Shiny Shelf

Angel: Benediction

By Mark Clapham on 08 June 2002

WARNING! Contains spoilers!

Imagine what Nick Hornby’s novels would be like if all that musing on the relationships between fathers and sons were spiced up with a little demon thrashing action. That’d be pretty cool, huh?

Well, as usual we have but to ask and Angel delivers. Angel’s natural(ish) son (who is also Holtz’s adopted son), Connor/Stephen (delete according to which father you side with) finds himself torn between His Two Dads (although thankfully neither of them is played by Greg Evigan). It’s a fairly standard set-up for TV drama, two father figures battling over the soul of a boy as he grows up, but all this masculine bonding is enlivened no end by the fact that all three, men and boy, can kick serious demon @$$. That Connor/Stephen is clearly the son of both his fathers, demonstrating attitudes and mannerisms familiar from both, makes this a less than clear-cut paternity battle.

It’s a slow moving episode, as Angel and Holtz come to terms with denying each other their childrten, and ponder the fate of Connor/Stephen. Luckily, there are a couple of stand out set pieces in the show as well: Angel and Connor/Stephen’s nightclub battle is an obvious highlight (How did they get the lad past the bouncers? He’s clearly underage.), while a baffling but brilliant scene with Connor and Cordelia hints at future redemptive possibilities within Cordy’s newfound demon powers.

And all the while Groo’s heart is being slowly crushed, and Wesley is still being tempted to the dark side by Darth Stilettos… sorry, Lilah. Looks like this week’s season finale could be a stormer.

Line Break

By Mark Clapham

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

Comments are closed.