Derek’s Review – 4.05 “Supersymmetry”

The Good:

While not as good as “Fredless” this is still a decent Fred-centric episode. Fred’s darkness and aggression is a very new development but Amy Acker pulls it off. The acting is so strong that is makes you believe this has always been an element of Fred just lurking on the surface, even if the writing doesn’t support. We don’t really know what Fred had to do to survive in Pylea but there was never any real suggestion that she had to kill people or was even OK with “justifiable” murder. It is a big leap for her to just go full steam on murdering her old professor but Angel pulls it off.

The dynamic of Fred, Gunn and Angel continues to move along swimmingly. It still feels like something or someone is missing but they are an entertaining trio. There are also some pretty funny lines, “They talk about me in the chatty rooms?” is an obvious favorite of mine.

The Bad:

The Cordelia and Connor stuff has just gotten worse. Besides the ickiness and stupid incest angle to it all, there is a deeper problem. This story about Cordelia having amnesia isn’t about her becoming a warrior again or getting the visions back. No it degrades Cordelia’s arc to this point as a love story. Cordelia has to “choose” between Angel or his son.

Cordelia was never that character. Cordelia’s love for Angel was a part of her character development but only a very small silver of it. She grew to love helping because it fulfilled her. It wasn’t just to please or assist Angel. Cordelia became her strong champion and then fell for Angel. Not the other way around and everything about Cordelia in season four suggests the exact opposite. There is no other word for what Angel is doing Cordelia’s character but shameful.

The Unknown:

Once again Angel is trying something new with Gunn. Gunn killing Seidel at the end of the episode basically exists as a shocking cliffhanger. It doesn’t make perfect sense that Gunn would do it. This is fine if Angel gives some context for Gunn’s actions in a later episode. The same goes for Gunn being insecure about being less educated than Fred. These plot points are both starts of interesting stories with Gunn but they need to be capitalized on. History tells us that they probably won’t because Gunn’s “arc” on Angel has been a series of false starts.

Angel suddenly having a photographic memory is a bizarre thing to throw into this episode. This has never come up at least once in any previous episode. At least not in the same very visual way it manifests itself here. If Angel can memorize any room he has ever been with all the people, shouldn’t this have come in handy at least once before now?

Favorite Moment:

Lilah walking in on Wesley watching Fred’s speech is surprisingly heartbreaking. I love what season four is doing with Lilah thus far. I still don’t think Angel is treating Wesley’s affection for Fred as the obsession it is but it is effective that he can’t let it go. Wesley does seem to genuinely like Lilah but he can’t bring himself to commit to her. The doomed nature of their relationship is just really fascinating to me.

Bottom Line:

A passable monster-of-the-week episode with some good Fred moments. If Angel is interested they can also use this episode as a new jumping point for Gunn’s story. This, however, sadly assumes a lot about Angel’s interest in Gunn as a character. As it its own though “Supersymmetry” is an entertaining if not particularly memorable hour.


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