At the Hyperion, Angel and Cordy are discussing Fred, who's out in the courtyard. Opinions vary on what exactly Angel's shiny pants are made of: I'm guessed waxed leather. Cordy thinks Fred needs some time alone, Angel thinks she's had more than enough time alone, and then we get Fred's back story. Again. This is all leading up to the fact that Angel wants Cordy to talk to Fred. Cordy doesn't want to. Strangely, she doesn't ask why Angel doesn't talk to Fred his own damn self, which would allow Angel to acknowledge that Fred looks at him with puppy-dog eyes. Cordy explains that she likes Fred, as we cut to a shot of Fred outside: "She's sweet and adorable and...seems to be laughing at something that shrub just said." She does, too. Cordy finally admits that she just doesn't "get" Fred. Angel says he only wants Cordy to talk to Fred, and then he threatens to unleash his giant, terrifying grin, which cows Cordy into submission. But not immediately. Instead, she hands Angel the "enemies of Merl" list. Cordy heads into the office, where Wesley is being useless. A moment later Angel storms in, asking, "Why is my name at the top of this list?" Cordy explains, "Uh, 'A.'" Heh. Somebody skim down to "S" and see if my name is there. It should be. Angel says he wasn't Merl's enemy, and points out that he found the body. Or the bits of it, at least. Cordy notes, "The one time you pay Merl a social visit, and he ends up dead." Wesley peruses the list, and notes that many of the names are familiar. Cordy points out, "Half of them weren't enemies of Merl until we made him snitch on them." They "made" Merl do that in the sense of offering Merl money for information, I can't help noting. Meanwhile, Angel grumps, "Oh, sure, yeah, I went dark and I killed Merl." Wesley and Cordy just look at Angel's pants. I think. Maybe the director could have made that more clear if, y'know, and this is just a suggestion, Angel was actually in the shot. Because neither Johanna nor I knew what was going on when we watched this the first time. Wesley suggests they start with the bottom of the list. I'll expect a knock on my door any minute now. Angel follows Wesley out, then suddenly spins and demands, "If I had killed Merl, would I have...brought donuts?" I think it's important to notice how Angel's attitude goes from goofy to creepy during this episode based solely on whether Gunn is also in the scene. Because Angel's the comic relief and, supposedly, the reason for Gunn's ambivalence, and those things don't really mesh well. I can't help wondering whether anyone thought Angel was manic-depressive based on this episode.
Episode Report Card987 USERS: C+
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