Shiny Shelf

Angel: That Vision Thing

By Mark Clapham on 15 May 2002

Cordelia’s visions have been causing her increasing grief since late in season two, sapping her of her youthful enthusiasm and damaging her health. Things come to a head in this episode, as Cordelia begins to manifest physical symptoms relating to the visions she witnesses – the slashes from a demon’s claw in her side, the boils from another demon’s face bursting out on her own. That this seems like a natural development is a neat con trick – in fact, Wolfram & Hart’s Lilah Morgan is using a psychic to disrupt Cordelia’s visions, leading Angel to rescue a prisoner from hell.

The plot is clever enough, but as is often the case with ‘Angel’, the devil is in the – often very camp and silly – details. Martial arts flipping chinese pensioners? Lilah keeping a fez-wearing boy in her office? (You’d be forgiven for jumping to false conclusions with that one.) A huge carapaced demon called Skip, who commutes to his hell-dimension workplace to keep an evil man in eternal torment? All very silly, but all adding up to one of the most entertaining shows on TV right now.

It’s only the second episode of the season, and already fresh plotlines and themes are developing for this third year. Newcomer Fred (the ditzy, strongly accented Amy Acker) worships Angel, while Gunn and Wesley both take a sly interest in Fred. Gavin Park plagues Angel with his own brand of legalistic torment, while the man Angel has to break out of hell looks like playing a major role in the series to come. Darla is still in foreign parts about to drop a bombshell.

Meanwhile, Angel and Cordelia’s relationship is maturing to one of equals, as their responsibilities weigh down on them. Like that deep, but currently platonic, relationship, ‘Angel’ has really grown up of late.

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By Mark Clapham

Mark Clapham is a Devon-based writer and editor. You can find out more about him at the egotistically named

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