Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

Angel 5.16, "Shells"

Written & directed by: Steven S. DeKnight.

I was all "wtf?" when Wes hopefully said "Fred?" 'cause hello, you watched/felt her die (as you emphatically remind us all episode) though given the whole madly in love thing, i'll buy it. Mostly i squeed that i was proven right that he would kill an evil thing that looked like someone he loved. And i really liked his whole speech, trying to get her to leave. I don't think at that time he believed somehow he could get Fred returned to him, but it's so painful to see something walking around wearing the skin of your beloved.

Listing all those exceptions to the "When you're dead you stay that way" rule: "And Buffy." Great line!

I also enjoyed Spike and his critique of tiny bottles of alcohol :)

Killed by mystical forces? Clearly you're gonna call Willow. I forgot to mention after last episode, but when Fred fell forward on the stairs and spit blood, i had a flash of Tara's blood spattering on Willow's shirt (again with the "Seeing Red" parallel).

Ooh, Gunn confesses. Oh, only sorta. And then of course we called that Wes would overhear the Gunn/doctor confrontation. Aw, and Angel confesses.

"What'd you get out of the doctor?" "Lots of screams. Bodily fluids. And a name." Yowza.

I liked Wes's bit about how Fred was special, curious. The whole "seeing things other people didn't see" veered off into the schmoop a tad much, but it was very her, the whole searching for what others didn't see. (And of course Sarah's reponse was: "Like the straightness in you, Wes!")

Hello body armor. Mystique meets Xena.

Meredith says Amy Acker was begging Joss to make her character evil. She has done this part well. The voice is like someone else's. I also approve of the costume/makeup. There were only glimpses when i said "Yeah, that's the girl who played Fred;" mostly it was like it was someone totally different. (I'm sure this is in part because her whole body language was different, not just because of the coloring.) I was pleased and impressed.

Edit: I thought it at the time but then forgot when i was writing this up: Knox tells Illyria he loved her before he met her. The exact thing Wes said to Fred. Is this the writers acknowledging how creeptastic that idea is?

Knox had Forbidden Texts at age 11?

When he was talking about how he had her stuff "close to his heart" (ew!) and that's why she was called to him and they were bound together, i thought "Not if she rips them out of your torso," but no, she just shot him down with "My last [whatever that word was] was taller."

"How did humans come to rule the earth?" "Opposable thumbs. Fire. Television." Yup, sneaky bastards.

Ooh, and shout out to the oldness of "Wolf, Ram, and Hart."

As soon as we learned about Army of Doom i thought of "Chosen." And as someone pointed out, Illyria was often being very Glory-like. And the whole "We must put aside all our personal issues and focus... you're with me, your commander, or you're gone..." very S7 Buffy.

When Knox was telling her to open the portal and raise her army and all i thought "Don't tell a goddess what to do."

Dead!Knox. "Were you even listening?" On a logical level, it removes Knox from the potential of being bargaining chip, but of course Wes is just feeling angry and vengeful. And holla to the gratuitous scruffy!Wes-shooting-his-pistol this episode.

Aw, her kingdom is long dead. Such a poignant moment. And then after we'd savored it, Wes cocks his gun.

Aww, Spike has stopped using Buffy as an excuse for not going to Europe ("It's what she would want") and admitted "It's what I want."

I loved the idea that part of her "shell" was calling her back.

"Why are you here?" "I am -- uncertain."

Totally had a Borg thing going on. I was feeling Data/Troi earlier, couldn't quite put my finger on what TNG i was deja vu-ing, but by the end i'd definitely decided on Borg.

And she turns on Fred's memory thing and it hurts Wes so much, but she wasn't trying to hurt him, was just trying to figure things out.

I loved her absorbing the idea that things have names, that that's important. (Interesting reversal from Jasmine, where the name was so powerful. Though at the beginning, Illyria is pissed that this human presumes to speak her name. But perhaps that is more about the presumption of speaking to her at all than about soiling her name.)

Without her kingdom, she is so lost. Wes is right, that her place is with her kingdom, long turned to ash. (Again, something of a Glory-redux. Not so much evil in and of herself, just wanting her kingdom back.)

So now she has to learn to walk in this world. ("The Slayer does not walk in this world." ... "The hardest thing in this world is to live in it." ... "I walk. I talk. I shop. I sneeze. I'm gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back. There's trees in the desert since you moved out. And I don't sleep on a bed of bones. Now give me back my friends.")

Is Wes going to help her because she looks like Fred? Fine, maybe, but i wish he'd said no, said instead that it was a way to atone, to make things better, because Fred is gone, but at least he can do some good with the thing that wears her skin. (And yes, of course, i'm sure there's a betting pool on how fast the first Wes/Illyria fic is gonna get written.)

After last week, offbalance had the following idea:
And I'm also wondering if Illyria (yay to Josh for yet another Shakespeare Shoutout) is possibly a misunderstood Goddess (Lillith anyone?) who was designated evil because she was a Powerful Female, but is in actuality no more evil than, well...Angel.

I guess we'll see after this week. But knowing Joss, the idea of him exploring a misunderstood female power is not beyond his scope.
(Obviously i thought of you, lilithchilde.) At first it seemed like she wasn't the misunderstood-not-really-evil-goddess, but in a sense she is (and in a sense, so was Jasmine, and Glory).

"Is there anything more to human life than grief?" There's love and hope... and i forget the rest of it, but of course she asks if it's enough, and he doesn't answer.

The song at the end wasn't the greatest, but i liked seeing everyone mourning in their own way (and of course Harmony has a unicorn on her desk!).

I'm very okay leaving it this way for a 5-week hiatus. (And i'm sure other people will give the parallels and themes i've alluded to, the appropriate in-depth treatment they deserve, not to mention bringing up things that haven't even occurred to me.)
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