THE GIRL IN QUESTION
Personally I think it's worth it just to see 50s Spike and Dru in their chic Fellini phase. Also stunning to see Amy Acker switch from Fred to Illyria and back in the blink of an eye. Love the slow-motion fight in the nightclub.
DB's Irish accent, thankfully the last time we'll hear it.
Ilona; "The gypsies are a filthy people and we shall talk of them no more!" (the line that stays with you from this ep)
Jeez, how did they get away with that?
Mucho racism against gypsies! And against Americans (which of course neither Spike or Angel are) and some great cliches about Italians both negative (feckless, excitable, untrustworthy) and positive (cultured, stylish, charming). Also it's a little bad taste for Spike to have kept Nicky's jacket all these years, especially when Robin Wood was around.
Apocalypses: 5 Spike queries that defeating the Mayor or Jasmine really counts as saving the world?
Subverting the Hollywood cliche; our cool heroes Spike and Angel are defeated and humiliated by the infinitely cooler Immortal.
In disguise; 8
DB/JM get's his shirt off; 20 shirtless Spike but oddly not Angelus?
Cheap Angel; 8
Fang Gang in bondage:
Fang gang knocked out:
Cordy: 5 vamps, 3½ demons
Angel; 48 vamps, 72 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 12 humans, one werewolf and one cyborg
Doyle; 1 vamp
Wes; 16 demons+5 vamps, 5 zombies, 4 humans, 2 cyborgs
Kate; 3 vamps
Faith; 18 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.
Gunn; 11 vamps+ 15 demons, 5 zombies, 1 human.
Groo; 1 demon
Fred; 3 vamps+ 14 demons, 5 zombies
Connor; 16 vamps, 5 zombies, 4 demons, Jasmine
Spike; 21 vamps, 12 demons+1 human+one parasite
Fang Gang go evil:
Alternate Fang Gang;
Characters killed: Angelus kills one of the Immortal's lackeys.
Recurring characters killed;
Total number of Angel Investigations; 5,
Angel, Gunn, Lorne, Wes, Spike
Angel Investigations shot: no but Spike and Angel get blown up
Packing heat; Spike says they'll need lots of guns which may be a Matrix ref.
Notches on Fang Gang bedpost: Angel describes himself as 'Seeing Nina' but denies she's his girlfriend. The Immortal of course is an eternal being who may or may not be evil, just as Buffy likes them. Spike says he knows he hasn't a shot with Buffy but still loves her. The bartender comments that the Immortal's girlfriends come and go. So this makes Buffy's track record;
Buffy: 4 confirmed; Angel, Parker, Riley, Spike. 4 possible, Dracula+RJ+Shadowmen's demon and The Immortal(?)
almost certain that Buffy and the Immortal have sex but we've never see it so unconfirmed, all we're told is that they snuggle. But then she's done that with Scott Hope, Owen and Jeffery.
Cordy: 5 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis+Groo+Connor plus possibly the Beast
Angel: 6; Buffy, Darla, The Transcending Furies, Eve
Wes; 3 definite; Virginia, the bleached blonde and Lilah, 2 possible, Justine, Fred
Gunn; 2 Fred and Gwen.
Fred; 1 Gunn, 1 possible Wes
Spike; 3-Buffy, Anya, Harmony
Spike tells Angel to 'Wank off!' The Immortal seems to have enjoyed a threesome with Darla and Dru which the pair are reluctant to do with Spike and Angelus. The Immortal didn't hurt Darla until she asked him to and describes him as insatiable and their sex as really great fornification. Dru refers to playing 'Pony'. Angelus once again declares that nuns are 'his thing'. The bartender describes Buffy as a 'girl gone wild'. Spike thinks that sex makes a relationship if you do it enough (good thing he never tells Angel about him and Buffy getting to fifth base on the balcony at the Bronze!). Trish Burkle seems very fond of Wes.
WR&H Rome CEO is a knockout. Literally, I think her amazing breasts would knock you out if you got too close (but what a way to be rendered unconscious!). She also seems like a past amour of The Immortal and considers their dealings 'most satisfactory'. Angel refers to The Immortal eating Buffy's cookie dough. Andrew appears to be going on a date with a pair of beautiful Italian girls, has he become a Casanova or.....?
....are they his 'fag hags' to quote Will and Grace? Loads of Spike and Angel bonding despite Angel commenting it's not 'About us' and referring to themselves as 'Partners'. Angelus' threat to shove the henchmen's arrows 'slowly up their arses' is rife with not so subtle gay innuendo as is the use of the phrase 'had us tossed'. Dru and Darla enjoy a threesome with the Immortal and then like to bathe together. Dru likes Darla to hold her underwater? Spike calls the Immortal a ponce. When they're on the scooter Spike tell Angel not to hold so tight. The male demon admits he's in love with the Immortal.
Know the face, different character; 7
Buffy characters on Angel; 17
Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla, Dru, The Master, Anne, Willow and Harmony. POSSIBLY The First Evil, Andrew.
What the fanficcers thought; .
Lot's of fic where the Immortal saves everyone from every possible fate that has befallen them. Lot's more slashfic when we see him with Spike and Angelus and sometimes both at once. Also a lovely one where Dawn has The Talk with The Immortal just as Joyce had with Angel, telling him that if he loves Buffy he must let her go.
Rumour has it that SMG was willing to appear in this ep but Joss declined as he thought that the ep should be about the Angel characters alone and she would steal the show. Also rumoured that the Immortal would be played by Freddie Prinze aka Mr SMG or Christian Slater meaning that Buffy had fufilled her ambitions in the movie of graduate, go to Europe, marry Christain Slater and die. Then again maybe the Immortal is more of a Hugh Hefner/Errol Flynn sort of character and Buffy is just his latest Girl of the Immortal's Mansion? (RJ aside she always did have a thing for older men)
Another theory I've heard is that we don't see the real Buffy in season 5 and Willow doesn't come to help Fred because Buffy IS the mad girl in the asylum we see in Normal Again and regained her sanity after the end of Chosen. Angel was another inmate in the asylum who shared her fantasy but now that Buffy has regained her normal life Willow no longer exists because she's a delusion based on Buffy's friend Cassandra, still alive because the events of the film never happened, Buffy is now busy catching up on all the school she missed. This spurs Angel to come out of his own delusion and regain his sanity at the end of his own series.
Questions and observations;
We never see Gunn in his suit again. Lorne seems to be drinking a lot, we hardly ever see him now without a glass in his hand. Did Wes never tell Fred's family what happened to her? So is this really Buffy? According to the comics this is actually a decoy she set up because she's actually in Scotland but maybe that's AFTER this episode? Surely Spike and Angel would be able to tell her by her scent alone? Sadly the last time we'll see Darla, Dru and Andrew. What does 'Ragazza' mean? The chase scene may be a homage to The Pink Panther. Spike refers to 'shemps' from the 3 stooges. Illyria appears to be developing human feelings. Personally I agree with Wes, as long as Illyria can always keep up the pretence it's kinder to the Burkles to have them think that Fred is still alive.
I think a lot of people dislike this ep as we see our cool heroes humiliated by the much cooler Immortal but I think it's great. Andrew says that Buffy loves both Angel and Spike which the comics bear out. Personally I think Buffy/human Angel with resouled/human Dru as the girl for Spike, Spike in all honesty knowing he's not the guy. You must remember that the Immortal is not the long term guy as he doesn't age and Buffy does, as the bartender and Andrew point out they can't be together for long.
Marks out of 10; 8/10