Monday, November 7, 2011

"Rm w/a Vu" (Angel 1.5): The Bitch Is Back

"I'm not a sniveling, whiny little cry-Buffy. I'm the nastiest girl in Sunnydale history, and I take crap from no one."

It's rare that Angel soundly smacks Buffy in a head-to-head match-up, but "Rm w/a Vu" makes "Beer Bad" go home crying to its mama. This Jane Espenson-penned episode is Cordelia's "Anne," the season 3 opener of Buffy wherein our Slayer re-discovered who she was and recommitted to her purpose in life. For Buffy, it was protecting the innocent; for Cordelia, it's being a mega-bitch. And we wouldn't want it any other way. Here comes the Angel guide to negotiating L.A. real estate.

DO shower while listening to Beethoven's 9th.
Thanks for the eye candy, episode.
A moist, towel-clad Angel? Nothing wrong with that.
DON'T settle for second-best. 
Cordy's move to L.A. hasn't exactly played out as she hoped. Rather than instantly finding fame as an actress, she's living in a roach-infested apartment, dodging calls from former Cordettes so she won't have to articulate her own failure. But she still believes, deep down, that she's better than what life has served up so far. After a particularly hideous night at home, Cordelia ditches her one-bedroom in the projects and shacks up with Angel for a memorable one-night stand--and it's hilariously awesome.
Angel finding peanut butter in the bed Cordelia slept in . . . as well as an excuse for another shirtless screencap.
DO only perform exorcisms on a "need-to" basis.
After a memorable day of apartment hunting, Cordy finds what seems to be the perfect place . . . except for its possession by Maude, a geriatric ghost who goads tenants to suicide.
Pictured: Not a sufficient deterrent for passing on a rent-controlled apartment in L.A.

Beth Grant, who you will definitely recognize,
For me it was Donnie Darko.
is a sort of depression demon, encouraging and articulating the darkest self-doubts of anyone who moves into her former home. But Cordelia eventually snaps out of it, ala Moonstruck. She uncovers Maude's dark secret, the "Cask of Amontillado"-style slaying of her son, Dennis. Never having met a boy she couldn't boss around, Cordy and Ghost-Dennis become roommates in her fabulous L.A. apartment.
Cordy's "don't mess with me, Dennis" face.

This is one of the episodes that comes to mind when I remember my first viewing of Angel, and its humor, creepiness, and smart writing are the reasons why. A season 1 highlight for sure.

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