Mark Watches ‘Angel’: S03E08 – Quickening

In the eighth episode of the third season of Angel, Darla’s pregnancy brings out a whole host of people interested in her child. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Angel.

You know, it’s just downright criminal how easily I fall for nearly every misdirect the show gives me. I swear, I totally did not get the fact that Angel and Darla were killing Holtz’s family in the cold open. I THOUGHT THAT BECAUSE HOLTZ WAS TRACKING THEM, THAT MOMENT IN HIS LIFE HAD ALREADY HAPPENED. Whoops! In hindsight, it wasn’t even the best-concealed misdirect, but my brain is full of sugar and puppies and “Once More, with Feeling,” so I’ll excuse myself this time. (No, really, I went outside after finishing the review that went up yesterday and there was a PUPPY on a walk, and she was so adorable, and she loved me, and I want to be her best friend.)

“Quickening” furthers the idea that Angel and Darla’s son is special, but not in that “EVERY HUMAN LIFE IS SPECIAL” way. It’s about that “confluence of events” that Wesley refers to, the numerous groups who are all interested in an impossible birth. I think that “Quickening” is entertaining as a situational comedy in a sense, especially since it’s hilarious how all these groups unknowingly collide with one another over this unborn child. Well, it’s funny in that “HAHAHA YOU’RE ALL DEAD” sort of way. I laughed? Look, stop judging me.

By and large, I think “Quickening” also skips over character development for a lot of the characters to pursue the advancement of the plot. Which is perfectly fine! I can’t possibly require there to be DEVELOPMENT for all of the time. Plus, there is a lot of subtle, quiet stuff here that I know will be used in the future. First of all, the relationship between Lilah and Gavin continues to be petty, passive-aggressive, and entertaining for every goddamn second they are on the screen. I swear, I didn’t think the show could keep Wolfram & Hart beyond the first season, and yet they still find ways to keep me interested. They’re sort of working together now? Sort of? I mean, they clearly despise one another, and Gavin was quite happy that Linwood was going to blame Lilah instead of him. How is this technically her fault, by the way? Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is more Lilah and Gavin.

Though it’s not explored much beyond the first fifteen minutes or so, I liked the strange dynamic between Holtz and Sahjhan. Look, I just really enjoy the fact that Sahjhan is this ~modern~ demon who is very much invested in both ancient powers and plastic surgery. Though now I wonder how he was able to smoke a cigarette in “Offspring” if he is incorporeal. Hmmm. Anyway, Holtz is clearly impatient and pissed off, which is contrasted with Sahjhan’s calm and witty demeanor. Will we see more of Sahjhan now that Holtz has finally found Angel? Why is it that Sahjhan wants Angel and Darla dead, too? Will it matter to Holtz that Angel now has a soul? WHY DID THIS GODDAMN EPISODE END ON A CLIFFHANGER?

In terms of the group at Angel Investigations, most of them spend this episode sort of just standing around, being witty, or reacting to the dangers around them. I thought there was a brilliant moment near the beginning of “Quickening.” Right before Cordelia punches Darla, Angel begs them all to hold off killing the unborn child until they can figure out what it’s going to be. There’s that chilling moment of stoic silence following that, and I could just imagine that all of them (aside from Fred) were thinking about what Darla had done the last time she was around. I could imagine them all weighing the pros and cons of helping her at all, and even if this wasn’t what happened, I thought it was satisfying to imagine that they had done this.

For me, though, I was most interested by Darla and Angel’s relationship throughout this episode. I think the best moment in “Quickening” is when Wesley confirms that Darla has a human boy inside of her. For the first time since he was made a vampire hundreds of years before, Angel can accept the possibility that he’ll become a father someday. I love that the writers gave his character a brief amount of space to ponder this monumental idea. I mean, it’s just not something he could even consider, and now he’s going to have a son. Angel and Darla have a human son. That is fucking weird. How the hell is this even possible, though? I DON’T GET IT!?!?!?!?!

This was a great episode, though I didn’t find it too revealing. I’m completely enamored with the plot, though, and MY GOD, A CLIFFHANGER. THIS ISN’T FAIR. What the hell is Holtz going to do? Can he kill the parents of a human child? Will Darla’s behavior change after giving birth? Can she change? WHAT IS GOING ON.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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