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May 06 2011

io9's Pop Punishment analyzes the weaknesses of Angel S1's "She". Maybe Bai Ling's character not returning to the series was a good thing.

This is, by far, my least favorite Angel episode. It is the Doublemeat Palace of episodes for me--obviously not in terms of content but in terms of absolute unwatchability. I always skip in when watching my DVDs, and I change the channel when it comes on in the TNT a.m. syndication. It's the only episode for which that is true.
Parse the metaphor if you want.

Honestly, the hunt was so boring that I didn't care what the game was (thank you David Mamet).
She destroys everything. That ep of LOST she was in sucked too
And why is it necessary to keep panning back to Jhiera's glowing red ladyparts? It's not like the camera ever zooms in on Angel's boner.

In a more perfect world, perhaps. =)
I didn't so much mind this episode. =/ I thought it was really imaginative.
To me it felt more like those (few) episodes where the idea behind the plot rather got in the way of the episode. But Bai Ling never bothered me.
I've never had any issue with the episode either. The party in the teaser was great, Angel's dance and subsequent beer with Dennis was even better, it had a great sequence of Angel complaining about his cellphone and reception, leading to the role of museum tour guide (and giving some trivia along the way) and the near-end had a signature vampface effects that was spot-on, re-used in the opening credits from season 3 onward. Bai Ling didn't stand out as good, bad, or anything to me really. Just one of many guest star characters.

The one and only episode of the entire series I didn't like much was "Inside Out" from season 4, and only because of how disturbing (in several ways) Cordelia was in it.
Ya I don't get the hate for this episode. I don't love it, but it a perfectly good standalone.
Glad to see I'm not alone. =)

NL197: I don't mind "Inside Out" because it's not really Cordelia. It has that beautiful scene with Connor and Darla, and when Skip explains how everything's been progressing, it really gives me chills.
The metaphor was a little heavy-handed, but I don't agree with the author's interpretation, or think that badly of Bai Ling, and I loved the museum guide bit. I didn't get that the Oden Tal women were necessarily that dangerous in their own dimension, but since they were obviously not evil, and they just needed time to "cool off" as it were, I wasn't offended by their portrayal.

The episode I can't stand is "That Old Gang of Mine", in which we are supposed to understand that Gunn and his other African-American street gang buddies are far the real racists.
I dunno, 'That Old Gang of Mine' isn't exactly brilliant (though it's got some good bits, one with Fred as a f'rinstance) but the idea that black people (like all people) can be racist is hardly contentious surely ?

Also don't particularly hate 'She' (and didn't see that subtext about the women) though it's not that great either. If i'm doing a full rewatch I won't skip it, if i'm just watching a few of my favourites it wouldn't feature.
Barboo: I think that "reverse racism" (which is really just, you know, racism) is really important to talk about in today's world. I'm not much for that episode, either, because I sort of dislike the way Gio's character was portrayed, but I understand the intent behind it. Anyone can be racist. Though I'm pretty sure it goes beyond racism and speaks of inherent good or evil qualities, as opposed to humans being superior to demons.

What I like about Angel (and Buffy) is that even if there's an episode I don't like too much, there's still something in it that redeems it for me.
The most interesting non-funny bit in "She" is Angel talking at Jheira about the justifiability of violence in achieving good ends. I think the episode's valuable just for that insight into his view on the subject (one that many Whedonverse characters seem to share), even if main plot could have been way better executed.
She needed to come back. She could have explained what Angel's tattoo meant.
While "She" isn't one of my favorite episodes, I have no problem with it and I think Bai Ling did a damn good job with the character of Jhiera.

She could have explained what Angel's tattoo meant.

What would she know about it?

ps-Never mind. I see that's a Lost reference, which explains my lack of knowledge.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2011-05-08 01:54 ]
I'm in the "don't like it" camp. The good bits (Angel and Wesley at the party) were separate from the main story, which felt a bit heavy handed and obvious in its preaching. Contrast this to "Beer Bad", which I like (and some people hate), where the script was aware of its preachiness and had fun with it. ("Beer bad. Bad, bad beer... What the hell am I saying?")

Obviously there is a limit on the levity, given the central storyline. Maybe it boils down to Bai Ling's character being one-dimensional, on a show where the best characters always had layers and hidden motivations.
Hey, 'She' also has the scene where Angel tries to crush coffee beans with his vamp strength and they go everywhere. That's pretty good...
Hey, OneTeV, maybe you and I should form a bowling league. I think "She" deserves the Rebecca Black obviousness award, and I think "Beer Bad" has plenty of great moments in it.
Now I'm wondering if, after work, the Evil League of Evil has the "Bowling League of Evil", or the "Evil League of Bowling"...

I remembered what specifically bugged me about "She", although I can't define what made me feel this way: this episode felt like pilot for a spin-off series. Sometimes these types of episodes are really an attempt at a spin-off, like Star Trek's "Assignment: Earth". This one just had that odd quality to it, like Angel was guest starring on Bai Ling's show.
'She' is the only episode of Angel, Buffy, Firefly or Dollhouse I've actually fallen asleep while watching. I thought it was pretty bad.

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