William’s Review – 3.09 “Lullaby”
This episode was fantastic.
Angel desperately trying to save Darla isn’t new, but I loved how they sold his emotions in the episode. This compounded with the fact that Holtz actually feels like a threat added a level of tension to the episode that worked quite well.
There are many great moments in the episode. I love all the little character interactions. Something like Gunn and Fred testing the protection spell. Gunn being brutally honest about the baby dying and Cordelia’s dig at him afterwards. They had these moments sprinkled throughout that made the episode feel rightly written and enjoyable to watch.
The last scene they really got to come full circle with Darla as a character. I loved that they played the same musical theme they’ve been using for her. There was a nice finality to her death and it felt like we got the death she deserved when she died as a human back last season. There are a lot of different emotions going on in the scene which makes it so captivating to watch. I love her telling Angel that they can never atone and Angel’s quiet resignation to that fact. I love that the scene is shot with natural light from the fire. If you can’t tell there’s a lot going on and a lot to love about the moment.
There was also something really powerful and dramatic about seeing Angel looking so vulnerable in front of Holtz with a crossbow. I love the look you get from Angel has he cradles his new born baby. Holtz ominous threat makes for a nice chilling end to the episode.
So the grenade escape was dramatic, but did go past my suspension of disbelief. It’s tough because we can’t have him kicking it towards Holtz and Lilah, still blowing up in front of Angel should do some serious damage.
Once again we have a reinterpretation of a vague prophecy. I get that it becomes ominous because we know death is coming. Still it’s lazy if every time we have one of these prophecy they use the same tricks.
I’m unsure why Fred felt the need to stay behind. Maybe the Virgin Mary imagery was too strong to pass up.
Darla’s breakdown on the roof in front of Angel was a wonderful moment. It’s a testament to the acting and writing that they’ve made me care about this relationship and character on rewatch. Julie Benz was once again on display and I loved getting a flash of the old “soulful” Darla. I actually got pretty emotional when she said “I want to remember” as she dove into Angel’s arms.
One of the best episodes of Angel we’ve had thus far. I can’t think of a more perfect way to wrap up the Darla storyline.
Score: 85 out of 100