Angel Review – “Hellbound”

So, they haven’t forgotten about that prophecy from season one.
Remember, the phrasing didn’t say “Angel,” it said “the vampire
with a soul.”

Cast and Crew

David
Boreanez
as
Angel

Alexis
Denisof
as
Wesley Wyndham-Pryce

J. August
Richards

as Charles Gunn

Amy
Acker
as Fred
Burkle

Andy
Hallett
as
Lorne

James
Marsters
as
Spike

Written and directed by Steven S. DeKnight.

Original Airdate

Hellbound initially aired on Wednesday, October 22,
2003.

Synopsis

Spike faces off against a spirit that has been feeding others to a
Hell dimension so that it can stay near the plane of human
existence.

High Point

The heart-to-heart with Angel.

Low Point

If he just needed to want it badly enough, why did he go through
Angel
and everything else in the second episode this season?

The Review

This show, and the show it spun off of, have both dealt with souls
getting hauled into and out of hell before, but none dealt with it
like this. I’ll give them originality credit for that. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The effects used were good, but there should have
been at
least one more scene with them. I don’t think Spike really wanted
to
dent the couch when sitting down all that badly, and yet it plainly
happened. He should have been blue-screened in. I give it 4
out of
6.

The story was well written in many ways, but it did
have some
problems with the details (eg. the Low Point, the fact that the
condensation would have been on the other side of the glass,
etc.) I
give it 4 out of 6.

The acting really sold the episode this week. James
Marsters
and Amy Acker both did excellent work in particular. I give it 5
out
of 6.

The emotional response this produced was strong,
partially
because of acting and writing, and partially because they did
such a
great job on creating an atmosphere. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production, as mentioned above, was excellent,
creating a
wonderful pre-Halloween atmosphere while keeping the story
moving.
The scene where Fred breaks her promise was also wonderfully
shot. I
give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a very good episode, but a couple of
moments
could have used a bit of polish. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Hellbound receives 32 out of 42.

16 replies on “Angel Review – “Hellbound””

  1. Alexius says:

    Good Episode
    I Enjoyed This Episode, And I Also Loved How They Kept Making You Think What Was Happening Was Something Else.

    Like The First Few Ghosts Being Someone That Spike Killed, And That ‘The Reaper’ Was The Grim Reaper (Tall Guy, With A Scythe), But It Turned Out To BE Something A Tad Bit more Mundane (At Least For Them).

    (Also, Sorry I Haven’t Been Around Too much Lately. I Got A Day Shift, And Can’t Hit The Web as Often. Maybe Soon That’ll Change.)

  2. teraph says:

    On the Low Point

    If he just needed to want it badly enough, why did he go through Angel and everything else in the second episode this season?

    I don’t believe it is just wanting something enough. He still had to consciously focus his will on the goal. Look at the care with which grasped the cup, or the focus he had to put forth to write “Reaper”. Even when he took on the reaper, it wasn’t “I want it, I get it”. It was “I want it, I focus my will, I get it.” By the end, it was getting easier, but he was still more focused on affecting the world than he was when he attacked Angel in episode 2. There was no focus when he attacked Angel — he simply expected that the world worked the same way.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: On the Low Point
      Solid explanation (and the one I had in my head while watching). It’s worth noting, too, that Spike doesn’t often have much willpower – see 90% of his appearances on Buffy with particular attention to his song in “Once More With Feeling”: “Let me rest in peace…I know I should go, but I follow you like a man possessed” (I need that on DVD sooooo bad!). Spike’s a tough cuss but it takes pretty special circumstances for him to focus and stay focused.

  3. cb says:

    Creepy
    It was a very creepy episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it for that. Also for, like Alexius said, the hints that gave the wrong idea.

    When Spike sat on the couch and it was obvious that Marsters really sat on it, my wife cried “Hey – inconsistent! If he can’t pick up stuff why can he sit?” But it didn’t bother me for the same reason I don’t expect him to fall through floors. Apparently he can be supported by whatever surface he’s on. Granted, it’s not strictly logical because he can walk through walls and furniture and can’t pick up stuff (unless he really wants to), but it feels ok to me because it’s consistent with a typical ghost portrayal. It fits in with what we’re used to.

    The episode does, of course, beg (at least) one question: were Spike’s “disappearances” in previous episodes actually due to Pavayne or is he really being slowly sucked into a hell dimension?

    I also liked the final resolution with Pavayne. These guys can be nasty.

    -cb

    • nkuzmik says:

      Re: Creepy
      I’m really interested to see how Angel deal’s with Spike’s behavior. How can he reconcile his selflessness with his image of Spike?

      And I just want something on the record, Fred needs to get back with Gunn, they were just good together.

      • y42 says:

        Re: Creepy

        I just want something on the record, Fred needs to get back with Gunn,
        they were just good together.

        Booo! Booooooo!

        Speaking of Gunn’s romantic conquests, where’s electro girl at? She
        would make a good addition to the W&H client base: Rich girl with a
        frequent need for legal services…

        • nkuzmik says:

          Re: Creepy

          I just want something on the record, Fred needs to get back with Gunn,
          they were just good together.

          Booo! Booooooo!

          In the interest of not startinging a holy war, I’m willing to compromise…

          Under no circumstances does Fred end up with Spike!

        • LC says:

          Re: Creepy

          Speaking of Gunn’s romantic conquests, where’s electro girl at? She
          would make a good addition to the W&H client base: Rich girl with a
          frequent need for legal services…

          Yeah! I liked Gwen–she had that sardonic comic/angst edge that works just right with the show. She and Gunn (okay, I’m a Bad Person, I’m going to do it) really had a spark going there. I hope she’s not been sent off into the sunset now that she’s no longer the human Zap-a-Bug.

          • y42 says:

            Re: Creepy

            I hope she’s not been sent off into the sunset now that she’s no longer
            the human Zap-a-Bug.

            Well, she was still charged, she just had a bit more controll over the
            when and how. But it was stolen experimental technology, that just
            screams follow-up.

            Somebody could want it back! It could go screwy!
            Imagine Fred having to help her ex’s lover with a potentially deadly (both
            ways) problem…yummy!

            And for once that would be a non-evil (well, not pure evil, she’s not
            winning any good-guy of the year awards either) client with enough
            money to keep
            the buisness side of things rolling.

  4. y42 says:

    Effects

    The effects used were good, but there should have been at least one
    more scene with them. I don’t think Spike really wanted to dent the
    couch when sitting down all that badly, and yet it plainly happened.

    And his footsteps made noises…non corporeal feet make noises when
    “hitting” the ground now?

    • LC says:

      Re: Effects

      The effects used were good, but there should have been at least one
      more scene with them. I don’t think Spike really wanted to dent the
      couch when sitting down all that badly, and yet it plainly happened.

      There’s always the “magic sofa” explanation….

      Actually, it would be kind of funny if the sofa or some other piece of furniture were possessed, perhaps by Phantom Dennis? I’m sure that Cordelia “borrowed” from the Hyperion if she saw any furniture she especially liked (“Oh, come on, everybody needs job perks other than eeewy-gross dry cleaning allowance!”) and if somebody brought it to the new offices with them, either reposessing or to put in wherever she’s located now as a homey touch, Dennis might have grabbed his chance.

      Well, okay, so it’s sub-zero on the International Pathetic Explanation Scale for the sofa denting but Phantom Dennis could have lots of fun at the law firm.

      • vanyel says:

        Re: Effects

        I’m sure that Cordelia “borrowed” from the Hyperion

        Speaking of Cordelia, are they just going to leave her lost in limbo? Or did I miss something?

        • y42 says:

          Re: Effects

          I’m sure that Cordelia “borrowed” from the Hyperion

          Speaking of Cordelia, are they just going to leave her lost in limbo? Or
          did I miss something?

          They plan on doing somekind of wrap-up about it, but Charisma isn’t
          coming back as a regular no more.

  5. y42 says:

    Logo
    Maybe its time to give Angel his own logo? I mean, its not like Buffy’s
    actually airinganymore izzit?

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Logo

      Maybe its time to give Angel his own logo? I mean, its not like Buffy’s
      actually airinganymore izzit?

      Angel got her locked up in the basement! You’ll see (eventually)

Comments are closed.