Angel Review – “Origin”

Four episodes left.

Cast and Crew

David
Boreanaz
as
Angel

Alexis
Denisof
as
Wesley Wyndham-Pryce

J.
August Richards

as Charles Gunn

Amy
Acker
as Illyria

Andy
Hallett
as
Lorne

James
Marsters
as
Spike

Written by Drew Goddard

Directed by Terence O’Hara

Past TV reviews can be found here.

Original Airdate

Origin originally aired on Wednesday, April
21, 2004.

Synopsis

Angel is forced to deal with the unexpected return of
his son,
Connor.

High Point

The entire “Rule number three” scene. She works far
better with Spike
than with Wesley.

Low Point

Once again, Lorne’s around for the sake of having
Lorne around.

The Review

This week’s episode went into some great places.
This season started
with the characters doing what they felt they had to
do, while now
they’re starting to take a more active role in
decision making. Some
of these decisions, such as Gunn’s, are very
compelling. I give it 5
out of 6 for originality, hampered only by
using yet another
prophecy as a plot device.

The effects were well done, as usual. There
wasn’t a lot we
hadn’t already seen before. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story was well written, apart from using
the typical
McGuffin. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting worked on all sides. Vincent
Cartheiser, James
Marsters, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, and Adam Baldwin
all did great
work. (I’m not even seeing Knowle Rohrer or Jayne
Cobb there
anymore.) David Boreanez did a decent job, too. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was strong, despite
my tendency to
divert some of my attention to the unit exams I
needed to mark. I
wasn’t as engaged as I usually am, but I was watching
with the lights
on and less than my full attention on screen, so I’ll
give them the
benefit of the doubt. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was nicely done, with a well
placed jump cut
shifting perspectives in the basement scene. Very
well assembled. I
give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a solid episode to close off
the story of one
of our characters, that leaves plenty open for the
coming apocalypse.
I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Origin receives 36 out of 42.

19 replies on “Angel Review – “Origin””

  1. teraph says:

    Same Old Prophecy
    I give it 5 out of 6 for originality, hampered only by using yet another prophecy as a plot device.

    I was happy that they didn’t use another one. Instead, they wrapped up one they’ve been using since Season 3. Unless there was another prophecy I missed…

  2. Babbster says:

    Had Fears. Should’ve Known Better
    They baited us during Wesley’s big “I’ve got your cube” scene. I had this dread when Wesley was talking about changing reality that they were going to break the cube, pan over and reveal a perfectly human Fred. I should know better by now than to think that even during the final season Joss and company would do something so Hollywood, but the fear was still there.

    I thought the best thing about the episode was the understated way they resolved things between Angel and Connor. I had yet another fear that the two of them were going to have some kind of heart-to-heart, but once again the fear proved unfounded…and, in retrospect, a bit disloyal. :)

    All in all, I think the episode was one of the best of the season, if only because it managed to resolve satisfactorily in one episode a situation that developed over two full seasons. Quite a tall order handled very well.

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Had Fears. Should’ve Known Better
      Hate replying to myself but:

      PS- My high point was the line, “They were supposed to take that out” when Connor indicated his attraction to older women. I laughed and, as a bonus, was reminded of the creepiness of the relationship between Connor and Evil-Cordy.

      • nkuzmik says:

        Re: Had Fears. Should’ve Known Better

        Hate replying to myself but:

        PS- My high point was the line, “They were supposed to take that out” when Connor indicated his attraction to older women. I laughed and, as a bonus, was reminded of the creepiness of the relationship between Connor and Evil-Cordy.

        Was there really a better way to handle Connor? I mean I can’t think of anything off the bat. There wasn’t a heart-to-heart, and there wasn’t yet another knock-down, drag-out father-son fight.

        The implication is that Connor does remember everything… but made a concious choice to walk away. I say this based on his body language and facial expressions at the end. The old Connor’s imperious stalk was back. Seems like a year in a normal, well-adjusted family has given him some perspective.

        • LC says:

          Re: Had Fears. Should’ve Known Better

          Was there really a better way to handle Connor? I mean I can’t think of anything off the bat.

          The implication is that Connor does remember everything… but made a concious choice to walk away. I say this based on his body language and facial expressions at the end. The old Connor’s imperious stalk was back. Seems like a year in a normal, well-adjusted family has given him some perspective.

          I thought that was exceptionally well done, Whedon at his old form of saying hundreds of things through what’s left unsaid. I never would have expected the actors to carry it off as well as they did.

          I’d much rather see that kind of resolution than having every emotional situation end (or enter another cycle of the same old thing) through extended heart-to-heart dialog. Heck, I’d have liked more of that in the last episode, not having Angel give Gunn the Remorse, Repentance, and Redemption Special Event, but having Gunn make up his mind on his own, so that the impact would be, “Oh, of course, he had to do that” rather than “Oh, of course, now we know what he’s going to do.”

        • Babbster says:

          Re: Had Fears. Should’ve Known Better
          Indeed. Connor not only seemed to finally forgive Angel for all the pain in his life (little of which Angel truly caused, of course) but there was a “thank you” buried in there for Angel’s gift of Connor’s new life.

          I don’t think it’s inappropriate to gush about how great this episode was handled in both writing and direction. Other TV creators in any genre should be looking at it…John Wells and Dick Wolf spring immediately to mind – I like ER and L&O quite a lot, but things get over-wrought quickly on both shows. Joss doesn’t underestimate the intelligence of his audience; unfortunately, that may be key to why Angel doesn’t get stellar ratings.

  3. n8f8 says:

    High Point
    My high point is when Angel did the backbreaker on the demon in the parking lot. Kind of nice that they are actually trying to tie up loose ends. Next fall is gonna suck for the Sci-Fi genre.

  4. UncleJam says:

    Amy Acker

    As bad as I think this season has been, and especially her particular storyline, I have to give credit to Amy Acker for her work as Illyria. She really gets across the subtle distinctions between Fred and Illyria with nothing more than posture and vocal tone. I daresay none of the rest of the cast would be capable of such subtleties.

    Plus, well, Connor ain’t the only one to like her in that outfit!

    (Something I didn’t understand and will have to go back and check: Spike said he thinks Illyria can speak to plants, but I didn’t see any plants in that lab. So how does he know?)

    • lost says:

      Re: Amy Acker

      (Something I didn’t understand and will have to go back and check: Spike said he thinks Illyria can speak to plants, but I didn’t see any plants in that lab. So how does he know?)

      Maybe he was attempting to make a comment about Illyria’s inscrutability? Or perhaps there’s some sort of reference that neither of us is getting?

    • fiziko says:

      Re: Amy Acker

      I daresay none of the rest of the cast would be
      capable of such subtleties.

      Take a good look at Alexis Denisof’s work from Buffy’s
      third season on. Some of his subtlety was so subtle I
      missed it until I watched the entire first season in two
      or three days. (Yay DVD!)

      • TwistyHat says:

        Re: Amy Acker

        Take a good look at Alexis Denisof’s work from Buffy’s
        third season on. Some of his subtlety was so subtle I
        missed it until I watched the entire first season in two
        or three days. (Yay DVD!)

        Hm.. you missed his subtlety in season 3 by watching season 1?

        • fiziko says:

          Re: Amy Acker

          Hm.. you missed his subtlety in season 3 by watching
          season 1?

          I meant Angel’s first season, which follows Buffy’s third,
          where the character was first introduced.

    • SciFi0964 says:

      Re: Amy Acker

      As bad as I think this season has been, and especially her particular storyline, I have to give credit to Amy Acker for her work as Illyria. She really gets across the subtle distinctions between Fred and Illyria with nothing more than posture and vocal tone. I daresay none of the rest of the cast would be capable of such subtleties.

      Plus, well, Connor ain’t the only one to like her in that outfit!

      (Something I didn’t understand and will have to go back and check: Spike said he thinks Illyria can speak to plants, but I didn’t see any plants in that lab. So how does he know?)

      I am glad someone else appreciates Amy’s portrayal. Anyone know if she has anything lined up in the future? It would be interesting to see if she has even more range. I think her possible star material if the roles were right.

  5. hck says:

    “Can I have my neckless back?”
    Wow Gunn really got to be hurting on the inside to let them hurt him so much on the outside

    • Alexius says:

      Re: “Can I have my neckless back?”

      Wow Gunn really got to be hurting on the inside to let them hurt him so much on the outside

      When He Wears The Necklace, he Doesn’t Remember Fred. Maybe The Necklace Is To Him what The Bottle Is To Wesley?

      • rfs says:

        Re: “Can I have my neckless back?”

        Wow Gunn really got to be hurting on the inside to let them hurt him so much on the outside

        When He Wears The Necklace, he Doesn’t Remember Fred. Maybe The Necklace Is To Him what The Bottle Is To Wesley?

        I didn’t see it as that so much as “wearing the necklace is my (self-imposed) punishment for what I did.” But you may have a point…

        • cb says:

          Re: “Can I have my neckless back?”

          I didn’t see it as that so much as “wearing the necklace is my (self-imposed) punishment for what I did.” But you may have a point…

          That too, but I took his thinking to be “the last time I made a deal Fred died.” Therefore, no more deals.

          -cb

          • graikor says:

            Re: “Can I have my neckless back?”
            That’s exactly what I thought it was, too. He’d accept getting rescued by Angel and buddies, but he’s not going to make a deal to save himself that would cause harm to others, as is guaranteed by any deal with the senior partners.

  6. y42 says:

    Missed crossover opportunity
    My personal low-point is kinda stupid: I would have liked the memory-
    altering demon to look like the guys from Dark City, or to use the word
    “recall” a lot…

    Aside from that, excellent show.
    “I like hitting him, he makes noises.”

Comments are closed.