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Angel 5.13 "Why We Fight"

February 12th, 2004 (06:17 pm)

Hmmmm... some interesting ideas, but overall definitely not as strong as the last two weeks, and fairly high on the cliche meter.

So Angel's back-story gets even more convoluted than before. We now have 40's!Angel to add to 50's!Angel and 70's!Angel instead of the grimy rat-eating guilt-racked Angel that we had originally. I guess we're meant to assume that actually tasting human blood again in the 70's sent him loopy until Whistler showed him Buffy. Which is why Angel turning Lawson in this episode threw me seriously. Surely, turning someone is worse than drinking blood?

Cliches that you could see coming a mile away 1 : Oh look - two vampires and Spike on board. Let me guess which one will still be living at the end of the episode.

Nice touch to have Angel reverting back to his Irish accent only when first talking to Spike. That would re-establish his Angelus authority nicely. Spike went through all that, and still didn't twig Angel had a soul. Well, sets it up for School Hard I suppose.

Cliches that you could see coming a mile away 2 : It's the evil government organisation that knows all about you and wants to use you. On the other hand, I did enjoy Spike's "No one's going to run experiments on me!" line. But still, Demon Initiative? Please.... The only way they could have been more blatant is calling the guy Walsh or Finn.

Worse Plan Ever Award : Lawson. And if Angel had staked you there and then in his office, then Gunn, Fred and Wes would all have been fine. Guess you failed Evil Minion 101 then. And what's with Wes being taken down so easily? One punch? Sheesh. And what exactly was he after anyhow? Never did get that clear in my head.

Where was Dru (and Darla for that matter) during all this? Still in Europe? Spike didn't seem at all concerned for her. Very odd.

Cliches that you could see coming a mile away 3 : Sole German guy on sub. Will at some point a)escape, b) kill someone, and c) be killed himself. Guilty on all three counts.

Lawson became a vampire very quickly indeed. I know they said they had two days worth of oxygen at the start of the episode, and almost none when he was a vampire, but that's still very quick. Compare that to the number of times in Sunnydale that Buffy would stake a vampire fresh from the grave. That always implied a lot longer time frame than I thought (or maybe Sunnydale does it's funerals a lot quicker than everywhere else).

Present day Gunn - What was that pause during the conversation about the Senior Partners about? Is Gunn going to be the next liaison? Or is there something very dark that has to be done to contact them? Or were the SP's editing the info in Gunn's brain as they went.

Not a good sign when the only thing that intrigues me is one scene near the beginning. And where has Eve gone to?

Now bring on the muppets!


Posted by: houses (houses7177)
Posted at: February 12th, 2004 02:21 pm (UTC)

I agree on the cliche meter in parts, but some of it I loved.

We learned several things:

Angel sired only one person with a soul: and he came out wrong. To me, this implies that a bit of soul transfers with the turning, and this has fantastic fanfic potentials. Angel's bite conveys not quite a demon. A demon without a taste for it. How fascinating is that? The theological implications for vampireness are complex. I like this.

That the Initiative was started in WWII. More importantly, why it was started: keeping up with the enemy. This is an interesting take on an arms race, the why behind many modern atrocities. Take for example the Nuclear Arms Race: They had it, so should we. And look how well that turned out. The only reason we have government support for the sciences in this country is Sputnik- scared the crap out of people in Washington, ‘we'd better have one too’. The entire development of portable gravimeters was so that spies could sneak them into eastern bloc countries to site the relative gravity- cause if you get the gravity wrong the ICBs splash down in the wrong place? To me, the fact the demon experimentation was started then makes sense.

As much as you seemed not to like the idea of the Initiative here, I did. It finally explained where the hell Maggie Walsh came from, and why she had government support. That was a hanging plot thread that's been driving me nuts for years. It shows that the writers were thinking, had the wherewithall to take a throwaway filler episode and do some good background work.

Divided in two, as is too long.

Posted by: houses (houses7177)
Posted at: February 12th, 2004 02:21 pm (UTC)

Actually, last season explained the why behind so many Angels. Initially, he didn't want to give in and only ate criminals to keep on Darla's good side. She still threw him out, but he wanted not to feel the guilt. Over the years he didn't feed from people [though there has been no confirmation that he didn't feed from bad people post Darla pre rat] until the shop clerk, an innocent, died. That's what triggered the rat episode, the guilt over not saving him, then profitting from the demise. Until that point, in my mind, Angel existed, shunned, but still hanging on the fringes. This permutation fit fine with all the Angels we saw in Orpheus last year. A gradual descent rather than a monster to rat eater overnight explanation.

I agree, Lawson's plan was ill thought out, but the motivation given to him to go to Angel to begin with was good: he was a failure as a monster, he saw that the monster who created him and still did good was now working for evil, he didn't understand why. HE wanted a motivation in his unlife because he wasn't a good demon. Angel failed him. Twice. I have no idea what he was trying to do, but his end speech was heartbreaking, even from a demon. It's the cry of a child not fitting in with what his parent said he should be able to do, and when he came to the parent, acting like he was expected to, yet asking to change, the parent staked him for trying. That's...upsetting. And a very interesting point for the writers to make. Angel changed because he had a soul forced on him. Spike changed sort of voluntarily. Here Lawson was asking for some kind of guidance, either way, and he was rejected. In my opinion he wanted the soul, and was heartbroken when it was denied to him. And when he asked for help, Angel staked him. Did Angel think this was helping? I honestly don't know. But it does reaffirm the belief I have that ME folks have a real issue with father figures. Nothing is more blatant than the father killing his only son [admitted by Angel as the only person turned by *Angel*, this his only son]. THen again, look what Angel did to Connor. He erased him from memory of people who loved him. Seems to be a trend here.

The Gunn thing was interesting too. You seem to imply that it was the senior partners rewriting his memory. To me it looked as if the new knowledge was breaking down. We should also remember that it was *Eve* that did the presto chango act. For all we know, the new abilities were linked to her. Gunn had been the one cautioning against harming her in any way. Or the Senior Partners. Dunno. This will be interesting to watch.

Yes there were some flamingly stupid things. Like what the hell Lawson was doing. Or why Gunn, Wes, and Fred were chained up. Or why Wes was knocked out in one punch. Or how the crew still had air in the time it took Lawson to rise [though the implication was at least a day—I think Sunnydale does bury things faster, safer that way].

I prefer to think of it as flawed but extremely interesting. I think I enjoyed it.

I'm also reposting this at my journal as thoughts on the show.

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