Thanks to dtissagirl who got me to thinking about a few things today. I may have more to say later, but this is what immediately comes to mind...
Um, yeah, so, that opening scene, interesting. I've never believed Angel and Spike had a sexual relationship. Up until tonight there was nothing to give credence to it other than the imaginations of fans. So, ME, as they have in the past, decided to play with the audience. But the joke makes subtext text. Hey, if it makes people happy to believe it, so be it. Me? I'm choosing to simply see it as a joke and not make it canon.
Spike to Angel: "Try staking your mother while she's coming on to you"
Harmony: "Well, that explains a lot"
OMG, Harmony just made an excellent observation! Another sign of the apocalypse perhaps? ;)
Spike having sex with Harmony? Ok, it happened, I admit it. Though, I have to say, it's physically impossible for anyone - even a vampire - to zip and buckle that fast. Of course, it's also obvious there was an edit in that scene so maybe that's when he got himself collected. ;) Doesn't really matter. And the fact that they had sex doesn't really bother me. I found the scene leading up to the coupling both cute and funny. Others have taken issue with his actions, but Harm (Mercedes looked quite lovely may I add) was all for it. Sure he was pushy and presumptuous, but she was more than happy (can we say thrilled?) to cave into his advances. The sex itself was...icky. In the sense that it was completely without passion and mechanical. It didn't seem to me that either was enjoying it. At least it gives credence to the fact that Spike's actions were just an immediate reaction to having his body and all it's senses restored. It also goes to show without passion a real relationship has nil chance of forming. Thank. God.
For me, the funniest part of the episode had to be Toner Guy. How many of us have wanted to do exactly what he did? Writing "TONER" on the wall in blood....priceless. :)
Hey, Lorne was in this episode! I was beginning to wonder since no one seems to have mentioned him in their posts. And wasn't his scene pivotal to the plot? Nooooooo. Obviously Eve (for better or worse) will have an increasing role on the show. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of Lindsey either. Sorry Andy, it's time to go. There's no time for frivilous scenes with Lorne.
Poof, flash of light, Spike's corporeal. It's treated as a non-event. Honestly, I have no problem with this. Does it really matter how he regains his corporeality? Do we need to drag it out through a series of experiments that fail? No. He just needed to be whole again.
Interestingly, as many secrets and questions that there were in this episode there was a Hell of a lot of openness and honesty. It's just no one seemed to realize it as a game of cat and mouse was being played. Angel and Fred were very open in there distrust of Eve. They also began to wonder if the amulet and box originated from the same individual(s), Eve's bosses, the Senior Partners. It would seem, that if Eve does work for them she's double crossing them just as she is Angel. But does she work for them? Did Angel ever bother to confirm her story?
Another character I'm really beginning to wonder about is Gunn, his connection to W&H, and that it is perhaps he that is going to be playing a major role in whatever is going down this season. When Eve revealed the universe was in chaos, Gunn's first instinct was to check on the White Room, only to return in a panic to find the leopard and the room missing - his connection to W&H. And under the influence of whatever it was that infected some, yet not all, Gunn attacks Eve with not only his hands, but the truth as well - "I know you are responsible". Does he know subconsciously? Is this another ability W&H bestowed upon him?
Another reason I wonder that Gunn may be more important than I had thought - The Look. In his office, after he asks her not to touch the robots :), and walks away Eve gives him a look. One, in my opinion, of concern, as if he may be a problem.
What if it all has nothing to do with Spike and Angel? What if the Shanshu Prophecy is obfuscating the truth? Obviously the events in 'Destiny' were meant as a diversion. Whether to simply occupy their time, remove Angel and Spike from the premises, create further chaos and self-doubt, or all of those things, I'm not sure. But Eve and Lindsey hardly seemed concerned with destiny and prophecies. Both were a means to some sort of end (or beginning?).
It's clear that Eve and Lindsey have their own agenda. Is it 'evil', I'm not so sure. Lindsey has personal grievances with both W&H and Angel. He could be killing two birds with one stone. Or he could have just been out to take down W&H, found Angel to be in charge and, if his intentions were to do good, perceived Angel as having gotten in bed with the enemy. After all, the last thing he did when he left LA was to warn Angel to not play their game and what exactly is Angel doing now?
"By the way, Spike didn't kill Angel". Was that why Spike was brought back? Perhaps. Or perhaps just to undermine Angel, his belief in himself, and this destiny thing. And I can understand Lindsey, even if he's not evil in the strictest sense of the word, wanting Angel dead. Either because of the reasons I mentioned above or because he thinks Angel could ruin his plans for W&H.
As for 'Destiny', I've read a lot of other people's thoughts on the subject and I don't know what I could add at this point. I do have kind of a wacky theory about it in regards to the Shanshu. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's Angel's. Right now I see Angel's life (or unlife) more a result of destiny than Spike's. Spike's life (And unlife) has been one made up of choice. He chose to be turned by Dru because he wanted away from the life he was living. He chose to become Spike - he created a persona, displeased with himself as he was. He chose to try to be good when he admitted his love for Buffy to himself. And, as he threw in Angel's face - he chose to get his soul. None of Spike's life sounds predestined to me.
On a final note, I don't see Spike's defeat of Angel as a sign he wanted it more. A punch here or there and things may have been different. But, if Angel believes it to be true, he's guilty of defeating himself.