Welcome to the Angel Season One Speed Run, a side quest that I have to complete before I can finish walking through Buffy with my girlfriend, who’s seen it all (we left off at s05). Time for s01e16, “The Ring.”
- Now that is a refreshingly straightforward opening: someone in trouble just stumbles into the office. Why don’t they do that more often?
- Angel, that is a pretty slick money-handoff move right there.
- Hey, there’s a DemonDB! Remember back in the internet’s early days, when every new tool/archive was a thing of wonder?
- Oh, this guy’s in on it! Shit, they really like putting twists in this show.
- Uh … where’s the audience for these demon fights come from? They all seem remarkably cool with knowing that demons actually exist, much less betting on the outcome of their fights.
- This Cribb guy’s makeup is pretty good. I realize this is a dumb thing to say about a show that the network clearly invested in, but their makeup guys are really pretty great for whatever their budget and time constraints must’ve been.
- Wesley, dogg, way to handle that crossbow. I like that they’re occasionally letting him not be a total fuckup.
- Does anyone else think the entire premise of this episode is based on a weird idea? Why should Angel expect any kind of honor or squeamishness about killing from his fellow captives? THEY’RE DEMONS. Doesn’t he … know demons? And how they roll?
- I wonder if we’re gonna see any of these demons again.
And why not s01e17, “Eternity.”
- Oh woof. Cordelia cannot act, but at least she’s trying. That’s right, guys: spare those feelings! See, they really do care.
- This movie star lady was just waiting to get hit by that car, wasn’t she?
- Wesley’s observation about Angel not wanting to get close is remarkably perceptive. What gives, Wesley?
- Well shit, that’s one way for someone to find out you’re a vampire, Angel.
- You know, we really don’t see Angel making use of his vampire leaping abilities as often as I feel like we oughta.
- Oh, here’s where the plot of the episode really kicks in. Huh. That is remarkably logical of you, Rebecca.
- You know, I’ve never done that arm-linking champagne move. Is it time to bring that back?
- Lesson learned: never let Angel near MDMA. Damn, he says the most horrible things when he’s in Evil Mode!
They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.
Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave."
— ~A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression. (via jacobwren)
Anonymous said: So what's been your favourite Buffy episode to date?? Mine is unequivocally "Hush" (4-10) but there are many, many honorable mentions ("Doppelgangland" (3-16) for instance).
This is an excellent question. I went back, and not surprisingly, my real favorites are all in season 3, specifically:
- s03e13, “The Zeppo" — the central premise was fantastic, but what really sealed the deal for me was Bobby Beemer and his undead pals.
- s03e16, “Doppelgängland" — essentially perfect on all levels.
- s03e18, “Earshot" — deserves honorable mention for that moment at the very end when they catch the lunch lady dumping rat poison into the food. I still think it might have been the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on this show.
There were others that also deserved honorable mention, all in the next season:
- s04e09, “Something Blue" — the whole thing with "engaged" Buffy and Spike was hilarious, but when Giles specifically pointed out that he could still hear the lip smacking noises, I lost it. That always, always bugged me about Buffy and Angel’s makeouts.
- s04e12, “A New Man" — this was overall just a pretty good episode, but the moment where Demon Giles has Spike pull over just so he can chase the professor around a little was top-notch.
- s04e17, “Superstar" — just a great idea executed well.
- s04e22, “Restless" — this one was so very strange and seemingly jammed full of odd subtexts jutting out at every angle that I want to rewatch it pretty soon.
I liked “Hush" too, but it looks like I’m mostly a sucker for the all-out comedy episodes, which is probably not a surprise.