For sheer entertainment value, this episode equals many of the gems of last season. Although the dialogue occasionally suffers--particularly the "And the moral of our story is..." which felt clumsy and somewhat unnecessary to the point where I really did expect Angel to crack wise after taking down the dry erase board--the episode is full of what we've come to love about this series. Namely, dry humor, fun visuals, action sequences with plenty of gusto, and never taking itself too seriously. The karaoke bar is a welcome addition, as is the swishy owner who I'm sure we'll be seeing more of in the future now that oracles Zan and Jayna the Gole Lame Deus Ex Machina Twins are only a bad memory. Also welcome was the scene in which Angel shakes down Merl the snitch--a nice noir touch that some of us have been missing of late, and Cordy's spouting gumshoe cant was fun, even if it did fall flat the second time around. Likewise, Gunn's streetwise patois sounds a bit too studied, but Richards is a good enough actor to make it sound natural, and I for one look forward to his being further incorporated into the Fang Gang as the season wears on.
My rating: 7/10
Next week, a slice of Angel's past, and new digs for Angel Investigations.