Episode Reviews (17)
- SORT BY:
Why Should We Care?
Why We Fight-Lawson, a mysterious man from Angel's past, arrives at Wolfram & Hart and takes the gang hostage. Through flashbacks to World War II, it is revealed that Angel worked with the U.S. Navy to recover a captured German submarine with American sailors on board. The ship also has a secret cargo, a dangerous trio of vampires, including Spike, who were kidnapped by the Germans and forced to help the Nazis. When the sub comes under attack, Angel saves Lawson's life by turning him into a vampire. Now, sixty years later, Lawson has arrived at Wolfram & Hart seeking revenge.
Now, when it comes to Angel's past, it's always interesting as 200+ years of backstory lies literally endless opportunity for the writers. But somewhere along the line, "Why We Fight" becomes a BIG blur! Well, first off, while the 1940's World War 2 underwater submarine adventure sounds good on paper, but comes off as more like a morbid mess from Angel's past that feels out of place and is resolved in the blink of an eye. Eyal Podell who plays Lawson does a good job but his character comes off as a whinny old vampire who should have staked himself years ago. Kinda like that whinny vampire from Season 3's "Heartthrob" who removed his heart! The flashbacks are just dull and the story just drags. Lawson's crew are useless characters and as for Lawson himself, who you don't feel bad for him or understand his situation like the viewer should have. You also don't understand as a viewer why Angel would sire him. Yes, to save them all, but why let him go and not just dust him afterwards. Doesn't seem like the post-Angelus Angel that we know, but hey, why bother at this point when we've seen so much from Angel's past. The only good points are Spike sporting his Nazi wear and his jet black hair on the submarine. His vampire buddies were funny, especially the Nosferatu-esqe vampire. All and All, "Why We Fight" is a backstory bomb with nothing interesting and you don't feel connected to the story at all. You're just waiting for it to be over as you dose off into space.moreless
I love this show, but this whole season is off...
Angel is confused about who he is meant to be this season, and it was like the writers felt the same way. Some episodes are great, as usual (like: You're Welcome), but some are just bad, I'm sorry to say.
Spike changed so much throughout the Buffy seasons, and now he's just the sarcastic guy. Funny, but still, he became a hero, someone who cared, and now it's like he's just there to keep the show funny.
Season 1 and 2 of Angel were awesome, season 3, still pretty good, but now, it's nowhere near that good anymore.. Still better than most shows, but it's just not the same anymore.
Hard for me to admit though, as this is still my second favorite show ever (Buffy is first, it just got better every year).
This episode in particular is so farfetched... They forced Angel to go down to the bottom of the ocean and retreive a submarine???!! Come on!moreless
Angel wins WW2
WHY WE FIGHT
Another wonderful Spike and Angel scene at the end, just as we saw in Damage. Once again past deeds come back to haunt us but this time it's what Angel did rather than what Angelus did. Also love Spike's 'Heil Hitler' salute to Angel and I think Eyal Podell does a great job as Lawson, he really looks like the naive all American poster boy (you could imagine him in Everwood or One Tree Hill or something) who is graphically confronted with the harsh realities of life.
Considering what badasses they're supposed to be Lawson overcomes AI very easily. Why do Spike and Lawson have to reach the shore before sunrise, can't they just hide underwater until night?
Angel; "Spike's not in the SS, he just likes the coat"
Spike; (of his fellow vamp prisoners) "Got to warn you, they're a bit stiff"
Nostroyev; (of Angelus) "You had quite the reputation back in the day but I haven't heard much of you lately"
Angel; "I haven't heard much of you EVER!"
Jeez, how did they get away with that?
Gunn speculates that Lindsey is 'boiling in his own filth'? YUCK!
Fang Gang in bondage: Wes, Fred and Gunn all trussed up. Not Lorne though, because losing his head wouldn't kill him? Angel chained to a mess of weights
Fang gang knocked out: Wes, Fred and Gunn
Kills; 3 vamps for Angel several decades apart. Will he make the magic 150 total of kills by the end of the series?
Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons
Angel; 48 vamps, 62 and 1/2 demons, 5 zombies, 12 humans, one werewolf and one cyborg
Doyle; 1 vamp
Wes; 14 demons+5 vamps, 5 zombies, 3 humans, 2 cyborgs
Kate; 3 vamps
Faith; 18 vamps, 6 demons, 3 humans.
Gunn; 11 vamps+ 13 demons, 5 zombies, 1 human.
Groo; 1 demon
Fred; 3 vamps+ 2 demon, 5 zombies
Connor; 16 vamps, 5 zombies, 2 demons, Jasmine
Spike; 21 vamps, 7 demons+1 human+one parasite
Characters killed: poor subs crew
Total number of Angel Investigations; 6, from now on I really consider Spike to an inseperable part of the gang
Angel, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Wes, Spike
Spike had been invited to a 'virgin bloodbath'...
...but when he got there the virgins all looked like Gobbels? Nostroyev was the lover of Rasputin. Hello sailor!
Topical politcal comment on the War on Terror? This ep really deals with the moral compromises inherent in warfare, Lawson seems unable to accept that the US would do things like torture, use the supernatural for it's own ends and make alliances with evil people (like Stalin?) for the greater good. And yet here we do, Angel siring him to save the crew and help the war effort and then letting him and Spike go, responsible for the deaths of all they killed in the meantime. An obvious but powerful allegory to AI joining WR&H. It's a tribute to the power of the writing that there is no easy answer to all this, we don't know who's right or wrong, sometimes there are no easy options.
When Fred complains that Knox messed up an experiment Wes emphatically agrees that Knox is unreliable.
Know the face, different character; 6 Camden Toy who plays the Prince of Lies was also Gnarl and the Turok-Han on Buffy.
Need info? Torture a Nazi! See Captain subtext. Lawson comments that you win wars by not doing whatever it takes but by doing what's right. Tell that to the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or all those folks in Eastern Europe we sold down the river to Stalin.
What the fanficcers thought; .
Plenty of stuff regarding Angel's missing years as indeed we also see in the comics with Angel during the Great War also travelling on a German U-boat and bumping into a Watcher called Colonel Wyndham-Pryce on the Western front.
Questions and observations;
Maybe Buffy's theory about Rasputin wasn't so far off the mark after all? So if you get sired by a vampire with a soul you're still evil but you feel guilty about it? Does sound like a rough deal. Gunn begins to demonstrate his loss of his newly acquired abilities. Spike sings the contemporary British National Anthem 'God save the king' (which would be George the 6th). Good to see he and Angel are still patriots even if they are undead. It seems the Initiative have been around in one form or another for a long time (like Torchwood?). What a shame they couldn't have named some of the goverment men Mulder or called an agent who chainsmokes Morely cigarettes Spender, that would have been so cool. Like The Master and Khakistos the Prince of Lies seems to be gradually devolving into a Turok-Han, the older a vamp get's the more that seems to happen to them. Note when Spike is first captured by the Intiative in season 4 of Buffy he speculates that it's the Nazis who are behind it, stemming from his experience here. Note we have Angel still in his recluse phase (as we'll see in Have you now or ever have been?) and not yet a crusader against evil, he just wants to brood and only does the mission as he feels responsible for Spike. Spike's small boys delight in seeing a submarine once against casts him in the little brother role to Angel(us). No Harmony, who get's to clock off on time on a Friday night unlike the executives.
What is it about the Nazi era that still fascinates us half a century later? History TV channels screen so many documentaries on the Nazis they may as well be called the Nazi channel. Practically every popular TV/film series will do some form of Nazi themed ep in it's time (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Last Crusade, The Boys from Brazil, Bear Island, The X-files, The X-men, Xena, Battlestar Galactica, Tarzan, Wonder Woman, The Odessa File, The Sum of All Fears, The New Avengers, The Tomorrow People, Dr Who, Lois and Clark, even Father Ted off the top of my head). Politicians and the media regularly hurl the term Nazi at each other as an insult. Even Quentin Tarantino feels the need to do a WW2 film with Hitler as a character. New books on the subject are published every week.
Communism is arguably an even more repellent regime, Nazi Germany for all it's abhorent evil never had to prevent it's population leaving in peacetime. The individual in Nazi Germany actually enjoyed more freedom than they did under Stalin. And he certainly killed far more people. Yet you walk down the street with a hammer and sickle no one bats an eye. Try it with a Swastika?
So what's the fascination? Is it that they are just so out and out the epitome of comic book bad guys? As Mitchell and Webb pointed out they even have black uniforms with skulls on them (communism is extremely humanitarian in theory, it just falls down in practice). WW2 is often referred to as the last good war, the clearly morally superior allies against the indisputibly evil axis (although with Stalin on our side you wonder if that's actually true?). Is it their larger than life villainy with hints of sci-fi and fantasy, inventing ahead of their time wonder weapons with extreme (mad?) science and fascinated with the occult?
Could it be as simple as how they dress? As Gabrielle once said 'Some guys (and girls) just love the leather'. Certainly Spike seems to think so. Lost count of the number of fanfics (and even lovingly crafted fan art web comics) where Wonder Woman becomes a Nazi sex breeding slave, sometimes willingly, sometimes not. An essential part of each fic is the modification/fetishfication of her outfit, red, white and blue, stars and stripes, go-go boots and lasso becoming lots of black and red leather/PVC, swastikas, spike-heeled black thigh boots and whip (don't worry she always overcomes in the end, her children rebel and rescue her or everyone falls in love with her and let's her go etc. My favourite is where she turns around at the end and goes "Well actually I'm jewish" and that's pretty much the end for the third reich, the regime is dismantled and she and Hitler set up house in rural Austria where he quietly lives out his life as an obscure painter). Is it just the power of their instantly recognisable iconography (kinda tough on the Swastika which is used in Hinduism, Bhudism and even by the ancient Greeks, actually makes sense for Amazon Wonder Woman to have them on her outfit). Think of Star Wars with it's serried ranks of identical 'stormtroopers' and Darth Vaders blacker than black futuristic Gestapo gear or the Daleks with their screeching hysterical voices and obsession with racial purity.
Or is the idea that it could ever happen again, all those Nazis who fled to South America or Southern Ireland with their stolen fortunes and technology, just biding their time for their revenge.
Why are we still obsessed with it all? Will we ever put it behind us? Or is it similar to our fascination with vampires? Power, seduction and the purity of evil? Do we find them sexy? (certainly Max Mosely does) Of course Angel gives us Nazi Vampires so we have both combined not to mention The Scourge with all their Nazi imagery.
Marks out of 10; 8/10, a good ep, pretty much 'In the bottle' or should that be 'In the sub'. With Angel's reduced budget this year they tend to go for a lot eps just confined to the WR&H set (Harm's Way, Life of the Party) or other stuff that's lying around the studio.
A trip to Angels past helping the government
i despise this episode it was an ok episode but it came up at the worst time in my opinion i mean cordelia just died his pretty much best friend and love interest i think they should have shown at leat 2 minutes of him mourning her death and what they could have had together but nothing.they were together for a long time it seems like the writer would have shown him a tiny bit depressed.
Why We Fight
Why We Fight was an interesting episode of Angel which side steps the main story lines yet is touched by them as well. This is not one of my favorite episodes to watch, but I feel that there is some good character development in this episode for Angel. I thought the Nazi war time story was interesting and the demons on a submarine made for a little horror humor. I liked how the guy from Angel's past came back and caused a lot of trouble. I certainly look forward to the next episode and seeing more about the main story lines!!!moreless
I have to start by saying that i feel many of the folks who have printed a review for this episode have missed the point and especially the reason for the timing it's shown in the season. I'm going to adopt a totally out of character arrogance BTW!
So here I am to set your tiny minds straight so that, with my help, you can enjoy your favourite shows a little more!
The reason there wasnt a big boohoo Cordelia episode is obvious. The feelings btwn her and Angel run so deep, it was all said or unsaid and understood in their moments together and especially in their kiss.
The kiss with which she gave Angel the visions from the PTB, and which serves as a twist later in the series.
I hope I don't have to explain symbolism and the mechanics of a plot twist to you people!
Now the episode, 'Why we fight' is an 8star ep, simple as that. Not the masterpiece that S2's 'Are you now or have you ever been?' was, but still a solid one with a cool 'boys own adventure' side to it, with Angel's vamp abilities making him something of a super soldier, which is what the Nazi's and the US government, in the form of the 'Initiative' were after.
This fitted real life (the nazi's were interested in the occult) and the whedonverse (Buffy season4-The Adam story arc.
I do think that the sailor boy Angel vamped with a soul coming back was weak. And only served as a thread to hang this story on, but who cares when it's a good story. And this one is, FACT. The whimsical daliances with historic events are tres amusent and it features Spike in an SS jacket.
Now, i hope this helps, feel free to leave a note (in review form) saying, "thank you uncle Boris". Or "Master" Master's always nice...now i have to go and make sure my manservant has changed into his manservant bloomers!moreless
Why I Don't Care
Why We Fight is quite a boring, pointless episode in itself but the fact that it's the followup episode after the outstanding "You're Welcome" and death of Cordelia is ridiculous. Cordelia, probably the most important of the show besides Angel died last episode and they decide "A flashback episode to WW2 would be a great followup! And to make it even better, let's not mention Cordelia once!" The absense of any sort of recognition that Cordelia is dead is stupid, ridiculous and I feel quite cheated as a fan. The woman was in 140 episodes of Buffy/Angel and they didn't acknowledges the fact that she's dead! It's a shameful mistake and part of the reason this episode gets such a low score.
This major complaint isn't the only reason I don't like this though. I usually LOVE flashbacks and finding out more about Angel's past. They're usually excellent but here I was just bored all the way through. The World War 2 storyline may sound on paper but in reality it comes off as dull and pointless. Why are we being told this? No idea. Lawson was an OK character but I didn't really feel much for him. Sure it was mean he died while saving his crew but did they honestly expect us to care much? Cause I didn't. All the annoying speeches about a mission and such wore thin quickly and felt like same old same old. It was just not an interesting story to watch.
The present day scenes aren't much better. Lawson's speeches were still prevelant here and again I didn't care much for wat he had to say. It was just the same as what he was saying in the flashbacks and didn't hold my interest. Thank God Angel dusted him. Also, we all knew Fred, Wes and Gunn weren't in any real danger so the wire thing wasn't exciting either.
The only good thing about this episode is the Prince Of Lies who is actual hilarious. His mannerisms and movements made me laugh and he was much more interesting than anything else going on in the story.
Why We Fight is a boring episode that should never have been the followup to "You're Welcome". I was extremely disappointed and was literally counting down the minutes till it was over. Give it a miss if you want- you won't miss much.moreless
Everyone searches for a purpose, but what was the purpose of this episode?
I had guilt pangs after the first time I watched this episode, because I didn't like it very much. I ended up watching it again in hopes that I missed some very important message, but to no avail. I know now this was a "break" in the heartbreak we had just seen in You're Welcome and also the upcoming A Hole in the World. We learn that Angel sired one vamp after he got a soul and how it came to pass. We get some good interactions with Angel and Spike aboard a submarine, but not much else. The sired vamp has shown up in present day L.A. seeking his sire. Said Sire ends up dusting the vamp, because even though he was "made" by a vampire with a soul..he didnt have one. Thats about all I can say on this one.moreless
Don't know why this episode didn't rate higher...I thought it was terrific! But then I've always liked flashbacks to Angel's earlier life...
The most jarring in this episode however, is seeing Spike with black hair! I like the Billy Idol look much better!
Not withstanding, I enjoyed seeing the flashback to an earlier time in Angels life (much like the episode flashback to the 1950's Hotel). Our boy is sooo much more black and moody than in the more recent times! Delicious.
True to the character of that time, in this flashback Angel has zero interest in the war effort...for either side: he is pretty much forced to cooperate in a bid for self preservation. And in the process sires his first, and last vamp, after having gotten his soul. It is also the first time (at least that I can recall) that we actually see the complete act of him "sireing" a vampire, slashing his own wrist to complete the process. (The female vamps pull their victims to their busoms. Interesting...)moreless
I tried for ages to watch this episode in it's entirety, and a year later I managed this.
I had hyped this episode up so much during the year 2005-6 that when the chance for me to watch the whole thing came aorund I thought that it wouldn't live up to my own hype. It exceeded it. It was fantastic; whether it was seeing Spike realise Angel was not on his team, seeing him turn the Lieutenant in order for him to surive and then realise at the end of the episode that the man never wanted to be a vampire, he just wanted to die, was moving.
This episode was my third favourite, not of Angel but of Buffy and Angel put together. I found this series so saddening, and yet inspiring at the same time. I shed more than a few tears, even during this episode, but they were all for a reason. Angel taught me lots, about being good and honourable, and this episode taught me to always think before I did something and think about any and all repurcussions.
I hope everyone enjoys this episode as much as I did.moreless