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19 February 2005 @ 04:49 pm
Angel: Supersymmetry  
I don't know what to think of this episode. Things that are less bothersome to me this time around include the whole side trip to Connor/Cordelia, and I think that's in part because of the way canon and fandom can riff off each other--having recently been dipping into The Swimming Hole and MarySueverse stuff (ros_fod, and kita0610, and witling *are* dangerous crackwhores, it turns out), the canon sideline of C/C now has this poignant and endearing whitetrash vibe for me.

The A-plot, with Fred's professor, still resolves itself in an emotionally confusing way and fucks with my head. Fred goes wild when she learns that her professor sent her to Pylea and sent many other students through portals, and she intends to kill him, taking the view that he's a serial killer. (Nice. And of course true.) I like that Fred is righteously vengeful. Go, Fred. That she goes to Wes and uses him for her own ends pisses me off. On the other hand, he's willing to be used. Also, it's not clear what kind of overtures she made to him over the summer, which he apparently rejected. I'm dubious that she made a persuasive appeal, though, so all in all, I have to say: yes, Fred, you are a bitch. You and Gunn kicked Wes when he was down and took Angel's side and WTF was *up* with that?

But anyway. Angel and Gunn make try to make a case to Fred that vengeance will steal your soul, eat away at you. Do they entirely believe this? Or do they want to believe this will happen to Fred, because it validates their view of her as this gentle, essentially good-natured girl, which in turn validates their manliness?

I believe that *Gunn* believes his gesture--killing the professor after telling Fred not to--is entirely for Fred's sake. To me, she's demonstrating very clearly that she's not some pure little girl who needs to be kept on a pedestal--she's human, and can make her own choices, no matter how extreme. But it's not reasonable to expect Gunn to let her, because she *is* so emotional, and it's human instinct to keep people we care about from behaving rashly in case they do an about-face and regret it horribly later. Still, Gunn steals Fred's thunder by killing the prof, and he's going to make himself ostentatiously miserable and put her in the position of having to feel guilty rather than responsible.

This parallels "Dead Things" for me, and I can also see Spike doing the exact same thing for Buffy that Gunn does for Fred. I think he'd make it a more romantic gesture ("Look at me, saving you, my love!" would be the subtext, no matter how matter of factly he went about it), but he's a vampire, so that's par for the course. But it wouldn't be just romantic, but also kind of logical. Without a soul, he could be her sin-eater; he'd have no remorse, so it makes sense that he'd try to protect her, out of love and a desire to save her from the agonizing guilt of murder.

And so I've brought another episode irrelevantly back to Spike. Yay!
do you want orcs? because this is how you get orcs: RPSOTP4Evakita0610 on February 20th, 2005 01:00 am (UTC)
Eee! You're reading crackverse! I love my Jimmy, And right now, Fod is making an icon of a 14 yo Vincent Kartheiser that is so. so. very wrong. :D

kaydee23kaydee23 on February 20th, 2005 02:17 am (UTC)
I'll have to watch it again, but I took it that even though Fred went to him about it, in the end, she was horrified to know that her *Charles* could be a *cold-blooded* murderer, and she never got over it.

I talked to J August a tiny bit about what happened to his and Amy's character's love on Angel, and he said, "It was a bit abrupt, wasnt' it? Maybe they got rid of it earlier so they wouldn't have to deal with it in the mind wipe." I told him, "But your memory of it was still there after the mind wipe, although the memory of everything else wasn't there," and he said, "Yeah, Amy, Alex, and I talked about how confusing it was, but in the end, hey, we're just paid to show up and do the lines on the page. But, yeah, I bet it confused you guys."

We had this conversation at Vulkon/Tampa last year at the banquet. My roommate had bid on him to sit at our table. He and I ended up pissing everyone else off because after that conversation, we talked about books and favorite authors and sat there writing out lists to each other. Hee. We pretty much talked to each other all through the banquet.

auroramama on February 20th, 2005 11:55 am (UTC)
even though Fred went to him about it, in the end, she was horrified to know that her *Charles* could be a *cold-blooded* murderer, and she never got over it.

On the page, it sounds very neat: he couldn't deal with her real darkness, and his comeuppance was that she couldn't deal with his. But the way it played out, I wasn't sure whether it was the murder itself or the fact that he took the responsibility for her sake, leaving her with guilt and helplessness both.
kaydee23kaydee23 on February 20th, 2005 03:59 pm (UTC)
I think the writers were already thinking to season 5 when they'd get Fred and Wesley together, and they decided, "Huh, guess we need to break them up."

I didn't tell J this, but I was very glad when his character broke up with Fred. Not because I necessarily wanted Fred with Wesley either. I thought Gunn and Fred were too mushy. Way too mush.

auroramama on February 20th, 2005 11:51 am (UTC)
Spike? Irrelevant? Huh? Well, not in this case, anyway, because that was (I think) your point: Fred was saying that she was equal to her coworkers, a flawed, dangerous, powerful being with a working conscience *and* a set of inner demons, able to make moral choices both right and wrong. Gunn's actions (and words, pretty much)said, "No, you're innocent and precious and must be protected from darkness, even your own, by people like me."

Whereas Spike in "Dead Things" was in a different moral state of being from Buffy, and Giles in "The Gift", while sharing Buffy's moral status, was taking an action that she had explicitly, repeatedly rejected.