Episode Report Card
Strega: D | 3 USERS: B+

"We're doomed," Wesley intones while we stare at Angel's big head. Angel suggests various paths of escape, but Wesley shoots down all his suggestions. The trilling, tense music, combined with the fact that we see both of them in tight close-up so that there's no context, is the equivalent of a flashing neon sign that reads: "Ironic comedy punch-line ahead!" It turns out that they're not fighting the minions of darkness at all, they're just sitting in a sparsely populated theater, watching Cordelia star in A Doll's House. For some reason, when I saw the set I instantly thought of A Doll's House, and was amused to discover that my guess was right. Cordy's stiff gestures and line-reading are appalling, although she does enunciate very clearly, and that's why Angel and Wesley are so desperate to leave. See, it's a hilarious comedy gag! Cordy breaks character and calls, "Line!" before getting some prompting from backstage. "And I thought I knew eternity," Angel mutters. Welcome to my world, Angel. At least I get to enjoy the music during the credits, though.

After the usual Koyaanisqatsi shot of nighttime traffic, we cut to Cordy strolling down the street with an uncomfortable Angel and Wesley. She wants their opinion of her performance. Wesley finally comes up with "You took the role and made it your own." I have some problems with Cordelia's purported lack of acting ability, since she's demonstrated plenty of ability to schmooze and bluff, which is essentially acting. Admittedly, it's different from performing on stage and reading someone else's lines, but I still don't believe she'd be quite this atrocious. But that's me. Anyway, Cordy asks if Angel thought she was good, and he responds, "I wouldn't say it if I didn't think so." Cordy grins, then notices that Angel left himself a loophole, but is suddenly distracted and shouts, "There's Oliver Simon!"

Across the street is a crowd of people, and apparently Cordy's peripheral vision noticed and recognized a famous talent agent among them. Sure. She says, "I was at a party with him once," and then tells Angel, "You were there!" Angel stares for a moment at Oliver and mentions, "He gave me his card." That's a little reference to "City of" right there. Cordy is bitter that Angel made an impression with Oliver, but is distracted again when she sees who Oliver is with: "Rebecca Lowell!" We see a petite skeleton with dark hair in a red dress stroll out to the street. No one recognizes the name, so Cordy explains that Rebecca played "Raven" in On Your Own, which aired for nine and a half years before being cancelled by "the idiot network." They still don't know who she is. While Cordy complains about their ignorance of pop culture, Angel notices a car idling down the street. Rebecca, for no readily explicable reason, begins walking across the street intently, abandoning her manager and the crowd of people. The car begins moving down the street, while Angel runs across the hood of a parked car and into the street. Racing car. Rebecca blinded by oncoming headlights in the middle of the street. Angel running. Angel pushing Rebecca out of the way and rolling off the hood of the car before it speeds away. Angel's got on some fierce boots. Oliver and company (hee) scurry to make sure Rebecca is unharmed as Angel picks himself up. Rebecca approaches and asks Angel if he's okay. Cordy answers for him, insisting it was an honor to save her life. Rebecca tries again to speak to Angel, and Cordy explains that Angel doesn't know who Rebecca is. Rebecca seems stunned by the very idea while Oliver tries to give Angel a few bucks as a thank-you gesture. Oliver looks and acts a bit like Steven Spielberg, which also means he looks and acts a bit like Dawson Leery, which of course means that I've got several good reasons not to like him already. Rebecca introduces herself by saying, "I'm Rebecca," like she doesn't have a last name, and asks Angel, "You make a habit of this sort of thing?" Cordy says that he does, because he's "The Dark Revenger, only not too dark -- happy dark!" Wasn't it the "Dark Avenger" the first time, back in "Hero?" She scrambles for one of their business cards while Rebecca notices an a camera crew in the crowd and grumbles, "Who called E.T.?" Wesley twists around and wonders, "Emma Thompson?" Mark your calendars: Wesley made me chuckle! Oliver suggests that they put their own spin on the murder attempt, while I try to figure out what that might be. Are they really concerned that the tabloids might say she deserves to die? Because otherwise, exactly what "spin" is necessary? When Rebecca turns around, Angel is gone, and Cordy hands Rebecca their business card before being dragged away by Wesley. A blipvert shows Angel's collision with the car again, for anyone who missed it the first time.

At the office, Angel is doing some filing when Cordy bursts in, thrilled because "Last night's all over the front page of the 'Calendar' section" of the newspaper. She shows off the photo, pointing out that her elbow is visible in the corner. Angel tries to rain on the parade, saying it's no big deal, "We got a nice photo of Cordelia's elbow, and an article about me saving a TV star." Angel starts to leave the room when Wesley points out, "There's no mention of you." Angel steps back and cranes his neck around to look at the paper in a disappointed way. After a moment, he unconvincingly says that the omission as a good thing. Cordy is less calm, explaining that Rebecca hasn't had a show since On Your Own and that "We have to use this now before she's just another E! True Hollywood Story!" She claims that if they publicize what happened, stars will be lining up for Angel's services, because who knows when they'll need to be pushed out of the way of an oncoming vehicle? "Glad I beat the crowd then," says Rebecca, entering on cue with her burly bodyguards. Rebecca asks if she can talk to Angel, and when Angel invites her into his office, she turns to her bodyguards and says, "Stay." I already don't like her. Angel follows, but not before repeating the "Stay" instruction to Cordy and Wesley.

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