For anyone who knows me, you know my feelings on Conner so it was with some dread that I approached this episode. What a shock to discover 1) this episode was much lighter in tone than I expected (Conner: "I've always had a thing for older women" Angel: "They were suppose to fix that" :) and 2) I didn't hate Conner! If this Conner had been around in the previous seasons I may have even grew fond of the kid. I guess this story is a fine example of nature vs nurture. ;)
Let me get my one quibble out of the way.....Spike. To begin with, it seems James has forgotten how to do Spike's accent again. Because that was just bad. Secondly, he was completely, totally, and utterly unnecessary yet again. Yeah, the scenes with Illyria were cute. Though I found his concern over his clipboard not just bizarre but completely out of character. And why the Hell would he leave the coat on to fight Illyria? I seem to recall he only wore the damn thing when he was going out.
I found it fascinating that Illyria spent much of the episode following Wes around almost like a...pet. ;) I especially loved seeing her protect him by tossing Angel across the room. For someone/something that looks down her nose at humanity she seemed very intent on assisting and protecting one human. Is it just Illyria or is this a bit of Fred coming through?
How proud I was of Gunn that he wouldn't even let Marcus finish making his proposition. Now *that's* the Gunn we use to know.
Speaking of Marcus, he had one of my favorite lines...."I'm not a little girl and you and I won't be making love on this couch anytime soon." So, does that mean the possibility is still open? ;-)
Why couldn't Adam Baldwin have been on sooner? WHY???
Was it ever made clear why Vail (sp?) wanted Sahjhan dead? Guess it doesn't really matter. Least Vail was a cool, creepy demon.
I assumed Conner was faking not regaining his memories when Wes shattered the box. I didn't sense any ill will towards Conner, but I also didn't sense that Vail was going to take pity on Conner and spare him the truth. Of course, one of the main points of the episode was the subjectiveness of memory and reality (I'll leave others to discuss this more in depth). Conner chose to make the lie his reality. Who can blame him?
We're probably suppose to feel sorry for Angel at the end. I didn't. Angel always wanted the best for Conner - to the point of disregarding the consequences for those around him. Conner was living a healthy, happy, normal life, exactly what he desired for him. And Angel was able to gain acknowledgment for what he did - for his personal sacrifice. He knows his son knows exactly who he is and what he did for him.."looking out for me"....."Gotta do what you can to protect your family". And given Angel's current situation, what more could he offer him?
Illyria: "Does this make you Wesley?" Good question. Who the Hell is Wes anymore? He now knows the truth, has to live with, has to "endure" it. Nice parallel with Conner, except Wes doesn't have the luxury of choosing another life.
And his remark to Angel - "I can't trust you anymore". Payback's a bitch ain't it? It really hit me with this episode that this season (at least the second half) has been as much about Wes' journey as Angel's. I'm almost a little sad there are only four more eps. Still, better to go out with a bang than a whimper.
Now, off to read what everyone else picked up on that I didn't. :)