Derek’s Review – 3.14 “Couplet”

The Good:

Cordelia and Groo were surprisingly enjoyable. They were cute in Pylea but things became annoyingly accelerated by the end with Cordelia declaring her love for him. Here things were back to a sweet mutual attraction phase. Again it was refreshing to see a female character being so open in her sexual attraction but it wasn’t just that. Groo is undeniably likable and devoted, it’s completely understandable why Cordelia would be drawn to him besides his bulging arm muscles. It also never feels despite Groo’s naïveté that she is taking advantage of him. Groo’s not an idiot he just is completely genuine and Cordelia respects him for it.

I thought the way Angel handled Cordelia’s relationship with Groo was very mature for him. He was still petty at times but he went through a very nice journey of acceptance throughout the episode. He went through all his typical methods of coping, jealously, pity/self-sacrificing and punching. Yet he came at the end with a relatively selfless action and recognizing at the end of the day Connor is the most important thing in his life.

The Bad:

I don’t want to harp on the issue but I can’t avoid talking about Wesley and Fred in this episode. It would be fine if Angel treated Wesley’s behavior as completely unstable and out of line. There are times where it teeters there and he music tells you he is crossing some kind of line. The underlying thing throughout everything it is somehow a surprise that Fred and Wesley aren’t together and that’s ridiculous. Wesley definitely has a darkeness within him but Angel acts like he’s somehow been wronged by not being with Fred. I don’t feel sorry for him at all and Angel has not remotely earned my sympathy for him in this matter no matter how many shots of puppy dog Wesley they show me.

I also really hated the slapstick, Benny Hill-esque music that played in the background of the majority of the episode. “Couplet” drags an enormous amount and the transparent attempt to spice things up with this music miserably failed. There were some actually funny moments in the episode but the more the “funny” music played, the more annoyed I became.

Lastly, I thought Angel thinking Groo should replace him was a very Angel reaction. It was also surprisingly sad that after everything he has done he is still mired in self-doubt. It’s an emotional beat that Angel hits a lot, but it still works for me. Anyway, I did not understand why Fred and Gunn believed that Groo was somehow better suited to kill the tree demon than Angel. If there was ever a mission that screamed Angel it is killing a life-sucking demon in a dank cave. It was just a very irritating contrivance to bring Groo and Angel together for the final action sequence.

The Unknown:

There’s more character more deserving of a vacation than Cordelia. The reason for her leaving is kind of obvious. They want to stall the Angel and Cordelia relationship for awhile and it’s probably better for her to leave with Groo for awhile then sticking around doing nothing. Yet I’m worried about a Cordelia-less Angel. Not only is she my favorite character but she is a vital part to the flow of the show no matter the situation. I honestly don’t remember how things shake out in the immediate future but I hope there is a reason for Cordelia’s absence besides the obvious and not so obvious.

Favorite Moment:

Despite how much I ripped into Wesley previously I absolutely adored his pep talk with Angel. Wesley might be an unlikable character but he’s almost endlessly fascinating. He is able to have this very distasteful crush on Fred but is able to pull Angel out of the depths of self-loathing. The paradox of Wesley will always be intriguing. It also serves as a nice moment of why Angel is THE hero. It’s not that he’s the most courageous or the most noble or even the best leader. It’s that he is singular in his motives and missions and is the one person that these misfits could’ve rallied around.

Bottom Line:

I was really disappointed and bored by this whole episode. There were some chuckles and nice moments. I particularly loved Groo telling Angel his coat was singing. This just didn’t do anything for me. I can’t even call it a necessary evil episode because I’m not sure what was really necessary.

53 out of 100

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