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Thread: Positives And Negatives - Season 2

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Guise Will be Guise

    Positive: This ep really has a tight but complex theme about how certain masculine presentations are so heady and ingrained that the presentation ends up creating the reality. The Swami spells it out with Angel. Wesley gets the A-plot on the gulf between how he functions as Wesley, Uptight British Dork versus how he functions when he's viewed as Angel, Sexy Dark Avenger. However, Magnus Bryce ties it all together. On first watch, I didn't predict that he was the MOTW even though the clues were all there. He's an incredibly wealthy businessman who trades in magic i.e. altering reality for profit. What's more, his business competitors operate like criminal gangs out to gain a business advantage by murdering his innocent daughter from the start of the ep which gives an indication as to his choice of business. He obtained Wesley's help by holding Cordelia at gun-point. Virginia complained in the middle of the ep that her father is by turns coldly distant but also so possessive that she can't move out or have a job. However, people really respond to the commanding, "cold captain of the industry-type" (Tony Soprano) with an Achilles heel soft spot for his daughter to the point that this soft spot can render such a man trustworthy. Ivanka Trump has been tarnished by becoming a Special Adviser to the President in the last two years but IMO, she played a huge role in getting Trump elected because people are pretty primed to ignore or excuse a man's cruelty or callowness or horrible treatment of other women if he has a good relationship with his daughter.

    Relative perception of the masculine image also creates the reality. Magnus Bryce plays the whole "Tough guy on the outside but teddy bear doting daddy on the inside" role but he's really the most teddy-bear doting daddy on the outside as his feigned act to keep Virginia compliant but he's hard and cold as nails to his daughter on the inside. He keeps playing that role through the end of the ep when he plays fatherly disapproval at Virginia having sex but by then, we all know that it's really just frustration from thwarted greed because Magnus wanted his innocent, virginal Virginia dead five minutes ago while he was powered up from Yeska's mystical power. It ties in with Wesley. Wesley unconvincingly plays the rogue-demon hunter bit at the start of the ep to a prospective client to hammer home a surface perception that Wesley plays a rogue demon hunter badass on the outside to cover up a bumbling effeminate weakling on the inside. However the end of the ep encourages another perception- that Wesley's rogue demon hunter badassedness actually is his authentic core while the silly effeminate weakling is merely a persona brought on by how he's not good at playing the outer persona like say, Angel.

    Negative: I really like this ep even though I agree that Wesley's plot hinges on the dubious contrivance that he'd pass as "Angel" for a whole night...after getting to chase off one set of assassins with mere verbal threats and another set of assassins through a fight scene where there's a convenient spell uttered to weaken his supposed vamp strength so Virginia isn't suspicious that he didn't fight amazingly....after having sex with Virginia. Just from the get-go, I don't think vampires need glasses because their predator senses supernaturally enhanced once they're turned so they can even see in the dark perfectly. Dalton wore glasses- but I read that as an aesthetic choice because his whole profession was being a research nerd and Dalton was going for a specific look. "Angel", per his reputation as a professional fighter, would not wear glasses because he wouldn't need them to see so they're just a hindrance in a fight. It's much more realistic in Doppelgangland when Willow is exposed as an impostor playing Vamp Willow in like, five minutes. The Swami, on the other hand, was a realistic impostor.
    Last edited by Dipstick; 04-01-19 at 05:59 PM.

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