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[personal profile] lookingforoctober
This episode accomplished a lot in terms of character stuff (and the plot advanced too). Things are moving!

I'm not sure if Fred/Gunn is exactly meant to hold up a mirror to Angel/Cordy or vice versa...but there are definitely some similarities in that the guy did something and the woman can't deal with it. Gunn did something that he thought was noble but which took away Fred's ability to make her own choices about her revenge, Angel has a terrible past... I feel for Gunn a lot, while at the same time not having much sympathy with him because on the one hand, he tried to take a burden away from Fred, and on the other hand, she didn't want it and he keeps telling her who she is when that doesn't appear to be who she is after all. Angel/Cordy, meanwhile...just generically doomed, I'd say. She looked at something she shouldn't have looked at...huh. So she's like Psyche? That's a stretch... But you know, the narrative is sort of treating her like she's in that kind of myth, and is a woman alone with limited options for who to turn to. And also like this is a flat kind of thing, she loves Angel so she has two choices, either be with him or abandon him, like being in love with Angel is the only thing that matters.

Even putting aside that Cordy and Angel were friends, that being in love was not the only thing between them, because maybe she can't deal with being friends with a guy who has Angel's history...she's also friends with the rest of the team, and she really shouldn't be alone, and I'm sort of shocked that the narrative managed to lead me into thinking that this was reasonable until I started thinking about it...that's a neat trick.

So because she's established as living with Connor when she was memory-loss Cordy, and that was reasonable because they had a lot in common...it transfers to memory-regained but still sort of damaged by being a higher being Cordy.

(There is probably a lot to be said about the similarities between Cordy's characterization as empty and devoid of purpose because she was a higher being and Buffy's visit to heaven...

But the only thing that's popping out at me right now is that knowing why Buffy was back was a source of tension that was much stronger than not knowing why Cordy's back...or having a good explanation for why she was a higher being in the first place. Knowledge is much stronger than mystery, generally?)

I really don't know what I think about Cordy/Connor. It's pretty weird, because she held him when he was a baby, but technically they're not all that far apart in age, which is pointed out a couple of times in this episode alone... I don't think Cordy's habit of comparing Connor to his father does anything to make this any less weird, though. And personally, I don't see any of the resemblances that she points out.

Let's see...in other news, Connor said "Dad" of his own free will (in order to get a favor).

I enjoyed Angel's win-win proposition to Lilah: quite astute in terms of how to deal with Lilah (give me what you know and either I solve your problem for you or I die and solve a different problem for you). But Angel is something of a contradiction, in terms of wanting to be/thinking that he is a champion, which seems to be linked to idealism somehow, and then having a good grasp of the best way to deal with Wolfram and Hart employees. I'm ready to abandon what he said about a champion acting as if the world were a better place, because clearly if the world were a better place, it wouldn't include Wolfram and Hart, so acting that way would involving ignoring Wolfram and Hart.

I like that Connor appears to be linked to this apocalypse. Connor needed a better connection to the plot, because he has no connection (that he generally wants to acknowledge) to anything else (except Cordelia).

On the other hand, I'm completely baffled by Sunnydale veteran Cordelia Chase saying "if this is the end" as if she's never seen an apocalypse before.

And finally, the most important thing I have to say about this episode: oh no, they're breaking the statute of secrecy! This is the point where they just completely throw aside the conceit that this could happen in our world but it's all a secret and we just don't know about it. Fire is falling from the sky in Los Angeles. It's one thing when crazy things happen in Sunnydale because Sunnydale is some town that no one has ever heard of in real life, so you can pretend like all the people there just kept their mouth shut. Los Angeles, not so much.

This was quite a shock to me the first time I watched Angel. It's not that I'm super-fond of secret magic as a plot point (I'm really not), it's just that once you've established that that's what you're doing, suddenly not doing that any more is 1) shocking and 2) really hard to get right because of abandoning all the conventions you've set up. I don't remember exactly how this works out (I really did a very bad job of remembering Angel, apparently), but this is another thing I'll be watching for.

Date: 2014-06-09 11:44 am (UTC)
astridv: by <lj user="inkvoices"/lj> (Default)
From: [personal profile] astridv
Your posts are inspiring me to do an Angel rewatch too. I wish I could find someone who hasn't watched the show yet, to watch it together. That's always the best way to rewatch. I must see if I can recruit someone...

Date: 2014-06-09 09:20 pm (UTC)
astridv: by <lj user="inkvoices"/lj> (Default)
From: [personal profile] astridv
What I really like about rewatching it with a newbie is that you watch the entire thing. When I rewatch by myself or with friends who know the show we inevitably pick our favorites, so now there are episodes I've watched, like, ten times. But whenever I end up watching one of the less popular eps, I always find cool moments I completely forgot.

Right now we're doing a Firefly rewatch with one newbie in the group... so much fun!

Someone on tumblr is currently watching Buffy for the first time and it's interesting to see their reactions. They've been spoiled some, but those spoilers are always very basic and never give away too much detail. I was spoiled for the Angel arc too when I watched Buffy, simply through cultural osmosis.

Date: 2014-06-13 11:38 pm (UTC)
astridv: by <lj user="inkvoices"/lj> (Default)
From: [personal profile] astridv
That does sound interesting. Where on tumblr?

I'll let you know when she posts again. I totally lost track of my dash once the number of people I follow surpassed 50 or so.

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