Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DVD review - Buffy season 4/Angel season 1 episodes 19

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


B4-19: New Moon Rising

Synopsis: Oz's surprise return to Sunnydale causes complications in Willow's current love life and leads to his transformation into a werewolf and subsequent capture by Riley. (written by Marti Noxn, airdate 5/2/00)

This episode is all about how people change when they are apart. Oz physically changed with all of his world travelling and studies to keep his werewolf side under wraps. Willow however has emotionally changed, over the heartbreak of Oz's leaving and discovering new love with Tara. When he comes back ready to pick up where they left off, Willow cannot. Someone is going to get hurt. And it was almost Tara when Oz smelled Willow's scent on her and realized what was going on. But the tension here is paralleled too by the tension between Buffy and Riley, given that Buffy had yet to tell him about her past with a vampire. Also moment of awkward when Buffy realizes that Willow is batting for the other team, but in the end she accepts it as a good friend should. I liked how Riley stepped up though when he realized the wolf was Oz and how he risked his own career to try and break out the gang's friend. The gang, of course, has to do their own risky operation to get into the base and spring them both. They, of course, didn't realize Spike and his unseen new partner, Adam, made it a bit easier for them. Poor Anya - if she found out she wasn't as good a computer hacker she'll never get another high five. LOL. Allyson gave a great performance here as the one torn between two lovers - and that ending scene with Tara was played out well (simple and subtle, fade to black - to avoid any network censoring issues).

A1-19: Sanctuary

Synopsis: Convinced Faith is capable of changing her ways, Angel tries to help her even as Kate, the Watchers Council and Buffy continue to hunt her down. (written by Minear and Whedon, airdate 5/2/00)

Only Angle can understand what Faith is going through - how she has to deal with what she has done, accept it and make amends in order for the healing process to happen. He's done this for over 100 years. Angel risks his friendships with the beaten Cordelia and Wesley over it because it is about saving souls, and Faith qualifies. But it won't be easy. Not with Wolfram & Hart sending a demon to kill them, or with Lindsey then going to Kate to use the police and proper channels to solve W&H's problems. And not with the Council finding Wesley and trying to use him to get their revenge on the Slayer who made a mockery of them. Just as Angel is about to make a break thru, Buffy shows up and ups the tension quota. Wesley returns, but to warn them - because he can't, in good conscience, betray Angel no matter Faith did. But the warning isn't soon enough, leading to a huge throw down with the Council. Buffy has to put her anger aside to help Faith, and Wesley proves his loyalty once more. When Angel is arrested by Kate for harboring a fugitive, all are surprised at what they find - Faith has run but turned herself in. She makes that one step towards redemption. That doesn't stop Buffy and Angel for having one more final argument - but Buffy lacks the maturity to see it all for what it is, and Angel, despite years of wisdom, blows his cool and tells her to go home. Is this their final talk? Can it end on this note? I'm thinking not. Definitely a solid episode, very powerful and emotional. I expect nothing less when Joss is involved in the writing.

Boy, if I had seen these back to back on 5/2/00, I would have felt totally drained. A great TV night to be sure.

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