Oh, and my apologies for not responding to everyone elses posts these past few days. It seems I'm still a bit off my LJ rythem after being away from so long. I am reading and enjoying all your posts. I just don't want anyone to be under the impression I'm using filters now. ;)
This was easily my favorite episode thus far. Thank Steve DeKnight for that. I especially noticed how good the dialogue was. I was listening intently to what the actors were saying and absorbing every word. In other words, they had my full attention.
If I had one criticism (and I always do ;) Lorne was, yet again, completely useless. The guy had one brief scene and it had nothing to do with the plot. Either get the guy a storyline or dump him quick.
I know Wes hasn't had much of an impact either, but, for the moment, I'm contributing that to RL issues. Still, I'm liking Wes quite a bit this season. I like to think of him as the world weary (incredibly hot) Wes. He's not as dark as last season, but not the dork he was for much of the first two seasons. Plus, I really liked that he believed immediately that Spike had nothing to do with the psychic's death. Coming from a former Watcher, that says a lot about the man.
Eve I'm still a bit iffy on but she did come off as less annoying.
Anyone else fall in love with Fred when she told Angel, "It's about doing the right thing, remember?" :) Way to remind the boss as to what they are supposed to be doing.
I also appreciated her "He's just like you - a champion"; Angel: "God, I hate that word". I think this mention served several purposes. One, to answer the eyerolls of a million fans (let's face it, we're all sick of the word). To reinforce to Angel what he's supposed to be rather than concerning himself with budget issues. And to harken back to Chosen. Buffy saw Angel and Spike as being equal - as both being worthy of her trust. Fred is now voicing that same opinion.
My favorite scene had to be the conversation between Angel and Spike...
Angel: "I never escaped from Hell. All I got was a short reprieve and I'm not even sure how I managed that."
Nice way of addressing that pesky continuity issue regarding his return from Hell. Additionally, I was a bit surprised to hear him admit he's still bound for there. Thus far this season, I hadn't fully gotten the impression that he's thrown in the towel so to speak. I don't know wether or not I should be disturbed by the fact he's no longer doing good in search of atonement or because it's the right thing to do, just that what else is he to do?
Other highlights in that scene for me...'Liam', providing an increased sense of intimacy in the scene (but, not in *That* way :p). And "There was one thing about you" "Really?". Spike's delivery of 'Really?' showed that even amidst all the bad mouthing and name calling he was still seeking acceptance form his Grand Sire.
I'm still a bit confused on the issue of Hell and what exactly it is. "The soul that blesses you damns you to suffer forever." So, without the soul Spike wouldn't be Hellbound? Has he damned himself through his guilty conscience? Could that what 'suffer forever' mean? In which case, you could argue his Hell would be a Hell on earth. Or would he, pre-soul, simply have not cared before as to where he was destined?
I came away with the feeling that Hell is what you make of it. Because, if "Reality bends desire", if you desire, or will, to stay away, perhaps you can? Afterall, if Pehvane (sp) was sending people to Hell in his place - convincing them that it was their final destination - that means that they weren't necessarily bound for there to begin with. I'm also assuming Spike will no longer be fading in and out of scenes since it seems that he has been manipulated for some time.
A couple of other things I noticed and I'm wondering if anyone else did. Fred refers to to W&H as an evil, multi-dimentional law firm. Has the multi-dimensional part been mentioned previously? I've never watched Angel in detail before, so I may have missed it.
And when Gunn and Angel make their trip to the white room, Angel has a worried look on his face over Gunn's ease in dealing with 'Kitty'.