Angel, Season 3 eps 19-22

22 Jul


“I just want everything back to the way it was.”
“It’s never going to be, you know.”

O.K., kids. Let’s review.

Sahjhan attempts to coerce Holtz into killing Connor by opening a rip in reality to Quortoth and threatening him with it. Holtz, in a desperate bid for vengeance against Angel, leaps through the rip instead. The rip zips back up, trapping Holtz and Connor there.

Angel decides to summon Sahjhan in order to force him to re-open the rip so Angel can go to Quortoth and rescue his son. Angel and Lilah do a spell with a pentagram and human blood that will make Sahjhan appear in the hotel lobby. As it turns out, this spell also has the effect of making Sahjhan corporeal. Presto chango, Sahjhan gets physical, but several miles away (was it coz the pentagram was lopsided?). He runs amok and tells Angel he is unable to rip another hole into Quortoth–the metaphysical consequences would be disastrous. So long, Angel’s baby. Then Sahjhan is captured in an urn that eventually winds up in Cyvus’ Vail’s house.

The Price

A week or so later, as Angel broods, little cracks start appearing in the lobby above the pentagram and translucent animals fall through, the “sluks.” From dialogue in “The Price”, “A New World”, and “Benediction”, and the fact that the Destroyer of Quortoth widens those very same cracks to make his appearance, it’s pretty clear that the “sluks” infesting the Hyperion were not “created” as a side effect of Angel’s dark spell (“thaumogenesis“). They are natives of Quortoth.

It’s the cracks in the lobby that are the side-effect of doing dark magicks. Angel’s dark magic (recorporealizing Sahjhan); Sahjhan’s dark magic (the original rip into Quortoth, which he could only do once it was so dark and powerful and scary); both Angel and Sahjhan will end up paying his own “Price”.

The sluks over in Quortoth discover the cracks and leap through them to escape the fearsome and terrible Destroyer–“the bringer of torment”–a being who apparently takes joy in the Quortothian equivalent of pulling the wings off of flies.

The sluks enter our dimension already knowing of Angel and not liking him much. They communicate this to Angel when they enter a human body (both Phil’s and Fred’s). Ostensibly, they enter that body so they can suck the moisture from it–they’re big on moisture–but entering a human body creates a telepathic link as well; the human becomes their mouth piece. But that doesn’t explain how they know about Angel in the first place. Did the Destroyer tell them all about Angel and how much he hates him while he was tormenting them? Well, maybe. But it makes much more sense that the sluks can read the minds of those they inhabit, and absorb their feelings. Which is why it’s my pet theory that at some point, the Destroyer himself had a sluk infection. Which sort of serves the brat right.

O.K., so you stop a sluk infection:

– to the body by dehydrating the body. And luckily, Wesley has a lot of liquor sitting around. Because obviously he’s the injured party here. He’s the one who’s been betrayed. His friends rejected him, refused to allow him to explain his side of what happened. Well…yes, Wesley believed he was doing the right thing. And he didn’t intend what happened by any stretch of the imagination. But he can’t expect Angel to get over what happened or his role in it any time soon, either. It’s the gang’s rallying around Angel that has him bitter. And bitter Wesley = good.

– you stop a sluk infection to a building, on the other hand, with a sudden, inexplicable, deus ex machina super-power.

I don’t have to tell you how annoying that was the first time this episode aired. Cordelia gets turned half-demon in “Birthday”, and after that promising and risk-taking storyline move, nothing changes. The side effects of her transformation, which were supposed to be “numerous and unpredictable”, involve Cordelia floating a little and no longer having the vision headaches. *Yawn*. Then, instead of “establishing” her sluk-erasing super-power a couple episodes before it becomes vital to the plot, it appears out of nowhere just when it’s needed.

The thing I noticed about her glowy power, though, both here and in subsequent episodes, was that it was involuntary. She starts glowing at the right moment through no choice of her own. And when she does try to summon it, she can’t. Yet the characters praise her each time for saving the day. It’s really hard to imagine that this was supposed to be accepted at face value as a sign she was becoming a higher being because she *deserved* it. In my retrospective interpretation, the glowy “power” was not a “power” at all; it was Jasmine’s way of preparing Cordelia’s body so that it could enter Jasmine’s realm–the Land Where Everyone Glows–where Jasmine could in turn possess Cordelia, and in doing so, enter our dimension in Cordelia’s body.

The glowyness appears at that moment it does because Jasmine can’t have her “vessel” destroyed by a sluk. And in “Benediction”, [wank] it appears again because Jasmine can’t have her father killing her mother before she’s even conceived. [/wank]

At any rate, in “The Price”, Cordelia starts glowing, the sluks are cleared out, the cracks in the lobby from Quortoth arc and zap,

and then… it’s the boy.

A New World

Let’s just get this over with.

SQUEE!!!!!!!!!

The Destroyer arrives with a bang in the single.coolest.fight.scene.EVER. The skinny little androgynous sylph (TM atpotch) in animal hides takes on three guys at a time, two with supernatural strength, and kicks.their.asses.

I knew within two seconds of seeing the previews for “The Price” that that blurry thing spinning down into the Hyperion lobby was Connor. Didn’t we all? There was so much build-up about it, even in the space of a preview.

I was relieved that Connor was coming back, and excited to see where they would take the teen Connor thing. But what I wasn’t expecting was Vincent Kartheiser. I’d never seen him in anything before. And he just nailed the part–the body language, the facial expressions. The feral wild-boy, so vulnerable and lost and tough. Looking so much like Julie Benz, yet butt-kicking and broody like Angel. Steven Holtz took everyone in this strange new world by surprise–the drug-thugs that underestimated his strength and skill, and Angel, who reached out to him in stunned relief only to be rebuffed by bitter anger.

And Connor/Steven was something new himself. A supernaturally strong human boy (taking on a whole gang of drug dealer’s thugs. God, he rocks! Aaaaaa!!!!!!!) Erm…anyway, as I was saying, in the Buffyverse, you just hadn’t seen a human male with that kind of supernatural strength and skill. There were only three other humans like him that we had seen: Buffy, Kendra, and Faith. The parallels were obvious, but he was no Slayer. Except that a lot of people still thought he was (usually the gits who had been complaining for six years that there were no male Slayers). No, Steven was the child of two vampires. That’s the whole crux of his existence, as we would come to see.

In the grand AtS scheme of things, the episode “City of…” let me know that AtS would be as interesting as its mother show. “Reunion” let me know that AtS was BtVS’ equal. “A New World” let me know I would never get this show out of my system. Ever.

But, O.K. There were other characters in this episode besides Steven Holtz. Like Wesley, who was entering a new world of his own. When this ep first aired, it was extremely odd to see Lilah visiting Wesley. Lilah had really only had contact with Angel up to this point, and one little visit from Cordelia. She didn’t really deal with Angel’s “wacky sidekicks.” So her showing up at Wesley’s door, that was something new.

She was there to offer him a job, which both she and we should know better than to think he would take. But a girl’s gotta try. Barring that, she was there to see just how far he would go now towards betraying what he believed in. Or perhaps, used to believe in. In “Benediction” Lilah would test him to see if he’d cross that morally ambiguous line. Would he save Justine, who slit his throat, from vampires? Would he at least warn her? He has to think about it. Lilah seems pleased with that: “I just want to know if I’m wasting my time.”

She isn’t; there is something in Wesley that is corruptible; Wesley’s always been willing to walk that fine line. With the best intentions. And right now, he’s vulnerable. He’s the betrayer clinging desperately to the point of view in which he’s the betrayed, so he doesn’t have to face the horrid consequences of his decisions. And his indecisions. And Lilah knows that people trying to feel justified in their questionable actions often proceed to act even more questionably just to prove “it was O.K.” to act that way in the first place.

Much yumminess, but we get ahead of ourselves.

And then there’s Cordelia. *Sigh*. Cordelia, who has developed a single-minded devotion to Angel since the loss of Connor: “I had myself dosed with demon DNA for this man!” It starts understandably enough. Cordelia stands up to naïve!Fred, saying she cares more about Angel’s feelings than Wesley’s. But then in her attempt to help Angel cope–both with the loss of the baby and rejection by the teenager–Cordelia seems to utterly forget everything, and everyone, else. It’s as if, after she allowed her body to be (meta)physically altered, she started to define herself almost solely by her role as Angel-the-Champion’s “vision girl”. And we were supposed to think this was O.K., that this was a sign she was becoming a “higher being”.

Whatever. *shudder* Back to the Congel.

The other thing I wasn’t expecting in Connor’s return was the chemistry between Boreanaz and Kartheiser. No, they don’t really look much alike, but you never doubt that Angel and Steven are father and son, because each sees himself when he looks at the other. They fight each other with a passion. Love and loss and identity and need and hatred. Angel is trying to keep this miniature version of himself–this product of himself–from running amok. Steven loathes and batters his vampire father, and in doing so, loathes and batters the inner vampire part of himself.

Steven: “You have a second face. A face for killing. Show it to me. I want to see it.”
Angel, quietly: “Looks like this, son.”
Steven, horrified: “That’s what you are!”
Angel: “It’s part of what I am. A part I hope you will be able to accept one day.”
Steven: “You’d have to kill me first.”

*SWOON*

One final note before leaving this episode: am I the only one who thought Mistress Meerna was really hot?

Benediction

Fred: “Okay. So he survived an unspeakable hell dimension. Who hasn’t? You–you can’t just leave him alone in the streets of Los Angeles!”
Angel: “He’s got to come back on his own. And he will. Just as soon as he realizes what he needs.”
Gunn: “And what’s that?”
Cordy: “A father.”

Angel reaches out to Steven in A New World and manages to make something of a connection with him when he saves Steven’s life in the abandoned apartment. But Steven opts not to return to the hotel with him, so Angel assures him he’s not alone in this strange new world and backs off his relentless pursuit. He goes back to the hotel to wait for Steven to come to him. But Steven already knows he’s not alone. He heads straight to the only father he’s ever known–Holtz, who has managed to cross the fissure from Quortoth before it was closed.

In a Season 3 interview, writer Tim Minear says that Holtz never lies in this entire episode. Which means…which means a lot of things. First, it means that Holtz never actively encouraged Steven to kill Angel, nor believed Steven capable of it. Certainly, Holtz actively encouraged Steven to see his biological father as evil, and he tells Steven to seek out Angel and “[d]iscover what of him is in you, that you might fight against it.” One imagines he talked about this in Quortoth as well–what of Steven’s demon parents was inside Steven. So Steven hopes that by killing Angel he can cut out the demon part of himself and gain Holtz’s love and approval. Holtz already seems to have faith that Steven can rise above his origins. Yet in his continued insistence that Angel is the devil, he sends Steven a mixed message. You can’t tell someone, “You come from the devil. You can fight the devil within” and expect them to only pay heed to the second sentence.

Holtz also believes that Steven crossed dimensions not so much to kill Angel as to see Angel for himself, to meet him: the adolescent search for identity; my father, myself. Holtz can’t stop Steven’s curiosity, so he sends Steven to Angel, and Steven goes. Partly because Holtz asked him to, and partly because that is what he came back to Earth to do.

Angel is naturally excited and nervous about Steven’s return and wants to find a good father-son bonding activity. He gets one when Cordelia sends him off to fight vampires in a night club and he invites Steven along. What happens next are two of the top coolest Congel scenes in the series (Squee!): standing back-to-back in the night club, clutching their stakes. Fighting the vampires together. Then sparring in the alley behind the club afterwards (Squee!) Steven doesn’t want to believe that Angel is someone he can connect with. And yet they do connect. Both these scenes show what Connor and Angel could (have) be(en) if they ever got along. It gave me such hope for Season 4. Mutant Enemy bastards!!

Meanwhile, Holtz sees that exactly what he suspected would happen come to pass–Steven connecting with Angel. So he tells Steven that he and Angel must now be together. Understand this–if Holtz never lies in the entire episode, then he really does believe that Steven should now be returned to Angel, because there Steven will find the answers he seeks in his adolescent search for identity and a future. But though Holtz knows he must let them be together, he won’t let it happen happily. He genuinely loves Steven, but in the end, he can’t let go of vengeance.

So at the same time that he’s sending an angry and confused Steven off to his future, Holtz is also setting Angel and son up to guarantee that they will stay forever divided. He frames Angel for his own death.

Tomorrow

“It’s going to be all right.” –Cordelia, Tomorrow
“Sometimes things do work out.” –Lorne, Tomorrow

For a brief moment, Angel is filled with hope; he thinks he’s going to have the girl and the son. The family. Holtz has given Connor back to him. Yes, seventeen years were lost, but now his son is back! It might take time to win him over, but…. And Cordelia feels the same way about him as he does about her!

We were He was *so* being set up for heartbreak.

“Connor” was a duplicitous manipulator. Angel should have seen what was coming. The boy was being just a little too nice given his previous behavior. But Angel was blinded by hope. And who can blame him, really?

Both BtVS and AtS are examinations of life’s passages, looked at through the quasi-metaphorical lens of the supernatural–magic and monsters. One of the things Connor/Steven embodied in the series was teenaged rebellion taken to extremes–in particular, the out-of-control, angry young man.

In the real world, parents sometimes find that the child they raised from infancy, the person they thought they knew, can become, upon reaching adolescence, an out-of-control monster, a stranger, seemingly overnight. You reach out to them and they push you away, violently. They find other people or things to identify with, and in their eyes, you become the monster. The very things about you that comforted them in childhood become demonic. And as you continue to reach out and get rejected, you fear you’ll never be able to connect with them again.

Angel would have known better what Connor was up to if Connor had been anybody else but his son.

And then there was Cordelia. Her devotion to Angel lasted as long as it took for someone to come along and tell her how wonderful she is and that she’s a “higher being.” Well, we were meant to believe Skip too, at the time. But I remember seeing glowy Cordy ascend to the heavens and thinking that it was lame beyond the telling of it. When someone posted to the board that perhaps it was not what it appeared to be, that perhaps Cordelia made the wrong choice, well, I grasped onto that theory with a vengeance. Obviously.

As Angel’s hopes sunk, mine oddly did not. I loved the last three episodes of Season 3. I watched them over and over again all summer until I wore out the tape.

And finally, there’s Wesley.

I remember being surprised by Wesley sleeping with Lilah the first time. Not that I thought he wouldn’t find her attractive and vice versa, I just didn’t see him crossing that line. Which is probably why I’d make a lousy pr0n fic writer. Not every angsty or manipulative or whatever relationship automatically equals sex in my mind. And if someone says to me “I hate you, I loathe you! Go away”, I’ll say, “Oh. You do? O.K., bye” and go away. I won’t end up in bed with them in the very next scene.

But I guess this was supposed to be the sign of how far Wesley would, indeed, go, in crossing the line.

Of course, I didn’t get very far into Season 4 before I decided these two were *hot* in a really dysfunctional and doomed sort of way.

And that about sums up Season 4, in my mind. Hot, dysfunctional, and doomed. So on we go.

31 Responses to “Angel, Season 3 eps 19-22”

  1. starryniteshade July 23, 2005 at 1:24 am #

    And luckily, Wesley has a lot of liquor sitting around. Because obviously he’s the injured party here. He’s the one who’s been betrayed. His friends rejected him, refused to allow him to explain his side of what happened. Well…yes, Wesley believed he was doing the right thing. And he didn’t intend what happened by any stretch of the imagination. But he can’t expect Angel to get over what happened or his role in it any time soon, either. It’s the gang’s rallying around Angel that has him bitter. And bitter Wesley = good.

    All of which reminds me of…

    Giles: For God’s sake, man, she’s eighteen. And you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone. Just have at it, would you, and stop fluttering about.

    …and really right to the end that remains a truth about Wesley. However much he may have gained in confidence, etc., emotional he was still a blueberry scone.

    Will think on this and comment more tomorrow.

  2. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 1:48 am #

    emotional he was still a blueberry scone.

    He was when it came to women. I think a more complex tale can be told about other emotional topics. It really sort of depends on the topic. And how dire the circumstances are….

  3. starryniteshade July 23, 2005 at 2:04 am #

    He was when it came to women. I think a more complex tale can be told about other emotional topics.

    Of course, it’s a complex tale…but Wes remained poorly developed emotionally for more than just when it came to women….his father, Angel, the need to be right, etc., etc. What maturation he had was in terms of his confidence within certain limits of his “work” environment. Blueberry scones can be quite complex.

  4. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 2:13 am #

    I think the minute he became “more complex” (once he stepped out of BtVS where he was 2-dimensional and into AtS) he ceased to be a blueberry scone. Not to say he wasn’t “poorly developed emotionally” as you say, but simply that Giles’ blueberry scone analogy was meant to imply a lack of complexity.

  5. ninerva July 23, 2005 at 8:25 am #

    I know what you mean about the end of S3, I had planned to watch these last episodes over two or three evenings, ended up watching them back to back in one sitting, couldn’t help myself.

    I agree the Cordy glowy thing really annoyed me first time round, but I too developed my own retrospective wank about it. In my theory the sluks were emotionally/psychically linked to Connor back in Quortoth. This is how Connor conrolled them, how they managed to find Angel, how they recognised him (after all Connor would have had no conscious memory of his Father), and dictated how they felt about him.

    Fred: It’s coming after you – Angel.

    When Cordy physically touched one of them the connection was made between what was biding it’s time inside her, through the creature, and to Connor back in Quortoth. The glowy thing then was not just about getting rid of the sluks, but reaching across the dimensions to Connor and creating the tear in reality that allowed him to come through. Otherwise why did Connor take so long to come through? Why not pop through with the sluks?

    This theory is strengthened in my view because the next time she went glowy was when Connor touched her. Yep, in my wank the glowy thing was all about Connor/Cordy/Jasmine, and only when the Connor/Cordy connection was established firmly enough (glowy incident #2) could the evil plan be put into action.

    A couple of things which struck me about Connor were firstly his natural compassion for Sunny, he went to rescue her, a stranger in a strange world. I doubt that there were many damsels-in-distress back on Quortoth, so this must have been instinctual, which speaks well for the boy. The other thing was his overwhelming need for the human connection, again as evidenced by Sunny. OK, put aside the fact that he had gone through puberty without having ever laid eyes on a girl, he obviously also just enjoyed that human connection and needed it enough that he trusted her without question.

    As for Angel, right up until the last, even with Connors return, he was still struggling to control the inner rage he was carrying. He used the word rage, I think it was a good choice of word, trouble is that I’m betting the Angelus part of him was feeding on the rage, which is why he had such a problem letting go of it. A couple of times, even with Connor, you could see that he was still conflicted, that the rage was still bubbling away, under the surface. Oooh, the angst!!!! Yep, definitely the world of Whedon at it’s angsty best, which makes the end rather predictable in a “snatch it all away” way.

    I second your ‘best Congel moments’ selection, but the scene that stands out for me, one of the best scenes ever, in either show, was between Holtz and Angel in the motel:


    Angel: “You stole my son.”

    Holtz: “I kept your son alive. You murdered mine.”

    There is just too much to say about that scene, so I’ll stop because I’ve said enough already.

    Roll on S4…

  6. londonkds July 23, 2005 at 10:12 am #

    I suspect that Holtz told Connor some stuff about women, although one hates to think what.

  7. ninerva July 23, 2005 at 10:19 am #

    *shudder*

    Well they certainly didn’t have much in the way of birth control back in the day, if Holtz had had that particular ‘little chat’ with Connor we might not have had Jasmine.

    Though my mind goes to the old wive’s tale about ‘going blind’, poor Connor, how he really did suffer. No wonder he wanted to escape. 🙂

  8. starryniteshade July 23, 2005 at 11:52 am #

    Agree that Wes became 3-D as soon as he stepped out of Btvs into Ats; and his inability to be in touch with his emotions was part of that 3-D complexity.

    BTW 2-D blueberry scones — ooo ick!

    I had just taken Giles’ comment as a funny line.

  9. starryniteshade July 23, 2005 at 12:09 pm #

    As for Angel, right up until the last, even with Connors return, he was still struggling to control the inner rage he was carrying. He used the word rage, I think it was a good choice of word

    Rage is a good word for it. Rage is sometimes described as the feeling of anger which has no outlet and becomes internalised. The person becomes the anger – i.e. experiences rage. That’s a fair description of what happened to Angel after Connor was taken away. His feelings of anger were legitimate, but due to the Angelus part of himself he can’t trust himself to find non-destructive outlet for that anger. Sure it’s easy for people on the outside to say “let go of it”, but it’s just not that simple. And that’s true even more so for Angel because dealing with anger is one of his issues. As for the gang – and as Masq points out especially Cordelia – none of them really help Angel in dealing with that Anger. Fred and Gunn tip-toe around it and Cordelia feeds it. Are they also afraid of the Angelus factor?

    I will return to this theme in our S4 reviews.

  10. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 1:58 pm #

    I had a whole a rant about the issue debated at the end of Season 4 – “Was Connor redeemable” in which people claim he came back from Quortoth psychotic, “unable to respond to reason or love” (Giles, BatB). In my rant, I used his interaction with Sunny as an example of his ability to respond to someone who took the time to treat him like a human being (and who had the advantage of being a stranger, so was not tied up in Steven’s daddy issues).

    I dropped the rant from this review for reasons of length, and because I think it would make a more interesting discussion in Season 4, where we have more material to work with.

    I got a bit carried away in this analysis with the Congel bits, but the dénouement between protagonist and seasonal antagonist–Angel and Holtz–was of course brilliant. This is one of those seasons where they built up a conflict between Angel and the seasonal bad and truly delivered on the literary promissory notes in a way that just stuns me all over again every time I see it. No ball-dropping this season. One big reason it’s my favorite.

  11. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 2:05 pm #

    He told Steven stuff about human women, but I have to imagine there were female demons in Quortoth. We can’t say if they were humanoid-looking or not since we never meet any of the native species, but they’d at least give him an idea of the notion of “female”. And if they were the least bit humanoid, perhaps Holtz had to give Steven a stern lecture or two about being too curious.

    That’s my pet theory on that, since Steven doesn’t seem too thrown or inexperienced when dealing with the women he meets.

  12. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 2:07 pm #

    Steven’s palms were distinctly un-hairy upon arrival on Earth as well.

    ; )

  13. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 2:11 pm #

    I prefer peach scones myself. Or strawberry.

    ; )

  14. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 2:18 pm #

    I actually hadn’t thought of that–that Angel couldn’t really deal with his grief for fear of his anger letting loose his darker side. I assumed he sort of “shot his wad” where that was concerned in Forgiving and had moved from anger to a kind of immobilized sadness to a “gotta keep busy” numbness through DorN and The Price. But if Wesley had walked in, Angel very well may have gotten back in touch with the anger.

  15. ninerva July 23, 2005 at 3:07 pm #

    The Holtz/Angel dynamic was gut-wrenching, it was the very reason ME knew AtS would work, all that history. Angel was full of rage at Holtz for taking Connor, but knew that it was he that created Holtz’s thirst for vengence. With Holtz he lost the moral highground, all he had was the love for his Son. Yet by using Connor Holtz also lost any claim to justice. It’s all so wonderfully murky. There really isn’t a bad guy and a good guy in this scenario, it’s a very modern story in that respect.

  16. starryniteshade July 23, 2005 at 3:09 pm #

    I see the Angelus side of Angel(Liam), in part, as his anger personified. Anger towards, for example, his father. Angel that he’s unable to express in a non-destructive way. The destruction of Angelus feeds the anger, which becomes rage that is expressed in a power over others.

    A lot of people make a simple equation of sadism = worst evil imaginable. However, from a psychological viewpoint that’s hardly helpful. One has to ask why the sadism? Why the need to have power over others? In the case of Liam/Angelus/Angel it’s rage.

    In Forgiving we see anger expressed, but, again, only in a destructive way. True it’s not internalised and expressed as sadism; so that’s a step forward for Angel. But he has to move beyond that, which, in terms of Wesley, he eventually does in S4….and we’ll get to that as he finally deals with his Angelus side face-to-face in that season.

  17. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 3:18 pm #

    It’s all so wonderfully murky. There really isn’t a bad guy and a good guy in this scenario, it’s a very modern story in that respect.

    That about sums it up. Neither man loses sympathy, and yet both cross the line, ultimately, for reasons of love and personal self-loathing at their inability to protect those they love.

  18. ninerva July 23, 2005 at 3:27 pm #

    That about sums it up.

    Right then, that’s me done.

    *grin*

    (If only it was that easy):-)

  19. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 3:28 pm #

    Unfortunately, we don’t get a lot of face-to-face interaction between Angel and Angelus in “Orpheus”. I think if we had it probably would have veered on seriously lame. But done right, with Angel dealing with Angelus not as this demon interloper but as a part of his own psyche, it might have been interesting, it might have been a sign of growth for his character. There wasn’t time, though, in the season or the episode, and the writers have always been a bit black-and-white where Angel vs. Angelus are concerned.

  20. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 3:29 pm #

    Looking forward to your “Deep Down” thoughts!

  21. ninerva July 23, 2005 at 3:36 pm #

    That’s the crux of it isn’t it, where does Angelus end and Angel begin? I know you’re watching S2 at the moment, which implicitly raises this very question. Anger is a very human emotion, but how that anger expresses itself is very different from one person to the next. Anger, like pain, is an involuntary reaction, you can’t stop yourself feeling angry, any more than you can stop yourself feeling pain. Angel’s most natural way to express anger is through violence, always has been.

  22. ninerva July 23, 2005 at 3:39 pm #

    Looking forward to your thoughts on my thoughts (if that makes sense).

    All done and ready for tomorrow. Though if LadyH shows up I could put it up today I suppose, SNS seems to be around. Nah, I’ll wait.

  23. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 3:40 pm #

    Let’s digest the end of Season 3 a bit first!

  24. ninerva July 23, 2005 at 3:45 pm #

    Yeah, excellent reviews by the way, really helping. I think S4 should have started with ‘The Price’ anyway.

  25. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 4:03 pm #

    Nah. Then we would have missed the big finish between Angel and Holtz after he returned from Quortoth!

    Thanks, BTW. Your Season 4 marathon gave me the impetus I needed to finish my Season 3 reviews, which have been languishing ever since I got on this “write my own virtual seasons” fanfic thing.

  26. starryniteshade July 23, 2005 at 5:09 pm #

    SNS seems to be around

    Only seems to be….as in busy cleaning, sealing and painting the garage floor. [Now, why did we make it so damnably big…oh yeah, right…so I don’t take the mirrors off backing up.]

    Please wait.

    Could be tough as we have 2 sets of company around from mid last week until two weeks from now. Which makes it hard to get away.

    BTW: Just finished Reprise and Epiphany. Home Office = the world and evil is here because it’s in all of us. It doesn’t get better than that. I may do another NFA post or comment in Masq’s S2 review or both. But as always Holland Manners never directly lies. He only leaves out somethings. According to Dante this is still amounts to a lie.

  27. neshaffer July 23, 2005 at 5:15 pm #

    Home Office = the world and evil is here because it’s in all of us. It doesn’t get better than that.

    Amen. Genius.

  28. spacedoutlooney July 25, 2005 at 3:30 am #

    I’m loving your reviews!

    One final note before leaving this episode: am I the only one who thought Mistress Meerna was really hot?

    I never thought of her as hot, but she does totally rock. One of my favorite one-off characters in the ‘verse. Makes me want to see the actress play in something else. So cool to hear some one other than me make note of her too.

  29. neshaffer July 25, 2005 at 11:50 am #

    Thanks!

    Well, yes, “hot” in the sense of, “Wow, that woman rocks! And oooh…cleavage….”

  30. anomster July 26, 2005 at 5:06 am #

    not so sure it was just instinct

    “A couple of things which struck me about Connor were firstly his natural compassion for Sunny, he went to rescue her, a stranger in a strange world. I doubt that there were many damsels-in-distress back on Quortoth, so this must have been instinctual, which speaks well for the boy.”

    No, there probably weren’t, but I’m sure Holtz taught Connor all about fighting evil, which would involve explaining to him what evil was, which would involve explaining what innocent victims were & the importance of protecting them against said evil. Since Connor trashed the goons who were threatening Sunny, Holtz’s lessons must’ve gone beyond “human good, demon bad”; they may also have included some fairly traditional ideas about women, although Holtz himself seemed to get over those easily enough to give Justine & Aubrey leading positions in his organization. Between the inevitable questions Connor must’ve had about “Where did I come from?” & the strong feelings we know he has about family, I think it’s fair to say Holtz did tell him something about women. Must come across differently when the whole topic is theoretical, though. @>)

  31. neshaffer July 26, 2005 at 1:21 pm #

    Re: not so sure it was just instinct

    I don’t think he simply saved Sunny because she was a “damsel”–a woman. Holtz’s lessons about innocent victims would have included males as well, because his own son was an innocent victim and he saw Connor as an innocent victim and if Connor had come across a guy being victimized, he may well have stepped in, too.

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