Friday, May 15, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 4/Angel season 1 episodes 11

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


B4-11: Doomed

Synopsis: As Buffy and Riley struggle to come to terms with each other's secret identity, a Vahrall demon begins gathering objects for a ritual that will reopen the Hellmouth. (written by Noxon, Fury and Espenson, airdate 1/18/00)

First, I love how this one picks up right where "Hush" left off. Buffy and Riley are forced in this episode to understand what the recent revelation means for their relationship. Lots of great interchanges (Marti Noxon's specialty) giving us both sides, pro and con. But it takes working together to really convince Buffy that it could work. Equally enjoyable are the continued exchanges between Spike and Xander, with Willow later thrown in the mix. She is still dealing with the loss of Oz but has her compassions (she won't leave Spike alone so he can try to commit suicide again). Interesting dicotomy between the Scoobies and the Initiative team - on how they assess, research and track (I'd put my money on the Scoobies). Even though Spike tries to undermine Xander and Willow's worth to the team, they come to his rescue after he realizes he can fight demons/evil during the battle at the Hellmouth. This gives Spike a whole new perspective and purpose, as freaky as it is. A very nice twist. And, of course, Willow and Xander prove Spike wrong when they too realize what Riley really is. It was also nice to see old Sunnydale High, still charred and falling apart. I love Willow's comment - "high school seems so small". We all can relate to that after we've been away. All in all, a great mid-season turning point episode as things are going to change (as evident too by the addition of Riley to the opening credits).

A1-11: Somnambulist

Synopsis: Kate discovers Angel's secret after he comes to her assistance when a vampire from his past shows up in town and begins a killing spree. (written by Tim Minear, airdate 1/18/00)

The night of secrets revealed continues. This time, one of Angel's old proteges is in town doing the same-old-same-old and Kate is on the case. Angel has to reveal his own secrets to that he can use the police to help track Penn down. But Kate ends up being a victim, prompting Angel to come to her rescue. We get some more flashbacks into Angelus' past as well as some great moments today with Wesley and Cordelia. She is proving to be true asset to Angel, even without the visions aspect. And Wesley is still the collaborative ally but focusing on his own approach too. The big battle where Angel must save Kate from being kidnapped is a good one, as is how Kate figures out how to end the battle - without ending Angel too. A decent episode - the show continues to gain momentum with each passing episode. It just needed some time to find its rhythm.


Michael O'Connell said...

BUFFY (DOOMED): Yep, as the credits show, Riley's officially in the gang. Interesting choice - can fans get past that monotone of his? This was a great ep to show how the "civilian" Scoobs and the Initiative handle things differently. And we get to go back to Sunnydale High! Sweet! That wacky Hellmouth... More good Spike stuff, too. And he can fight demons! Woo hoo! Loved his reaction to that. Fun.

ANGEL (SOMNAMBULIST): Yeah! Cool episode! Loved the creepy, serial-killer-kinda vamp. Loved that Angel made him that way, which made this personal. Great flashbacks. I especially loved the period of suspicion when it looked like it could be Angel doing it in his sleep. Particularly liked that scene with Kate talking about the suspect, and how all those profile aspects fit Angel. In the end, Kate gets in on the secret, and has her eyes opened to the "real world". That would be pretty traumatic for anyone. Awesome fight between the two vamps, and yeah, a great way for Kate to end it. Coolness.

A THOUGHT: While looking at the ep synopses at the top of your reviews, I continue to hope that you're not reading those before each episode, as many of them are very spoilery!

Martin said...

No, I do not read the synopsis before viewing. That really messes stuff up. Read them after I view an episode - though sometimes they can be sort of off the mark. ;)