William’s Review – 2.13 “Happy Anniversary”

The Good

The Host and Angel storyline were the highlight of the episode. First actually exploring the host did wonders for his character. I thought it was a brilliant idea to pair him up with Angel. It really made him pop because of how colorful of a character he is. It contrasted really nicely with the dark depressing Angel. I found myself really entertained every time the Host was on screen. I didn’t even mind him being out during the daytime LA. It’s always tough when Angel is out during the day because it almost seems like a different world, but for sake of the story I was okay with it this time. I also would have been pretty annoyed if every human they interacted with had the same reaction as “Carpet Mold” guy. The clear scene between the Host and Angel was the car ride to stop Gene. The Host being up to pull this amount of emotion out of Angel was really nice. It’s always striking when Angel shows an abundance of emotion because of how stoic of a character he is, but this felt so natural. The Host is an expert at being this sudo psychiatrist to people, so I totally bought that Angel would open up like this. Plus Angel had been holding on to this for so long that this seemed like a natural boiling point for this to come out.

Again getting to see the gang was nice. I like them exploring these characters without Angel. It wasn’t much more than we got last week. Still I think it’s important the story they are telling here. They feel like real characters and I liked the balance they had between each other. This also had the best representation of Virginia. Her bouncing of the gang worked nicely and made her feel like more than just Wes’s girlfriend. I thought the Wesley Sherlock Holmes mystery gag was pretty funny. It is a shame that we didn’t get to see more of the gang coming into their own. Still the episode ends with a very nice moment (see favorite moment).

The Bad

The Gene storyline was very bland. As bland as the say he is throughout the episode. His character and his story are an energy sucker for the audience, or at least to me. I found no sympathy for his character about his girlfriend breaking up with him. It’s a shame too, because they do spend the time to try and fleshout his character. I applaud them for trying to make us care about this guy, it just didn’t work. And don’t get me started on his weird freeze us in a time bubble while we have sex thing. I found the whole sympathy bone scene to be highly disturbing. There was something very off about that scene that made me uncomfortable.

I wish they could have shown more of our gang. They’ve been in the background for much of the season and I thought that they might get more attention that this after the firing. I’m not upset with what we got, I just we had more to really develop Gunn, Cordelia, and Wes.

The Unknown

There were little logical questions that kept jumping to my head. Like why do the luggar demons need Gene if they are the ones that fix his formula? Maybe has to fulfil some part of their prophecy. Or why does Gene seem shocked about demon’s existing in the world if he was singing in a demon karaoke bar at the beginning of the episode. Ultimately these had little impact on my enjoyment of the episode.

Favorite Moment

Wesley saying that Angel is “just a name.” I found the moment worked as it tied back to The Host’s speech about moving on. It puts an interesting dynamic between Angel and the gang now as just as Angel is making his first step back they are taking that step away.

Bottom Line

I’m kind of sad that I didn’t enjoy this more. I liked the strange Angel and The Host buddy cop story. I liked the limited story we got from Gunn, Wes, and Cordelia. Unfortunately the Gene storyline didn’t grab me. I liked the attempt to flesh out our case of the week story; this just didn’t work for me.

Score: 57 out of 100

we got from Gunn, Wes, and Cordelia. Unfortunately the Gene storyline didn’t grab me. I liked the attempt to flesh out our case of the week story; this just didn’t work for me.
Score: 57 out of 100


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