William’s Review 1.06 “Sense and Sensitivity”
This was a very solid episode. Like other “gimmick” episode from other of Whedon’s work, this had everything you wanted drama, humor, and most importantly emotion.
Focusing on more of our main cast has been a real plus for the show. It gives each episode a level of focus that I really enjoy. I liked getting to know why Kate is who she is. Seeing her interactions with her father we’re both equal parts awkward and sad. In particular the scene at the bar really got me. Kate’s speech gave me everything I needed to understand this character and made me emphasize with her. I wish they hadn’t cut to her father saying “what did they do to her in that therapy session,” but none the less it didn’t take me out of the moment. The scene was able to get a lot of response from me, as it should when someone bares their soul to a room full of people. While the ending scene with her father didn’t have the same emotional impact on me, I’m still glad we didn’t get the cookie cutter ending we were expecting. And it was sad seeing a dejected Kate slumping behind her desk, alone.
I’m liking the formula of having a real world threat and then injecting the supernatural into it. Yes our bad guys are cliche, but it’s nice to have our vamp detective take on a human or two. The introduction of the therapist worked nicely. He came across charismatic and believable. I liked the idea of the talking stick and the curse it gives. Seeing how people react when they have no emotional filter was both funny and serious. I also liked the introduction of the Wolfram and Hart lawyer, Lee Mercer. The way he was able to manipulate and turn Kate’s hotheaded nature against her worked. He seems equal parts cold and slimy as all lawyers should.
The humor in this episode was surprisingly still very fresh. I was worried that on Rewatch this wouldn’t have the same effect, but no I was wrong. The role reversal with our leads was nice. Flipping our straight characters (Angel and Kate) and our comic relief characters (Cordelia and Doyle) was an interesting dynamic. Kate had a lot of wonderful comedic moments. Her waving the gun around Cordelia and Doyle probably being the standout for me. It just came out of no where and really caught me off guard. Of course once Angel falls for the curse things just get that much goofier. It could have gone too far, but I found myself really enjoying seeing our brooding hero being a blabbering Mr. Sensitive. The “Painbow” line was very funny. It’s not a great pun/line, but it’s so over the top and absurd coming from Angel that I found it hysterical. David Boreanaz delivered that line perfectly for just how bizarre it was.
This on more than one occasion harkened back to all of the cop drama’s we’ve seen a hundred times. If it was trying to be tongue and cheek then far enough, but I got turned off by Kate’s bad cop/loose canon routine. The bad guys where just as cliche being stereotypical Italian mobsters. There was something uninspired about these elements, however the rest of the episode really picked these pieces up.
The co worker of Kate that starts spouting his love her and then starts to get dark with it was an uncomfortable scene. I’m not sure how necessary it was and once again we get another male character represented as the worst part of humanity with his misgonist dialogue of Kate’s apparent “taunting.” I think the writers were just trying to pull us back to the serious side since we had gone off the rails a bit. But I think Little Tony coming in blasting with a shotgun did that well enough without the coworkers inclusion.
As they continue to hint at Wolfram and Hart as an over arching thread this season I’m interested in where it’s going. If they indeed are taking an interest in Angel, then I’m just wondering how much they’ll be involved going forward.
Kate’s speech at the bar was the scene I most resonated with emotionally. It was well written and beautifully acted. In particular the line “you couldn’t even tell a scared little girl a beautiful lie” really hit home for me. It was a line that summed up just how cold her father was and how damaged she is because of it.
The Bottom Line:
This was very good. Besides the scene of Angel and Doyle at the end of “In the Dark,” this was the only episode that has been able to engage with me on an emotional level. It was also just really funny and fresh. I’m glad we are getting these character focused episode. Hopefully we’ll get a Doyle one soon.
Score: 70 out of 100.