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S5.E01: Conviction

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The Good; Angel vs the ops team and Charley Gunn/Harmony coming to the rescue. Plus Spanky! Also love the ritual sacrifice gag and Lorne's vetting of the staff (what would you sing? Wichita Lineman myself).

The Bad; Disagree with Joss, evil people never believe they're evil, they always believe they're the justified victims.

Best line; Goon; (after Angel blows Hauser's head off) "What about mercy?" Angel; "He got the last of it"

Angel Clichés Inverting the Hollywood cliché; despite his cynicism towards WR&H and characteristic dourness Angel can't help squealing with joy at the sight of his collection of classic muscle cars (although his yellow charger looks horrible!). On the minus side note that Hauser note only packs a different weapon to the rest of his team but is the only one unmasked for much of the time to distinguish him from the others, such a Hollywood cliché.

Fang gang knocked out: not on screen but Angel get's knocked out by Caleb whilst visiting Buffy in Sunnydale

Kills; 1 vamp and at least 2 humans for Angel.

Angel Investigations shot: yep, Angel by Hauser's men Angel: 13 Wes; 2

Packing heat; Wes' backup plan for the bad guy not getting acquitted is his .45 automatic. How did he get that into the courtroom? Angel kills Hauser using his own shotgun. Wes; 8 Doyle; 1 Angel; 4 Gunn; 2 Fred; 2

Kinky dinky: The wonderfully named Spanky who has his own fetish website and lots of S&M gear to prove it. One popular fan theory is that this is the guy Faith used to dress up as a naughty schoolgirl for and let him punish her? He certainly has a bull-whip. When Angel asks if the gang heard about last night Gunn replies "You got lucky?". Harmony does a sexy little shimmy when she basks in the sunlight. Shirtless Gunn. Eve asks Angel what he'd like to have 'passing through her lips' (wait until Life of the Party and you'll find out!)

Captain Subtext; Spanky doesn't spank men although he's fine with other people liking to (love the characterisation here, he's evil but he's not a bigot, spanking men just isn't his thing). Angel interestingly comments that he has NO problem spanking men. Hmmm? Hauser calls him a fairy. As Angel walks out of the school we see a series of kids posters above his head proclaiming "Respect, learn, know, show"

What the fanficcers thought; Spanky a popular figure in some fanfic circles especially with Faith. In several slash fics Spanky has a slightly different fetish and Angel persuades him to come clean in a very different way.

Questions and observations; LOVED Space; Above and Beyond, to my shame didn't recognise Rodney Rowland from it (he apparently was Gillian Anderson's boyfriend for a while, he was in the X-files ep with the Jodie Foster voiced tattoo). Remember 'Who watches the birds?' and thought it was brilliant although it actually has loads of dialogue in the flashback scenes. Also like "The Angriest Angel' which the writers of BSG also seemed to like as they freely adapted it for the ep with Scar the Cylon Raider. Loved Kristine Cloke and if they ever need someone to play Jennifer Connelly's sister (or indeed Megan Fox's) she's the girl which is pretty high praise in itself. Too bad they picked the most uncharismatic man in history to play the lead!

David does look a bit fatter at the start of this and his hair more bouffant than ever. Fries won't let his son read The Punisher comics, probably because people like him would be number one on Frank Castle's never-ending hit-list. Personally I never noticed the effects of the Bell's Palsy on Alexis, I don't know about you? Love Wes bashing Feng Shui and Lorne's ascots (so that Andy can wear less makeup). Not so sure about his polyester suit look, he looks like he could be appearing on Wonder Woman. Is it just me or do American apples look lovely but taste like cotton? Interesting gag that both the Kennedy's and Bush families have made deals with WR&H. If you're going to bash politicians you should do both sides. Note the little flash of the black panther when the screen flashes away from Gunn. For a moment I thought one of the nick-nacks Knox places on Fred's table is the puzzle-box from Hellraiser.

Great to see Harmony back, in the pilot of Buffy and she'll be in 


the last ep ever of the Buffyverse too!

Angel drinks coffee now, he must have taken it up since his Sunnydale days. Presumably Harmony can't really mourn for CC because she has no soul.

What Twilight Zone ep is Joss referring to? Lorne seems a bit interested when Spanky is mentioned? Why does Spanky put on his bathrobe even if he's hot after exercising? To hide the harness for the wire gag his stuntman is about to do? His choke hold is rubbish, a 5 year old could get out of it.

Is Hauser named after Cohegan's duplicitous henchman in Total Recall? Joss is a Law and Order fan, a show MT guested on. Wes know's Spike? They've never met as far as we know, maybe he read up on him after coming to Sunnydale?

Joss is a little bit conflicted over his political views. He seems a trendy lefty but someone has obviously pointed out to him that his good-guy characters torture, kidnap and kill for the greater good more ruthlessly than the CIA ever did. His assertion that such things are best left in fiction sounds pretty weak. He also seems pretty knowledgeable about The Punisher, probably the most right wing character in the history of comics.

Marks out of 10; 8/10

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Interesting that in the episode that has Spike join another series as a permanent cast member, also has Harmony essentially fulfilling Spike's role in early season 4 of Buffy: the soulless vampire now as comic relief alongside the heroes. Funnily enough she actually has far more story justification than he did back then, as her presence at W&H makes complete sense and Harmony is far less dangerous to Angel's crew than Spike with a chip was to the Scoobies. 

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