AngelThe Balancing Of Karmic Accounts
By Daniel Erenberg
Thursday 9 October 2003
Well, I think it’s safe to say that everyone (at least in America) has, by now, seen Angel’s season five premiere ’Conviction’, written and directed by Joss Whedon. By now, we have some idea of the way the season will play out. Now, as we all know, this is not set in stone because we all thought that Dawn was going to be an integral part of Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s seventh season after watching ’Lessons’ last year.
The ’to be continued’ title card at the end of the episode kind of got my hopes up that Joss would be writing and directing next week, but ’Just Rewards’ will instead be penned by the wonderful David Fury and Ben Edlund who created the Tick, and wrote one episode each for Firefly and Angel last year. This was a bit of a let down, but Fury and Edlund together could be a lethal combination, so I’m going to hold out, wait, and see. Plus, Spike. And, yes, that’s always a plus.
So let’s go over the main plot points brought up in ’Conviction’. I’m going to do this character by character.
Angel : He’ll be struggling with the leadership role over at Wolfram and Hart and, indeed, with himself. He doesn’t want to be corrupted. As he said, all he wants to do is ’help the helpless’.
Cordelia : Yeah, I know she wasn’t in it. However, I was incredibly happy with the fact that she at least got a mention. It was touching. Joss said recently in an interview that we have not seen the last of Cordelia and that he wants to bring her back later this year to ’wrap up’ her character.
Harmony : Far less annoying than I was expecting. Actually, she was quite amusing, working well as comedic relief in a by and large serious episode. Her introduction was excellent, as was her closing line. She’ll be in seventeen of twenty-two episodes this year. And I actually find myself looking forward to seeing more of her. I liked the ’Disharmony’ references. My only beef is that they took away all the depth she was showing when she started crying over her ’role model’ Cordelia. That’s Harmony though I guess.
Fred : Pretty. Cute. Okay, beautiful. Amy Acker did an excellent job portraying Fred’s gradually building stress. She worked well with Jonathan Woodward as Knox-y and Joss did a good job of showing what Wolfram and Hart could do to a person. In showing this, he used Fred as his vessel. Fred had the most character development in the episode. Unless...
Gunn : I admit it. I used to hate Gunn. I didn’t like ’War Zone’, and I thought his appearances in the first half of season two were arbitrary and under-written. That was then. This is now. I really like Gunn. His will be one of the biggest mysteries of the season. Just what happened in the White Room at the end of ’Home’ between he and the conduit (or, as he calls it, The Big Cat) ? Do I remember someone asking him if he looked bigger ? How is this new lawyer knowledge going to affect his character. I think Gunn is going to go through a massive transformation this year. Literal and otherwise.
Wesley : Disappointment here. Wesley has been by far my favorite Angel character since the middle half of season two and, frankly, he wasn’t given much to do here. He had one intriguing line as he showed jealousy for Fred and Knox’s budding relationship, but this wasn’t expanded upon. He pretty much acted as Angel’s lap-dog all episode. However, David Fury is excellent at Wesley scenes, so I hope he takes this character up a notch next week.
Lorne : Nada. He’s a character that the writers have had trouble fitting into the story since season three. I love the character, but, as a regular, he needs to be given something to do.
Spike : Here we go. His one scene was one of the best in the episode (next to the suitably intense Angel kicking the gun scene). He rose up from dust from inside the amulet he died wearing in Buffy’s ’Chosen’. I’d imagine that the big mystery that will tie the season together will be who sent that amulet to Angel, and, indeed, how that person or thing was able to get the amulet from under tons of Sunnydale rubble.
Eve : I reserve judgment. She was well characterized by Joss though. Let’s hope this trend continues.
You can say that I liked ’Conviction’. Also, I know a lot of people that gave up on the show after season one or never watched it at all that are jumping on the bandwagon for Spike. This is a good thing mixed with a bad thing. But it insures better ratings. And that ensures a season six. Hopefully. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here...