Ground State

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

After the ads, we zoom into Cordy's eye, then zip down through clouds into Los Angeles, and land in the Hyperion's lobby. Fancy. I'm not sure what the point was, but fancy, nonetheless. Fred has a tablet set up on an easel, and flips over the first page as she starts to teach Angel and Gunn all about the Axis. Her visual aid is a line drawing that I'm not going to describe considering some of the things I had to explain in last week's recap. She reads from notecards as she describes the Axis as a metal arc set in a marble base, and mentions that it was "forged from the Tripod of the Delphic Oracle." Gunn sips his coffee and stares into space, trying to figure out how to tell Fred, without hurting her feelings, that she's wearing a ridiculous shirt. Angel is seated further back with his own pad of paper, and suddenly leans forward to hand Gunn his own drawing. "Wow," says Gunn, and while the sketch isn't that impressive, it does at least involve perspective. Fred is startled by Angel's artistic semi-skill, and he dismisses it as a bit of scribbling. Fred goes back to her presentation, describing the Axis's "mystical qualities" and revealing a picture of a yellow ghost with "Boo!" written next to it. Heh. Johanna tells me that Fred should have done a PowerPoint presentation. I was thinking the same thing. Fred says that the Axis can be used to locate souls and entities across different dimensions. Angel interrupts, "Entities like..." and holds up a sketch of Cordy's face. Gunn admires Angel's drawing, and then reassures Fred, "I liked your little...ghost...guy." Fred grumps. She turns to the next page, a blocky drawing of a building that, for complicated reasons, gives me flashbacks to some training materials I've been working on lately. Fred explains that the Axis is at Chandler's Auction House, which sells black-market goods and will probably have expensive security. Angel quickly expositions that he "beat the building plans out of a snitch who thought [Angel] was dead." What? I understood that first part, but I'm not sure what the part about thinking Angel was dead signifies. He is dead. But that doesn't keep him from beating people up. So why would that matter? It's really not important, I'm just confused.

The next page of Fred's presentation lists the obstacles: security cameras, electric gates, and so on. Gunn says, "If it's an auction house -- can't we just, y'know, eBay it? How much is it?" Gunn sips his coffee as Angel and Fred chorus, "Thirty-three million dollars." To his credit, Gunn does not do a spit-take. He just chokes and gasps, "I think my lungs have coffee," before stumbling away. Fred says that she's working on a plan, "but so far it involves being sent to prison and becoming somebody's bitch." Angel assures Fred that he's done heists like this a million times. I start to correct him, but he does it for me: "Okay, maybe twice. But I'm good at it, I swear!" Gunn returns in time to ask, "You're not counting the time we got the crazy-making death shroud that nearly killed us, right?" Angel blinks, and decides to ignore that and insist that this is what they have to do to find Cordelia. Fred too-perkily gathers up her materials and says she'll whip up a plan. As she exits, Angel helpfully calls after her, "I'm really strong, if that helps!" Ha! Gunn asks Angel what he thinks they'll need for the break-in. Oh boy, cue the montage!

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