Rewatching Angel – Episode 102

Welcome to Rewatching Angel, the part of the blog where I rewatch the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off: Angel. Each Tuesday evening, you’re invited to join me as I attempt to rediscover what made me love these shows so many years ago.

Smile Time

  • A kid who is home sick from school is engrossed in Smile Time, a Sesame Street-like kids’ show.
  • As soon as Tommy’s mom leaves the room, one of the puppets begins to talk to Tommy individually, ordering him to come over and touch the screen.
  • Tommy is hesitant… like he’s done it before and knows he doesn’t like it.
  • Is that what’s making him sick?
  • The puppet begins to take on a more threatening tone and Tommy gives in, touching the screen.
  • Some kind of energy passes from Tommy to the television, then Tommy passes out.
  • His mother comes back into the room to see him lying motionless on the floor, looking like he’s just been attacked by the Joker.
  • Knox hands Fred a packet of info that just came into the lab.
  • She’s looking into this mini-epidemic that’s hitting kids around LA.
  • Eleven kids have been hospitalized in a catatonic state, all with the same frozen grin.
  • Fred is working on a theory that it’s mystical in nature.
  • Hidden amongst the files is a Valentine from Knox… which Fred thinks is sweet, but apparently they’ve had this discussion and romance just isn’t in the cards for them.
  • She shuts him down again…
  • Nina, the werewolf girl steps off the elevator and finds Angel.
  • She’s there just in time for her three-night stay during the full moon.
  • Gunn stops by Harmony’s desk to ask about some paperwork he filed with a clerk.
  • She drops the bomb that he filed the wrong paperwork.
  • Gunn is worried… because he’s slipping.
  • Angel escorts Nina down to her cell and she admits that she looks forward to seeing him each month.
  • Before he can leave, she asks what he’s doing for breakfast in the morning, but he kind of avoids the question and leaves.
  • Angel talks to Wes about Nina’s breakfast invite and he informs him that everyone else has noticed how Nina clearly has a thing for him.
  • Angel tries to shut the conversation down, citing his soul curse, claiming that if he has that moment of perfect happiness, he loses the soul again.
  • But Wes points out that of all the couples in the world, the vast majority settle for acceptable happiness.
  • Wes is trying to convince Angel to make a move, but Angel isn’t convinced that Wes is talking about him.
  • Just then Fred walks in with info about the kid epidemic and Angel determines that the link is television, so he jumps on the case.
  • Fred tells Wes that her car’s in the shop again and is about to ask if she can get a ride from him, but he calls for her to have a driver.
  • And Wes thinks Angel can’t read the signals that are right in front of him…
  • Lorne helps Angel with some research and points him in the direction of a super popular kids’ show that fits the time slot when all the kids are losing it… Smile Time.
  • Angel heads down to the studio where the show is taped and gets a little disoriented while taking a look around.
  • He finds a secret passage that leads to a door that says “DON’T.”
  • So, of course he does.
  • Inside is a man, hunched over with a towel over his head.
  • He tells Angel he shouldn’t be here…
  • Then some kind of egg-shaped device above the man cracks open, looking as if it’s smiling.
  • Angel is blasted back out of the room and has been transformed into a puppet.
  • The next morning, Angel calls the team in, revealing what’s happened to him…
  • Angel turns the show on the TV and quickly gets agitated while the puppets sing about self esteem.
  • Fred has her people in the lab record the show and run a full analysis.
  • He wants to keep his condition secret, but then when everyone splits to work the case, Nina walks in and Angel hides under his desk.
  • Bad timing if he’s wanting to try and return her affections.
  • Just when he thinks it’s safe to get back in his chair, Spike walks in and mocks him.
  • Angel tackles Spike through the door… and the secret’s out.
  • Gunn and Lorne go to visit the creator of Smile Time, Mr. Framkin.
  • He offers them some hot cocoa.
  • And he’s super cheerful.
  • Gunn threatens to shut him down, trying to cite specific laws… but he can’t.
  • It’s like he’s forgetting his law knowledge.
  • Framkin isn’t afraid of anything Wolfram & Hart can come at him with.
  • When Lorne and Gunn leave, we see that one of the puppets from the show had his hand up Framkin’s back, working him as if he was the puppet.
  • The puppet calls the rest of the puppets in to find out who turned Angel into a puppet.
  • They figure Angel was the one who broke into the Don’t Room and messed with the nest egg.
  • The egg is containing power that keeps the studio workers in a zombie-like state.
  • Their plans to keep stealing kids’ souls will not be altered.
  • Framkin can’t move and can barely speak, but clearly asks to be killed.
  • The puppets just torture him instead.
  • Just before moonrise, Angel heads down to apologize to Nina and reveals his condition.
  • She doesn’t care, and he goes on talking to her… but he’s not paying attention and she transforms into a wolf and nearly rips him to shreds.
  • Gunn visits the doctor that implanted the law into his brain.
  • The doctor tells him that he got that upgrade because the Senior Partners wanted him to have it, and if he’s losing it, they must want that, too.
  • Gunn is desperate to renew the knowledge.
  • The doctor is willing to give him a permanent upgrade if Gunn is willing to cut through some red tape that’s keeping a shipment he’s interested tied up in customs.
  • Wes and Fred watch Smile Time together, combing through the signal.
  • Knox comes in and interrupts and Fred insists that he head home.
  • Knox clearly picks up on the spark that’s finally happening between Fred and Wes.
  • Wes asks how things are going between her and Knox, but she makes it clear that she’s not interested in Knox.
  • But before she can make it clear she’s interested in Wes, they figure out that the song on the show acts as a cloaking spell that hides the lead puppet addressing the audience.
  • They figure out if they break the binding spell on the egg, it should free all the children and revert Angel back to normal.
  • Gunn clues the gang in on the fact that Framkin made a deal with some demons to put his show on top, but he missed the fine print about the puppets taking control.
  • Oh, and apparently Gunn made his deal.
  • Angel and the team go to take down the puppets and the show.
  • Wes and Gunn head down to the egg, but not before the puppets can begin their full scale attack on children across LA.
  • Angel and Gunn take down the puppets on the show’s set while Wes and Fred take out the human sized puppet with a horn for a mouth.
  • Fred succeeds in completing the spell which shatters the egg.
  • Angel should be back to normal in two or three days.
  • He asks Nina to breakfast… even though, as a puppet, he’s probably not eating.
  • Fred visits Wes with the good news that the kids are all waking up.
  • Fred is done beating around the bush with him.
  • She kisses him… and Fred and Wes are finally together.
  • ‘Bout dang time.
  • Except I know what’s coming next week and it pisses me off!
  • Body count: Puppets – 4

6 thoughts on “Rewatching Angel – Episode 102

  1. My boyfriend and I just finished the series last night. It was his first watchthrough but not mine. I was getting more agitated the closer we got to Illyria. It had been years since I watched Angel and I wasn’t sure when IT was going to happen. It seems even worse knowing it is coming.

    Liked by 1 person

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