Angel Episode Guide

First Impressions

Synopsis: Angel's dreams are filled with idyllic and slightly surreal dates with his sire, Darla. He wakes confused and tired, apparently not remembering them upon waking. Gunn arrives at the Hyperion at 3:30, only to find out Angel's still in bed despite the fact that they are meeting with a snitch at 4:00 PM to deal with a demon called Deevak who has moved into Gunn's territory and put two of his crew in hospital. Gunn is anxious and cranky, and none too thrilled being fobbed off on "C3PO and stick figure Barbie."

Billionaire David Nabbit appears once again, Dungeon Master satin cape in tow, thrilled as anything that Angel has summoned him to fight demons--except slug-a-bed Angel was apparently referring to demons of the financial kind. Angel wants Nabbit's advice on the best way to go about financing the purchase of the Hyperion. Cordelia gets a bit glassy-eyed and hot and bothered by David's rattling off of investment opportunities. Apparently money talk still puts her in the mood. Once Nabbit heads back to corporate take-over land, the entire AI team plus Gunn--not wild about with Angel's lack of urgency--head off to the parking garage to meet with Jameel.

Jameel is terrified, and won't take the bribe money Angel offers, instead begging Gunn to leave him alone. Gunn isn't in the mood, and knocks Jameel to the ground. Seems our favourite street vigilante is getting a bit uptight about his friends in the hospital, and isn't too interested in anyone saying "no." Angel pulls Gunn off the little guy, who takes off just as Deevak's vampire henchmen arrive. Slayage ensues, however Angel is not at the top of his game and has to work awfully hard to stake his bloodsucker. Gunn is ticked off, but Cordy is concerned. Angel has Cordy drop him off and tells her to bring the angelmobile back in the morning--he's going to bed.

Later that night, as Angel sleeps and dreams Ozzie and Harriet bliss with Darla, Cordelia has a vision of Gunn in danger. Failing to reach sonambulatory moonbathing Angel or Wesley, she grabs her purse and an axe and heads off to Gunn's place in Angel's car. Gunn is inside, sparring with a blond young man whom Cordy assumes is a demon and almost gives a concussion to before Gunn flips out on her. She insists that he's in danger, and she's going to stick to him like glue to protect him, a prospect he's not wild about. However, when she gets back outside it seems the angelmobile has been stolen, and they head off on the trail.

Meanwhile, Wesley has gotten the message Cordelia left on his machine and goes to rose sleeping Angel. Caught in the momentum of his dream, Angel throws Wesley to the floor and begins choking him with a cry of "You made her go away!" before coming to his senses and the dream fading again into his subconscious. They head off toward Gunn's on Wesley's motorcycle, despite Angel's protestations that the pink girlie helmet will give him hat hair.

Gunn takes Cordy to the local chop shops, and finds out that the man he's looking for is a car thief named Desmond who has a thing for vintage convertibles like Angel's '67 Plymouth Belvedere. Desmond's partying hard at a guy named Tito's house party. After Gunn and Cordy take off, Deevak and his vamps appear from within and decide that they are going tot to take Gunn out once and for all.

In the 'hood, Gunn finds one of his own gang of street vampire hunters getting down and getting funky and Gunn sends him home without supper, still ticked. Cordelia however is amazingly white, and the first few minuets of the party--as Gunn runs into an old flame named Veronica--incredibly awkward. However when Deevak's horde shows up and Vanessa ends up thrown through a window and a shard of glass the size of a ginsu in her neck, it's Cordy who applies her Sunnydale survivor skills and with Gunn's help gets Veronica to the hospital before she can bleed to death. In the hospital waiting room, Gunn explodes with anger, furious with himself for leading the vampires straight to the party, furious that innocents like Alonna have to suffer because of him.

"Alonna?" Cordy asks, and Gunn realises that he Freudian slipped the name of his kid sister whom he staked when she was made a vampire in place of Veronica. Desmond, who has also made it to the hospital, tries to sneak past them but Cordy spots him.

Angel and Wesley, having learned from Gunn's gang that he had gone to the party, arrive just in time to survey the carnage. Angel asks a young woman who is bleeding what happened. When she insists she's fine, Angle headbutts her and she comes back all vampy.

Meanwhile, Desmond leads Gunn and Cordy to his chop shop where Angel's car is waiting--along with Deevak who grabs Gunn by the throat and starts choking him. Cordy tries to nail him with her axe, and Deevak morphs into Jameel the snitch. Angel and Wesley arrive just in time to join the fray. Carnage ensures, and Deevak ends up with a serious head wound thanks to an axe embedded in his cranium. Car found, demon vanquished, Angel's hat hair restored to it's spiky do, everything's looking rosy until Cordy points out to Gunn that the vision she had of him fighting for his life wasn't about Deevak--it's about Gunn being reckless and putting himself on a collision course because he's feeling the weight of the the world on his shoulders, and survivor's guilt to boot. So she's going to make him her new pet project and save him form himself, a prospect he seems to suddenly find appealing instead of annoying.

Meanwhile, Angel's dreams get steamier and steamier, and apparently Darla isn't only visiting him subconsciously.

Review: Filler with the sole purpose of inserting Gunn a little more firmly into the AI Fang Gang, and kicking off the Darla arc with a bang, which it succeeded in doing. However, the episode itself it little better than mediocre--not out and out bad, but not stellar. Just kind of there. Knowing how good Charisma and Jay are, their scenes should have crackled with sparkling wit and intensity but instead the Cordy/Gunn pairing is a bit forced and stilted in this episode, other than the excellent scene in the hospital waiting room. Any progress made was then beaten to death with a sledgehammer by the Afterschool Special end of Act IV, in which born-again Cordy gives Gunn the speech that will just wipe his self-destructive tendencies away. Other than that, however, parts of the episode were solidly enjoyable. The tease, which takes place in Caritas, was particularly good--as were most of the Darla/Angel dream sequences. And Wesley and Angel's interactions--slashy as they are--were wildly entertaining and injected a welcome note of levity into this heavy handed clunker of an A plot.

My rating: 5/10

Next week, Carrie....