Wednesday, May 19, 2004

THE BOX: To Shanshu in LA, Tonight the Buffyverse Implodes

City of Angel Synopsis for "Not Fade Away": Angel & Company spend the day as if it were their last as they prepare to bring down the evil Circle of the Black Thorn. Putting their lives on the line, Spike confronts a demon cult, Lorne faces off with Lindsay (Guest star Christian Kane), Gunn takes on an evil senator and Angel battles Hamilton (Guest star Adam Baldwin), the henchman of the Senior Partners.


Okay, I'll be the first to admit this season, the fifth and final, of Angel is mondo weak. With some stand out episodes, quite possibly the best the of series, "Thank You" and "Smile Time", the season as a whole lacked an overall driving arc that draws you in. At 10 p.m., it will all be over. I'm more angry at how this season was handled then the cancellation itself. I mean as the Matrix so obviously tells us, "Everything that has a beginning, has an end." I think and believe that had Joss and company known that this was the last, a little more care would have been tossed into each episode. Just look at the 7th season of Buffy. There was very little light and fluffy. Everything, every breath and every moment drove home the fact that a battle of apocalyptic proportions was imminant.

Far more than a shadow of Buffy, Angel tackled a darker 20 something world in gritty L.A. The evolution of the Brooding Buffy Beefcake, into a powerful compassionate and sometimes selfish vampire with a soul, issues, and sense of humor, was beautiful to watch. Whether Angel was singing "Mandy", playing with his infant son Connor, or getting giddy around Cordelia, this series allowed for exquisite character development that would have been inhibited had the character remained in Sunnydale. Cordelia undoubtedly evolved the most from shop til you drop uber bitch on Buffy, to the gorgeous warrior who was turned into a goddess. Just as with Buffy, the peak of this show was the second and third seasons. Both are now out on DVD, so buy 'em

James Marsters may make his final appearance as Spike tonight.

In fact, while debating whether it will be Spike or Angel that possibly shanshus (some old dialect for "to live, to die, to be reborn") tonight, the correlation between Cordelia and Buffy as the great love of Angel's seems all the more obvious as the great Spike/Angel issue loomed over the end of Buffy.

Buffy and Angel both had there powers thrust upon them and fight for duty. Both want to be normal people and would trade in there superpower in a second. Buffy gets her wish in the series finale, to be like every other girl. Will Angel get his tonight?

Throughout the seasons, Spike and Cordi both evolved from flat lesser characters into great warriors. Spike searched for his soul (literally) enduring trial and tribulation not to mention giving his life to save the girl he loved and turn the tide of the fight. Cordi, not gifted with slayer strength, wield an ax or sword like the best of them. She endured long, hard, and sexual tension filled hours training with Angel. In the end, she gave her life to help save Angel, the boy she loved. Okay well there was that one time she had sex with Angel's adult son and gave birth to a hellgod, but hey, we've all done things we regret.

So, as I longed for Joey to choose Pacey over Dawson so few years ago, tonight, I hope that Spike gets just treatment and the respect of the Buffyverse.(He's already died, technically twice. Hey, that has him tied with Buffy.) And please, someone put Wesley out of his misery.

Amy Acker as Illyria: .

While not a feminist, I must say, in a Universe where women had all the power, Buffy, Willow, Anyaka (As a demon), Glory (Glorificas), Darla, Drucilla, Faith, Jasmine, and CORDELIA (Angel Cordi not Buffy Cordi) oh to mention a few, the show has turned into quite a boys club. Even Eve was replaced with a more manly manifestation in Hamilton. Lilla, the ultimate bitch, was hacked last season. In fact, Illyria, the only remaining "female" a really old hell god bent on universal domination, was subjected to a laser to limit her powers. Now, Hamilton can beat her up at will. Is Joss having martial issues? Evolving as a spin off of Buffy the Vampire Slayers, who's mantra was "this girl has power", Angel has dived into dark misogyny. Maybe it is time to end, before it gets any worse at least.


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