Don’t you just love having your head messed with? And isn’t Joss great at it? Of course, if you’re a return viewer, you know this by now and it’s probably part of the reason you tune in. The season premiere, though, didn’t have a lot of time or latitude to do much but mess with our heads, since it had so many loose ends to tie up. Not a whole lot of hints about the rest of the season, so far as I could see, but still good. What we’ve got here is a bunch of people who are doing things, but generally either being very cagey about their motives or not giving a clue as to whether they have any. In a writing class, this would be unforgivable. On TV, it’s suspense.

I’m left to wonder if Angel will be permanently tripped out by what he did on his summer vacation. That could get interesting in a bad way if not all his hallucinations admit to it. (This stuff accounts for most of the head-messing.) And we’ve all seen what can happen when you mix Angel and visions. That’s not anything I want to see again. Neither is the Thanksgiving-dinner visual metaphor, but for those who don’t watch Buffy it might not seem tired. Predictable, though, if you’ve a mind to think abstractly.

I love Fred. Not in the romantic sense, though she is adorable. But she’s incredibly cool. No tomatoes, just a side of electric shock. Probably reminds some people of their moms. She and Gunn were really creeping me out with the parentality, so I was kind of glad to see the good cop go for the beatdown.

It’s official: Wesley has just carved out his own side to be on. I had said to several people that finding Angel was the only way he would ever get even partially forgiven, but he doesn’t seem to care about that. I don’t know what he thought of the reflexive strangle–probably trying to decide what percentage of his survival was due to weakness versus second thoughts. Maybe he’s worried they’ll find out about Justine (though I’d imagine they wouldn’t disagree with the sentiment, just the imprisonment). Angel certainly has no moral high ground to stand on when it comes to sleeping with the enemy (witness Connor’s existence), and after all, his body almost slept with Lilah anyway. Or maybe Wesley’s just being a bitter twit. I have a feeling we’ll find out about his motives soon enough, and maybe we won’t like them either.

This episode’s Called It is a double. I knew that after Lilah left Wesley’s place, Justine would show up, but I didn’t know how. Once I saw the bars, I was sure. (Doesn’t answer my question of how the bars got there in the first place. Nice 2BR 1.5BA, 1000sqft, furn, wet bar, sm cell w/iron door.) The other will probably stretch my credibility with those who don’t know me, since I didn’t have any written record of speculations etc. at the end of last season. (Ah, the advantages of writing things down.) My usual watchers’ council was discussing how the writers could get the show out of the predicament they’d gotten it into, and I made two proposals: either Cordy would see what had happened to Angel and get expelled from her higher plane for helping out, or she’d get bored and abdicate. I don’t remember what everyone else was rooting for, but I liked the first possibility better. Hey, it could still happen.

Word.

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