Shiny Shelf

Angel: A New World

By Mark Clapham on 31 May 2002

WARNING! Contains spoilers!

Praise be – the sacred Angel story arc has returned to us from on-high to save us from any more stupid filler episodes! OK, so the episode is one long chase sequence, but at least we’re moving now.

Connor is back, and thanks to the joys of those time-distorting hell dimensions, he’s all grown up into a teenage warrior. This is useful in plot terms, as babies can’t have character arcs and are no use in a fight scene. Needless to say young Connor isn’t too glad to see his long lost daddy – there wouldn’t be much drama here if he was – and so unleashes a series of flying stakes in the direction of Angel. In a delightful new move for the series, we get our first ‘bullet-time’ fight sequence, with the action shifting into bursts of slow motion as Angel dodges the stakes and Connor proceeds to beat the living hell out of the Angel Investigations team. He’s a plucky young ‘un, this one, and even when he’s stopped in his murderous intent he retreats into the street, leaping on to the top of a bus in a brave (arguably stupid) attempt by the production team to do Spider-Man on a TV budget. If the effect doesn’t work, it at least shows them trying to think in epic terms.

Which leaves us with an episode where Angel tracks his son, trying to keep him out of trouble, while Connor himself learns that our world is possibly even harsher than the one he grew up in. The drug dealers and gangsters seen this week aren’t exactly anything original, but they’re a suitably bleak introduction to modern LA.

Of course, we’re in the final stages of the season now, so not only do we have our new regular character, but we’re not getting any closure for the next two weeks. Connor’s character is nicely sketched in over the course of the episode, and the episode ends with no real resolution and yet another cliffhanger. All the while, elsewhere in town, Wolfram & Hart are pursuing a new recruitment drive.

With the plot moving at full tilt, things are doubtlessly about to get nasty. Yet again Whedon and co show that, when they’ve got their storytelling engines at full power and aren’t wasting time with standalone padding, they can do episodic TV like no-one else.

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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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