Angel Review – “The Girl In Question”

We’re in the home stretch. Are you pumped?

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 and Steven S. DeKnight.

Directed by David Greenwalt.

Past TV reviews can be found here.

Original Airdate

The Girl In Question originally aired on
Wednesday, May 5, 2004.

Premise

Angel and Spike travel to Italy to find a corpse, and
help Buffy.
Meanwhile, Fred’s parents drop in for a visit.

High Point

Wesley’s look of dawning realization in his office
was perfect, and
subtle. It was a slow, continuous change that you’d
expect from
someone who is still processing what’s going on, and
not quite
believing it.

“He felt like sunshine!” was a close second.

Low Point

There’s not enough time left. I look at what is left
for each
character to close out their own stories, and I don’t
see how it’s
going to get done in two episodes.

The Review

It’s not completely original, but it has
it’s moments. In
the main storyline, this is the second time that
they’ve used Buffy
without getting Sarah Michelle Gellar on board.
We’ve had the
flashbacks to introduce old villains before in this
very season. The
seconday story, back at Wolfram and Hart, was nicely
done, with some
interesting character exploration. (Illyria is one
of the characters
that’ll need a lot of time to finish off her story.)
I give it 4 out
of 6.

The effects were well done in most cases.
The morph was
actually pretty good, perhaps because it was morphing
into the same
actress. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story hit the “okay, let’s focus on the
corpse… where’s
Buffy?” joke a couple of times more than it should
have, but was
otherwise pretty good. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting is still weak from David
Boreanaz, and still
exceptional from Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was strong,
particularly in the
flashback with Darla and Drusilla. (That had to be
one of the
funniest scenes in the series.) I’m still wondering
if the head of
the Italian Wolfram and Hart knew something we didn’t
when she greeted
them. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was good for most of the
episode. The flash
cuts were back, although not as frequent. The one
scene that stands
out as a problem was the slow motion combat. David
Boreanaz and James
Marsters just haven’t had enough stunt training to
time responses
properly, and it stands out in a slow motion
sequence. That should
have been rewritten to a full speed sequence once the
footage was
collected. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent episode, but it
doesn’t seem to be
quite as pivotal as I expected this near the end. I
give it 4 out of
6.

In total, The Girl In Question receives 32
out of 42.

17 replies on “Angel Review – “The Girl In Question””

  1. valen1260 says:

    out of time

    I think the whole “A” story in Italy was a waste of viewers’ time. I couldn’t watch any of it without thinking “Two more episodes and they’re going nowhere in Europe?” The flashbacks, the cheap shot of Buffy’s hair, and the “copa de familia” all served only to support the not-funny gag about The Immortal. (All that, plus the Italian accents grew very annoying.)
    How can they be moving toward closure?

    On the other hand, the “B” story was torture… but in a good way. I felt every bit of Wesley’s pain, both because AD does such a good job, and because I hated seeing Illyria pull strings as Fred.

    And how can you leave out the High Point of Andrew in a Strong Bad t-shirt? (And the Low Point of Andrew in a tux?)

    • jdarksun says:

      Re: out of time

      I think the whole “A” story in Italy was a waste of viewers’ time. I couldn’t watch any of it without thinking “Two more episodes and they’re going nowhere in Europe?”

      Except the point of the episode was that while Buffy’s main story is finished – she has moved on – neither Angel’s nor Spike’s is done yet.

      And they can’t as long as they’re that hung up on Buffy.

      This episode left me with a message: that the story of these characters isn’t done yet, despite only having two more episodes left. I think that’s not only reasonable, but a valuable message to impart as the series is cancelled.

      • Timeshredder says:

        Re: out of time and wasting it.

        I actually thought that the second plot worked better, in that it gave us an interesting look at what Fred has become. The Roma story struck me (and my wife, who is a fan of the show) as an incredible waste of time, with an Italian Wolfram and Hart which they don’t even bother to contact until they’re in trouble, a cheap use of Buffy without SMG, and Spike’s iconic jacket wrecked and a new local wasted on a series of bad jokes. Drucilla and Darla’s cameo didn’t make up for these things, IMHO.

        • UncleJam says:

          Re: out of time and wasting it.

          an Italian Wolfram and Hart which they don’t even bother to contact until they’re in trouble

          Hey yeah, why was Gunn so anxious to send someone after the head anyway? Couldn’t they have just had the Rome W&H office make the pickup? Then Angel and Spike could have been around to see Fredified Illyria.

      • Babbster says:

        Re: out of time

        This episode left me with a message: that the story of these characters isn’t done yet, despite only having two more episodes left. I think that’s not only reasonable, but a valuable message to impart as the series is cancelled.

        Take that thought a step further. Does the relatively slow pace of the last several episodes of the series mean that Joss and company have gotten a firm commitment on the TV-movie continuation plan? In a way it’s scary to think about, but we could be looking down the barrel of being left at the edge of a very dangerous precipice (I love mixing metaphors).

    • UncleJam says:

      Re: out of time

      I think the whole “A” story in Italy was a waste of viewers’ time.

      I totally agree. Except for a few, short moments (Angel and Spike arguing over who has saved the world more was pretty funny, I thought, especially the quibbling over Buffy’s S2 finale) it was a complete waste. During the chase scene I kept thinking “What is this, a Pink Panther movie?”

      On the other hand, the “B” story was torture… but in a good way. I felt every bit of Wesley’s pain, both because AD does such a good job, and because I hated seeing Illyria pull strings as Fred.

      Agree again. This should have been the A story and then we could have seen everyone’s reactions to the Fredified Illyria. That would have been a much better way to spend the antepenultimate ep.

      And how can you leave out the High Point of Andrew in a Strong Bad t-shirt? (And the Low Point of Andrew in a tux?)

      How about the low point being simply the presence of Andrew? I had more than enough of him in Buffy S7, thank you.

      • valen1260 says:

        Re: out of time

        How about the low point being simply the presence of Andrew? I had more than enough of him in Buffy S7, thank you.

        Your words cut! Andrew was a really fun, geeky character (to which I can relate). On his own, he doesn’t stand well, but he is a catalyst for humor. I really liked him bringing out the geek in Xander and playing D&D before the apocalypse. I’ll concede that his last two appearances on Angel have been ill-conceived.

        • UncleJam says:

          Re: out of time

          Andrew was a really fun, geeky character (to which I can relate).

          Yes, he was. At first. Then he became a really lame running joke on Buffy. A one-trick pony, if you will. Too much of a good thing, in other words.

          And I’m sure many of us can relate to Andrew’s geekiness. The comic books, the Star Wars references, the desperate need to seem a part of something bigger, etc. But that just makes the use of him as the butt of every anti-geek joke the writers could think of even more of an annoyance, and, it could be argued, even a betrayal of the Buffy fans who might identify with him. From the beginning, one of the core themes of the show was that these kids were considered outsiders. By the end of the show, they had become the ones ostracizing and denigrating the outsiders. Andrew was just the most visible expression of that.

          • jdarksun says:

            Re: out of time

            Yes, he was. At first. Then he became a really lame running joke on Buffy. A one-trick pony, if you will. Too much of a good thing, in other words.

            I was more fond of Xander being the “geeky” one – the B5 collectors plates, comics references. He was the “normal guy” to which we could all relate.

            I also think he was a good deal more heroic than Andrew.

          • Babbster says:

            Re: out of time

            But that just makes the use of him as the butt of every anti-geek joke the writers could think of even more of an annoyance, and, it could be argued, even a betrayal of the Buffy fans who might identify with him. From the beginning, one of the core themes of the show was that these kids were considered outsiders. By the end of the show, they had become the ones ostracizing and denigrating the outsiders. Andrew was just the most visible expression of that.

            Given the geekiness exhibited by the writers long before Andrew was a regular on Buffy, I think it’s a self-deprecation situation – something I think the geekier fans of the show are probably savvy to.

            It’s also worth noting that ostracizing and denigrating Andrew was entirely understandable given that he was a key part of events that led to Tara getting whacked and Willow breakin’ on through to the dark side, not to mention being an accomplice in the murder of Warren’s ex-girlfriend.

  2. Boglin says:

    As you wish
    Did anyone else get a “Princess Bride” vibe when Illyria told Wesley “As you wish”? Especially since his name is Wesley? Or am I reading too much into this?

    • graikor says:

      Re: As you wish

      Did anyone else get a “Princess Bride” vibe when Illyria told Wesley “As you wish”? Especially since his name is Wesley? Or am I reading too much into this?

      That’s exactly what I said while watching the episode! I think that we won’t have to tie up the Illyria loose end, because her going off with Wesley to learn to be human is a perfectly reasonable direction, and it won’t require more than two episodes to do it. I still wonder if either Angel or Spike will Shanshu, but that doesn’t really need to be tied up, either.

      Besides, it’s not possible for Angel end on a more sour note for me than having Ross hook up with Rachel again. Aaarrgh – I hate that guy!

      • Mr. Vapor says:

        Re: As you wish

        I still wonder if either Angel or Spike will Shanshu…

        hmm, interesting new verb, to Shanshu.

        What could it possibly mean.
        “To fulfill ones destiny, especially if it might have been construed as someone else’s”
        or
        “To follow a destiny only because it has been written, especially falsely written. see Sahjahn”
        or
        “To kill one another for petty reasons, when you where both necessary to stop the apocolypse”
        or even
        “To brood while wearing a leather coat.”

        • fiziko says:

          Re: As you wish

          “To brood while wearing a leather coat.”

          I vote for this one.

          • y42 says:

            to Shanshu

            “To brood while wearing a leather coat.”

            I vote for this one.

            Lets try it in a sentence: “When my girlfriend broke up with me, I shanshued
            for weeks!”…yeah, works fine ;-)

  3. SciFi0964 says:

    On Andrew…
    Having just read some of these comments on the character of Andrew I’ve gotta say something. Yes he was a geek, and we all recognized that. I think though that the writers were using a known character fans could understand to punctuate a point; we can all change and move on as he did. His last scene where he shows up looking pretty suave in that Tux and speaking the local lingo was funny and poignant.

    My guess is that the part was written for Xander but they could not get the actor.

    TM2C.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: On Andrew…

      My guess is that the part was written for Xander but
      they could not get the actor.

      Quite possible. Nicholas Brendan checked himself into
      rehab around the time that episode was filmed.

Comments are closed.