Angel Investigations: Sense and Sensitivity

My life is still crazy, but I found the time to watch another Angel episode (yay!). I don’t know when I’ll have time to post the next one, but it’ll happen eventually

Doyle: You were right– Papasian’s planning something.

Angel: What’d you hear?

Doyle: …Papasian’s planning something.

Angel: That’s it?

Doyle: Johnny Red says, quote, “Papasian’s planning something.”

Angel: I thought he might be planning something.

Doyle: See, you were right.

As dorky as this conversation is, it’s one of my favorite Angel/Doyle interactions, largely because it’s so dorky. Same goes for this episode. It goes pretty high on the cheese meter, but it’s one of my favorite Season 1 episodes. I have three main thoughts, and then some random observations.

Firstly, I want to talk about sensitivity used as a weapon vs. insensitivity as a handicap. It’s a little hard to pin down what exactly Joss and Co. are trying to say about sensitivity in this episode because it is so desperately needed and also has such disastrous consequences. Kate is destroyed by being sensitive just as much as by being cold. I suppose you could read it as a “too much of a good thing” kind of message, but I suspect there’s something else going on. Perhaps they’re saying that being sensitive to issues really does nothing to solve them. Instead of being aware of her issues with her father and crying about them, Kate needs to get off her butt and talk to him or make some changes. Being insensitive is, as they stated, just a defense mechanism, but it is often a necessary one, and there is a time and a place for removing it.

On the other extreme we have Angel, whose insensitivity is also doing nothing to solve his problems: he’s pushing people away as a way of protecting himself. This leads to my second thought (and main complaint) about this episode, which is that I don’t think Angel’s sensitivity would manifest the way it does here. Angel shuts down to survive his own guilt, his own pain, his own temptations. If he suddenly removed all the barriers he’s set up for himself, he’d either curl up in a fetal position in the corner or go on a rampage, NOT give Doyle and Cordy a hug and gripe about rudeness. The thing is, I think Angel is very sensitive– that’s what makes him so observant, such a good listening ear, and (of course) so broody– it just doesn’t manifest in the touchy-feely sense because he has to keep that sensitivity under the surface. Maybe I’m mixing up introversion with insesnsitivity or maybe they are, but something felt off. That said, sensitive Angel was hilarious.

My third comment is just that I felt they were too flippant about using the line “Makes them more brutal than when they came in” in reference to the criminals being locked up. This is a HUGE issue and a very controversial one, and to make the comment so casually with no real examination of the issue seems somewhat irresponsible– especially considering what happens to Faith later in the season.

Other Thoughts:

~is there a mafia in LA?

~Kate is a crap interrogator-  Her technique is to keep repeating “look at the pictures”? Come on.

~I love Cordy’s rant about Angel being clueless while not noticing Doyle being strangled by a monster’s tentacle

~how does Kate not notice Cordy and Doyle sitting in the lobby covered in green slime?

~Angel drives around with Hawaiian shirts in his backseat? Um, okay.

~ it should not be that easy to knock out window bars at a police station

~I find it hysterical that “That makes me feel all warm inside” is the creepiest line in the episode.

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~ by ntertanedangel on August 8, 2010.

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