Derek’s Review – 3.22 “Tomorrow”

 

The Good:

This was probably the most interesting I’ve found Connor. I usually find evil spies in the group stories exhausting, simply because they go on too long. It’s stops being tense and starts being frustrating at the end of the first hour. “Tomorrow” obviously doesn’t suffer from that because of it’s the season finale. Connor is here to infiltrate and exact “revenge” on Angel and we know that story is going to be told by episode’s end. Everything that Connor does in this episode has a very effective layer of creep. Connor calling Angel dad, just sends shivers up my spine.

He’s not amazingly compelling. A lot of the problems with Connor are still around. I don’t connect to his trauma, his motivations for going after Angel are twisted and he’s not very sympathetic. Connor needs to move beyond his trauma and anger if he’s going to stop being a plot device and start becoming a character. However, “Tomorrow” succeeded in the fact that I wasn’t bored watching him.

I have mixed feelings about the Cordelia (and Angel) stuff. The cute moments are cute, I’m still invested enough in their relationship that I was interested in the idea that Cordelia finally recognized her feelings. The way getting there is stupid and overly complicated but I’ve never stopped rooting for Cordelia and Angel as a couple.

The Bad:

All that being said, it’s ridiculous that it took Cordelia this long to “find out” she loves Angel. This story really hasn’t worked from the start because Cordelia is not the type of person to deny her feelings. Maybe in season 1 when she was younger and more naïve she brushed off complicated emotions. Cordelia is not that character anymore and it seems insane that she didn’t know she loved Angel. My issue is not that Cordelia was denying herself a future with Angel. There are more than enough reasons why you’d be special of devoting yourself to a vampire with a soul that can’t consummate the relationship and will most certainly outlive you. My problem is that Cordelia had no idea and had to have Groo and a ghost version of herself tell her that she was in love with Angel. This is not only not how feelings work but not how Cordelia works.

Also, the repeated scenes of Cordelia trying to sort out her emotions were a real big problem. It felt like Cordelia was talking herself into loving Angel, not that she actually loved him. This can’t have been the intention. Angel has always presented Cordelia and Angel as true love and soulmates or whatever. In “Tomorrow” the presentation from Cordelia’s side is: “My old boyfriend broke up with me and told me I was in love with another guy. So I might has well try that now. What the heck?” It was just really slobbily.

I wasn’t particularly invested in the clifftop meeting actually happening. Sure some of that is a symptom of the rewatch and knowing for a fact Cordelia and Angel will never confess their feelings. I don’t find that tragic, I find it annoying that Angel drug that situation out. Even on first watch, there was no doubt in my mind that Cordelia and Angel would not meet and confess their feelings. While I like Cordelia’s final test, it’s yet another really complicated obstacle to put in the way of Angel and Cordelia’s relationship. There have already been too many of these and a few more in the finale was just overkill.

The Unknown:

The reveal of Wesley and Lilah sleeping together was fantastic. Wesley’s continuing descent into madness and darkness is so captivating. I can’t wait to see how it develops into Season 4. There was one more that gave me pause. Lilah basically tells Wesley to not fall in love with her and when he affirms that wish, she has an odd look. The way I’m reading it, for now, is that Lilah is concerned by Wesley’s utter lack of emotion. Lilah is having a perverse amount of fun here but for Wesley this isn’t game. The thing that has me concerned is that she is legitimately hurt that Wesley doesn’t have any type of affection for her. That’s not the Lilah we know and (I guess) love. She could get there in time. Lilah’s a selfish, horrible person but she’s still human. She’s capable of caring. She doesn’t do it anymore. I’m just concerned that a relationship with Wesley will lead to a softening of Lilah’s character that makes her into someone she’s not.

Favorite Moment:

The thing I legitimately enjoyed about Cordelia’s story was her final test. Angel should have built up to this moment more and have Cordelia do more things with her part-demon powers. However I really like the idea of the choice or test. Cordelia’s previous choices have between a normal life and her calling. She has been forced to choose between living for herself or for the world. She’s chosen the latter every time but there’s important distinction in that choice. Angel has always been a part of that world she is choosing to protect.

In “Birthday” she gives up her perfect life in part because of what her absence does to Angel. So there is some tragic full circle symmetry here where her final choice is between her powers and Angel. She has to choose one of them and the implication is that this decision is final and complete. For all my problems with how Cordelia and Angel are treated in this episode, this moment was really powerful.

Bottom Line:

There are problems with this for sure. It’s not going down in my top episodes of Angel by any means. It’s pretty slow and plodding for an episode of TV, let alone a finale. All that being said, I did enjoy it. It was pleasant and thrilling enough hour and did its job adequately well. Angel in a metal box sinking to the ocean is a good cliffhanger. A season finale should leave the audience wanting more and maybe Angel leaves the audience wanting a bit too much in “Tomorrow”.

64 out 100

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