Dusted 150: Love, Labor, Loss

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Holtz hunts Angel and Darla as her pregnancy nears its conclusion. In this episode, Lullaby (Angel 3.09)!

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I'm no Christian, but I thought of Mary (Fred draping Angel's jacket over head and then Angel using the jacket to swaddle the baby). I guess it would have made more sense if it had been Cordelia.

...which would have made the events that transpire next season even stranger.

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Posted (edited)

I'll have a think about why specifically Fred as a witness. Her presence there is indeed very odd and therefore may seem intentional (compared to someone like say Cordelia). 

I'm glad L&A brought up Christian theology. For me personally, Angel as a show is all about trading in Christian themes and icons. Let's run down the list:

1. Liam was a Catholic. Angel is the definition of Catholic guilt. I mean the notion of redemption and forgiveness itself are themes that are very tied to Christianity as we know it. 

2. Angel's backdoor pilot, Amends in S3 Buffy, takes place around Christmas. He was haunted by what is the Buffyverse's equivalent of Satan (The First Evil) and he is saved by a literal Christmas miracle, thus lending support to the idea that his return from Hell is divine intervention. 

3. The Powers That Be are depicted as divine beings who work through Earthly beings, similar to God. Angel's whole role as a champion is about being in service to a higher being/God. And like God, the Powers are depicted as being extremely passive with frustratingly abstract goals unfathomable to mankind.

4. Someone I've met on the Internet also pointed out that unlike Buffy, Angel not just saves lives, his purpose is to save SOULS (see how he deals with broken people like Faith and Bethany the telekinetic as opposed to Buffy, who simply kills the demons and saves anyone who happens to be there). Season 2 makes the statement that Angel's mission is not to kill the demons and save as many lives in order to keep a tally, his mission is about reaching out to the lost and helping them find their way.

5. Cordelia as prophet, visions which are explicitly confirmed to be a divine gift. Her visions are also taking on a stigmatic quality since the middle of Season 2, most prominently in That Vision Thing earlier this season.  And her character arc is EXTREMELY tied to Christian theology. More on this in Season 4. This is a discussion I've been wanting to have since I came onto the forums!

6.The statement about Hell we received from Holland Manners in the famous elevator speech. Hell is on Earth. I mean there is a literal hell of course, but we are surrounded by evil everyday right here and now. This is very similar to what my mom, a Born Again Christian, has been telling me since her conversion: That Satan rules the world, and that we should strive to be with God. 

7. The divine birth and miracle child in the current Darla pregnancy arc. 

In the book 'Reading Angel: The TV Spin-off With a Soul', Stacey Abott makes the argument that Angel's epiphany is a variant of Christian existentialism. Quoting directly here:

'Heaven is where you make it, the meaninglessness (of the world) constitutes freedom to invest his or her own choices, even the smallest kindnesses, with as much meaning as the grandest dragon-killing gesture.' Basically, if we nothing we do matters, all that matters what we do.

Now, I'm not saying the show is making, or should be making, accurate depictions of Christian theology. But the show is VERY interested in Christian icons as we understand them in popular culture, and it's going to get even more explicit from here on out (most particularly, Season 4, I could talk for days about that one). 

To be honest, it is impossible for me to fully know and enjoy Angel as a text without being aware of the Christian themes embedded within, and how Angel as a show tries to subvert them. 

Edited by iacobusleo

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Regarding the scene in Caritas when Holtz walks in, and sings on his way out...Does Holtz actually know that Angel has allies? Has people he fights evil with? Because he only just found out Angel had a soul. Presumably, Sahjahn left out details about the detective agency where humans and Angel fight evil demons together as he didn't want that to cloud Holtz's judgement. All he knows at that point (as told by the Arney) is that Lorne told SOMEONE Angel and Darla are always welcome. If that's true, then he basically dropped an exploding barrel into a room full of innocents just to smoke Angel and Darla out. It's possible Sahjahn filled Holtz in on the rest of the details, but even after the scene where Holtz asks if there's anything else he needs to know other than Angel having a soul, Sahjahn doesn't mention them.

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Man, "Lullaby" is such an amazing episode. Everything about it is just so powerful! I love seeing Darla struggling with this temporary humanity, and her final sacrifice is heartbreakingly beautiful. So good! The flashbacks are excellent and haunting, too.

"I said I'm a lawyer. I don't care about the law." Lilah is the best, you guys. Just the best. :)

I'd never thought about the potential parallels to the story of Christmas when watching the end of this episode before, but now I can't unsee it. And I thought I was supposed to be the religious one here! It's hard to say for sure wether it's 100% intentional, but it's definitely there if you're looking for it. Right down to Darla's pregnancy being impossible, but the Powers That Be willing it to happen.

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A truly great episode. And a great discussion on the podcast. I'd never realised it was Fred with Angel in the end there, I think my head had decided it made more sense for it to be Cordelia, and had edited the scene accordingly. Only when paying closer attention for this watch around did I notice. Listening to Dusted is playing havoc with my false memories :P

I do think that Angel diving straight into 'I've got a soul now!' would have been a horrible misstep. I remember first watching the episode and assuming that's what he was going to do and cringing in anticipation at the crassness of such a revelation in the face of a man to whom you had done the indefensible. As if it could possibly make any difference. If someone has truly changed the only way they could convince someone like that is to show them not tell them. It would be the equivalent of a murderer telling the victims family that he'd changed and found God and was living a good life expecting them to not press charges. It would ring utterly hollow in the families ears, whether there was truth to it or not. I really liked that Angel knew this and didn't try to offer excuses. Of course his best tack was to talk about Holtz's soul rather than his own.

 

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Don't normally mind too much about the big list, but had a cheeky look at it before listening to the pod and so happy to see it at no.1! I love this episode so much! "You died in an alley" is my "close your eyes". It's just so good! Everything comes together great, the logic of why Darla can care for her child works perfectly for me.

And the performances are superb all around. Particularly Julie Benz in the scene with Angel on the roof and then of course the ending.

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Excellent episode. Great work by everyone especially Tim Minear.

I've heard him talk about how they wanted to make viewers forget about Angel's relationship with Buffy, but not in a bad way. Angel moving away from Buffy was the reason for the show and her presence/absence was felt through much of season 1. But Buffy Summers was on a different show (by now a different network) and this show was called Angel.

Darla was brought back to be the original blonde girlfriend in Angel's life. With flashbacks showing how much of a couple they were, the first half of season 2 shows how incompatible they are in the present. Among other things we get Lorne telling Angel that Darla's path is not his path and he should stay away from her. We get the fake swami talking about an unnamed blonde who is the reason Angel is where he is, doing what he does. Then the repeat of the sex scene but with Darla this time. Afterwards though, Angel is still Angel and Darla is still the monster. It's the pregnancy that allows them to reconnect and leads to the amazing part of the story that is "Lullaby".

I really enjoy the Buffy-Angel story line from BtVS but IMO, the long story they've been telling on Angel works beautifully.

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Posted (edited)

I love everything @iacobusleo has referenced. Very compelling. But lest we forget the most important one...(and to again quote Buffy, S3): His name is Angel!

I'll have a think about why specifically Fred as a witness. Her presence there is indeed very odd and therefore may seem intentional (compared to someone like say Cordelia). 

I'm glad L&A brought up Christian theology. For me personally, Angel as a show is all about trading in Christian themes and icons. Let's run down the list:

1. Liam was a Catholic. Angel is the definition of Catholic guilt. I mean the notion of redemption and forgiveness itself are themes that are very tied to Christianity as we know it. 

2. Angel's backdoor pilot, Amends in S3 Buffy, takes place around Christmas. He was haunted by what is the Buffyverse's equivalent of Satan (The First Evil) and he is saved by a literal Christmas miracle, thus lending support to the idea that his return from Hell is divine intervention. 

3. The Powers That Be are depicted as divine beings who work through Earthly beings, similar to God. Angel's whole role as a champion is about being in service to a higher being/God. And like God, the Powers are depicted as being extremely passive with frustratingly abstract goals unfathomable to mankind.

4. Someone I've met on the Internet also pointed out that unlike Buffy, Angel not just saves lives, his purpose is to save SOULS (see how he deals with broken people like Faith and Bethany the telekinetic as opposed to Buffy, who simply kills the demons and saves anyone who happens to be there). Season 2 makes the statement that Angel's mission is not to kill the demons and save as many lives in order to keep a tally, his mission is about reaching out to the lost and helping them find their way.

5. Cordelia as prophet, visions which are explicitly confirmed to be a divine gift. Her visions are also taking on a stigmatic quality since the middle of Season 2, most prominently in That Vision Thing earlier this season.  And her character arc is EXTREMELY tied to Christian theology. More on this in Season 4. This is a discussion I've been wanting to have since I came onto the forums!

6.The statement about Hell we received from Holland Manners in the famous elevator speech. Hell is on Earth. I mean there is a literal hell of course, but we are surrounded by evil everyday right here and now. This is very similar to what my mom, a Born Again Christian, has been telling me since her conversion: That Satan rules the world, and that we should strive to be with God. 

7. The divine birth and miracle child in the current Darla pregnancy arc. 

In the book 'Reading Angel: The TV Spin-off With a Soul', Stacey Abott makes the argument that Angel's epiphany is a variant of Christian existentialism. Quoting directly here:

'Heaven is where you make it, the meaninglessness (of the world) constitutes freedom to invest his or her own choices, even the smallest kindnesses, with as much meaning as the grandest dragon-killing gesture.' Basically, if we nothing we do matters, all that matters what we do.

Now, I'm not saying the show is making, or should be making, accurate depictions of Christian theology. But the show is VERY interested in Christian icons as we understand them in popular culture, and it's going to get even more explicit from here on out (most particularly, Season 4, I could talk for days about that one). 

To be honest, it is impossible for me to fully know and enjoy Angel as a text without being aware of the Christian themes embedded within, and how Angel as a show tries to subvert them. 

 

Edited by suzihula
fix punctuation.

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Wow, that Darla/Angel exchange at the end was so much more intense than I recalled.

I honestly think Fred was there a bit thoughtlessly. They needed someone there to give Angel something to swaddle the baby in, couldn't be his own jacket because then he wouldn't look so damn Angel-y. Why Fred? Perhaps because she hasn't connected as much with the team just yet, and this is a good way to give her some nice bonding time with Angel...

Plus, as mentioned above, it does seem best to not include Cordy considering that she'll be giving birth to his child soon enough... and I guess it should be a female with him.

But to attempt an explanation should it have been intentional: I suppose Fred may be the best representation of the Virgin Mary in the group (sure, Darla did the actual conception bit, but she's  gone and we still want a striking image). She is looked at as delicate and demure by the group. Sure, we've got two potential suitors vying for her attention, but her innocence appears to be a big part of the draw for both of them. She's certainly not perceived as sexless, but she's also not viewed as sexually charged.

I love that Angel doesn't tell Holtz about his soul. Angel feels terrible about what he and Darla did to Holtz, and he should, because it was pretty terrible (in particular that suprise-inside daughter situation). Angel having a soul won't change what was done, and he knows that. Holtz found a way to travel through time (or whatever, that hasn't been revealed to the Angel team just yet) to seek revenge. Holtz, a man against the supernatural on all accounts, made huge turn in his philosophy in order to wreak vengeance, so overall telling him probably seems fruitless, it's not as though he's just going to shrug his shoulders, apologize, and get a job at Kinkos.

IMO, when Angel tells Darla to duck he's intentionally telling everyone. At this point in the game, I don't think that Angel wants to kill Holtz, he just wants to escape and get back to Darla.

So I think we've all (mostly) agreed that vampires have the capacity for love... Spike in particular. Perhaps the strength of that capacity is dependent on who the vampire was as a human. Spike is by far the most romantically-driven un-ensouled vampire that we meet, and that coincides with his poetic human self (okay, there is also James to contend with, but we get a lot more Spike to peruse). On the flip-side human Darla was a prostitute, thus her concept of "love" is based in lust.

A discussion for a future day, but in season 7, en-souled Spike has a very different perspective on love, and on the relationship that he and Buffy have throughout season 6. I think this is quite telling and essentially means that what a person with a soul perceives as "love" may not match the emotions that vampires feel and attribute to the word (though, TBF, I would never try to say that we human-types all view "love" as the same thing). Perhaps in the way that a vampire's personality is a heightened version of their initial human self, their predominant emotional states as humans are the ones that prevail during the demon days.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Lullaby is so wonderful - one of the saddest scenes in the Whedonverse. This Darla is incredible, and her sacrifice redeems so much of her past! The realization that she'll kill the baby if given the chance completely breaks my heart. In fact, other than Joyce, all of my favourite (ie: most tragic and heart-breaking) deaths in the Whedonverse are in Angel.

I can't watch Wesley or Fred die without sobbing! 

Tim Minear is great, maybe second only to Joss. 

I believe that the baby's soul in Darla is kindling her own humanity; these are her feelings; but I also found this conversation really interesting! Obviously she didn't choose this baby, and some greater power is using her to bring about it's plan, but it never occurred to me that she was forced to kill herself. I guess I choose to believe that she got to that decision herself...

Fred's presence at the birth is a fantastic choice. To me, she is Angel's closest friend who is sensitive and caring, but there's no sexual tension or "shipping" going on between them, so it doesn't have the problematic elements it would have if it was Cordelia. It also makes Fred feel like a real member of the team/family (remember, she's only been a part of the team for about 5 episodes at this point!). 

"You died in an alley. Remember?" I'll be here, sobbing on the floor. Wake me up for the next Dusted...

Edited by civanowich

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"When you're as old as Darla is, when you have been a vampire for this long, the human existence which preceded that vampiric existence is basically a rounding error."

This struck me- if this is the case, why does Alastair give Anya, who was a vengeance demon twice as long as Darla was a vampire, such a hard time about identifying as a vengeance demon?

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I'm no Christian, but I thought of Mary (Fred draping Angel's jacket over head and then Angel using the jacket to swaddle the baby). I guess it would have made more sense if it had been Cordelia.

&

I'd never thought about the potential parallels to the story of Christmas when watching the end of this episode before, but now I can't unsee it. And I thought I was supposed to be the religious one here! It's hard to say for sure wether it's 100% intentional, but it's definitely there if you're looking for it. Right down to Darla's pregnancy being impossible, but the Powers That Be willing it to happen.

Don't forget, Fred is wearing that blue sweater too. She's there and costumed, I think very intentionally, to invoke the idea of the Virgin Mary. Once Darla is gone, there's just this shot of a miracle child surrounded by an Angel and one woman in blue with her head covered, just the way people imagine the Madonna. Things don't line up one to one, but I don't think you can accidentally get so many Christmas images in one story. The baby is born in a low place after being forced out of a sanctuary. The birth is impossible. Once the child is born, there is an immediate threat to his safety but he is allowed to get away. Minear is trading on those images but doing so in a conscious and very successful way. Because he only calls out to it, rather than try to recreate it, the parallels never feel heavy handed.

As for why Darla feels the way she does, I do think it's just from the child inside her. The idea that the baby is nourishing her rather than she's nourishing it is poignant. I can't prove my thoughts on it, but I love what it means too much to pin this on the Powers, though there are so many great discussions about the role of the Powers to be had in the next season and a half especially.

Darla's big scene in the alley is one of the best in the Buffyverse. She is powerful and in control and her choice to sacrifice herself is beautiful. She is redeemed in that moment, in my eyes, because she chose love over everything else. And I buy that connection between her and Angel the most here. They know each other. She's trusting him to protect their child and she knows he will do everything he can and more because she knows who he has become. Love it!

One thing that always bugged me is the Sanctuary spell. Last time it was a magic spell the Furies cast. Now suddenly it's a piece of technology. I get why it needs to be that way for the story (and all the wonderful Gunn slapping) but I wish there had been a better explanation of it.

Holtz! Let me fangirl for a second. He is wonderful. Just consumed by his obsession with making Angel and Darla suffer as he has suffered. It's a shame he went to "sleep" when he did, because he missed Moby Dick by about 80 years and that would probably be a book he'd enjoy. The idea that he is happy that Angel can suffer is so twisted and dark and he just sells it in that scene with Sahjhan. It doesn't matter who Angel is now; no talking can end this conflict. It is locked, Holtz will not stop until Angel has been brought low and it just makes for the best tension going forward. The Sarah scene maybe needed a bit more, but there's so much drama in this episode that I can see why they decided to play that moment as a more quiet one.

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One thought on an inconsequential point about Linwood Murrow being a poor replacement for Holland Manners, alongside Gavin who can be mixed to say the least. Thinking about this it reminds me a lot of the Imperial officers in Empire Strikes Back. We see a number of them put to death by Vader, particularly because they made poor judgement calls and weren't as capable as they should do.

In the EU this was always explained away that the Death Star I had the best and the brightest of the Empire on board. Everyone from Tarkin on down is supposed to be the top person in their role, since this was the pinnacle of the Empire's construction. When Luke destroys the Death Star it leaves a massive gulf in the Imperial army, which is filled by less capable officers.

In Angel S2 Holland is hosting a big wine party at his house for W&H colleagues, who Angel leaves to be slaughtered by Darla and Drusilla. Is this a similar situation, where the people previously passed over for promotion then got those jobs but they just aren't as good as what the company had previously?

Does anyone mind if I head-canon that in now?

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In the EU this was always explained away that the Death Star 

Well, this sentence had me confused. He's talking about Brexit? Brexit and how it's changed our position on star wars? What???? With you now : extended universe (right?)

I like your head cannon, but in defence of Gavin Park (and there's a sentence I never expected to write) he is actually a property lawyer who decides to take on the Hyperion and so gets co-opted into special projects, as opposed to an over-looked dreg that gets an unexpected leg up when Lindsey leaves . He is just as good as Lindsey and Lilah at what he does, its just that what he does is so much more boring...  but when it comes to health code violations - he's an animal!

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Posted (edited)

Fantastic podcast! Such a great discussion! I feel strange now because I LOVE this episode, but I don't really have much to say...even though there's so much to discuss! Do I have analysis block maybe? Is that a thing? I'll try and remedy it with a nitpick. :P

It's interesting that L&A commended the writing with the humming worker demon's argument with Lorne, because when I look back at that scene I can't not see a plot hole. If Lorne read the demon while he was humming, shouldn't he have known that this would lead to a chain of events that would cause this demon to tell Holtz thus leading to Holtz attacking the club? I guess I'm just supposed to accept that Lorne's powers were nerfed this week?

I'd love to believe that Lorne couldn't read him because the demon didn't at first have the intention of ratting them out and that it was only after when Lorne fired him that he decided to go down that path. But Lorne's powers have always been used for those unaware of what they were going to do next. 

Edited by Alex

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Just finished the episode. Very quick reaction then maybe later when I've calmed down a bit.

 

OH MY GOSH I LOVED ALL OF THIS. This is definitely my favorite Angel episode to date.

All the main characters were amazing. Holt was amazing. The scene where Holt throws his daughter out in the sunlight I almost cried in the middle of a public space. Absolutely LOVED Lorne. Darla's entire journey was heartbreaking.

Ok, off to listen to the podcast and silently yell at Alastair and Lani every time they say anything against this episode. :P

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Ok, off to listen to the podcast and silently yell at Alastair and Lani every time they say anything against this episode. :P

You, too?  I know I get funny looks from the people around me as I'm driving.

Seriously, though, how sweet (and sad) Darla is when she says "Doesn't anybody want to sit back here with me?"

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Listened to the podcast: Lani, Alastair, you have not disappointed me. 

One comedic moment I'm surprised you didn't mention is how the whole time Darla is in labor at the beginning of the episode, Cordy is standing over her with a stake, poised to attack at a moment's notice :lol: 

One thing I really appreciated throughout the episode was the quiet support that Fred provided throughout. Both the writing and Amy Acker's performance were incredibly gentle and strong.

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And so it begins, as Darla becomes, incredibly,

only the first central female character in the show to become pregnant or otherwise carrying something inside her, find herself transformed or changed by the new soul now also within her, and end up dying so that it can be born.

With that in mind, specifically how such storylines develop and become really a shockingly recurrent circumstance, Alistair's touching on the issues of reproductive rights, abortion, and women's bodily autonomy take on quite a serious tone. How we'll come across this again may start to send a different message than what may have been the hints in this episode.

(In fact the case could be made for it having - or there being - some rather nasty unfortunate implications, as the pregnancies and possessions continue happening to our leading ladies)

(On a similar note, that puts a slightly disturbing twist on Fred's presence in that final scene - it's almost foreshadowing of her own end. The Maiden, the girl, the virgin, witnessing from The Mother what the eventual fate of women - or woman - must be; no matter their previous character, attributes or personhood, the same end will come to them all (yes, Darla, Cordelia, and Fred alike) - the literal sacrifice and destruction of all that they were in the service of giving life to another being. Chilling.)

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Well, this sentence had me confused. He's talking about Brexit? Brexit and how it's changed our position on star wars? What???? With you now : extended universe (right?)

I like your head cannon, but in defence of Gavin Park (and there's a sentence I never expected to write) he is actually a property lawyer who decides to take on the Hyperion and so gets co-opted into special projects, as opposed to an over-looked dreg that gets an unexpected leg up when Lindsey leaves . He is just as good as Lindsey and Lilah at what he does, its just that what he does is so much more boring...  but when it comes to health code violations - he's an animal!

I wish I had done that on purpose, but I completely didn't think about it. EU RIP.

But you did make me think 'I bet someone has written a hot take comparing Brexit to Star Wars', and lo...

"The EU and the Old Republic are similar, despite being on literally cosmically different scales. Both are multi-government systems united by the prospect of facilitating free trade and commerce between borders. The Republic expanded not through force, but by pulling outlier systems in with the promise of trade with the Core Worlds. While the EU began with the express intent of preventing another continental war, having just come out of World War II, it started with these same economic underpinnings."

http://beltwaybanthas.com/2016/06/26/brexit-star-wars-can-make-sense-of-britain-leaving-the-eu/

I love it, this would be me in a world where we had 30 hours in the day to get stuff done!

Your note on Gavin is great too, and if I'd been smart enough to think of it would have been evidence for my point. Since when does a property lawyer get a shot at being on special projects? The gulf left from the wine party means there are opportunities for people who would never have had them. He's definitely good at what he does, just what he does is not what W&H normally do in special projects.

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I wish I had done that on purpose, but I completely didn't think about it. EU RIP.

But you did make me think 'I bet someone has written a hot take comparing Brexit to Star Wars', and lo..

 

 

I'm happy to blame brexit for literally everything that goes wrong, but even I was struggling to work out how Nigel Farage's gurning face was responsible for Vader's personnel problems. Luckily the internet was there in a pinch!

Since when does a property lawyer get a shot at being on special projects? The gulf left from the wine party means there are opportunities for people who would never have had them. He's definitely good at what he does, just what he does is not what W&H normally do in special projects.

In fairness to Gavin (Why do I keep writing that? I'm not a Gavin Park fan I swear) he does do a pretty good job, he's more successful than Lilah, I think?? She's got good snark but poor follow through. Maybe Wolfram and Hart should shake up their departments more often. 

And so it begins, as Darla becomes, incredibly,

Hidden content

This!! a million times. I'd say there are 4 leading ladies of Angel; Cordleia, Fred, Darla and Lilah

I'm not including Harmony because she's just a one note joke - although she is a very funny one.  

  And of the 4 of them:

3 die of mystical pregnancy and the 4th is killed by the mystical pregnancy controlled Cordelia, so as an indirect result of mystical pregnancy. And then her body is mutilated by her lover. (I know, I know, for noble reasons)

compare that to the 8 leading men of Angel (double the number of women!)

Angel, Doyle, Wesley, Gunn, Connor, Lorne, Spike and Lindsey  

and their respective fates:

only 3 of them die, and all of them in battle (Lindsey slightly after the fact and killed by a flunkie, but still a quick and honourable death following heroic deeds) 

When it comes to it's founding thesis ... Angel is no Buffy, is it?  

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One thing Fred's inclusion in the "Holy Family" tableau reminds me of is St Anne, Mary's mother. Classically, she is often depicted behind the Holy Family, kind of half-sheltering them, half-looming over them. Sometimes her outline even forms the shape of a church steeple over them. Anyway, not to say it necessarily fits thematically, but Fred here is similarly posed:

the-holy-family-with-st-anne.jpg  

season3_16.jpg

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I'm not much of an Angel fan, but I had to comment on this episode because I genuinely loved it. Darla is one of my favorite characters on this show and I'm so sorry to see her go. I know they both deny it, but Darla/Angel is an epic love story to me. I love her tragic arc. RIP Darla! :'(

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I'm happy to blame brexit for literally everything that goes wrong, but even I was struggling to work out how Nigel Farage's gurning face was responsible for Vader's personnel problems. Luckily the internet was there in a pinch!

In fairness to Gavin (Why do I keep writing that? I'm not a Gavin Park fan I swear) he does do a pretty good job, he's more successful than Lilah, I think?? She's got good snark but poor follow through. Maybe Wolfram and Hart should shake up their departments more often. 

This!! a million times. I'd say there are 4 leading ladies of Angel; Cordleia, Fred, Darla and Lilah

Hidden Content

  And of the 4 of them:

Hidden Content

compare that to the 8 leading men of Angel (double the number of women!)

Hidden Content

and their respective fates:

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When it comes to it's founding thesis ... Angel is no Buffy, is it?  

Well - I'd say 5 leading ladies because Illyria is definitely a key player.  You have to have a pretty loose interpretation to count Fred's death as a pregnancy, and I'd say the same for Cordy since we know she was taken over by Jasmine before she returned. Rather than pregnancy, I vote murdered by while being possessed by mystical entities. Darla committed suicide to save Connor.  Ironically, Lilah was murdered in pretty much the same way Connor was killed by Angel.  Doyle committed suicide to save lives. Holtz committed suicide. Jasmine survived. A case could be made that Wesley committed suicide, as well, but battle it is. Gunn died in battle. Lindsey really doesn't belong here, IMO - but he was murdered. Gavin, Linwood, and Manners were also murdered. Jasmine survived. Faith survived and left town. Eve and Illyria survived as did Lorne, Spike and Angel.

As for Buffy - she died twice but survived it, Tara was murdered - Giles, Xander, Oz, Wood, and Willow did okay. Spike died to save the world, Angel went to hell. Faith was nearly murdered by Buffy over a guy, but she survived. Warren was flayed and burned up. Ben was smothered. Adam was killed and so was the Master. Caleb was split in half. It's when you throw in the bad guys - or the morally grey,  like Eve, Lilah and Lindsey - where you really run into trouble. But it's also short term characters - Doyle, Wood, Faith, and Oz had real impact - so did adversaries Manners, Lilah, and Eve.  

Sorry - it just seems to me to be a thesis where the characters have to be carefully selected, and the variables have to be twisted a certain way to fit in.  I see a real variety of causes of death.   How many characters are main characters? If Doyle, Lindsey, Spike, and Darla count - so do Faith, Illyria, Eve, and Holtz, IMO.  In Ats you could the last good demons survived - the last good humans left died. Or that Spike and Angel were already dead by mystical means, Wesley, Cordy and Fred died mystical deaths and Gunn died in battle and Lorne survived.

Gotta say - the whole belly button thing....I can see just barely the placenta and cord being dust, but I love the fact that there was no small bit of cord to fall off. A mystical belly button. ;)

Edited by JoSpangel

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