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Thread: Positives And Negatives Season 3

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    Couplet

    Positive: DB's performance really redeems this episode. He really nails "quietly bitchy" Angel excellently. Wesley gives his speech about how Angel is rare and wonderful like a rare book but then the bookstore owner has three copies of the rare book. In this series, we'll see three souled vampires- Angel. Spike, and I'd argue Darla when she became human in S2.

    Negative: Groo isn't funny; he's annoying. JAR and AA are both such great actors. I bet they could have chemistry in well-written love scenes but the Gunn/Fred love scenes are so sappy and boring. It's ridiculous that Gunn and Fred were trapped in a life-force sucking tree but they had to call Angel in order to SPECIFICALLY request that Groo save them. And like, they had to waste time by asking Angel to put Groo on the phone. It severely undermined Fred/Gunn's intelligence to make a stupid joke and further hammer home that Groo is a social/romantic threat to Angel.

    [/B]Loyalty[/B]:

    Positive: Really excellent. One of my favorites in the series. That's particularly stunning given that this is a transition/exposition episode before the fireworks of Sleep Tight/Forgiving and quite a bit of it is just Wesley *thinking*. The ending scene where Wesley is hysterical with relief after Angel gives a beautiful speech about his love for Connor but then suddenly, every single portend that the Loa predicted happens immediately and then, Angel jokes about snacking on Connor is like, Top 10 for the whole show.

    It's a cool note that Wesley and Lilah are so closely mirrored here just before they become sexually involved. In Loyalty, all of Lilah's scenes are preceded by a Wes-scene. They both go rogue from their company at the same time even though their default has been to be dyed-in-the-wood Company Guy/Girl- Wes with the kidnapping and Lilah with agreeing to help Sahjhan kill Angel even though her company has this "policy." They're both interested in taking Connor from Angel. Wesley meets with Holtz behind Angel's back; Lilah meets with Sahjhan and Angel behind Linwood's back. Linwood and Angel become furious at both of them. Wesley and Lilah glorify their company, WHILE they go rogue from the company by secretly meeting with the enemy.

    "He's not Angelus anymore. He's a good man."
    "There's a girl downstairs, she's got records on everything that ever happened. My company rocks."

    Wesley at the end of Loyalty and Lilah in Sleep Tight have scenes with Angel where they get very existential and "what's it all about" until Angel does something fundamentally characteristic but particularly disturbing to these two characters (is a vampiric threat to baby Connor, makes a stab at preaching to Lilah as a misguided naive girl who hasn't become her game face) which hardens their resolve.

    Negative: The Gunn/Fred "Wesley is keeping us apart!" scenes are stupid and not earned. It feels like Gunn and Fred WANT triangle-drama as a relief from the tedium of their relationship. Also, it's completely inappropriate that Fred tried setting Wesley up with Aubrey, a bereaved mother who just lost her child last week. I think it's a steady pattern through the series that Fred acts bizarrely with Wesley. However, Fred's emotions towards him are so underwritten, despite the importance of their relationship, that it's very hard to figure out why and to what end.

    Sleep Tight

    Positive: Best ep of the season! I think the best payoff is the standoff at the end between Angel, Holtz, Lilah, and Sahjhan. It's an incredibly complex stand-off with different moving parts and motivations but everything's been earned.

    Negative: The singing demons are lame.

    Forgiving

    Positive: So, the end has already been mentioned. I love the White Room. The little girl is brilliantly performed. Replacing her with the cat was a big downgrade. I can't believe that they had a child actress say such vicious lines. Also, Angel willing to snap Lilah's neck mainly as a step to get revenge on Sahjhan.

    Negative: Sahjhan is a weak villain. Like, he's kinda funny and has pizzazz. However he's been inscrutable all season, claiming some big feud with Angel. However, turns out, he doesn't have a feud with Angel but was just trying to avoid Connor killing him, as prophecized. It's a let-down that the season indicated some rich history with Angel but Sajhan just wanted self-preservation from some unseen, unexamined prophecy. IIRC, we never learn why he wanted Connor's blood and what W&H should have been looking for in the blood.

    Double or Nothing

    Positive: The best scene is easily Fred going to see Wesley in the hospital. I disagree with Priceless about well, most everything on AtS. But I agree that this is the best scene Fred had so far and she really comes alive here. I believe very pro-Wesley/anti-Angel people AND very anti-Wesley/pro-Angel people and all in between would love this scene because it's cathartic to hear everything that Fred is saying whether it's criticizing Angel for attempted murder or yelling at Wesley for kidnapping alone.

    This isn't a positive or a negative but on rewatch I was thinking that this could have been a Cordelia-scene exactly as scripted. That would have paid more respect to Cordelia's longer history with Wesley and her present status as Leading Lady. In addition, we had plenty of other scenes showing that Fred feels conflicted between anger and sympathy with Wesley. Cordelia doesn't have any other scenes showing such a conflict. Making it a Cordelia-scene would have been good for Cordelia but it certainly seems like part of a move to a new era of the series where Fred is the Leading Lady while real!Cordelia is not long for this series. Plus if I were the writers, I'd rather give a meaty dramatic scene to Amy Acker than Charisma Carpenter.

    Negative: I don't like this ep but IMO, this episode could have been sorta decent with just one little change. Have Gunn sell his *life* instead of his *soul* for the truck. I'm absolutely here for an ep that indicated that Gunn lived incredibly dangerously when he was in charge of protecting everyone in his neighborhood without any resources to speak of. I'm absolutely here for the S5 foreshadowing of Gunn entering reckless contracts with usurious, corrupting entities of evil who want to prey on him. However, it's too damaging for the mythology for Gunn to be able to sell his soul or that falling in love is the equivalent of giving a soul away. Especially with Angel's story about the intersection between his soul and love.

    I mean, it still would have been imperfect. I feel like Alonna gets forgotten in the later eps even though she was fundamental to Gunn's origin. You wouldn't imagine that the gun of War Zone would sell his soul OR his life if there was Alonna.

    This isn't really a positive or negative. Well, it's more a negative. Gun going OTT with making the Perfect! Day! for Fred but then, lashing out at her for her body when she expresses concern was bizarre. It's odd to hyper-sell this saccharine Pancake!Kisses! romance of Gunn trying to make the perfect last day with Fred before his soul is stripped but then, Gunn flips out over mere concern from Fred. However, it is very in-character with Gunn's temper and it was nice that Fred was tipped off that Gunn must be in trouble by the way he spoke to her.

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    The Price

    Positive: Wesley banning Gunn from coming to his apartment ever again. It works for me on a number of levels. Frankly, I don't see how Wes could act any differently without being a doormat. If Wesley is banned from the hotel under threat of murder from Angel and that threat of murder is condoned by the human members of Angel's team, Wesley simply can't have an open door policy to his own domicile. Gunn made it crystal clear where his feelings and loyalties lie- Gunn would not extend a scintilla of kindness or human-to-human concern after Wesley almost died because of Gunn's deeper loyalties to and sympathies to Angel. Gunn indicated that this hostility would be ongoing and continuing with his "I don't want to be here" as he was asking for a favor.

    And yet, *I* think just based on the scene itself, it's by no means conclusive that Wesley only helped because Fred was in danger. Wesley was angry at Gunn asking for help and then, insulting him practically within the same breath. When Gunn put a person to his request for help, Wesley helped. So happens, that person was Fred. However, given S4, I think it's pretty impossible to make the argument that Wesley only helped because it was Fred when Wesley spent his summer trying to rescue Cordelia and Angel.

    So, I say that Gunn is mainly full of shit when he bans Fred from asking Wesley for help closing the portal or refuses to call Wesley for help finding Angel/Cordelia. He should have been able to suss out that Wesley would help in those instances. However, I do think that Wesley banning Gunn for ever coming to the apartment again gave Gunn pretense to convince himself that Wesley wouldn't help so Gunn could lie to himself that he wasn't letting grudges and jealousy interfere with leaving no stone unturned in dire circumstances.

    Negative: AtS S3 Cordelia is actually helpful for this challenge because even in a good episode, she's around to be a negative point! ;-) So, Cordelia. It's really something how her hideous clothes and hair go along way to destroying her character. Usually, clothes aren't a huge deal to me when assessing character. I mean, my favorite character in the 'verse is Willow Rosenberg. (Although, Willow pretty much always looks lovely from the neck up even if her outfits frequently suck.) But with Cordelia, it really feels like a dereliction of her raison d'etre- to be this sunny, funny, personification of youth in LA. Her ass-pull save-the-day of getting glowy on the Sluths is annoying on first watch, but actually reasonably cool foreshadowing as interference from Jasmine to keep everyone alive until she got there.

    A New World

    Positive: I think I got this idea elswhere (maybe the Rewatch thread) but it really works to explain Connor's character that Sunny was a morally grey character who OD'd on her own drugs but Connor can't conceive of that and instead, clings to blaming the drug dealers. Connor can't understand shades of grey and if someone (usually a woman but Holtz too) gives him even the tiniest taste of the domesticity and comfort that he craves, than this someone simply can't do anyone wrong and EVERYTHING has to be the fault of the (usually men but sometimes Fred too) who challenge the special someone. It's a microcosm of what goes wrong later. I also love the vividness of how Sunny ended up meaning a lot to Connor in a short period of time. VK's faaaace when he has sugar for the first time!

    Favorite Groo moment- When Cordelia rejects Fred's plan to call Wesley and instead just sit around while a portal to hell is crackling above their heads because calling Wesley would hurt Angel's FEEWINGS, earnest Groo learns sarcasm for the first time. "Yes, we must always consider Angel. Angel is our leader." I think Groo was mainly talking from his romantic angst but still...hilarious.

    I get down on Angel a lot, especially for how he dealt with Connor. But it's actually a very nice moment when Angel says that he did everything to rescue Connor but he couldn't find a way into Quor-Toth and then, Connor rejoins that he found a way out, Angel reacts with very sincere guilt that he didn't try harder instead of defensiveness or not considering Connor's point.

    Negative: Angel/Gunn/Fred running around the city gets boring on rewatch. Also, this ep hammered home how S3 Cordelia increasingly didn't do anything other than apply her deux ex machina superpowers. There was a little plot of her learning to fight in Billy but after Birthday, she doesn't fight at all other than a bit in Double or Nothing. More to the point, she doesn't research even though research used to be a big part of what she brought to the table in BtVS and AtS S1-2. Here in A New World, Angel/Gunn/Fred are hitting the streets looking for Connor. Lorne is actually the biggest hero of the day because he SOLVED the whole damn portal issue by finding an outside contractor. Groo was in battle-position to take anything that came out of the portal. Meanwhile, Cordelia was just sitting there pondering her love triangle while the portal to hell crackles above her head. The writers couldn't have placed Cordelia with some portal-closing book to try to research how to close the portal on her own? We were told so often that Cordelia was awesome, that she no longer has to actually act awesome.

    Benediction

    Positive: Holtz having Justine kill him and framing Angel for his murder after he just had a long ponderous conversation to reassure Angel that he was done with vengeance is a master-stroke of villainy. It's also CLASSIC Holtz in the sense that he never technically lies to Connor in his letter. However, his whole staged murder is nothing but a huge lie and abusive mind f*ck to Connor. I think it's a great example of the bullshit that Holtz mouths and tries to believe. That Holtz doesn't do evil but instead executes justice even though his actions are evil. We could picture him going to his staged death, telling himself that he never lied to his son Steven.

    Negative: Gunn's views on murder are oddly opaque. Here, it's evident that Angel sent Gunn/Fred away to distract Connor while Angel goes to "see" Holtz. It's naturally and widely predicted and intuitive that Angel intended to kill Holtz out of vengeance. That's certainly the content of the conversation with Angel and Cordelia.

    Cordy: Angel, please think about this. In fact, don't go there at all.
    Angel: I have to.
    Cordy: I know. But don't.
    Angel: I'm not gonna kill him even though he deserves it.
    Cordy: Oh, I don't care if you kill him. He stole Connor's childhood, so kill him. But don't lie to your son. He's been here like a day. Way to build the trust.
    Angel: I'm not lying to him.
    Cordy: No, you're just sending him off to be distracted while you go confront the man he thinks of as his father.

    So, I know that Cordelia is cool with vengeance-murder except where it can create unhappiness for her little family with Angel and Connor. But then, Gunn and Fred also discuss what Angel will do to Holtz.

    Fred: I wish Angel was here.
    Gunn: Yeah. His kid seeing the ocean for the first time, too bad he had to miss it.
    Fred: That's not what I meant. I just - feel sort of creepy, keeping him busy and distracted while Angel...
    Gunn: Confronts the kidnapper?
    Fred: Well, if you're gonna put it like that. - What do you think he'll do?
    Gunn: I don't know. I know what I'd do. But Angel will deal with Holtz in his own way.

    Like, what would Gunn do? What does Gunn consider Angel's "own way"? What's the meaning behind the euphemism "confront of the kidnappers." Gunn and Fred are having this conversation of moral import, which will ultimately foreshadow how they break up but it's impossible to tell how Gunn feels about anything. It's frustrating to me. In another negative point, the conversation seems to only exist so that Gunn and Fred can idiotically tip off Connor that Angel went to deal with Holtz even though their WHOLE JOB HERE was to distract Connor from that. YOU HAD ONE JOB! (Also silly since Fred made the same mistake before when she told Darla how she was just bluffing with carving up the Miracle Child but the vamp cult worshippers heard Fred's whole stage whisper because vamps have great hearing.)

    My instinct tells me that Gunn just doesn't want to challenge Angel if Angel chooses to kill Holtz. He's thrown in his whole lot with Angel and will just do whatever. He doesn't outright support murdering Holtz but he won't speak out against it either. The lie here is that I don't think Gunn knows what he'd do. IMO, you have to be in the situation to know what you'd do. I do believe that everyone behaves terribly in Supersymmetry. However, Gunn's moral position in that ep is REALLY hurt by how he'd apparently support Angel murdering Holtz (just pure unadulterated vengeance) and he went along with Gwen electrocuting Morimoto to steal LISA (murder in order to commit robbery) but he opposes Fred murdering Seidel (pure vengeance but also self-defense because Seidel was opening portals all over the place to send Fred back to Pylea).

    However, this is all just instinct. Noise comes out of Gunn's mouth here but it's very hard to figure out what any of it means. Which is why it's a "Negative" because I'm trying to file "bad writing" under my negatives instead of just characters behaving badly. This is why I didn't file Cordelia's support of murdering Holtz here.

    Tomorrow

    Positive: "I'm not one of the doe-eyed girls from Angel Investigations. Don't be thinking about me when I'm gone." "I wasn't thinking about you when you were here."

    OK, that was obvious from me. I like that Lorne recently released an album of songs. It adds to the veracity that he could headline a show in Vegas. I also like that Lorne warned Angel to watch out for Connor. Emmie wrote a great post on the Angel rewatch threads that there's a S3-4 Prophet/Seer contest between Cordelia and Lorne and it turns out, Lorne was the better prophet but he was the one who Angel didn't listen to. Cordelia predicts, "Connor's gonna LOVE you because you have the BIGGEST, BEST HEART!!1!" Lorne tells Angel to watch out. I think it's obvious who was right.

    Negative: Even with S4 proving that Cordelia was conned by Skip instead of the S3 read that ONLY CORDELIA IS TOO GOOD FOR HUMANITY, those scenes are still nauseating on rewatch.

    However, this is kind of a positive. On first watch, I wasn't sure why Cordelia saw Future!Mirage!Cordelia while she was reflecting on whether she was in love with Cordelia. It just seemed hopelessly corny and like one of the worst performances in the 'verse. On rewatch, it's evident that Jasmine spliced these clips of Cordelia and Skip's conversation where Cordelia agreed to be a higher being and actually abandon Angel into an apparent epiphany where Cordelia had realized she was in love with Angel in order to manipulate Cordelia to head out on her fateful drive where she leaves the earthly plane. When Cordelia says "I'm in love! With Angel!" to Skip, it's part of her resistance to ascend just now. However when that clip is projected to Cordelia in her apartment earlier that night, it reads to Apartment!Cordelia like it's an epiphany as a foundation of future romantic bliss.

    But it's a positive for being tricky and slick if you rely on S4. It's still poorly acted and emotional empty. Moreover, it's unclear mythology-wise how Jasmine has these clips of Cordelia saying word-for-word what she'd say to Skip before Cordelia's made her decision to confess love to Angel yet. Also, I don't know why it was important that Cordelia be on her way to confess her love to Angel in order to convince her to Ascend. Couldn't Skip have done it another time?
    Last edited by Dipstick; 20-10-18 at 07:11 PM.

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    It's been so long since I posted on this thread but alongside Entropy I watched the next S3 ep of course, so I'm back with...

    Double or Nothing

    Positive - I think the focus on the future that comes with this ep is a good way of moving the characters on literally if not emotionally from the heavy events of the recent eps. The cost of the past remains and the weight of what has been lost, particularly when Angel talks of how Connor gave him a sense of future rather than just the continuation of his long existence. But time moves on regardless, life keeps happening anyway as Cordelia puts it. Seeing Angel accept the loss as well as continue to mourn as he packs up the crib at the end is really powerful.

    I agree with Pricey that the quiet support Cordelia offers Angel is lovely and agree on the positive comments about the Fred/Wes scene too. Fred telling Wes it was all for nothing hits heavily on the cost of what has happened against the future now being faced and is really underlined when Wes goes home alone.

    Negative - This isn't a good ep and looks so much worse for following such incredible ones. The Fred/Gunn aspects of it are generally the biggest weakness overall. But to be specific, ugh Gunn's whole sold his soul for a truck because he had no vision of a future for himself plotline to reflect Angel's situation is just terrible. The worst aspect for me being the idea the debt is getting called because he is starting to tie his soul to another by looking to sharing the future with Fred. It's just so corny.
    Last edited by Stoney; 16-01-19 at 06:38 PM.

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    The Price

    Positive - The price for Wes in the isolation he is now enduring and his resulting resentment are the most impactful aspects of this episode for me. But despite making it clear that he is returning the rejection that he has felt so stung by, and despite what everyone says about how difficult and unrecoverable the situation is, they still turn to him in the end and he still helps. The connection remains and doesn't feel as dead as they all insist it is, but there's no doubt that it is stuck in a very painful and very bleak place at the moment. It's gripping because of all that is churning within and how deeply affected they all are.

    I agree with Pricey that Connor's arrival at the end is great.

    Negative - Fred's ability to fight past the control of the sluk to have conversations with Angel about them is just way too convenient. As is the willingness of the sluk to then chat with Angel to give the tip off for The Destroyer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    Angel's emotions turn on a dime, from mourning Connor to being all chirpy with the new client. The change of tone felt jarring. 'I'll help cos it's Fred' - Wesley's obsession still in place. If it had been Cordy, would he have really let her die?
    I think the tone of Angel's switch is supposed to be jarring, that we're being led to see that Angel is being false, trying to force himself past his grief. With Wes, I agree with Dipstick and think he would have helped Cordelia too and even Gunn himself, he was just being cold at first in response to being used to help solve the general problem when he was being shut out and disregarded otherwise.

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    I'm finally watching AtS for the first time *ever* - I'd previously only watched eps from S5 (and not all the eps at that). Hope it's OK if I jump in with positives and negatives from episode 1. I'm just beginning AtS S1, I know I should probably start with the first season, but I've somehow not managed to do this chronologically yet. I'm visiting Angel S3 for a fanfic I'm writing so that's why I'm here first instead of S1.
    Anyway, here goes..

    Hearthrob

    Positives: I *love* the subway scene. I think it was a great choice to dramatise and explicate his grief in this setting because Angel (as he comes across to me) is so much about stillness - there's a stillness to his physical presence, even in his acting that, combined with the opacity of his silence for most of the episode about Buffy, feels like he's stuck in a heavy cloud of inertia (which is underscored by how Cordelia - on a Doylist level in this ep - has been assigned the task of bringing up the elephant in the room, Buffy's death.) So for it to be addressed in a moving subway train - in the middle of a fight - is cathartic, powerful and affecting. I love how he blurts out "the woman I love is dead", a stunningly romantic moment. The discussion about whether being able to continue - to go on living - to not crumble and fall apart - represents real love or invalidates that love was interesting. The implication that the choice to continue is braver than to just crumble, was authentic and moving. I love how gently protective Angel is towards Fred and Cordelia and I love the little comic touches studded through the ep- "I want to talk to you but I can't come in unless you invite me" as Fred's shutting the door on him, then again later telling her it's safe to come out and hang, and we hear a blood curdling scream from Cordy and his deadpan delivery of "Hold the thought." Hilarious. I love David Boreanaz's comic timing - he's genius at it, even in Buffy. I loved Fred's acting too - she really seems kind of manic with the trauma she's been through and it shows how versatile she is as an actress.

    Negatives:

    I found the premise that Angel goes to a Sri Lankan monastery to process his grief kind of cliched (like I wonder what Edward Said would say.) It just comes close to reminding me of this bitingly satirical portrait of a pretentious money-grubbing scumbag in one of Woody Allen's films (I love buddhism, the point I'm making is that it's a tired orientalist cliche that east=spiritual cleansing):
    Spoiler:
    Did you study art at school?
    No, I didn't. I often think I should have. I studied literature.Then inevitably wound up as a stockbroker. Then I dropped out, went to Japan, became a Buddhist, blah, blah, blah. And then, yeah, I did teach art at Amherst for a bit. And then the vineyard.
    It might have worked really well for bringing up the depth of his sorrow and the lengths he'd go to to try and work out his grief, but then his immediate return feels underwhelming. I mean, it's been hammered home that this is NOT a "vacation". But then his buying holiday gifts for them all cheapens the premise of his trip. And Cordy's atrocious lines don't help: "It really brings out my breasts! Hey, you were all thinking it!" She doesn't say it with irony, either. I don't think Cordy's *ever* been given lines this crass and it does a disservice to her character - yes, Cordy is vain and snarky and elitist - but there's a huge difference between being vain and being someone who'd say "it really brings out my breasts!" - which really does feel like it was written by a man. And...I just realised this episode was penned by David Greenwalt, on whose conscience lies the florid script of Teacher's Pet. But while I can rationalise Xander's cheesy lines in that episode on account of his being a horny teenage guy, here it's especially tone deaf in light of how Cordy *knows* Angel's back from a trip where he went to process Buffy's loss. Coupled with her otherwise apparent emotional perceptiveness in this episode (which, let's face, is really just a way to have one character do all the emotional heavy lifting of addressing Buffy's death, reminding the audience that "yeah, we haven't forgotten Buffy's dead, neither has Angel" in every other scene) it just sits oddly here and makes her character sound kind of schizophrenic. I also don't love that she has to do so much talking - she seems to function like a mouthpiece for broadcasting Angel's emotional state.
    Last edited by SpuffyGlitz; 03-03-19 at 04:16 AM.
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    Hey, I've moved on an ep!!

    A New World

    Positive: As a big Connor fan this episode is a treat for me. This first glimpse of who Connor might be now is really rich and with hindsight gives plenty of signs of what comes later. Particularly, as Dipstick observed, seen in the response that he has to the comfort and affection Sunny offers and knowing how such signs of affection, especially from women, will influence him in the stories to come. These first hints and ideas of how deeply affected he has been from his childhood is such an important part of understanding him. The weight of the past in influencing the present has featured so heavily in AtS/BtVS this season and this is such a core part of Connor's story. There is also a heavy leaning in the two concurrent episodes (Villains over in BtVS) on morals and judgments. Connor's failing to integrate easily into this new world he has just fallen into is so greatly bound to his past because he comes with such deeply established beliefs that govern a lot of his behaviour/choices. But he also has different boundaries on what is acceptable behaviour from where he was raised and how he has been raised. He has been brainwshed as Pricey says and ultimately was raised as a tool for and of vengeance.

    Negative: The drug dealing/pimp is a bit of a clichéd bad guy Connor quickly happens upon to give the open illustration of coming from a bad past and struggling with a rough life through Sunny. This aspect just fails a bit for me because it's written with high intensity (inc a police search and shootout), but it's an isolated situation that develops from a chance encounter but ties so neatly to the wider character issues it just feels a bit too forced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    Negative: Angel/Gunn/Fred running around the city gets boring on rewatch. Also, this ep hammered home how S3 Cordelia increasingly didn't do anything other than apply her deux ex machina superpowers. There was a little plot of her learning to fight in Billy but after Birthday, she doesn't fight at all other than a bit in Double or Nothing. More to the point, she doesn't research even though research used to be a big part of what she brought to the table in BtVS and AtS S1-2. Here in A New World, Angel/Gunn/Fred are hitting the streets looking for Connor. Lorne is actually the biggest hero of the day because he SOLVED the whole damn portal issue by finding an outside contractor. Groo was in battle-position to take anything that came out of the portal. Meanwhile, Cordelia was just sitting there pondering her love triangle while the portal to hell crackles above her head. The writers couldn't have placed Cordelia with some portal-closing book to try to research how to close the portal on her own? We were told so often that Cordelia was awesome, that she no longer has to actually act awesome.
    I do understand this and feel it too to some degree but I think in writing terms it is all the gradual change in Cordelia that leads into her believing in her ascension to come. Putting aside her own wants/other possible future to keep the visions and becoming part demon has to some degree fundamentally altered her. The increasing belief in 'champions like us', that she just has a great take on everyone despite misreading Fred's affections and Gunn's stress goes with accepting she is being singled out as she does. Although I think we can somewhat link it with the character's original hubris, the change in herself that occurred seems to have been a significant point. So whilst I think there are character ties, it's also true that she isn't the Cordelia she used to be and that shows somewhat in how she's responding at differing points for how she has changed and this works with what is to come.

    I'll be very interested to see how I respond to this storyline this time around as I thought it worked well when I first watched it but I've become more invested in Cordelia as a character on this watch and I think how she is pulled down by the direction her story takes may bother me more now.
    Last edited by Stoney; 18-09-19 at 03:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffyGlitz View Post
    I'm finally watching AtS for the first time *ever* - I'd previously only watched eps from S5 (and not all the eps at that). Hope it's OK if I jump in with positives and negatives from episode 1. I'm just beginning AtS S1, I know I should probably start with the first season, but I've somehow not managed to do this chronologically yet. I'm visiting Angel S3 for a fanfic I'm writing so that's why I'm here first instead of S1.
    Anyway, here goes..

    Hearthrob

    Positives: I *love* the subway scene. I think it was a great choice to dramatise and explicate his grief in this setting because Angel (as he comes across to me) is so much about stillness - there's a stillness to his physical presence, even in his acting that, combined with the opacity of his silence for most of the episode about Buffy, feels like he's stuck in a heavy cloud of inertia (which is underscored by how Cordelia - on a Doylist level in this ep - has been assigned the task of bringing up the elephant in the room, Buffy's death.) So for it to be addressed in a moving subway train - in the middle of a fight - is cathartic, powerful and affecting. I love how he blurts out "the woman I love is dead", a stunningly romantic moment. The discussion about whether being able to continue - to go on living - to not crumble and fall apart - represents real love or invalidates that love was interesting. The implication that the choice to continue is braver than to just crumble, was authentic and moving. I love how gently protective Angel is towards Fred and Cordelia and I love the little comic touches studded through the ep- "I want to talk to you but I can't come in unless you invite me" as Fred's shutting the door on him, then again later telling her it's safe to come out and hang, and we hear a blood curdling scream from Cordy and his deadpan delivery of "Hold the thought." Hilarious. I love David Boreanaz's comic timing - he's genius at it, even in Buffy. I loved Fred's acting too - she really seems kind of manic with the trauma she's been through and it shows how versatile she is as an actress.

    Negatives:

    I found the premise that Angel goes to a Sri Lankan monastery to process his grief kind of cliched (like I wonder what Edward Said would say.) It just comes close to reminding me of this bitingly satirical portrait of a pretentious money-grubbing scumbag in one of Woody Allen's films (I love buddhism, the point I'm making is that it's a tired orientalist cliche that east=spiritual cleansing):
    Spoiler:
    Did you study art at school?
    No, I didn't. I often think I should have. I studied literature.Then inevitably wound up as a stockbroker. Then I dropped out, went to Japan, became a Buddhist, blah, blah, blah. And then, yeah, I did teach art at Amherst for a bit. And then the vineyard.
    It might have worked really well for bringing up the depth of his sorrow and the lengths he'd go to to try and work out his grief, but then his immediate return feels underwhelming. I mean, it's been hammered home that this is NOT a "vacation". But then his buying holiday gifts for them all cheapens the premise of his trip. And Cordy's atrocious lines don't help: "It really brings out my breasts! Hey, you were all thinking it!" She doesn't say it with irony, either. I don't think Cordy's *ever* been given lines this crass and it does a disservice to her character - yes, Cordy is vain and snarky and elitist - but there's a huge difference between being vain and being someone who'd say "it really brings out my breasts!" - which really does feel like it was written by a man. And...I just realised this episode was penned by David Greenwalt, on whose conscience lies the florid script of Teacher's Pet. But while I can rationalise Xander's cheesy lines in that episode on account of his being a horny teenage guy, here it's especially tone deaf in light of how Cordy *knows* Angel's back from a trip where he went to process Buffy's loss. Coupled with her otherwise apparent emotional perceptiveness in this episode (which, let's face, is really just a way to have one character do all the emotional heavy lifting of addressing Buffy's death, reminding the audience that "yeah, we haven't forgotten Buffy's dead, neither has Angel" in every other scene) it just sits oddly here and makes her character sound kind of schizophrenic. I also don't love that she has to do so much talking - she seems to function like a mouthpiece for broadcasting Angel's emotional state.
    You could jump right to E7 from 1 and you wouldn't miss anything regards the main plot but you do need to see E9 Lullaby though

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    Hey, I've moved on an ep!!

    A New World

    Positive: As a big Connor fan this episode is a treat for me. This first glimpse of who Connor might be now is really rich and with hindsight gives plenty of signs of what comes later. Particularly, as Dipstick observed, seen in the response that he has to the comfort and affection Sunny offers and knowing how such signs of affection, especially from women, will influence him in the stories to come. These first hints and ideas of how deeply affected he has been from his childhood is such an important part of understanding him. The weight of the past in influencing the present has featured so heavily in AtS/BtVS this season and this is such a core part of Connor's story. There is also a heavy leaning in the two concurrent episodes (Villains over in BtVS) on morals and judgments. Connor's failing to integrate easily into this new world he has just fallen into is so greatly bound to his past because he comes with such deeply established beliefs that govern a lot of his behaviour/choices. But he also has different boundaries on what is acceptable behaviour from where he was raised and how he has been raised. He has been brainwshed as Pricey says and ultimately was raised as a tool for and of vengeance.

    Negative: The drug dealing/pimp is a bit of a clichéd bad guy Connor quickly happens upon to give the open illustration of coming from a bad past and struggling with a rough life through Sunny. This aspect just fails a bit for me because it's written with high intensity (inc a police search and shootout), but it's an isolated situation that develops from a chance encounter but ties so neatly to the wider character issues it just feels a bit too forced.



    I do understand this and feel it too to some degree but I think in writing terms it is all the gradual change in Cordelia that leads into her believing in her ascension to come. Putting aside her own wants/other possible future to keep the visions and becoming part demon has to some degree fundamentally altered her. The increasing belief in 'champions like us', that she just has a great take on everyone despite misreading Fred's affections and Gunn's stress goes with accepting she is being singled out as she does. Although I think we can somewhat link it with the character's original hubris, the change in herself that occurred seems to have been a significant point. So whilst I think there are character ties, it's also true that she isn't the Cordelia she used to be and that shows somewhat in how she's responding at differing points for how she has changed and this works with what is to come.

    I'll be very interested to see how I respond to this storyline this time around as I thought it worked well when I first watched it but I've become more invested in Cordelia as a character on this watch and I think how she is pulled down by the direction her story takes may bother me more now.
    This is interesting, you used to defend the characterisation, what made you change you mind ?
    Why do you think she isnt your Cordy anymore ?

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    I found the premise that Angel goes to a Sri Lankan monastery to process his grief kind of cliched (like I wonder what Edward Said would say.) It just comes close to reminding me of this bitingly satirical portrait of a pretentious money-grubbing scumbag in one of Woody Allen's films (I love buddhism, the point I'm making is that it's a tired orientalist cliche that east=spiritual cleansing):
    I'm guessing Said would have rolled his eyes; muttered "orientalism" and switched off. BtVS is seriously flawed when it comes to the East/West binary. Someone needs to point out Istanbul has Starbucks and McDonalds on BOTH sides of the Bosporus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BtVS fan View Post
    You could jump right to E7 from 1 and you wouldn't miss anything regards the main plot but you do need to see E9 Lullaby though
    Never miss anything because you are always missing something. I'm always going to champion chronological viewing.

    This is interesting, you used to defend the characterisation, what made you change you mind? Why do you think she isnt your Cordy anymore ?
    I'm not sure exactly what you mean. I was responding to what Dipstick had said about how Cordelia had changed in her responses to situations from the earlier seasons and how the writing had her leaning to her powers and not being a person of action anymore. I do think Cordelia is different in the early seasons to the later ones when she has powers, but I was saying that I think it is coherent to her changing and gaining those powers and leads towards where she goes in believing in her ascension and all the badness that leads to. I feel there are characterisation ties through it all and I'm not saying that has changed. I'm saying that as I've become more invested in Cordelia's journey I may find the negative way that it develops, that her hubris led to her being taken over by Jasmine, more of a disappointing draw to her story. That's where I think I might have changed. But I could find that I still think it works, or perhaps just find it more depressing than I have before.

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    Benediction

    Positive: I really like this episode. I especially like how the too ready belief in the positivity of what is happening to Cordelia plays alongside their assumption that ridding Connor of the negativity within him could be that easy. The metaphor of how much can be unseen beneath the surface is key to the episode and all the years of growing up with Holtz has affected him more than just the exterior stuff the geiger counter can pick up on and Cordelia can 'glow' away. And of course Holtz has lived there too and that has added in to his ongoing hate and thirst for vengeance. So his seeming blessing is all surface level and the true vindictive layers underneath are where the truth of his intentions lie. The cruelty of it towards all those around him is immense.

    Negative: This is really a negative for this and the next episode. After having planned things so well there's an illogical element to Holtz's plan. If Angel had really killed Holtz but had taken the letter he had written to Connor saying he was going to leave in an attempt to just convince Connor Holtz had simply left already and thus get away with murdering him for vengeance... why would he dump the body somewhere so close to where Holtz was staying and where Connor could so easily find it or news of the murder appear in the local news? He'd have dumped the body far away surely.


    Tomorrow

    Positive: This is a strong season end for the Connor/Angel aspects and a great one for seeing a little of how Wes is still isolated and reacting in the wake of finding out Connor is back. We'll get to the Cordelia part in a moment. I also have to give a tip of the hat to Groo. I think Mark Lutz really pulls off Groo's growing awareness, and the mix of bitterness and dejected acceptance that Cordelia cares more for Angel.

    But the best aspect of the episode for me has to reside with Connor's planned revenge. From manipulating Angel to teach him how he fights through to the horror he chooses to inflict on Angel. Such damage has been done to him and what Holtz chose to do in framing Angel was just further abuse and malicious in his certainty that Connor would be the tool he wanted and exact vengeance for him. The fact Lorne leaves in part because he appreciates Connor is such a wild card really underlines the danger he poses. Again it's back to all that is under the surface and the fact that they tie that theme to him condemning Angel as he does is fab. Such a complex and interesting character.

    Negative: I do feel that Cordelia's story sadly turns into a tragic one. I think she had a great deal of positive development up to the point when she became part demon and started to believe in the specialness of who she was. Having that element of hubris that is more reminiscent of her Queen C years play such a big part in what happens feels like she really takes a step backwards. Obviously she is being used and was being set up to 'ascend', but having come to appreciate how far she had developed before she was drawn into being a pawn for what is to come, seeing her buy into this is disappointing. But a lot of that is about her overall path, so I'll choose something episode specific. I think the visually twee/sweet elements of Cordelia's glow and ascension is all quite deliberate in trying to make it seem angelic and saintly, but it is pretty corny. The worst part in the episode had to be her conversation with herself about loving Angel. The way she just beams and believes in it all when it all looks so cheesy just makes her belief in her specialness that is being generated worse somehow. It feels part of it all in a 'you should have realised it wasn't real' way, but that doesn't change that it still looks so terrible an effect when it happens.


    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    Negative: Really enjoyable episode, but Holtz's death to frame Angel was a bit extreme
    Do you mean in the way they shot it or that he went so far to get revenge on Angel? I think the probable additional corruption of Quor'toth on top of his already very single-minded desire to hurt Angel as much as possible makes it very believable of him.

    I agree Angel talking to Cordy about Connor and being so pleased about connecting with him is lovely. It's there in Tomorrow too and makes what happens between them all really very sad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dipstick View Post
    Holtz having Justine kill him and framing Angel for his murder after he just had a long ponderous conversation to reassure Angel that he was done with vengeance is a master-stroke of villainy. It's also CLASSIC Holtz in the sense that he never technically lies to Connor in his letter. However, his whole staged murder is nothing but a huge lie and abusive mind f*ck to Connor. I think it's a great example of the bullshit that Holtz mouths and tries to believe. That Holtz doesn't do evil but instead executes justice even though his actions are evil. We could picture him going to his staged death, telling himself that he never lied to his son Steven.
    I think this is really interesting, to consider how much Holtz might be trying to convince himself of what he says and does against how much he just doesn't care about the damage he does. Is there part of him that really cares for Steven or has he always been somewhat affected by the knowledge of who his parents were and that he clearly isn't just human. He even says to him "God help me, I don't know what you are" and for someone that operates on such black and white levels it is hard to know how he truly feels. He doesn't hesitate to use, hurt and manipulate him so it's pretty hard to believe at all in the love he claims to have found.

    Really interesting point about Gunn's views on what is happening being unclear here and how it sits against what will eventually break him/Fred. I think perhaps the seeming inconsistencies and uncertainty is just a realistic aspect in that every circumstance has its own context. I'd agree that in this situation he doesn't want to challenge Angel and whether or not Angel would do what he would envisage he would, he isn't going to challenge him over his choice but feels the circumstances give Angel the right to decide for himself. But when it is Fred that is the one who might commit murder and he doesn't like the idea of how that might change her, then he wants to intercede.

    I completely agree that Wes' cutting line to Lilah is one of the best moments in Tomorrow. Such a small moment but the dispassionate and callous way he treats her is such an interesting flash of what all of this has done to him. It also gives some character tie to Billy that works well for Wes' genuine fear of what cruelty could be within him.

    Emmie wrote a great post on the Angel rewatch threads that there's a S3-4 Prophet/Seer contest between Cordelia and Lorne and it turns out, Lorne was the better prophet but he was the one who Angel didn't listen to. Cordelia predicts, "Connor's gonna LOVE you because you have the BIGGEST, BEST HEART!!1!" Lorne tells Angel to watch out. I think it's obvious who was right.
    Such a great point.

    Negative: Even with S4 proving that Cordelia was conned by Skip instead of the S3 read that ONLY CORDELIA IS TOO GOOD FOR HUMANITY, those scenes are still nauseating on rewatch.
    I agree with you that hindsight of where it goes and how it works as a manipulation (even though I hadn't clocked/remembered that the vision of herself was lifted from what would come later) is there, but yes, yes, yes to the fact that it is still a poorly acted and emotionally empty scene. It's corny and flat.

    Also, I don't know why it was important that Cordelia be on her way to confess her love to Angel in order to convince her to Ascend. Couldn't Skip have done it another time?
    I think perhaps it was the idea that she would have to accept that she was giving up Angel/the chance of their relationship as this final test which proved that she was right to ascend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    Like the image of her rising and him sinking.
    Despite the cheesy aspect of the visual with Cordelia, I do agree that the seeming contrast between the two fates as a season finale worked well.

    Wesley's dive into depression, his poor me attitude, his staring into the middle distance, just make me want to slap him. He reminds me of Angel season 2 and that just version of Angel annoyed me too. Wesley lived through that, so you'd think he'd know better.
    I find Wes' despondency mixed with deep pondering very believable in the circumstances. As Lilah keeps taunting him, he's still been abandoned by the group despite them coming to some understanding of why he did what he did. But more than that, he has seen that Connor has returned and has to deal with a whole heap of emotional responses to that too. He's probably relieved he is alive but also aware that his childhood has been lost and the fact that his return isn't something that anyone has come to tell him about is a further rejection. But he is the way he is and as again Lilah keeps underlining, he is a resource for his brain/knowledge and no doubt is automatically thinking through what Connor's return could mean. Wes did plenty wrong in getting to the situation he is in at this point, but he wasn't acting in intentional malice and can't just turn off his emotions or his brain to disengage himself from the situation/group. Even whilst he is being kept out.

    Special mention to Gunn 'you finished the jumbo tub . . . I love this woman'. I hate the way Fred and her relationship to food is written.
    Yes it has an unpleasant note to it, like it is saying that a woman who eats readily and without a care is admirable. But when that character is so incredibly skinny it seems to also be suggesting that's only so if it doesn't affect their figure. It's just one of the aspects of their relationship that grates for me. I don't enjoy them as a couple and much prefer the two characters outside of the romance.
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    Do you mean in the way they shot it or that he went so far to get revenge on Angel? I think the probable additional corruption of Quor'toth on top of his already very single-minded desire to hurt Angel as much as possible makes it very believable of him. I agree Angel talking to Cordy about Connor and being so pleased about connecting with him is lovely. It's there in Tomorrow too and makes what happens between them all really very sad.
    I'm not sure what I meant I think it was a little too melodramatic. Doesn't Holtz get Justine to stab him twice in the neck, to look like a vampire bite? It just seems too ridiculous, although I understand how his mind is working and how much he hates Angel. It was quite cruel on Justine too. They could have hired a vampire to bite him, Holtz didn't have to force Justine to do it.

    Despite the cheesy aspect of the visual with Cordelia, I do agree that the seeming contrast between the two fates as a season finale worked well.
    It is cheesy, but I really like it. They've been separated so completely, they couldn't be farther apart. I think it's a great cliffhanger to end the season on. It's just a shame that Season 4 didn't like up to this ending, though it opened with one of the shows best episodes.

    I find Wes' despondency mixed with deep pondering very believable in the circumstances. As Lilah keeps taunting him, he's still been abandoned by the group despite them coming to some understanding of why he did what he did. But more than that, he has seen that Connor has returned and has to deal with a whole heap of emotional responses to that too. He's probably relieved he is alive but also aware that his childhood has been lost and the fact that his return isn't something that anyone has come to tell him about is a further rejection. But he is the way he is and as again Lilah keeps underlining, he is a resource for his brain/knowledge and no doubt is automatically thinking through what Connor's return could mean. Wes did plenty wrong in getting to the situation he is in at this point, but he wasn't acting in intentional malice and can't just turn off his emotions or his brain to disengage himself from the situation/group. Even whilst he is being kept out.
    I don't remember Wesley at the end of the season, though he's obviously suffering. I am not a fan of the character and find him difficult to like. You talk of Cordy's hubris, but it was Wesley's hubris that made him kidnap Connor, and to me that's far worse. He get's to redeem himself, but Cordy never does.

    Yes it has an unpleasant note to it, like it is saying that a woman who eats readily and without a care is admirable, but when she is so incredibly skinny it seems to also be suggesting that's only so if it doesn't affect their figure. It's just one of the aspects of their relationship that grates for me. I don't enjoy them as a couple and much prefer the two characters outside of the romance.
    I think nowadays it's accepted as an anti-feminist trope, that the skinny girl can eat all she likes and never get fat. Overall I like Gunn and Fred as a couple. I hate Wesley's treatment of their relationship, his jealousy and his undermining of them as a couple. Wesley seems to think he has a right to Fred and is written so the audience pity him and agree with him, but it doesn't work for me. I find his behaviour questionable at best.

    Good episode though and a nice way to end the season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    It was quite cruel on Justine too. They could have hired a vampire to bite him, Holtz didn't have to force Justine to do it.
    Yes Holtz really didn't care who he hurt to get what he wanted. After he is dead when Justine hears that she never featured in the stories Holtz told Connor of the plan to live on a ranch in Utah I think she possibly sadly accepts herself as just a tool to him.

    It is cheesy, but I really like it. They've been separated so completely, they couldn't be farther apart. I think it's a great cliffhanger to end the season on. It's just a shame that Season 4 didn't like up to this ending, though it opened with one of the shows best episodes.
    I am really looking forward to watching S4 again as it was my favourite the first time I watched AtS but I absolutely loved S3 even more this time so it's going to be hard to beat.

    You talk of Cordy's hubris, but it was Wesley's hubris that made him kidnap Connor, and to me that's far worse. He get's to redeem himself, but Cordy never does.
    Oh I've talked of Wes' faults many times too. His response to his insecurities and fears of meeting expectations and being capable etc, not making the same mistakes he had in the past, all contributed to him sadly doing a great deal again by closing himself off to others. His jealousy over Fred and Gunn really hit a high at a terrible time and his inability to move past it kept him isolated at a time when he needed to seek help. Wes is highly flawed and I've no problems with that, it's a great part of why I find him so interesting. I'd also agree that Wes has something to redeem himself for in a way that Cordy doesn't. She's flawed and it plays its part in why they are able to manipulate her, but she also didn't mean to harm anyone and was in great part motivated by good intentions. Wes' actions hurt many people and had some awful consequences, but he was trying to protect people too. Yet there was more scope for him seeking help and the truth being realised than Cordy faced. But, as you say, his story continues afterwards and the effects on him are explored whereas Cordy isn't really herself anymore as I remember it.

    My increased appreciation for Cordy has made me feel that I'm going to find her story being so abruptly derailed for the Jasmine story more unsatisfactory than I did when I first watched it. I think there are connections there because of her flaws that work coherently for the character but she doesn't get that story the other side of it. Looking at her overall path, it's a very positive personal progression up to mid S3 and even where/how it goes off track in hindsight in late S3 was because of the manipulations of others. Sure she was maybe an easier target than some but that is both because of her hubris and also because of her humanity. It's bleak for a Cordy fan I think as it makes her story a tragedy. I was comfortable with that before because I didn't care about her as a character as much and the positive path that she had carved being left like that. But then I really disliked You're Welcome when I first saw that, so maybe I'll view that differently now and that might change my feeling on her as a tragic character.

    I think nowadays it's accepted as an anti-feminist trope, that the skinny girl can eat all she likes and never get fat. Overall I like Gunn and Fred as a couple. I hate Wesley's treatment of their relationship, his jealousy and his undermining of them as a couple. Wesley seems to think he has a right to Fred and is written so the audience pity him and agree with him, but it doesn't work for me. I find his behaviour questionable at best.
    I really don't think Wes thought he had a right to Fred. He just genuinely believed there was a connection between them, was encouraged to believe in it (not maliciously) by Cordelia and then he had to face that she hadn't felt the same at a time when he was under severe stress. Feeling less than he wanted to be perceived hits personal buttons for him and he doesn't handle it well at every point. But Gunn and Fred behave like irresponsible kids at points that must make him feel frustrated and irritated in ways I think are fair. Gunn especially is childishly defensive and aggressive unnecessarily at points. Neither of them smell of roses on that one.

    Good episode though and a nice way to end the season.
    Yes and although I think Benediction is a stronger episode for its entirety, the Connor/Angel aspect of Tomorrow is fantastic and is such a great season ending. Very excited to watch 4.01 again next week.
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    I am really looking forward to watching S4 again as it was my favourite the first time I watched AtS but I absolutely loved S3 even more this time so it's going to be hard to beat.
    I'm looking forward to hearing your views on Season 4. There are some cracking episodes, and I personally love The Beast, he's one of my favourite baddies. I also imagine, in the AtS writers room, they were told that it doesn't matter what you do for the first 40 minutes of an episode, but the last 2 have to be fantastic, because AtS has some amazing endings to episodes.

    I have little time or patience for Wesley and find it difficult to excuse him. I know I'm in a minority there and most people find him interesting, and therefore forgivable. Personally I love Cordy and find her far more interesting and deserving of redemption. They both make the ultimate sacrifice in the end, but for me Cordy's death is the tragedy at the heart of AtS.

    I really don't think Wes thought he had a right to Fred. He just genuinely believed there was a connection between them, was encouraged to believe in it (not maliciously) by Cordelia and then he had to face that she hadn't felt the same at a time when he was under severe stress. Feeling less than he wanted to be perceived hits personal buttons for him and he doesn't handle it well at every point. But Gunn and Fred behave like irresponsible kids at points that must make him feel frustrated and irritated in ways I think are fair. Gunn especially is childishly defensive and aggressive unnecessarily at points. Neither of them smell of roses on that one.
    I think Wesley did think he had a right to Fred, and others, including Cordy, encouraged him in thinking this. Some of the conversations he has with Gunn are all about him staking his claim and telling Gunn he's simply not good enough for Fred. The writers want us to pity him because he didn't get the girl, and at the time of watching I probably did feel sorry for him, but the more I watch, the more I think he's actually a bit of a creep and that threesome story line hasn't aged well.

    The Season 4 opener is one of my very favourite episodes.

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    Yeah Wes is one of my favourite characters. I really am appreciating Cordy more too though. At the moment I'm feeling her sacrifice for the greater good, her developed side that put humanity above what she could have herself as she grew through the series outweighs any aspect of her own wants/arrogance that do play a part in her choices. But it just makes it all the more tragic.

    I don't like the Wes/Fred/Gunn triangle. I actually find both Wes and Gunn falling for Fred when she behaved like a traumatised child after she returns from Pylea a bit creepy. I'm not sure if it falls to tropes (I'm not very knowledgeable about those) or if it is just supposed to be the want/need to protect her, but I don't like it. All three characters are better outside of the romance storyline I think. I really loved the dynamic between Gunn and Wes before Fred came. Sadly it probably works as an example of when romance spoils a friendship.

    I remember absolutely loving Deep Down with a passion so I'm really looking forward to watching it again.
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