After reading a number of postings about "You're Welcome," i decided it was an episode to be basked in rather than analyzed like "Sould Purpose" and "Damage" (in part because so much looks contrived in this episode when looked at closely), though dlgood said interesting things about Cordy-as-meta. I was shown to be wrong.
scrollgirl has a post on The Powers That Be, the Senior Partners, and Destiny. (Will my father join the discussion? And yes, we all know he needs an LJ. Username suggestions, anyone?) She links to a post-"You're Welcome" post by shadowkat67 on "The House Always Wins" and its recurrence in "You're Welcome."
And naomichana talks about The Powers That Be and balance.
There have also been a lot of posts making valid criticisms of the episode, but personally i’d rather not dwell on them.
Though soundingsea says some interesting things:
In any event, Cordy is back for one brief moment, so let's talk Cordy. It would be easy to say that her characterization has been mangled ever since "Birthday". Far more interesting and insidious, however, to look for the in-story reasons for her changes. After Birthday, she started reading her own press releases about her specialness. Sure, she wanted to help Angel. But now she had this special glowy gift. She looked for horns and a tail, but when she didn't have unsightly physical aspects of the demon in her she decided everything was fine. Nothing's free, honey. She made her choice, and it set her on a path to Skip's manipulative ascension scene and Jasmine burrowing her way in.And soundingsea isn’t the only one to suspect that Cordy was being used by forces of NotGood to keep Angel at W&H.
The sad part? She cared enough about Angel that she was in a perfect position to be used against him. This wasn't motivated by greed, though she's human enough and is wowed by the accoutrements of W&H.
I have my doubts that Cordy was ever in the driver's seat when she came back from the higher plane. From the way she talked, it sounded like her body was hijacked way back then. Notable is the line "The House Always Wins", from Lindsey/Eve Snugglefest 2004. I think that's the last ep we saw the real Cordy until now.
And she remembers Connor and calls Angel on the mind-wipe. Go Cordy! Yay for allowing your friends free will, Angel. It's been said before, but it bears repeating.. Angel stopped Jasmine, only to become her. And he didn't stop her alone - Connor was the key. Likewise, he didn't perpetrate this mind-wipe in a vacuum - it was for the sake of his child.
Angel's awfully trusting, isn't he? I wonder if he's checked on Connor at all. Remember the fake happy family scene that W&H set up for human!Darla? Angel saw what could have been a similarly staged scene at the end of "Home", and believed because he desperately wants to believe.
And lasair criticizes the inconsistencies in "You're Welcome," particularly of two of the characters.
[P.S. The “card-carrying castrating bitch” icon i mentioned having seen
butterfly: Angel's soul is a dead goldfish (well, Buffy did kill it once, and she kills her goldfish) and his heart is a dried up walnut (Gunn's words from The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco, words that Fred wasn't there to hear, as I recall). Angel's soul was forced on him, and it's so fragile. Handed off to a bear, a mascot, a person in a bear suit, reminiscent of Pangs, Angel's outside in with Buffy. I really need to watch this episode again - it's full of fun things
dlgood: And it might not just be any bear. It could be the UCLA Bruin. UCLA, a traditional power in athletics, is struggling with a change in management and looking pretty mediocre compared to both the tradional rivals in their own conference and newer upstarts. And UCLA's roster is full of highly talented and regarded athletes who (due to fate, injury and other circumstances) are failing to live up to the high standards expected of them.
The "walnut" reference actually comes from Numero Cinco, when he and Angel are alone in the graveyard:
Numero Cinco: Mis hermanos, they came back.I already mentioned that the Buffy in the dream repeats her "Can you say jumping the gun? I kill my goldfish." line from "The Prom." She never actually kills Angel's soul, but she does cause him to lose it (one moment of true happiness and all that).
Angel: Because you're worthy. You proved it.
Numero Cinco: Maybe. But still the demon did not want my heart.
Angel: He didn't want mine, either.
Numero Cinco: Of course not, amigo. Who would want that dried-up walnut of a dead thing?
And in "Pangs," the angry Native American spirit turns himself into a bear while the gang is battling him, and the following dialogue ensues:
Spike: "A bear! You made a bear!"
Buffy: "I didn't mean to!"
Spike: "Undo it! Undo it!
just_eunice on Buffy and romance and being a prize (post only implies current Angel events, but comments include more specific mentions of aired episodes) Comments include interesting thoughts on Spike and "girl as purpose"
imation23 elaborates on how Buffy-as-prize is demeaning to Spike and Angel as well. (No real specific mentions of current Angel events in either post or comments.)
In a post-"Damage" post, ascian3 talks about redemption, reform, Spike and Angel and their differences in those areas, revenge (The comment thread includes the best comment i have ever seen on Spike's decision to get a soul -- incidentally, what is up with everyone talking about Angel getting his soul back but Spike getting a soul?)