You’re Never Gonna Get Anything But Grey

... where the son never shines

… where the sun never shines

Zombies!  In actual fact, the living dead take up the minority of screentime in “Habeas Corpses” and have little to do with the plot, but they’re still lots of fun and afford our heroes a chance to be heroes rather than punching bags for a while.  It’s interesting that I think of it that way; the AI team is nearly as outmatched here as they were last week and their strategy is dominated by “run and hide” rather than “stand and fight” but the episode presents a problem they can solve.  Zombies aren’t just a fun diversion for the audience, they’re one for the characters, a fact that speaks to just how rough things have gotten.

“Fun” may be too strong a word, but everyone definitely prefers a trip into Wolfram and Hart, the pit of ultimate evil now featuring the indestructible Beast, over dealing with their personal issues.  Angel’s back in brood mode after witnessing the Cordy/Connor hookup and passes up numerous opportunities to discuss it with her.  The threat to Connor’s something he can sink his teeth into and a way to avoid her.  Fighting evil has always been Angel’s favourite way to spend time with his son and while it’s far from warm and fuzzy, their interaction is a far cry from his seething resentment with Cordy.

The assault on Wolfram and Hart also helps simplify things for Wes.  While we can all agree with his decision to breakup with Lilah, his manner of doing so is needlessly cold (“don’t embarrass yourself” is a red flag in any breakup).  While he can’t vocalise the fact that there’s anything real between them, he is prepared to swoop in and save her when occasion demands.  Caring about her is his only motive and this fact allows them to part on better terms than actual conversation ever could.

The fight has a similar effect for Wes/Gunn/Fred.  The hostility hasn’t let up in the wake of the Beast’s ass-whooping, but it does take a backseat when lives are on the line.  There are still a few jabs, but there’s never any doubt that these people have each others backs.  It’s an interesting twist on the zombie-trope of strangers banding together to have estranged friends working out their (not so) wacky differences and bond.

Its a testament to the strength of this season’s arc that an episode is able deliver such a brisk, diverting vibe in the midst of it.  The Big Bad is the impetus for all of this, advancing his own plans significantly, and the personal issues that have been brewing are effectively woven in, but it’s also just our heroes trapped in an office tower with bunch of zombie-lawyers.  What’s not to love?

Final Thoughts

Poor Gavin.  While he was no Lindsay, I always kinda liked the character and thought that he deserved a better end than this.  That said, there wasn’t a lot left for him to do this season and he did serve to put a human face of the Beast’s body count.

What’s with Gunn getting left behind amidst the horde and then reappearing for no particular reason?  It almost feels like there was a scene cut there.

Hmmm, Angel claims not to know what’s going on with Wes and Gunn.  I’ll stow this for later submission in the Angel’s kind of a prick file.

Props for bringing back the white room and its juvenile occupant.  The Beast really could’ve been after anything, this is just a fun piece of continuity.


5 responses to “You’re Never Gonna Get Anything But Grey

  1. It’s another great episode in this fantastic season. The Beast was just so freaking cool at this point in the series. Season 4 for me was must watch tv. I didn’t miss an episode and in the days before DVR, i VCR’d each episode and re-watched before the next aired… And I avoided the internet for spoilers. That’s how much I loved this show!

    Gotta agree, Wesley’s break up with Lilah was horrific to watch but also kind of epic. He really was at the pinnacle of his bad-assed-ness at this stage in the show. Season 5 tamed him a lot to a point…. Speaking of which, with his memory shuffle – how did they explain him being in exile from the group S4 and also his nifty scar? I’ve always wondered. If I ever make it to a con at which JW or Jeffrey Bell are present, I’ll ask.

    Angel’s a prick? Maybe. He always seemed oblivious when it came to relationships on “Angel”. Movie star chick (Rebecca), Wolf Girl (Nina), Carrie girl from season 2 all making their moves at a blinkered guy…. plus he never noticed Fred & Gunn got together or SPOILER ALERT the heartbreaking 5 second coupling of season 5. Maybe his time with Buffy just made him decide to ignore those signals in people. Or he’s just a giant douche. I’ve never really put much thought into it 🙂

    Random memory alert… Remember when this originally aired – the comparisons between 9/11 with all of the people in the stairwells trying to escape?

    • I was saving this tibdit for a later review, but I’ll point it out now. As Angelus reveal during his interrogation, Angel is well aware of the Gunn/Fred/Wes love triangle and also knows just how the professor was killed. This isn’t knowledge Angel would’ve suddenly gained upon losing his soul, it’s something he was always aware of and just chose to ignore. Angel’s claim in this episode to “not know what [the] issue is” is false. He knows what the issue is, but chooses not to engage with all that messy emotional “stuff.” There’s a lot in the next few episodes to suggest that Angel’s not nearly as oblivious as he pretends to be.

  2. Yeah, I totally forgot about that. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this season. Currently on an epic re-watch of Fraiser… Bit of a different show :).

    Very observant of you. So Angel’s a total douche then :). The complete distinction between Angel & Angelus was always a lil weird to me. But I see it now, Angel hides from emotional scenes whereas Angelus revels in it and uses any tidbit to his advantage. Methinks once Frasiers done, I’ll have to re-enter Angel-land 🙂

  3. I highly recommend an Angel re-watch (obviously). I’m really, really enjoying the series at this point.

    And if you want to see Angel be a douche, just wait until “Awakening” :).

  4. Oh I remember that episode. I dunno if you remember the reaction but people lost their shit about that whole “it’s a dream” plot. I loved it. Plus the “Buffy” at the end :). Not something a lady wants to hear! I’m looking forward to your take on Orpheus :). I really enjoy your reviews, you raise things that I’d forgotten or overlooked last time I did my Buffy – Angel marathon (Altho I prefer Angel if I’m honest…) None of my buddies like these shows so its cool to see what others think 🙂

    Just on season 5 of Frasier so I’ve still a while to go before thats done… then to Angel I return 🙂

    But yeah, Angel was so great. Damn those execs for cancelling it. Season 6 woulda been epic. David was really improving in his acting skills and he’d sorted out his awful Crow hair by the end of 5. Grr.

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