Derek’s Review – 2.17 “Disharmony”

The Good:

This was a good case of the week episode. It’s been so longsince we’ve spent any time with Cordelia, it was nice to get an episode thatinvolved her so heavily. The main story doesn’t tell us a lot of newinformation about Cordelia. It is essentially an exploration of how much she has changed since high school. It’s a story we have seen before, but the presence of Harmony made things feel fresh.

Harmony’s an amusing character but I can’t say she’s particularly hilarious one. I enjoyed her in this episode but outside of a few lines, I wasn’t really chuckling. It’s not as if I didn’t laugh at all. The vampire pyramid scheme was classic Buffyverse comedy. I also got a real kick out Willow’s delivery of the line “You wounded her?” during her phone confession with Cordelia.

Yet it was the side-story of Angel trying to repair his relationship with Cordelia that really drew me in. I have a lot of affection for their interaction. It has provided some of my favorite moments on the show to date. So I really felt for Angel’s trying to come back from Cordelia telling them they’re not friends anymore. They used Wesley smartly here. While I still think he shouldn’t be the leader of the new Angel Investigations, he showed really maturity giving Angel advice in this episode. It looks like that Cordelia and Angel’s friendship has been mended by episode’s end. Still I hope the show uses Angel’s new position in Angel Investigations to continue to tell interesting stories about the character dynamics.

The Bad:

There’s not a lot of tension in the Harmony story. There is no real shock in her betrayal and the final fight is a bit too easy. I understand why they went this way. If Harmony had seemed remotely threatening then Cordelia looks frustratingly naïve for remotely trusting her. However…

The Unknown:

While I don’t think Cordelia looks stupid for letting Harmony stick around, I’m not sure why she is doing it. I have theories based on evidence within in the episode but it’s largely a mystery. There is a scene missing in between Cordelia telling Willow she’s going to try to get of her house and Harmony painting Cordelia’s toenails. She tells Wesley and Angel that Harmony needs help and that’s what they do but there has to be a deeper reasoning. Yet I have to do a lot of inferring and guessing to come up with it.

The closest they get to it, is when Cordelia and Angel argue on the street. If Cordelia thinks that if a vampire with a soul could go so bad, why can’t a silly vampire without one, like Harmony, be harmless, that’s fine. Yet while that argument only very vaguely hints at that. It’s mostly about Cordelia telling Angel how and why he hurt her.

Favorite Moment:

Normally I wouldn’t be okay with Cordelia’s anger at Angel being wrapped up in one episode. Yet the end with Cordelia’s unfiltered excitement about her new clothes and Angel’s giddiness for her is so charming. It completely wins me over and lets me accept the brevity which they wrapped up this subplot.

Bottom Line:

This is a fun case of the week episode. It’s good to spend time with Cordelia and this is a decent character study episode. It just never reaches the potential it shows at moments. The funny bits don’t always land and there is no real stakes to the episode. But Cordelia and Angel are friends again and that’s something we can all be grateful.

66 out of 100

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