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May 13 2004

Herc gives 5.21 ('Power Play') four stars.

That was possibly the most brilliant hour of television I have ever seen! Wow. It almost makes "Hush" look like "Mutant X." Captivating plot, perfect dialogue, awesome score, etc.
The scene where Hamilton clobbered Illyria seriously freaked me out! It wasn't even particularly violent, as far as Angel goes, but I found it so horrifying. Wonderful episode from Fury.
I enjoyed it too. I knew Angel wasn't evil and when that demon called him Angelus and he corrected him, I knew for sure. I also wondered way back when if Cordelia's kiss would give him the visions but it was never mentioned so I had forgotten so I was happy to see that he at least got one whopper of a vision.

And yes, Hamilton beating the crap out of Illyria was intense to watch but I'm sure she'll be kicking his ass next week. I loved see her playing video games, I loved the bit about not wanting to be playing it but not being able to stop. Hah, been there myself with some of those games.

Although I enjoyed the episode I don't think it was anywhere near as good as "Hush", which to me is a masterpiece all on it's own.
Everything that I saw, the area is under a flash flood watch and the show kept getting interupted, was great. Such a better episode than last week. This was 5 star Angel. Great job from Fury, great direction, great acting. If only Buffy's speeches had been as good as Angel's was this week. There is gonna be a rumble next week.
One more week to go and damn but I'm gonna miss this show. So I'm watching the show with my Mom tonight and she didn't know it was getting axed. She asked:Are the ratings bad?. Nope I answered. Is the show too expensive? Nope I answered. Then why? I wish I knew. What are they replacing it with? Probably a reality show but nobody really knows. Stupid network. as she walked out of the room. Sometimes I'm reminded why I really like my Mom. Stupid network.
It was great but:
ARRRRGGGHHHH!!!! My video tape cut out 15 minutes before the end. My best friend (who turned me on to the Buffy-verse in the first place) doesn't have WB, so I tape it for her so she can see it, and now I have to scramble to find someone else with a copy. Stupid VCRS. Times like this I wish I had a TIVO.
So Herc is saying that this wasn't as good as last week's episode? I must be missing something . . .
Just a comment on Nola's mom's "stupid network" comment. I was watching a news show last night and they were talking about that new show the WB is doing about the "talentless talent show" that makes the contestants think they are good. To get the audience to cheer for them the producers had them told that all the contestants were people who were dying and that this is a "Make a Wish" thing for them. How disgusting is that?
I don't understand, but I was crying at the end of the episode. I'm such a sucker for cooperation and teamwork. I loved Angel's motivational speech.

I'm unspoiled for the final episode, and I couldn't even watch next week's preview. I'm going to be a wreck next week.

I can't believe this is the end. It's just starting to hit me.
I'm liking Illryia more and more. I wanted to protect her against Hamilton. Does that make me a bad person?

I loved Cordelia's significance being brought to our attention again.....I knew there was going to be at least one more reference to her. And I did wonder about the visions. If I recall correctly, didn't you speculate about this very thing in the discussion thread about You're Welcome, blwessels?

I'm still a tad uneasy with the sudden revelation about The Circle of the Black Thorn and Angel's having plotted for at least two months to infiltrate them by seeming to do bad. What's the timing on this? What was two months ago, Angel time? How do Cordelia's death and Angel's subsequent deciphering of her bequeathed vision(s) to him fit into the larger season five timeline? Ah, well, I guess I'll have plenty of time to rewatch season five again and look for earlier clues -- if as JW says this is the finale they'd planned all along for the season.

One quibble: for someone who was made "immortal" a thousand years ago, Dragyn (sp?) seemed awfully mortal. Why would a vampire's bite kill an immortal like him?

But all in all I have to say that I really really liked this episode. Maybe even loved it. I've watched Angel devotedly all along and season five has become my favorite. Damnit.
I did wonder that about Drogyn but the wording was strange. They said he was given eternal youth, but did they say he was immortal? I can't remember.
Great Episode but ARRGGHHH! I feel so frustrated and I empathize with the ME writers. Though great, that had the be the most rushed episode I've seen. The MoG suspect Angel of being 'off', research, find him out, confront him, AND Angel comes clean in one ep?

I mean this type of plot progression, in a typical season, would usually span like 3-4 episodes. But somehow our great writers managed to cram it all in one ep ... but it shows. However, I do not blame them a bit. It must ne hellish to try to give a show a decent wrap up when loose ends and young plot arcs are all over the place.

I really hope the last episode gives some creditable sense of closure, I'm a bit skeptical but, I just have to remember the amount of talent thats been infused into this show.

So I will hope for the best.


.....stupid network
I am so loving Illyria and it makes me even more furious that this is the last show coming up. They could've done so much with her character. I did like that they had her and Spike in several scenes together so maybe that's an indication that if there is a Spike spinoff there will be a place for Illyria as well. I am so happy that Amy Acker has gotten this chance to play such a different character. I just can't praise her performance enough. I am looking forward to Illyria kicking Hamilton's butt next week (come on, we know it's gotta happen after the ass whooping he gave her this week).

Phlebotinin, I might have mentioned the kiss way back when but it's hard to remember because I discuss this show intensively with so many people it's hard to remember what I said where and to whom.

[ edited by blwessels on 2004-05-13 04:52 ]
Ah yes, weatherby, perhaps I erred. Perhaps it was "eternal youth" rather than immortality. (Or was it both? Is there anyone out there who remembers? Although it is a minor point, I guess).

protector, I also felt like the plot was more rushed than usual. But it's still better than 99.99999% of other tv. As you say, "ARRGGHHH!"
Although I did enjoy season 7 of Buffy last year, I felt there were a lot of times near the end where they rushed the storyline and you felt like there was missing pieces. The fact that Angel was able to rush the storyline this week but let you not feel like you missed a thing is testament that they've learned from their past mistakes. This is definitely an episode that has to be rewatched to totally take in everything.
The fact that Angel was able to rush the storyline this week but let you not feel like you missed a thing is testament that they've learned from their past mistakes.

Yes, good point. Having a solid plot in spite of being rushed is a testament to the talent of the actors, writers, and staff.
How many times is the WB going to promote Charmed over grrr arghhhh!!!! That's really the main thing that makes me ARGGHHHH as previous posters have grunted. Great episode, I am a spoiler whore who has been in great withdrawl of the final episodes. So overall this was great. And bringing back Cordy was classic. They are both Fury episodes, so continuity within the same writer is great.

I do agree that the episode felt rushed. The pacing made the episode seem like 5 mins. The last time I felt that way about a Jossverse episode is when Riley came back in season 6.

Great, awesome, amazing, can't say more about this episode overall. Wait there is one more thing I can say... Crash Bandicoot :)
okay.. Illy was playing Spike's xbox.. and it's a Magical Xbox from the Future? This story arc is a little late in the series :D. The Crash Bandicoot adventure/platform game for use on the xbox isnt to be released until fall of this year. There is a racing game- but Spike's was clearly was a platform game.
And somehow you think with all of W&H's power they couldn't get an advanced copy? :-p
Freaking brilliant. I'm just really mad for three reasons, one, stupid WB cancelling the show. Two, I was sleeping for the first half an hour of it, so I was lost. Three, my sisters were talking for the last half an hour. But it kind of makes me happy because when I tape it tomorrow it'll be like watching the episode for the first time. Brilliant. Only watch the last half, but loved it. Especially the part where Illyria was playing video games.
It is an impressive XBox indeed that plays both Donkey Kong and Crash Bandicoot. Drogyn: "It's a challenge... some sort of task. One must collect these crystals. And... fruit." Heh.

Alec Newman has really delivered on that role. It's a shame that Nina could not have been portrayed by a more compelling actress--her scenes with Angel fell flat in comparison to the rest of the episode. Maybe I shouldn't complain; at least she's attractive.

The trailer for next week made it sound like this is the Apocalypse to End All Apocalypses, the Task for Which He was Appointed. You know, unless there had been a season six. I'm so bitter now.
redruIvI wrote:
okay.. Illy was playing Spike's xbox.. and it's a Magical Xbox from the Future? This story arc is a little late in the series :D. The Crash Bandicoot adventure/platform game for use on the xbox isnt to be released until fall of this year.
well, my niece and I play Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Kortx all the time on XBox and I can point to all the crystals on all the different levels I've gotten. I also noticed the other day in Best Buy a new Crash game. Don't know if that is a racing one or not.
Another Mom moment. The Crash reference was made and my Mom turned and asked, Isn't that the game Jennifer likes so much? Yup I answer. Funny show.
Stupid network.
Bitter, bitter, bitter at the WB. This show is so good with so much more story to tell, it shouldn't be dying yet. Bring forth the sacrifice! Who will die in Angel's place?

Well, upon consideration, there's no one else out there worthy of the job, so I guess Angel will go out at its appointed time, a champion at the end after all.

There was an awful lot of meta-commentary on power and influence in this episode -- JL, I'm looking at you -- and I agree with everyone else who noticed the pacing was on crystal meth. After half an hour I couldn't believe there was more story left, and that there's only one more episode to finish. Makes me glad I ended up choosing to tape PP at the slower VCR speed; my copy is beautiful, and with next week's ep joining it, it will become a two-hour movie that I'll enjoy watching again and again. (That is, when I can bear to look at it again once I've emerged from mourning...)

DB's handling of 'is he/isn't he evil' Angel was just right, and the final scene in Angel's office -- both pre- and post-glamour -- was a killer. AA as Illyria continues to amaze and draw me in with increasing sympathy to her plight, even though the way she's slowly crushing Wes's heart smacks of a careless cruelty more punishing than anything Angelus could have dreamed up. Having Cordelia pass on the visions to Angel had occurred to me back in YW, but I was blown away that they'd bring it back up after so long. (Did anyone else think they saw a bit of flash between Cordy and Angel's lips in the kiss flash-back?) Way to get me off the couch and whoo-hooing! :)

Loved this ep. Love this show. Have equally strong feelings of the opposite nature towards the WB. Whether they ever admit it publically or not, they're gonna miss us when we're gone -- both Angel and its fans.
Okay, everyone else noticed that they used the score from when Doyle died back in season 1, right? Right!? I was.. wow.

Alot of this stuff was "ehh" to me until the end when it all started to make sense. I'm just disappointed that they begun a relationship between Angel & Nina at all if they were going to just dump her like that. But the Illyria scenes were cool, as always. I'm hoping that there's a very good explanation as to why Hamilton was able to beat her down so easily and yet everyone's felt that W&H have felt threatened by her.

And that was a nice shout out to Cordy & Fred so I'm thankful. :)

Wait, did Angel kill that keeper of the well dude, then? Without him knowing the full story? Awww. Oh well. *is over it*
Yep, Wiseblood, the metanarration in Angel's final speedh was great.

And I actually thought the pacing was fine this week. Last week's episode seemed on hyperspeed to me - that could've had 20 more minutes - but I think the pacing of this was perfect.

Random Note: There was another last-minute promotion: James A. Contner was credited as a Co-Producer.
Wow. I'm stunned. This episode is one of the best of the seasons. I'm antsy and scared for next week's because I know it's the last and I know it's going to be huge.

God I don't want Angel to leave my TV! *cries*
Great show, proved that this show is one of the best dramas on TV today, we at least for 1 more episode, damn WB!! Drogyn and Spike relationship has been some of the best this season. I have but 2 questions though. 1) Werent the Visions from the powers supposed to make Angel crazy? Or was that the only vision he will get? 2) Any news on what the cast besides David is doing? New TV shows, movies, joining current shows?
I noticed the whole blue flash between cordy and angel and the music and just about jumped off my couch. I was just so glad to see Cordy referenced again. I thought the whole episode was amazing. I loved the team speech at the end and it suddenly hit me that I'll be doing some heavy mourning next week. My God, its over next week! I'm not ready!
rayne&ripper - in regards to Angel going crazy with the visions - remember that the alternate reality was created by Cordelia in collusion with Skip, and Skip was working for Jasmine - i would think the plan was to make Angel go crazy with the visions, thus playing on Cordelia's love for Angel so that she would choose to become part-demon
If the WB airs a promo over the final Grr...Argh next week then Jordan Levin's life is forfeit.
Mods, If I'm not allowed to ask this, then please delete this post, and I won't ever do it again, I promise:

Did anyone tape the show that would be willing to share with me? I tape for a friend who doesn't get the WB, and my VCR cut off with 10 minutes left in the show, so I need a new copy.
Christopher - Hamilton was able to beat Illyria down because she's been stripped of most of her power by that "ray gun" that Wes shot her with. If Illyria was still at FULL power then Hamilton and the Senior Partners would still be terrified of her I suspect.

Rayne&Ripper - Wes marvels that Cordy gave Angel her visions, but Angel corrects him and says it was a "one shot deal". All he got was the ONE vision, showing him the Circle of the Black Thorn. So no longterm crazy making involved.

WilliamTheBloody - Where are you (geographically I mean)?
I'm in Upstate NY. Near Rochester.
You can only get the WB up here if you have cable, which my best friend doesn't (and she lives too far away to come over and watch on Wednesdays), hence the taping.
If you (or anyone) can send me a copy, I'll mail you a blank tape. My email's in my profile to contact me.

Thanks in advance.
I, too, thought this was a very good episode -- although, like others, thought it was a little rushed. But I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I was spoiled, so I knew there was going to be the (too) brief flashback to Cordy, with the spark added this time around, although it was so subtle I almost missed it. I'm so glad they included her (token) presence in the finale. It would have been so cruel not to have made some reference to her. (I missed the Doyle music -- thanks for pointing it out -- I wondered if there would be any Doyle reference.)

I'm still a little confused about Drogyn. Eternal youth -- but not immortal? And I wondered, too, whether he could be killed by a vampire -- although it was a moot point, since Angel ultimately killed him by breaking his neck. But since Drogyn thought Angel was out to kill him in the first place, hence his visit with the FG to report about the assassin, then does that mean his "thank you" to Angel after Angel's jump through the fire was not because he thought Angel might rescue him, but because he knew Angel would put him out of his misery?
I was unspoiled and that really made me notice how well DB knows and plays his character. A harsh but resigned Angel seemingly willing to grab for power subtly shifts to the champion who knows he can't do it alone. His acknowledgement that the situation is basically hopeless but for "one brief shining moment" they could make a difference really got to me. And Spike being th first one to raise his hand to help bring the house down while they're still in it? That's my boy. I was so proud. I didn't watch the promo for next weeks episode so I don't know what's coming. I only know it's not "Angel's" time to go.
I LOVED this episode. Too many good things to say about it. I hope Hamilton gets his next week - he stomped on my girl Illyria! *enraged*
My heart skipped a beat when the promo for next week's show read, "Angel: The WB Series Finale." I had this little palpitation of hope that the show was going to another network (Remember the finale statement on the WB for Buffy?). Sadly, it was just this fleeting, wistful moment. My brain took over from my heart and remembered that the show isn't going anywhere.
But no one mentioned the best part: "Angel and I were never intimate.....except that once...." I about peed my pants! Fury giving props to the slash fans out there!!

But anyway, great epi. Wouldn't say as good as last week, but still great. And it did feel rushed, but I felt that ever since they started saying, "Something big is coming. I feel it." But hey, The WB forced them to rush it, so I think the writers are doing the best they can with what they have!
Wow! Firing on all cylinders!
Excellent episode, sucks that there's only one episode left, hated the promo for next weeks episode, if you think it's so good, why the hell are you cancelling it. Evil bastards.

Anyway this weeks episode was brilliant, setting us up for an absolutely blinding episode next week, and what would have been an absolutely blinding season next year, with Angel and co. trying to avoid getting slaughtered by the Senior Partners. Liked how they're using Spike and Illyria together, maybe as with Faith in Buffy last year, they're seeing how the two would work together in a potential spinoff, very well it would seem.

Liked Illyria and Drogyn playing Crash Bandicoot and could totally see where Illyria was coming for, that game sucks, but I had to finish it. Noone seemed bothered that Angel killed Drogyn, but I suppose they reckon it's going to allow them do a lot of good.

It's always good to have Lindsey in an episode, but this was one of his most dissapointing appearences, he was barely there, told them about the Circle, then they dragged him back to his cell, or wherever they're holding him and Eve. But, being spoiled, I know we'll see more of him next week (and he was in the promo - the WB do love giving away major plot developments).

Them all banding together at the end was good, using the music from Doyle's death in "Hero" to show that this, like that, is probably going to turn out to be suicide.
Ghost Spike, I don't know if the gang was aware Angel had killed Drogyn by that point...
I loved the moral ambiguity, if not outright amorality, of Angel in this episode. What's utterly ingenious about the structure of "Power Play" is that Fury hit us with the "Angel is EEEEVIL" material in the first half, then (sort of) told us that "nope, it was just a bluff, kids!", and then circled back on himself (see shadowkat's review, above) at the end to show us that everything we hoped wasn't true--Angel's newfound Machiavellian attitude toward power, the ritual murder of Drogyn--turned out to be the case, after all. The only reason we're not all calling Angel "evil" in today's discussion is that, instead of accumulating power for its own sake, Angel is using that power to take down the Circle of the Black Thorn. Still, our favorite anti-hero is treading a very very thin line between good and evil, Angel and Angelus. Fascinating, and damn scary.
Did anyone else catch that Illyria was not only talking about the video game, but the "game" of life she's been playing since taking Fred's body? Right before she made her comment, Drogyn asked her why she was still playing or why she played this game or some such... anyway, that's how I interpreted it.

Prufrock I am SO with you on that promo remark. The WB just has NO RESPECT for Angel. Adding insult to injury by having a "Charmed" voiceover over our GrrArgh guy. Makes my blood boil.

Also, I felt that Angel's speech to them all, while rousing, was a bit weak. That part when he was like (paraphrasing here) " We won't really do anything to them, but for one moment we won't be their bitches..." kind of took the wind out of my sails. Couldn't he have said something like, we'll go down using all our might to right the wrongs, fighting the good fight, and making a big difference towards the good in the world, instead of making what they are about to do seem so insignificant?

I admire our heroes for wanting to go out swinging, but hey Angel, couldn't you have made your speech more...er... complimentary? Towards your team, I mean. Not, well we are not really gonna change anything, but lets all die trying.

That was my impression anyhoo.

I really enjoyed the ep though, thought it one of this season's best. I can't believe next week is it. *huge frown*

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