Saturday, May 16, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 4/Angel season 1 episodes 12

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


B4-12: A New Man

Synopsis: Feeling suddenly old and useless, Giles drowns his sorrows at a pub with an old friend and sorcerer Ethan Rayne and winds up with much more than just a simple hangover the next morning. (written by Jane Espenson, airdate 1/25/00)

First, I love how this show every season marks Buffy's birthday (this one # 19). It is another aspect how the show moves in real time. Of course, the party helps Giles realize he's growing out of Buffy's loop (of course, her failing to him about Riley's secret - which Giles is appauled that Xander and Willow and even Anya and Spike knew) doesn't help either. This sets him up for having a bad falling in with Ethan, who always causes trouble whenever he's around (which is why we love him so!). Leave it to that rat to joke about slipping poison into Giles' drink but instead really slipping him a mickey - a transforming mickey. That's not the way I'd want to wake up after a night of drinking - the hangover would have been better. Great scenes through out this one: Xander kicking Spike out of the basement with Anya have some good lines, Professor Walsh being proud of Riley's mere 17 kills - which is like a really slow week for Buffy, transformed Giles seeking Xander for help but unable to communicate with him, Giles finding he has to ally with Spike who does understand him (and all that great car stuff), Giles taking a moment to terrorize Professor Walsh because of how she put him down the day before (nobody tells Buffy's surrogate father that she doesn't have a strong male rolemodel in her life!), Willow and Tara doing magic alone in the wee hours, and the well done fights. I love the way that Buffy knew the demon was Giles even without words. Again, it further emphasizes their "father-daughter" type relationship. Great lines, great character moments - Jane really delivers once again. Oh, and the warning about the demons all freaked about "314" and that being the number of Professor Walsh's office in the Initiative lair - just perfect. I'm loving how this season's arc is shaping up - new, different, exciting.

A1-12: Expecting

Synopsis: After a night out on the town with her new boyfriend, Cordelia wakes up eight-and-a-half months pregnant with something decidedly inhuman growing inside her. (written by Howard Gordon, airdate 1/25/00)

The theme night of "the morning after" continues with this Angel as Cordelia and her friends find out they are carrying litters of demons. Got to love that cross-show marketing, eh? Once again, we get the angle of guys worshipping a demon in exchange for wealth and prestige - in this case, guys acting as surrogates to seed unexpecting women with demon-spawn. Luckily the developing team of Angel-Wesley are on the case. Loved the pre-natal exam scens where Cordelia and Wesley pretend to be a couple. The whole "birthing ceremony" was so weird, but we get great teamwork here (Wesley providing the stalling tactics, Angel providing the special shower "gift" to give us one flash-frozen-father, and then Cordelia delivering the final, shattering blow. In the entire episode we see the great chemistry of Angel, Cordelia and Welsey. Together, they show can deliver the funny, the creepy and the sensitivity all in one package. This proper mix is what I found lacking in the earlier episodes. Now it is here it is making the show a much better viewing for me. Wesley seems to bring out Angel's fun side (much needed - got him out of all the dark brooding). Cordelia brings out Angel's very sensitive side (he's like a big brother to her - "family" as he says in this episode). Wesley provides the scholarly side of the equation. Angel provides the strength and conviction. Cordelia provides the heart. It clicks. Oh, and I cannot leave out how much I love it that Cordelia has Dennis, her own ghost. That so adds a unique element not present over on Buffy. The last scene is very touching - with Cordelia showing how much she appreciates the two men in her life who care so much for her. A great episode.

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