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(Review) Angel 6.05 'After The Fall'

20th March 2008 (19:02)
amused

current mood: amused

I've got a theory. (Actually, I've got a couple, but the other one involves bunnies). Vampires' hair (and fingernails) always resets itself to the length it was when they died - if they cut it shorter, it quickly grows back to the default length. However, if they treat the hair with chemicals - such as hairgel or bleach - it stays at the shorter length and doesn't regrow.
(The alternative is that Angelus was wearing a really bad wig in his 19th century heyday...)

Anyway, on with the review:

Looks like Wesley wasn't dematerialised as a direct result of Gunn blowing up the W&H offices, but rather the Senior Partners called him back to chew his head off for letting them get blown up. Of course, we now have the big quiestion as to exactly what his duties are... by the sound of it, I'm guessing "keep Angel alive so he can suffer until we eventually kill him" would be along the right lines.

Lorne definitely has a drink problem, doesn't he? Interesting comments about Fred - firstly, we were told her soul was destroyed, not sent to the afterlife. And secondly, when Buffy went to heaven, she wasn't with her loved ones either: she just "knew they were okay". (Which wasn't actually true, but anyway...) So either Lorne and his colour-coded cohorts don't know what they're talking about, or we were fed false facts on Fred back in Season 5. There's also a lot of foreshadowing going on here re Fred, Illyria and loved ones, apart from the obvious "Let's assemble the gang!" idea.

And how symbolic is it that Lorne's words here duplicate Angel's last words in 'Not Fade Away'? "Let's get to work." Back then those words heralded destruction and breaking apart; here they may herald the reconstruction. Especially since Lorne, the non-fighter and the one most disaffected by Angel's actions before, is the one to say them.

Angel shaves in a mirror - hence my theorising in the introduction. And I really don't want to know about how the vampire glamour works, nor who inserted the object projecting it... (Can't have been Wesley, after all. Maybe it was the dragon?) So did Gunn blow up the builing so that Angel would lose the fight? Doesn't exactly fit with what we hear from him later. For that matter, does he know Angel is mortal? I can't see how he would...

Spider's posse swap their bikinis for tight black leather bodysuits... not sure how 'appropriate' these are but at least they're more martial-looking. And Spike appears to still feel like their prisoner, wanting to escape from them... especially if the alternative is having to fight Angel. Certainly he isn't the one giving the orders here. And is that Lorne teleporting in at the end of this scene?

Liked the banter between Connor and Gwen. Nothing more to say there, really.

So Gunn still feels responsible for saving helpless civilians from demons, even though he's one himself? Interesting.

More amusing asides in the big fight scene, especially the riff on "knife to a gunfight" and Angel attepting to try the same trick on the dinosaur as he did with the dragon.

Lindsay gets a namecheck! Yay! Though that probably means we won't be seeing him for real... unless Brian put him in 'Everyone's Dead' as a zombie? And more sinister speculation - what exatly is the "desired reaction" that Angel is supposed to be having, and that Wesley is trying to bring him around to? Even if we assume Wesley has his own agenda, that doesn't sound good...

And everyone gets together to fight. Aww. (Cheats.) Although points to Lorne for some inspired rules-lawyering... and this was all Gunn's plan? Hmm. The attack on Kr'ph makes sense now - Gunn killed the civilians in vampire stylee and left the primeval Sanskrit runes so that Angel would suspect Spike and Illyria and go and talk to them, leading to them teaming up instead, which was apparently Gunn's plan all along. Not sure how he got Connor, Gwen and Nina on board, though, if he did.

Apparently when Buffy 8.12 was published Brian's inbox was deluged by a flood of requests asking for some Angel/Spike to balance out the Buffy/Satsu. Not sure if he listened, but we do get a touching bonding scene between the two of them. Where Spike all but admits that Angel falls into the category of "those we care about"... and gets all lost for words for a moment and almost says something non-macho, until he recovers by saying that now Angel owes him. and Angel's own reaction is priceless. He's even less able to express his feelings than Spike. :-)

Loved the way Spike assumes Wesley's return is due to an amulet, and the sarky remark about nobody ever staying dead...

And Illyria's reaction on seeing Wesley walking and talking again is... to turn into Fred? Um. Given the situation, I'm assuming that her continued erratic behaviour - that had Spike so worried he asked Angel for help - is due to grief over Wesley's death. Now I'm wondering if she adopted Fred's form because she associates those weird human emotions like love with that shape, or because she is trying to please him.. or even because Fred's memories/soul/whatever is reawakening within her?

And now we have to wait three months before we find out...

Comments

Posted by: leseparatist (novin_ha)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 19:13 (UTC)
[angel] Illyria & Wesley

I shall be writing Illyria/Wesley/Faith threesome fic to tide me over. Because this cliffhanger left my jaw... well, somewhere on the floor. I loved Spike's protectiveness of Illyria (Fred?) and his moment with Angel. And Angel's "speech" was cute.

Groo remains amusing.

Wesley owns my heart and ovaries, even when he's just pictures and letters on paper.

I was very uncertain about ATF after the second issue, but it's finding its footing, I think.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 20:22 (UTC)

I shall be writing Illyria/Wesley/Faith threesome fic to tide me over.

Sounds good. Will this be Blue Illyria, Fred-shaped Illyria, or Hentai Giant Tentacle Monster Illyria?
:-)

Posted by: leseparatist (novin_ha)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 20:54 (UTC)
[angel] Illyria & Wesley

Blue Illyria. Definitely blue. Wesley's damaged enough as it is!

Posted by: flake_sake (flake_sake)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 20:08 (UTC)

Very cool review!

(The alternative is that Angelus was wearing a really bad wig in his 19th century heyday...)
The hair thing really is strange and it's a bit hard to imagine the freshly souled Spike dyeing his roots dark to punish himself for his sins.

And Spike appears to still feel like their prisoner, wanting to escape from them... especially if the alternative is having to fight Angel. Certainly he isn't the one giving the orders here.
I wonder, what the girls are going to do now that he went up against them. I still don't really get, what they actually want from Spike (apart from the obvious).

You keep some mighty interesting stuff here. I just friended to stay on track.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 20:27 (UTC)

Thanks!

it's a bit hard to imagine the freshly souled Spike dyeing his roots dark

That's the beauty of my theory. Spike's natural hair is long and brown, like it was when Drusilla vamped him. The chemicals in bleach (or in Angel's hairgel) slow down the vampiric regeneration and allow the hair to stay short and spikey... but if he neglects to bleach it, it gradually goes back to its natural form.


I still don't really get, what they actually want from Spike (apart from the obvious).

Sometimes the obvious answer really is the right one... Maybe Spider was just really impressed with him and wanted him.

--As a figurehead leader and warrior, that is. :-) And maybe someone to distract attention away from her, and take the hits when their enemies come after them...

Posted by: flake_sake (flake_sake)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 20:36 (UTC)

The mustache of evil poses a problem, but that could be a fake :)

And maybe someone to distract attention away from her, and take the hits when their enemies come after them...
Yes, that could probably be it. She certainly is the original comic character that I've thought most about.

Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 20:28 (UTC)

That can't be right, because if it were, Angel wouldn't have been able to grow a mustache or muttonchops, becasue he was clean-shaven when he died. And however regrettable it may have looked, he did have facial hair at several later points.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 20:37 (UTC)

Yeah, that is the one flaw in the theory.

Maybe Angelus went to a shaman for a hair restoration spell for some reason, and they're magic muttonchops?

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 20:44 (UTC)

Love your review!

Now I'm wondering if she adopted Fred's form because she associates those weird human emotions like love with that shape, or because she is trying to please him.. or even because Fred's memories/soul/whatever is reawakening within her?

I may be wrong, but I've got the impression that it's the real Fred on the last panel. "You," Illyria says. "Wesley," Fred says. Looks like these are reactions of two different persons.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 21:01 (UTC)

Good point... and that would certainly be the most interesting development!

And if it is real, human Fred, the fact that all the demon champions are right behind her makes even more of an impression...

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 21:14 (UTC)
Angel

the fact that all the demon champions are right behind her makes even more of an impression...

Hmmm... Haven't thought about it. It may be done just for a visual contrast - a panel with a beautiful girl and horrible monsters on the background looks impressive. But it also could be some ominous foreshadowing.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd March 2008 01:04 (UTC)

I read it as "Fred, if that is her, is in terrible danger." Illyria wouldn't care about the horde of demons heading straight for her, but Fred? She's in trouble. Which, of course, tugs on the heartstrings even more...

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 20th March 2008 23:43 (UTC)

Apparently when Buffy 8.12 was published Brian's inbox was deluged by a flood of requests asking for some Angel/Spike to balance out the Buffy/Satsu.

I thought the slashiest part was the way Spike (yet again) felt compelled to point out to Angel how much sex he’s been getting with women. Not gay at all, not me sir, no sir.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd March 2008 01:05 (UTC)

:-)

Posted by: M (spankulert)
Posted at: 21st March 2008 02:11 (UTC)
ComicA Gunn monster

Great review.

I'm really peeved that I have to wait so long for the continuation of this issue. I'm overly curious not only to how Illyria/Fred and Wesley will get on, but even more so to how Gunn will react looking on from the rooftop.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd March 2008 01:07 (UTC)

Interesting point, especially given human!Gunn's feelings for Fred. Will this throw out his plans? Will he change sides? Will he get all evil and possessive?

(Though I have to say, compared to "Gunn is a vampire" and "Angel isn't", this isn't that big a shocker...)

Posted by: skipp_of_ark (skipp_of_ark)
Posted at: 21st March 2008 15:39 (UTC)

I have to wonder...Lynch has thrown in every almost every character who made it through Season 5 alive, some who didn't, and even a couple surprises (Groo, Gwen), with a few obvious exceptions (Doyle, Cordy, Lindsey)...except one.

Did Harmony actually make it out of LA before it got sent to Hell-A? Granted, ME only made Mercedes McNab a regular after the show's cancellation notice came through, but still....

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd March 2008 01:08 (UTC)

Hmm. You're right.

Maybe she should replace Wesley as the next representative of the Senior Partners? ;-)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 25th March 2008 02:38 (UTC)
Re: Harmony

It all comes down to the question of who vamped Gunn. Angel and Spike are obviously out (if it is them, it'll be a real disappointment). Harm was the only vampire character in LA at the time that we know about (I was going to say "care," but that's questionable at best). "Not Fade Away" would put her in the right vicinity...

Perhaps she's the mystery character in the upcoming First Night arc, and the reason her presence is being kept secret is because she's Gunn's sire?

That would make Angel directly responsible for Gunn's vamp-ness: after all, he's the one who let Harmony go.

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 22nd March 2008 11:12 (UTC)
Comic book Spangel

Great review.

Your theory about the vampire facial hair makes as much sense as anything, though it's more likely Brian Lynch just forgot about Angelus's horrible moustache (something we'd all like to do).

As for the Angel/Spike bonding, while I enjoyed it, I don't think the Buffy/Satsu thing had anything to do with it. This comic would have been written months ago. Lynch is writing no 10 or 11 now.

Spide and co's new clothing is about as appropriate as Buffy's in no 1 of season 8.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd March 2008 19:37 (UTC)

It was a vampiric caterpillar of evil that was clinging, parasite-like, to Angelus's upper lip. Honest.

Spider and co's new clothing is about as appropriate as Buffy's in no 1 of season 8.

Nah. Buffy was wearing very practical but ugly and shapeless combat gear, with lots of pockets and straps to hold things, protective boots with non-slip soles, etc. Spider and her minions were wearing skin-tight rubber fetishwear. :-)

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 22nd March 2008 21:56 (UTC)
Comic book Spangel

Spider and her minions were wearing skin-tight rubber fetishwear. :-)

Hmm, not seeing the difference here. Also, you don't know the rubber fetish gear didn't have pockets.

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