Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Happy Anniversary" (Angel 2.13): It all comes from pain

Any and all hard-core Whedonites out there might recognize the subtitle's reference to Joss's response in "Commentary: The Musical" when asked where it (his inspiration) all comes from. "Happy Anniversary," with a story by His Whedonness and series co-creator David Greenwalt and a screenplay by Greenie, is a return to the heart-wrenching despair that made Angel into the tortured brooding lurker we know and love today. I really enjoyed this Angel guide to getting your heart broken so hard it damn near ends the world.
DO trust a scientist to be a scientist. As Jenn remarks, "Criminal mastermind or depressed, heartbroken, physicist--what's the difference?" As the angry villager in Young Frankenstein remarks, "Scientists, they're all alike! They say they're working for us, but what they really want is to rule the world!" The pro- and antagonist of this episode, Gene the genius physicist graduate student, is so busy with his experiment to try and freeze an instant of time, he doesn't notice how he's neglecting his hot ginger girlfriend Denise.

Pictured: The avatar of destruction and danger. Trust me.

Naturally, when he overhears her plan to break up with him, he decides to use his skillz to stop time before she gets the chance.

DO trust a dude to be a dude. The moment he chooses? Not during the lovely dinner he prepared for her in his apartment in which no physicist graduate student would ever live.

Seriously, when was the last time you were in a male graduate student's apartment that had wall sconces and a well-appointed foyer?
Not during the exchange of anniversary gifts. No no no. He selects the, ahem, climactic moment of what Denise terms "the sympathy bone."

Yeah, that moment.

DO trust a fundamentalist to be a fundamentalist. Lorne, who Jenn notes really transitions in this episode from a marginal player to a major Angel Scooby (We are in desperate need of a good name for Angel's crew. Any ideas?), alerts Angel to his psychic apprehension that the world is going to end because of Gene's little experiment. As the duo hilariously try to track Gene down before the sympathy bone, they run into a sect of Lubber demons determined to extend Gene's time bubble over the entire earth, thereby removing humans from the space-time continuum.

Attention people who understand "science": Does this look like an equation to freeze time? Jonathan? Paul? Anybody?

As far as I'm concerned, it's just an excuse to watch Lorne fight.

He sings them into submission. It's rad.

DO trust Angel to be Angel. During the pursuit, Lorne calls out Angel on his abandonment of his friends. He in turn invites Lorne to a pity party, bemoaning being Wolfram & Hart's whipping post, how wrong things went with Darla, and his despair at never being able to atone for his crimes as Angelus. After preventing the demons from extending Gene's freeze ray (Another Dr. Horrible shout-out), and allowing Denise to break up with him, the boys enjoy some sorrow drowning. Angel's analysis, "The guy's a disaster at love. Nearly destroyed the world. I can relate" was a highlight for both Jenn and me.

Angel's "been there, done that" face."

Meanwhile, back at Angel Investigations, we have another throwback that Jenn noted. There's a hilarious parody of an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery reveal, with Wesley running down clues and suspects in the parlor of an old manor house.

Wesley, laying out some circumstantial evidence.
More key? Just when Angel seems ready to reach out, it seems the gang is ready to move on.

No comments:

Post a Comment