William’s Review – 2.04 “Untouched”

The Good

For a case of the week episode I thought they did a very good job. They again played with the damsel idea with Bethany at first appearing as that role only to become empowered. This was much better than the other example we got with “I Fall to Pieces.” And let’s be honest seeing attempted rapists for hire get smooshed by a two ton dumpster was pretty satisfying. Overall I like the story they are telling here. Bethany’s flashback worked well in making you side with this character, understand how traumatized she is, as well as be highly disturbing. The scene between Angel and Bethany in the bedroom was definitely awkward and showed how damaged Bethany is from the abuse she suffered as a child.

Angel had an interesting representation in this episode. Him getting more grumpy or dark was interesting and was helped by the continued dreaming of when he was Angelus. So when he snaps at Cordelia it’s actually pretty shocking. I do love how Cordelia instantly turns it around on him and we see the only thing he can do is smile. Another moment where Angel started to feel like Angel again was when he talks to Bethany about “People” (See favorite moment). He also had two quality bad ass moments. One when he goes to “fetch the van” it was cool seeing him surf on the car and then jump to the van. Even for a dated show it was still an impressive action sequence. Secondly was when he was talking Bethany down after Lilah’s deception is revealed. I love how he gets so passionate and is just swatting the objects aside.

Cordelia was great all of her interactions had me entertained. From sticking her tongue out at Angel to bickering with Wesley. Too me she feels like such a realized character at this point. She is sweet and caring with Bethany. She’s goofy with our gang. I just loved how she was utilized and was really happy every time she was on screen.

The Bad

Nothing Bad as such, but I do have some questions.

The Unknown

The overall theme or message of the episode got muttled quite a few times. There moments in the episode that I was left scratching my head because I was unsure what they were exactly trying to get across. The beginning with both Angel and Bethany dreaming, was there suppose to be a connection in that scene? What were they trying to say about Angel? Another scene that had me puzzled was the scene between Cordelia and Bethany. It still works because Cordelia is in that scene and seems very earnest. It just had abrupt shifts with both “Don’t sleep with my boss” and “sex complicates things.” I believe they were trying to hammer home the theme with this traumatized girl, but something got lost along the way.

The scene with Bethany and Angel in the bedroom was definitely awkward. I believe purposefully so, still the only thing that irks me is how Bethany calls herself a slut and there is no acknowledgment about it. Again when Bethany and Cordelia have there talk about sex it just comes across a little off. I would have preferred a simple acknowledgment of “Bethany you aren’t a slut.” And moved on.

The ending with the return of her father I thought could have been handled better. We get the initial shock of him showing up and Bethany blowing out every window which is cool, but there was a doubt in my mind when he showed up if he was even real. Also when there’s the debate of whether she’ll kill him or not Angel doesn’t really seem to tell her not to. He just states “you have the power, use it.” I’m sure it is meant to come across as “do the right thing.” Still with grumpy Angel so prevalent in this episode it was hard to say what Angel wanted her to do.

Favorite Moment

Angel’s conversation about “People” to Bethany was the highlight in the episode to me. It’s another one of those moments that affirms the character and shows why he does what he does. I particularly like they line of how people “try.” It was a nice moment

Bottom Line

I liked this! For a mostly filler episode I thought it did a lot of things well. I just couldn’t quite make a great emotional connection with this episode. It’s asking a lot of the episode, but what we got here was still good. There’s just only so much you can do with a character we’ve just been introduced to.

Score: 69 out of 100

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