?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
21 February 2005 @ 02:55 pm
Angel, mid-season four  
So, I've watched "Habeas Corpses" through "Release" and my thoughts are random.

I was wrong about Gunn--he doesn't make a big show of his guilt over killing the professor as I'd remembered. We get one shot of him and Fred lying side by side in bed, separately angsting, but after that it's like it never happened--at least in how he behaves. The issue is used to explain the increasing distance between him and Fred, but I don't really *see* it--there are plenty of times when they're glomming on each other and when they're not, the air between them isn't so much charged as neutral. And then of course the primary issue becomes Wesley, I think, and not the murder.

In "Habeus Corpses" I'd forgotten that the slaughter is so much like Resident Evil, with the dead coming back as zombies. Ha.

I'd also forgotten that Gwen returns for "Long Day's Journey" with her cool superhero pad and panic room. She's there, I blink, and she's gone again--to Tahiti, presumably. And it's in this ep that we have the first real sign that there's someone on the inside, sabotaging their fight against The Beast--Cordelia and/or Angelus, as summoned by the Big Evil. I'm baffled by Cordy--I'm watching this all again, and I still can't figure out when she goes completely out of whack. Is it early, or was she just being sapped subconsciously to perform bad deeds by the Big Evil? Was she taken over just before killing Lilah, or was she manipulating events before that? We know that her sleeping with Connor was part of the plan, but did *she* know that at the time?

Maybe all this is explained later in the big exposition scene where everyone learns that events of the last several seasons were machinations within a vast plot to bring about the reign of Jasmine. I can't remember.

But all through this season, Cordy, man--it's hard to watch her. She's so lacking in pep. Does she have any vital signs at all? She's Pod Cordy, always playing it calm and reasonable, always taking elaborate, queenlike care with her movements as she seats herself and prepares to deliver her little speeches. Always completely devoid of facial expression. This suggests she underwent her radical personality change way, way back, right after returning from the ethereal plane. Hmm.

Angelus is fun, sometimes a little too fun. They certainly try to build him up as the evil genius, don't they? It's like when you tell people, "This is the greatest! movie! ever!" It's hard for the movie to live up to the hype. I don't get how Lorne misread his aura--"Yay, his soul is back! Oh, wait...oops." His failure to get an evil vibe off Cordy is more plausible; the part of his brain which read her earlier and got sucked out might account for a blind spot there.

Connor is consistently great throughout this. I love him more the second time around. And when he faces off with Angelus for the first time ("Is that my shirt?" "Not anymore.") he is so frickin awesome! VK's line reads kill me. A bitter, sulky teen with sociopathic tendencies, who kicks demon ass but gets all protective and soft and vulnerable over women--he's Spike! Teen Spike.

I liked "Awakening" better second time around too. Knowing what was coming, I could appreciate the cleverness more; the story within a story, and what it tells us about Angel's character.

In "Soulless" Gunn finds the priestesses in the phone book. That was cute, but it also annoyed me. It's like they had to prove that he was useful not just as muscle but as brains, but it was so implausible. The show is always doing stuff like that though, as is BtVS, so I probably shouldn't find it so eye-rollingly intrusive.

I liked watching Faith--for the most part. In the early scenes of "Release" she reminded me uncannily of Buffy, even down to a physical resemblance, and the way she reacted emotionally, like in the shower scene, also resonated Buffyishly for me. Later, her tough-girl act started to pall. I don't know why I can't sustain an interest in her. I did like Connor's fascination with her; his puppyish smiles and submission to her smack-down. Hee.

Angel as "rock star" to the demon community...yeah, okay. Whatever. I noticed that the writers were very careful not to give him an obviously high body count. If he did a lot of feeding, they kept it offscreen. Instead we saw him (a) fail to find someone to eat on the streets of L.A., (b) kill another vampire, (c) feed off Lilah, who was already dead or pretty much so, and (d) torture a bookseller, but not kill him.

I keep finding Lorne incredibly well-dressed, fun, and handsome throughout all these eps. And he drinks a lot of sea breezes too. Given the events, you'd think the others would be drinking heavily alongside him. Instead, they punch each other and have apocalyptic sex. Yay!

I go now.
 
 
 
JustHuman: nolimits-sluggirljusthuman on February 21st, 2005 11:18 pm (UTC)
On Cordy, the ME wank that will come when Jasmine arrives is that Jasmine was in Cordy from the time that she came back from the Ethereal plane. In the beginning, Cordy/Jasmine had amnesia from the trip back down into the lower planes (which doesn't play out 100% with her immediate latching onto Connor). After Spin the Bottle, Jasmine is in control, using Cordy's memories to manipulate directly.

Most viewers noticed the changes after Birthday, where she was made part demon. According to the Jasmine story, this was Cordy mostly acting on her own but being swayed by Skip and whatever "good vibes" they injected her with. I could be wrong, but I think Cordy only had two visions after Birthday -- Fred in danger during Dad and then the final vision of herself ascending, which probably can be directly blamed on Jasmine influencing from the outside.

Of course, what it looked like to many of us was that David Greenwalt was on some kind of crack and they needed to recover from the blown set-up of Angel/Cordy that the viewers weren't completely buying. Add to that negotiation problems with CC and that she walked into the set at the beginning of S4 and announced she was pregnant -- ME had to do some story shuffling.

Overall though, I think they did a decent job of explaining the crack that went before. The Cordy issues fade right away as soon as she goes into a coma. I still miss S1 & S2 Cordy *sigh*
Melycoffeeandink on February 21st, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)
I don't get how Lorne misread his aura--"Yay, his soul is back! Oh, wait...oops."

The spell they performed was given to them by Cordy; she claimed it was a spell to bring back Angel's soul, but it was a spell to create the appearance of a soul to fool Lorne instead. The demon Connor and Gunn were sent after was called a "soul eater," which fits in nicely with the spell imitating the presence of a soul.

I liked that they didn't feel the need to spell it out, but so many people have missed it that I've had to reconsider.
witlingwitling on February 21st, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
Mmmmmm. Watching these eps chez Jolieling, too. But not as far along as you are, so my response comments will peter out...

Interesting theory about Cordy's possession by The Big Evil. I've been seeing these eps (up to, um...whichever one it is where they try to make Angelus come back the first time, with the Asian warlock dude) as horrible, awfully retconned. They didn't know what to do about CC's pregnancy, they weren't sure where the story was headed, Joss was off making Firefly... There are so many shots where Cordelia says things to herself, or wears private expressions, that make no sense at all from the Big Evil point of view. It maketh me crazy. But I might be able to subdue the crazy a bit if I convince myself that she's dual-brained, here. That she's a tool of TBE without knowing it, at some moments, while at other moments (beginning with Long Day's Journey...) she's consciously acting evil. But that seems a lot like ME having its cake and eating it too. Personally, I think it's just crap narrative.

Connor is by far the best thing about this season, for me. I'm surprised at how I've come around on him...I hated him at first. Well, I haven't gone back to re-watch the eps where he first comes back from the Quartoth, all Mari Martin in his Peter Pan outfit. That might still suck. But yeah, he's sulky and teenaged and he reminds me most of all, actually, of Dawn. They love bratty teenagers on that show, now that their protagonists are older. It's an interesting phenomenon, the way Buffy and co. were portrayed as more adult and self-contained from the beginning, even though they were supposed to be sixteen when things started rolling, too. The second generation of teens on that show--Connor and Dawn, basically--weren't as close to viewers' hearts, adn didn't have to carry the storyline, so they had leeway to be a little more realistic and irritating.

::hearts Irritating!Connor::

We had an ep on yesterday, the one where Angel says to Connor, "It's up to you to take care of them. That may mean you need to kill me." And Connor's all, "Okay," tromping up the stairs. The Connorlove was large in me at that point. Heeeeeeeeee.

I know I'm alone in this, but Dark!Wes makes me laugh.

Anna S.eliade on February 21st, 2005 11:39 pm (UTC)
We had an ep on yesterday, the one where Angel says to Connor, "It's up to you to take care of them. That may mean you need to kill me." And Connor's all, "Okay," tromping up the stairs. The Connorlove was large in me at that point. Heeeeeeeeee.

Yessssss! (Possibly more coherent responses from me later. ;>)
daddy's not done talking: ats::fingers at the throatros_fod on February 21st, 2005 11:56 pm (UTC)
where he first comes back from the Quartoth, all Mari Martin in his Peter Pan outfit. That might still suck.

Aw, god. It doesn't suck. It's soooo good. The first time he and Angel face off, Angel sniffs, What do you know about vampires? and Connor tilts his head and slits his eyes and looks Angel up and down with utter comtempt and he bites out, Decapitation. Stake in the heart. Daylight. Fire - did I forget anything?

And he's filthy and he's been cutting his own hair with like, a knife he made by himself or something and eeeeeeeee.

*falls in love all over again*
witlingwitling on February 22nd, 2005 12:04 am (UTC)
He's a dirty, dark kid with flat eyes and a chip on his shoulder. He hates everyone, including himself. He's been killing since he could stand up, usually with his bare hands. He's lost the only father he ever knew, the only world he knew how to live in. He knows he's not going to make it very far, but he doesn't give a fuck. He's going to take as many of the bad guys with him as he can.

I don't know what you see in him, frankly.


I feel like I should close that off with: "She's a gay actuary with a taste for the better things in life. Together, they fight crime!"
do you want orcs? because this is how you get orcs: RPSOTP4Evakita0610 on February 22nd, 2005 03:53 am (UTC)
Sooper Sekrit note to Witling & Anna:

Plz rite Connor/Spike Kthxbi.
Trepkostrepkos on February 22nd, 2005 01:31 am (UTC)
"Personally, I think it's just crap narrative."

It had to be said.
I'm glad someone else thinks so too.
daddy's not done talking: ats::juniorros_fod on February 21st, 2005 11:40 pm (UTC)
Connor is consistently great throughout this. I love him more the second time around. And when he faces off with Angelus for the first time ("Is that my shirt?" "Not anymore.") he is so frickin awesome! VK's line reads kill me. A bitter, sulky teen with sociopathic tendencies, who kicks demon ass but gets all protective and soft and vulnerable over women--he's Spike! Teen Spike.

Yesssssss. And his Angel's just something you're forced to wear...you're my real father, - gah, that just guts me every time.

He *is* teen!Spike. Fiercely loyal and reactionary and he pretends to be all detached and uncaring while his heartbreak eats him from the inside out.

Which is why I often come to the conclusion that there's no prolonged story to tell there, between the two of them. Hijinks, sure, and peas-in-a-pod revelations, yeah. But it's like...there's no yin and yang - they're too similar.

And then other times I imagine Spike as the more tolerant of the pair, the only guy who understands where Connor's coming from, trying to crawl out from underneath the shadow of Angel's Destiny with a capital D.

Mostly, though, I fall back on Spike metaphorically holding Connor at arm's length, palm flat on Connor's forehead while Connor punches the air in front of Spike's chest in this ridiculously inefficient manner and Spike's saying, smooth as you please, "Stop that. You're going to hurt yourself."

Heeeeee. I babble.
witlingwitling on February 22nd, 2005 12:05 am (UTC)
Spike metaphorically holding Connor at arm's length, palm flat on Connor's forehead while Connor punches the air in front of Spike's chest in this ridiculously inefficient manner and Spike's saying, smooth as you please, "Stop that. You're going to hurt yourself."


Please write this.

::loves::
J.J.jjtaylor on February 22nd, 2005 12:35 am (UTC)
Maybe all this is explained later in the big exposition scene where everyone learns that events of the last several seasons were machinations within a vast plot to bring about the reign of Jasmine. I can't remember.

From what I remember, I think it's explained, but I still think it doesn't make any sense.
shadowscastshadowscast on February 22nd, 2005 03:37 am (UTC)
No time to post anything smart, but I wanted to let you know I read this and enjoyed your take on it all.
Dittostretfordditto on February 22nd, 2005 03:34 pm (UTC)
The bit where Cordy and them are stood in the lobby of the Hyperion and Cordy thinks she's missed prom, I winced on hearing here whine "I missed Prom!" and then realised it wasn't Cordy and hadn't been her since she came back from being the Sun to the A-Team's 'Telly-Tubbies.' ;) At first I just thought it was incredibly bad acting but then realised that couldn't be, not from Charisma Carpenter. Jasmine made my toes curl with loathing. Of course I realise it's just a TV show....