Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Lonely Hearts" (Angel 1.2): Angel goes clubbing . . .

And it is brutal. How did Angel ever get Buffy with game like that?

Oh. Right.

Regardless, "Are you okay?" is not a good opening line, my love. With moves like that, you're only going to attract the attention of a neurotic cop with daddy issues. Spoiler alert. But before we get to Kate, the Angel guide to cockblocking!

DO subvert the dominant paradigm.
In a riff on the classic opening sequence to Buffy's premiere episode, the first body the monster of the week possesses is not the schmoozy lounge lizard, but the wallflower whom Cordy dubs "Sarah plain and tall." As my intrepid co-watcher Jenn points out, Cordelia is more than just eye candy/a Buffy alum looking for work. Her insight and BS-detector are crucial for figuring out Doyle's vague and fragmented visions. The two complement each other nicely, and it's too bad that Glenn Quinn left the show before the writers could really explore their chemistry. (If you're interested, there are many theories as to why Quinn and Angel parted ways, but no matter what, Quinn died way too young. Sadly, won't be the last Angel alum I'll have to say that about.)

Drool much, Doyle?
Rather than sink fangs into her "random" ala Darla, an Alien-esque parasitic demon erupts out of Sarah P&T's body into his whilst spooning. And cuddle-phobic men everywhere respond with a collective "Told you so!"

DON'T bowl alone.
This episode, along with "City Of" and the whole of the Whedonverse, makes the argument that being isolated makes you vulnerable. To a body-hopping demon, in this case. This particular baddie jumps from the lonely to the lonelier after a one-night stand, so in order to interrupt the cycle, Angel must stop the post-coital transfer before it happens. The longer the demon stays in one particular body the more the body disintegrates. The increasingly desperate attempts of the rapidly decomposing and possessed bartender to get some love is pretty hilarious.

"Hey, baby. Are you okay?"

DON'T think all blondes are created equal.
While chasing down the demon, Angel crosses paths with Kate, a cop who thinks she's on the trail of a serial killer. Then she thinks she's on the trail of Angel. They conclude the episode with an uneasy truce and a burgeoning partnership. As Jenn rightly notes, Angel likes blondes of the vamp, Slayer, or cop variety, and ALWAYS SHOULD, ANGEL SEASON THREE. However, I find Kate pretty boring and she and Boreanaz have zero chemistry. There's a reason that he finishes the episode alone, sitting in the dark, like many a mopey depressive before him.

Kate is no Buffy.

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