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Angel 4x15 Orpheus - FAQ

Tuesday 18 March 2003, by Webmaster

Willow arrives in L.A. on tonight’s "Angel"! But she doesn’t leave for L.A. until the next "Buffy" airs! This is one poorly coordinated crossover! "Branwen Blackbird" discusses Miss Rosenberg’s much-anticipated return.

Angel 4.15 FAQ What’s it called? "Orpheus."

Who’s responsible? Teleplay is credited to Mere Smith ("Long Day’s Journey," "Ground State").

What does TV Guide say? Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Willow (Alyson Hannigan) heads to L.A. in hopes of working her magic to restore Angel’s soul. After drinking Faith’s spiked blood, Angelus (David Boreanaz) lies shackled and unconscious at the hotel. But his rest is anything but peaceful as his drug-addled mind presents him with disturbing memories - of Angel’s good deeds. Also along for his strange trip is Faith (Eliza Dushku), who’s clinging to life after her violent showdown with Angel’s evil alter ego. As the two struggle with their flashbacks, the gang confers with Willow, who has come from Sunnydale at Fred’s behest. The witch, who was able to re-ensoul Angel once before, may be their only hope.

"Faith’s spiked blood?" Girlfriend has some incredible precogniton! Well, she is a Slayer. After the drug begins to take effect on Angelus, we flash back a couple minutes to see Faith inject herself with a syringe from the demon bar while Angelus is distracted by Wesley and his big manly gun. The drug, by the way, is called Orpheus, and it’s a supernatural opiate. Lorne’s seen it in action and is gravely concerned for Faith’s life.

If the flashbacks are Angel’s good deeds, that means no bad Irish accent, right? Right. And thank God for that. Angelus and Faith follow Angel from his arrival in America in 1902 right up to what appears to be his meeting with Whistler, whom we first met on "Buffy" in Season Two’s "Becoming."

How long do we have to wait to see Willow? Seventeen minutes, by my clock.

How does Cordelia take Willow’s arrival? Not well. On the outside, she is as welcoming as she can be while buried to her neck in bedclothes. On the inside, under those bedclothes, she has a knife ready with Willow’s name on it.

Any Willow-Fred sparkage? Willow is totally digging our Winifred. They meet like old friends, talk spells and delight one another with their knowledge of all things geeky. Willow even contrives to touch Fred in one scene.

Any Willow-Wesley action? They share a scene where they compare how much they’ve changed. Both agree that flaying someone alive trumps keeping someone chained in a closet.

Please tell me the spell Willow uses to restore Angel’s soul isn’t that stupid gypsy curse. He’s gonna be able to get some now, right? Willow never elaborates on where she got the spell. It does use an Orb of Thesulah; however, it also uses a book and not a yellow floppy disk.

Does the spell work? Shall we go inviso-text for this one? Evil Cordy gives Willow a run for her money in the magic department, but with some blacked-out eyes and incantations, Willow restores Angel’s soul.

The big news? Reunions and "Buffy" references are good things. The greetings and introductions are a crossover-lover’s dream. Willow calls Connor Angel’s "handsome yet androgynous son," and suggests Welsey’s turned into the Marlboro Man’s stubblier, mentally unstable cousin. Willow and Cordelia greet with, "How have you been?" "Higher power. You?" "Ultimate evil. But I got better." "Did you hear about Faith?" "Coma again."

The bigger news? In a flashback, pre-Whistler Angel manages to break through the fourth wall and confront lookey-loos Angelus and Faith. A cool fight ensues between the wise-cracking Angelus and his soul-filled alter ego. Faith gets the encouragement she needs from Angel and wakes from her coma fresh as a daisy.

What’s good? Cordy’s delivery on the line "that’s sweet," and the way she lashes out at Connor; Faith’s lessons from murder rehab; Faith’s saucy subconscious; Angel’s bad ’70s hair; every single Barry Manilow reference; "Doc! I think we’re losing him!"; "C’mon! Everybody loves fetal pigs"; "I bit my tongue"; Faith waking up just in time to beat the bejeesus out of Connor; Wesley resuming his role as leader; "I’m seeing someone."

What’s not so good? Oy with the flashbacks already! Angel’s old - we get it; how could Angelus be oblivious to the poison in Faith’s blood when "Go Fish" ("Buffy," Season Two) established that his taste buds are really quite sensitive; the slow-mo scene at the beginning of the episode would have worked a lot better had Fred’s outfit not been so cutesy; the feeling that Eliza Dushku was just a tad wasted during this story arc; and have I mentioned the flashbacks?

How does it end? With Cordelia, dressed like a Wild West madam, strutting her belly around for all it’s worth.

Branwen’s rating for "Angel" 4.15? ***1/2 The Hercules T. Strong Rating System: ***** better than we deserve **** better than most motion pictures *** actually worth your valuable time ** as horrible as most stuff on TV * makes you quietly pray for bulletins 9 p.m. Wednesday. The WB.