William’s Review – 2.22 “No Place Like Plrtz Glrb”
Angel and Fred were still a great duo in the episode. I loved getting more of Fred, she’s funny and sweet and I loved seeing her interact with the rest of the gang. She had some legitimately funny moments with explain the science of the portals and still making references to the “oatmeal” she made earlier. Or her delivery of talking about the Grooslaug overcoming all things. I think a lesser actress might not have been as likeable, but I enjoyed every moment she was on screen. Angel’s story was less good but still not bad. I liked him finding himself. Wes’s speech about him being a man with a demon in him not the other way around was exactly what he needed to here. I liked seeing him coming back from demon form against Groo. It was a nice moment for the character.
Whoa Wes, Whoa. Yes, we jumped from him being made leader to becoming a bad ass general quickly; however, Wes showing his dark side was actually pretty shocking. I liked Gunn reacting to it and being really thrown off by it. I like Wes also kind of letting whatever happens with Angel happen. His portrayal as dark and serious made the end of this episode have a lot more weight to it. Suddenly there were some real stakes and maybe this fantasy land might have a little more darkness to it.
Cordelia had the most solid arc in Pylea. Obviously making her princess put her in a key position. I loved in particular the scene between her and Groo where she tells him she won’t give up the visions. Even to the point of Groo saying the visions will overwhelm her at some point, she still doesn’t care because she still wants to help people. It was a wonderful moment and its really impressive how well they’ve developed Cordelia over the course of two seasons.
Lorne was good for adding some good comedic relief in the episode. I loved most of the head gags that we got in the first half of the episode. Also the wrap up at the end was cute and who doesn’t love hearing Lorne sing “Somewhere over the rainbow”?
There wasn’t a ton of things I wasn’t a fan of. Here’s just some small things in the episode.
Not necessarily the worst thing, but Gunn didn’t have a lot to do in the episode. I enjoyed him acting off Wesley’s darkness, but there wasn’t a storyline for him to wrap up while in Pylea.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Angel meeting up with Gunn and Wes and the I’m ashamed speech. Yes, Angel should be ashamed, but I think it’s unreasonable for Gunn and Wes to look at Angel any differently. Mainly Gunn not saying anything just played into Angel’s fears from before. I guess it’s interesting that the gang looks at him differently, but it’s also pretty dickish.
Groo’s serious acting was a little over the top. I get that we are in a fantasy land. Still the delivery left something to be desired.
They left a number of threads dangling at the end of the episode. The Gunn and his gang storyline has yet to be resolved. Angel’s reaction to Cordelia saying “love” was interesting (maybe just played for comedic effect). Wes’s darkness as a competent leader. Cordelia’s visions continuing to become more and more a burden. And of course the cliffhanger about Buffy.
Wes talking Angel up to fight the Grooslaug. It was this wonderful moment of telling Angel what’s great about him. That he’s a human with a demon not the other way around. This wonderful uplifting moment for the character and audience and the what follows immediately cuts it down. Gunn asking Wes “Do you really believe that?” and Wes saying “I need him to believe it.” It was honestly pretty chilling and added some real stakes to the end of the episode.
I was actually pretty surprised that they were able to pull the Pylea arc out to a satisfying conclusion. This episode was a very funny and had some actual dark and poignant moments. While the Pylea arc wasn’t the most satisfying ending to an otherwise great season, I really enjoyed the wrap up of some character arcs and the threads left unexplored.
75 out of 100