beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah
Wacky fun, take 1: Angel and Spike do Italy
Some capo demon lost his head, literally, in Italy and Gunn (who appears to have given up suits for Lent because, yeah, it was the suit that made you sign a deal with the devil) decides it’s up to someone to go retrieve it and return it to its home so it can regrow its body and rise again. If they don’t get the head back in time, it won’t regrow and a demon war will break out. So it’s a pretty important assignment. One that requires someone of the highest character and integrity. Someone who can stay focused on the issue at hand. Someone who can put the interests of the world before his own. You know, a “champion.”
Angel decides that someone is Spike because –why? He’s responsible? He’s selfless? He’s not easily distracted by shiny things? Or because Angel wants him out of the country? Yeah, I’ll leave ya’ll to decide what’s the what here. Spike, ever noble, whines. Angel then decides the someone should be him. Why? Because he’s a “champion?”Because he cares? Because the someone or something he paid to stalk Buffy calls to tell him that some ominous sounding guy named the Immortal is hot on her little tail? Bingo. I, personally, am a bit bothered that he’s stalking his ex by proxy, but since he’s a champion and all, I’m sure it’s cricket. There are laws against that sort of thing, but they probably don’t apply to champions.
Spike can’t let Angel go without him because then maybe Buffy will realize she likes Angel’s hair better than Spike’s hair if he’s not there to toss his peroxided locks to sway her mind, so off they go in their little private jet, drinking those cute little bottles of alcohol and reminiscing about their first run in with the Immortal.
The setting: Italy.
Naturally this upset Angelus, because he liked to be on top and because everyone knew nuns were his thing. So, basically, this big evil? Not so much with the evil. It more sort of runs along the lines of ambiguously, amorally sort-of-naughty. And, apparently, it enjoys annoying Angel. But Angel and Spike believe him to be a big, dangerous asshole because he didn’t worship their grade school antics back in the day, so they decide they have to rescue Buffy because she certainly can’t rescue herself. It’s good to see ME getting back to basics.
The dumbassy duo get to Rome and rather than immediately tracking down the missing head, the return of which defers a demon battle of probably epic proportions, the champions pop by Buffy’s apartment. Andrew, of course, answers the door. Of course, Andrew. Why not Andrew? Indeed. Andrew, thrilled to see Spike, gives him a big bear hug even though everyone on Buffy’s team totally hates everyone on Angel’s team now because they work for evil, invites them in and informs them that Buffy is out for the evening with the Immortal. On a date. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that Buffy is in her right mind, or at least as right as her mind gets, and is dating the Immortal of her own volition, they sort of leap the complete other way and convince themselves that she’s under a spell. Off they trot through the city to save Buffy from herself, finding the time to pull their heads out of their asses long enough to pick up the head along the way.
They trace Buffy to a crowded nightclub at, like, 8pm in Italy. Right. And we thought a vampire taking daytime strolls was as far out of reality as this show could go. How wrong we were.
At this club, Angel and Spike interrogate a bartender who just loves the Immortal and can point out Buffy, seemingly the only blonde on the miraculously crowded dance floor, from her bar. The boys, all puffed up with their manly pride, head for Buffy, only to realize that they left the head in a bag on the bar. They turn around long enough to see the butler-type guy from the scene where they picked up the head, which I totally glossed over because it was so irrelevant, not being about Buffy and all, stealing the head. They make to go after him, temporarily forgetting that the world is all about them and Buffy’s love, and get in a slo-motion fight with some goons that is funny because Spike hits Angel on accident because it’s loud and he got disoriented and Angel hits him back just because. They come to whatever senses they have and chase the butler-type demon outside. What ensues is probably one of the most boring car/moped chases in the history of mildly-annoying television, with Spike driving the moped and Angel bitching about being on back (see previous comment about Angel liking to be on top). The chase goes nowhere, and all seems lost until Spike remembers that they have a W&H office in Rome.
A W&H office in Rome. An entire office. Full of lackeys. Lackeys a law firm could probably do without just long enough for a certain head to be escorted to a branch office in LA. If, you know, they felt like it. Which, clearly, they didn’t.
So they arrive at W&H to find that it looks just like their W&H, except that everybody smokes and the Italian CEO of W&H is way more fun than Angel. She’s scantily dressed, sassy, and very opinionated on gypsies. Her name escapes me, I apologize, but let’s call her Francesca because right now that name is just speaking to me. She informs them that they’ve already received a ransom note and talks Angel and Spike out of their plan of violence to regain the head because in Italy, they just pay the ransom. This makes the Dumbtastic Duo cranky, because they like violence, but they grudgingly give in.
The drop does not go well. Angel and Spike sass, the Italian extortionists roll their eyes and then Angel and Spike start to beat everybody up. A game of keep away ensues, with Angel and Spike diving for the bag with the head in it unsuccessfully. The butler-type demon snits something about how he’s soooooooo surprised that Americans would try to solve the issue with violence rather than the peaceful way with lots of money and I’m sorry, but excuse me? They are not American. Angel’s Irish. Spike’s British. And if either of those boys have taken the time out of their slaughtering/moping/whining/sleeping with Buffy schedules to take their naturalization exams, then not only am I a fan of souled!Spike, but I believe that Buffy ‘n Angel R 4EVA. If anything this on-going Spike/Angel violence-a-rama is an allegory for the conflict between Ireland and England, and suggests that perhaps things are so confused between the two because it’s loud over there, but it’s not. So stow it, Italian butler-type dude.
Thankfully, Angel and Spike get blowed up. There was a bomb, not a head, in the bag. See? That’s funny. The Italians used violence too. But it’s okay, because, as Francesca explains, they do this all the time to the newcomers to the wacky ways of the Italian extortion ring. So it’s, like, a funny hazing without goats and not, say, a political statement on how violently sad Italian mob-type-butler-demon-dudes are. Angel and Spike, after getting reoutfitted, demand retribution in the form of much violence. (Spike, if you care, gets 10 more leather coats, so he’s no longer symbolically wearing the skin of a slayer but more just a ghost of it, which is appropriate since he’s more just a ghost of Spike than Spike anymore, and Angel finds himself in a super duper snazzy waist-length Italian leather jacket from hell that just proves that Francesca loves Spike more.) To justify their irrational, misplaced hate, they have decided that everything that has befallen them ever –Buffy dating someone else, forgetting the head at the bar, the moped they stole being crap –has been the machinations of the Immortal in his attempts to start a demon turf war. Just, apparently, to bug Angel and Spike. I really, really like this Immortal guy.
Francesca poo poos them because the Immortal is a great and wonderful dude and declares that she will take care of it and they should just go home to LA. So they go back to Buffy’s.
It should be noted that they ended up at Buffy’s one other time during the whole head fiasco, if my memory serves me correctly. Which it might not, but I never promised these recaps would be factually based. Anyway, Andrew answers again and gets a bit peevish because Buffy’s not home yet and his hero Spike is really just starting to look a little pathetic. He walks into a closet while gabbing and backs up Francesca and the bartender’s assertions that the Immortal doesn’t use magic and basically just tells them to stop being so pathetic or Buffy will never, ever love either of them. He then walks out of the closet in a tux, after saying that people change, and answers the door to head out with two lovely ladies. And this, in the buffyverse, is closure. Make of it what you will.
Back in the US, Angel and Spike tell Gunn that they failed, and Gunn’s all “uh, dumbasses? The head’s on your desk.”So Francesca took care of it. And UPS’d it home faster than Angel’s super fast jet could have carried it. Which, really, just negates the whole Spike/Angel segment of the evening, no?
Wacky fun, take 2: Illyria and Wesley fuck with the Burkles
Fred’s perky parents show up, oblivious to their daughter’s death. Illyria decides to masquerade as Fred as research or out of boredom or hell, who knows why this character does what it does. This annoys Wesley, but he allows Illyria her fun because he’s an emotional invalid incapable of giving the Burkle’s the courtesy of telling them that their daughter is no longer of this earth. Or anywhere, really, considering her soul burned up in cleansing fires and all. But the Burkles don’t know this, because no one at W&H thought to shoot them a quick email or pick up a phone or anything. Bastards.
The Burkles take the tour, rib their “daughter”about not dating the eligible Wesley, which causes Wesley even more pain, to my great joy, and leave W&H still believing their obnoxiously chipper daughter is still alive and annoying the shit out of me. Wesley then tells Illyria never to do that again, pretty much guaranteeing that she will be doing that again.