Thursday, February 12, 2004

Angel - Why We Fight / 1943 

I admit it - I was pleasantly surprised. I also admit that I was fooled by The WB's misleading (as usual) promo. The trailer had Angel looking at Spike in an SS uniform and saying, "You're a Nazi." This gave me all sorts of nasty visions of Spike having embraced the Nazi propaganda and throwing himself into the cause, while Angel was fighting for Truth, Justice and The American Way.

Instead, I discover that Spike responded by quipping, "Nah, I just ate one." Of course he'd go for the leather coat. And Angel was only working for the U.S. because they threatened to tie weights to him and drop him in the ocean anyway if he didn't. Of course, they actually did end up tying weights to his ankles and dropping him, so I'm not sure what he gained by agreeing. Maybe if he didn't cooperate they would have given him goofy clothes to wear instead of the cool commando outfit he ended up with...

Plus we got nifty guest vampires. I wasn't so enamored or fearful of the Scourge of Siberia, but Prince of Light (or was it Prince of Night? It was hard to tell through the accent and saliva-laden speech impediment). He was very Nosferatu. And those fingernails - Yikes! But they looked real.

Spike was clueless as usual, but in an entertaining way. Did it take him long enough to figure out that Angel wasn't on his side? My biggest issue, though, was his hair. Spike with slicked back black hair - not so much. In his first submarine shots of the episode, the way the light was reflecting off his shiny, shiny, slicked-back bangs, it looked like his hair was extremely thin in front, and he was attempting a front-to-back comb-over. But the the light changed and I relaxed.

I did think it was great that it was the newly formed "Demon Research Initiative" that sent Angel after the sub, and that Spike burned up the Nazi research on brain implants for controlling vampires. No wonder Angel hated Riley so. Well, that plus the fact that Buffy was dating him. Spike burning the research also removes any question that the (fictitious) U.S. Army Initiative utilized Nazi "medical research." Of course, the (real) U.S. government would simply have recruited the scientists themselves, and had them reproduce the research in "humane" American labs so as not to cast dispersion on the methodology or results, but that's another story. One that was well-addressed on Star Trek: Voyager, in "Nothing Human" Back to this story.

The wire and office chair setups? I'm still shivering. Major heebie-jeebies.

I'm pensive over the possibility of soul transference. When Angel pointed out his own soul, Lawson asked if he has one, too, since Angel sired him. Angel's response was that he didn't think it worked that way. But Lawson is the only person souled-Angel ever sired, and he seemed truly tormented by what he referred to as his "spark of humanity," and blamed it on Angel having passed on just enough soul to torment but not enough to keep Lawson from acting on his evil demon impulses.

Granted, Harmony is able (mostly) to resist her demon impulses, but it's not out of guilt and she's not happy about it. It's just a means to social acceptability. Lawson appeared to be deeply torn. It would make sense, since during the siring process it's the demon essence that's transferred in the bloodsucking, and souled-Angel's blood might be a mix of Angelus-demon and Angel-soul. Could Angel's blood be worked into a vampire resouling vaccine? Could such a vaccine be injected, or does it need to be ingested? But then everyone would have Angel's soul. Would they all have his memories? Would they all begin brooding, using lots of hair gel and singing Barry Manilow? Only time will tell.

Next week: Muppet Angel!!!!! YAAAAYYYYY!!! I'm still cracking up over that tiny, tiny little Angel puppet in the short, short trailer. Spike wrestling on the floor with a puppet! Will Fred be all maternal and patronizing toward tiny, tiny, plush Angel? Will Harmony try to put him on a shelf with her unicorns? I predict fun times ahead.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 4:28 PM