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On TV Today's Date:

original air-date: 04-14-04

In the last few episodes Angel had begun to sound like a broken record: "It was mistake to join Wolfram & Hart, it was a mistake to join Wolfram & Hart, it was a mistake to join Wolfram & Hart, and so on." Finally in this episode he decides to do something about it.

Well, sort of. Since his fangs are somewhat tied by the Connor contract, Angel opts instead to learn more about the Senior Partners. He sets this goal after his staff meeting only draws fellow vamps Spike and Harmony. Gunn lingers in the hospital, Wes is being-sitting Illyria, and Lorne is AWOL (alcohol while on leave).

So Hope and Crosby...er...Spike and Angel head off to Lindsey's symbol laden bachelor pad where that "bendy little rat snake" Eve is holed up (apparently Spike sides with the majority of fans). They threaten to spill the beans on her whereabouts if she doesn't dish on the Senior Partners. But the unexpected fading of the protective symbols renders the extortion unnecessary as Eve begs for protection from whoever or whatever the Senior Partners have sent after her.

Turns outs it's a well-dressed guy in a suit who's slightly reminiscent of the original Bounty Hunter on The X-Files. But whereas that alien favored an ice pick, this guy is more hands on (or is that "hands through" ?).

Meanwhile Wes is enjoying a whiskey induced dream about Fred. Likely the audience is not; there is a decided lack of chemistry between Wes and Fred. However, the exchanges between Wes and Illyria are more satisfying. Wes is always entertaining when dark. And while Illyria would claim to be emotionless, her circumstances (new place, new body) render her susceptible to feelings that Ms. Acker subtly and skillfully leaks out. At some point soon, however, the writers need to give the audience more than the grieving Wes and the "fish out of water." Even later on in this episode, a rooftop scene threatens to generate a "who cares" response from viewers.

Under Angel's special protection (cough...plot device...), Eve suggests Lindsey is really the person who has some answers. Like Angel, the audience might like some answers, too. Mainly how, when, and where did Eve and Lindsey even meet? Match.com? Speed dating? A Wolfram & Hart bowling mixer? Except that Eve didn't seem to be around when Lindsey worked for the firm. Or even if she was, Eve clearly wasn't part of his life then. Unfortunately, short cuts and plot gaps may be yet another price fans pay for the series cancellation.

Unfortunately the Senior Partners have squirreled away Lindsey in a special holding dimension. Despite a disturbing resemblance to many SoCal tract home developments, Gunn assures Angel that it's not the same as Hell. In fact, Lindsey even has a cute wife and an adoring son. Of course, he also seems to have something nasty in the basement; his facial expression is telling when his wife commands him to go down for a spare oven light bulb (being a SoCal based holding dimension, they no doubt bought a case of 200 at CostCo...).

Angel, Spike, and Gunn devise a breakout that involves a Camaro that's first cousin to KITT (if we are to believe Spike!) and unexpected gunplay more akin to a Tarantino movie. Between this episode and the cult classic movie After Hours, ice cream trucks are going to get a bad name.

As even the slightly savvy viewer might expect, Angel gets Lindsey out. But there's a steep price to be paid for the Fang Gang. And for Eve, who at the end also has to give up something big to the man in the suit.

The payoff for the viewer is disappointing: Lindsey doesn't reveal much about the Senior Partners though his Palmolive Madge delivery is mildly entertaining. In the end it's really just another reminder to Angel that "it was a mistake to join Wolfram & Hart."

Despite the lack of revelations, the episode is still solid. There is some decent dialogue, nice visuals, and a real bad-ass monster that delivers some of the best fighting seen in some time. Plus the new character Hamiliton a.k.a. the guy in the suit, was very interesting.

Maybe next week Angel can really do something about that fact that "it was a mistake to join Wolfram & Hart." The preview shows that Connor (with mindwipe) returns. So Angel should have an opportunity to change his fate. After all, heroes aren't supposed to accept the rules, are they?

Chris Crotty


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