Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Buffy Rewind Review – “Angel”

Angel (Daniel Boreanaz) and Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) can't fight this feeling anymore and they've forgotten what they started fighting for.
Review by Paul Steven Brown

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’
Season 1 – Episode 7

Oh, thank God; a mythology episode. The last episode, “The Pack” was pretty horrendous, and “Angel” was a welcomed palette cleanser. This episode is more in keeping of what I want to see from this series.

Not only do we get more from the Master and the Anointed One, but we also see the return of Darla. The Master is starting to strike the right balance of ominous and humor. This may be due to an increasing sharpness in his dialogue or the fact that Mark Metcalf has settled into the role. I was sad to see Darla get the stake. I think that there was plenty of potential for her to be the anti-Buffy.

Due to the fact that I’m watching this episode thirteen years after it originally aired, the surprise of Angel’s true nature was spoiled a long time ago. However, I don’t think his being a vampire really would have shocked anyone during the first broadcast. This was pretty heavily telegraphed. Still, Angel’s back story is fairly intriguing and Daniel Boreanaz does a decent job playing the tragic hero.

I was happy to see the return of Buffy’s mother (though, she either has horrible hearing or Buffy’s bedroom has really thick walls). We finally get to see how Buffy’s duties as a slayer could have a potentially tragic effect on her family. I have a feeling that Darla’s attack on Joyce Summers is just a prelude to a horrible resolution.

As much as I love Giles, his ability to keep his role as Buffy’s watcher a secret almost boarders on the ridiculous. A sign in front of the library doors is not going keep anyone out and the cache of weapons in the supply closet is bound to get discovered by a custodian or another faculty member. They need to come up with some kind of excuse for why these three kids keeping hanging around the librarian all the time.

Speaking of ridiculous, Darla with pistols was very much that, but for some reason it worked for me. Buffy has proven that she can take out just about any vampire that the Master throws at her, so Darla certainly would need some sort of edge in a fight. Unfortunately, she’s a horrible shot and went at Buffy with the proficiency of an Imperial Stormtrooper.

“Angel” was certainly a step in the right direction. The guest cast stepped up and gave as good as the regulars in this episode. There was good balance of the goofy and the mythology and angsty teen romance (which was coupled with a wonderfully bland ‘90s alt-rock ballad). Hopefully, we’ll have more episodes like this and “Don’t Kill the Boy on the First Date” as we move into the second half of the season.

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