Episode Report Card
Strega: B | 5 USERS: B+
Faith-Based Initiative

Previously on Angel, there were these same previouslys last week, plus Wesley and Faith came upon a weird vampire-druggie lounge; Cordy learned ventriloquism; and Angel played hacky sack with Wesley and quenched his thirst with Faith.

It's hard to tell when the new episode actually begins, because we start with the final scene from "Release." Angelus sucks on Faith's neck and then suddenly pulls away from her. He and Faith pant at each other. Not like that. Angelus gasps, "What did you do?" Faith clutches her neck and looks at him.

Flashback to the fight from last week. Faith is knocked out of the way, Wesley opens fire. While Angelus is distracted, Faith pulls a syringe out of her boot and injects herself, and then gets up to rejoin the battle. What a lame trick. I don't mean Faith doping herself up; that's fine. I mean keeping something from the audience solely to generate suspense, and then using a flashback to "reveal" it later. It's cheap, and it's not playing fair with the audience. I can let it slide a little, since on the other occasions when Mutant Enemy did exactly the same thing, the "surprise" was a lot more critical to the story, whereas this time it was just a cliffhanger ending. But it's still lazy, blatantly manipulative writing. Anyway. Angelus glares at Faith, then grunts, "You spiked --" and collapses, unconscious. Behind Faith, there's some rattling as Wesley finally crawls out of the broken scaffolding and falls onto the floor. He asks Faith if she's okay. Faith struggles to turn around, looks at Angelus, and smirks, "Kicked his ass." And then she, too, collapses.

Credits. This week's Boreanaz quote: "The gamut of my career will run in all facets as I progress."

Fred's all alone in the Hyperion's lobby, reading a book. Gunn bursts through the door, shouting for Connor as he drags a bound and unconscious Angelus inside. Gunn tells Fred to get her tranq gun and bellows for Connor again. Fred asks what happened, and Gunn says, "Wes called; I went." Really? Huh. I'd like to have heard that call. "Gunn? Wesley here. Things went really well, thanks to my brilliant plan, but now we're all having a bit of trouble remaining upright. Don't suppose you could come by, lend a hand?" Fred asks where Faith and Wesley are. Cary wanders out sleepily, wondering what the ruckus is about. Then he spots Angelus and screams, "Aaa! It's Angelus! He's in the hotel!" As Gunn asks Fred to get some shackles, Cary adds, "...But maybe we're already aware of that." Gunn explains that the rope was all he had in his truck, and then Connor finally arrives in the lobby in time to repeats Fred's question about Faith and Wesley. Having received his cue, Wesley enters, carrying an unconscious Faith. He orders them to take Angelus back to the basement and adds, "She captured Angelus." Faith and Connor stare at Faith, while Cary hurries to play nursemaid. Gunn reminds Connor that they've got a vampire to deal with.

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