William’s Review – 1.17 “Eternity”
Once again I find myself going up to bat for a mediocre episode…
They did an adequate job of trying to sell the chemistry between Angel and Rebecca. There isn’t great reasoning, but having Wesley comment on it and Angel’s moon eyes made me buy it for a time. So that once Angel turns I did fear slightly for Rebecca.
Establishing the threat of Angelus is what really saved this episode for me. On first watch I was completely beside myself for the curse triggering, but on Rewatch I completely understood what the writers were doing. Establishing the threat of Angel’s darker half is essential for new viewers of the show. Yes, it feels a bit like having your cake and eating it too. But what I can say is a felt the sheer joy and terror of seeing Angelus come to life.
I may be reading too much into the last scene, but after Angelus has terrorized and demoralized our main characters, Wesley looks completely shaken by the event. Something about his performance really sold the end for me. While his words say “I’m over it,” is performance hint at more depth there. I really hope there is a residual effect next week.
Rebecca is not likeable and seems rather shallow even if it is her pointing it out. So it makes Angels instant attraction to her questionable. Also having her drug our main character and have anterior motives makes her character again take a hit. It’s no wonder by the end of the episode they completely forget about her and just focus on our main characters.
The drug sort of triggering the curse but not really is still a problem. For one it doesn’t make any sense. They literally have Wesley have this wonderful moment when he says how rare a perfect moment of happiness is only to have it flipped flopped by Angel turning because of a recreational drug. There had to be a better way to get this across, because it makes more questions than answers on Angel as a character and on the curse mythology.
Cordelia instantly getting over Angelus seemed wrong. Equally having her be more upset by Angel lying about her acting performance over Angelus trying to murder her was just false. It put a real sour note to an otherwise pretty good ending.
I’m now very fuzzy about Angels curse and what actually triggers it.
When Angelus finally appears to terrorize Rebecca. It was fun to let David Borenaz just go in that scene. It’s so rare that he gets to act out this much, but I really dug the flamboyant nature of Angelus. It gave me a vibe of Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight (Obviously not to that standard).
Obviously there are problems here, but establishing the threat of Angel’s other side for new viewers is important. I felt the threat there and seeing how it will effect the other characters going forward will be interesting.
Score: 59 out of 100