I don't know if it's just the immediate shock or what but this episode really touched me. It's probably the end music - I've got to find out who did that song - which just completely struck a chord with me, whatever it is - this is one of the most emotional episodes of Angel I have ever watched.
I said it after Hole in The World and I'll say it now - if Alexis Denisof doesn't get an award for his performance this season I am going to be very annoyed. It's strange watching the earlier episodes on Sky where he was barely there and comparing them to the latest ones where his presence is so central to the whole story and every single second he's on screen is just incredible.
J August did well in this episode as well - if it had been on radio I would have completely believed in all that emotion. As it was, there was an extreme close up of his face during the "I didn't know it would be one of us, I didn't know it would be Fred..." speech and there was no expression there at all! The voice, yes, the face, sorry but nothing.
Amy is doing a fantastic job of playing Illaria (I'm going to have find out how to spell that soon!) - the whole jerky-ness as she got used to the human body and then in the lab when she admitted to having some of Fred's memories, that whole "Why can't I stay?" just broke my heart for the second time.
The end scenes. I've never been particularly fond of those scenes in shows when the writers use a current song to drive the plot point home. It so did not work for me in Grave when all of a sudden there's Sarah McLachlan crooning Prayer of St Francis over various reconciliation shots. It doesn't work in every single episode of Baywatch I've ever seen (which isn't actually that many but every one of them has a musical interlude!). In those cases it smacks of lazy writing.
It does work in Becoming 2 and it most definitely worked here. When the song started and the pan-rounds of various characters started I actually rolled my eyes but then with Wes packing away Fred's stuff and Illaria remembering Fred's farewell to her parents I felt a tear roll down my cheek and by the time she drove off and it faded to black I was reaching for the tissues and the keyboard at about the same time.
This is my intial and immediate reaction to the episode, I had trouble getting hold of it this week and I normally watch the newest episodes at a really horrible time in the morning (5am - why do I do this to myself?) But because I've been so caught up in other things this week I had to wait till tonight. I will rewatch it and probably pick it apart mercilessly because I know there are flaws but to be honest, right now, all I want to do is curl up with a pint tub of Ben & Jerry's and sob.
Is there anything in this life but grief?