Angel
Birthday

Episode Report Card
Strega: D+ | Grade It Now!
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Wes: Mostly Armless

Ahem. Cary says the problem is mystical, not medical, and Angel jumps all over that vague concept. He tells Gunn and Fred to go to Cordy's apartment and look for any clues about her health. Cordy protests this, but of course, no one can hear her. Wesley will -- and here's a shocker -- do some research. Cary's job is to tend the baby. Angel picks Cordy up and hauls her upstairs, still without any support for her head. Ugh. I hope Charisma Carpenter knows a good chiropractor. While I'm at it, I hope Charisma Carpenter's chiropractor has a name that starts with C, because that would be fun. As the room empties, Cordy cries, "Does nobody care that there is a girl in Reseda who's about to be fed to a no-eyed, three-mouthed monster?" That's a big no. Then, to use captioning terminology, "indistinct whispering" picks up as the other sounds fade away. This seems like a good time to mention that the sound effects and mixing throughout this episode is really nice. I was really impressed by the layered dialogue and the fade-outs and some other things that happen later when I watched the original broadcast using the surround-sound speakers. Of course, the fact that I noticed the sound effects might be an indication that certain other elements weren't exactly holding my attention, but nevertheless: good job there.

Cordy tells herself, "I'll leave a message," and heads over to the front desk. But when she tries to grab a pen, her hand passes right through it. It seems to me that once you realize that no one can hear you, you stop talking. Well, for a while, at least. I admit that when I've been snowbound or just antisocial, and spend a weekend puttering about the apartment, by the end of it I am carrying on little conversations with myself. And then I start talking to myself about how I'm talking to myself, and how that's a bad sign, and that's usually when I figure it's time to chat on the phone for while. All I'm saying is, continuing to carry on conversations with people who can't hear her just makes Cordy seem kind of dumb.

At Cordy's apartment, Fred and Gunn are showered with confetti. We see a party hat resting on Phantom Dennis's head, and behind him hangs a homemade banner reading "Happy Birthday." The hat answers (I guess) one of my long-standing questions, which is: does Dennis have a ghostly "body" or is he more like an amorphous power in the apartment? Gunn tells Fred that Dennis was probably expecting Cordy, which shows what he thinks of Fred's intellect. Fred steps forward and does her blithering idiot dialogue as she introduces herself and shakes Dennis's hat in greeting. Gunn reacts to this by saying, "Fred -- you are so cool!" Oh Gunn, she really, really isn't. At all. Then Fred and Gunn prepare to break the bad news about Cordy to Dennis.

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Angel

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