Derek’s Review – 3.10 “Dad”
The thing “Dad” did well was convince me of the potential benefits of adding Connor to the show. The first time I watched Angel, I was focused almost slowly on the story and plot. On rewatch, I’m much more in tune to Angel’s emotional journey, how the series is about him figuring out how to be human or an adult. So Connor’s presence adds a lot to his emotional growth. Angel has another human being that is solely dependent on him. He can’t be selfish, he can’t do everything and he needs to put his child first. Angel’s now tied to humanity in a way he never was before. Connor might accelerate his emotional journey but it is a natural progression for it.
If this is an episode about Angel moving beyond his internal mindset and accepting help from his friends, the episode does a good job with on those factors. It’s not as if Angel doesn’t love his son at the beginning of the episode but he treats him like a special object. He wants to protect him because he promised Darla he would. As “Dad” progresses and thanks to a fantastic scene by Lorne, Angel comes out of his internal guilt ridden mindset. He begins to see Connor as another person and not something he needs to save. This is the one thing that the episode does extremely well.
However they fail at convincingly pulling off Angel asking for help. The scene between Cordelia and Angel is good like most Cordelia and Angels scenes. The resolution of it happens off screen. Angel eventually takes Cordelia’s words to heart. He can’t be everything to his son and needs to use his support system. He makes that revelation after he reads Lorne’s note about Wolfram and Hart’s camera and we never see it. Angel accepting help is a huge moment for his character and it is sacrificed on the altar of the shocking twist. We don’t get to see that moment because Angel wants to audience to be as much in the dark as Wolfram and Hart when Angel evidently leaves his friends to die.
Speaking of Wolfram and Hart, Linwood gives up far too easily. Now this is obviously not the last time we see Wolfram and Hart. It’s probably not even the last time we see them try to take Connor. In this episode Angel barging into Linwood’s office and giving the latter a paper cut seems to completely quash the baby snatching issue. They’ve firmly established that Wolfram and Hart’s lawyers are cowards when confronting personally with violence. However if the Senior Partners want Connor nothing should stop them. If Linwood gives up he should promptly executed. I understand the desire to establish a new status quo but this was far too convenient and easy.
While watching Justine and Holtz, I couldn’t shake how much Justine is an obvious stand in for Kate. It’s fine because I never thought Kate was a bad idea. She just had terrible execution. I just couldn’t see Justine as her own character. There’s definitely room for her to grow but the Kate similarities were obvious and a bit distracting.
As telegraphed earlier, no moment hit me harder than Lorne talking to Angel in his room. Angel is in such a battle ready mode the entire episode and it this is the first time he is able to calm down. It even makes his off-screen change of heart plausible. Andy Hallett and David Boreanaz do such a great job in this moment and I’m excited to see how they utilize Lorne in the future now that he lives in the Hyperion.
This is very much a down beat after “Lullaby” and that’s fine. There are just some logic problems and contrivances that hold it back from being a good episode. It’s an okay episode but it is disappointed after the hot streak the series has been on lately.