Sunday, 8 February 2015

Angel: Carpe Noctem

"I'm not a eunuch!!!"

This episode may be a story-of-the-week, but the central conceit is fantastically dark; a feeble, dying old man using magic to swap bodies with fit young men and shagging his way through their bodies until the body collapses and returns him to his old body. The most horrible part of this is that these men all live out their last few hours in an old man's body, patronised and tyrannised by the staff of the retirement home in what looks awfully like a bit of actual social commentary. Although, I suppose, there's also a certain amount of "aren't old people scary?"

There's not much to say about this episode, really; I think it's a case of a brilliant concept being strong enough to survive a flawed execution. But the ending is, perhaps, a little rushed, and the climactic scene in which the bodies are switched back is both shot and acted so as to indicate that the spell failed. Still, I enjoyed the episode, even if it will never be a favourite.

Arc-wise, rivalry compels Lilah to help Angel thwart Gavin Park's somewhat dull legalistic plotting, and it's interesting how she responds to "Angel's" advances. Oh, and Fred's crush on Angel seems to be nipped in the bud. Poor Fred.

We end in a similar way to the last episode of Buffy; the eponymous slayer is alive, and Angel has to see her...

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