Derek’s Review 1.07 “The Bachelor Party”
This actually starts off as a pretty good episode. Cordelia’s little character development is fantastic. Harry is charming and Glenn Quinn does a great job of portraying Doyle’s more complex emotions. It’s an interesting idea to have Doyle confront his demon half because besides the visions it is the most interesting aspect of his character. It also could lead to some interesting layers to the mythology because Doyle seems to be the only “good ” demon we’ve met so far. Angel doesn’t count because of the soul.
The problem with all this that all the decent stuff in the episode is pretty much wrapped up when Doyle signs the divorce papers. And it’s not even in a satisfying way. Doyle comes to the decision that he was the one who wrecked his marriage, an event that has destroyed his life for four years, in the course of about five seconds. It should take Doyle a whole episode to come to terms with the fact that he is responsible for the dissolution of his marriage. It should not just be Angel going “You screwed up brah.” and Doyle responding with “Bro, you’re totally right.” (Literally how I hear that scene).
But all of this would be excusable if it was followed up the titular bachelor party. Richard was an extremely grating character who was either an idiot or a sociopath but definitely not funny. It’s that all of Richard and his family’s lines are terrible but it is the sheer volume of them. If you create a literal clan of characters whose entire existence is a joke, at least a couple lines will land. For every “Pornographic Pictionary” we have “There was a stripper?” or Richard telling Doyle Harry will always love him to minutes later getting ready to feast on his brains. The last isn’t intended to be a joke but it is ridiculously laughable that anyone would buy that making logical sense.
Which is my real issue with this episode, nothing makes sense here. The episode wants Richard and his family to be harmless “funny” silly little characters (FYI: they fail miserably) and the villains of the piece. Villains of the piece who think they’ve murdered Angel and are planning on murdering Doyle. And for what? No one knows. They give religious reasons as an excuse but once Harry refutes that, they have no back up. Do they hate Harry? Do they not want to mix their bloodline with a human? Have they assimilated so much to American culture that they really just hate the Irish? All of these would be valid excuses (or at least excuses) but none are given.
The worst sin though is that nothing of this really has to do with Doyle. Once the divorce papers are signed this episode stops being about Doyle and starts being The Wacky Fun Time Hour with Richard and Uncle John. If you’re going to do a Doyle-centric episode, then do it. To quote Ron Swanson “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” All of this makes me feel like the show doesn’t have enough faith in Doyle as a character to even give him his own episode; so why should I care about him?
The he-said / she-said delivery of how we learned Doyle’s backstory from Harry and Doyle left me confused of the actual timeline. It would have been better served as a flashbacks but then this whole episode could use major overhauling.
I don’t really have a problem with Cordelia realizing she has feelings for Doyle but I think it could have been done better. Cordelia’s extremely mini arc at the beginning of the episode was the best thing about the episode by a large margin but it could have been given more time. We’ve seen them getting slightly closer but I need a bit more work before I fully buy them. All that being said it is undeniably cute moment when she attempts to ask him out.
The Bottom Line:
A very disappointing episode that started off pretty strong but failed to accomplish pretty much everything it set out to do.
42 out of 100