Tag Archives: s4e18

I Don’t Get Called… I Take Messages

I'm not crazy, you're crazy!

I’m not crazy, you’re crazy!

One of the disadvantages of this season’s intensely serialised storytelling is that the show has lost much of its variety.  The few forrays outside the realm of apocalyptic epic (e.g. the Gunn and Sparky caper) have felt more distracting than refreshing.  “Shiny Happy People” proves that Angel can still colour outside the lines, even ones it drew itself.  I won’t say that I’d become desensitised to all the doom and gloom, the series has done a good job preventing that, but the time was still right to change gears.  Rather than trying to top the Apocalypse thus far, Jasmine takes us in the opposite direction and the effect is satisfyingly creepy.  All the peace and happiness makes for a new kind of dread and Fred is an inspired choice to serve as the audience’s surrogate. Continue reading

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Stop and smell the corpses, ya know?

Think that’s good, just wait ’till OMWF

I feel pretty safe calling “Where the Wild Things Are” a failure; I’m just not sure if it qualifies as a noble one.  The episode is thoroughly watchable, but its efforts to deal with the issues of child abuse and sexual repression come off as more confused than nuanced.  We have the standard mystical metaphor as the abuse suffered by the children of the Lowell Home manifests as a blend of sexual urges and shame… and plants.  Obviously, the first two go together, particularly in cases of child abuse, but I’m unclear on whether the vines are meant be Eden imagery or a Sendak nod and, either way, they don’t really bring much the themes of the episode.  Adding to the confusion, we have Buffy and Riley’s sex drive being what sets off the whole crisis and Xander and Anya getting beyond the physical is what resolves it.  Sooo… sexual repression is bad… but so is sex? Continue reading