Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | October 16, 2011

Cordia’s Review: S3, E7 – Revelations

Season 3, Episode 7
Original airing: 11/17/1998

My Rating: 68

The Good: Some serious emotion is thrown around in this episode. The gang finally knows Angel is back and it stirs things up.

Xander is in top-form here and is ready to run out and stake Angel, disregarding anyone else’s opinion. He encourages Faith into this action (although it doesn’t take much). I do feel he redeems himself a bit by deciding getting an ambulance for Giles is more important than immediate revenge on Angel. But he’s still way out of line here on his reasoning. Angelus was bad, but with his soul back, we now have Angel. Does he deserve to die for the actions of the demon living in his body? It’s a very difficult question and one I don’t feel the show has fully explored quite yet.

Willow is very conflicted in this episode. Her feelings for Xander have obviously gotten pretty intense as she basically jumps him in the library, even knowing Giles is no more than about twenty feet away. I liked her almost-confession to Buffy about the whole thing. I wish she had gone through with it after the demon attacked. It was also nice to see how kind she is to Buffy concerning Angel. Of course, Willow completely understands forbidden love and keeping secrets! It’s very well played.

I actually feel really badly for Faith in this episode. Her first Watcher was murdered in front of her and her supposed replacement manipulates and tries to kill her. Bad times. Her reluctance to trust at the end of the episode is fully justified. Especially when she feels so excluded from the gang concerning the intervention for Buffy.

I also feel bad for Buffy and Angel. They realize they can never have a real relationship without Angel losing his soul again, but that doesn’t stop the feelings and the attraction. I appreciate the lengths the episode goes through to show that they are aware and conflicted about their relationship. They both know it’s dangerous and are trying to resist.

And, as usual, I felt Giles was particularly strong in this episode, excepting his blind spot for Gwendolyn (see The Bad). His reaction to Angel’s return is so poignant. The speech he makes to Buffy in his office about being tortured is a punch to the gut. It really spells out the grayness of the situation. Giles had to look at Angel’s face as Angelus tortured him with glee. Can Giles separate them into two people? Can he ever look at Angel and see anything but Angelus? Can he really understand how Buffy can still love Angel? It’s the questions we need to be asking as the show goes forward know that everyone knows Angel is alive.

The Bad: My main gripe is about Gwendolyn Post. Why didn’t Giles follow up on her appearance immediately? He mentions at the end of the episode that there was supposedly a memo about how she was kicked off the Watcher’s Council for being power hungry. So if that information was out there, why didn’t he have access to it? Especially when she showed up out of nowhere with no real credentials except her word.

She was also a classic case of a villain written to be a villain. On a show with such three-demensional characters, it gets more and more annoying to have this quick, one-off villains with no real depth to them. Why did she want power? How did she know about the glove in the first place? Was she planning to just torch anyone who crossed her path? The writers couldn’t have made her less likeable with her constant harping on Giles and obvious manipulations of Faith. More subtlety, please.

Favorite Moment: As I mentioned in The Good, Giles is forced to relive his torture at the hands of Angelus and remind Buffy that things are not black and white here. By keeping her secret, she put everyone in danger. On top of that, she showed a complete disregard for everyone’s feelings and experiences during the horror of Angelus’ reign. In a lot of ways, Giles had the worst of it with the death of Jenny and being tortured. This scene was superbly done by having Giles remind Buffy in a calm, but strained voice, just how bad things got before Angel was sent to Hell.

The Bottom Line: The rediscovery of Angel had to be big, and it was. I loved how it was handled and I wasn’t even all that bothered by the Monster of the Week. She even had some good stuff in there in terms of Faith’s development. Nice job.


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