Angel Review – “Damage”

99 episodes have been broadcast. Let’s hope next
week continues the trend begun this week.

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 by Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goddard.

Directed by Jefferson Kibbee.

Original Airdate

Damage originally aired on Wednesday,
January 28, 2004.

Premise

A slayer with some serious issues runs amok in Los
Angeles.

High Point

The overlapping sound near the end of the first act
was excellent. In
general, all of the act breaks (ie. scenes before
commercials start)
were extremely well done.

Low Point

Why do people keep saying that blood smells like
copper tastes? It
tastes like copper, but it doesn’t smell like it.

The Review

On the one hand, this isn’t a remarkably different
premise than some
of the Faith episodes. It is a pretty
original personality
for a Slayer, though, that prevents one from seeing
many of the
parallels when you aren’t looking for them. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The effects were very well done,
particularly at the end of
the third act. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story was fairly well thought out.
We’ve got some
history coming into play, but still introduced in a
manner that works
for new viewers. The main plot was well written
(although one wonders
how she knew how to get back when she didn’t travel
the full way to
the sanitarium under her own power), and the themes
and character work
that went with it were fit in very naturally. I give
it 5 out of 6.

The acting was better than it has been for
the past couple of
weeks. David Boreanaz definitely does better work
when somebody else
is running the show. James Marsters is adding depth
to an
entertaining character that has been interesting, if
not
multi-faceted. The pieces are being assembled to
bring this season to
a pretty dramatic end. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this week was very
strong, especially
at the act breaks, and the end of the fourth act. I
give it 5 out of
6.

The production was a big step up from last
week. The editing
was well done, the sound mixing at the end of the
first act was great,
the surreal lighting on the flashback scenes was
perfect, and the
cinematography in the final confrontation sequences
was very well
done. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is the first episode since the
Christmas break
that could really stand without moving the sweeping
arc forward, but
it moved that arc forward anyway. Let’s hope that
the two weaker
preceding episodes were a result of the build-up for
episode 100 next
week. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Damage receives 36 out of 42.

10 replies on “Angel Review – “Damage””

  1. UncleJam says:

    Okay episode

    See, now this is what happens when you go into battle with
    a crappy plan like Buffy’s in “Chosen”. You’re much more likely, especially
    without any Watchers around, to end up with a Faith or a Dana than a
    good, solid-citizen Slayer. Didn’t think about that, did ya, Buff?

    I would have liked to see Angel hesitate when Andrew informed the
    gang that Spike had been kidnapped. “Sure, let’s go get CrazySlayerGirl,
    but how ’bout we wait a bit?”

    Oy, Andrew. A little goes a long way, my man. But it was fun to see
    him act all superior to Wes. And “Like nickels?” was pretty funny. It was
    absolutely priceless to see him put the smackdown on Angel. “Not one of
    them has dated you.” Frickin’ hilarious. As much as I hated Andrew in
    BtVS S7, he was the best thing about tonight’s ep.

    And Spike uses the same lame excuse as to why he hasn’t contacted
    Buffy. Yawn.

    How I hate fake trauma on TV shows! Why bother cutting off Spike’s
    hands when we know they will be restored somehow by the end of the
    episode. Totally robs the moment of any dramatic tension.

    How did Angel not know about the Slayer bonanza? He basically
    saved Buffy’s ass by giving her the amulet and she can’t even be
    bothered to tell him how everything turned out? She really is self-
    involved to an extreme, isn’t she?

    I suppose it’s too much to hope for that Dennis might show up next
    week? I miss that little ghost.

    Uh, I think I kinda started rambling. Anyway, this episode wasn’t the
    best, but it was pretty good.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Okay episode

      How did Angel not know about the Slayer bonanza? He basically
      saved Buffy’s ass by giving her the amulet and she can’t even be
      bothered to tell him how everything turned out? She really is self-
      involved to an extreme, isn’t she?

      Well, yes, she is. But in this case, it can easily be explained because by the time she would have told him how things turned out, Angel and the crew were a part of Wolfram & Hart. As Andrew said, the Buffy Council as a whole – and even Buffy in specific – don’t trust Angel. I’m sure they consider him at best potentially neutral and at worst aligned entirely with evil. They could even have considered Angel’s lack of knowledge about the new slayer situation a potential secret weapon to use against him. In fact, my only big complaint about this episode is that it would have been far more interesting had Andrew been instructed to keep that knowledge from Angel and company for that very reason. I think that would’ve made the slayer reveal at the end a lot more interesting and ominous.

    • NSA says:

      Re: Okay episode

      How I hate fake trauma on TV shows! Why bother cutting off Spike’s hands when we know they will be restored somehow by the end of the episode. Totally robs the moment of any dramatic tension.

      Mmm, I sort of agree with you there, but after having her waving a bone saw around for the whole episode she had to do something with it other than decapitate random strangers. Plus, I think the idea was to have Spike suffer a bit, which he doesn’t seem to do much when he thinks of his past misdeeds.

      I liked this one. Dana(?) was scary but you also feel bad for her, she survived a horrific experience at the hands of one of the world’s NON-demonic monsters. Andrew was especially dorky but true to character – you can just see him watching lots of old British horror movies to bone up for his new role as a novice Watcher. Also, it’s about time the new army of Slayers was addressed on Angel, I mean there must be a few new superheroes running around L.A. on account of that. Even with Giles et al. collaring them for training, you’d think there’d have been a run-in by now. It is odd that W&H wouldn’t have heard about them though. You’d think every demon would know by now, bad news travels quickly after all.

  2. joeshabazz says:

    Blood and Heart
    Ok, First off, why does W&H Mean anything to them. Buffy never went up against the evil corperation and to my knowledge they never even mentioned it on Buffy. That just seems kind of dumb. As for the blood thing. Taste and Smell are very closely connected. Something like 70% of taste is, infact smell. If it tastes like copper (which is actually iron in the hemogloben) then it will smell like copper.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Blood and Heart

      Ok, First off, why does W&H Mean anything to them. Buffy
      never went up against the evil corperation and to my
      knowledge they never even mentioned it on Buffy. That just
      seems kind of dumb. As for the blood thing. Taste and
      Smell are very closely connected. Something like 70% of
      taste is, infact smell. If it tastes like copper (which is
      actually iron in the hemogloben) then it will smell like
      copper.

      Buffy cast members guested on Angel at the times
      needed to know about Wolfram and Hart. Even Faith knew
      enough to give them the rundown.

      And as for blood, it tastes like copper, but it smells
      like musky, sugary water. The copperish aspect is one
      element that doesn’t vaporize well in normal conditions,
      so it doesn’t get carried into the air to form a part of
      the smell. (I used to suffer from chronic nosebleeds,
      until a broken nose stopped them. I’m very familiar with
      both the taste and the smell of blood.)

      • jdarksun says:

        Re: Blood and Heart

        And as for blood, it tastes like copper, but it smells
        like musky, sugary water. The copperish aspect is one
        element that doesn’t vaporize well in normal conditions,
        so it doesn’t get carried into the air to form a part of
        the smell. (I used to suffer from chronic nosebleeds,
        until a broken nose stopped them. I’m very familiar with
        both the taste and the smell of blood.)

        What’s to say the manner in which you perceive blood (smell, taste) is the same in which a vampire does? There are some pretty distinct differences between humans and vampires, what’s to say certain types of perception aren’t among them?

        • y42 says:

          Re: Blood and Heart

          And as for blood, it tastes like copper, but it smells
          like musky, sugary water. The copperish aspect is one
          element that doesn’t vaporize well in normal conditions,
          so it doesn’t get carried into the air to form a part of
          the smell. (I used to suffer from chronic nosebleeds,
          until a broken nose stopped them. I’m very familiar with
          both the taste and the smell of blood.)

          What’s to say the manner in which you perceive blood (smell, taste) is the
          same in which a vampire does? There are some pretty distinct
          differences between humans and vampires, what’s to say certain types of
          perception aren’t among them?

          He’s telling Andrew what it smells like, remember? But you point is valid,
          aside from that.

          • fiziko says:

            Re: Blood and Heart

            He’s telling Andrew what it smells like, remember? But you
            point is valid,
            aside from that.

            He may not realize his own sense of smell is not just an
            amplified human sense of smell. If it is amplified, in
            retrospect, he might even pick up the coppery aspect that
            I can’t pick up. (Hemoglobin is in much lesser
            proportions as a vapor than it is as a liquid, but it may
            not be completely absent.) This explanation can cover
            Angel when vamps are describing it, but not other
            characters, and it’s worthless on other shows.

            • Dave says:

              Re: Blood and Heart
              Why, oh why, do we have so many people here that apparently know what blood tastes/smells like? This is kinda creepy.

              • lost says:

                Re: Blood and Heart

                Why, oh why, do we have so many people here that apparently know what blood tastes/smells like? This is kinda creepy.

                You’ve never cut your finger and stuck it in your mouth? Never had a nosebleed?

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