William’s Review – 1.10 “Parting Gifts”
I loved that beginning as we pick up from last week, and it was a nice touch to callback the “time fold” from I Will Remember You. Glad to see we aren’t just going to let Doyle’s death go.
Cordelia getting the visions is actually pretty nice as far as the story goes. I like giving her more of a purpose and function for being a part of Angel Investigations. It’s still nice how much she doesn’t fit in this world, but her getting the visions gives her a reason to stick around. I thought throughout the episode Cordelia did her thing pretty well. I especially like the scene where she has the fake vision and kicks Barney. Also her commercial audition might have been the only real amount of emotion to be paid towards Doyle’s death.
Wesley is a fun inclusion into the cast. He’s such a dork and I love it. He has a certain physicality to his humor that works so well. I’m not usually one to laugh at pratfalls, but he’s able to sell it with a certain conviction that just makes it real. I also like that they didn’t make him completely useless by him translating the dying demon. Also Angel initially telling Wesley that he can’t come with was another of the few moments that we dealt with how our characters were dealing with Doyle’s passing.
The role that each of our leads will have seems to fit a lot smoother in a TV convention sort of a way. Angel is the leader/muscle, Wesley the researcher/physical comedy, Cordelia the visions/verbal comedy. Seems very simple to boil it down to that, but something about that just seems to work out nicely.
Where I applauded Hero for dealing with the events from I Will Remember You, this didn’t have enough fallout from Doyle’s death. It was already a more lighthearted episode. Which I can understand you don’t want to lose your audience by having them constantly depressed, but I felt a little betrayed by them seemingly moving on in one episode.
I understand the need for an empathy demon to explore our two remaining characters feelings, as they need an excuse for these closed off characters to open up. But I really would have resonated with this episode more if we had had more scenes with Cordelia and Angel talking about how Doyle’s death has affected them. As for Barney himself I just didn’t find him at all threatening or engaging. I also never thought that we were supposed to think he was a good guy through all this. Even his opening introduction he calls himself evil.
So is Wesley the new Doyle? Is Wolferam Hart ever going to actually do anything?
The ending scene where they are eating breakfast together I thought was a nice respite from the depressing endings we’ve been getting lately.
This was adequate, not good not bad. The introduction of Wesley was nice and I do like how the groups dynamics fit on the surface. Still the villain didn’t present a real threat and I didn’t feel like they dealt with the emotional fallout from last week enough.
Score: 58 out 100