Angel 4×13: Salvage

[Review by Patrick Pricken]

[Writer: David Fury | Director: Jefferson Kibee | Aired: 03/05/2003]

When do we give up on people? Is there a point when we stop believing for the best, hoping they will change for the better, or do we hold out no matter what? It is a difficult question, one that we have to face one way or the other during our lives; as a teacher, when do I stop hoping the rude boy in the last row gets his act together? If I never stopped, I would be called naive – and yet, what if he does change?

If it came down to Connor, the boy would be expelled sooner rather than later. His experience growing up in Quor’toth did not make him into a sentimental person. Angel told him that, should Angelus be freed, he would have to kill him. And Connor is fine with that – of course, Holtz‘s long influence probably plays a role in that decision as well. But also look at “Tomorrow” [3×22]: he says a quick goodbye to Holtz and then chops his head off. And now he‘s naturally wondering, “how long does it take to chop off Lilah‘s head?”

Wesley is no Connor, though. After the crew finds Lilah‘s body, presumably killed by Angelus – though the audience finally knows Cordelia is the evil mastermind – he is the one who takes it on himself to decapitate her. It is a last gift from him; it would be far easier to have Connor do it, or to burn her body, but instead he will take care of it. He is arguably the closest person to Lilah – especially from her point of view.

One thing I always find curious is when Connor mentions that they have to make sure Lilah won‘t come back a vampire, it is Gunn who argues against it. Gunn, who grew up fighting vampires on the street, and who had to kill his own sister, should be the first to agree with Connor, not argue with him. Especially since Lilah was an enemy. In an episode that is very light on character moments for Gunn, Fred and Lorne, it‘s a shame this one moment smells false.

Back to Wesley. Every time I see his scene with Lilah in the basement I wonder about the first time I watched it: when she sits up, did I think she really had become alive? It‘s because I like the cut so much, when we switch from her walking and talking to lying dead on the slab. It is a hard cut, and helps bring Wesley‘s grief home.

Did he love her? I don‘t know, to be honest. I don‘t think he used her, not any more than she used him. Wesley claims Lilah didn‘t love him, she couldn‘t, but again, I‘m not sure. They did share intimate moments, and I think they also got some peace of mind when they were together – and maybe that‘s enough.

It‘s not enough for Wesley, though. Wesley is not Connor, as I said above. It seems like Wesley has fallen, but no matter how dirty he got there was still some white visible on his sleeves. Lilah hits it home when she remarks on Wesley‘s regret: he couldn‘t save her. In spite of Lilah‘s repeated misdeeds, in spite of her amoral survivalism, in spite of his own professed bleak outlook, Wesley still wanted to save her. He still held out hope, he did not give up. And again, Lilah is right that Wesley got that from Angel.

As an aside, Lilah is also right in that her death makes things easier for Wesley. Just when he is really torn between Lilah and a possible future for him and Fred, Lilah dies. Wesley does not have to decide. I don‘t think his decision would have been very much in doubt; he‘d probably have chosen Fred anyway and at least this way we‘re spared a storyline where Lilah is the proverbial woman scorned, but still: it does simplify things, which is unusual for Mutant Enemy.

Who to turn to for help but Faith? Faith had once been where Angel is now: seemingly irredeemable. But Angel helped her redeem herself nonetheless. Where the dead Lilah seems to be proof that Angelus must be killed, Faith is proof that there is always another way. Wesley needs that proof, but even more so he needs Faith herself. And indeed, she quickly points out to Wesley, “there‘s no way I‘m giving up on him.” As Wes says, that‘s why it had to be her. We will see in the next episodes how important this conviction is, as Faith risks her own life – indeed is willing to die in order to bring Angel back, and only thus manages to do just that.

It‘s worth noting that Faith only appears close to the second act break, roughly halfway through the episode. When I think of Salvage, I think of it as a Faith episode and enjoy it as one. I think that is an effect of the more forgettable parts of this episode. While Wesley has his immensely watchable scene with Lilah, the rest of the crew is left with not a lot to do. And what’s there isn‘t that good.

Normally, Mutant Enemy is skillful in the way they shine a light on secondary or even tertiary characters. While every episode has somebody who is relegated to the background, the writers often manage to pull off some nice character moments despite plot constraints. Here, though, it seems the writers were clueless what to do with Lorne, Gunn and Fred. They‘re just sitting around the lobby, waiting, and then putting together the sanctuary spell without much character revelation. Later on, Lorne and Fred are left at the hotel while Gunn is sent back to guard Connor (as if he could). Disappointing. Also, after conjuring the sanctuary, Lorne of all people attacks Connor with candelabra. Yes, it shows the spell worked, but I find it very hard to believe Lorne would do that, let alone with a weapon. In fact, the only other time I can remember Lorne attacking anyone is in “Not Fade Away” [5×22].

Whilst Wesley comes to the realization that he will try and save Angel, Connor almost leaves to hunt Angelus down. Right now, that‘s not to Cordelia‘s liking – she wants Angelus on her side – so she fakes a fall. Since the audience is clued in to her true motives (more or less), she now gets to manipulate Connor more openly. We see how much she‘s got him under her influence when he is immediately distracted from wanting to kill his father and rushes to her side.

Of course, that only holds up as long as Faith doesn‘t show up – a monkey wrench in Cordelia‘s plan that almost makes her betray herself and later makes her tell Connor about the pregnancy just to retain her hold on him. When Angelus kills the Beast, Connor might just be the last person she has on her side and she must not lose him to a slayer.

Connor also gets to fret about magic. This is something that grates me – not that I don‘t believe Connor would be so much against magic, but in “Inside Out” [4×17] Cordelia uses a magical ritual to give birth and there is no follow-up on his dislike of magic. The writers make it a point of character that Connor hates magic, but in the episode where he is torn between Cordy and Darla it doesn‘t come up. Hence my dislike.

While we‘re waiting for Faith there‘s also an extremely awful scene where Angelus enters a demon bar and finds some flunkies to lead him to the Beast. I hate that scene. It seems too easy for Angelus to return back into the demon fold. I mean, what stopped Angel from going to that bar, staking a vampire and being treated as evil? It‘s not that Angelus kills a human being or something similar. He does nothing at all that Angel couldn‘t do as well. And with the eternal midnight and all the chaos going on, I doubt that just a few hours after Angelus got away he would already be the talk of the town.

Oh, and there‘s also a scene with Faith. So I lied, Faith shows up earlier, but I don‘t count the prison fight scene. It‘s not a good fight scene, what with this other inmate snarling how she needed the money while already being on the ground, and then Faith punching her with weights, which always strikes me as extremely brutal (though not filmed that way). Okay, the Bringer knife alludes to Buffy and newcomers to the show might need that scene to see Faith is a strong fighter, but we also get the fight against the vampires later on and I can‘t help but feel this scene is redundant.

But then, finally, Wesley visits her. The last time they saw each other, Faith tortured Wesley who was angry at Angel for not killing her. Look at how much Wesley‘s grown — that he‘s willing to break Faith out of prison if it means saving Angel when she should be the last person he‘d want to see. In a way, it‘s Wesley‘s ‘ends before means’ approach – he wants to save Angel so he does what needs to be done. But also, it shows that Wesley is able to look at the larger picture and forgive. This is a sign of character growth. Just imagine an Abu Ghraib inmate asking Lynndie England for help. The scene between Wes and Faith is my favorite in this episode. Wesley just has to tell her about Angelus, and she‘s ready to go. See the quotes below.

I love how Faith takes charge as soon as she‘s in the hotel, even defusing Cordelia‘s criticisms quite easily. She is in control and it‘s understandable not only that Gunn, being the good soldier, falls in line, but even Connor shuts up. Their short fight in the alley is great and reminds me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in the way Faith simply blocks Connor‘s attacks and doesn‘t attack on her own — a pure display of dominance. And when she sends him home, Connor obeys.

Then we get the fight scene with the Beast. It is awesome, but it is also more than that. Remember that during the Darla storyline Wolfram and Hart said that they didn‘t want Angelus, but Angel on their side? Here we see why.

Wolfram and Hart, at least until the fifth season, was evil – but it was also a law firm. They represent order as much as they represent evil. It‘s what they offer Lindsey, too: control. In “Untouched” [2×04] it‘s clear they want the telekinetic girl as an assassin they can control, or not at all. And Angelus cannot, will not, be controlled.

Cordelia has not learned that lesson. She thinks simply confronting Angelus with the unbeatable Beast will be enough to bring him in line, that simply being evil means he‘ll work with – for her. But he “doesn‘t like having [his] strings yanked.” And she cannot control him the way she controls the Beast: with sex.

No matter whether it fits with the character of the Beast, when Cordy kisses him we see that she‘s doing the same to Connor, and we know that should push come to shove, he might side with Cordelia here. Now, I don‘t especially like that this female bad girl uses her sexuality to control her followers (and just imagine those rock-hard lips the Beast must have; almost like kissing Edward Cullen), but I‘m willing to grant it because it makes sense in how it parallels Connor. Of course, Cordelia cannot seduce Angelus as he would kill her first. And maybe turn her.

Instead, he just turns on her. We have an awesome fight scene where Faith is beaten handily. I love the moment when she‘s on the ground, and for a split second, we can see her smiling. Until then Faith has been very toned down, somber even. The Faith we know had… moxie, for lack of a better term. She had fun in her fights. That sense of fun is missing, which we only notice when it returns just before she‘s beaten down some more. Of course, that‘s a hint at her underlying desperation: in a way, she wants to die whilst saving Angel, and in “Orpheus” [4×15] we see that play out.

And then Angelus kills the Beast. It‘s not a cheat, I don‘t think. Instead, it‘s proving Wolfram and Hart right: you don‘t want that one on your side. That the sun comes back right after is a lucky coincidence. So Angelus quite literally saves the day. I love that. Faith saves her ### with a cool move. I love that, too. In the end, despite the flaws mentioned above, the strong parts are strong enough so that I love this episode and the minor arc that follows.

Finally: what the heck was Cordelia‘s plan? Can anybody tell me that? So she brings the Beast to L.A., she lets fire rain down, she destroys Wolfram and Hart (in L.A.) and she blots out the sun, all to get Angelus? Really? What kind of over-the-top, ridiculous plan is that? It feels like a total letdown that there‘s nothing else to all this; the sun comes back and it‘s all done. It seems pointless and stupid, which is a shame. It starts with a rain of fire, and ends with a whimper.

I want to mention some standout performances here: Alexis Denisof is his usual best; it‘s amazing how much he can portray without saying anything. Eliza Dushku really was born to play Faith. And a shout-out to David Boreanaz, who always seems liberated when playing Angelus; he has a certain spring in his step that fits really well to the demon being let out of his prison and makes Angelus a joy to watch. And farewell to Stephanie Romanov, whose Lilah I didn‘t connect with at all during her early appearances, but I end up missing her and regretting her death every time. She was a worthy adversary to Team Angel. At least Wesley still has that folded dollar note.

 


Minor Pros/Cons (+/-)

+ Faith breaking the prison glass.
+ Wes and Lilah in the basement.
+ Connor and Faith fighting.
+ Angelus taunting the Beast.
+ Lorne attacking Connor.
+ The demon bar.

– I just have to mention it: I think the names “the Beast” and “the Beastmaster” are dumb.


Foreshadowing

* Faith’s somber attitude hints at her death wish. She‘ll overcome that in “Orpheus” [4×15]. In a way, the salvage mission also applies to her; she must save herself.


[Score]

90/100

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58 thoughts on “Angel 4×13: Salvage”

  1. [Note: Tara posted this comment on August 16, 2010.]

    Excellent review, Patrick! You made a lot of good points. I too absolutely loathed the scene with Angelus in the demon bar. Are we really to belive that the Angelus of BtVS Season 2 would be hanging out in a bar with a buch of demons when there are friends of Angel’s to be psychologically tortured and killed? Please. Angelus was something of a disappountment this Seasonn, all bluster and no bite. I can understand the writers not wanting their main character to kill anyone, but remember how creepy Angelus was just by sending a box of flowers or leaving a drawing under a pillow? Man, I miss that Angelus.

    The Faith scenes are all kinds of awesome. The thing I love about this episode is how she finally – finally – gets to be The Slayer. Not the ‘other’ Slayer or ‘a’ Slayer, but THE Slayer. You can really see what it does to her as well after that introduction by Wesley. She’s firm, decisive, commanding, rises to the leadership role remarkably. She doesn’t do anything arrogant or reckless. It shows volumes about how her character has grown, and it is touching to see the respect she garners from the Fang Gang. It’s fascinating as well to see Wesley at last getting to be her Watcher.

    As for Cordevil… Faith’s appearence was a blow to her in more ways than one. Connor fell like a ton of bricks for Faith the second she walked through the door and it’s taking all Cordevil’s manipulations to keep him on a leash. I’m assuming she didn’t want to reveal the pregnancy so soon but did in a last-ditch attempt to bring Connor to heel (and how CREEPY was CC in that final scene?). I agree too that Angelus is definitely a wild card. I’m just fanwanking here, but I don’t think Angelus was merely used as a ‘distraction’ so much as he knows Cordelia better than any of the Fang Gang. He would be the first one to notice she’s not herself (as indeed he does, in Players.) Cordevil was right in wanting him out of the way.

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  2. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on August 16, 2010.]

    Great review, Patrick. You made a lot of great points. Although I dislike Connor/Cordelia here and Angelus is kind of weak (though David Boreanaz is amazing), I really love this episode for two main reasons: Faith and Wesley/Lilah in the basement. I adore that scene beyond all reason.

    Keep up the good work.

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  3. [Note: Patrick posted this comment on August 16, 2010.]

    Thanks! Tara, I agree that part of Cordy’s plan was just to get rid of Angel, but she doesn’t try and kill him (which she probably could with the Beast), but to get him to her side. In a way, she thinks Angelus would be a better henchman than Connor and chooses the father over the son even when she’s evil 🙂

    I think the longer they try and show Angelus, the greater the chance that they fail to live up to our expectations. It’s actually almost a miracle how Buffy managed to make Angelus into a viably scary villain because there’s a difference between what the characters tell you about him and what they’re allowed to show on TV, and so Angelus will never be as dark as you expect him to be. With Buffy, they managed to go the psychological route, and I think they did well on Angel as long as he was in the cage. But as soon as he got out it was time to show us his depravity, and yeah, they fail. They do have the great scene where he intimidates Fred next episode, but on the face of it Angelus drinks from dead Lilah, kills the Beast, and intimidates Fred. And he puts a pencil into a very fake rubbery demon hand. 🙂

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  4. [Note: DarthMarion posted this comment on August 16, 2010.]

    Great review!

    Agreed, Angelus out of the cage isn’t that scary anymore. But we got to remember that he evolved in the same time that Angel did (by the way, what’s your take on Angel/us dichotomy?). Still, it was a total let down (one day I actually did count his performances in S4 and it was kinda ridiculous, saving the day, not killing a lot of people and being just annoying…)

    What’s best in your review is your take on Faith, fascinating and spot on! It’s a shame you’re not continuing your analysis on next episodes! Actually, you should write her season wrap up! It would be great (If I recall correctly, Mike wants to separate the season review by character?)!

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  5. [Note: Kumar posted this comment on August 16, 2010.]

    Great review! I completely forgot about Lorne attacking Connor. He did slap Eve in A Hole In The World (5×15) though; I remember watching that thinking it was the first time Lorne flat out attacked someone.

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  6. [Note: DarthMarion posted this comment on August 17, 2010.]

    Besides, since Connor came back from Quort-toht (I never know how to spell it), it was kinda tough love between Lorne and the kid. He basically left because of him (and in order to give the writer a Vegas episode, but that’s meta).

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  7. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on August 17, 2010.]

    Perhaps part of it is their not being able to show depravity, but I’m blaming sloppy writing.

    Because this is the same season we see Wesley keep Justine in a cage, torture a junkie, decapitate a loved one and encourage Faith to risk killing herself in the interest of saving Angel. And still be more or less a good guy.

    And this is just two seasons after we saw Angel leave an entire group of lawyers to their deaths in truly callous fashion and sleep with his sire in an effort to lose his soul.

    On Buffy he mostly goes the psychological route, but the first evidence we see of his change is when he bites a prostitute and sucks cigarette smoke from her -windpipe- and then drops her like so much dirt, blowing the smoke out again with relish. Talk about creepy?

    They could have Angel wreak havoc in season 4 too, or at least kill some extras. They just didn’t.

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  8. [Note: Tara posted this comment on August 17, 2010.]

    “The first evidence we see of his change is when he bites a prostitute and sucks cigarette smoke from her -windpipe- and then drops her like so much dirt, blowing the smoke out again with relish.”

    Ah, yes. Good times. Gooood times.

    The only time Season 4 Angelus came even *close* to the same factor of creepy was when he threatened to rape Fred to death. Other than that? Nada.

    The characters in S4 kept *talking* about how bad Angelus was, but we never really saw anything that lived up to the hype. Show, don’t tell, writers. On Buffy, no one had any idea of what they had unleashed (even Giles only had books to fall back on) while Angelus was gleefully racking up the body count and fucking with everyone. I would have loved to have had a scene of S4 Angelus perhaps torturing Connor, as a) It would be Angelus’s perfect revenge after seeing Angel’s Season-long work of trying to reconnect with his son, b) It would have made the audience sympathise with Connor, something that was sorely needed at this point, and c) It would have made a heck of a lot more sense when Connor became putty in Cordevil’s hands.

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  9. [Note: Patrick posted this comment on August 17, 2010.]

    Iguana: You know what? You’re right. I can’t help but think that the crucial difference might be that Buffy S2 was intended to showcase Angelus, whereas in S4 it feels more like the writers taking on every plot idea they ever had, including “we need to bring back Angelus”. Angelus needs to be the focus of the story, and here he’s a distraction from the Beast(master).

    But your examples really hit home how much the show could do without running afoul of TV regulations.

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  10. [Note: DarthMarion posted this comment on August 17, 2010.]

    Tara, you bring a point in fact about Connor and Angelus.

    To be honest I don’t even understand that Angelus isn’t obsessed by Connor this season. He’s his son!!! He’s a perfect for Angelus..The vampire can manipulate him in every way. He even did a good job while in the cage about Darla…

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  11. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on August 18, 2010.]

    Yes, you’re probably right, Patrick. The Angelus plotline was too much of an afterthought on season 4.

    I think it’s best summed up by the demon in Release in that same bar that annoyed you so much here.

    DEMON: “Oh, *that* Angelus. Yeah, in here all the time running his mouth. Look at me, I’m so evil. Real jackass. Never liked him. I’m on your side.”

    Incidentally, -that- bar-scene was awesome. Wes and Faith do “don’t mess with us, we’re scary” so much better than Evil Angel in season 4.

    WESLEY: “Strom demon. Face should grow back. Eventually.”

    FAITH: “Think yours will?”

    What were we saying again about what you can get away with on network television?

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  12. [Note: JammyJu posted this comment on August 21, 2010.]

    Angelus’s dialogue was incredibily hockey and cheesy at times though.

    When he is in the bar (this episode?), and he’s talking to Cordeval..It just makes me cringe and it’s such an awful script, and woefully directed.

    Mutant Enemy are capable of much better.

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  13. [Note: Patrick posted this comment on August 21, 2010.]

    JammyJu: that’s next episode, when the “Beastmaster” talks to Angelus. And really, Beastmaster is only one step and a ferret familiar away from Unobtanium.

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  14. [Note: Durandal_1707 posted this comment on August 22, 2010.]

    So the Beast finally gets taken out in this one. I kept wondering why people kept trying to attack something made out of *rock* with things like swords, axes, and even *fists*. Why didn’t anyone ever think of bringing a sledgehammer?

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  15. [Note: Jonny posted this comment on December 26, 2010.]

    Durandal_1707 is spot on about the Beast. It bugs me the way everyone seems to consider it invincible after bare hands and axes don’t work against it. Come on, it’s not as though the rules of the buffyverse say our heroes can’t use modern weaponry. Buffy herself uses a rocket launcher in Innocence.

    I agree with most of the review. Lilah finally becomes an interesting character this season and then they kill her off. I really feel for Wes agonising in the basement. He feels he let Lilah down because he couldn’t save her from herself, and maybe because he couldn’t love her although she loved him.

    I love the way Wesley is back in charge these last few episodes, deciding to bring back Angelus, then Faith. Best scene is the one in the prison when Faith does her jail break. Having Faith back in the mix more than makes up for some hokey scenes and the writers ignoring some of the characters.

    I agree Angelus himself is a big let down this season. He was genuinely scary in season 2 Buffy but here he comes off as all bark and no bite. However, I do like that the writers use Angelus’s unpredictable nature in this episode to have him the one to kill the Beast. Mind you it does seem to me that someone other than Angelus should have figured out there was something seriously wrong with Cordelia this season. It irritates me the way no-one else notices this is not the Cordelia they knew before – surely they don’t put down all her odd behaviour to her being an ex-higher power?

    A shame you’re not reviewing the rest of the Faith episodes, I was looking forward to reading your thoughts.

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  16. [Note: JMK posted this comment on January 3, 2011.]

    The Angelus-Faith arc was my favorite part of Season 4. I liked ” Deep Down”, but some of the episodes after the season premiere were kinda so-so. In my opinion, the show needed the injection of Angelus and Faith into the mix, to spice things up a little. However, I will state that Alexis Denishof’s darker take on Wesley was a very welcome addition to both the end of Season 3 and throughout Season 4. Watching Wesley and Faith interact with one another was a joy and Eliza and Alexis showed a pretty interesting dynamic. Additionally, I will say that David Boreanaz’s performance as Angelus is a always a plus.

    Though, I felt that the Angelus of “Angel” was subdued in comparison to the extremely creepy Angelus of “BTVS S2”. But it was a pleasure to see Angelus nonetheless, as he frustrated Jasdelia (lolz such a creepy storyline), Angel Inc. , and the Beast ( I loved how he taunted the Beast and eventually killed him).

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  17. [Note: JMK posted this comment on January 3, 2011.]

    I would like to add that I was not really into the Jasmine arc that followed the end of these episodes. The storyline was ambitious and interesting in itself, but I never really got into it. Cordelia and Connor really turned me off, as I hate Connor (until ‘Not Fade Away’ and was creeped out by the cradle-robbing Cordy. To further illustrate my point, the Angelus arc is the best part of Season 4, aside from “Inside Out”. The plot twist of taking over Wolfram and Hart was very well-done and interesting.

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  18. [Note: Aaron posted this comment on February 13, 2011.]

    I love that Wesley didn’t actually break Faith out of prison but she broke herself out. It shows she could have left whenever she wanted and, that shows that she was committed to her atonement.

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  19. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on May 6, 2011.]

    Another thought that just occurred to me: the fight in the prison at the start does serve a purpose. It shows that the Bringers can and will strike at Faith even when she’s in prison, and that remaining there where her location is known puts her at very considerable risk. She’s probably safer on the outside, on the move, fighting alongside people who know what’s going on. So in a way that fight further justifies her decision to escape.

    It also establishes that despite the danger (which she surely realises at least in part) Faith does -not- try to break out or plot an escape after she’s attacked. This probably further plays into her death-wish, even though it’s far less prominent than it was in “Five by Five.”

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  20. [Note: darkness posted this comment on June 27, 2011.]

    If the Beast blocked out the sun, then why is there sunlight in Faith’s prison? Was the sun meant for Los Angeles only, or for every part of the world? Was this why Buffy and the others weren’t affected by the Beast’s actions?

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  21. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on July 16, 2011.]

    darkness: Faith said about how there was no sun in LA. Not sure how the sun can only be blocked out of one city?

    The Good: Faith!

    -Wesley not fighting the prison guards so he cannot get in trouble.

    -Cordelia being pissed that Faith is helping.

    -Lorne trying to bash in Connor’s head. He did it to prove the spell worked, but part of him was just pissed off and wanted to lash out.

    -Faith getting beat badly in a great fight scene.

    -Angelus killing The Beast and looking happy until it brings back the sun.

    -Faith pushing the chains at the window and Angelus’ smile fades to shock.

    The Bad:

    -Cordelia kissing The Beast.

    -Cordelia playing up the “I’m evil” characterisation now that the audience knows. Before there was no hints and now the camera pans on her face for her reaction. Crap.

    Patrick: Good review. I believe the apocalypse and eternal night was so when Jasmine was born the world would be better and people would see her as the saviour of mankind. People see the apocalypse and weeks later perfection so they see Jasmine as God, or a Goddess. She didn’t need Angelus. He was a decoy so the gang would be occupied and not notice Cordy until it was too late.

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  22. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on July 20, 2011.]

    I forgot to add.

    The Beast calls his master “she”. Then Angelus calls his master “he”. I cannot understand how Angelus missed the mark and misheard The Beast. It was probably because the writers didn’t want the gang to narrow the field by only looking for females and find Cordy sooner.

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  23. [Note: nathan.taurus posted this comment on July 29, 2011.]

    Mistake Alert: I watched the scene again and replayed part of The Beast’s speech again and again and realised he says “your orders” not “her orders”. It’s the accent that got me and he says it soft. Void the above comment: )

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  24. [Note: ZRW posted this comment on August 30, 2011.]

    I believe Lorne tried to hit Connor because he was the only demon there at the time and they cast the demon-only version of the sanctuary spell. I don’t think there was any particular malice behind it, although it would have made more sense if he hadn’t used a weapon, and had tested it in a way similar to the way Fred tested the sanctuary spell at Caritas in Lullaby (she lightly tried to slap Gunn).

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  25. [Note: Ozzie posted this comment on October 14, 2011.]

    In my opinion i was actually really disappointed with how the beast was killed in this episode it was so cheap and so awfully convenient for the angel gang,, the beast should have been killed by the angel gang in a unforgettable fight scene without Angel(Angelus)and have it be defeated in a real heroic way,, not just have angelus push a stick unexpectedly into the beast without warning..The beast was one of the most powerful villains the gang had come across and i really would of rather seen it defeated in a more reasonable way

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  26. [Note: Alex posted this comment on October 14, 2011.]

    I agree with Ozzie, more or less. Actually I don’t really have a problem with Angelus killing the Beast or even with the weapon that he used to do it, but it was really badly written and as a result, it was all way too convenient.

    Angelus killing the Beast could have been really cool. I kind of like the idea of him doing it, because it shows that he’s very much a lone player who doesn’t like to be used by the other bad guys for their own purposes. We’ve seen that before, in the flashback when he basically tells The Master to get lost because he doesn’t want to be one of his lackeys. So no, I don’t mind Angelus doing it rather than the rest of the gang. However, his motives should have been much clearer, and he should have had a better reason than simply trying to piss off the Beast’s Master.

    I just find Angelus far too cocky in these episodes. Well, Angelus is always rather cocky, but that cockiness works best when he’s still being cunning and ruthless (like in ‘Passion’, for example). When he shows up in AtS he often verges on comedy-villain buffoonery, which makes him much less convincing as a serious bad guy. I just can’t really take him seriously at all in this season, or see him as any real threat to anyone.

    I also think he should have done it with the full knowledge that he was going to bring back the sun. It would have been much more interesting that way. That stupid line where he says ‘what, you mean it really does bring back the sun?’ always really annoys me! He seems incredibly stupid here, and it’s extremely lame that Faith is then able to stop him simply by letting the sunlight in, leaving him to sneak off with his tail between his legs.

    And oh look, just as he’s decided to kill the Beast, the Beast just happens to have made the exact weapon that he needs to do it. And has it sitting right next to him. Oh yeah, and Angelus somehow also knows exactly how to use this weapon. Again, I think it’s a cool idea – the idea that the Beast is so strong that he can only be killed by a weapon forged from himself. But the weapon should’t have just appeared right before it was needed, and it certainly shouldn’t have just been conveniently lying around for Angelus to pick up.

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  27. [Note: Rosie posted this comment on November 5, 2011.]

    Wes and Lilah were in love with each other. I think that despite her “evil” nature, Lilah would have been more willing to admit it in the end. She wasn’t plagued by any whore/madonna complex or some illogical need for the “perfect” mate. I’m not so sure about Wes.

    Like

  28. [Note: Lucy posted this comment on November 28, 2011.]

    I agree with Alex. Killing the beast should have taken a bit more effort. Perhaps if Angelus had ripped out his arm and used that to stab him, or a horn or something. That would have been a bit more dramatic and would have earned the death. As it was, it just seemed like the writers got bored of the beast and killed him off as lamely as possible.

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  29. [Note: Kristen posted this comment on January 22, 2012.]

    I’m so confused.

    I only watched this season sporadically when it was on. I didn’t see every episode, so I don’t really remember everything that happened.

    But reading what everyone’s writing here, it would seem that this IS really Angelus. And not Angel pretending to be Angelus in order to flush out the Beast’s master.

    WHICH IS RIDICULOUS!

    The writing stinks of sixth-sense-style hints. Angelus doesn’t kill Lilah, but poses with her dead body and waits to be “discovered”. Angelus doesn’t kill A SINGLE HUMAN BEING in all of his wandering the streets, but loudly proclaims that he’s trying to find someone to eat. Angelus kills a vampire in the club, stabs a demons hand, and manhandles bad guys right and left. Then, inexplicably, while the Beast is just about to kill the one person who can probably take Angelus out, Angelus kills the Beast. So, he is kind and good to humans, and kills demons and vampires? Um, that’s Angel’s prerogative, my friends.

    There’s absolutely no way in the world that this is actually Angelus. If it is, then these writers seriously need to actually watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and learn how to write these characters!

    On a completely separate note, the Wesley scenes were just amazing in this episode. I’ve been watching Angel pretty much just for him since Season 2.

    Like

  30. [Note: Kristen posted this comment on January 22, 2012.]

    Ooh– sorry. Realized I should have clarified in my post above… while I didn’t watch the season in full when it was on, I’m REWATCHING it in full now. Hence my commenting on it. 🙂

    Like

  31. [Note: Anonymous posted this comment on February 19, 2012.]

    Kristen, this is Angelus. In an earlier episode, a shaman(?) removed his soul. While this may be a not-as-good version of the Angelus of BtVS Season 2, it still is Angelus.

    Like

  32. [Note: Peter posted this comment on March 17, 2012.]

    First of all the whole thing about Lilah possibly turning into a vampire why would the team think this just as the saw angelus bite lilah and suck her blood for the change to work she would also have to taste some of angelus’s blood.

    And as to the purpose of the beast it does suck that it isnt truely explained the fact of trying to get angelus on her side seems likly but then again if so it comes down to alot of luck there was no gurentee that angel would become angelus.

    Finally I would think with Cordy manipulating Conner alot of the time she would choose Conner to be by her side not angelus at least she has some sort of hold over Conner

    Like

  33. [Note: Dave posted this comment on November 12, 2012.]

    That quiver of Wesley’s face as he does the deed to Lilah is devastating. This is a man who is hurt by love and the loss of it. It couldn’t be any more clear to me.

    Like

  34. [Note: Dave posted this comment on November 12, 2012.]

    Also, I am disgusted by the utter failure of Jasmine. Not Cordelia, Jasmine. The personality change was palpable and terrible writing that prevented the other characters from noticing.

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  35. [Note: Miss Jay posted this comment on February 15, 2013.]

    Random nitty picky thoughts:

    – They use real glass in prison?
    – Angel casts a shadow in the warehouse before Faith breaks the window.
    – I thought it was rather out of character for Lorne to attack Conner so severely. What if the spell hadn’t worked? (and there was no real reason to trust it had). Fine to test it, but test it safely.
    – Gah! They gloss over Lorne getting a chance to explain his false reading. Personal speculation, did Cordy somehow interfere with it, and that’s why she has to interrupt Lorne here? Guess I’ll find out soon enough.

    Patrick, I appreciate your reminder about Conner having to chop Holtz’s head. I took his comment to be more insensitive Conner whininess, but I had forgotten.

    I don’t have a problem with the attack on Faith at the prison- I thought it was brilliant continuity with the current Buffy plot. There the First Evil is currently trying to destroy the slayer line. It stand very much to reason Faith would have some sort of attack, I’m glad we got to see it. To me it’s not redundant, it’s a little teaser of what is to come with Faith. Aaron – excellent point about Faith breaking herself out. I also like the moment where Wesley takes Faith to the street before the hotel to test (?) her. It seems like a very watcher type thing to do.

    I didn’t get the impression Cordy controls the beast with sex, always assumed she controlled him from a position of greater power, and the kiss/sex? was just a reward/bonus. Although it is how she controlled Conner, so *shrug* could be a pattern.

    Cordy’s look in the opener after she says “It’s started” is perfect. She gives a very subtle upturn to the corner of her mouth, can’t even be called close to a smile, but it completely is.

    Like

  36. [Note: Fm posted this comment on July 24, 2013.]

    Connor made some jackass comment about their fruitless efforts using magic- Lorne doesn’t like the little brat as it is, i think he got annoyed and figured he’d test the spell out. Worst case scenario Connor gets a serious hit to his superhuman head, maybe a little bump and be no worse for the wear- he’s the strongest one there after Angel (and now Faith).

    so glad a lot of peeps agree that BtVS Angelus was soooo much more well done (and ominous) than the Angel version. Such a dissappointment.

    Like

  37. [Note: Billy posted this comment on August 29, 2013.]

    Love when Wesley uses Faith’s ” Five by Five” Line when he busts Faith out of teh prison. Wesley had turned into such an awesome badass!

    Like

  38. [Note: EdwardH posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    I did like how disappointed Angellus sounded when he realized the slayer in L.A. wasn’t Buffy. I don’t think Angellus has quite gotten over his hatred of Buffy.

    Like

  39. [Note: EdwardH posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    Actually Angel has far more to fear from Buffy than Faith. Buffy whipped him pretty good before re-ensouled Angel went to hell and I’m sure Buffy would like to make Angellus pay for basically forcing her to kill Angel. And Buffy is a bigger threat, in my opinion, than Faith. Faith often reacts like a bull in a china shop, Buffy is more disciplined and knows how to use everything around her as an aid to the fight. If I were Angel I’d be far more afraid of Buffy than Faith.

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  40. [Note: FaithFanatic posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    It’s just the tone of voice that Angelus has when he speaks – it’s more ‘I’m unhappy that it’s Faith’ rather than ‘I’m unhappy it’s not Buffy.’ There’s a difference.

    Like

  41. [Note: Iguana-on-a-stick posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    I don’t think it really matters to Angel(us) who’s the bigger threat. More important is that he’s still obsessed with Buffy. (Hate? It’s more complicated than that)

    I think you’re seeing them as too separate, EdwardH. Buffy would certainly never “want to make Angelus pay for forcing her to kill Angel.” Don’t you remember how hard it was for her to even bring herself to harm soulless Angel in season 2 of Buffy? When she knew he was hurting the innocent?

    FaithF:
    I’ve re-watched the pertinent scenes in the episodes, and I think it’s clearly disappointment that it isn’t Buffy he’s showing. Watch his gleeful smile when the those vampires tell him she’s in town. He wanted to mess with her again. Then when Dawn tells him her sister is home, he’s disappointed. Faith never even comes up.

    Which brings to mind another inconsistency with the whole season 4 “Angelus has memories Angel does not” plot. If they really are separate minds and a spell that makes Angel forget things doesn’t affect Angelus… then how the hell does Angelus know about Dawn? The spell to make everybody think they knew her was cast while the soul was in place.

    Like

  42. [Note: EdwardH posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    It seems odd to say but I think Angellus is as attracted to Buffy as Angel is. It isn’t love (if Angellus can even love) and obsession isn’t quite right either. But Angellus had plenty of opportunities to do more harm to Buffy than he did. I don’t think Angellus himself knows how he really feels about her, other than the enjoyment he gets from their fights (when Buffy isn’t kneeing him in the privates).
    Plus one has to remember that Buffy has grown a lot since their last meeting and definitely isn’t the same person as in BtVS season 2.

    Like

  43. [Note: FaithFanatic posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    Each to their own. I took it as Angelus being disappointed that it was Faith, but I can get why you would take it the other way.

    Like

  44. [Note: EdwardH posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    I think the main reason Angellus was hoping the slayer in town was Buffy, and not Faith, is that Angellus knows Buffy. Angellus has never met Faith and Angellus’ particular brand of torture and mayhem seems to be geared towards those he knows. He uses psychological torture a lot and this doesn’t really work on someone you haven’t met. Angellus knows Buffy intimately and torturing her was probably the most fun Angellus had had in a while.

    Like

  45. [Note: Other Scott posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    Sort of adjacent to the conversation you guys are having, I think it was (probably accidentally) insightful that the gang went to Faith and not Buffy for help to deal with Angel. Buffy’s big on absolutes, we see from how she tried to deal with Anya in Selfless that she is willing to put aside personal connections to do what needs to be done. Buffy would have no hesitations in killing Angelus, especially after what he had done after she failed the first time in Innocence.

    Faith is much more concerned with those she has personal connections to, which makes sense because she hasn’t had many. She stuck with the Mayor through thick and thin and she was going to stick with Angel no matter what as well. If you want to keep Angelus alive, it’s the perfect person to go to try and capture him.

    The real reason they didn’t go to Buffy is likely that pesky network difference, as Buffy is a more reliable slayer than Faith, especially with the resources Buffy has. But I think the “we need to keep him alive and this is the person we can trust” to do that explanation works pretty well to, as far as in story goes.

    Iguana,
    The only thing I can think of is that Angelus has access to Angel’s memories but not the other way around, therefore even though he knows that Dawn wasn’t always real, he can see through Angel’s memories that she exists now. But the whole “Angelus will remember even though Angel doesn’t” was a stupid, stupid plot point.

    Like

  46. [Note: EdwardH posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    I pointed out in the Comments about Selfless: If you watch the confrontation between Anya and Buffy, Buffy never tries to kill Anya. Buffy stabs Anya in the chest knowing it won’t kill her, and when Anya is on the ground Buffy is about to stab her in the chest again. It actually seems like Buffy is delaying the kill and hoping something will happen to save her from killing Anya.

    Like

  47. [Note: FaithFanatic posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    True, but I think she would have gone through with it in the end if D’Hoffryn hadn’t intervened.

    Like

  48. [Note: EdwardH posted this comment on January 27, 2014.]

    Oh, I’ve no doubt she’d have gone through with it but she was definitely putting it off as long as possible.

    Like

  49. [Note: research-kills-demons posted this comment on May 24, 2014.]

    As ZRW mentioned, Lorne tried to hit Connor because the sanctuary spell only prevented demon violence, and as the only demon present he had to be the one to test it out.

    Angelus has such hype, and at least in Buffy it was deservedly so. He was truly frightening in S2 of Buffy, and so cunning about it. This arc falls flat in my opinion. Angelus doesn’t really seem to have a plan, doesn’t terrorize the Fang Gang, and doesn’t kill anyone! He’s a neutered Angelus. Disappointing after all the constant “Angelus is the WORST” build-up.

    I guess the writers didn’t want the image of the main character/namesake of the show to get too tarnished :/

    Like

  50. [Note: Ben posted this comment on March 10, 2015.]

    This episode always interested me. I really liked the dynamic Faith brought with Connor especially… he even is a little turned on by it!

    If there was one thing that always confused me about this episode… it was how easily Faith is beaten by the Beast. Yes, the Beast decimated the gang every time he fought them, but in episode 7, his first appearance, Angel very nearly gets the better of him. Yes, he eventually loses, but it’s not one sided; the Beast doesn’t spend the time kicking the crap out of Angel, who puts up a damn good fight and even throws some punches that seem to make the Beast hesitate.

    Then Faith meets the Beast… and he completely destroys her! She doesn’t even come close to landing a single blow! I know this is to show that maybe Faith has some sort of death wish… but the whole reason she’s broken out of prison is to help Angel… and she’s not going to do that if the Beast kills her. It just doesn’t mesh for me; after all, slayers are supposed to be stronger than vampires (though Angel has shown he can subdue both Faith and Buffy on a good day). Yes, Faith was always going to lose this fight, but I always felt she should have done a little better.

    On another note… that scene with Lilah. Anyone else ever get the impression that it was the First taunting Wesley, suspecting he may well be bringing Faith back into the picture soon, and trying to distract him using his grief for Lilah? It’s left open to interpretation, but I always liked the idea that the First took Wesley into account when making it’s plans.

    Like

  51. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on March 10, 2015.]

    I love the theory of The First being Lilah and later Darla with Connor, especially now rewatching both these seasons and seeing all the parallels between them. Both seasons compliment each other well and hold up better as a whole in the buffyverse rather then individually, with still some major issues that can’t be rectified regardless of viewing them as one big epic rather then two. That aside, I would love it if I could objectively believe that were the case as it would show that it knew it had competition in the apocalypse department.

    The problem is, I’m not so sure you can really make a good enough argument for The First being Lilah. Distracting Wesley is too much of a stretch for me to believe, especially since it’s a poor way to try and change his mind. If that were it’s goal, it gave up far too easily as well. It’s a shame too that I just can’t believe it, since it would make sense of the attempt on Faith’s life if The First were aware of her possible reintroduction. Otherwise, it’d make more sense to keep her where she is: behind bars and with no risk of a potential being called.

    I think there is a much stronger argument for Darla though. The First would be desperate at that point to prevent the competition from being reborn and thus becoming stronger. It has enough to deal with in the Slayer line let alone another being trying to muscle it’s own apocalypse. Then, she can’t be seen by the girl in the room which is made suspiciously clear after it being heavily emphasized on BtvS that it can choose to be seen by only those it wants. Finally, other then a gentle stroke of the cheek to which Connor doesn’t really react (and the First has mimicked being able to touch before), it never touches anything. Throw in that Jasdelia (or w/e) could see her and it’s a neat thought to think they actually had some interaction. Only thing is, I think it might have been said in a commentary that it was indeed Darla. I’m not quite sure though.

    Like

  52. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on March 10, 2015.]

    Also, sorry for the double post, but Darla claims to be sent by the Powers That Be. Problem is, if we want to believe Jasmine’s story, she was a Power and that seems to imply the Powers were behind her. Further evidence is that Skip said everything had been orchestrated since Cordelia got her visions, and the Powers are the ones who control what she sees and doesn’t see.

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  53. [Note: Paige posted this comment on August 18, 2015.]

    I don’t understand the whole “Beastmaster” nonsense… Angelus knew that only Lilah and Cordelia were in the hotel, and came upon Lilah’s dead body. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the culprit. And if Cordelia murdered Lilah, Angelus has to figure out she’s evil, right? Pretending to be good in the midst of our heroes, but capable of such cold-blooded murder, Cordelia is the obvious choice to be the new “big player” with the ruthless machinations. Especially since the show always emphasizes how intelligent Angelus is. It just feels off to me.

    Like

  54. [Note: Random posted this comment on January 12, 2017.]

    If they really are separate minds and a spell that makes Angel forget things doesn’t affect Angelus… then how the hell does Angelus know about Dawn?

    The most logical explanation is pretty simple — the spell to excise the Beast from the world was cast after Angel was re-ensouled. In other words, Angel actually did know about the Beast until he, like everyone else, was made to forget. Angelus knows about Dawn because Angel knew about Dawn. Angel knew about the Beast because Angelus knew about the Beast…until the spell stripped him of that knowledge. The dormant Angelus wasn’t stripped, so he remembers once he resurfaces. The Dawn spell never robbed anyone of knowledge, just inserted it. While we can play around with the dualism aspects of Angel/Angelus, the logic itself is easily resolved. This solution would indicate a very real divide between the personae, obviously, and would actually be pretty strong evidence for one side of the ongoing debate of how different Angel is from Angelus.

    Like

  55. [Note: Samm posted this comment on January 12, 2017.]

    However following that logic Angelus should still have the true memories without Dawn and then the Angel memories just there. Exactly like the spell at the end of this season where he remembers the 2 different versions of reality.

    On a semi related note though, i have major problems with how Angelus/Angel are shown as different people completely while every other vamp isn’t. Even Angel was shown as that.

    Like

  56. [Note: Random posted this comment on January 13, 2017.]

    However following that logic Angelus should still have the true memories without Dawn and then the Angel memories just there. Exactly like the spell at the end of this season where he remembers the 2 different versions of reality.

    I’m not sure I agree with that logic. It’s interpretive, granted, but Angelus’ memories are Angel’s memories. When he emerges, he takes over the available memories in either case. Angelus re-emerging in this season didn’t have his own set of memories per se; the demonic aspect simply didn’t have that one memory forcibly removed the way the ensouled one did. Once Angelus emerges, he remembers only Dawn because Angel remembers only Dawn. He wasn’t actively holding onto an entire different set of memories whilst submerged — he was merely immune to a spell that removed a memory. As far as the evidence goes, submerged Angelus is completely passive until released. There’s no reason to assume he has experience independent of Angel.

    On a semi related note though, i have major problems with how Angelus/Angel are shown as different people completely while every other vamp isn’t. Even Angel was shown as that.

    My take, as implied above, isn’t so much that he’s a completely separate entity. Obviously, all vampire are by canon since the vampiric part is literally a demon inhabiting the corpse. My take, however, is that the demon takes on the aspects of the human without the control/filter provided by the soul. So Angelus here isn’t a violation of the general mythology simply because the spell didn’t remove his memory. He’s simply in possession of the exact same knowledge Angel himself had until the spell removed it from the human side of the schism without touching the demon side. That doesn’t make them entirely distinct creatures, just aspects of the same one that were affected differently.

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