Conviction (1)

Episode Report Card
Pilot Light

We open on a school hallway, and I suddenly get even more terrified because maybe Whedon completely forgot which show this is. A couple of boys are talking about comics. One of them is named Matt. They enter the classroom. I can understand opening the show with a scene that's very important to the story, or with a scene that isn't really important but is exciting or amusing or in some way grabs your attention. This was both uninteresting and unnecessary. Although that's consistent with a lot of things about the show, so maybe that was the idea.

Now that the show has established mood (ennui), we're ready to see Wolfram & Hart, where a mail cart is being pushed along. Ah yes, already this is much more exciting. There's a bulky envelope addressed to Angel on top of his cart. As he reaches the elevator, the doors open, and Fred appears. The elevator opens on both sides, so she's staring around in confusion. Wesley approaches and offers to help with all the exposition she's carrying. Fred declines his help, but leaps right into the exposition by asking if he's seen her laboratory. "It's giganamous [sic], and I'm in charge." She says she doesn't understand a lot of what goes on there, and Wesley admits, "I'm still stuck back at, 'Why on earth are we here?'" Fred answers, "Because the ratings are continuing to sink slowly, the writers who are tired of limbo-ing have moved on to other gigs, and this may be Whedon's last chance to prove that Marti Noxon shouldn't be blamed for all of the insane developments on Buffy." As if on cue, Knox hurries over to join them, and Fred introduces him to Wesley while allowing Knox to help her with her box of exposition. Oh, burn! Wesley grumpily asks Knox, "How long have you been evil?" Knox insists that he just does what he's told, and now that he works for Fred, he'll probably be "saving the world on a weekly basis." See, he really is helping her carry the exposition. He offers to escort Fred to her office, since she can't find it on her own. She says, "Thanks, Knoxy," and off they go.

Suddenly, Gunn tosses a basketball into Wesley's midsection, because Gunn is black. And streetwise! He's also grown some hair since what was apparently last week, which makes me grumpy. Not because I care about the continuity -- I just liked him bald. Wesley grumbles, "Cricket's more my game," because Wesley is English. Gunn asks after Fred, and Wesley says that "Knoxy" will take care of her. He asks, "Don't you think it's a bit unseemly adding 'Y's to the ends of people's names?" because he is jealous of Knox. Gunn asks, "Does that mean I have to call you 'Wesle'?" Heh. Gunn says he's decided which office he wants, and leads Wesley across the foyer. We're still in a long tracking shot, by the way. Whedon loves long tracking shots. I like them when they add to what's happening, like the one in the hospital in "Graduation Day, Part 2," but I get the feeling this one is just here because Whedon loves long tracking shots. I mean, it's making the layout of the offices even more confusing than it would otherwise be, because we keep whirling around in circles. Anyway, Gunn offers to switch offices with Wesley if Wesley doesn't like the "the kung pao or whatever." Wesley corrects him: "Feng shui." Gunn asks what that means, and Wesley replies, "That people will believe anything." Heh. It seems like everyone is getting at least one good joke. That's nice. Wesley and Gunn exposition a little about how strange their new circumstances are. Gunn says, "You got the mystical creds, at least. I just hit stuff." He adds that even if they do learn how to use Wolfram & Hart properly, "it's gonna be a long, long while before any of us gets anywhere near comfortable here."

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