A New World

Episode Report Card
Strega: B- | Grade It Now!
Connor vs. Our Expectations

Previously on Angel, Angel accidentally tried veal, Justine attempted to make Wesley into a kosher meal, Holtz turned rustler, bugs stampeded the hotel, and Connor cowabunga-ed home.

Speed ramp in on Angel's lack of expression as he stares at Connor. It's so tempting just to say, "They all fight," and skip to the next scene, but what the heck. Most of this is in slow-motion with the camera moving in and out of the action, and some of it works, and some of it shows off some nice fight choreography, and some of it really irritates me. Groo hops out to defend Angel while Gunn runs for the weapons cabinet. Angel turns and waves at the MoG while shouting, "Waaaaaaiiit." See, that's the trouble right there. People shouting in slow-motion never, ever works. Connor fires his stake-gun, and I wonder if Gunn wishes he had one of those. The stakes pop out toward Angel and zoom past the camera in full Matrix-vision, which is the second thing that irritated me. Angel shouts "Nooooo," see above, and twists so that one stake hits his shoulder while he turns to swat a second stake out of the way. I believe this is what Cordy's vision from the last episode showed. Something that works very well indeed is the fact that as Angel's doing that, Groo is behind him throwing his battle-axe at Connor, so as Angel moves one way, the battle-axe goes spinning by in the other direction. I liked that a lot, because slow-motion is useful when there are several things happening at once. Connor swats the axe away, and we can finally see that he's got a cool scythe-y blade strapped over his arm. I want one! We go back to normal speed as the third stake (I guess) clatters to the floor. Connor once again raises his stake-gun to aim at Angel and says, "Interesting." The main problem that I see with the stake-gun is reloading. I can't see where there'd be room for more than three stakes in there, so now he's just got a bulky set of tubes weighing his arm down. Think about that during the credits. Alternatively, you can try to decide whether every act will end with Connor about to attack Angel that way.

When we return, Angel gets as far as saying, "It's you. Connor." Then Connor fires three more stakes. I guess he reloaded during the commercial break. Angel avoids the stakes with the dazzling action-hero move of backing up a step, but then does a gratuitous shoulder roll to regain credibility. Cordy tosses her sword over to Angel while Connor throws off his stake-gun. Ah, it's a six-shooter! Okay, I can accept that. Take it, Gunn! It's cool! Connor slashes at Angel a few times with his blade, and then does a nifty one-handed flip backward. Groo and Gunn are standing by the counter with new weapons. I think Groo has a mace, and Gunn picked up his sharpened baseball bat. A cabinet full of weapons, and he takes the baseball bat. Fred really did suck out his brain. It doesn't matter, though, because Connor leaps up and spins to kick them both in their faces. Cordy picks up the other sword and stands to defend Cary and Fred, who are cowering in the office doorway. Angel manages to get as far as "Will you just stop for a --" before Connor attacks him again. Connor sure spins around a lot. I wonder if that's Angel's love for ballet coming out. Some more whirling, and Angel and Connor stand back to back for a moment. Then Connor gives Angel an elbow punch, knocking him over. Connor yanks Angel through his legs and across the floor, then prepares to slice into Angel's head. Angel blocks the blow and kicks Connor away. Connor spins into a backwards somersault and lands...on his ass. Ha! He quickly hops back up again. Angel tells everyone to calm down, like that'll work. Groo, Gunn, and Angel take turns getting knocked around for a minute. Gunn says, "Angel, if Peter Pan here doesn't stop --" and gets kicked in the head. Again. Poor Gunn. Connor rushes over to slice Gunn, and Angel gives up on the idea that a soothing chat will solve this problem. He rushes over and pulls Connor away, throws him down, and then pushes Connor's arm so that the blade is creasing Connor's throat. They stare at each other, and Angel finally eases back and tosses the blade across the room. Without looking at where it may go. Boy, I wish it had accidentally hit Fred. Angel leans over to give Connor a hand up, but Connor cowers back and then jumps up and races for the door. Because the wild boy is running on his way back from the fiery hell dimension. Total elapsed time for that scene: 1:46. Pretty cool stuff. Props to Tim Minear. For that fight and just in general, because this episode looked terrific.

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