I think the thing I want to focus most on is giving the writing team credit where it's due. I mean we all know that the "this was planned all along" thing is horseshit. Many of the plot points that they're citing as planned were forced upon them by outside circumstances - Glenn Quinn being fired, David G not getting the contract he wanted, Charisma's pregnancy, etc. And anyone who watched season 3 could tell that even the stuff that was planned - like the addition of Fred to the cast - wasn't necessarily something that the writing staff wanted, understood, or even agreed with.Of this episode, jennyo says Dude, we need to call this episode, "Steve DeKnight fanwanks away an entire season! and gets away with it!"...mostly. and naomichana says:
So of course in no way, shape or form has all of this been some part of a larger scheme, but that's not the point. The point is that in season 4 they took all of the stuff that was thrust upon them - good and bad, planned and unplanned - and tied it all up into a story that makes it look like they knew what they were doing all along. That is some damned good writing (and directing, and acting, and so on).
Yes the Angel/Wes scene had me at "hello". As we established back in Deep Down, Steve DeKnight loves me very much.
[and in the comments, minim_calibre says Okay, in the Angel/Wes, I seriously expected one of them to say "Can you just be kissing me now?" and treebee says I can't wait for the dvd of this ep. Cuz, you know, the special feature is going to be the edited for time "Angel & Wesley Have Comfort Sex" scene. :-)]
Wes, gun, precise shot - I'm geekily amused that the episode that established Wes's marksmanship skills in the first place was also an episode about Cordy being pregnant with a demon baby.
I half expected Wes to slip out the back and kill Cordy himself. God knows he's more end-goal oriented in these things than Angel is. Also Angel is a moron for not taking someone with him to help deal with Connor, but we knew about Angel's IQ already.
In the "blocking is your friend" catagory, we give a tip of the hat to the Angel and Wes scene, in which their comfortability with one another and their slowly reviving best-friendship was symbolized by Wes sitting behind the desk in the main office and neither one of them having a problem with it.
I'm very disappointed in Vampire Angel Mommy Darla; even I could've written some creepier and more character-appropriate dialogue getting the same basic point ("DON'T DO IT!") across. My only consolation is the not-so-idle hope that either (a) that was the First, who sucks at imitating female Aurelian vampires, or (b) the "Powers" who sent Darla didn't really want her to convince Connor, but they did want to convince him that he was beyond redemption after he helped Cordy kill the girl. Wesley may have figured out (a little late) that there's still some grey in the world, but these Powers don't want there to be. And the fact that nobody at AI has started thinking about which Powers are which, or if all the Powers are the same, is further proof that there is absolutely nobody in the canon Jossverse except Ethan Rayne (and just possibly Tara) capable of thinking theologically. Fred is... real close now, which makes sense, since advanced physics is basically a branch of systematic theology with Enlightenment normativity tacked on. (And now that we've had the preview for 4.18, that's not a spoiler. ;)
That said, I'm impressed by the sheer audacity of this canonical fanwank, not to mention the cleverness DeKnight showed in providing all information via highly unreliable sources so that none of it is absolutely authoritative.
Unrelatedly, jennyo has a quality post on Fred’s character, particularly her emotional maturity and lack thereof. Also, astute reviewers have pointed out that “Lies My Parents Told Me” is a better title than “Mothers and Sons” for BtVS 7.17 because of the Buffy/Giles dynamic and mention “Helpless”.
Thanks to thepeopleseason for the quote from Darla in the Angel episode “Prodigal” (1.15): What we once were informs all that we have become. Also, truepenny theorizes (intelligently and convincingly) that getting vamped unleashes one’s Id. [truepenny’s essay was written after the most recent Buffy episode, “Lies My Parents Told Me,” and as such contains spoilers for that episode.]
Speaking of LMPTM, in her entry, djinanna says:
The First's threat is all *potential*, just as the potential Slayers are all *potential*. Is this a deliberate parallel? Is it a clue? Is it even relevant?and
(He [Giles] really needs to be reunited with Ethan so that they can retire and raise bees or something....)and tsuki_no_bara adds to the latter: and, uh, shag like minks....
silviakundera asserts that we've been here ["here" being Wood and his issues with Spike] already with Holtz on Angel last season.
Let’s talk about Spike’s soul and what it means, or doesn’t. And then let’s read the fic set at end of “Grave” that hecatehatesthat mentions in that entry.
fox1013 has a great beginning of a Dawn POV S7 fic.
Okay, i’m going now.