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Sacrifice
Season 4, Episode 20

Why did Angel beat the crap out of Connor if he wasn’t going to take the boy with him?  When the attack first happened I thought he was trying to knock him out in order to take him with them, try to ‘cure’ him away from Jasmine.  My thought was strengthened when Angel threw Connor out the window.  In the end, Angel left him, lying on the ground bleeding.  Why?  It makes no sense.  We see just how much influence Jasmine has on the world as the radio states that the Catholic Church removed all false idols and replaced them with “she who walks among us.”  Her ‘love’ has reached religions that are strict in their ways so now even those that pledged their love to another God are unable to see through the haze.  Oh look, more naked people and I hope the reason for that is because Jasmine can’t consume clothes, and not just some kink of hers.  :-)  She obviously still needs more energy (and keeps taking more and more followers at one time now) but will she always need this consumption of energy?  The image of her healing Connor was great, I loved that she passed her hand over him and the blood and injuries disappeared.

The gang is getting chased and beat and Lorne wants snacks.  :D  The levity is needed as the creepy factor increased with Jasmine’s voice coming from everyone’s mouth, it was icky.  Hard ass Angel is leading the way.  Angel is focused and nothing (not the idea of leaving Cordy behind or what he did to Connor) is going to change that.  However I think he’s a little too focused.  They are all having a bad time of it, but Angel is almost ‘mean’ (reminiscent of when he fired everyone and set fire to Darla and Drusilla.)

Another weird/gross factor was that Jasmine mentioned being alone with her mother, not to mention the instances that she called Connor ‘father’ –  the reality of the situation is brought home.  Now Cordy is missing and Jasmine answers: “she’s where I want her to be” – I assume she didn’t mean ‘consumed’ and just hidden away somewhere.  Jasmine made a mistake though in moving Cordelia and not telling Connor her whereabouts, he has a blind allegiance to her, more so than anyone else, so I think it may come back and bite Jasmine on the ass.  She seems disappointed that Connor hasn’t ‘loved’ her completely, that “To truly belong, you have to surrender completely.”  Connor is an emotional young man, feels things completely; he kept that from Jasmine, but now she wants it.  She wants all of him (I’ll try and overlook the innuendo – just ewww), including his pain: “The one thing that has never abandoned you.”  I think when Jasmine consumes people she wants their emotional energy, not necessarily their physical body, and the stronger the emotions the more Jasmine thrives – hence her desire for Connor to surrender his pain, something that was basically bred into him as a child by Holtz.

Wesley is taken by a big creepy thing that “loved her first.”  This monster is spider and crab-like and his speech pattern is unique.  He tells Wesley that ‘she’ is the devourer and he (the skittering creatures) show their love by sacrifice.  Blood sacrifice it seems as we were shown hints of the mural/art on the wall made of flesh, blood and bodies; he’s building a temple.  As Wesley continues to manipulate him into divulging information, we know that blood magic is something ‘she’ will hear, that her name will harm her, or have power over her (hence why Jasmine insisted someone name her) and only the High Priest knows ‘her’ name.

Ooooh finally, Gunn and Fred talk about the murder of her Professor and their actions afterward; no real resolution but some comments about their feelings.  Fred would rather be eaten up inside by regret than be an empty shell like Angel.  Angel’s actions and attitude have not gone unnoticed, but I thought it was harsh of Fred to say that he was empty.  Angel is a person that pushes down all his emotions as he deals with a problem at hand, I know she wasn’t around for the Darla and Dru fiasco, but Angel doesn’t deal with strong emotions well.  He buries them, they kick his ass and then he deals and moves on.  What bothered me is how shocked Fred was when Gunn knocked out Matthew in order to take him back underground.  It also bothered me that Gunn wanted Fred to help him carry the boy.  Gunn is big enough that he could’ve done it himself, it just seemed to prolong the agony of Fred’s discomfort, (something that shows she doesn’t like the man Gunn has become) especially when they returned to the sewers and Gunn had Matthew in his arms.

There was a small problem in regards to the consistency of Jasmine’s reach/powers.  The young people underground were not within Jasmine’s thrall because there was no radio or TV’s close to reach them (this was assumed).  How is it that Jasmine was able to manipulate them once Matthew woke up?  Is Jasmine strong enough that all she needs is one follower to be present within a group of non-believers and she can control them all?

Another little nitpicking thing I have is that when Angel is injured his reaction varies greatly.  The man was running with a hole in his stomach after the skittering creature poked him with his claw – I think a little more pain and discomfort was warranted.  I loved the way Wesley thought out the puzzle to the doorway to the other dimension (pacing and thinking out loud) and that he told Angel that only he could go.  Possibly Lorne could have gone, but I don’t think Lorne would have been too effective.  The shot of Angel looking back as the four of them tried to hold the door shut was painful; Angel didn’t want to leave them to deal with things themselves, but Wesley gave him no other choice.

The image of Jasmine being hurt and immediately healing herself showed just how powerful she had become.  It was also a less disturbing way to show the ‘good’ guys killing the ‘children’ from the sewers and anyone else that attacked them.  While Angel is a strong man, he is not the quickest thinker.  I just hope that he thinks before opening his mouth in a place where the entire dimension worships Jasmine because brute force isn’t going to work.

 

Magic Bullet
Season 4, Episode 19

The show opens with the goodie goodie song “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys, and with tongue firmly planted in cheek we are greeted with bright shining and smiling blondes to give you the impression of a near Utopian society (courtesy of the book store guy) which is filled with shiny, happy people.  You wonder if L.A. was taken over by pod people.  However, reality sinks in as Fred runs into a car as she tries to outrun Gunn and Wesley, which is wrong in many ways.  She retreats to the sewers, which, considering how often Angel and Company goes down there you would have thought that Wes and Gunn would have had the same idea.  And did you ever notice how nice the sewers are in L.A.?

Lorne is the best to meet and greet all the followers wishing to see Jasmine, he is friendly, personable, and evidently his heart is in his ass.  This information is new, and may border on TMI, however, the idea that his heart could possibly be in his ass, is funny.  A little odd but still funny.  Gunn shows his true feelings regarding Fred when he retorts, “maybe she has a history of doing that” when they ponder out loud how Fred could have rejected the pure love that Jasmine is offering.  Gunn and Fred haven’t really had time to discuss their break-up so there’s bound to be some resentment between the two of them.

Jasmine singles out which followers to worship her in private, which can only mean a bad end for them.  Gunn and Wesley want some private time also; I suppose their doing her every whim can get a little boring or overwhelming.  Or just boring.

When you’re questioning everything go with what is familiar and Fred does, she turns to books for answers.  The book store owner is a tad stereotypical, I can’t help but think of “The X-Files” characters the Lone Gunmen, after seeing his alien head t-shirt, plus he is what some people would describe as: geeky. 

Connor is not a normal teenager, we know this, but the horror of his childhood is something that hasn’t been examined closely.  In order to teach Connor how to track, he says that Holtz tied him to a tree and ran away in a sick perverted game of hide and seek.  He is naïve and young in his thinking, which is never so apparent in his blindness where Cordelia is concerned and his unresolved hatred of his father and what he is, or what he think he is or could be.  (Note: Connor’s vocal admission of knowing Streisand was really cute and surprising.)

Jasmine is single-minded in her desire to find Fred.  She admits that she isn’t strong enough to do it alone, so she gathers the gang in her room for some help.  We find out that Jasmine not only effects their actions by putting them all under her spell (for lack of a better description) but she can see ‘into’ their minds and ‘project’ her own thoughts onto them, calling them to her room all without moving.  This connection allows Jasmine to ‘see’ through them, or any follower that believes in her love.  It allows her to find Fred.  Jasmine confronts Fred using a follower’s body, without any regard for their safety and the follower dies in a fiery car crash while Jasmine receives burns on her hands. 

“No one will have to feel lonely again” - Jasmine says this is a bonus for loving her.  Physical loneliness, emotional loneliness?  Since she can ‘see’ and ‘hear’ into her follower’s minds she may just mean exactly what she said.  She will be with everyone, all the time.  It makes those that ‘lose’ her love lonely, as though they have lost something.  Fred and Angel moan about the emptiness that they feel once their eyes are uncovered.

Fred obviously started channeling the part of herself that tazered Connor as he was tied to a chair.  She has finally picked up some fighting moves after working for Angel Investigations for over a year, and that’s good, it was time for her to come into her own a little more.  The small demon was cute, with his little bladder and all.  He coined a phrase: Jasmanics, it’s catchy.  :-)

The testimonials at “Fellowship Hall” were amusing but the deaf women was the best since we had to read her dialog, which was a unique way for her to basically say the same thing as many others, but it seemed funny since we had to read it.  The duet between Connor and Angel was perfect as the chosen song: “Mandy” and altering some of the lyrics (i.e.: “You came and you gave without taking”).  They were adorable, however I’m a sucker for guys singing.

The showdown in the bookstore gave us just a little bit more information, that Jasmine’s blood can un-infect those enthralled with her love.  Fred is a smart girl, the use of the gun was great since it took the problem of close proximity away.  Angel, after being hit with a bullet covered in Jasmine’s blood, can see the real Jasmine.  We also learn that Jasmine is resilient and can be shot four times and not be crippled.  With the loss of Angel she no longer has the patience to calmly search, and wants to “eradicate their hate.”  Jasmine and Connor return to the hotel in order to heal herself, but she needs energy.  She requests that more followers visit her privately.  She puts Connor outside the door so she is ensured privacy, meanwhile inside the followers strip and go to her.  After a few moments Jasmine enters the hall, glowing, and Connor asks the whereabouts of the people to which she responds: “I ate them”.  His remark of ‘cool’ was not what would have come to most people’s minds.  So she absorbs them into her body for energy - I think.

Angel comes up with the idea that since Cordelia ‘birthed’ Jasmine that her blood should be sufficient to ‘cure’ the rest of the gang.  Lorne is the first and the responsibility rests on him to get the others (Wes and Gunn) into a room where they can be ambushed.  I enjoyed Lorne’s comment about Judas, especially when you remember what Lilah said to Wesley about the special place in hell for those that betray.  Did Lorne get a little payback with Wesley by clubbing him? (For when Wes knocked him out when he took the baby-Connor.)  Another piece of dialog that shows the carefulness of the writing was Wes stating that “he’s kidnapped Connor before” - it was humorous in a sad sort of way.  Wesley looked so forlorned, yet determined, as he did something that no one else could, or wanted to.  Fetched Connor.  As Angel held his struggling son, Wesley cut Connor, smeared the blood onto the wound and waited.  Wesley even tried to comfort Connor with a hand to his cheek as his struggles decreased.

The scene would have been more emotional however if it wasn’t so obvious that Connor wasn’t going to be ‘cured.’  It was just sad to watch the gang look so shocked that it didn’t work.

 

Shiny Happy People
Season 4, Episode 18

It’s like a cult.  ‘She’ appears and Angel and Connor are immediately effected by her mere presence.  It takes the entire episode to find out her name, which I found (as I typed up notes) annoying, but probably only because I was trying to type up notes.  At first you think that maybe things won’t be totally alien when Wesley picked up on the fact that Angel and Connor weren’t acting on their own accord.  Or at least acting anything like themselves, the silly grins gave it away.  Angel seems convinced they were all saved.  Then enter Jasmine, everyone kneels, although Wesley was slightly behind the times.  I’m not sure if that was supposed to mean something, or that Wesley was so enraptured by her beauty that he forgot he was supposed to be on his knees.

Jasmine is being treated God-like, or what you’d imagine someone with a God-like presence would be treated like.  The story she told, that “great beings walked the Earth; had untold power; Earth was a demon realm; those that had the strength left the Earth and kept watch.  She came off as a ‘higher being,’ that she and others like her put their faith in ‘man’.  She’s good though, knows how to play the gang, what their weakness is, or just mankind’s weakness in general.

It was mentioned, in the midst of Jasmine’s soothing words, that “Angel fought for Darla’s soul, he lost, but that was the turning point”.  Means this story arc was in motion for years and years - or Joss Wheadon is really good at inserting a concept in the middle of an ongoing storyline.  What’s so great is that it works, it doesn’t matter whether JW had this planned out from the beginning, for a while or decided halfway through this season.  It works.

The whole ‘God’ thing is carried through most of the episode: she is all knowing; knows everyone by name, very much “god’s image”.  Jasmine speaks in riddles or code throughout the episode, throwing out sentences that will keep mankind enticed:  “The chaos will fade and harmony will reign.”  What does that mean exactly?  Is she out and out lying or twisting the truth?  There is a saying that ‘the best way to attract bees is with honey’ and she is honey personified.  Her beautiful and radiant appearance blinds most to the decay in front of them; the sweet smell of flowers hides any foul odors from the decay; the soft spoken voice and promising words hides her real agenda.  How can anyone resist such a perfect package of hope?

The man that didn’t see all greatness and light.  Why did he see things differently?  Later, when Fred visits him in the hospital he informs her that she is chosen.  I would like to think not.  I don’t want such a cliched reason as to why Fred can see past the rosy hue.  I like the idea that Fred tried so hard to please Jasmine (cleaning the shirt) that she worked herself into a near hysterical state and that she thought she failed.  Well, if this entity was full of love and acceptance then all that effort was not needed, the Being should accept and forgive Fred for being unable to fix the shirt.  Not cause her to have a mini breakdown.  So when Fred finally snapped, when she realized she couldn't measure up to what the Being wanted she saw what was really there under the sweet smells and beautiful appearance.   This of course does not explain the man that was never fooled by her.

Jasmine’s advice to Gunn and Wesley, that they “should grow closer because of their shared love of Fred” – yeah, well she’s obviously never had a ‘triangle’ love affair happen to her.  I support that statement though, I’m almost at the end of my rope concerning the snarkiness between those two, and after Gunn’s roll in the hay with Gwen – he doesn’t deserve Fred anymore.  And I still don’t want her with Wesley, not that I see that happening, him sleeping with (and caring for) Lilah has messed up Fred’s image of Wesley in her mind for now.  So, seems like Fred is alone. 

Eradicate all evil.  Jasmine says this, almost makes you believe that maybe she is good, that maybe we should overlook that she was spawned by the offspring of two vampires and needed a ‘descended’ higher being to come into the world.  She talks a good game, and I love the idea of “banishing all evil by the deeds they do, including that which inside Angel” – love that, makes me think they may try and rid Angel of that pesky curse.  But then we can’t really believe anything Ms. Jasmine says can we?

As the episode progresses, more and more people are inflicted with the desire to please Jasmine.  Their free will is taken away, they do her bidding because all they can see is the ‘beauty’ and not what lies behind it.  The hotel is full of followers, which just strengthens the idea of a cult and everyone is all smiles.  I was disappointed in Fred that she is still naïve enough to think that asking for help was the answer, that she felt Wesley could help her even though he was also enthralled with Jasmine.  (And we see that she goes to Wesley again when she feels that she has no one else to turn to.)  Fred does this time and time again.  She wants help and thinks she can’t do it alone, but maybe that’s what Fred needs to do – something on her own.  I was surprised that Wesley listened for as long as he did and then seemed to be on her side before tattling on her. 

Fred is truly alone no and she will have to find the inner courage to succeed.  Of course as a Wesley fan, and still hating her for the way she left Wesley at the hospital, I had the thought that now she knows what it’s like to be alone, an outcast.  But that would mean and petty, and I wouldn’t want to seem like that.  But Fred being the evil one was a little too much, I laughed at that.  Fred... evil?  Angel really has no qualms about killing any one of his friends does he?  (I’m sure there are others...)  First Wes in the hospital, then Cordy to prevent the birth of the ‘child,’ and now Fred because she’s evil and a threat.  Riiight.

 

Salvage
Season 4, Episode 14

Why did Wesley have to be the one to behead Lilah?  Hasn’t he suffered enough?  I think Wesley is the perfect martyr, he rarely voices his objectionss to things that hurt him deeply and he volunteers for things that a normal, well-adjusted person never would.  The imaginary conversation between Wesley and Lilah showed so many things.  Wesley cared for her, without a doubt, he might have been ashamed with their affair but he did care for her.  He went into Wolfram Hart to get her out in the middle of a blood bath.  He tried to protect her, and like ghost Lilah said, not just from outside powers but from herself too.  And he failed.  This is something that eats at Wesley constantly, with each failure he seems mortally wounded by it.  While he started his fling with Lilah for many other reasons, by the end he felt an affection for her and he wanted her to be good.  He wanted to be good enough for her to change, and he wasn’t.  He wasn’t good enough for Lilah and he isn’t good enough for Fred.  And let’s not forget about how Virginia couldn’t deal with his dangerous lifestyle.  Watching the scenes as Wesley finally was able to bring himself to behead Lilah was sad and we saw a side of Wesley no one has seen, probably a side that no one wants to see, and where exactly does that leave Wesley?  Alone, again.

Faith is back.  Faith is a character that you love to hate, kind of like Spike used to be – when Spike was evil, with Spike good, you kind of have to stop hating him (for the most part).  But Faith, she is always fun to watch, she exudes such strength and determination.  Sure, she was a bitch, still is, but in a softer way.  Faith still isn’t ‘good’ but she seems to have lost the constant battle with her darkside.  Prison has been good for her, doing the time for her crime has taught her responsibility and control over her impulses.  As we saw, she could probably have gotten out of prison at anytime, but she chose to stay in.  To atone.

I’m a huge Wesley fan so I was a little apprehensive of the first meeting between Faith and her former Watcher.  There is a lot of history between them, the least of which is the torture session that they shared.  Wesley changed after that, he became tougher, darker – and he changed yet again after almost bleeding to death in the grass.  He’s changed so much so it seemed appropriate for Faith to mention it right away, that he was looking good.  Faith shows her conviction to her jail time by telling Wesley that she’s unavailable to help – until Angelus is mentioned.  What happened next can only be described as humorous: Wes backing away from the glass, Faith kicking the butt of all the patrol officers, then taking herself and Wes out of a three story window.  While not very plausible (from the ‘plexi-glass’ breaking in pieces, to the jump out of a window), Wes’ reply of “5 by 5” was so right that it doesn’t matter that he (a human) fell from several stories to land on a car and walked away with very little damage.

There were too little things in this episode that stood out for me.  One was the surprise on Cordy’s face when Faith walked into the hotel.  The all-knowing and controlling evil forgot all about the slayer in prison.  Oops.  It was great though, and while I knew the surprise and attitude was because the evil hadn’t planned for that possibility it came off as Cordy the bitch from high school and it worked so well.  Faith was great with everyone: didn’t blink an eye at Lorne, complimented Gunn and flirted with him, and acknowledged Fred.  It was a great scene of being familiar enough with Wesley’s associates that it didn’t play out like a normal “this is person A, and this is person B.”  Faith was the best with Connor, though – not taking any of his crap.  The scuffle in the alleyway was wonderful and seemed so right as the petulant child went up against the bossy slayer – and lost.  And Connor’s instant attraction and crush was great, especially as evil-Cordy saw that she was losing her power over Conner.

Faith got her ass kicked, hard to fight a guy like that, especially with Angelus being so smug about the whole thing.  But the Beast is no more.  His demise at the hands of Angelus was not a surprise – he just doesn’t play well with others, but the lack of anticipation on Angelus’ part, killing the Beast allowed the sun to reappear rendering him unable to finish off Faith.

The big revelation of course was Cordy being pregnant with Connor’s child.  First, it’s kind of gross, a romantic (if you can call it that) triangle between father, son and woman.  Seems so Shakespearean to me – uncomfortable to watch but yet hard to look away.  We have a better idea of when Cordy turned evil, seems it was probably when she first returned from the higher plane, or shortly after that, maybe once she got her memory back.  Either way, I don’t like it, I need more of an explanation and the longer it takes the more annoyed I am.  (Kind of like the way the Buffy writers wanted us to believe that Giles was dead, it took them weeks and weeks to put that notion to rest.)  Cordy being evil since her return does make other things easier to swallow, like bedding Connor, and her continued non-existent concern for Wesley, and her turning Angel away by using his past against him.  All makes sense.  It’s just that there was absolutely no indication that she could have been evil, just that we don’t know why she was sent back or returned – I suppose that could have been our hint there.

Calvary
Season 4, Episode 13

There are many balls being juggled in this episode and the point of it, to me, is for them to be dropped one by one throughout the episode.

Gunn seems to be sucked into Angelus’ demented world as the vampire plays Gunn very easily and uses Gunn’s insecurities against him. Gunn doesn’t have control over his emotions or reactions like Wesley.  We see how he takes the words from Angelus, leading us to Fred and Gunn's breakup, which was, in my opinion, ridiculous. As a couple you don’t try and resolve your issues in the middle of a crisis. I know that Gunn is hurt that Fred went to Wesley for assistance with her old professor, but she didn’t go there first. She wanted Gunn to help and he refused (at first) and she was hell-bent on revenge so she went elsewhere. As a viewer, you knew that their relationship was doomed to fail after Fred’s astonished and slightly horrified look when Gunn took care of the professor. He did it for her and she couldn’t handle that. I didn’t like those turn of events, so for them to call it quits (after the altercation with Wes and the huge insecurities Gunn has) in the midst of everything else, seems both immature and selfish. They should have sucked it up until afterward and then figured out where they stood.

Wesley admitted that he never wanted to fight with Gunn. One wonders what he does want since he’s coveting his former friend’s girl; the bridge won’t be crossed if he keeps making moves on Fred, which now seems like a moot point. She and Gunn are finished, and for a moment you think that opens the door for Wesley, until Angelus ruins that by telling about Wesley’s affair with Lilah. There’s nothing that Wes can say to deny it, and Fred seems disgusted by the knowledge, so now there is no Fred or Wes either. Funny how it works out that way.

Finally, there is Cordelia and the spell to restore Angel’s soul. I don’t think there was anyone watching that was convinced that the spell worked and that if they opened the cage Angel would step out. I wasn’t. What was so frustrating with the whole scene is that Cordelia seemed so sure it worked and risked everything by opening the door. Of course by the end of the episode everyone is shell-shocked as Cordelia turns on Lilah. This is the same time of year last year when Wesley’s throat was slit and he was left for dead. They really like to throw us curve balls during sweeps. I didn’t see the evil Cordelia coming, and I have to say that I’m looking forward to the explanation. All I can think of is that the spell went wrong and somehow effected her – anything other than that, say, if they try and convince me it wasn’t really Cordelia since she descended... I probably won’t be happy about it. (Although it could make me swallow the ‘world is ending’ roll in the hay with Connor.

I can so see Angelus having to work with the good guys in order to get rid of the Beast and whatever is controlling it just to have his playground back. Angelus doesn’t take orders well and as we saw when he went to try and feed – all the mayhem was cramping his style. It was a great surprise ending though.

Soulless
Season 4, Episode 12

The first thing I noticed about this episode is that it was directed by Sean Astin. I had heard he was going to direct an episode, but had forgotten about it. I thought he did a good job. At one point the camera panned from Wesley giving a lecture about Angelus, through the floor/ceiling and into the basement where Angelus was standing. It gave the viewer no doubt that he could hear what was going on. That idea was also stated quite frankly by Angelus later, when he mentioned hearing Fred and Gunn. How much of that was true or a stretch of the truth remains to be seen.

The ending scene between Cordelia and Angelus was choreographed wonderfully. As a viewer you believed when she first approaches the cage and stops that she is at the red line they had painted on the floor; so when she steps forward at the end you know Angelus is going to reach for her and grab her. It was a great surprise to see that Cordelia had enough sense to stay behind the line, but it was a great trick making the viewers believe differently.

One thing that is apparent is how much David Boreanaz seems to love to play Angelus. After the dark and brooding Angel, the evil psychopath is probably a welcomed changed. Plus, it has to be fun considering the stuff Angelus gets to say!

My one complaint about the episode is that Wesley didn’t seem prepared as he confronted Angelus. It’s true that his almost non-reaction to Angelus’ words was from a strengthened self-control, but I was hoping Wesley had some barbs of his own to throw back at Angelus. Instead he floundered. Overall the conversation between the two was painful to watch, all of Wesley’s passed failures or bumps in the road brought out for display. To Wesley’s credit the only time he really seemed to falter was when Fred was mentioned. This leads me into the next disappointment: Wesley kissing Fred. He knows that she’s with Gunn, that should be enough for him to have respect, not for Gunn (if he’s still upset about Gunn’s actions/words from "The Price"), but for Fred. The ensuing fight between Gunn and Wesley, while I was happy that Wes seemed to have held his own, it just seemed ill-timed and childish. It appeared more as a kind of plot device to move the ‘triangle’ to the next level.

The main thing is that both Gunn and Wesley seemed to have forgotten that they were friends. They have not spoken to each other without venom coated words since Wesley took Connor. The entire group can’t fight an evil if they are fighting within each other, which was Angelus’ point, the clever bastard.

And I’d also like to say that the locking of the soul in the safe just screamed: here, please take it.

Awakening
Season 4, Episode 11

I was duped, I admit it. The whole episode played out so well I fell for it: hook, line and sinker. So much so, I was livid at the stupidity of Cordelia and Angel as they consummated their relationship, it didn’t mesh with what the characters had previously been through. Cordelia is the only one in L.A. right now that has met Angelus, she knows what he is capable of and it seemed very selfish of Cordelia to go after the physical gratification rather than the greater good.

But, that matters not since it was a ruse anyway. What I loved about the episode after the realization that the Shaman orchestrated a day that would be perfect for Angel is what that day held. It wasn’t just the sex with Cordelia, it was a reconciliation between himself and Connor, himself and Wesley and conquering the big bad Beast. (Which is when I thought something was strange, the Beast died entirely too easy but the progression of the episode unraveled pretty quickly after that, so that any conjecture was not possible – at least for me.)

As someone who has been waiting for a ‘talk’ between Angel and Wesley, the scenes in this episode was the start of something, however; it didn’t really happen so I am again waiting. I don’t want/expect hearts and flowers, however; a talk of some sort would be nice... eventually. Also, Angel’s ‘view’ of Wesley is a strange mix of the bumbling ‘Rogue Demon Hunter’ and the person Wes is currently. One wonders why that is. Does Angel not want to recognize that Wes has changed so much as a result of his association with Angel? He only wants to see the endearing qualities in everyone and adjust his views of his friends as they grow in knowledge and confidence only. It’s an interesting thought, why was Wesley that way in Angel’s perfect day? And who knew that Angel was such the romantic? The interaction with Cordelia was tinged with romance, and it was nice, although more of a fairytale type of idea since he can’t follow through with her.

I thought it was a unique way to bring Angelus to the forefront and take away Angel’s soul.