Smile Time

Episode Report Card
Strega: A+ | 11 USERS: A+
Angel's A Puppet.

Blipvert to Angel at his desk, trying to sew his jacket back together. He's also got a few claw-marks on his head. As he sews he grumbles, "Stupid fingers." The thread suddenly snaps, and he adds, "Stupid string." Wesley and Fred enter, and Wesley starts to describe their discovery, but Fred notices Angel's new scars and asks what happened. Angel insists that it's not important, and so Wesley and Fred resume their exposition: they announce that, based on the strength of the signal, "Framkin's ready to take out the whole audience." Wesley guesses that the metal egg Angel found contains the stolen life-force, and that if they break the binding magic on it, the children and Angel will be restored. Angel startles at that news, then launches himself across the room and clings to Fred, tearfully gasping, "I love you guys!" He calms down a second later and figures that they'd better roll. He points out, "Framkin knows we're on to him," thanks to Angel's sending Gunn and Cary to tell him that, but whatever. He figures that the puppets will work their mojo on the whole audience on today's show. Gunn suddenly enters, and Angel looks Gunn up and down as Gunn explains that it's not Framkin; the puppets are demons. He expositions that "Smile Time's ratings hit an all-time low last season. Framkin made a deal with some devils to bring it back to number one." He says that he found the contract in the "Library of Demonic Congress," and that Framkin missed the fine print. Angel guesses that the puppets took over the show, and Gunn says that they have a "distinctive MO." Fred is surprised to hear this has happened before, and Gunn asks, "You seen the last few seasons of Happy Days?" And I understand why they wouldn't say Buffy, but it might have been nice to make a slightly more contemporary reference. It's not like there's a lack of punchlines for that joke. Gunn concludes that the puppets are the problem. Angel grabs a sword from off the wall, unsheathes it, and says, "Let's take out some puppets!"

And then there's the traditional power shot as Fred opens the office doors, and she, Gunn, and Wesley march out, ready for battle. And then the camera pans down to show Angel in the lead, which is, okay, slightly problematic because if Fred opened the doors, did he run past her to get in front? But the point is that we go into slo-mo as they walk along, and the puppet is in the lead with the sword slung over his neck, and it won't ever stop being funny.

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