Angel Review – “A Hole In The World”

So, what do you think: cavemen or astronauts?

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 and directed by Joss Whedon

Past TV reviews can be found here.

Original Airdate

A Hole In The World originally aired on
Wednesday, February
25, 2004.

Synopsis

A sarcophagus with a dangerous toxin infects Fred.

High Point

Wesley calls for people not working on the Burkle
case.

Low Point

The part where Angel didn’t say “Bring the
sarcophogus, and bring Fred
with it.” If there’s nobody in between, what’s the
problem?

The Review

The setup felt original, as did most of the
execution, but
the conclusion felt a lot like things we’ve seen on
this and the
parent show before. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were well done, particularly at
the beginning.
The hole looked a lot like the Matrix stuff, but it
still looked
good. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story has the one major hole I mentioned
in the low
point, but was otherwise excellently done. I give it
4 out of 6.

The acting was excellent, from everybody.
Alexis Denisof is
one of the best actors on television, and he had a
lot to work with.
J. August Richards had some good work, as well. Amy
Acker could
really show us what she’s capable of in the coming
weeks. Spike’s
frustration (“What’s your favourite colour?”) was
fantastic. I give
it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response was perfect. The
Angel / Spike
interactions were hilarious, the movement on Gunn’s
personal plot was
pretty powerful, the torture Wesley’s living through
and his response
to the guy not working on the Burkle case, and Fred’s
delerious
confessions were all played out very well. It’s also
nice to see Lorne
pulling his weight around there. The realization
that there might be
some follow through kept things moving as well. I
give it 6 out of 6.

The production was, again, excellent. The
camera work as
Spike walked over the chair, during the intro, and
when the crew was
heading their various ways with a purpose was
beautiful. This was a
very well assembled episode. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s probably the best episode of
the season. Yes,
we’ve seen directions like it before, but none like
this set-up. I
give it 6 out of 6.

In total, A Hole In The World receives 37
out of 42.

26 replies on “Angel Review – “A Hole In The World””

  1. joeshabazz says:

    Some pretty obvious reasons
    I have a few refutations of the low points.

    A) The jet is in europe, that took 4 hours to get, there, 4 hours to get fred, 4 hours back, she’s allready dead
    B) they know shes dead but can save her by extracting the demon, ok, YOU try talking the demon into trotting on back to the well. I don’t think please will work.
    C) It’s called suspended disbeleif, some things you just have to accept for the plot to move forward.

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Some pretty obvious reasons

      … some things you just have to accept for the plot to move forward.

      No never – you should not have to accept stupid things. (Which is a generall observation, i’m not sure there is a problem here)

  2. GrimSean says:

    High Point / Low Point
    I have to agree with your pick, but I think a close second would be Lorne snapping on Eve. Completely out of the blue – or in his case, green – plus his explanation of why had me laughing pretty damn hard (personally I’d prefer a lime).

    As to the low point, I didn’t understand why they didn’t pack up the sarcophagus and Fred and bring them along initially – they knew that the Demon had to be taken back to the well, so why not bring it along to facilitate its return there. Sure, it’s setup, but it’s dumb setup – if the well goes right through, do the ceremony on the other side, as there are much fewer people between LA and New Zealand than between LA and England

    Also, which Gunn came out of the White Room?

    • teraph says:

      Re: High Point / Low Point

      Also, which Gunn came out of the White Room?

      I believe it was the real one. He had the bruises on his face in the scenes with Knox. The conduit has no reason to pretend to be Gunn. (Even if it did, showing up with the bruises would only attract unneeded attention.)

    • teraph says:

      Re: High Point / Low Point

      As to the low point, I didn’t understand why they didn’t pack up the sarcophagus and Fred and bring them along initially – they knew that the Demon had to be taken back to the well, so why not bring it along to facilitate its return there.

      Here’s why I wouldn’t:

      • I don’t know what’s waiting for me in England, or even if going there will fix Fred. Taking her and the sarcophogus there puts her in more danger than already exists. If it’s just Angel and Spike, all they have to worry about protecting is Angel and Spike.
      • I have Fred in a high quality medical facility, which allows for a more stable condition than flying to England. A more stable condition means she has the potential to live longer.
      • I have one of the most powerful organizations in the world investigating medical, magical and hyper-technological solutions to find a cure. That’s hard to do if Fred and the object that created her condition aren’t present as reference for the study.
  3. apollovox says:

    low point
    In regards to the low point – I think the issue was that, the sarcophagus now
    being ‘awake’ and the critter inside aware of their efforts, bringing it back to
    where it could be re-sealed would cause the deaths regardless of where Fred
    was. I think it was ‘between LA and England’, not ‘between Fred and England.’

    Of course, that maybe raises the question of ‘If destroying it would heal Fred,
    why wouldn’t it heal everybody else that got infected along the way?’ but I
    think I recall the guy in the tree saying that it would be fighting extra nasty
    (more virulent) if it was being attacked, killing folks left and right and so
    forth, and if that was the case then the dead would stay dead whether or not
    they were successful at re-containing it.

    Or something. And, ‘Go Lorne.’

  4. UncleJam says:

    My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

    A powerful being from before recorded history takes over the body of
    one of the Angel Inc gang in order to use her to reenter the world. Now,
    where have I seen that before? Oh yeah, frickin’ last season! Hey
    Joss, how about trying something different for once? I’ve heard that
    Connor could be making an appearance this season; I swear if he kills this
    Illyria demon by punching her through the head I’ll sing the praises of the WB
    for cancelling this show.

    Not to mention that, like JMS, Whedon can’t really do emotional dialogue
    well. This ep was just so melodramatic and dorky that I wanted to laugh.

    “The mystical equivalent of airborne”? WTF?

    Spike’s never flown before? How the heck did he get from Sunnydale to
    Africa and back so quickly, then?

    How many times this season have they used the “mysterious package is
    delivered to Wolfram & Hart” plot? This is the third, right? Does someone have
    issues with the USPS or what?

    At least we won’t have to listen to any more of Fred’s mystical
    technobabble. (mystibabble?)

    I’ve always thought Amy Acker was quite attractive, but in her dmeony
    makeup she was downright hot!

    Isn’t the Cotswalds where Giles lives, per the beginning of Buffy S7?

    • LC says:

      Re: My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

      Not to mention that, like JMS, Whedon can’t really do emotional dialogue
      well. This ep was just so melodramatic and dorky that I wanted to laugh.

      I can’t say that it made me want to laugh, but I think that it was because the actors did such a good job with the dialogue they were given.

      It did feel as though Whedon was giving way to all the cliches, which was a disappointment. From the beginning with her parents to the promises to stay strong and fight, it felt like he was writing from the tear-jerker formula.

      I found it hard to believe that Wolfram & Hart wouldn’t have some kind of life-prolonging spell or device. I also wasn’t sure why Knox was willing to try to have her frozen–wouldn’t that have delayed bringing Illyria through?

      • fiziko says:

        Re: My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

        I also wasn’t sure why Knox was willing to try to have
        her frozen–wouldn’t that have delayed bringing Illyria
        through?

        In retrospect, I had just assumed he’d already tried it
        quietly in his lab and convinced himself it wouldn’t work,
        and then brought it to the others’ attention to
        stall them and not find something that did work.

    • Alexius says:

      Re: My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

      I’ve always thought Amy Acker was quite attractive, but in her dmeony makeup she was downright hot!

      Hel‘s Yeah! I Found A Full Shot Of Her In That Costume, On Buffy.nu, But I Can’t Get The Site Up To Link To It.

      Isn’t the Cotswalds where Giles lives, per the beginning of Buffy S7?

      That’s What I Said As Soon As They Said They Were Going To Europe, And The Whole ‘Mothercountry’ Thing. I Turned To My Sister, And Said, “Buffy Lives In Europe, Now. And They Said She Wanted To Come Back If Angel Was Cancelled.”, Next Episode’s Plot Has A Visit From Someone From Sunnydale. My Guess Is Willow, Though, Since Alyson Is Dating Alexis.

      • Eldhrin says:

        Re: My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

        Isn’t the Cotswalds where Giles lives, per the beginning of Buffy S7?

        That’s What I Said As Soon As They Said They Were Going To Europe, And The Whole ‘Mothercountry’ Thing. I Turned To My Sister, And Said, “Buffy Lives In Europe, Now. And They Said She Wanted To Come Back If Angel Was Cancelled.”, Next Episode’s Plot Has A Visit From Someone From Sunnydale. My Guess Is Willow, Though, Since Alyson Is Dating Alexis.

        No, Giles lives in the West Country, which is the region roughly encompassing Dorset, Avon, Somerset and surrounding environs. Not quite the same as the Cotswalds. It does contain Glastonbury and Stonehenge though.

        I wouldn’t be surprised to see a visit from a Buffy character or several of them some time soonish though. Angel and Spike are currently about three hours max from Giles’ place, and although Giles might not be there they could at least get in touch with someone associated with him – and there’s that coven in Dorset, too, the ones who helped Giles deal with Willow in Buffy S6. I think this plot could be very interesting. Yes on the surface it looks like a rehash of last season’s, but I suspect it can go in a completely different direction this time, and be just as good, probably better.

        Oh, and the Gunn plotline – fantastic.

        • TwistyHat says:

          Re: My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

          I wouldn’t be surprised to see a visit from a Buffy character or several of them some time soonish though.

          Unfortunately SMG is not interested.

      • rune says:

        Re: My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

        I Found A Full Shot Of Her In That Costume, On Buffy.nu, But I Can’t Get The Site Up To Link To It.

        You want this one.
        Ah, the hotness of bad girls the Buffyverse…

        Although the “hole in the world” is a nice image of it’s own I can’t help but thinking there is a possible solution there… (Whedon is an Ibsen fan as I remember? If there’s a gun on the wall it has to be fired before the end of the third act)

        Go to New Zealand with the sarcophagus, lure the demon to the coast and chant away. There goes Niue, but do we really need the .nu domain?

      • TwistyHat says:

        Re: My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

        Next Episode’s Plot Has A Visit From Someone From Sunnydale. My Guess Is Willow, Though, Since Alyson Is Dating Alexis.

        He married her – and what’s with the capital letters in each word – a weird spell or naturall dorkyness?

        • Babbster says:

          Re: My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

          …and what’s with the capital letters in each word – a weird spell or naturall dorkyness?

          That’s just what Alexius does. Don’t worry too much about it. :)

          • TwistyHat says:

            Re: My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

            That’s just what Alexius does. Don’t worry too much about it. :)

            I’ve been on the ‘net for too logn to worry (except about the state of humans in general) – though sometimes i wonder :o)

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: My Low Point (and it’s a biggie!)

      Not to mention that, like JMS, Whedon can’t really do emotional dialogue
      well. This ep was just so melodramatic and dorky that I wanted to laugh.

      Emotional will always sound dorky if you don’t care about the characters. A lot of people got all teary eyed over Return of The King, i just thought there were a bunch of pooftas farting around on a polluted mountain – i don’t care about Frodo or Sam.

  5. y42 says:

    Astronauts
    They have military training and are better fed.

    • GrimSean says:

      Cavemen!

      They have military training and are better fed.

      Yes, but which type of Cavemen and which type of Astronaut? What if it were Raquel Welch circa One Million Years B.C. vs Sen. John Glen, circa 1998? My money would be on Raquel, as she’d give Glen a coronary just by standing there.

  6. hck says:

    Cavemen!!!
    Are likely stronger due to hard physlcal labor just to survive, and a low pain threshold due the the hardships of cave living and dino fighting.

    Fred Flintstone would kick Capt Kirk’s ass!

  7. nkuzmik says:

    Personal thoughts
    I’m kind of glad to see that they may be steering around the storyline that I saw coming.

    This whole season, I’ve been seeing little things, especially lately, that Gunn might be switching sides. He seemed like he was being seduced by Wolfram & Hart.

    I guess they could still have him turn evil, but I doubt it. His desire to keep the brain boost is what, for the moment appears to have, killed Fred. I suspect that while he realizes that they are over, he has never stopped loving her. That said, I think we may be in for a return of the Gunn of old.

    That is assuming of course that the gang can forgive him… Heck, Angel forgave Wes for that whole Connor thing… He even forgave Holtz, to a certain extent. Wes might need to take Gunn aside for some wall-to-wall counseling.

    BTW that bit with Spike, Angel, the sword and the bug was great.

    Okay, I’ll stop talking… for now.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Personal thoughts

      Heck, Angel forgave Wes for that whole Connor thing…

      Who’s Connor?

      • Eldhrin says:

        Re: Personal thoughts

        Heck, Angel forgave Wes for that whole Connor thing…

        Who’s Connor?

        I think we could get very tired of that joke very fast. But since this is the first time I’ve seen it, nice one.

        • Babbster says:

          Re: Personal thoughts
          Actually, it was done to death here at the beginning of the season. Thus, in my mind at least, it’s something of a double funny. :)

    • quantaman says:

      Re: Personal thoughts

      That is assuming of course that the gang can forgive him… Heck, Angel forgave Wes for that whole Connor thing… He even forgave Holtz, to a certain extent. Wes might need to take Gunn aside for some wall-to-wall counseling.

      You’re assuming that the rest of the gang will actually find out about Gunn letting the package through. Note he attacked scientist dude (forget his name) after he found out about the customs thing and then he clubbed him with the liquin nitrogen container, hesitated, then finished him off. Really at that point you want to keep the guy alive incase you might be able to squeeze some useful info out of him but Gunn instead killed him in what I interpreted as an effort to conver his tracks (keep the shipping thing silent and become a little more info).

      • Natalie says:

        Re: Personal thoughts

        That is assuming of course that the gang can forgive him… Heck, Angel forgave Wes for that whole Connor thing… He even forgave Holtz, to a certain extent. Wes might need to take Gunn aside for some wall-to-wall counseling.

        You’re assuming that the rest of the gang will actually find out about Gunn letting the package through. Note he attacked scientist dude (forget his name) after he found out about the customs thing and then he clubbed him with the liquin nitrogen container, hesitated, then finished him off. Really at that point you want to keep the guy alive incase you might be able to squeeze some useful info out of him but Gunn instead killed him in what I interpreted as an effort to conver his tracks (keep the shipping thing silent and become a little more info).

        Was Gunn really trying to cover his tracks?

        I saw it more as him taking out his rage over what was happening to Fred; a woman with whom he was deeply in love not that long ago. (Until that entire pushing-her-evil-professor-into-a-hell-dimension thing tore them apart.)

        When he found out about the customs thing, he obviously had to be blaming himself for Fred’s death. He attacked the scientist for his part in it, came to his senses for a moment, and thought “What the hell,” and took out his anger and self-blame on the guy for what was happening to Fred.

        I don’t think his mind was really on what everyone else would say.

        I mean, he killed for her before, in an instance in which he saw what he did as justified. And, in Gunn’s mind, this scientist also deserved to die for what happened to Fred.

        Unfortunately, bad things get easier with each time one does them, and the brain upgrade from Wolfram and Hart is probably hindering his conscience, anyway.

        Well, those are just my opinions.

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