Meredith did quick calculations and Fred’s trip to Pylea (mentioned as one of the parts of the grand plan) predates Buffy’s arrival in Sunnydale. Hence, the Big Bad’s been planning this since the very beginning of the Whedonverse. A nod to the ideas some fans have (particularly since “Restless” - the Season 4 ender which foreshadowed so much of Season 5, and arguable much of Season 6) that Joss
Good to know that St.Cordy as well as “Connor, you’ve never had anything real, let me give you something real: end-of-the-world pity sex (when your father and I are in love, no less)” were meant to be crap.
The Big Bad took over Cordelia when she went to floaty land (brainflash! when Cordelia was yelling about being trapped up there, she was trapped inside herself, like Angel/us is trapped when the other is in control). Coming back to this plane is disorienting, hence the amnesia. Lorne read the beastie inside her, hence the big scary. Big round of applause for explanations that make sense.
And now back to the stream-of-consciousness notes.
Connor is so 15 years old.
“You were mortal enemies. Why would you care what happened to her?”
“Because you did.’
“Nobody comes back from paradise. Well, a slayer did once...” We heart shout outs to the other show (as well as to the fact that unique situations are rarely that).
“Not a dupe.” Skip! We love Skip and you’re making him into an agent of The First? *cries* Dude, Powers that Screw You. Are there even an PTBs? Or is there just The First Evil and entities fighting it?
Slow-mo Wesley with the gun is mad hot.
I liked Gunn’s speech about how the final shot can’t be rigged, you just never know when you’re taking, so always act as if what you’re doing matters.
I was thinking, though, that given his upbringing by Puritan Holtz, i have difficulty with the idea that Connor would so easily accept “Good, evil, they’re just words” (“It’s about power,” right?). But his upbringing also taught him that Angel is evil, and i can totally buy his belief that Angel hates him, and there’s the we-hate/fear-the-different, plus the fact that Angel is the leader, so i can see him believing that the whole gang hates him / wants him dead. So let’s recap, Holtz is dead, Connor has no attachments except Cordy (in LUV 4-eva!), no purpose except this increasingly futile-seeming battle against the forces of evil. We are surprised that he is willing to acquiesce to the one person whom he believes loves, trusts, and supports him (“We’re special” -- like the Olympics), plus gives him a purpose, and besides the bond of I’m-15-and-in-luv, there’s the bond of family, which we know Holtz was way big on. So yeah, that’s me hashing out a way that a plot point most people didn’t even mind works for me. But yeah, the Darla thing was really well done.
The birthing threatens to kill Cordy, hence letting Angel kill her (she’ll die either way, and this way you save the world -- “The Gift” much?). It’s always best to do these things fast, though. Connor didn’t jump in this time but look! you’re too late. Big glowy thing (fortuitously, the unlikely occurred and Cordy survived the birthing – gee, ‘cause she’s a contracted actress? what, you thought she would die?) popped out.
Gina Torres (Zoë “Take me sir. Take me hard.” Warren of Firefly *RIP*) is Aphrodite, a.k.a. The First Evil. One could talk about having a person of color be the manifestation that’s so beautiful you fall down and worship (or one could talk about the problematics of worshiping beauty, of women’s power being only in their physical attractiveness) or one could talk about people of color (almost) always being evil. Or one could merely wait for next week’s (“Shiny Happy People”) episode.
P.S. Am i apprehensive about next week's episode? Of course. But given that this week's episode validly redeemed much of the crap of the entire season thus far, i am in a happy zone of Joss-trust right now.