Ground State

Episode Report Card
Strega: C+ | Grade It Now!
Bird on a Wire Relay

Angel and Wesley move across the random basement-ish space they're in, stopping up near a very noisy piece of equipment so that they have to half-shout their lines. Strange blocking decision there. Angel says, "As far as I'm concerned, we're okay again." No you're not! He's an ass! Unless he means that getting a chance to smother Wesley makes up for it. I guess I'd be friends with Wesley if I could smother him occasionally. Wesley turns and stares at Angel like a robot. A stupid, back-stabbing robot. Then he opens the obligatory shiny silver suitcase of secrets, pulls out a folder, and hands it to Angel. He explains, "That's everything I have on Cordelia's disappearance." Okay, does this mean that Angel was just pretending to forgive Wesley so he could get information? I can accept that. It's pragmatic. As long as he doesn't really forgive Wesley. Wesley suspects that Cordelia is in another dimension, adding that the best source for information is a demon named Dinza, "one of the Eleusian Mysteries -- a dark demi-goddess of the lost." He says, "Only the dead can enter her presence, and those that do, she often traps." Angel asks if Dinza will tell him where Cordelia is, and Wesley sniffs, "No, the most she'll tell you is where to look." Isn't telling you where to look for something is a lot like telling you where it is? Stupid Wesley. Angel asks if he should offer Dinza a gift of some kind, but stupid Wesley has already left in search of something stupid to do.

Angel drops down into a sewer tunnel, enters a silo-like place, and calls, "Knock knock? Door was open." The doorway behind him promptly swirls into a solid wall. As Angel turns to look at the former doorway, a gray hand with long claws reaches out and pokes him on the neck before swiftly withdrawing. Remember what I said about necks last week? That would really freak me out. Angel jumps around -- less freaked than I'd be -- and a voice asks, "Are you lost?" The hand grabs the back of Angel's neck again and, once again, pulls back before Angel spots it. How annoying. The demi-goddess of the lost seems to have picked up her shtick on a fourth-grade playground. Angel complains that Dinza is going to make him seasick; with that, there's a flutter, and Dinza appears, perched up above Angel. She's a gray gargoyle wearing a bit of gauze over her head. Possibly to make herself appear younger. It works better if you put that over the camera lens, Dinza. Dinza taunts Angel about being lost undersea, noting that she knows "all the lost things." Angel asks, "Really? City of Atlantis? Holy Grail? Jimmy Hoffa?" Okay, Angel, the rule of threes is that the last item should be funny. Dinza taunts, "Lost loves," and flutters away. Actually, it's all implied fluttering, which doesn't require any expensive effects, because she's a budget-friendly demi-goddess. Dinza tells Angel that Cordy doesn't need Angel anymore, but Angel says he needs Cordy. Voices mutter and growl in the background, and Dinza says, "They think that you should join them. That I should never let you out." She chuckles, "But who listens to the dead?" Okay, now she's just reminding me of Miss Havisham, for some reason. From her new perch, Dinza is sitting so that her hands are visible, curled over the edge of a platform, which is cool because it makes her look more birdlike. Y'know, like when Marty Feldman imitated an owl on The Muppet Show? Was that Marty Feldman? It seems like it probably was. Anyway, Dinza says that "the Axis of Pythia rests close by," and that Angel can use it to find Cordy. Because it bridges dimensions. Okay, why not? Angel asks why he should trust Dinza. She suddenly grabs his neck from behind (quit that!) and hisses, "Because I'd love to keep you, but you have so much more to lose." This season's theme seems to be "grabbing people's necks."

Cut to a restaurant, where Graham Chase from My So-Called Life is sitting. I hope he winds up better than Joey Potter's dad did on this show. A girl in red rubber pants, a red rubber halter top, and long black satin gloves strolls through the restaurant, which seems to be occupied solely by older men. This is so silly. But the girl is pretty. She slides into a chair opposite Mr. Chase as he grumps, "I thought I said discrete." Gwen (because that's who it is) looks down at herself and asks, "What? Do you see nipple?" He also complains that she's late. She complains right back, because the Axis of Pythia is worth $33 million, not the mere $6 million he claimed. They go through some back-and-forth to establish that he hired her to steal it from an auction house for his personal collection. She complains about her commission; he complains about her lack of professionalism. She takes a file full of information about the auction house's security, and also lifts his watch. She holds it up in her bare hand as Mr. Chase moans, "That's a twelve-thousand-dollar watch...." She smiles, closes her fist, and melts it. "Now it's surrealism," she quips, and walks off. Dali humor. Gets me every time.

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