Harm's Way

Episode Report Card
Strega: D+ | Grade It Now!
Working Vamp

Cary says cheerio to Spicule and wanders off to do whatever it is he was planning to do before all the chatting. Wesley and Gunn vanish, or maybe walk off with Cary. Harmony watches as Spicule steps closer to Fred with a charmingly bashful attitude that is practically fresh and new if you haven't watched Season Five of Buffy in a while. He tells Fred that he appreciates all the work she did trying to de-ghostify him. Fred says she didn't do anything, but Spicule insists, "Oh, but you did! You believed in...." Unicorns? Did she make him feel like a man, instead of the ghost of a vampire with a soul? Fred finally says, "You're welcome," and hobbles off.

As Spicule starts to walk away, Harmony grumbles, "What? I don't get a goodbye just because I went crazy and tried to rip your throat out while we were having sex?" She does a good job of making her voice all "trying not to burst into tears" quavery. Spicule, bemused, says, "Keep it simple, Harm. It suits you." Okay: heh. He walks off, and Harmony pouts.

Later, the MoG have gathered in the conference room, and Harmony's there too. I guess she's supposed to be taking notes, but since she isn't normally part of these pow-wows, it just reminds us that the episode's from her point of view, so she's got to be worked into all of the scenes with plot points. I think that's the problem with this episode: they did it like a standard episode, except Harmony's the main character. I think something like Babylon 5's "A View From the Gallery" would have worked a lot better. Not that it was a great episode, but the concept is a good one, especially for comedy. I guess that's the thing: the premise of the episode suggests that it'll be hilarious to see the characters, and Wolfram & Hart, from a different point of view. But the point of view isn't that different, and there's not that much hilarity. Maybe they thought it would seem even more like "Storyteller," but for some reason I have trouble believing that everyone at Mutant Enemy spends a lot of time worrying about repeating themselves. Where were we?

Oh yeah: exposition. So they're hosting a conference for two warring demon clans. Apparently, this conflict started over a misused fork. See, that's not so much hilarity as whimsy. Gunn mentions that "a demon rights activist by the name of Tobias Dupree got involved. He's liaison to both clans. Only guy in the world they all trust." Wesley asks why they care if a bunch of demons kill each other, which is what I was wondering, which makes me feel icky. Gunn claims that if the MoG can stop the fighting, it'll impress the other demons. Fred says, "That makes sense." No, it doesn't. You don't want to impress demons with your negotiating skills; you want to kill them. Because of their being all evil. Remember? Then there's some general chit-chat about how the demons are really persnickety about manners, and so everyone has to learn demon etiquette. Danny -- the guy from the kitchen -- pokes his head in, and Cary gets a few precious lines as he encourages Danny to enter. Danny hands over his planned seating chart. Cary compliments him, Danny preens, Danny exits. Harmony looks grumpy. Fred natters about upgrading the weapons scanner. I was at a meeting for two and a half hours last Thursday. It was more interesting than this scene. Gunn declares that he'll be doing the translating, since the demons don't speak English. He explains, "Along with the law, and the Gilbert & Sullivan, I also got me a few demon languages in the brain-upload." He left out the knowledge of extra-dimensional demon laws. I guess he doesn't want to seem like a show-off. Or he doesn't want to draw attention to the fact that it takes two characters who can do anything just to get through an episode with almost no plot. Angel repeats that Demon Etiquette Is Very Important, and this time Harmony interrupts to mention that she's done some research, and asks, "Did you know that they think poodles are wicked bad luck?" Wesley says he's glad Harmony's there, and of course she perks up, and then of course he tells her, "We'll be needing lunch." Harmony despairs while the others debate the merits of Thai food.

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