William’s Review – 2.05 “Dear Boy”

The Good

Julie Benz has continued to wow me on Rewatch. It’s so impressive how terrifying she is. Even after figuring out she’s human she’s still able to play this deranged being. We saw how effortlessly she can manipulate those around her and it was a treat to see her take over scenes. We saw it three times with Lindsey, Kate, and then Angel. More on Darla later.

I’m a fan of the Darla/Lindsey scene because of how we finally hear confirmation on what Wolfram and Hart’s plan is. It is a nice bit of information that I’m glad they shared with us. It explains away the age old question of why don’t they just kill Angel. If their plan is to turn him then I think that makes for more interesting TV, and based off this episode it seems to be working.

I liked the flashbacks. It was great to see Drusilla again and to see the moment Angelus stepped out of Darla’s shadow and became an even more evil creature. I liked how the flashbacks played with the final scene between Darla and Angel. It gave the scene more context and helped underline a lot of the points Darla made.

Angel in this episode was a huge selling point for me. The way we see him become completely unhinged made for really interesting television. It really ramped up the tension around him throughout. By the end of the episode when he is dragging Darla into the convent I was on edge. Angel really came across as frightening in that scene. The way he skulked about looking around the pillars, the way he talked as if she wasn’t there. It was completely predatory and a pretty scary depiction of the character.

The Bad

The “window dressing” elements in this episode were pretty bland. The beginning with the green head demon and the client with the cheating wife didn’t add a whole lot. Thankfully they were just a small part in this episode.

Kate was at her worst here. Not only is she doing the same angry blame Angel for everything that she normally does she’s completely irrational about it. Okay wait maybe I’m being unfair. So Darla manipulated her you say. Okay, so then we have our gang clearly point out all of the glaring logic problems with the situation and instead of being good at her job her response is more stubbornness? It was infuriating to watch! Her “you’re grasping at straws” was the breaking point and completely made me hate seeing this character. It’s such a shame really because the beginning of season 1 had me really liking her.

The Unknown

Will our gang ever really stand up to Angel? They’ve been seeing him really step closer to the edge of darkness. I’m glad they finally communicated in this episode. I’m just wondering if they continue to keep. Their heads down or actually do something about it.

Favorite Moment

Really the moment Angel and Darla step back into the convent could be collected as a favorite moment, but let’s just go with the end of that scene with the “God doesn’t want you, but I still do.” It was a great way to sum up Darla’s motivations and still had a resounding impact in that scene. I also particularly love how dramatic that scene was shot with both Darla using the cross and then stepping into the light.

Bottom Line

This was a great Darla episode. I was very impressed with her portrayal throughout. It was surprising on how frightening Angel was in this episode. Overall I think they did a very good job of showing Angel lose control and clear up the motivations of our bad guys.

Score: 73 out of 100

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