In The Dark

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Strega: D | Grade It Now!
In The Dark

Angel and Doyle are on the rooftop, watching the sun set. Angel says he won't wear the ring any more. Doyle points out that if he did, Angel could help people who are out in the daytime. Angel says, "They have help. The whole world is designed for them. So much that they have no idea what goes on around them after dark. They don't see the weak ones lost in the night, or the things that prey on them. If I join them, maybe I'd stop seeing too." I quoted all that because it makes so little sense. There are plenty of good reasons Angel shouldn't keep the ring -- like, we've seen how easy it is to steal it from people several times already, and from a story perspective you don't want an invulnerable hero, because it's really dull. Angel's reason, however, is dumb. Anyway, he smashes the ring. Doyle tells Angel that Rachel called to say thanks, and that she found a little faith. Angel comments, "I had a nice day...You know, except for the bulk of it, where I was nearly tortured to death." He adds, "I was this close to telling him everything. One more hot poker and I was giving him the ring, your mom, everything." As they head inside, Angel asks Doyle, "How is your mom?" His mom? That was funny, but I'm not sure if it was funny in the way it was meant to be funny. Or if it was meant to be funny at all.

In conclusion, I assume the subplot with Rachel was meant to set up Angel giving up the ring at the end, but first of all, the parallels aren't very parallel. She was weighing temporary happiness with this jerk against the fact that he kept trying to kill her. Angel was weighing enhanced abilities against...not having them. Second, they've made it work in the past, but this time the contrast between an actual real-life problem and demonic forces just didn't work for me. Third, was Rachel's choker meant as more misdirection? Were we supposed to think she might be a vampire? I did think that at the start of the teaser, but I'm still not sure if it was intentional or not. And finally, it would have helped if we'd maybe seen why Rachel made her decision, or even just seen her again, period. The B-story was gone for the second half of the show, and then suddenly at the end Doyle says, "oh, she called, and she's fine." I think it might have been better to drop that storyline entirely after the teaser. And then they could have had more scenes with Spike making fun of Angel instead. I'd have liked that.

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