Derek’s Review – 3.07 “Offspring”
In any other show, with any other character, I’d hate how Angel responds to being told he loves Cordelia. Angel having to be told that he loves someone would drive me out of my skull. Angel isn’t like most character, not just in my affection for him, but in his personality. Angel is ideal TV romantic hero, he is all about the build-up and none of the consummation. He’s so repressed, sexually, romantically and emotionally that I completely buy he isn’t aware of his feelings for Cordelia until someone else informs him. It was a treat watching Angel in his own sitcom struggling to tell and process that he loves Cordelia.
Holtz is mildly interesting so far. It’s not enough to make my jaw drop when he’s resurrected at the end of the episode, but I found him compelling. It appears that he spent so much time chasing monsters that he became one himself. It’s a captivating start to a villain.
The prophecy being introduced off-screen and in between episodes is way too jarring. It’s understandable that Angel is blasé about it but that doesn’t mean the show has to be. The prophecy really is the emotional lynchpin that ties the episode together and I’m struggling to care about it. The audience is thrown into the deep end and it takes nearly the whole episode to reorient yourself to the new status quo.
Darla’s breakdown is awkwardly staged. This episode is not about her really so her tearily collapsing into Angel’s arms doesn’t feel earned. Furthermore it’s almost a shot for shot remake of Faith’s breakdown in “Five by Five”. She wants to be killed and Angel won’t do it. “Offspring” doesn’t try to earn this emotional climax so instead they bank on the memories of the ending to “Five by Five”. It’s cheap and lazy.
The focus on Cordelia and Angel’s relationship for Darla’s return is an odd choice. It’s not good or bad just odd. In season two, Darla really was the female lead. Every member of Angel Investigations was pushed to the side in favor of Darla, Drusilla or even Wolfram and Hart, so it’s surprising her role in this episode so negligible. I appreciate the show is still being an ensemble piece and it’s focused on how Darla’s return effects Angel Investigations rather than it handing the spotlight solely over to Darla. There just needed to be a little bit more.
The episode is much more interested in telling the story of how Darla’s return effects the possible romantic connection between Angel and Cordelia rather than the importance of Darla being pregnant. If the romantic pairing of Angel and Cordelia becomes more important than Darla’s pregnancy and Angel’s child than this focus is fine. I suspect, at least in the short term, the pregnancy will be the focal point moving forward. So this episode can’t help but feel like a very long first act.
Fred telling Angel that he loves Cordelia is a scene that can and has happened on almost every sitcom. Angel is the first time I’ve believed that the person genuinely doesn’t know they’re in love with their best friend. It’s a credit to the show and how that the character is written in this episode and previous ones that it is this successful.
I like this episode it just set up a lot. The conclusion to all this set up could be awesome or it could be terrible. I simply don’t know or remember.
61 out of 100