But last night took the cake. First, spreadsheets. Then, hairy spiders and a white millipede the size of a dachshund that I chopped into wriggling bits. (This actually caused me to wake myself up and turn on the lamp for a few hours of broken sleep.) Finally, the worst dream of all: as I'm sitting in my cubicle at work, I feel a presence at my left shoulder. When I look over, this blonde bint is pulling a chair up to my desk and wedging herself in between me and the window--a space of about two feet. With a stunning display of audacity, she starts rearranging the things on my desk. Yanks a lamp from its place with a cheerful, infuriating smile and says, "Do you mind if we use this one?" Replacing it with her own. As the dream unfolds, I discover that this is my manager's daughter, that she's going to share my cubicle for an indeterminate length of time, and that she's assigned to watch everything I do because there's a mole in the company. My Internet use suggests that I'm the mole, or that something I'm doing is facilitating electronic espionage. I spend maddening minutes of dream time on speakerphone with my manager trying to get to the bottom of this insanity. (Me, in a fit of rage: "It's like you're *trying* to get me to quit! Is that what you're trying to do?") Meanwhile, the annoying girl assigned to watch me has plastered posters up over my whiteboard and filled my cubicle with tchotchkes. Though I'm supposed to start work, I flee the building to get an iced tea and end up waiting fifteen minutes for it because the morons in the burger joint keep fumbling the order.
By comparison with this surreal trial of my patience and nerves, the day ahead, filled with war and work, looks rather pleasant.
I wasn't as excited by the episode as many people were. In fact I seem to be rather critical in my comments below, so flee now if you want your buzz unharshed. thebratqueen had a few points in her review that made sense to me. Like, "Mandy does not need a backstory." And a valid gripe about the repetition of jokes. TBQ also posted a link to an essay of hers on how to write humor, which was pretty cool, and if you click through you can also reach Learn Something, which has more fannish articles.
Anyway. Angel. It's funny, but overnight, a lot of detail has dissipated. I don't think I was keenly attuned to the episode's nuances to begin with. I thought that Willow's visit was kind of odd and unsatisfying, maybe because I couldn't determine the status of her relationship with everyone. I thought it was an amusing nod to fanon that she and Fred were in contact, but I couldn't tell if this was a one-off, or if they exchanged e-mail and calls regularly. How well did they know each other? Was this the first time they'd met? Willow's remark toward the end--"I'm sorry. I'm seeing someone."--kind of implies that this was the first time they'd interacted. But on the other hand, their chatter at the beginning suggests that they've got some common ground, perhaps established by previous communications. That Fred knew to contact Willow--and *how* to contact Willow--is itself significant.
On that note, I know I'm not the only one who wonders why they haven't contacted the Sunnydale people before now when crises have arisen. Granted, the return of Angelus is a major event. But then so is the apocalyptic reign of fire and darkness descending over the entire Los Angeles area, you know? So the fact that Willow and Wes were clearly meeting for the first time in four years is more than a bit problematic for me, not the least because it invalidates so much fan-fiction crossover potential for that period of time. Also, that comment about how Willow had come a long way--phffffttt. It's a two-hour drive, people. That was a tiny, lame attempt, I think, to shore up explanations for why the L.A. gang and the Sunnydale gang never get together and help each other. There really is no good explanation, except for Buffy's and Angel's estrangement, and you'd think that over the years, as problems arose, you'd have had exchanges between groups--Giles and Wesley, Xander and Cordelia, Willow and Fred, et cetera.
I liked Willow and Fred being brainy and hyper together. Willow's interactions with the others didn't make a big impact on me; I should probably rewatch the ep with closer attention, though I don't imagine I will anytime soon. Everything else was just eh. Cordy/Connor was creepy and not too compelling. The point of the dream sequence was incomprehensible to me. The fact that it stemmed from a fairly lame plot device--the mystical Orpheus drug--didn't help. I mean, I really can't believe the episode started with that dumbass retcon of last week's fight. That was sad. I didn't appreciate it. We hit the end of the teaser, and instead of taking Faith in victory, Angelus has gone down. And then Faith's in a coma. Whatever. Bookending this anticlimactic lameness was the Faith/Connor fight, abruptly halted by Angel's return--in fact, *Angel's return* was a big yawn. All of a sudden the Vanilla Vamp is back in the saddle, and we have no real reactions from anyone. It's just like, "Hey, Angel."
I hope that they plan to show further repercussions of Angelus's visit over the course of the season. I realize that the Angelus/Angel fight in the dream sequence stood in for having Angelus resurface to consciousness and come into real conflict with anyone else. And okay, that's actually somewhat clever, as we get a chance to see Angel and Angelus at odds, a physical manifestation of an otherwise internal struggle. But the dream sequence, with its flashbacks and bad wiggage, didn't cohere for me, especially as a vehicle for Faith's arc. Again, I should probably rewatch, as I'm sure it's partly my own issue as a viewer.
Connor. Androgynous. Heh.
Jeez, I really can't remember much more than that--that's so sad. Most of last night was erased by dreams of spiders and spreadsheets.
And now to work.