Monday, June 25, 2012

Angel: Sacrifice (4.20)

Almost as a parallel to the season itself, Sacrifice sees the Angel team literally running on empty. But because it's one of those placeholder episodes designed to fill the gap between two major story developments, it winds up appearing like nothing but a bunch of people running on empty. Therefore, the most successful idea raised here is also the episode's weakest. There's an interesting angle to all of this in that Angel has literally no clue how to stop Jasmine, and I liked that sense of abject ignorance of any get-out scheme or means of attack. It's relentless badness. But, at the same time, the writers struggle to get out of that well. Because, naturally, our heroes have to stop Jasmine at some point. And what they come up with is... eh.

At the same time as Buffy discovers similar convenience, Angel and his team of Jasmine renegades just so happen to stumble upon a major deus ex machina: in this case, a demon with ties to Jasmine and the knowledge of how to destroy her. So it's abrupt and not particularly enlightening, which is disappointing. The rest of this subplot is pretty crummy, too, the cast partnering up with a bunch of rebels who are about as interesting as ground beef.

Jasmine herself is far more overtly evil this week, Gina Torres given little to do except cackle like an Austin Powers villain. But I continue to like her relationship with Connor, from his rapid evolution into murderous psychotic to the weirdly sexual undertones between them (or maybe season four has just given me incest on the brain?)

Sacrifice is the weakest episode of the Jasmine saga, and loses a lot of the intense isolation that made the previous two hours so effective. But there are certainly intriguing parts to the episode, buried beneath all the contrivance and video-game CGI. C

Guest stars Gina Torres (Jasmine); Avery Kidd Waddell (Randall Golden); Michah Henson (Matthew); Jeff Ricketts (Spider Monster)
Writer Ben Edlund Director David Straiton


  1. what alternative would you come up with for this episode so that it wasn't so weak?

  2. No it wasn't. I was genuinely wondering what you felt the writers could have done that moved toward the defeat of Jasmine without being so forced or lackluster.

  3. I can't speak for Adam, but when your write in a forum like this, most of the time you're not going around boasting that you yourself have some great alternative to make an episode run better or become more effective, you're just writing about your own feelings and thoughts about a particular piece of television. We're not television/script writers, we're just writing about how well we felt the episode worked for us, and in this case, he felt like it didn't.

    Sure, sometimes you can think of a few ideas to make something run more efficiently, but in some instances it's not quite as cut and paste as that. In some cases, it might be better for an episode to not exist at all. It's a little unfair to demand something like that from someone who's just offering up their own opinion on something. If you didn't like a meal at a restaurant would you head into the kitchen to show them how to cook it better, or what ingredients to use?

    Again, that's just how I see it.

  4. Anonymous Ah, I get you now. I was thrown off a little, thinking you may be one of those uber-fans with some obnoxious "Well, could you do any better?" attitude. Like Panda said, I'm not in a position to offer suggestions on how the Jasmine thing should have gone down, but I'm not a fan of that particular plot device, where something just miraculously appears out of nowhere to save the day. It's just a little lazy.

    Panda Great comments, and in total agreement here. I'm still assuming Anonymous' comments were light-hearted, so I don't think there was any negative intention or whatever. It's just one of those annoying things where intent and tone don't work through text, you know?

    But wonderful statement nonetheless, Panda.

  5. Exactly! I should have opened my comment by first saying I liked the review so it didn't come off as cold or sarcastic because that wasn't the intent.

    I know you guys aren't script writers or anything like that & I agree the convenient plot device of Jasmine's name popping up in this episode was lazy, but like you said she had to be defeated eventually.

    The intent behind me asking what would you do was just out of genuine curiosity because I've read most of your reviews & you seem to have great insight & I love when reviewers or analyzers give their ideas.

  6. Ah, thanks a lot. Sorry to jump on you, heh. I think the "Anonymous" through me off, you know? I allow it because it makes it a lot easier for people to comment, but sometimes not being able to put a name to a comment leads to wacky situations like this one.

    And thanks for the compliments, too.