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03 March 2005 @ 10:56 pm
Angel: Conviction  

Finally finished watching the episode. Miscellaneous observation #1: I. Hate. Those. Credits.

Angel. The episode starts off on the wrong foot with me, because I find the Poor Little Hero routine a drag--unless it's Buffy. She owns her angst, most days. But Angel as the all-powerful metrosexual leader who can't catch a break? My heart bleeds. And his jacket is too tight. And somewhere in the middle there he's wearing a see-through shirt...okay, I'm actually ambivalent about the shirt. Overall, on looks: B+, maybe A-. He's grown into his oxlike bulk and charm. If you can ignore the aging factor in a supposedly immortal vampire, he's holding up well. DB's stunt double in the school fight scenes sucked, though. Hmm. What else. Good hair. And on less superficial notes, he brooded nicely about Connor, and shot back crisp pissy lines at Eve, which was cool.

Eve. Sucks.

Knox is still adorable. ("Oh, okay--he was fired. Oh, no, I'm sorry. He was *set* on fire.") Geek love!

Fred. Loved her angry leadership in the lab when trying to whip up greater efforts in finding a solution to the virus. It see-sawed well off her initial fumbles as head of R&D--mostly as reflected in how she answered her phone.

Wes. He was there. He had lines. Yep.

Gunn. I loved the lab scene when he was getting his brain zapped--all those classic B-movie trappings; the skullcap and wired chair and the mad doctor. I think they shot it with Dutch angles too. So cool. His sudden transformation bothered me less the second time around. I'll have to see how his arc pans out, as I don't remember much. But it was a cool plot device. And in explaining it, Eve told the others that he had the most untapped potential, which...I guess doesn't annoy me, as it's certainly true, character-wise if nothing else. (I mean, on a meta-level, as opposed to playing "The universe is real.") I liked his hair. The diving-save scene in the courtroom was facile as plot manipulations go, but whatever.

Actually, when I say facile...I mean that the scene, like other bits in the episode, had a kind of comic-book flair. The initial scene with Angel swooping across the rooftops; his fleet of batmobiles; Gunn's fantastic brain zappage; the villain who played foil to Angel--an extreme caricature with the most evil "bomb" imaginable, which would destroy the city, etc. Not to mention Spike popping out of the amulet at the end.

Harmony. No one seemed to notice that she totally saved the day--Gunn won the battle on the legal front, but she saved the kid. She told Angel about the special ops team, and then about the helicopter. And she got no props! Poor Harm. She was cute.

Special Ops Guy. He was offered up as such a Riley, wasn't he? I mean, Riley as viewed through the darkest lens of Angel Vision. Angel finally got a chance to kill Riley here, by proxy: the special ops asshole who believes in human racial purity the purity of evil. Again, just imagining this through Angel POV. I bet he went to bed that night and dreamed of besting Riley in a manly fist-fight and then triumphantly nailing Buffy in a dark alley.

Lorne. He was there. He had lines...eh.

Cordy. She wasn't there. There were lines about her. Two, I think.

Spike. Not much Spike. He was just an elaborate yell at the end. Aside from the credits, of course, of which we will never speak again.

On the general level, of, what the fuck are they all doing at W&H, I'm kind of clueless. As I'm unspoiled for most of S5, I still have no idea how far the memory erasure extends (don't tell me!) and so I don't really grok yet what the relationships are between Fred, Wes, Gunn, etc. And they're kind of wanly "meh" in their embrace of the new order. Fred sums it up at the end: "Is this gonna be our lives now? Fighting our own employees, our own clients? Are we really gonna do any good?" And I have no idea. It's all still a mystery to me. Angel seems to be buying it, though: "Yes, we are. We're gonna change things. We came to Wolfram and Hart because it's a powerful weapon, and we'll figure out how to wield it." I think he's still jazzed from killing Riley. And possibly he's had a premonition that he'll be having sex with Spike soon.
Trepkostrepkos on March 4th, 2005 07:56 am (UTC)
You said "grok"!
Anna S.eliade on March 4th, 2005 07:33 pm (UTC)
Harlan Ellison was my juvie mentor. I think I picked it up from him. :)
yonmei on March 4th, 2005 08:54 am (UTC)
I really, really need to watch the season, yes.

And it's entirely my fault I haven't up till now.

But, um, do you think you could lj-cut other episode reviews? Not that they're not fascinating, and readable, and fun, and not that you've actually spoiled me for much since I knew the big stuff already... apart from Harmony, and I don't think she's big stuff... but um.
Anna S.eliade on March 4th, 2005 04:05 pm (UTC)
Ooops! Yes, I totally can & will. :>) I shouldn't have assumed that everyone in the world had seen the season but me. Heh.
Anna S.: spike_femmeeliade on March 4th, 2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
(I wanted to apologize again btw--I hate spoiling people! I've cut-tagged this post as well.)
Shapinglightshapinglight on March 4th, 2005 10:12 am (UTC)
That see-through shirt made me laugh. It's very Bollywood. They didn't succeed in making DB look good, I feel, which is strange, 'cos he looks luverly in the publicity shots he had done before the Halloween Con last year - a good five years younger.

Same is true of JM of course. Think something went wrong with the lighting in season 5.
Trepkostrepkos on March 4th, 2005 01:35 pm (UTC)
I heard DB was carrying an injury (knee, possibly) hence he wasn't fully fit for some of the season.
Shapinglightshapinglight on March 4th, 2005 01:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's true. He actually had an operation on it mid-season, and you can see him limping a bit in Damage/i>.

I also remember JM saying that DB was doing the same thing he did after BtVS season 6, which was to stop working out so much, so that he wouldn't be made to take his shirt off all the time on the show.
Trepkostrepkos on March 4th, 2005 05:41 pm (UTC)
Can't blame them - they were getting abused something rotten, especially JM.
Ennameenname on March 5th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC)
*snort* not that it did James all that much good for at least once there.
Pamgoosegirl9 on March 4th, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
"As I'm unspoiled for most of S5..." Wow. How? You must be one dedicated skipper of journal entries.

I liked the season in hindsight.
Anna S.: scary_girleliade on March 4th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
"As I'm unspoiled for most of S5..." Wow. How? You must be one dedicated skipper of journal entries.

I know the vague shape of things; there's no way I could avoid that. But I've tried hard to avoid peering beneath the sheets. :)
(Deleted comment)
Anna S.: seattleeliade on March 4th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
sex with Spike is not entirely out of the question. What? ::look around:: that's not spoilage!

Oh yeah, baby. There's no way I could've avoided hearing about *that* when the news broke last year. *g*
ex_dovil323 on March 5th, 2005 12:35 am (UTC)
Eve. Sucks.

Best Eve character analysis ever.
Anna S.eliade on March 5th, 2005 12:42 am (UTC)
After posting this, just before turning in for bed, I briefly entertained the notion of writing an Eve story--because I am perverse that way, and also like to sanity-check myself on my knee-jerk reactions--and within about 30 seconds it had dwindled to basically this:

Even when Eve was a little girl, no one liked her. She was the smug one in third grade with the shiny perfect hair who knew all the answers and wrapped grown-up men around her twirly little finger. Then she grew up. Except not so much. The End
ex_dovil323 on March 5th, 2005 12:51 am (UTC)
Bwah ha ha! And you know she went behind her classmates backs and ran to the teachers and told on them and was all narrowed eyes and smirking. I probably would have even like the character, I'm a buffyverse equal opportunity character liker for the most part, but the actress just can't act. Except her eyebrows, they emote more than the rest of her combined. I'm surprised they don't leap off her face at some point and to do a monologue and jazz routine.

Oh, look at me with the bitchiness. Terrrible.
Anna S.eliade on March 5th, 2005 01:46 am (UTC)
Agreed--it's not at all about the character's *charactger*. It's about how well they sell it, the amount of charisma they have. The Mayor--Snyder--they were awesome characters. :)
Anna S.eliade on March 5th, 2005 02:07 am (UTC)
Agreed--it's not at all about the character's *charactger*.

Um. *Character*. Sheesh.