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Episode Info
Written by: Drew Goddard
Directed by: Terrence O'Hara
Original Airdate: April 21, 2004

Synopsis
When Connor and his new parents show up at Wolfram and Hart asking for help, Angel refuses, leading Wesley to uncover how Angel had everyone's memory altered.

Relevant Links
Transcript: at BuffyWorld
Screencaps: at Screencap Paradise
Fanlisting: Fractured Reality

Extra Info
Vincent Kartheiser returns for the first of two guest spots in season five.

The Mods' Attempt to Start Discussion
This is such a fantastic episode, and so rewarding for fans who had been watching the show for years. I love it so much. I've always been a Connor fan, and all season long I'd been wondering how and when he would return and the memory-wipe would be revealed, and it did not disappoint me at all. The new version of Connor is so sweet and well-adjusted, it's hard to believe it's the same kid who trapped Angel in a box and pushed him into the ocean. I love his reactions to the crazy world of Wolfram and Hart, and his determination to protect his family (I guess that's in his blood). "Here's how it works. I kill this Sahjahn thing, and we walk. You come near my family again, and I'll slit your throat. And if that doesn't kill you, I'll chop your whole head off. And if that doesn't work, I'll just keep stabbing you till you bleed to death. Understand?" (I love Angel straightening his collar before he fights!)

What Angel did to his friends by having their memories changed was certainly wrong, and for Wesley, discovering the truth creates unbearable doubt. Would they have still taken the deal to work at Wolfram and Hart? Would Fred have died? Would she have ever loved him? Seeing Wesley ready to break the Orlon Window, unsure if Angel had caused Fred's death, or worse -- bargained with it -- is heartbreaking and exciting and exactly the kind of confrontation I'd been hoping for. The shared look between Angel and Wesley after his memories come flooding back says so much. Wesley is beyond broken at this point.

Vincent Kartheiser is fantastic, and when the Orlon Window is broken, he plays the change in Connor so well. From the look on his face when he rises up and turns around to take down Sahjahn, you can see the Connor we knew is in there somewhere. He knows. I like that we aren't told outright what happened (at least, not yet). The final scene always makes me cry. "You gotta do what you can to protect your family. I learned that from my father." I'm such a sucker for the Angel and Connor storyline, it's so good. I think this episode is a perfect resolution to Connor's story. The follow-up in Not Fade Away makes it even better. :)

Previous Episode Posts This Week
Why We Fight
Smile Time
A Hole in the World
Shells
Underneath

This was my last episode post! It's been fun. :D
art: madame m
Episode Info
Written by: Sarah Fain, Elizabeth Craft
Directed by: Skip Schoolnik
Original Airdate: April 14, 2004

Synopsis
Angel takes Gunn and Spike with him on a mission to rescure Lindsey from the hell dimension created by the Senior Partners, totally unaware that Gunn has his own hidden agenda.

Relevant Links
Transcript: at BuffyWorld
Screencaps: at Screencap Paradise
Fanlisting: Bizzaro World

Extra Info
Starting with this episode, the credits change to include Mercedes McNab as a regular and to incorporate shots of Amy Acker as Illyria. Also, this is the first appearance of Adam Baldwin as Hamilton.

The Mods' Attempt to Start Discussion
I love this episode, and it has a bit of everything, being sad, funny, and exciting. It also does the impossible in making me not hate Eve. Sarah Thompson does a much better job playing this version of Eve than the bitchy Lilah, Jr. version. Hamilton is awesome (and well-dressed, indeed). Eve, Lorne, and Harmony screaming when he punches through the security guard is hilarious.

"I walked worlds of smoke and half-truths, intangible. Worlds of torment and of unnamable beauty. Opaline towers as high as small moons. Glaciers that rippled with insensate lust. And one world with nothing but shrimp. I tired of that one quickly."

I love the reference to the shrimp-world. The scenes between Illyria and Wesley are beautifully done (aside from the fake city backdrop). I don't think they are boring at all, though I've read a lot of complaints about them. I really enjoy what they talk about, and I love the way Illyria speaks.

The hell dimension is great, too, and how disturbing is it to see the little boy wielding an uzi? It's sad for Gunn to stay behind, but I like that he made that choice. It's quite a turn of events to have Lindsey, of all people, reminding Angel of what heros do. Lindsey is no hero, but he sees the big picture. What Lindsey says is nothing new -- it's basically what Holland told Angel in season two -- but it's what Angel needs to hear to get back on track.

Previous Episode Posts This Week
Why We Fight
Smile Time
A Hole in the World
Shells
art: madame m
Episode Info
Written by: Steven S. DeKnight
Directed by: Steven S. DeKnight
Original Airdate: March 3, 2004

Synopsis
As Illyria, the ancient god now occupying Fred's body, gets used to her new world, Wesley uncovers Gunn's part in approving the customs document for the sarcophagus.

Relevant Links
Transcript: at BuffyWorld
Screencaps: at Screencap Paradise
Fanlisting: Effigy

The Mods' Attempt to Start Discussion
When this episode first aired, it really affected me. I hated it! I think it was too much to handle. I don't really hate this episode -- I love it, in fact -- but it's like a knife in the heart. I admire the show for taking the characters to such lows after taking the Wolfram and Heart deal, and the toll that decision has taken on the team is never more obvious than in this episode. Fred is gone, in part because of Gunn's selfish ambition. Wesley has totally lost it. Lorne has given up. Angel is in denial. Everything has fallen apart. Wesley stabbing Gunn is so sad -- they used to be such good friends.

Amy Acker does a brilliant job playing Illyria, and what a fascinating character she (he?) is. A once powerful god king now trapped in a world ruled by humans, disgusted by their emotions but at the same time burdened by an all-too-human sense of loss over her long-dead kingdom. Plus, she's got cool blue hair. The fights in this episode are impressive. I love the time-bending effect.

I think Harmony is a little too nice in this episode. Sure, she can be "good" to fit in, but here she's so sympathetic and helpful. It seems overdone. I also don't like that Fred's soul was destroyed. It's a reality check that Fred is gone and there's no point in trying to get her back, but how depressing. As is the flashback at the end. *sigh*

Previous Episode Posts This Week
Why We Fight
Smile Time
A Hole in the World

Apologies for the late post, I couldn't get online earlier.
art: madame m
Episode Info
Written by: Joss Whedon
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Original Airdate: February 25, 2004

Synopsis
Fred opens a sarcophagus sent to Wolfram and Hart and is infected with a parasitic demon named Illyria. The gang must race to save her before her organs are liquified and Illyria can take over.

Relevant Links
Transcript: at BuffyWorld
Screencaps: at Screencap Paradise
Fanlisting: Deeper Well

Extra Info
This is the last episode directed by Joss Whedon and the last one that he wrote by himself.

The Mods' Sad Attempt to Start Discussion
Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof are absolutely heartbreaking in this episode. I really think Amy Acker is an actress with enormous range, as we'll come to see in the next episode (and with what she does on Alias). She has a lot to do on Alias, a lot she hasn't had to do before and she handles it with such grace and dignity. The Fred and Wesley relationship is something that has been building since the beginning of the third season and once it finally comes it isn't given a lot of time at all. But I think what it is given here is done very nicely. I can't say how a Fred/Wesley fan would feel about that, I'm not one of them. But I do really feel the relationship in this episode. I feel the love there, I think it comes through very well. Though it's short, I think it's handled well.

The reactions of everyone are handled well too. They really spring into action. You know Fred is important to all of them, you've seen it grow and you've seen from the beginning of their relationship with her that they've taken her in and have so much love for her. Really, of all people to see this happen to, Fred is the one that it hits hardest for the other characters. Wesley's reaction obviously makes the most sense because his feelings have always been the most clear. Gunn's reaction to finding out what he inadvertently did is, to me, really sad. I feel really bad for him. The reaction I really like is Spike's. He's known her for such a short amount of time but she's made such a mark. She believed he was worth saving and his first instinct is to return the favor. Of course, it's not even returning the favor because for both it wasn't a favor, it's just because they genuinely like each other and it's the right thing to do.

And last but most certainly not least, I'll ask that you choose. Cavemen or astronauts? I go with astronauts. Even without weapons, they are a more advanced group. The cavemen pretty much get as far as bludgeoning. Astronauts are better with strategizing.

Previous Episode Posts This Week
Why We Fight
Smile Time
Parks & Recreation: Leslie
Episode Info
Written by: Ben Edlund
Directed by: Ben Edlund
Original Airdate: February 18, 2004

Synopsis
While investigating a series of accidents occuring to children as they watch a television show airing in the Los Angeles area, Angel finds himself turned into a puppet.

Relevant Links
Transcript: at BuffyWorld
Screencaps: at Screencap Paradise
Fanlisting: Puppet Angel

Extra Info
Producer David Fury plays the role of Framkin.

The Mods' Sad Attempt to Start Discussion
In the hands of a lesser show, this could have been a disaster. But, this is Angel and not only is it Angel, it's a good season of Angel. I love this episode. It's easily one of the funniest of the entire series. It might actually be the funniest. I really love everyone's reaction to Angel being turned into a puppet. I really just think he's completely adorable. From his hair, to his little hands, to his clothes and the way he walks. Spike's reaction is just priceless. That's just comic gold. I also like Lorne's reaction after Angel is mauled by Nina. "Is there a Gepetto in the house?!"

Despite the hilarity of the puppet plot, I think Gunn losing his lawyer smarts deserves some attention here because it clearly comes back to bite us in the ass soon. I think it's interesting that the senior partners had it last such a short amount of time for Gunn. I do think that while he may not have earned it the old fashioned way by going to school and studying for the smarts, Gunn has done a lot and did earn this more than the muscle mantle. Of course, he's now getting used to it and he likes it and he's made a deal and there are consequences he doesn't realize. We'll find those out soon.

Previous Episode Posts This Week
Why We Fight
Parks & Recreation: Leslie
Episode Info
Written by: Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goddard
Directed by: Terrence O'Hara
Original Airdate: February 11, 2004

Synopsis
During World War II, Angel helped the Navy recover a German submarine with American sailors on board, as well as three vampires. Sixty years later a member of the crew whose life Angel saved by turning into a vampire, shows up at Wolfram and Hart seeking revenge.

Relevant Links
Transcript: at BuffyWorld
Screencaps: at Screencap Paradise
Fanlisting: Ask For Answers

Extra Info
The Prince of Lies is played bu Camden Toy. He also played one of The Gentlemen in Hush.

The Mods' Sad Attempt to Start Discussion
This episode reminds me of Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?, I guess because of the flashbacks although it's a different decade. The last block of episodes are pretty hard to live up to and I just don't think this one does it. This one just kind of feels like it's hanging in the middle of a great, great block of episodes. Especially with the episodes that follow it.

One thing I enjoy about it is Spike on the submarine. Wanting to be called captain and all. He's just very amusing. It's pretty much classic Spike, having fun through the situation.
Parks & Recreation: Leslie
This Week's Episodes
AtS - 5x13 Why We Fight
AtS - 5x14 Smile Time
AtS - 5x15 A Hole in the World
AtS - 5x16 Shells
AtS - 5x17 Underneath
AtS - 5x18 Origin

Notes
Last week's favourite episode: You're Welcome, with about 70% of the votes. Least favourite was Lineage by a small margin -- 42% compared to Harm's Way's 29%. Destiny and Soul Purpose also received a vote each. Damage was the only episode not to receive a vote for either favourite or least favourite, heh. I almost voted for it for least favourite but decided that I like Lineage less. :)

This is an eventful week for Angel. There is hilarity, but mostly there is overwhelming sadness. (They put the show's funniest episode right before the saddest, the bastards.) For me, this is where things get really excellent. I think the season got off to a slow start -- the first half is decent but not brilliant; starting with You're Welcome is where I think things really start to shine, and I'm very much looking forward to getting into this part of the show, even though it will depress me.
hockey: Jesus loves the Sens
Links to This Week's Episode PostsCollapse )

This Week's PollsCollapse )

Once again, I am late. I was sitting here and thinking, "Wow, someone sure is late with the recap this week." I then realized that it was me. I'm sorry! The good news is, that it's the last time I'll ever be late with the recap!

I think we had a really great week this week and I'm going to have a very tough time voting. We had a good mix of some fun episodes, a sad but fitting one and a huge milestone for the show where the gang realized something big.
Parks & Recreation: Leslie
Episode Info
Written By: David Fury
Directed By: David Fury
Original Airdate: February 4, 2004

Synopsis
Cordelia returns to help her friends one last time after an old nemesis shows up determined to defeat Angel by overriding a secret failsafe created by the Powers That Be.

Relevant Links
Transcript: at Buffyworld
Screencaps: at Screencap Paradise
Fanlisting: Last Goodbye

Extra Info
The 100th episode of Angel and Charisma Carpenter's final appearance on the show.

The Mods' Attempts to Get the Discussion Going
This is one of my favourite episodes. I could take or leave the whole failsafe plot, but this episode is all about the characters for me. Even though I was very glad to see Cordelia gone by the end of season 4 and I never actually bought her transformation from shallow, bitchy Cordelia of Sunnydale to Cordy, the shining saintly heart of Angel Investigations ... I have to say this is the one episode where I think she really works well in that role as Team Angel's soul (almost literally). David Fury manages to make her both likeable and believable where they've never been able to do so before, in my opinion (though I am positive many disagree, heheh). It's great to see the effect this has on Angel. He's so uncertain throughout the episode, and then he really does seem rejuvenated by the end. I like it when he says "I'm Angel. I beat the bad guys." It reminds me of Buffy saying "I'm Buffy, the vampire slayer" in Anne. :) David Boreanaz does a great job of showing the change in Angel's emotional state.

I also think this is just a well-written and very entertaining episode. The dialogue is dead on, the action is fun (Angel/Lindsey swordfight?? Sweet!), and the ending has just the right emotional impact. I think it's one of my favourite deaths in Jossverse (and I mean that in a nice way, not a ding dong the bitch is dead way). It's all written in such a way that I think we kind of see it coming but that makes it work even better. I've been critical of Charisma Carpenter's acting, but I really like her in the last scene here. I think she does a great job of conveying what it might be like to be in Cordelia's situation ... I get a lot of emotion from her when she says you're welcome, and I love it when Angel says thank you. It's a lovely ending to a great episode and a really nice sendoff for Cordelia.

Links to Previous Episode Posts This Week
Lineage
Destiny
Harm's Way
Soul Purpose
Damage
hockey: Jesus loves the Sens
Episode Info
Written By: Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Goddard
Directed By: Jefferson Kibbee
Original Airdate: January 28, 2004

Synopsis
When Angel and Spike try to help a young woman who escaped from an asylum, they discover she's actually a potential slayer empowered by the spell Willow cast back at the Hellmouth in Sunnydale.

Relevant Links
Transcript: at Buffyworld
Screencaps: at Screencap Paradise
Fanlisting: Once Upon a Time

Extra Info
Tom Lenk (Andrew) makes the first of his two appearances on Angel.

The Mods' Attempts to Get the Discussion Going
This is an episode that I think is quite overrated. I once watched a countdown on the Space network of the viewers' choice top ten Angel episodes, and this was in it. To me that doesn't make a lot of sense; I think it's a fairly good episode, but one of the best of the series? Hardly, unless maybe you only enjoy Angel for the Buffy crossovers.

The idea of a crazy slayer is interesting and I like the way they follow up a bit here on the spell that gave all the potentials powers; however, having said that, I think the followup seems slightly out of place on Angel, which is after all a separate show that has very little connection to slayer mythology. Combine all the slayer stuff with Andrew's appearance, the focus on Spike (who is of course the only character on Angel with a real connection to the spell), and the rehashing of old jokes and lines from Buffy ("vam-PIRES," "Sorry love, I don't speak Chinese," Andrew coughing after smoking his pipe), and this really just feels to me like an episode they made for fans who'd started watching Angel only after Buffy went off the air.

It strikes me as odd that in this attempt to get into the slayer thing, they make such a big deal of an aspect of slayer lore that was never even mentioned on Buffy that I can recall: the slayer's dreams of other slayers. That device was used a lot in the original Buffy movie, but I thought it had kind of stayed there. On the show, Buffy has prophetic dreams and her dreams of the potentials in season 7, but those both seem like different things to me and we never feel that she has any connection to past slayers except the original one (raised by the spell in Primeval -- again, nothing to do with anything inherent to the slayer) and I wonder why they bring up the dreams at this point. Convenience, I guess. :)

Links to Previous Episode Posts This Week
Lineage
Destiny
Harm's Way
Soul Purpose
hockey: Jesus loves the Sens