Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Angel S5: Eps 4, 5, 6

5.4 Hell Bound
5.5 Life of the Party
5.6 The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco

For my lengthy analyses of these episodes, follow along in Once Bitten.

Last week you guys seemed to take the reins of watching Angel really well, so once again I'll provide the forum, and I really enjoyed what you guys said. Just a note that I think the rewatchers might enjoy these episodes more than first-timers, simply because we know what's coming, and these episodes seemed a little odd the first time through, but once you realize how the season ends, they make more sense. Keep at it... you won't be disappointed. :)

Next week:
5.7 Lineage
5.8 Destiny
5.9 Harm's Way


Marebabe said...

Confession time. I had completely and utterly forgotten about the shaman’s prophecy concerning Angel. (I know. First time ever, right?) So, my memory has been duly jogged while watching “Hell Bound” this week, and I have recovered from my shock at the offhand way Fred told Spike that if Angel helps enough people, he gets to be human again. Onward!

I don’t know much about physics, but when Spike tried to lean on the table, he ended up crashing through to the basement because his center of GRAVITY shifted, and what was it about that concrete floor that stopped his fall…?

Gunn: “Who’s a good kitty?”
Me: “D’awww.”

So, it seems that there’s a lexicon of ghost rules, the same as there is for vampire rules. I’m referring to the way that Spike learned to touch and move objects. It was the same as for Patrick Swayze’s Sam Wheat character in “Ghost”: To move anything in the physical world, you have to really, REALLY want it.

Marebabe said...

I enjoyed “Life of the Party”, but I didn’t feel like pausing it every whipstitch to take notes. I figured I would just read Nikki’s chapter on it and pick a few things to comment on afterward.

I’m mostly shocked (again) at my own forgetfulness! Nikki mentioned parallels between this episode and the Buffy ep, “Something Blue”. I forgot all about the fact that WILLOW caused all the weird stuff that happened in that episode, much the same as Lorne did here in “Life of the Party”.

And in reading the nitpicky item in her chapter, I was amazed (again) at Nikki’s all-encompassing overview of the series. (Makes me wonder exactly how many times she has watched every episode.) If you don’t have her book, “Once Bitten”, here’s the thing that floored me:

Knox talks about last year’s Halloween party as if he was there, but if the Beast killed everyone at W&H in “Habeas Corpses” (which happened after Halloween), presumably Knox has been transferred from another branch and probably wasn’t at the party.

Intuitively obvious to the most casual observer – NOT!

Marebabe said...

I appreciated and enjoyed the history lesson on Mexican wrestling in Nikki’s chapter on “The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco”. Lots of stuff I didn’t know.

In a sense, I think every single episode of Buffy and Angel could be called a cautionary tale.

In most firms, a lowly mailroom drone tossing the CEO through a window would be grounds for dismissal.

Taking the hearts of heroes. Elegant. Beautifully written.

Angel: “We’re tryin’ to kill it, not pin it!”

I enjoyed how they spiced up the musical score with guitar, maracas and castanets.

The mention of Hope in this episode reminded me of “The Shawshank Redemption”. Everyone needs some Hope.

I liked Wesley’s totally blank, uncomprehending expression when Angel said, “The father will kill the son.” Nice continuity there.

I’m beginning to get a sense of where this final season of Angel is headed. I think the mainest main question will be: TO WHOM is the Shanshu prophecy referring? (Can’t it be BOTH Angel and Spike?)

Lisa(until further notice) said...

*Hell Bound* was totally creepy and I'm glad it's over.

I love "positive attitude" Spike in *Life of the Party* He's adorable. And Gunn marking his territory is priceless. Again, poor Wesley, crushed that he can't get the girl. Sigh.

Spike totally wants in on that shanshu prophecy.

I love when Spike who figures out that it's about the heart.
Fred: "You can see that by looking at this?"
Spike: "No, it's the poetry of it."

Oh William, you are such a poet.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

BTW, thank you for that screen cap, Nikki ;)

Nikki Stafford said...

Lisa: You are so very welcome. I found it, and couldn't resist. ;)

Marebabe: Thank you for the kudos on my book! S5 of Angel is one of my favourite seasons I've ever had to write about... not just because it's a favourite season, but because there was just so much to write about! And I'm lucky that I work in a publishing house that puts out so many wrestling books, and I just mined the brain of the wrestling editor to answer all my questions about Mexican wrestling, and he did. :) I'm glad you liked it!

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I think, although people might quantify the series as horror, Hellbound is the most horror film like episode. That guy cutting off his fingers creeps me out every time (I think it's the foley.) And if you pause the flashes of Spike in barbed wire - eek!

Notice that Fred pretends to be afraid of Spike, but is genuinely startled by Eve. :)

Angel has seen very little of Spike with a soul and never since he's been ghostified. I think someone is jealous - he makes it sound like a negative that Spike wanted it.

How does Spike know Angel likes Manilow? Did Angelus play it in the mansion?

Haunting a ghost is an interesting twist.

Spike seems more in character this episode - DeKnight knows the character. He will later write the line for James on Smallville "Clark, there's no such thing as vampires."

The Reaper is the violinist from Northern Exposure (where James played a bellboy and a reverend.)

James is very self conscious about being naked since he worked on Buffy - apparently Sarah used to make fun of him. And once again, no clothes.

Spike proves he's a champion by not hesitating to defeat Pavayne.

That's a very X-Files ending, with Pavayne's one eye looking out of the window.

The writer of that mirror scene really knew Andy.

It's TJ again! Bones preunion (is that a word?)

I wonder if Angel is cheering for Philly? That's such a David thing.

Naked Angel grabs the cushion like David does the jewellery box in These Girls.

I love all the episodes this week- including Numero Cinquo, which I know a lot of fans dislike. It was written and directed by Jeffrey Bell, who worked on the X-Files. When I watch it it's easy for me to replace Angel with demoralized Mulder.

I think one of my favourite lines in the series is "The Devil has built a robot!", followed by Wes' reverent "El Diablo Robotico."

Special guest appearance by Holland Manners.

Wes can't understand why Angel is demoralized because Angel had Wes' memories changed - Catch 22.

This is the first time I understood #5's line "But you will be" - because Angel replaces him in the battle.

Thanks for this rewatch, Nikki. I love this season. You know why. ;)

Christina B said...

Looks like us first-timers are all on the same page here--Spike and Angel fighting to be the one in the prophecy!
If that's where this is heading, this is going to be a GREAT season, but SO hard to watch because I adore both of them so much!

Okay, so I LOVED this week.

We had creepy, funny and touching, all in one week!

I think my favourite was The Cautionary Tale....I really fell in love with Numero Cinco.
Also, I KNEW that guy had a story that needed to be told! ;)

Life of the Party has some stupid bits, but all in all, I had fun with it. Fred is a hilarious drunk.
But I'm not liking what I've been seeing in Lorne lately. He's DARK. :(

And Hell Bound (Naked Spike...*drool*), so deliciously spooky!

FINALLY a GREAT week after the awfulness of season four and the yawnfest of the first three episodes!

It can only get better from here, right? ;)

(vw- lions. Big cats that rawr)

The Question Mark said...

I skimmed through the comments to see if anyone else brought this up, but I didn't see it (unless I missed it somewhere)
But, I think I'm missing something here. Does Angelus still exist at this point? Or did they totally purge him last season? Because I thought that, once Angel "made the sex" with Eve, Angelus would spring forth. Is it because he doesn't really love Eve, so it wouldn't be "true happiness"?

The Question Mark said...

Also, I heart Lorne. :D
Poor guy.

Dusk said...

@Question Mark: Angelus is still in there, Willow's spell just muzzled him (again). He pretty much hates Eve, not unlike S2 Darla. Sex doesn't equal soulessness automatically, it has to be the right person (Buffy, Cordy) and all his other friendships have to be in good standing according to his fantasy.

So, in theroy I wonder if that means could it be alright to have sex with Buffy, as she no longer defines him, and he's got a number of problems at W & H?

Marebabe said...

@Lisa(ufn): Nice reminder about Spike’s love of poetry. He doesn’t just have a soul, now. He has – and has always had – the soul of a poet.

@Colleen: They sure kept us wondering with the foley in the basement, drawing out the suspense. (Awfully drippy. They should get that fixed.) Before we saw the severed fingers, I was wondering why someone was slowly chopping CELERY.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

When my daughter was in film school, she did a short that involved slitting someone's throat. She went with slicing a tomato for the foley. So the celery is a good guess. :)

Salad, anyone?

Quarks said...

I don’t really have much to say about this week’s episodes; like last week it is a good week, but in my opinion it is from next week on that the season really starts to pick up, before it becomes phenomenal about halfway into the season. ‘Hell Bound’ was quite a good episode, with a focus on Spike and his situation; ‘Life of the Party’ was fairly fun, and it was nice to have Lorne at the forefront of an episode as he has generally been in the background of late; and I am not a huge fan of ‘The Cautionary Tales of Numero Cinco’ but I can see its importance in the theme of being a hero and Angel’s current situation.

In terms of why Spike doesn’t fall through the floor, I think it’s partly because for the same reason he can pick up the cup, but subconsciously. He wants to be standing on the floor and not falling through it, and expects it to happen naturally in real life, so subconsciously he is making it happen.

I quite like the scenes of Wesley and Fred drunk. I like their relationship as friends and it is good to see them having fun together with the loss of inhibitions. It’s just a shame that Knox is getting in the way of their relationship going any deeper.

And, I don’t really have much more to say about this week. It was a decent week of episodes, but not the episodes that Season 5 is most known for. Next week things start to pick up, and then not long after we will be on the episodes that put Season 5 at the top of my lis

Nikki Stafford said...

Great discussion about Spike not falling through the floor, and it's exactly what we fans were discussing when this season aired the first time (it's like deja vu for me... and allows me to pretend I'm in my 20s again, haha!)

Question Mark: What they said about Angelus: he has to find true happiness, and according to him, that's only ever been with Buffy. He loved her. Even when he had sex with Darla and impregnated her he didn't turn into Angelus, which suggests he never actually loved her the way he loved Buffy. Buffy was different for him, and why they can't be together.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

Though the in the dream fantasy of season four, when Angel lost his soul, his perfect day culminated in sex with Cordy. And had circumstances been happier to start with, he probably wouldn't have needed anything else but her. I think he loved her too.

Missy said...

'Cinco' & 'Party'
Are sooo much fun to watch.

Numero Cinco and his Brothers are COOL.


I adore Amy & Alexis' drunk acting.
(I also enjoy that Alexis didn't fill Amy in on how drunk he was going to be.Lol)

It's 'Hellbound' that I dislike.

I'm a Horror movie junkie,But I'm not a fan of Gory Cutting appendages off and Glass jutting out of peoples eyes movies.

Unfortunately not even Nekkid James is enough to make me watch 'Hellbound'.

But s5 is about to hit it's stride,The only way to describe it is as the longest most breathtaking downhill part of a rollercoaster.

I sooo don't evny you newbies.

Suzanne said...

It has been a busy week with the start of the semester, but I enjoyed reading everyone's comments.

Life of Party was a riot. It was fun to get a Lorne centered episode since I often felt as if his character didn't get as much love as he should have gotten! I agree, how could Fred give Knox a second glance with Wesley around. I wouldn't have said that about Wesley in Buffy Season 3, but now is a different story.

Any episode centered around Spike is an episode for me, so I really liked Hell Bound. I didn't care for the villian very much, and I could have done without the gore. But James Marster's performance seeming really afraid of death and what would come next was wonderful. I am so glad that Fred could so easily see the good in Spike as well as the courage since it seemed the Scoobies had a blind spot when it came to Spike. Then again, Fred saw Angel's goodness right away and didn't change her mind when she saw him turn completely demon in Pylea, so I am not surprised she can Spike for what he is.

I didn't have time to rewatch The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco, but I remember not liking it. I think I will give it another chance since Nikki and others here seem to like it. Maybe I missed something.

Can't wait until next week. I hope to have more time to "chat" with you all then.

Blam said...

Angel 5.4 "Hell Bound"

Stephen S. DeKnight wrote and directed this episode. As Colleen (and maybe others) mentioned, he went on to work on Smallville as well as, more recently, Spartacus (which I've never seen). I almost wrote that he contributed to some of Smallville's most celebrated episodes, but while I gather that his efforts were indeed well-liked by fans of the series I can't bring myself to refer to Smallville as worthy of celebration.

Fred: "You're more than a common spectral disturbance."

I love that shot of the guy cutting away on the table, off-center, with his face out of the frame.

Spike: "Never a fetching mad scientist about when you need one."

Fred: "You don't what Spike's dealing with — where he goes when he disappears. He told me. [dramatic pause as eerie music intensifies] It's Hell. He's slipping into Hell."
Gunn: "Kinda figured."
Wesley: "Of course."
Gunn: "Where else would he be headed?"

They sure like to get Spike nekkid.

Fred: "I just ran out of white board; I'm not crazy... again."

Angel 5.5 "Life of the Party"

Why is Lorne wearing a satin tape measure as a fashion statement?

Angel: "Eve — You stay here with me and we'll have more sex."

Fred: "Hey! They don't just do sleep here. Madeline Choo in Accounting, she had her ennui removed."

Lorne is already green, so Manifest-Subconscious Hulk Lorne should be kinda pinkish-peach.

Angel 5.6 "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco"

Shouldn't this have been Episode 5?

Young Numero Cinco: "¡Hermanos! The devil has built a robot!"

I love Angel's face as the brothers run by him in the cemetery.

VW: stroli — 1. A very short stromboli. 2. A walk made more enjoyable with vodka.

Blam said...

Marebabe: when Spike tried to lean on the table, he ended up crashing through to the basement because his center of GRAVITY shifted, and what was it about that concrete floor that stopped his fall…?

The script. Although you could also make the case that either there's something extradimensional "below" the building that may intersect with Earth's plane of existence (like the White Room is "above" the top floors) and that would repel him or that if Spike fell through the floor he'd keep falling until he was out of the city limits and thus bounce back into Wolfram & Hart, so whatever spell keeps him around was just saving itself some time.

Marebabe: I enjoyed how they spiced up the musical score with guitar, maracas and castanets.

Ditto. It's a really fun episode all around.

Colleen: "Clark, there's no such thing as vampires."

It's more like "Clarrrk, therrre's no such thing as vampyurrrz. Did I mention I'm a frrriend of Xandurrr's?" (As I've said before, Marsters' natural voice sounds more put-on to me than his Spike voice.)

A lot of fans dislike "Numero Cinco"? That surprises me, as does the reaction of those here who aren't fond of it. I enjoy the pulpy aspect of it and the offbeat nature and the fact that it fleshes out the Buffy/Angel world a bit (showing other monster-fighters, or "champions") — and it doesn't hurt that, while I'm not a lucha libre aficionado per se I've read some other fun supernatural tales involving luchadores, such as a recent run of Hellboy stories set in Mexico.