(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...