th, and then Mark Reads Sandman begins on Monday, April 16th. I will split up reviews by issue, and I will be reading the extra books/volumes. IT SHALL BE GRAND.
– I’m on Twitter (@MarkDoesStuff) and I have a Facebook page y’all can Like and flail about on. Join me!
This is my fifth consecutive year riding in the AIDS/LifeCycle! I’m aiming to raise $10,000 this year. For every $1,000 I raise, I will make a video live reading of a community-chosen fanfic. I am not bluffing. I will read as much of it as possible, and it will be beautiful. Help me out if you can!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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