Props to the Golden Griddle, and to way too many people to list, considering how long it's already taken me to do this recap.
So first there's an extended WB promo, which attempts to explain what the heck is going on and establish most of the characters. According to it, Angel fights the good fight -- against doors. I never realized how much of Angel's time is spent busting down doors. I'd also like to mention that I accidentally typed that as "Angel fights the goof fight," and it was so accurate that I almost left it that way. The promo then reminds us that, at some point during the show, we're going to see a new trailer for The Fellowship of the Ring. You know, Angel may have curses and monsters and sword fights and magic rings, but at least it's remained mercifully free of those damnable elves. So far.
Then our parents are advised to be discreet, and we get the previouslies, which go over most of the same points the promo did, using many of the same clips, but more quickly. And there are no elves at all. I just can't stress that enough. Finally there's an inaugural blipvert, and things get going. Oh yeah, and I'll just mention now that it's letterboxed. Just like some of those grown-up shows they have nowadays! And while I was skeptical, I have to say that the show looks a lot nicer. Not just because of that, but there's a feeling of space and the camera moves and you can see the sets and the whole thing looks a lot more impressive. So good going there, Mr. Greenwalt.
We pan through the deserted Hyperion, see Fred nervously poke her head around a corner, and then pull back as we hear Cordelia's voice in the distance. Cordy, Gunn, and Wesley are entering through the odd little courtyard place while Cordy natters on about demon-worshippers. They even get to walk through the courtyard, into the building, and gather in the lobby in one continuous shot. We're not talking Scorsese here, I realize, but for the WB, this is positively dazzling. I have a dreadful feeling that if I wait for any of the characters to say something important, this recap will only be two pages long. See, they're establishing that they fight demons, and that they lead hard lives, and that they don't have much in the way of a social life. Wesley takes the brunt of the exposition, which reminds me of that other time he took a deadly bullet, and that memory helps me stay awake as the characters go on and on about the premise of the show. Eventually they work their way to discussing Fred, and we learn that she hasn't really left her room at the hotel much in the past few months. Then Wesley has to explain all about Pylea, and how they found Fred, and that Cordy was a princess, and I have to keep looking at Wesley's hair to startle myself awake. I get the feeling that his hairstylist's previous experience consisted of one hour practicing on a Sport N' Shave Ken doll. The resemblance is uncanny.