beginning | blinding torment | boils | lies | making me bitter | evil compounds evil | blah blah bity blah
Angel 5.21: Power Play
This episode heralds the highly anticipated return of a much-loved character. So let’s put our hands together and give a rousing “welcome back, we missed you!” to our good pal Drogyn!
Drogyn, you may or may not remember, was the man
Drogyn’s inability to lie comes in handy this episode because Angel needs his friends to believe that he’s gone evil so they will come at him with sticks and stones. Since he was pretty sure his friends wouldn’t buy the whole leather pants of evil thing again, he sent an assassin after Drogyn with some trumped up story about Angel having something to do with Fred’s death and his fear that Drogyn would uncover this, since he doesn’t have a whole lot to do in the well but stare at coffins and therefore has a bit of spare time on his hands with which to poke around, knowing full well that Drogyn could kick some ass if needed and he would beat the assassin and torture the assassin until the assassin crumbled like so much wheatabix and spilled the whole reason he was there. Then Angel knew that Drogyn would set out to find Spike to tell him that Angel had been corrupted and that Spike would believe him because Drogyn can’t lie, as conveniently established in A Hole in the World. Wow. Drogyn’s pretty damn predictable. You’d think he’d have some sort of fantastic spontaneity or personality or something to make up for that wardrobe and living in a tree. But this guy? Gets no chicks.
Angel, on the other hand, inexplicably continues to get chicks. This episode he beds everybody’s favorite werewolf. No, not Oz, but Nina. We learn nothing from this tryst except that Angel knows some fabulous moves, Nina knows about the curse and perfect happiness and I gotta say, I like the character a bit more for not freaking out about Angel not losing his soul. You know some girls would be all “Why aren’t you evil? Why you still got your soul? Wasn’t I good enough? ‘Cuz I KNOW I just blew your mind, bitch. You thinking about some other girl? ARE YOU?” So props to Nina for having a sense of humor about not being enough to blow someone’s soul right out their ass. Or mouth. Or wherever the hell it escapes from.
We also find out that Nina thinks Angel’s too tense and his brow needs a vacation from all the brooding and she offers to go with him. This is important - well as important as a half-ass, last minute sub-plot can be, because later in the episode Angel shows up at her school and sends her and her family away on vacation to keep them safe. One might wonder, if one were writing these recaps out of order and one had seen the finale, why Angel would send his booty call and her family away and not his own son, but whatever. Let’s pretend I’m writing these in order, mmkay?
Also, Nina instantly loses all of the points she gained in the bedroom scene by throwing a little hissy-fit here when Angel refuses to go with her family. Considering they’ve been dating probably, like, a month, and taking into account that he’s an undead, souled demon who pays someone to stalk his once-underaged ex-girlfriend, things are bound to be complicated. And if any relationship screamed “short term booty call” rather than ‘long time loving commitment”, it’s this one. But for some reason the werewolf art major doesn’t see this, blinded by the glamour of dating the head of an evil law firm I guess, and she huffs off after promising to go, since there’s no reason to stay.
With her out of the way forever, Angel returns to its regularly scheduled poor plotting and pacing. Illyria and Spike go out to an abandoned amusement park and hunt a Boretz demon that’s been feeding off of the homeless. Drogyn magically finds them there, because he can find anyone that’s visited the well, and while it seems like a pretty lame power (what, 2, maybe 3 people visit every bazillion or so years?), it is a mighty convenient, plot-forwarding power. So at least it’s useful in that respect. Anyway, he’s all beat up and let’s them know that Angel did it to him, when really it was an assassin Angel paid to do it to him, but let’s not quibble. Illyria seizes this opportunity to declare Angel corrupted, because she’s seen this tons of times. You know, back when she was an Old One and ruled the universe? Before they heyday of mankind? Back when mankind was the muck at her feet? When, I’m sure, she allowed tons of mini-muck rulers beneath her, just so she could study them and mock them and save up all of her observations in case, you know, she was ever resurrected in an evil law firm some day.
The gang gets concerned, since Angel’s being all sorts of pissy to all of them and isn’t just picking on Lorne anymore. Among their concerns: Drogyn’s assertion that Angel’s being an asshole, Angel siding with the Frell demons and handing over the ritual sacrifice baby, Angel not caring that a Boretz demon is preying on homeless people, Angel agreeing to help an evil senator from hell destroy her opponent by making him believe he’s a pedophile so she can reclaim her lock on the chick vote and I’m sure someone, somewhere, saw him moodily eyeing a pair of leather pants. So they drag Lindsey out of whatever conference room it is they keep him shackled in for a little quality time. Lindsey offers to hug them because they look blue and crushes their spirits by reminding them that he and Angel aren’t exactly bosom buddies and lifelong pals and he has no idea why Angel is PMS-ing. Wesley thrusts his crappy drawing of a black circle with thorns around it that mysteriously appeared in one of the books he talks to so lovingly. Lindsey, of course, knows all about this.
The circle of the black thorn, long stupid explanation short, is a super secret evil societythat prefers doing/plotting acts of evil and ensuring mans' continued inhumanity to man rather than bowling or having a weekly poker night. Basically they’re the masked horsemen of this non-apocalypse. Lindsey thinks Angel’s too much of a do-gooder pansy-ass to get in, and he’d have to kill one of his buddies to earn their trust, and we all know Mr. Broody-pants is too good to do that. This, naturally, alarms our doomed heroes, because it seems to indicate his involvement in Fred’s death. Wesley ruins all of my hopes that Lindsey had a cool secret plan by revealing through his massive skills of deduction, the likes of which would rival Scooby Doo’s any day, that Lindsey came back to kill Angel to get into the inner circle. Please. That plan? Is ass. Why on earth would Lindsey killing Angel, not to mention resurrecting Spike and trying to make Spike claim the Shanshu, get him in good with the partners? But then, these are the brainiacs that gave Angel direct access to his hell holding dimension, so maybe they are stupid enough to fall for this brilliant, nonsensical ruse.
While the lads fret away, Illyria is assigned the monumental task of babysitting Drogyn in Spike’s well-protected pad. They play Crash Bandicoot. Hamilton busts in, exchanges pleasantries with Drogyn (they go way back) and then smashes them around a bit. He leaves Illyria bloodied on the floor and drags Drogyn on out of there to the super secret meeting of the black thorn, where Angel promptly sucks his blood until there’s no more Drogyn. Nevermore will he see his tree again. Let’s all take a moment to mourn the passing of one of the most beloved characters in the Angelverse…And we’re done. For some reason, this makes Angel cool enough to get into the party, and he is welcomed with champagne and hos. Well, champagne at least. There would have been hos, but the demons used up their whole budget on the Cristal. Ah well, maybe next time.
So, anyway, this was Angel’s brilliant plan all along. Or, at least since Cordy’s last kiss gave him a late night vision, much like indigestion gives you nightmares, and revealed to him who the real evil was. And then Fred died, so he decided to make her death count by spreading the rumor it was all him. (Way to steal Knox’s glory, asshole. Can the man get no respect?) Then he started acting all gloomy and evil and taking Hamilton’s side on everything and when no one was looking he planted the black thorn in Wesley’s interface *snerk* sent an assassin after Drogyn then sat back and and waited for his brilliance to come to fruition. It does so when the gang ambushes him in his office, ready to stake him. There’s a short brawl and Angel uses an amulet to cast a glamour so to anyone else it looks like they’re doing something exciting like participating in a boring Mexican stand-off when really they’re just talking. Angel explains what’s going on, and asks all of his friends to join him in a suicide mission to annoy the senior partners.
That, my friends, is a brilliant, brilliant plan. I can see why TPTB
made him a champion.