William’s Review – 4.06 “Spin the Bottle”
I love how this episode feels so different from most Angel episodes. Lorne’s narration throughout always keeps me invested throughout even when there is a bunch of exposition going on. They do so many interesting and clever things by just using this storytelling technique. I like the gag about buying products coming back from the commercial break. I enjoyed how they did interesting cut ins with the camera when he was laying out what Gunn, Wes, and Fred did and did not know. Or later at the end of the episode where he takes up the corner of the frame while he’s almost looking down on the lobby. All of these helped the episode feel rather fresh.
Wesley’s story in the episode was great. First we get an amazing show down between Gunn and Wes in the office. Them butting heads again is nothing new, but I liked seeing Gunn kind of crumble over his insecurities. Seeing Wes take satisfaction of this felt in character, I like him staying calm and smug throughout, ending with the Assassins creed style weapon that shoots from his wrist. Once the spell happens I love getting the contrast of the character he used to be. Seeing Alexis Denisof as a comedic actor again was a treat. He had many genuinely funny moments (see favorite moment) and again it shows just how much he’s changed as a character.
Similarly to Wes, but getting High School Cordelia was awesome. Seeing “Buffy’s” Cordelia react to all the different situations was funny and I love just having that Cordelia snark back into my life. I may or may not have gotten a little giddy with Cordelia using the “salty goodness” line when seeing Angel.
While I wasn’t sold on the Angel story on first watch, on Rewatch I really enjoyed the inclusion of Liam as a better understanding of Angel as a total character. There are definite direct parallels with who he was and who he is now. Some of that goofiness has apparently always been there.
The ending still hits home as Angel is left reject and hurt. Definitely some solid performances that made you empathize with Angel.
Connor’s story is continuing to do his character no favors. Starting with Lorne mentioning him in the beginning of the episode you’d think that he’ll actually have some role to play in what’s going on. Instead he’s included in the story just to have him included. I do like the moment where Liam relates to Connor, but mostly Connor’s inclusion felt unnecessary other than to have a fight in the episode.
I feel like Lorne’s narration on the story is really only meant to be a storytelling device and not something that is happening in the show. Sort of breaking the 4th wall while being interesting and clever. Still it does make you question what is going on with that.
We get another hint of the big bad with the end of the episode. I can’t say much more than that, but I like them still dangling threads.
Teenage Wesley’s display of karate was the funniest moment in the episode for me. It was such a stark contrast to the Wes we have now. To be reminded of who this character was helped underline how much change has really gone on.
This was a very welcome change and different episode. It being so different really struck a chord with me. I liked the artistic choices in the episode and it was genuinely a fun and funny experience. You know, before the heartbreaking end.
Score: 75 out of 100