Mark Watches ‘Angel’: S03E02 – That Vision-Thing

In the second episode of the third season of Angel, Cordelia’s visions take on a physical manifestation, but Angel soon learns what they have to do with the Powers That Be. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.


I expected the Wolfram & Hart storyline to last a single season. Here we are, just starting the third season, and the writers still find ways to keep it from going stale. We’ve got Lilah Morgan, looking as fierce as ever, and the use of Gavin Park to take place of Lindsey. YES, MORE DANIEL DAE KIM ALL OF THE TIME. We’ve got on hell of a story about Cordelia’s selfless nature, and then Angel’s hilarious and surreal journey to a demon dimension to save her. I was approximately 1% prepared for the following things:

  • Fred coming out of her room and having lunch with Wesley and Gunn. It was just such an adorable scene.
  • The re-appearance of Gavin Park. Even if we only see two brief scenes with him in it, it’s clear the writers are going for a completely different dynamic for him. This is not Lindsey Part II. Gavin is far more calm and collected, and that certainty seems to grate heavily on Lilah. This is such a fantastic choice for his characterization, and I can’t wait to see more from him.
  • The brilliant of “That Vision-Thing” is the fact that the question burning in all of our minds is openly discussed: Why??? When Cordelia lifted up her shirt to reveal the five claw marks at the end of the cold open, I was awash in confusion and rage. How the hell could the Powers That Be do this to Cordelia? They’ve found a selfless, loving conduit by which to send messages. Why the fuck would they make them physical, too? Was this intentional or accidental? It was so frustrating to watch because IT’S CORDELIA HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO HER?
  • I wasn’t prepared for Cordelia’s visions to be addressed so openly so soon, either. I figured this would be something we’d see much later in the season.
  • I certainly did not expect Fred to help the group out. With that one tiny scene of hers, where she suggests the group trace where Cordy’s visions are coming from, I realized that the writers just gave Fred the biggest opening for her to join Angel Investigations. She is a scientist. No one would have ever thought of Fred’s idea on their own, and now I am obsessed with the idea that her background as a physicist could be used to help out the team. Obviously, she’s got a lot that she needs to get through before she feels she can be a part of things, but THIS IS AN EXCITING DEVELOPMENT.
  • The idea that Fred could genuinely help Angel Investigations got me thinking about another subtext to “That Vision-Thing.” Cordelia and Angel discuss what it is that Angel needs from her. Cordy’s fear is that if she does give up her visions, she’ll no longer be able to contribute towards helping the team. I think that’s a completely valid fear for her to have! It’s interesting to me that all five characters who have been a part of Angel Investigations have had to face their own fears about being needed. What’s their role in this group? Where do they belong? Do they actually help anyone?
  • This actually has nothing to do with the list, but what were those exterminators doing? That was never answered.
  • What the fuck? Kal Penn was on Angel???? That’s random as hell!
  • Oh.
  • Oh, he has no scalp.
  • Oh my god, his brain is moving.
  • No, wait, I have a better question: Why the fuck is Lilah Morgan orchestrating this?
  • I think what I was most unprepared for was the horrible moral dilemma these characters faced. Cordy’s visions were being hijacked. Okay, they can deal with that. But they’re so violent that she could easily die from them, so they need to be stopped. Okay, that’s still fairly simple. In order to stop them, though, Angel needs to work for Wolfram & Hart and release a man who has been imprisoned in another dimension by the forces of good. There’s no ambiguity there. This man did something atrocious enough to warrant being trapped in an endless cube of fire by a demon named Skip. (Let me just state right now that I absolutely need Skip to re-appear on this show or this season will be garbage.)
  • So Angel prioritizes his morality. At the time, nothing is more important to him than Cordelia’s safety. He uses this to justify setting free the nameless man and handing him over to Lilah.
  • WHO THE FUCK DID ANGEL FREE? What did he do? Who is he? Does he have a name? Oh my god, this is making me so uncomfortable.

I think that, at heart, “That Vision-Thing” is also about just how close Cordelia and Angel have grown to one another after his return in “Epiphany.” Their relationship just feels different, and I don’t know that I can put my finger on exactly what it is that has changed. It might be their intensity, it might be the way the two talk to each other, or it might be the way that Cordelia has gotten Angel to open up to her, even if he doesn’t say a word. Whatever it is, it’s fascinating to watch it unfold over these episodes. And I still can’t get over how immense the character of Cordelia Chase is. I am just struck by her development over the past five years, and this episode is just more proof that she remains one of the best (if not the best) characters in the Buffyverse.



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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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1 Response to Mark Watches ‘Angel’: S03E02 – That Vision-Thing

  1. Simone says:

    Lol. I’m having a little too much fun reading these reviews.
    I mentioned that s6 of Buffy is my fav,well,s3 of Angel is my fav.
    Their both soo dark and thrilling… I looove that about both seasons.

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