Derek’s Review 1.02 “Lonely Hearts”

The Good:

Kate, the real Kate, was an interesting character. While Doyle is technically a new character created for the show, he really is so much based on Whistler (as minimal as he was) that Kate really feels like the first “real” new character. As the Jim Gordon to Angel’s Batman she works pretty well. The episode tries to stuff romantic chemistry down your throat between them but there uneasy but effective partnership works much better.

I was a bit uncertain how two comedic relief characters like Cordelia and Doyle would play off each other but I was surprised to find out they worked well. This episode gave us a much better idea of who Doyle is and his jumpiness and self-consciousness works well against Cordelia’s seemingly carefree and transparent attitude.

In theory I like the burrower demon and the fact that it has to make Angel confront his awkwardness in connecting with people. This really was the real showcase of the “new” Angel whose silences and pauses are about of his social awkward nature rather than broody man pain. In practice though….

The Bad:

This was just not a very well put together episode. At times it felt like that real time awkward never ending bar scene and other it felt very rushed and hurried put together. The whole episode seems to be built around lines like “it’s hard to make a connection” and “that’s what lonely people do” but not only are these very cheesy lines but they certainly aren’t enough to build an episode around. I didn’t need a whole episode to tell me dating sucks.

There was so much misdirection here that it almost made your head spin and as result almost none of it worked. The fake Kate in the beginning was especially horrible, they really try to sell the whole two awkward people finding love and commonality in each other angle. In actuality though it was me suffering through two awkward people not being able to carry a conversation with one another which does make interesting television ever. Especially when it was played so bone dry serious as it was here.

I read that this was not the original second episode and there was whole different much darker story written as well as a completely different origin story and character for Kate. I think they ultimately made the right choice not going with that episode but it definitely shows that this episode didn’t have quite the polish it deserved.

The Unknown:

Is there only one bar in LA? And has a bar ever looked like that? Are they really going for a Doyle and Cordelia romance? I liked how they played off each other but a lot more work would have to be done to make me think it could be a convincing couple. Right now it just feels like a redux of Cordelia and Xander from Buffy but less interesting and more accents.

Also am I the only one who found it vaguely insulting that these pretty attractive people who the burrower was attaching themselves too where relatively attractive people?

Best Moment:

Angel dramatically taking out his Vamp-Claw to whisk them away to safety only to end in failure is exactly the kind of superhero subversion moment I hope to see from this show more.

Score: 57 of 100

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