Episode Report Card
Strega: C- | 2 USERS: A-

Lilah answers, "Not all people. Just men. He brings out a primordial misogyny in them. Turns 'em into killers." Cordy accepts that as a perfectly reasonable explanation, and asks why Billy didn't affect Angel. Lilah leans forward and wonderingly asks whether Angel's seen Billy. Lilah? Hi. Hate to interrupt, but remember how you had Angel rescue Billy? So yeah, Angel's seen him. But that's not what Lilah's talking about. Because if she hadn't blocked that out of her brain as soon as it happened, she would have probably expected Angel to start acting weird soon after that. And she wouldn't have recently gone to visit him at the Hyperion, and if she had, she wouldn't have been terribly surprised if he tried to kill her. So it's lucky she forgot all about that, or her behavior wouldn't make much sense. Cordy is suffering from the same blackout, so she explains that Angel saw Billy get hauled off by the police. Lilah thinks for a moment and says that Billy affects different men in different ways: "Some lose their mind in an instant, others can take hours. Gee, I sure hope Angel isn't starting to feel testy." Cordy says, "You better hope it," which scores a big zero on the snappy comebacks rating scale. Lilah says she's seen Angel's "dark side," and Cordy snaps, "You really haven't." Having exhausted the expositiony goodness from this scene, they're back to chewing the tasteless crust. This seems like a good time to mention that, in the interests of scientific accuracy, I asked my friend Zachary whether he felt any primordial misogyny. His response was, "Who's the little slut that told you about my primordial misogyny? I'll make that bitch pay." He was kidding. I'm not so sure about the writers. Cordy repeats that she has to find Billy. Lilah isn't inclined to help with that project. Cordy describes how, when Archie McPhee gave her the false visions, she was "cut, torn up, [her] face disfigured and burning with pain every second, not knowing if it was gonna end or just get worse till [she] died." She talks about feeling helpless, knowing that her life was at the mercy of someone else. And then things get freaky again, as Cordy adds, "He doesn't care. He'll beat you down till you stay down, 'cause he doesn't even think of you as alive." Is she talking about Archie still? Her big finish is, "No woman should ever have to go through that, and no woman strong enough to wear the mantle of 'vicious bitch' would ever put up with it." Men, of course, deserve what they get. Although I've known a few who could wear the "vicious bitch" mantle with pride. Lilah looks up as Cordy slowly asks, "Where is Billy going?"

I would like to pause here and offer some helpful commentary. Some might think that when Lilah uses the term "primordial misogyny," she is implying that all men, on some basic level, hate women. The fact that Cordelia (along with the other characters) accepts this explanation without blinking, and that it appears to be supported by a later scene, should not lead the careless viewer to jump to conclusions. Lilah has, after all, consistently lied to the good guys about her schemes, and this is exactly the sort of explanation she is likely to invent. Relentless literalists might note that no other theory is ever so much as suggested. But rest assured that there are, almost certainly, several scenes in which Angel and the MoG have a hearty chuckle over Lilah's simplistic explanation, and discuss the actual method to Billy's madness. Admittedly, these scenes didn't, technically, appear in the episode as aired, but it would be pedantic to complain about that. After all, Angel is famed as an interactive show, in which the viewers are given the opportunity to test their creativity by coming with explanations for story elements which appear to be, for instance, misguided Dworkin-esque idiocies. Think of the number of times the show has followed the first rule of good story-telling, which is to require that the audience make dazzling leaps of intuition in order to make sense of the events, and then you'll realize that this episode isn't all that unusual. This paragraph has been brought to you by an overflowing well of sarcasm. And a behind-the-scenes blipvert.

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