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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Sometimes you just wanna duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month."
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April 22 2004

HERC's seen angel 5.18!! 3 and a half stars! I thought it deserved more but good enough... (spoilery if you haven't seen the ep)

Posted my thoughts in an earlier post but just wanted to comment that I thought this episode deserved 5 stars so I'd have to disagree with Herc's 3.5 stars.
I also disagree with the 3.5 stars. I think it deserved at least 4.5.

Oh, and I didn't think that Connor looked "37" at all. He still looks ridiculously young to me.
Yeah, he still looks like a kid in high school, not college.
Agreed. This week was much stronger than last week when Herc gave it 5 stars. I really like what they are doing with Fred in her new form and loved her calling Spike her toy. It would seem clear that keeping Fred as she now is was part of a larger plan for the series. It is almost like having your cake and eating it as well. Shake up the show & the status quo by killing off one of your regulars but keeping the same actress in a different form. Pretty bloody brilliant if you ask me. Anyway, I ask again...this is the show the WB axed? Ugh and my frustration grows.
Oh and for the first time, Conner didn't annoy the hell out of me and also for the first time, I actually bought Angel as a dad. Good episode, very good.
i loved it! the big question, does conner know?
I forget, what happened in the past to make Connor to not be comfortable with people grabbing him around the throat. I get people don't like that, but I was just wondering if it was something from last year that I missed.
Connor knows FOR SURE. That knowing look between him and Angel at the end, plus the swelly music gives all that away.
Yes, I agree that Connor knew. Phlebotinin, you stated in another post that you thought they could also want us to think he could've been thinking of Holtz but I don't and here's why. His statement was a thank you for his father teaching him you'd do anything for your family. Holtz was not motivated to do anything for Connor's benefit, everything he did was to hurt Angel. Even Holtz's last action before he died was to make sure he put a wedge between Angel and Connor. Angel thought only of Connor and put his own feelings aside and gave Connor the happy life he was robbed of. Connor was given all his memories back and everything they showed us all involved what happened to Connor and what led up to Angel's decision. They didn't show Holtz at all.
toxiceuphoria,

I noticed it aswell but couldn't come up with anything.
Toxiceuphoria and Christopher - I thought it was a reference to a repressed memory knowing of his dislike for vampires. He didn't remember exactly why he didn't like his throat being grabbed but vampires bite the neck area. That was my guess anyway.
this link is more then a spoiler for this episode, as in the first line it gives away the plot/theme of an upcoming episode also written by goddard. something i definitly did not want to know about.... wtf, im a bit perturbed
just saw my taped copy of the ep. Great episode. Not as good as some past eps, but the last 2 min made it great.
As for does Connor know? Of course. Illyria says to Wes that both sets of memories are still there. Connor sees what his life was like before, remembers his other life and knows what had to happen for that to take place. "Learned that from my Father" is his way of letting Angel know that he is aware of the sacrifice, and will honor it by protecting his "new" family. Supposedly only those in the presence of the cube-thingy will have their memories restored, so Gunn, Lorne, and Connor's faux family will not remember the truth. We also have precedent for Connor to know the truth in the midst of false memories and choose, without hesitation, to follow the false set.
In my opinion, and there may be those who disagree, this is the best resolution to the Connor storyline possible. Wes remembers what he did, and doesn't lose all the growing he did as a result, Angel can talk about it with someone now, and Connor has been truly redeemed. He finally knows for sure that Angel Loves him, and he has a normal, happy life to return to. Plus the part of him that remembers growing up normal can be a super hero on the side. That is a Connor I would not mind seing in future Angel movies, or the series if it does, beyond all hope, come back.
RootBoy42 - Totally agree with your assesment of the Connor storyline. This was the best resolution and it does leave an opening for Connor if there are to be movies in the future. And it will be a content Connor and not the sad, angry Connor of the past. I'm also pleased that Wesley has his memories returned and I'm anxious to see what they do with all that.
He didn't remember exactly why he didn't like his throat being grabbed but vampires bite the neck area.

Didn't Angel slash Connor's throat in order to put the deal in place? That is what I remember and it would probably explain the remark. Or then I could be totally off base.
NOLA64 - I think you're right. The throat thing makes total sense.

Absolutely enjoyed this episode, the last scene between father and son was just beautiful. As mentioned above, this was the perfect resolution to Connor's storyline. The show just seems to be doing everything right this year. They've managed to give both Cordelia and Connor (two characters who after last year, I thought could never be redeemed) the perfect send-offs.

And, Vincent Kartheiser looks 37? What is Herc thinking? He must be referring to David Boreanaz. Has anyone else noticed how much David has aged in the last two years?
Another vote of confidence for this last episode, actualy immensely better than last weeks. It was sort of "The Wild Duck" with superheroes. What could be better than that?

I really like this Connor Mock II and hope to see him again somewhere down the road. I, like everyone else, grew pretty tired of Connor last year, but I sensed that, underneath it all, Vincent Kartheiser was a good, likable actor and this episode cinched it -- though I do think the issue of just how much specifically knows/remembers is up in the air a bit. We're dealing with something like the willful rejection and creation of memories, which could lead to some interesting conflicts if the story is allowed to continued.
Pretty much in agreement that this was a fine episode, though I wouldn't rank it as high as, say, 'Soul Purpose', 'Destiny', 'The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco' or 'Smile Time'. (Also, with all the commercials cut out, I timed it at just barely over 42 minutes long. Some scenes felt a little rushed to me, but overall it flowed well considering the amount of ground that got covered.) Beautiful, standout work from all major players throughout. The way Connor's story was paralleled with the unraveling of the W&H deal spell, and Connor/Angel with Wes/Illyria, was wonderful stuff. And DB and VK have some of the most amazing chemistry together. That look Connor gives Angel as he punches the 'down' button on the elevator just killed me, not to mention the look on Angel's face as Connor turns to leave. (Who says DB can't act? Jeebus. Pay attention!)

I have no words sufficient to express my anger at a network that would cancel a show which continues to acquit itself with an excellence undisplayed by any of that same network's other offerings. The WB probably can't understand why we don't just shut up already about the cancellation. My guess is, they don't appreciate how Angel succeeds where so many other series have failed. I'm pissed because I love these characters; I care if they hurt, and I don't want them to go away. There's not another show on TV now -- not one! -- I can personally say that about.

Overall, a good, solid effort from Drew Goddard (though it's not my most favorite of his outings) that sets up many fascinating possibilities for the next four eps. I can't wait to see what happens, even as the knot of dread in my stomach winds ever tighter.

[gloom] Four eps. That is just so wrong on so many levels. [/gloom]
A miracle has taken place. I didn't despise Connor. In fact, I almost l-l-l-liked him. There, that wasn't so hard.
I've said it before, but I'm saying it again: these actors are so amazing. They make me laugh, they make me afraid, they break my heart, but most of all they make me believe. They make me believe they are thinking their characters thoughts. It was in their eyes. Wesley's anguish as the memories rushed back. Illyria's spooky Barbie doll blue eyes that make Fred seem truly gone. And Angel especially this week. I don't know if it's because DB has a son in real life, but it was what he didn't say. There was such a palpable sadness.
I'm more in love than ever with these characters and their world. I don't want to let them go.
Only four more episodes. That just will not sink in.
Nola64 - I also think your "neck" explanation makes more sense than the idea I came up with.

I also feel a lot of anger and sadness that this is the last season. It makes no sense for a show that is this good and only getting better to end now.
Anybody else notice that Illyria never blinks - except the time she was trying to find Fred's memories?
Oh the pain the pain the pain, the noble pain! this is one of the many reasons I love Whedonverse shows. The look on Wesley's face when he remembered everything was just so tragic. He's such a wreck he can't even see straight & confabulates this "kill-Fred-bring-on-Illyria" evil W&H plan that somehow he believes Angel would agree to.

& I'm sure Vincent Kartheiser was thrilled to play a happy, smart (Stanford!) & mature person.

A great wrap-up for Connor & resolution of the whole mind-wipe thing - Wesley, who was so pissed about it before he remembered, now has to join Angel in knowing the truly horrible truth & wishes he could go back to blissful ignorance.

& one other question - Amy looked different this week - Her hair was less stringy & I swear her cheeks looked actually plump. Anyone else notice that or is it just me?

[ edited by gingeriffic on 2004-04-22 15:30 ]
He's going to Stanford? I can imagine Angel grumbling, "What, no Notre Dame?"

And, yeah, Conner knew. The guy facing down Sanjahn wasn't some content suburban college kid like we saw earlier. That was the face of someone who earned the nickname "The Destroyer" from a hell dimension I can't even spell.
I loved seeing the kind of relationship Angel and Connor should have had - a Connor who's accepting and excited about his demon background and eager to use it to do good for others. I wasn't thrilled at first to see that Connor was coming back, but I'm so, so glad that they did this episode. DB and VK did a great job. Now Connor has his proper place in the Whedonverse, imo.
Vincent was wonderful!!! DB was wonderful!!! What a connection they pulled off. The ending was heart tugging. I too cannot believe there are only 4 left...who said there was justice in the world??? I'm so excited to see each episode...but I know the end is coming closer and closer...this sucks!!!!
I also feel a lot of anger and sadness that this is the last season. It makes no sense for a show that is this good and only getting better to end now.

Honest to god, ya'll, I feel like I might need therapy when the show is over. Maybe there can be a weekly Flicker on Wednesday nights for Whedonesques-in-mourning, at least for a while? I'm more than willing to let any and all bawl on my shoulder (or rage) if I can do likewise.
I cannot believe how severly pissed I am at Wesley. Am I the only one?
Hm I could understand Wes. It was quite possible that destroying the spell would've reversed the whole thing. Magic often works that way in the Whedonverse. And if I'd just lost the love of my life I'd be kinda willing to try that too.

Overall a decent ep. It was nice to see Connor not pout and moan, but I just can't care all that much about the character on the whole. Nice ending to the whole son thing though. A friendly parting with Connor more or less saying 'it's ok, I'm happy now' which is probably real good for Angel. To get a bit of confirmation it was the right decision for Connor at least and that he agrees with that.

Funniest stuff was with Spike and Illyria though. 'He makes funny noises'. 'I would like to keep Spike as my pet'. And then the look he gives her. Oh come one Spike, you were pretty much Buffy's pet. What are you complaining about.

I am actually surprised at how much I enjoy the slow exploration of Illyria's character. She's been a good addition to the show. Amazing how different from Fred she is in mannerisms. Also, Fred was pretty in that tiny, cute mousy way, but as Illyria, she is downright beautiful. In that uh, scary blue haired ancient demon-goddess way.....uhm....
I agree with you, EdDantes. Illyria is beautiful and fascinating. I'm heartbroken we won't have another season to explore her character.
Yeah, I've been so impressed with Amy Acker - you can hardly tell it's the same actress under that blue hair. She's 100% Illyria. I'm loving the character and the storyline with Wesley more each week.
Agreed, Amy Acker looks even more beautiful as Illyria. That just shows how well she down played her beauty playing the mousy, yet pretty intellect.

And I also don't blame Wesley. He had reasons to wonder what was going on. He finds out that they've all had their memories wiped and it was on the orders of Angel. The love of his life dies and when he tries to get an answer from Angel, Angel can't give it to him so out of desperation he breaks the spell and now is even more miserable than ever. I found it an interesting twist that Wesley, thinking he is doing the right thing, betrays Angel again. Now to see where the writers go with him. Will this send him over the edge? Will Angel be there to help him cope? I can't wait to see where it goes.
I also understand Wesley. What he did was perfectly logical from his POV.

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