"Ground State" is a strange episode. It's like...filler, but not. The point of the episode was to get the glowy artifact so that they had a way to find Cordelia, but they could have spent much less time on that and focused much more of the episode on the main characters instead of Gwen. I mean, WTF was up with the whole "Angel's beating heart!" stuff, and the kiss? It's also strange how "The House Always Wins" follows this up, with Angel utterly blithe as he offers his anecdotes of Vegas. It makes me think: well, dude, if you're going to be that casual so soon after your failure to find Cordy, why don't we just scratch "Ground State" off the menu entirely? I mean, do we have to have an entire episode based around an attempt to find Cordelia if he's going to blow it off so easily an ep later? Why not go straight to the Vegas ep, with the idea that finding Lorne first might help them better prep for the Cordelia search, and then they could come back and find out that she's already there?
I don't know if I'm making sense, but it's a lame sort of follow-up to the great season opener.
I'm watching "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" now, just a few minutes in. I don't remember anything about it, really.
Vampires with an opportunistic tow-truck business. Ha.