William’s Review – 3.12 “Provider”

The Good

There were plenty of small moments to like here, but the episode feels intentionally fractured.

I like Gunn and Wes commenting on their feelings for Fred. It shows their kind of attitudes about how they deal with their feelings. Wes is still immature and hiding his feelings and Gunn is bold and fully acknowledges his feelings. It is interesting putting the two of these friends against each other in this regard. I’m giving this story element the benefit of the doubt, because I will be annoyed if this becomes a pissing match between the two.

I liked that we had Fred and Lorne together. One I like that Lorne feels truly like part of the group as this might be the first time he was sent out on a mission.

I like Holtz and Justine scenes in this episode. I’m glad that we actually see our “big bad” doing something. And him recruiting a fanatical army seems to fit with his righteous justice angle.

I liked that Cordelia was the voice of reason in the episode. It helped rap the episode up with her having a kind of told you so attitude.

The Bad

I was slightly annoyed by the representation of the female characters in the episode. Fred becomes the damsel, Cordelia is stuck on babysitting duty, and the girl we meet in the Gunn/Wes story is a psycho. I hesitate putting this in the bad, but it was slightly weird.

Nothing really stood out in this episode. It was just kind of there. No big highs and thankfully no big lows. But it’s just kind of forgettable.

It’s kind of sad that the Jeffery Dean Morgan story felt neutered. It obvious the subtext going on in the scenes, but felt like the writers were forced to hold back. So ultimately it sucked out the emotion in the scenes.

The Unknown

Was there an overall theme for the episode? There didn’t feel like there was a connective tissue between all the stories. Unless I missed something. Obsession?

We’ve seen Angel be petty, but they almost crossed the line with him refusing to help Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character. I think it was just for comedic effect, but it just felt weird and a bit unnatural. I’m ultimately Angel eventually folds and helps.

So it was weird Cordelia recapping her becoming part demon without any of that coming up. But the question I had was that why the visions have no effect on her anymore. We saw Doyle(a half demon) still suffer from the visions, but Cordelia has no effect from them. Just something that jumped out at me.

Favorite Moment

Angel recognizing that he has to change his priorities at the end of the episode. I like this moment two fold. One I liked Angel recognizing how obsessive he was becoming about making money and how fracturing the group was a negative. Two I loved the comedic timing of him continually getting distracted by the money and then the gang just going for it. It was a genuinely funny moment and stood out for me.

Bottom Line

It just felt like you jammed a bunch of monster of the week episodes from season 1 together. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t that great either. Nothing was offensive, but it wasn’t overly entertaining.

Score: 55 out of 100

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