William’s Review – 2.14 “The Thin Dead Line”

The Good

The gang being the A plot to this episode was very nice. I’m glad they actually took time with Gunn, Wes, and Cordelia. Their story elements felt the most natural and I loved how everyone was involved in the progression of the story. Gunn obviously took more of a leadership role in the episode which was nice and the inclusion of tying Gunn and Anna’s background together worked nicely. I totally believe that since they run in similar circles that they would know each other. Gunn again had a great moment with Jackson. It was one of the only interesting moments in the episode. We were getting to discuss real world problems and the grays that lie with it. And as far as using sci fi to get a message across I thought it was best subtle use we  got in the episode. Wesley got to continue his sudo being the head of their detective agency, but mainly we got just him and Cordelia checking on Gunn with his bad plan. Having a bad plan and then commenting on it actually made me a fan of the gang at least being intelligent enough to catch that. Cordelia also really shined with having the emotion pour out of her a bit. First with her reaction to Anna saying she saw Angel and then being disappointed. And then again in the scene where she confronts Angel (see favorite moment). Overall it was a great episode for our gang.

Some of the imagery with the zombie cops was affective. The cop immediately pulling out a gun and shooting Wes was disturbing and shocking. Another scene that worked was the cop cars stopping the ambulance and then gunning down the EMT. But other than that…

The Bad

A lot of the zombie cops stuff didn’t work or was downright ridiculous. I was not a fan of the use of slow motion editing both with Angel kicking of a cop’s head and later when Wes is shot. Speaking of which, why is Angel kicking of a cop’s head? He doesn’t know he’s super natural and just nonchalantly first sounds like he breaks his neck then kicks his head off? I don’t know it was very bizarre. I get that they need to show that these are zombie cops, but do it in another way.

So what was with the Kate in this episode? Firstly it must be because of how they’ve damaged the character up into this point, but her cries about her father potentially being raised I thought was unconvincing. I miss having the Kate from Sense and Sensibility where we could connect with the character. Secondly why was she justifying the police chief’s zombie raising plan? It was a bizarre choice and I’m not sure what the episode was trying to say. Angel having an almost blah attitude made me unsure of whether he was being apathetic with the lack of cops or if he was being morally right. Either way the scene was very unclear and confusing.

A lot of the extras drug this episode down for me. I was especially not a fan of Kenny. I found mostly they felt like stereotypes or were just unbelievable. Don’t get me started on girl who hurt her arm and can’t talk for some reason.

The Unknown

It’s sad to think this is 14 years old and we still have to face racism today. In light of more recent historical events there was a little added oomph to the episode. I just don’t know if that was because the episode was any good or not…

Favorite Moment

Cordelia telling Angel to just stay away was the most affecting scene in the episode. Seeing the true divide between the group was sad. I did get a little satisfaction in seeing Cordelia tell Angel off, because honestly he has been kind of a dick lately. But really getting genuine emotion from Cordelia really got to me.

Bottom Line

This episode had problems with the goofiness of a zombie cop story. I also wasn’t a big fan of the extra’s they cast in the episode. Some of the disturbing imagery with the cops worked, but more importantly this episode got the rest of gang right. Getting to focus on them was important and dragged the episode up.

Score: 60 out of 100

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