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Strega: C | Grade It Now!
Angel vs. The Invisible Hand

Cut to the office, as Angel enters to discover the real Harlan Ellster. Ellster introduces himself, and Angel realizes that he's been had. Angel explains a little, and shows Ellster the check he was given. Ellster explains that his imposter was Sam Ryan, a former employee. "The guy's been a little off his nut ever since he lost his friend. Wanted me to pay some charlatan ghost buster to clean out an abandoned rathole in midtown." Ellster and Angel chat about the silly vampire story, and Ellster chortles, "Immortal creatures living in a rat-infested building, guarding their treasure? Right!" Uh oh, I think he just gave Angel an idea.

Fred plays with blocks. Cary's still suffering from the effects of his drinking binge, and asks the way to the little demon's room. Cary climbs a staircase and strolls along a high catwalk. But a mysterious noise distracts him from his supposedly urgent need to vomit, and he goes exploring. Behind a curtain -- are we back to doing Wizard of Oz bits? -- a big old Castanetoid sits in a chair, hooked up to a bunch of gizmos. Other Castanetoids are clacking away excitedly and showing the old demon the picture of Fred on a laptop of their own. Next to it is a picture of the old demon. Subtitles read, "She is solving the puzzle, Sire." On the screen, Fred's head and ponytails detach and scoot across the screen to rest on top of the demon's. More subtitles inform us, "We have found a head worthy to rest upon your noble shoulders." I get the feeling that the subtitles were added later. The pictures certainly explained things well enough, and why bother having them if the subtitles are telling you the same thing more clearly? Cary, already feeling woozy, is shaken by the blows of the dual anvils relaying information we'd already guessed. He turns to go warn Fred, but an audience member shouts, "No, let her die!" and clubs him over the head. Okay, maybe it was a Castanetoid. It's hard to know who to root for here, isn't it?

Cordelia, stuck in a heartwarming family sitcom, is jumping up and down at the Hyperion. Cordy, that "jumping the shark" thing is just a metaphor. Incidentally, she's wearing a rather secretarial ruffly blouse with long sleeves. It's ugly, but wouldn't be out of place in an office. Or so I thought until I realized that it doesn't quite cover her stomach. Where does she find these things? Her calisthenics complete, she picks up the baby and prepares to change him. While doing that, she lovingly tells him that she levitated, and goes into great detail about how Angel's a champion, and she's part-demon now. I know. I watched it the first time, I don't need a summary of the season so far every week. New viewers will cope, I promise! And then the scene ends, because its only purpose was to tell us things we already knew. Maybe it's not a sitcom, maybe it's Sesame Street. Either way, time to change channels.

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