Monday, April 2, 2012

Angel: A New World (3.20)

Connor is (justifiably?) maligned later on, but his introduction here is confident and engaging. Right now, he and Angel share an unsurprisingly complicated relationship -- Connor untrustworthy of his birth father, and Angel unsure of how to communicate with a son he knew briefly as a baby, before suddenly morphing into a broody teenager in the space of two weeks. There's a lot of parental angst here, Angel being fatherly and protective when he discovers Connor has been sleeping in a drug den, and later trying to get through to him on a paternal level. With that, there appears to be some hope for the two of them -- the first lingering moments of a traditional father-son relationship. Until, naturally, another trademark Angel sucker punch that sends the episode off on a high note.

A New World is very much Connor's story, the character slamming into Los Angeles and discovering the murky underworld of the city. It brought to mind Buffy's sixth season, with the juxtaposition between a hell dimension and earth itself. With Connor interrupting a drug deal, fighting a bunch of dealers and hanging out with a heroin junkie, it's suddenly not a huge leap from the fiery brimstone land he grew up on. Some of the drug den scenes are kind of a drag, but the ideas are at least important enough to justify their presence.

Elsewhere, there's intriguing interaction between Wesley and Lilah, the latter offering him a job at Wolfram & Hart. Lilah brings him a copy of Dante's Inferno, and calls him out on being a betrayer, the worst type of sinner according to the historic book. It's a powerful moment, playing into the idea of faustian corruption that has been one of Wesley's major character themes this season.

I can't quite jump on the Vincent Kartheiser hate train because of his fine work on Mad Men, so his arrival on Angel doesn't equal immediate badness for me. If anything, the character is mightily intriguing at this point, the show having fun with his duelling allegiances. B

Guest stars Vincent Kartheiser (Connor); Andy Hallett (Lorne); Stephanie Romanov (Lilah Morgan); Mark Lutz (Groo); Erika Thormahlen (Sunny); Anthony Starke (Tyke); Deborah Zoe (Mistress Myrna)
Writer Jeffrey Bell Director Tim Minear


  1. I was never on the Connor hate train. I think the writing got one-note in mid S4 but his intro in S3/early S4 and his finish in S4 was fascinating.

  2. I agree. I'm watching season four right now, and while he's sort of annoying at times, you can understand why he acts that way -- his whole life has been pretty terrible. But he never reached Dawn-in-season-six territory, ever.

    Thanks for reading.