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April 15 2004

Herc's Review of 5.17. Five stars...

I like Herc's reviews, but sometimes his low comprehension ticks me off...

TVGuide refered to Hamilton as a bounty hunter because that's what he was supposed to seem like. If they said he was the new liason, that would be spoiling the ending.

Also, TVGuide had been refering to Lindsey as Sean, because that's how they named his character is the shooting scripts (up until "You're Welcome." They wanted to keep it a secret that Lindsey was returning. Though, I've never heard of the time-traveling Glory thing.

At least he understood this episode better than the Buffy ep "Never Leave Me," which he said revealed that Spike was indeed possessed, among other insane things.
I don't know if this was a 5 star episode. I still think they are over-playing Wesley a little bit and I didn't buy Lindsey in Ward Cleever mode. I did like having Lorne back in the mix and it was great seeing Adam Baldwin...maybe Ben Edlund can write another song for him before Angel goes away. :)
I'd go 3 1/2 stars with a lot of plotlines being put into play. I'm really going to miss this show.
Oh my GAWD, I love this episode. I'm already rewatching it. Jesus. An Illyria storyline could have gone into next season. *weeps* She was freaky, but Illyria spoke pretty poetically - - in a homicidally destructive sort of way.
Herc's reviews are a bit, well, bare bones and admittedly occasionally dunderheaded on details. But I still like reading him. It's tradition, I guess.

This season of Angel is shaping up to be my favorite -- it's a stunning collection of work. I understand what Joss means when he says that the Angel team has reached its creative peak. When I think back to all the season five eps so far, the overall arc is clean, tight, and sharp. There are the occasional outlier episodes, like Unleashed, but even those contain nuggets that push the overall theme along. Perhaps the constrained budget this year has forced the producers to focus on the essentials?

After tonight's excellent episode, I'm extra-sad that I won't be following Angel's journey past another five episodes. It's just plain wrong.

Down with Jordan Levin!
phlebotinin - if you're still here, why aren't you in the flickr chat?
I liked the episode. Especially with Gunn at the end.
But one question:
What was the paper that Gunn signed at the end of "Shells"? Did I miss something? I thought he was fired. Though i do like this atonement approach better.

Also, and I know this question gets asked a lot - at least I assume it does - will we ever see the cyborgs again? Part of me wants to just for the sake of continuity. The other part thought they were kinda stupid.
cubiclesatan -- I can't get in! Something to do with my email address not being the right one. Oy.
Good episode, yes. Five stars, I don't think so.

I cheered at the inclusion of Mercedes in the opening credits and rolled on the floor laughing at the world of shrimp ...
This sucks!! Another awesome ep and all I can do is think about the fact it is almost over!! I hate the wb.
So much to love about this episode...loved the nod to Tara and Anya's 5th season discussion of a world without shrimp. Also, enjoyed the wink to Adam Baldwin's former X-Files role. The way he was storming after Angel and "Angel's Avengers" reminded me of his super-soldier days.
I loved Wesley and Illyria waxing poetic. There is so much they can do with that story line and it's just tragic that Joss won't be allowed to follow that up in a 6th season.

I loved this episode so much! Easily one of the best, if not The Best. It moves the arc along, answers some questions, and raises some more. I'm glad they didn't reveal what happens in the cellar when Lindsey (and now Gunn) go down there. I have my own ideas and It's good they didn't ruin the mystery.

The world of nothing but shrimp! Angel mentioning his elevator ride with Holland Manners! Lindsey is back and Illyria is staying! And she's in the opening credits, yay!

I give this episode an A+ because it was total perfection!

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2004-04-15 08:04 ]
Hate to be a stinker, but -- while I agree that many of the highlights were pretty low, a lot of the exposition-laden dialogue this week, and some of the acting seemed pretty sub-par.

Between this and "Harm's Way," I'm not a fan of this writing team.
While this was a great episode, it's wasn’t my favorite. There were a couple of set-ups that were just too predictable. Lindsay's "Hell" being one of them. Still, the worst Angel episode is 10 times better than 95 % of all things on TV.

Yeah, the "world of shrimp" was pretty damn cool. :)

Take care,

Jamie
I agree with bobster. There are only very few episodes by Sarah Fain and Elizabeth Craft that I like and this is not one of them.
Was I the only one completely bored during every Wes/Illyria scene? Total snooze. Seemed like filler. "Well, let's have Wes and Illyria get all philosophical during the lulls in the real arc advancement."
Kay. I'll go quietly now.
i disagree. I think the scenes between Wes and Illyria are muy importante. The dynamic of where Wes is with Fred being dead, yet standing right next to him is her shell is disturbing.

The show has always been about tormented souls. Wes is one of them.
I liked the episode, thought it was another really good one but not a great one. It seemed more like one to set up the rest of the episodes for this final season. Lots of good things in it but just not a top ten for me. I enjoyed that Angel and Spike seem to be getting closer and working more as a team. Loved the scene with the depressed Lorne and how insightful it got that he has to be "on" all the time for the team even though he doesn't feel that way. The "death" of Fred seems to have really hurt him deeply (all of them in fact - more so than Cordelia's). I loved Angel repeating Fred's "handsome man saves me" line to Spike and Spike understanding and not cracking a joke. Loved Lindsey's Hell dimension and the implication of what goes on in the basement. The kid coming out with the machine gun though was a little alarming to me that they actually did that with all the attention given to kids and school shootings in the media. I liked Angel's reaction to the realization that Gunn had to stay and knew from the beginning he'd most likely have to stay. I hope they find a way to rescue him. Loved the dream sequence with Wesley and Fred and then the conversations with Wesley and Ilyraia. I can't wait to see where they go with her storyline. Love Adam Baldwin so much and was just so thrilled to see him. My first memory of him is in that real cute movie "My Bodyguard" and he's been in so many different roles and seems to be able to play anything. It was just so funny after seeing him play the tough Jayne in Firefly, to a tough soldier in Stargate SG-1 to now playing the somewhat prissy sounding Hamilton.
meredith - You are so not the only one. I hated the Wes & Illyria scenes. I hate that she took Fred and Wes seems to be accepting that so readily, and I hate every second of that cheesey dialogue. I challenge them to have a conversation that's not about how awful the world is except for the love which hurts and blinds so much that blah blah blah....

(Otherwise, I love the episode, tho!)

[ edited by fraying on 2004-04-15 18:01 ]
For me, the episode was okay. Not great, not awful. C&F are writing Spike better, but I can't say I love them. I ignored the Frillyria/Wes scenes, but that's because I hate the whole Frillyria storyline so much, I refuse to recognize it. But I'm not gonna harp about that - just because I don't like some aspect of the show doesn't mean I have the right to demand that anybody else feel the same way.
A lot of the plot points (the magic car should've been a bus, Gunn as MarySue/Exposition Boy, stuff like that) were just too convenient to satisfy me, but I did like the Holding Dimension idea, though - a place where evil keeps one while determining one's fate.
Or, as I like to call it, the Groundhog Dimension.

I thought the talky parts were too talky, but the action was good and the story was good. Looking forward to seeing just how they're going to get at all that knowledge that's locked inside Eve's head but that she can't access.

Thought the "apocalypse now" idea was good - deft how they pre-empted our inevitable shouts of "it's been done already! with Holland Manners!" Working for the bad guys. Gives one pause.
Good episode but indeed not the best of the season. Not because of any flaws but simply because it clearly is more of a setup of things to come. Great to see 'Jayne' and love that he's staying, along with his fake LA lawyer grin.

I too enjoyed Angel & Spike more and more on board with each other. They still rib each other, but there's deeper stuff there that they both acknowledge, and the brotherly rivalry and sneers, though still prevalent, seem less and less important to them both.

As for the whole Eve-Lindsey-Hell-Gunn thing....ahh what show goes to these places? Not a single one, and that's a fact. The entire setup. Lindsey's face as he has to go down the cellar again, clearly knowing on some level, and yet not. Like you can have in a dream sometimes. We knew some gruesome stuff had to be going on after what he tried to pull on the senior partners.

Also good to see we're getting somewhere with that. Loved how Hamilton simply shrugged off the whole Eve-Lindsey thing, like they didn't even think it was important. They keep throwing them, and us, off.

As for the kid shooting in the Hell dimension, I noticed that too. And it sounds odd, but I almost found it refreshing that we're not getting hysterical anymore. Dear lord after Columbine they were suspending 5 year old for going 'bang bang' with their finger while playing cowboy. What happened was a terrible tragedy but this over-the-top hysterical martial law response was so typical of our culture these days. Our only answer was too go nuts, punish innocent children and see underaged ghosts with guns everywhere. Now with Janet's boob, we need even far less to go insane. Anyhoo, in this story it was clearly not even a kid and it only added to the feeling that everything there was a nice looking facade. I'm sure it slipped under the radar of the MOO's of the world.

As for Wes and Illyria, I loved those moments. Wes somehow always gets whole new layers of cool as a character when he's miserable. And if you can say 'he acepts Fred's death so readily' I wonder if you even watched the episode. Fred's loss is all that he knows right now, that's what those scenes were about. Angsty filosophising isn't everything's thing, but the dialogue wasn't cheezy. What else are these two going to talk about right now?

The only gripe I have with those scenes is that they didn't seem to go anywhere within the ep, character wise. They were still at the same point as in the beginning. But I wonder where we're going with this and I'm surprised at how much I like the whole Illyria thing, and the whole new slew of possibillities it opens.
EdDantes - regarding the kid shooting the gun, loved your line "I'm sure it slipped under the radar of the MOO's of the world." But you know what, even if it didn't slip under the radar and they start to make a big deal - it's Angel's final season so what are they going to do about it?!!
Oh, yeah. I watched. With a clenched jaw, I watched. And all I could think was: If Wes was really hurting that bad over Fred's death and this evil thing that now exists in her body, why is he sitting there talking to her about her feelings instead of throwing her off the damn roof? And don't say it's because she looks like Fred, because after years of "that vampire is no longer your friend" speeches, Wes knows damn well that it ain't Fred no more.

Come on. Where is the righteous anger? I'm angry, dammit! Why isn't Wes?

I hope that thing gets thrown into some scum sucking portal in the last episode. And I pray - PRAY - they're not setting us up with anything romantic between the two, because that's just ucky. Superucky. Like, Cordy and Connor ucky.
I should clarify (esp. since I wrote "low" when I meant "high" in my previous message), that I sort of like last night's show in terms of its structure -- how it was when it was broken by Joss, Jeff Bell or whomever. Lots of great ideas.

But to me, the majority of the dialogue was just plain lumpy and lifeless -- not only the Wes/Illyria dialogues (echoing, ever so vaguely in my hazy memory, of the philosophizing in Werner Herzog's remake of "Nosferatu", which I didn't like much either) but worse was the the exposition at the beginning -- sometimes you're better off with a "previously."

Still, yeah, the worst "Angel" is better than the best..well most things. And Adam Baldwin is a freaking genius.
I hope this isn't inappropriate, but I missed the ep. on 4/14 (stupid power outage) and I'm just dying! Can anyone point me to where I can get a copy? I'd pay for the tape and shipping of course...Again, sorry if I'm not supposed to ask this. Desperation drove me forward. ;)

Contact me at escr@shadow.cso.uiuc.edu Thanks, E

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