Monday, October 24, 2011

"In the Dark" (Angel 1.3): Crossoverpalooza!

From theme to character to title, "In the Dark" nods to Buffy so often it must have gotten a headache. There's even Tai Chi!
Verdict = still sexy.

The conclusion of "The Harsh Light of Day" (BtVS 4.3) has Buffy sending a ring inset with the Gem of Amara--a magical stone that renders vampires impervious to stakes, sunlight, crosses, everything--to Los Angeles with Oz (I love you, Oz!) to give to Angel. As Cordelia points out, "without even a note!" What does Angel 1.3 have to say about being delivered into temptation?

DO keep your friends close.
Even if they don't happen to live near you anymore. Oz is a pretty big factor in this episode. He delivers the ring, has a mutual nod and grunt reunion with Angel, and catches up with Cordelia. The full transcript follows:

Cordy:  “We have some serious catching up to do.  How is everything?  How’s – how’s The Bronze?”
Oz:  “The same.”
Cordy:  “And the gang?”
Oz:  “They’re good.”
Cordy:  “Good? – Good! - Good.”  
Gotta love the taciturn men. But, when Angel gets captured by Spike and tortured by a truly sadistic and creepy vamp for the ring, Oz proves that Scoobiness is portable.
Real men let their vans do the talking.

Speaking of Spike . . . .

DO keep your enemies closer.
As my intrepid co-watcher Jenn puts it, Angel and Spike are such a cute couple. Much like John and Paul, they bring out the best in each other, and point out the worst. Spike's verbal take down of Angel is so good, it deserves to be viewed in full:

At this point in both Buffy and Angel, Spike begins to transition from pure Big Bad menace to a more slapsticky scamp vamp. So we have a Spike that gets off on torture and one whose trademarked platinum 'do goes up in flames to great comedic effect.
Well, he is still smoking.

DON'T forget why you're here. 
Angel has come back from a hell dimension to make Amends. And he can't do that if he gets to live like a human. Vamp de Sade keeps asking Angel what he wants in a very Marathon Man-esque way, and it turns out what he wants is forgiveness. In another nod to "Harsh Light of Day," the creepy vamp remarks, “Over 200 years of living and so little external damage.  -  What about internal?” Compare with Buffy's remark to creepy Parker that the "best kind" of scars are psychological.
And the "best kind" of Angel episodes include a shirtless Boreanaz.

DON'T underestimate the value of brooding.
I LOVE this aspect of the episode. One might think that the ring is going to become a crucial part of the series--enabling Angel to be a better detective because he'll be able to move in sunlight and darkness, and, you know, not ever be killed. But he smashes the Gem of Amara with a rock because he realizes that using it would actually be a cop-out. He might take the ring with the purpose of doing good, but it would actually make such do-gooding more difficult. Hmmm, where have I heard that before?

And I might be wrong here, but I think that the "shelter" to which Angel suggests his initial client go to escape her abusive boyfriend might just be run by someone called Anne. Re-watches are more fun with crossovers!

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