Tv blabs, movie blabs, book blabs. Lots of blab, but no flab.

Friday, July 2

Angel - 5.20 'The Girl in Question'

Welcome back David Greenwalt. Absent since the end of series three, having him back to direct is like a breath of fresh air. His rhythmic and whimsical direction style bring back the life Angel had when it started.

This was the episode that had to happen. This was the episode that she was not in.

We have already had the Angel/Spike throw-down this year, so it was unlikely that it was going to happen again. And if it came to that chances are Buffy would have found a way of slapping them both down (while being off camera the whole time). For those of us that had read any of the wide-spread media coverage that Sarah wasn't going to appear on Angel, we knew from the outset that they were never going to find her. Which made the whole episode seem pointless.

Sending Spike and Angel off on an international hunt for a loosely introduced demon type, then giving the flash backs to back it up, was all the more pointless. Yes, the threat of a demon war in LA is serious, but it all seemed too manufactured. The cracks are really starting to show that the last episodes were drastically altered to end the series. This type of episode rarely is so close to the end of the season unless it serves a purpose. The purpose wasn't clear.

Back to the good. With Greenwalt at the helm this was definitely going to be an episode that contrasts. Angel and Spike in Italy posed limitless opportunities for laughs. My favourite was Angel's jacket. The comic timing they have is excellent. The slow motion fight with completely opposing music for a nightclub brawl is a great example of Greenwalt's work.

It is always a good thing to see our old pals Darla and Drusilla back. Neither really had a lot to do or say but each had one thing that made them memorable as usual. Darla's 'fornication' delivery and the flashback of Spike and Dru in 1950's Rome saying 'ciao. ciao. ciao. ciao' was a crack up.

Andrew lacked anything really funny to say. No fault of Tom Lenk's, his performance was right on the mark as usual. He just didn't have anything to play with.

Harmony and Lorne are underused as per normal. Why bring Mercedes McNab on as a regular and then do nothing with her?

Gunn is back to annoying me again. Is he doing his old job? Or just moping around the office? Leave that to Angel I say.

Wesley and Illyria provide the serious arc and what a downer it is. I was talking at the TV again when the Burkle's walked out of the lift. My face was making the same expression as Wesley's. Of course my next thought was 'how is he going to tell them?' My jaw was ajar when Fred walked into the room. I knew instantly that it had to be Illyria but for that moment it was a little heartbreaking. Followed quickly by unease. Illyria acting like Fred was weird. It was a perfect performance by Amy Acker, but it seemed very unnatural. Precisely the way it is meant to feel.

If Fred had been all close to her parents since she returned from Pylea, then would they not have tried to contact her in the past month that she's been gone? A bit odd.

One of the most enjoyable episodes this season, even if it didn't fit into the scheme of things. I wish that David Greenwalt had come back to visit Angel sooner.

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