As some of you know I have not been the flag barer in the Angel parade this season. Have I hated the show? No. Have I loved the show? No. It's had it's moments, but overall has failed to win my interest or attention. If not for Wesley - my second favorite Jossverse character - and the fact that it loosely pertains to Buffy, I probably wouldn't watch. But tonight was a first, I actually got angry and nearly turned off the TV.
chase820 has posted a wonderful breakdown of the episode and what it supposedly all means. I've also read that these major turn of events have been plotted since this summer. If that's the case, I'm rethinking my faith in ME.
On Buffy, we've either been told directly or had it inferred that everything is "connected". Angel takes that to a new and, in my opinion, implausible level. Let's negate everything we have believed for four years. Doyle didn't really sacrifice himself, he had to die. Cordy's visions weren't there to help her grow as a person. Angel's struggle with the soul, with right and wrong, is futile and insignificant when you find out he's been manipulated all along.
And how far does this go back? Joyce's talk with Angel urging him to leave Sunnydale? Cordy walking in on the Willow/Xander liplock? Spike creating the situation.....Angel and Buffy falling in love....Angel cursed by gypsies....Angel turned by Darla....when exactly did all this start???
I can't even fathom why ME chose to deal with the current story-arc in this manner. For me, it screams 'We've created a convoluted mess, how do we get ourselves out of it? Hey, it's all connected!'.
There's no free will my ass. I was damn close to exercising it by reaching for the remote.
Now I've touched on this overall debacle, let me go into more specific complaints....
Conner - naive or just plain stupid? I actually predicted last week that he'd get the "they want to destroy are little family" argument and buy it hook, line, and sinker. What I didn't forsee is that he would totally reject the last firing braincell in his head and turn himself into a murderer. Considering his stance on magic and ritual, you'd think someone spouting that only the "blood of the innocent" will do while your beloved sits in a circle chanting would throw up a few warning flags.
As Chase mentioned in her LJ, what is with the female victimization in this ep? Cordy has been violated every way imaginable, trapped in her own body, forced to witness all this and unable to do anything to stop it. A return of snarky Cordy next season will be completely unbelievable. And the prospect of listening to her counseling sessions while trying to rebuild a relationship with Angel just ain't wowing me.
And why did the 'virgin sacrifice' have to be a girl? I'm torn by this part of the storyline. The terrorization and brutal murder of the girl was all too real. Should they be applauded for the reality of it or criticized? Personally, I had images of Elizabeth Smart and others like her, tied up, crying for their parents, and begging for their lives before something unspeakable happens. Yeah, I get that Conner now has to live with the true horror of what he has done - killed an innocent in cold blood for selfish reasons. Perhaps we are being set up for his own sacrificial death (I can only hope), but, personally, for a company that wishes to focus on female empowerment, portraying women as victims is not the way to go.
I could go on and on with my disapointment, but I won't. I didn't like it and gave the most glaring examples of why. But, I'll leave with one positive comment....Wes, the gun, the role, and the kill shot - very cool.