William’s Review -2.15 “Reprise”
This episode was really fantastic I thought it did a number of things exceptionally. There was a real driving force behind the episode and it built up nicely. I also liked how it had a greater sense of continuity and consequence with some of our characters.
I thought they did a really good job with Kate in this episode. It’s impressive that they were able drum up some sympathy for a character that has been nearly irreparably damaged by the show. I liked the continuity of her being in trouble for Angel attacking the police chief from last week. It was nice to see the real world element of her actually being held accountable for her actions the past couple of months. I thought the review hearing was sad and effective at selling Kate’s sense of hopelessness in the moment. When she goes to almost explain about the supernatural and gets shot down I thought the scene worked really well. Also I fully believe that last dig about her dad would push her over the edge. Her breaking down in her apartment worked less so, but still was nice to see her breaking down to the point that we got her suicide phone call to Angel at the end of the episode.
Wes also was in a bad place with this episode. I’m glad he isn’t mystically healed after getting a gunshot wound last week. It puts him in an interesting place where he’s sidelined from most of his duties. I did enjoy the scene between him and Virginia. It’s a relationship we didn’t really get to explore and a character we didn’t get to know a lot of, but I care about Wes and I thought they sold the scene quite nicely. It at first being this deeper speech about why we fight and if it’s worth it and then dissolving into the break up I thought worked and Wes sold the emotion in the scene. I also found him standing up to Angel earlier in the episode to be really effective. It’s the most tumultuous we’ve seen Angel and the gang and there was something really threatening in that scene. It was also just sad to see how far apart they’ve grown.
I enjoyed the Host in the episode. Angel jumping around to all his contacts I thought worked in selling how desperate he has become. This scene worked well in ramping up the threat in the episode with the discovery of a “senior partner” coming to visit. I also thought there was nice insights with The Host saying that Angel’s future is now kind of murky since he’s gone full on rampage mode.
I liked having more continuity with Denver showing up from “Are you now or have you ever been?” and liked that he tries to get through to Angel about how he touched his life. Of course it ends badly because why wouldn’t it? It seems like anything Angel touches lately ends up going badly for the other person. I guess Anne at least got all that money. But really it helped keep Angel in that dark headspace and it of course was another point to get the macguffin so we could get to the end of the episode. I thought it still add a forward momentum to the episode while keeping it pretty dark with Denver dying by Darla’s hands.
There’s not much I want to say about Lindsey minus a special shout out to the Darla eye roll from Lindsey’s line “I’m always dirty.” Priceless.
The elevator scene was the greatest moment in the episode so…(see favorite moment)
Then we had the boink-ening. Seeing Angel try and commit soul suicide by sleeping with Darla was a really dark ending and a heck of a cliff hanger to end on. The scene is also really dark. Angel comes off really aggressive and kind of rapey. The things that helps is the context of who Darla is. It’s enough to make you feel uneasy, but that’s kind of what they were going for so I’m not really knocking it.
There are only a couple of real complaints for the episode. One the delivery of the line “Sometimes I feel like I need to be wrapped in bandages to keep MY insides from falling out” from Virginia was truly groan worthy. The scene was still salvaged by Wes’s portrayal in the moment, but it did take a lot of air out of the moment. The second is the sad montage once Holland has broken Angel so completely. It was WAY over the top and melodramatic. It’s not the first time we’ve had a sad montage on the show and this was just as bad. It kind of just dragged along and had sappy sad piano music playing. Worse still it wasn’t even that consistent. Why are we jumping to a shot of Cordelia? She doesn’t even fit into the moment. Luckily it’s just filler until we get to Angel at the Hyperion, but still it did dragged the end of the episode down.
So was that really Holland? I do like the idea that the lawyers of W&H do sell their soul literally when they come to work there.
The whole elevator scene with Holland and Angel was the highlight to the episode. I loved the change in the power dynamic between Angel and Holland. Holland is so effortlessly twisting words to drag Angel further and further down into his depression, his hopelessness. Angel being defiant with “You’re not going to win” only for Holland to twist it with “We have no intention of doing anything so prosaic as ‘winning’.” Holland does such a great job of just chewing scenery and the scene is really aided from getting all of the reactions from Angel. It all cumulates into wonderfully despairing moment with Angel fully believing that nothing matters.
This episode was one of the best episode I’ve gotten from Angel. It was dark and depressing, but really ramped up in a beautiful way to a heck of a cliffhanger. It does still feel like a part one so it kind of holds it back, plus let’s try and collectively forget the sad piano scene.
Score: 80 out of 100