Provider is a so-so episode that's ultimately pointless but has a few good scenes that keep it from being bad. It feels somewhat chucked in and the plots were same old.
None of the three main storylines here particularly interested me. The worst was probably Angel at the vampire's nest. It was just completely uninteresting and I really could have done without it. The Gunn/Wesley scenes with the zombie boyfriend were marginally better but still nothing great. The best was probably Fred and Lorne at the demon base which was pretty entertaining, though they also were pointless. Cordelia basically assumed the role of babysitter here and wasn't particularly necessary here- a shame considering her character was really excellent last week and this week was reduced to talking in a baby voice and trying to float. I loved the nice little family moments between her, Angel and Connor though and they really did feel like a mother and father. The end scene was just adorable and I don't usually like all that sappy stuff but this was great and made me think "awww". I really like the Cangel arc and am extremely annoyed they brought Groosalugg back just to prolong it until the end of the season.
The Holtz and Justine scenes were completely and utterly pointless and felt tacked on to the episode. Why, in this completely random filler, did the writers decide that putting in a snippet of the main arc? It just jarred with the rest of the episode. In fact, this scene was pointless any way you look at it, it just really reinforced Justine's commitment to Holtz. They should have used it in Couplet, if anywhere. Thank God we didn't have to put up with Sahjhan though as then this episode would have annoyed me much more having to watch Jack Conley try to look remotely scary. Also some nice Fred love interest moments and it's obvious they're setting her up for a big romance with either Wesley or Gunn with Wesley seeming the obvious choice. However, I actually prefer Fred with Gunn. I can just picture the Fresley supporters choking with indignation right now :P Nah I liked Fred and Wes too but ONLY in S5- their scenes in S4 aggravated me no end.
At least the demons all looked pretty convincing and we didn't have to put up with looking at an actor in bad makeup all episode. The demons were all pretty convincing looking and their speech was funny.
Provider is a good, if ultimately skippable episode that doesn't see much running in the DVD player. You should watch it but if you really don't want to, don't worry- you're not missing much.