Sunday, May 10, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 4/Angel season 1 episodes 8

Continuing with my viewing and reviewing of season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and season 1 of Angel...


B4-8: Pangs

Synopsis: Warned that Buffy may be in great danger, Angel returns to Sunnydale just as the spirit of a Chumash warrior rises to avenge the death of his people. (written by Jane Espenson, airdate 11/23/99)

Ah, nothing like a rousing Thanksgiving themed episode with heated debate about the wronging of the native Americans and anxiety over the perfect meal with friends to add up to a lot of fun. Throw in Angel, back because of Doyle's vision, to protect Buffy but remain unseen by her and you've got a nice recipe for a good episode. Anya once again delivers the goods - first with her lusty thoughts over Xander doing some digging for the groundbreaking ceremony and then her later providing caregiving, of sorts, when he comes down with ancient illnesses from the buried mission. And how about Xander - the only disease on the list that freaks him out is syphyllus (we know what Xander thinks with). Willow and Giles provide the heated debate over the wrongs to the ancient Chumash tribe, while Spike, now homeless and hungry - even Harmony kicked him to the curb, provides the only clear view of the situation (gotta love when Spike spills out the truth, whether you agree with it or not). Throughout, Buffy is like a woman possessed in trying to make for the perfect Thanksgiving meal (don't ever come between the chef and her meal, trust me). The seige of Giles' home brings all parties together - and watching as Spike helplessly gets shot with arrow after arrow tops it all off very humorously. Angel, of course, departs without a word to Buffy (which I am sure freaked out all the fan-girls with the "so close and yet so far" reunion) - but leave it Xander to spill the beans just before the fade-out. A nice crossover of sorts between the two shows.

A1-8: I Will Remember You

Synopsis: When exposure to demon blood causes Angel to become mortal, he must decide whether or not to renew his relationship with Buffy. (written by Greenwalt and Renshaw, airdate 11/23/99)

I guess the above mentioned fan-girls got what they wanted then with this episode, the follow-up of the crossover night. Buff comes to LA, upset that Angel was in Sunnydale but never spoke to her. They talk, they fight (a demon, that is), they talk some more, Angel fights solo, then Angel turns mortal. You know that allows the writers a chance to give the couple a taste of normalcy - and boy do they taste (not just talking about Angel being able to enjoy real food again either)! I loved seeing Cordelia being her usual snarky self where Buffy is concerned and her being concerned about her own possible unemployment. Way to focus on yourself, Cordy. Of course, Angel has to be the true example of selflessness - sacrificing his own new found mortality so that he can be there to save Buffy in the future when he is needed. The Oracles grant his request to turn back time 24 hours, but he will be the only one who remembers what happened. More angst and dark brooding for our vampire hero as only he knows what true bliss he and Buffy shared but cannot again. Tragic indeed, but a good episode.

1 comment:

Michael O'Connell said...

All right, going to have to make these quicker if I'm going to ever catch up. And since I actually watched these some time back, my memory's not going to be AS clear anyway, so that should help...

BUFFY (PANGS): Wacky fun, and plenty off it. Great Anya moments (why isn't Xander digging?). Great use of Spike, who's definitely filled into his new role on the show - from entertaining badass to comic relief and blatant truth-teller. Between him and Anya, nothing's going to be left unsaid on this show. And that desire to make the perfect Thanksgiving and having the "family" messing it up - that's pretty universal, and was played nicely here - right down to the debate over it's a holiday of celebration or of evil white imperialism (many a family has faced this argument over turkey). Loved the Angel "non-appearances" - "I'm here because Buffy's in danger and...who's that guy she's talking to?" Perfect ending with the Xander slip.

ANGEL (I WILL REMEMBER YOU): Yes, correct you are, sir, about happy fangirls. They got all they ever wanted and more! At least for a while. Sure, we knew it wouldn't last, but at least the writers got to give these two crazy kids a taste of what their happiness would be like. Hmmm. That strike you as a little too story-forced, though, the whole "demon with healing blood that cures vampirism and breaks curses" thing? Wouldn't you want to catch a bunch of these demons, get their blood, and inject it into vamps to cure them? Or, you know...cure CANCER or whatever? Seems like a pretty big thing for a throwaway demon. Hmm. Anyway, at least we finally got to hook up with the Powers That Be and get a feel for those aloof, snotty god types. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them. And Angel makes the noble self-sacrifice for the greater good (and for love), breaking the fangirl hearts, and yet making them love him more. Nicely tragic ending with a fine Sarah performance. Ouch!