Monday, May 11, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 4/Angel season 1 episodes 9

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


B4-9: Something Blue

Synopsis: When Willow casts a spell in hopes of getting over the pain of losing Oz, the exact wording she uses causes mayhem among her friends. (written by Tracey Forbes, airdate 11/30/99)

I love episodes where magic goes horribly wrong (hey, it worked for seasons on Sabrina the Teenaged Witch), especially when Willow is in the center of it. Again, we have her pain over losing Oz and attempting to make it all go poof. Instead, the spell goes a different way and her comments cause problems for her friends (Giles going blind, Buffy and Spike getting engaged, Xander being a true demon magnet). Spike continues to shine as he interacts with the team, even when chained in Giles' bathtub (talk about the Odd Couple). And the fact that he can see clearly Willow's pain when everyone else can't just shows what wisdom and insight living hundreds of years can do for you. Another favorite supporting character, Anya, gets some moments too - plus we see the return of Tahoffran, her patron demon, when the later decides Willow might make an excellent vengeance demon. I love how she politely refuses the offer. All around fun episode.

A1-9: Hero

Synopsis: Doyle gets a chance to atone for his past when Angel agrees to help a group of mixed-heritage demons from being hunted by violent pure-blood demons known as the Scourge. (written by Gordon and Minear, airdate 11/30/99)

We go from Cordelia's narrative for a commercial ("the Dark Avenger" indeed) to the tragic sacrifice by Doyle (didn't see that one coming!). In between, we get the story of the half-demons (with Doyle flashbacks) and the Nazi-like pure-demon organization called the Scourge. It really had the whole WWII sort of feel to it in a way for me. Angel tries to get the halfs out of the country and ends up having to pretend he hates them to get in deep with the organization. When he sees first hand the devastating power of their beacon, he knows he has to warn the halfs on the ship. In the end, Doyle decides it is his time to be a hero and does so - but first he kisses Cordelia. Wow. And her she was ready to accept he was a half-demon and go out with him. Argh, so frustrating. Oh, and I love too early on how Angel shares with Doyle how only he remembers the bliss he had with Buffy for 24 hours (last episode) and then how Doyle conveys it to Cordelia (so much for secrets). I think it will come in handy for her to know Angel's sacrifice, especially after Doyle's sacrifice this episode. Good episode.


Michael O'Connell said...

BUFFY (SOMETHING BLUE): Yes, yes, YES to wacky magic! First, though, the Spike bathtub stuff was the big win. Buffy tempting him with her neck to torture him, the taking away of his cup of blood ("Hey! Give it!"), all this added to the brilliant role-reversal of the Spike character. Of course, the BIGGER role reversal was still to come on this ep. Engaged! And annoyingly happy about it! Priceless. I bet James Marsters loved getting THIS script. "Wait...I'm the villain...yet I get to make out with Sarah? Sold!" Giles did brilliantly with the blind thing, comedically speaking. Nice twist with the vengeance demon offer (and yes, Willow's very Willow-like reaction). I was just giving someone some advice the other day - someone going through a bad break-up - and told them that as much as I wish it wasn't true, time is the only thing that's going to make it all go away, and that there is no quick fix. Willow learned this the hard way (well...harder for her friends, of course).

ANGEL (HERO): Yeah, some bad news for you if you saw the end of this one and thought it was some kind of temporary thing and that Doyle would return. After it first aired, I had to check the net and read some things, because I was totally in shock - and was pissed, because I was such a big Doyle fan. I found out he was really gone, and not coming back. They never said why, but the actor was just no longer on the show. I guess we can read between the lines on what happened not long after - when the actor, Glenn Quinn, died of a heroin overdose. Clearly his drug problems made the producers quietly remove him from the show. So when I see this episode, it's doubly painful for me. I liked him a lot. What a waste.

Interesting trivia: He was Irish, and getting the job on Angel was the first time he got to be on camera without doing an American accent. But they made him "Americanize" his natural accent a bit, because his normal brogue made him too hard to understand, they felt, and this choice led to viewers thinking that he was faking the Irish accent and kept slipping in and out of it.

A very good episode, I think, and mainly because of the brilliant use of the Angel Investigations commercial reading that Cordy had him do, and how they were able to tie things up the end with it. "Is that it? Am I done?". (Sniffle). Ah, the joys of Buffyverse romance - Cordy reciprocates his feelings...just before he EXPLODES! Not before the kiss, at least (one that had a double-reason), so at least there's that. It's satisfying seeing a character who's been set up as the intelligent coward get to go out being the big hero. Good for Doyle. I miss him.

Martin Maenza said...

I did not know that Glenn had a drug problem and died of a heroin overdose. Very sad.