Sunday, November 20, 2011

"The Bachelor Party" (Angel 1.7) is a necessary evil

Another so-so episode from the first season of Angel. I mean, I enjoy getting to learn more about Doyle, including his first name (Francis!), but what really makes this one worthwhile is that it sets us up first for some crossover fun with Buffy's "Pangs" and then for the finest why-god-why episode of Angel so far: "I Will Remember You." So let's get the Angel guide to dealing with your ex over with.

DON'T trust this guy if you find yourself in the Whedonverse.*
In Buffy 3.1, "Anne," he's Ken, the seemingly mild-mannered and slightly bumbling advocate for the homeless who is actually head demon in charge of a hell dimension that sucks the life out of young homeless kids in a kick-ass Marxist parable.

Hey Ken, want to see Buffy's impression of Gandhi?

In Firefly 1.1, "Serenity," he's Lawrence Dobson, a seemingly mild-mannered and slightly bumbling passenger on Mal's ship who is actually a Federation bounty hunter. He accidentally shoots Kaylee when aiming for River. Jerk.

In this case, the "bumbling" was not an act.

And here he's Richard Strayley, a seemingly mild-mannered and slightly bumbling demon who just happens to want to eat Doyle's brains.

But not in a zombie way.

*But if you find yourself in the Noah Baumbach universe, you're just fine. He's mild-mannered and bumbling all the way down.

DO always make Angel your wing man.
When Doyle's ex-wife (!) Harry (?) shows up, she comes bearing the news every dumpee loves to hear: she's getting married. And whereas Doyle hides his demon-ness, Richard embraces his heritage as a benign Ano-movic demon . . . or so we think. What at first seems to be an affable invite to his bachelor party to ensure Doyle there are no hard feelings is revealed to be part of Richard's plan to eat Doyle's brains in an ancient family tradition. Good thing Angel came along to save the day with an entrance so bad-ass, it's part of the opening credits.

"You brought a vampire to the party?"

Crossover alert!
The opening moments of the episode have Doyle finding the picture of Buffy Angel uses as a bookmark, which is a good thing, because the closing moments have him receiving a vision straight from the Powers that Be that Buffy is in danger. You know what that means: Angel is heading back to Sunnydale, just in time for Thanksgiving!

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