Angel Review – “1943”

WARNING: There are spoilers in both the Low Point and
Originality portions of this review.

Cast and Crew

David
Boreanaz
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 Drew Goddard and Steven S. DeKnight

Directed by Terrence O’Hara

Original Airdate

1943 originally aired on Wednesday, February
11, 2004.

Synopsis

Angel once sired a man who is unsatisfied with his
subsequent existence.

High Point

“Yes, I am.”

Low Point

Oddly, “Yes, I am.” On one hand, it was a great
line. On the other
hand, there’s no reason for Angel to allow the
subsequent action at
that point in his life. He just wouldn’t set Spike
free, knowing what
he was capable of. They needed better motivation
there.

The Review

The originality is not that great. We’ve
seen this sort of
thing back in the sixth season of The
X-Files
, among others.
The interesting twist is a possible addition to
vampire lore, dealing
with the more recent sirings of Angel and Spike.
Could this be
foreshadowing an event later this season? Perhaps we
haven’t met the
individual at the centre of the Shan-Shu prophecy
yet. I give it 4
out of 6.

The effects were, as usual, well implemented
versions of
effects they’ve used before. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is interesting. Apart from the
above flaw, it was
fairly well written, particularly in drawing the
parallels between the
Nazi work and the Initiative. The potential
implications for future
events are also interesting. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting worked better than usual tonight.
David Boreanaz’
bland and bored style really worked for a time in
Angel’s life when he
really didn’t want to be where he was. I give it 5
out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was a
bit weak. The
problem with setting episodes in the past like this
is that we
automatically know there are limitations on what
impact they can have,
assuming they’ll be consistent with the show’s
established
continuity. The constant alternations between past
and present helped
this, as there was the chance that something would
happen now that
would change the future. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production was the usual Mutant Enemy
quality. The
camera work was less interesting than usual, but that
was probably a
limitation of the space used for filming more than
anything else. I
give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it was an entertaining episode, but
the only way it
might deserve a spot in the sweeps period is if it
really is being
used to establish future events in the Angelverse. I
give it 4 out of
6.

In total, 1943 receives 32 out of 42.

12 replies on “Angel Review – “1943””

  1. Mr. Vapor says:

    Next week on Angel…
    …WTF!

    The storyline for next week seems a bit far-fetched; but then, I’ve already
    accepted the premise of a Vampire with a soul so what’s a few muppets?

    It had better be hilarious. My hopes are high, and the puppet looks well-
    crafted.

    and the Nazi episode was better than expected – it didn’t go the way i had
    expected, so that was good (I’m actually extremely grateful that Spike wasn’t
    a Nazi, that would have been way to cliche).

    • encaf1 says:

      Re: Next week on Angel…

      …WTF!

      The storyline for next week seems a bit far-fetched; but then, I’ve already
      accepted the premise of a Vampire with a soul so what’s a few muppets?

      It had better be hilarious. My hopes are high, and the puppet looks well-
      crafted.

      I was kinda wondering whether this episode would feature a return of Sid, the talking dummy from very early in Buffy. I seem to recall that he already returned once, however, and was killed off..

      I have to admit, when I first saw a cap from the episode, I was skeptical — but then again, the very strangest of things tends to make the best shows..

      • fiziko says:

        Re: Next week on Angel…

        I was kinda wondering whether this episode would
        feature a return of Sid, the talking dummy from very early
        in Buffy. I seem to recall that he already returned once,
        however, and was killed off..

        He died (well, was releaesed) at the end of his first
        appearance and hasn’t returned.

  2. y42 says:

    I was Rasputin’s lover!
    Hehehe, and its always fun to see a nosferatu in the buffy verse. Though they
    do die easy for vampires that old…gah, flashing back to the Buffy finale,
    augh, the badness…sigh.

  3. UncleJam says:

    meh…

    Pretty much a dull episode, as I expected.

    My high point was the new (in 1943) gov’t department, the Demon Research Initiative. Heh. Oh, and the possible ultimate origin of Spike’s chip? I guess it took Maggie Walsh 50+ years to replicate the Nazi research.

    I also have a big problem with Lawson’s vamping. I was under the impression that a vamp’s victim dies, stays dead for a while, then rises as a new vampire. As in every frickin’ new vampire we ever saw on Buffy. I mean, how many times did we see her waiting by some poor schlub’s grave for him to claw his way out as a vampire? But Lawson is vamped by Angel and turned in a short enough span of time to save them all from oxygen deprivation? That doesn’t make any sense to me. If victims become vampires immediately, how were any of the Sunnydale victims ever buried, let alone given a funeral (as implied by their dress)?

    I actually think next week’s episode, while gimmicky, looks kind of funny.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: meh…
      Even on Buffy, there was some occasional variability in how long it took. For example, one of Angel’s victims during season two woke up while being viewed in the funeral home (during the ep we found out Oz was a werewolf). Is it possible that it’s a function of how much of the sire’s blood the vampire drinks? I don’t know. I only know that I noticed the same thing, shrugged and moved on. Like it or not, sometimes you’ve got to cut some corners for flow in a TV show. :)

    • vandemar says:

      Re: meh…

      If victims become vampires immediately, how were any of the Sunnydale victims ever buried, let alone given a funeral (as implied by their dress)?

      Just a wild guess here. Maybe it has to do with the amount of blood involved. Like say the length of time between death and undeath is proportionate to the volume of blood consumed by the sire divided by the volume of blood given for the vamping process. So in Lawson’s case, he could have consumed a lot more blood from Angel than he lost himself.

      Or maybe the victim must spend a certain amount of time completely hidden from the sun before rising. Hence the coffins and graveyards in the Sunnydale case. But since Lawson was stuck in a submarine for days or weeks already, he didn’t require further dark time.

    • y42 says:

      Re: meh…

      But Lawson is vamped by Angel and turned in a short enough span of time to
      save them all from oxygen deprivation? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

      1. No one had ever been turned by a vamp with a soul.
      2. No one had ever been turned in a sub at high pressure.
      3. Like the other guy said, you don’t know how much blood they usually
        use.
      4. And I’m sure Angel wasn’t too worried about suffocating himself, and
        he’s just extended the air time by making one guy not need to breathe
        anymore.
      • encaf1 says:

        Re: meh…

        1. No one had ever been turned by a vamp with a soul.
        2. No one had ever been turned in a sub at high pressure.
        3. Like the other guy said, you don’t know how much blood they usually
          use.
        4. And I’m sure Angel wasn’t too worried about suffocating himself, and
          he’s just extended the air time by making one guy not need to breathe
          anymore.

        While I think everyone should just breath deeply and repeat “It’s only a show” to themselves a few times, there are a few things to point out:

        On point 1, when Spike returned to Buffy he had a soul. When his mind was on the fritz, he created several vampires. Apparently, they either needed to be buried or took long enough that were buried in the basement. (Curiously enough, although all of them had been turned at different times, they all emerged at the same time, which suggests a trap, a very variable turn time, or the presence of a human — or the slayer — triggered it.)

        I would also point out that this turning was very much the Anne Rice style, and that vampires have been created in Buffy and Angel in just as much time. Part of it might be based on the will of the sire to turn them; it might also be the fact that the guy was just about dead to begin with, as opposed to most of the victims who had to die first.

        I also made dramatic sense, and as most of Joss’s minions and himself have said, the mythos is not meant to be consistent as it is to be dramatic.

        And finally, vampirism is not a science, and may not entirely be describable with particular science. Tell me exactly how long bread is going to mold, and I will show you something you left out of your calculations. The truth is, we only have evidence by what we see, and it is much more organic, much more mystical, and much more multi-dimensional than that…

        Whew! I’ll hop off this orange crate that someone left me.. Whooops!

    • babasyzygy says:

      Re: meh…
      [The TiVo said that this episode name was, “Why we fight,” why are we calling
      it “1943”? ]

      I think it might have a lot to do with the potentcy of the Vampire’s blood –
      both the power of the vampire and the number of vampires he or she has
      sired.

      Angel is from a very powerful line: The Master -> Darla -> Angelus. Angel is
      only two steps from the most powerful vampire we know of, active over
      human times. Even Spike is four steps away (Angelus -> Drusilla -> Spike),
      and has turned plenty of victims over the years.

      So it’s not unreasonable to think that Angel’s blood would be far more potent
      than even Spike’s. Angel is very powerful himself, and he hasn’t diluted his
      mojo by turning victims left and right – he hasn’t turned anyone in, what,
      over a hundred years?

  4. Tommy says:

    “1943”
    Great review! Please, though – refer to the episode by it’s actual title (“Why We Fight”). “1943” is yet another example of the WB redefining things to suit their needs, like they did with “Apocolypse Nowish” last year. They renamed it “Rain of Fire” in their promos to attract more viewers, which is what I’m assuming is the case with calling this one “1943.” It just steams me when corporate suits mess with the original intent of the writers/producers. Thanks – done venting. Really love the site!!!

    • fiziko says:

      Re: “1943”

      Great review! Please, though – refer to the episode by
      it’s actual title (“Why We Fight”). “1943” is yet another
      example of the WB redefining things to suit their needs,
      like they did with “Apocolypse Nowish” last year. They
      renamed it “Rain of Fire” in their promos to attract more
      viewers, which is what I’m assuming is the case with
      calling this one “1943.”

      The official WB site lists “1943” as the title. Of
      course, when they changed “Apocalypse Nowish,” they
      changed it on the official site, too. I don’t read the
      titles in advance anymore (spoilerish), so I go with
      whatever they list here on the
      night of the broadcast.

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