William’s Review – 3.13 “Waiting in the Wings”

The Good

I love that this episode was able to feel completely different. Early on in the episode Angel describes the opera as entering another world and this episode was able to capitalize on that. They were able to make this feel like a real event and I loved that the beginning of the episode was just dedicated to the gang going out. The first shot when the group enters the opera house was also a great moment. I loved the use of camera work as we saw Fred gaze up in wonder. It gave a great sense of space.

This was very interesting for me on rewatch. I remember the first time I watched this being fully planted in team Wes. Probably because of my angsty youth, but this time around I’ve really gravitated towards Gunn and Fred’s relationship. I think the show has done an excellent job of showing the two of them interact and grow closer together. When we finally get the two of them together it feels earned and natural. I love the moment when we get Fred squealing at dressed up Gunn. It was a very cute moment. Also Gunn is really that pretty.

Angel and Cordelia’s interactions were great. I’m glad the show broke our group into groups. It let the characters grow by having moments and interactions together. The sex room was pretty awkward, but I did like when they came to and tried to get out of the room. I think that’s when they were able to show the true chemistry between the two. The it’s kind of hard I noticed line. Funny and dirty, but still sexy. I also laughed at Angel having to cover himself afterwards.

Other small things that I loved. Gunn and Angel’s friendship is completely back on track. I’m glad they are just choosing to ignore That Old Gang of Mine. I love the Angel tries to use Gunn-isms which was ridiculous coming out of Angel. Then they had Gunn quote that exact line during intermission. Good stuff. I’m glad the episode checked in on Lorne, even if it was to comment on him not going with the group, it still felt like the show is now including him equally in our group. I liked Wes being a BA with the fencing sword. I also thought the monsters in this episode were very effective. Creepy, great make up, and threatening. I honestly wish we had gotten more time with them for how much they worked.

The Bad

I’m getting a little tired of every time Angel is about to confess his feelings for Cordelia someone comes in and interrupts. It just feels too clichéd. I get that they want to play up the drama between the two of them, but I can’t help but feel like it’s just the writers stalling.

The Unknown

I’m unsure how I’m supposed to feel about Wesley. I do remember on rewatch feeling bad for him as it’s a very human reaction to feel bad about your crush ending up with someone else. There are obvious comparisons with the story of the Wizard and the Ballerina and what’s going on with the rest of the gang. I’m not sure if they are saying Wes is the obsessive guy or if he just waited too long. OR if the ballerina is supposed to be Angel. In any case I think they purposefully let you make your own decisions on those character judgements.

I’m unsure how I’ll feel with two different love triangles going on. Or at least having two guys pining for the girls they don’t have. Could become annoying it all just depends on how they handle it.

So what is going on with Cordelia? I’m very confused as to whether she is being oblivious or just playing dumb. I’m assuming she’s being oblivious to Angel’s feelings for her, but including scenes where Fred is spelling it out to her was just weird. I did like when she picked up on Angel complimenting her when they went to bribe the guard.

Favorite Moment

Gunn and Fred recognizing their mutual feelings for each other was my favorite moment in the episode. I’ve grown to appreciate their relationship on rewatch. I thought the moment may have been a little saccharine sweet, but it was very cute. Honestly seeing Fred breaking down at the prospect of Gunn getting hurt was emotional. We also very rarely get to see Gunn play serious in an actually good episode.

Bottom Line

I loved this. The other worldly aspect and Joss’s writing helped this episode stand out. I thought it felt fresh and was happy to have an episode be a one off but still have an effect on the overall story. I’m bothered slightly by some of the TV contrivances, but overall a stellar episode.

Score: 75 out of 100

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