Angel
The Cautionary Tale Of Numero Cinco

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Strega: B | Grade It Now!
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Or, "Five's Fable," For Short

We pan down past some dolls hanging in an alley to see Angel standing over a body. The others join him, and Gunn asks if Angel heard the victim scream. Angel stomps off for no apparent reason, and Spicule explains that Angel smelled the blood. Wesley examines the body while Angel looks at some boxes. Wesley explains that the victim's heart is missing, and adds, "Based on these blood spatters, I'd say it was still beating when it was removed." Because if the heart had stopped beating, the blood would hardly splatter at all? Guh? Angel says that the blood is fresh, and Wesley guesses that the murderer could still be nearby. Spicule, looking in the opposite direction, predictably says, "I'd say ten, eleven feet." They all turn to see an armored, lumpy-faced demon snarling at them. Angel immediately starts with the sword-fu. Wesley and Gunn pick up their weapons, and Spicule looks around uselessly. The demon manages to clobber Angel with its shield, spinning him into a pile of boxes. Wesley starts firing the shotgun, which never, ever works. But he keeps on trying. The demon sends Wesley flying into some handy soft bags of something. Gunn's turn. He sinks the axe into the demon's back, and then lets go of it in order to quip more effectively. The demon whirls to face him, the axe still wedged into his back, and Gunn sighs, "Next time, I hold onto the axe." Spicule helpfully says, "Not that way, you git!" I don't know if he means "Don't retreat that way" or what. Maybe he should be more specific. He spots a two-by-four on the ground and tells himself to focus as he reaches for it. Spicule grabs the two-by-four and swings it at the demon, only to discover that he hasn't actually picked it up. He should have come armed with a deadly coffee mug. Also, how observant do you have to be to know whether you're holding something? In the meantime, Gunn manages to yank the axe out of the demon, but he's quickly knocked down behind a retreating Spicule just as Angel stands up. The demon growls at Angel again, and then shoves a dumpster at him. Angel's knocked back a bit, and when he looks up again, the demon is gone. I still miss the bigger stunts (but not the slow motion, just so we're clear), but the timing in that last bit was nice. And it's still the first act, and we know who the bad guy is, and we've seen him, and there's been a fight. Crazy.

Back at the Wolfram & Hart lab, Gunn hands his axe to Fred and asks her to analyze the demon's blood. This will turn out to be pointless. Much like Fred herself. Fred techobabbles; Gunn leaves. Spicule wooshes in and tells Fred that he's avoiding "General Grumpypants." Fred uses the "C" word and says Spicule should know what it's like, since he saved the world himself. Spicule admits, "I just stood there. Let the fire come. Nothing real heroic about that." Don't sell yourself short, dude. It may not have been heroic, but it was absolutely hilarious. Also, I wish he wouldn't say everything with such deep significance. The lines are casual and he says them like there's hidden meaning to them, and I don't think Marsters is a bad actor, but he consistently plays light scenes as if they're Masterpiece Theater dramas, and it saps all of the energy out of a scene. Fred points out that Spicule saved her life, and I start to wonder if we know for sure that Spicule isn't actually evil. That'd be a twist, eh?

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Angel

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