William’s Review – 2.10 “Reunion”
Angel was on display. His journey to total apathy was nice. He seems to have completely lost it at the beginning of the episode, still being in shock from the events from last week. I totally believe Angel is delirious from last week and once he snaps out of it he goes on a one man quest to kill Darla. I thought they did a great job with the action scenes in the sky garden. It’s a little cramped, but they did a good job again of vampire on vampire violence. All of the wire work made our three vampires being flung across the room suitably vicious.
They do a good job of building up to both last moments. First building up to wine cellar scene, I loved Angel and Holland finally meeting. Angel breaking through the window was bad ass and dramatic. I love how Holland continues to command every scene he is in. He has an arrogance and superiority that comes across nicely. He is so adapt at manipulating people and the situation that I totally believe that his hubris would end up blowing up in his face. So when we get to the wine cellar and Holland is hopelessly losing control of the situation with Darla and Dru about to go full on massacre mode, it is really satisfying to have Angel throw back to Holland “And yet, I just can’t seem to care.” It was a really dark moment that just gets the perfect explanation point with Dru saying “Daddy?”
Secondly building up to Angel firing the rest of the gang. The way Angel pushes the rest of the gang further and further away worked well. Him trying to shoo away Cordelia’s vision shows how far away he is from his mission. He takes no interest in “helping the helpless,” with the man about to commit suicide. They’ve been building up the tension in the group and having the group to continue to say nothing. It was great for them all to join in, step up, and tell Angel that he needs help. And of course in perfect Joss Whedon style he emotionally gut punches you. The fact that Angel acknowledges that they are trying to help him and then completely pushes them away is what was most depressing about that scene.
As much as I love the end of this episode, there was something missing for me with a newly Vamped Darla. I didn’t get any of the nuance from her character that we had seen in the flashbacks or from her as a human. She seemed to kind of just be a mustache twirling bad guy. I get making the distinction between her vampire self. I just thought there could have been more.
I do feel like they didn’t let the wine cellar scene breath enough before we had to fire our gang. It is also slightly anti climatic to end with that moment. I don’t think they could have done it any other way and it hits a different kind of emotion, but it’s still kind of on the same level emotionally.
How dark is too dark? Angel himself hasn’t committed a terrible crime, but I do wonder how far they can bring him and still have him be redeemable.
Angel coldly walking up the steps while the Lawyers trapped in the wine cellar begin to scream in horror. I felt like this was the most affecting scene. It’s the darkest we’ve seen Angel. I think it is interesting to take the hero of your show to such a dark place.
This was very good. And this last moments really standout. I just didn’t connect with the first half of the episode. I love all of the Angel moments, but there was something less interesting about the Darla story on Rewatch.
Score: 75 out of 100