Asta 2

Guess who saw Episode 2 of Angel today?

Yes, I have seen the second episode of Angel. :) I’ll go into much greater detail behind the cut tag in a moment. Let me say a few non-spoilery things. First off, as most of you know, I hated last season of Angel. Secondly, I had trepidation’s about Spike joining the cast of Angel. Now, what I saw today, I liked - a lot. I have hope that I will enjoy this season. And Spike’s role in it. I think ME came up with a nice balance in regards to Spike’s characterization. Enough so that I believe most (but not all, because all of fandom can never be happy ;) people will satisfied.

On a related note I learned two days things today. One - spoilers are evil. Several spoilers I’ve seen turned out to be just plain wrong; others misinterpreted. Two - don’t listen to James when he talks about Spike. His acting is brilliant, his interpretations of
Spike’s psyche, not so much. ;p

Now, before I get to the good stuff, a follow up on the bitchy co-worker situation. Yesterday, the firm held her wedding shower. The really interesting thing about firm events like this, you find out just how well someone is liked. In this case, not so much. :) The room was not crowded, and the gifts few. Literally. There were three - one from the firm, one from our department, and one from the secretaries on our floor. The firm got her several pieces from the china collection she registered for. My department? Hell, I don’t like her and I was willing to chip in twenty bucks. But, her ‘friends’ in the department decided $5-$7 was fair. Yes, I did type that correctly. Actually it ended up be a whopping $8.50. The look on her face when she opened her box of towels...priceless. :) Her verbalization was just as rewarding. “Towels....more towels.....and more towels...and...that’s it”. Hee. Apparently, she was searching for the good gift at the bottom of the box. The final present from the floor consisted of gardening supplies. A watering can, gloves, pruners, a tool caddy, and a (small) box of Miracle Gro. They say what goes around comes around. I just didn’t think it would come around this damn fast.



‘Wow’ was my first reaction upon seeing the episode. My second was thinking there was so much to absorb. Forgive me if I get some stuff wrong or can’t recall certain things. Hunched over my desk, my nose to the screen, with my speakers as high as I could have them on without co-workers asking “What are you listening to over there?” was not the best environment to grasp everything.

Joss said Spike’s return would be long and complicated. He wasn’t kidding. The mystery actually begins at the end of the season premiere. How was the Amulet retrieved and who sent it to Angel? Someone or something wants Spike in LA and attached (yes, they are stuck with each other) to Angel. Why?

Angel speculates on a lot of this himself talking to Wes and Fred (I believe). The Amulet was given to him, he was supposed to wear it. He could be he in Spike’s place and present state. Or he could simply be dead. He points out that it makes no sense for W&H to have given him the firm if they intended for him to be killed in Sunnydale. So, did someone know that Spike would end up being the Amulets recipient? And part of the plan was to bring him back? But for what purpose? Throughout the ep I got the impression that we’d be wondering all season long if W&H is behind Spike’s resurrection or The Powers That Be or maybe some third party we are unaware of. (On a side note, I speculated months ago that Spike would act as Angel’s conscience - questing his judgement in joining W&H to fight evil. He almost immediately does this. :)

As for Spike’s return....it’s a painful one, much more so emotionally than physically. He’s confused, pissed off, and fearful. He really believed he was finally at rest and throughout the episode I get the sense that he was OK with it. His life was complete...or so he thought.

Angel is the first to bring up Buffy’s name. He mentions he had given the amulet to her. Spike immediately looks at him with an expression of deep concern “Is she OK?... Where is She?” Angel tells him she’s fine and somewhere in Europe last he heard from her. Spike wants to see her, wants to talk to her. Angel shoots this down immediately saying it’s not possible. Spike tells him he can’t keep her from him. Angel replies she’s not his to keep or Spike’s.

S: “You got no idea what we had”
A: “You never had her”
S: “Says You”

It quickly becomes apparent that Angel was very vague with the others as to what happened in Sunnydale and Spike’s role in it. Wes is at least aware that Spike was an ally to Buffy and had been helping her for sometime. But, he’s as surprised as the rest when Spike reveals just how close he and Buffy were. Meanwhile, Harmony is appalled to learn that Spike actually hooked up with Buffy - a Slayer - and storms out of the room. :)

A bit later Wes and Fred try to find out what exactly Spike is. Apparently, he really isn’t a ghost - some mumbo jumbo about electromagnetic discharge, not being invisible, brainwave activity, and he’s hot! Well, heat radiates from him and that shouldn’t be. ;) Wes determines that his essence must have been trapped in the amulet (Duh). When he asks Spike if he recalls anything there is a rather graphic description of his final moments in the Hellmouth. Ouch! Fred hypothesizes that Spike may have been brought back by the Powers for some purpose. Spike begins muttering about earning some rest, some peace. How saving the world isn’t enough. Again, news to the group. Angel quickly covers by saying Buffy did most of the work. ;) He has to cover again when Spike mentions he too has a soul. “It didn’t seem worth mentioning.” Gunn comments “Seems to be a lot of that”. I found it interesting that Gunn is the one to verbalize this. Long way from the guy who despised vamps to seemingly taking Spike’s side. I could say the same for the rest of the gang who seem a bit displeased with Angel’s willingness to discount and dismiss Spike’s contributions.

Lorne makes a very interesting remark that many of us will appreciate. He envisions the S/B/A traingle as a film - ‘The Vampire Slayer Both Men Loved, Both Men Lost’. He sees Depp and Bloom in starring in it. He sees that a lot. ;)

At this point I could go into the case Angel & Co are working on involving a necromancer, but, do you care? No. ;)

Amidst the pissing contest throughout the ep, both men seem to be envious of what the other has achieved. Spike can’t seem to fathom why he is in his present state nor why Angel seems to be so prosperous. Spike sacrificed himself for ‘love, honor, and all the right things’ (yes, Buffy played in an equal role in why he did what he did) and he’s trapped between worlds with nothing. Angel didn’t sacrifice himself to save the world and seems to have it all. Yet, Angel is equally angry that Spike chose to get his soul back and only spent three weeks in a basement suffering not a hundred plus years in torment over it all.

The last scene is heartbreaking. Spike goes to Fred for help. Perhaps this scene in addition to some other moments is what is leading some to speculate about Spred. Spike is a bit flirty with her, but no more so than he is with any other woman he’s within three feet of. (OK, except maybe for Harmony who he ignores at every turn as she offers him friendship and the opportunity to ‘share his feelings’ with her. :) In the final scene Spike doesn’t go to Fred not because he feels some connection with her or because he’s drawn to her. It’s because he believes she is the only person who can help him. His openess and honesty with her is a necessity.

Let me start by saying I think Spike is making the wrong assumptions. He comments to Fred that he feels the ground disappearing below his feet. Of falling into the abyss. “I know what’s down there and it’s trying to take me and it’s not where heroes go”. There’s the kicker. Spike believed he had died a hero. Now back, he believes he failed and Hell is waiting to claim him. “I’m terrified. Help me.”

I don’t know why Spike is in his present state, but I don’t believe he’s bound for eternal damnation. Right now, he thinks his only hope (or temporary reprieve) is returning to corporeal form. Maybe he is right in that he has more good to do in the world. But, not because he has to, but because he still can.
  • Current Mood: relieved relieved

Throughout the ep I got the impression that we’d be wondering all season long if W&H is behind Spike’s resurrection or The Powers That Be or maybe some third party we are unaware of.

::nods:: Yes. And it’s important because it ties in directly with Angel, and his own destiny. But them, I partial to the idea of Angel as the chosen, fated hero, and Spike as the proverbial spanner in the works.

Which reminds me, I have to get on with my post-Chosen story before I get jossed.

(On a side note, I speculated months ago that Spike would act as Angel’s conscience - questing his judgement in joining W&H to fight evil. He almost immediately does this. :)

To be honest, I’m a bit uneasy with Spike in the role of angel’s conscience. He’s not a voice-of-reason type – he’s too emotional and volatile for that and his protestations about W&H didn’t seem all that Spike-ish to me. Still, I suppose he could have been picking up on the issues he knows must be weighing on Angel’s mind and running with them in order to piss his grandsire off. And, hey, maybe he is a little disappointed that the Old Boy sold out. After all, Spike is pretty anti-establishment, and whether he likes it or not, I think he holds Angel is pretty high regard.

Meanwhile, Harmony is appalled to learn that Spike actually hooked up with Buffy - a Slayer - and storms out of the room. :)

Hee. How much do I love Harmony?

In the final scene Spike doesn’t go to Fred not because he feels some connection with her or because he’s drawn to her. It’s because he believes she is the only person who can help him. His openess and honesty with her is a necessity.

I dunno, I saw more than that. I think he feels not only that she can help him, but that she will. Spike’s a good judge of character, and he picked up that Fred is likely to understand and to want to help him. She’s also pretty ignorant of his past, and therefore likely more ready to accept that he’s changed. Wesley would have been a lot harder to call in that department, because Wes knows all about him, and I don’t think Spike wanted that.

And, of course, no doubt Spike’s also aware that he has a certain charm when it comes to women ;-)

So, yeah, I didn’t see shippiness at all, but I saw the beginnings of a possible connection, and I suspect Spike did too. I’d be happy with that, ‘cause Spike needs a mate.
I’m a bit uneasy with Spike in the role of angel’s conscience. He’s not a voice-of-reason type – he’s too emotional and volatile for that and his protestations about W&H didn’t seem all that Spike-ish to me.

Hmmm, maybe 'conscience' wasn't the right word. I see him playing the role of truth teller (at least when it's convenient for him ;) as he did on Buffy. Plus, you're correct. He's going to play on Angel's unvoiced fears every chance he gets. :)

I think he feels not only that she can help him, but that she will. Spike’s a good judge of character, and he picked up that Fred is likely to understand and to want to help him.

ITA. I think Spike picked up almost immediately that she, most of all, wanted to know, not only what he was, but why he was back. She's the one that voiced that he may be here because of TPTB and hence brought back to help.

I>Hmmm, maybe 'conscience' wasn't the right word. I see him playing the role of truth teller (at least when it's convenient for him ;) as he did on Buffy. Plus, you're correct. He's going to play on Angel's unvoiced fears every chance he gets. :)</i>

::nods:: Yes. Thing about Spike is, he was some pretty good insight into people. Before, it was all twisted by being, well, evil. But now he has some understanding of “good” he’ll be in a fine position to tell it like it is.
It seems Angel was right in Chosen - Spike doesn't exactly bring out the "Champion" in him ;) This sounds just awesome, Asta! I really like where they're going with this so far - it kind of parallels Buffy's return in a way, doesn't it? Thought they'd sacrificed themselves for the right things, were at peace, etc. That last scene does sound heartbreaking. And so far I see no Spred, I see Spike looking to the person who can best help him, and I see that person as someone who is always willing to help others. It's a promising start, here's hoping it builds on that.
I meant it was a promising start to Spike's story, not to Spred, just wanted to make that clear!
it kind of parallels Buffy's return in a way, doesn't it? Thought they'd sacrificed themselves for the right things, were at peace, etc.

I thought of that immediately. :) They thought they had finally earned a rest only to discover their journeys are not done yet. It's heartbreaking, but once again, Buffy and Spike appear to be soul mates. ;)
Hee, that's right, take that, Angel! :) I did find it very heartening that Spike's first thoughts of Buffy were concern for her and wanting to see her. It shows he still loves her and cares about her.

It does seem they are on parallel journeys, doesn't it? Not exactly the same, but similar situations. It will be very interesting to see how this works out.
The final present from the floor consisted of gardening supplies.
My first thought:"What? They gave her sex toys?"

Where did you get the Angel Ep? Kazaa? Mirc? Since I have been shut out of my former source, I'm a bit desperate :( ...

Ketzel, also blessed with co-workers from bizarro world.
You're a very lucky ducky. Rarely do we get to actually see karmic retribution in action, but you were there to witness it in all its glory - and so quickly too - someone, somewhere must like you. But, hey, what's not to like. :)

I think you should submit this story to Mastercard for their series of 'priceless' commercials - "Towels: $8.50; Gardening Supplies: $20; Seeing the look on an annoying co-worker's face when her shower gifts suck: priceless."
Yet, Angel is equally angry that Spike chose to get his soul back and only spent three weeks in a basement suffering not a hundred plus years in torment over it all.

And didn't Angel say something like "I didn't ask for it [the soul]"? That's what I've been saying all along: For Angel, the soul has always felt like a curse, like something he never really wanted which is why he never tried to do something about it, to really change, to become the man he never really was. He has always been more of a coward, waiting for things to happen instead of doing something about and with his life by himself. Whereas Spike has always been more pro-active, both in the bad and in the good way. Remember what I said in my LJ about the tables now being turned between them? IMO, this is also where your assumption about Spike being sort of Angel's conscience fits in. On BtVS, it was his job to say the things the others didn't want to hear. So, it makes sense to have him do the same on AtS, even with the 'new' undertones of pain and emotion as we see them in this ep. Exactly what you said in my LJ when we discussed Spike's role on AtS. ::bows to you:: :-)

I lovelovelove this ep. I'm completely unspoiled which made it even better. It's everything I was hoping for and so much more. Spike trying to be his usual snarky self with Angel and yet being ready to help him (but not without using the opportunity to kick Angel's ass at first). Angel's "That was you?" was priceless, wasn't it?

These two are great together, and JM was bloody brilliant: the snark, the pain, the confusion (What am I now? Where will I go from here?), the fear, but also the courage to ask for help--something the 'old' Spike only did when there didn't seem to be another choice. And also very unusual for a vampire. It shows how much he has grown already.

And how much do I love Harmony on AtS? She hasn't changed a bit. Her reaction to the Buffy news was hysterical (as was her last line in 'Conviction'--so Joss!).

Thanks for a great recap.

Now that I managed to download a better version via bittorrent I guess I will re-watch this ep a number of times.:-)))

And didn't Angel say something like "I didn't ask for it [the soul]"?

Yes, he did. And the way in which he said it I found interesting. Didn't you sense he was pretty pissed off about it? Would he prefer the alternative - being Angelus?

Yes, the soul was forced upon him and he spent a 100+ years suffering because of it. Of course, that was his doing. It wasn't until he saw Buffy that he finally managed to stop wallowing and do something with his life. Interestingly, she was the impetus for change in both men. :)

I lovelovelove this ep. I'm completely unspoiled which made it even better. It's everything I was hoping for and so much more.

I loved this ep too and I had a lot of trepidation going into this season. I thought everything was handled very well. I was a bit spoiled for the first two eps, but from what I had heard Buffy was barely acknowledged. Boy, did the spoiler whores get that wrong. :-) Not only would I have been personally upset if they didn't acknowledge her importance to both men, it would have been a creative failing as well. I know it's a different show and dynamic we are dealing with, but they can't just gloss over Spuffy. She played an important role in the lives of both and that is something they will need to deal with. (And I'm sure it will be very entertaining to watch them do so ;)

I was also concerned about GhostSpike. Actually I cringed when I first heard about it. But, it makes sense that he has returned as he has and ME has basically established it's temporary. His current state being unstable, they'll need to make him corporeal again.

Angel's "That was you?" was priceless, wasn't it?

And how much do I love Harmony on AtS? She hasn't changed a bit. Her reaction to the Buffy news was hysterical (as was her last line in 'Conviction'--so Joss!).


Harm's "Blondie Bear" was hysterical. And how typical for ME to take such an important and serious moment at end it with that. :)

Another favorite bit was Spike's 'Am I in Hell?' and Lorne's 'No, LA, but a lot of people make that mistake' - lol.



Just a quick thanks for the dl-update! must figure out the Bittorrent-thingie now ...