William’s Review – 4.07 “Apocalypse, Nowish”

The Good

It was really satisfying getting Wes’s inclusion back into the group. Yeah Gunn and Wes bickered again, but when they had to solve the puzzle of the information Wolfram and Hart pulled from Lorne I actually felt pretty good getting the gang back together. More so I loved the moment when Angel tosses the crossbow to Wes and says “You in?” It was such a nice and subtle way to reinclude him after all this time.

So divorcing Connor from the Cordelia stuff and surprisingly he had a pretty great episode. He had some self-awareness and maturity. I appreciated the scene where he goes to Angel to convince him to talk to Cordelia. I was honestly surprised how effective Connor just saying “Dad” worked. The way it instantly freezes Angel and how he knows just by looking at Connor that this is serious.

Angel’s reaction to Cordelia telling him she couldn’t be with him because of his past was a painful moment for the character. It definitely plays into Angel’s fears and I like how David Boreanaz played this. The line “I never tried to hide what I’ve done”, with just enough hurt in his voice. I’ve continued to be impressed with how much emotion Angel can emote especially in scenes like these. We’ll save the Cordelia stuff for the bad…

I really enjoyed Angel convincing Lilah to help him. It was a clever way to actually get Lilah’s help in the situation by appeasing her ego and giving her a win-win situation. Also the continued cut to Gavin gagged was funny for a bit of dark comedy. “Couldn’t you have tortured him a bit more?”

I enjoyed the imagery of the rain of fire. And the last shot of Angel watching Cordelia and Connor is really striking.

The Bad

Cordelia telling Angel his past is the reason they can’t be together felt wholly un-Cordelia like.

If I was nice I would just put the Cordelia/Connor situation into the unknown, but what the hell! I have no idea the decision making behind this. It doesn’t make sense and is a bizarre storytelling choice for them to sleep together.

The Unknown

There seems to be some implication that the beast and Connor are related what with it appearing in the ally where he was born. It would be nice to warp Connor back into the overarching story as he mostly fell off once he sank Angel to the bottom of the ocean and got kicked out of the hotel.

Fred seems to have made up her mind that she wants to break up with Gunn. She’s actively avoiding him in all ways. While I did really like the scene where they finally start arguing about their relationship, I still would like to know why Fred is ultimately feeling this way.

Favorite Moments

The Beast fight is one of the most memorable moments in the series for me.  Even though it’s borrowing from a lot of fight scenes from the time it holds up pretty well. I even enjoyed the use of slow motion in the fight. It gave it an interesting feel and helped underline sequences of the fight. Maybe a little strange for each guy to take a turn trying to fight it, but I loved how trounced they get. It makes this baddie seem all the more threatening. I loved how the gang runs in shocked to the horror they walk into and then immediately charge in with the attack. The Beast takes each one of them on in stride and easily dispatches them. Even bad ass dual wielding pistol Wesley can’t lay a scratch on him(that should be an action figure). Angel going into vamp face was actually great. It’s felt like forever since he’s had a real threat to face where he had to access the demon side of him. The Beast seems to flinch a bit with Angel almost staking him in the eye, but once again in a very gruesome moment The Beast just turns that stake right back into Angel’s throat. This bad guy definitely makes an impression and his “Do you think they’re safe?” was very haunting.

Bottom Line

This episode was super solid. In fact it would have been rated pretty highly, but the Cordlia/Connor storyline pretty much killed any chance of that. It’s such a shame because I felt like there was some pretty strong stuff going on here. Without being spoiler-ie this on Rewatch had some interesting moments that if you know where they are going makes some of the interactions a little more interesting.

69 out of 100

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