Episode 102 of 110 just aired.

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 Ben Edlund (with story help from Joss
Whedon)

Directed by Ben Edlund

Past TV reviews can be found here.

Original Airdate

Smile Time originally aired on Wednesday,
February 18, 2004.

Synopsis

Angel opposes some angry puppets.

High Point

Gunn visits the doctor.

Low Point

If things have been obvious for months, shouldn’t we
have seen some of
the intervening meetings? Admittedly, it was pretty
clear the first
time, but a one or two minute scene along the way
would have been
nice. It’s a nitpick, I know, but it was
consistently written enough
to make it hard to pick one moment that stands out as
the worst.

The Review

Getting turned into a puppet strikes me as
original. Yes,
there was a character on “The Puppet Show” back in
the first season of
Buffy The Vampire Slayer, but the
circumstances were rather
different. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were well done, making the
puppets move like
puppets, but still seem autonomous. The full frame
shots were usually
well done, although it looked like Angel’s heels were
extra-cropped at
the end of the second act. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story was put together fairly well,
giving an amusing
main arc while filling out some entertaining pieces
of the characters’
respective private lives. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was quite good, especially when
playing against a
puppet. The puppets themselves had a fair amount of
flexibility and
expression available to them. Things are really
starting to come
together for all players involved (which makes next
week’s trailer
that much more plausible; we know Whedon hates a
comfort zone.) I
give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was fairly strong,
with interesting
moments and hilarious moments. Any scene with the
puppet Angel
holding a sword, for example, just made me laugh out
loud,
particularly the end of the third act. I give it 5
out of 6.

The production was very well done. The
framing and panning
shots were perfect for really drawing out the
absurdity of the
situation. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it was a highly amusing episode,
with some serious
implications for the future. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Smile Time receives 34 out of 42.