Angel

Season 5 Episode 13

Why We Fight

3
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 11, 2004 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

8.1
out of 10
Average
413 votes
  • Far fetched

    6.5
    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!
  • Angel wins WW2

    8.0
    WHY WE FIGHT



    The Good;

    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.



    The Bad;

    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?



    Best line;

    Angel; "Spike's not in the SS, he just likes the coat"

    plus

    Spike; (of his fellow vamp prisoners) "Got to warn you, they're a bit stiff"

    also like;

    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

    Cordy: 5

    Angel: 15

    Wes: 8

    Gunn; 8

    Lorne; 6

    Fred; 5

    Spike; 6



    Fang gang knocked out: Wes, Fred and Gunn

    Cordy: 15

    Angel: 19

    Wes: 9

    Doyle; 1

    Gunn; 4

    Lorne; 8

    Groo; 1

    Connor; 1

    Faith; 1

    Fred; 6

    Spike; 5



    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

    2265



    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



    Kinky dinky:

    Spike had been invited to a 'virgin bloodbath'...



    Captain Subtext;

    ...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.



    Guantanamo Bay;

    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

    2.0
    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 Should We Care?

    4.9
    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.
  • Why We Fight

    8.0
    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!!!
  • 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!

    8.0
    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!
  • Why I Don't Care

    6.8
    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.
  • Everyone searches for a purpose, but what was the purpose of this episode?

    7.7
    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.
  • 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...

    9.6
    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...)
  • I tried for ages to watch this episode in it's entirety, and a year later I managed this.

    9.6
    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.
  • a submarine episode

    8.6
    it is very hard to continue a good episode after the last one. but this one was well done surprisingly. especially after all those horrible episodes this season had done.

    even spike was not that annoying but kinda cool by eating a natzi. this episode goes back to the war when angel made a vampire who came back to pay his revenge because angel turned him into nothing. the episode was very well written and one of the 5th season best episodes.
  • All filler, even the flash backs.

    6.0
    While the bulk of the episode was a giant flash back I couldn't help but feel that this was just a filler episode. Surrounded by such as episodes as You're Welcome and Smile Time I felt like it barely had a purpose.

    Seeing Angel and Spike in the past again is always fun, especially getting to see all the different dynamics they had over the years before Sunnydale. But the vampire coming for revenge on Angel seemed to be just thrown in for no particular reason then to take Angel and Spike's relationshup to another place. Which it didn't really cover as well as it seemed it would.
  • This episode lives up to the tough task of following arguably the best episode in the whole series. Spoiler warning.

    8.9
    I really love this episode. It is one of the better flashback episodes & continues some excellent character development. It starts off with a clip of people getting attacked on a submarine in 1953. Then as we get more into the episode we find out that two of the main characters, Angel & Spike were on that submarine. Angel was sent down there by force to save the crew. Spike & company were down there terrorizing the crew. Angel does what he has to save the majority of them, but he has to sacrifice the captain by turning him into a vampire. That captain comes back for his revenge 50 years later & it is Angel's duty to stop him. In the end Angel & company are once again successful. Things return to normal. Overall this episode is entertaining throughout & must see TV.
  • Angel during world war 2

    8.5
    i personally love all the flash back episodes because it gives so much more insight into the character as well as some general history that didn't seem quite as interesting in school. episode was a perfect of example of the search for a greater purpose or reason for being. i particularly loved pensive Angel at the end, because i think he remembered that feeling of disconnect before the Whistler trained him.
  • I liked it

    8.0
    Hard to decide what to follow up the last ep with since that seemed to be the kinda thing you'd have at the end of a series.

    It was funny and I like it when they play with big historical events. Interesting to note the beginnings of the initiative too. And ironically the Germans were trying to raise an army of vampires and that's exactly what the first did in Buffy S7. Interesting to see how Angel might have enjoyed just following orders: giving him some purpose. I guess that's what the ep was about. Early in his (soulfull) life he had no direction, he was down in the gutters. Then we catch up to him in Buffy where he had some semi purpose, at Buffy's side. When he moved to LA he had orders basically given by the powers that be via visions. Now he's head of Walfram and Hart and has no orders to follow, no visions to guide him: no purpose.
  • The lackluster followup to the blockbuster episode

    8.9
    We've only witnessed Angel/us eat a handful of people, and sire even fewer.

    Offhand I can only think of a few. He sired Dru, of course, and there's the vampire he sired from "Somnambulist" (I can't remember his name offhand -- Penn, was it?). And Holtz' daughter, as well as eating Holtz' family. And I think he sired at least one of the vamps in "Heartthrob." There's the woman we saw him eating after he lost his soul in BtVS and he ate Jenny Calendar. He ate Buffy, of course, and Wesley, and a little bit of Connor, and Faith, and in "Orpheus," there was the guy in the ice cream parlor who was already on his way out, as well as finishing off Lilah. And he ate Hamilton, which was just fun. I'm sure he ate a few others as well.

    Lawson ...

    I can't figure out if this was a storyline alluded to sometime in the series, or if Joss was exploring a question he ultimately did not answer. To wit: What happens when an ensouled vampire sires someone?

    We don't know, beyond the absolutely stupid ace he slips up his sleeve. If Angel had staked him in his office, he could've saved CYNTHIA! without having to listen to Lawson blather all night long. And tying up Fred and Gunn and Wesley ... Lawson said he hasn't checked in for awhile, so he shouldn't honestly have a lot of clarity as to who these people are to Angel.

    Now, I'm not going to say there weren't some absolutely delightful aspects to this storyline: Fred wondering what they did before they got these jobs and Wes seeming to recall lots and lots of Jenga. And then the exchange between Angel and Spike:

    Angel: I'm not getting trapped at the bottom of the sea!
    Spike: And I'm not getting experimented on by his government!

    And naturally, they were both wrong.

    Also, Spike was nabbed at a "free virgin blood party" in Madrid, which is sort of fun.

    Also fun: Rasputin's lover and Camden Toy as the Prince of Lies, which was just an enormous amount of fun back on the 'Tome (I believe was can credit Py for his "Raspy-Waspy" comment, and the suggestion that the Prince of Lies claimed his title when women would ask him if their clothing made them look fat and he'd say "Oh, nooooo.")

    There is a little continuity problem, of course, unless Prof. Walsh is a vampire and was around in the '40s to start the Initiative -- so as, apparently, to close the "vampire gap" with the Germans -- since I believe Walsh was given credit in BtVS for starting the program. I don't believe she was ever anything more exotic than a reanimated corpse, however, so no luck there. Also, I believe we have now all gotten past the suggestion that Angel has never eaten a person since he was ensouled.

    And I think they did what they could, but Angel in 1943 looks way more like the Angel of 2004 than the Angel of 1997. Darn that otter's blood, huh?

    Lawson said he checks in every decade or so -- he tracks down his sire and up until now, hasn't seen him doing much of anything. Sadly, he missed the whole Sunnydale chapter of his life, and not one but two turns as Angelus.

    The question, once raised, needs a satisfactory answer. If Joss felt compelled to tie this up as a loose end, I'm afraid I was never aware of it.

    Lawson describes his life since he was sired: He and Spike swam 20 miles in less than eight hours, which isn't impossible but is impressive. He and Spike could've hung out for awhile, I suppose, but there's no indication or suggestion that they did so. Lawson "murdered women and children, tortured fathers and husbands just to hear them scream," and got no pleasure from it -- 60 years of blood drying in his throat like ash.

    For saving the crew, for fixing the problem, Angel gives Lawon a pass. But he doesn't know for sure what he's unleashing on the world. And -- after crashing through the wall in Angel's office -- again (the maintenance crew must just be bored replacing that wall by now -- people have crashed through it a lot by now -- it's like the Mummy Hand in "Life Serial") -- and getting staked, we're not sure ourselves. But despite his parting words "If I see you again, I'll have to kill you," is there no purpose to be found for Lawson in S5?

    That's what he's searching for. As a human, Lawson allowed how there was a difference between following orders and having a purpose. Joss doesn't include something like that in an offhand way. Angel, for the past year or so (the time sequence is difficult to gauge, in that most of S4, more or less, was taking place in a much more time-compressed way than most seasons), hasn't had any orders to follow. He's been flying a little blinder than usual, and while he just got some bearings in "You're Welcome," he isn't at the Powers' beck and call, exactly. Angel has had to explore why he's doing what he's doing, his purpose, his mission, and sadly that entire discussion seemed absent from this episode.

    Course, he's not getting a lot of input from the other side, either. Along with Lindsey, boiling in his own filth somewhere out there in the 'burbs, Eve has gone missing. And the White Room is empty, so the Senior Partners aren't bending his ear at all.

    But by spending an entire episode dedicated to the question of why everyone's doing what they're doing -- and not in any satisfactory or definitive way answering it -- or even closing discussion on what's up with Lawson (did he get some of Angel's soul or didn't he? Is he merely an unfulfilled creature of the night or has he been infused with something along the order of conscience?) -- this is what I would dismiss as a lost opportunity, except for a few things.

    Gunn's stumble during the meeting, establishing a new liaison -- and there's some suggestion, with the upcoming appearance of Hamilton, that the Senior Partners are adamant of maintaining contact, whether Gunn has lost access through the White Room or not.

    Why is Gunn doing the things that he's doing? He seems to have more orders than mission right now, and losing that access seems to cripple him. His upgrade is failing, and he's becoming a little lost. It's a little like Cordelia, whose access kept her a vital member of the mission. Gunn feels that his access is what's keeping him vital. But whether CYNTHIA! has a stranglehold on the law or not is not mission critical. It's strategy that they've found useful, but they entered their current situation without even bothering about whether they knew anything about the law or not. Fred wanted a state of the art lab, Wesley was seduced by the books, Lorne wanted power lunches with pretty people and Angel wanted to save Connor. Gunn ... was initially drawn in by an afternoon in the White Room.

    Of the five, Gunn is the one being cheated -- he's losing what initially motivated him -- but Gunn could be an asset without the upgrade. Even more so. Without all the legal strategy and Gilbert and Sullivan and demon languages buzzing around in his brain, maybe he would have a better grasp on right and wrong, rather than beneficial and expedient.

    Whereas Cordy's continued access was mission critical, I'm not certain Gunn's is, and that subtle distinction is about to turn around and bite someone in the arse.

    One of the biggest reasons why this episode seems as sterile and disappointing as it ultimately does is that, while Lindsey's abduction and Eve's disappearance is touched upon, not a single word is breathed about Cordelia. I was leaping for the Special Features on this disc to see if there were any outtakes -- and to be honest, it's not like this episode itself is packed to the brim -- to see if anything was pulled out about CYNTHIA!s reaction to Cordelia's death and their pain and loss, but it was just the featurette on the 100th episode itself, and while congratulations are indeed in order, that's almost insulting. Someone should've said something. Even if it was a week ago, unless Vail did a second sweep, the death and loss of Cordy is something that should've been hitting someone really hard -- as hard as it was hitting all of us -- and that omission is a punch in the gut.

    I'll close by saying that following orders and pursuing the mission is a thread that was touched on just a little too subtly in this episode. But it's about to loom really, really large for Angel.

    "Why We Fight" is about to come into sharp focus, whether we know it or not. And the path it takes, the story it lays out, is a countdown to one of the strongest finale episodes I've ever seen of anything.
  • A lot better than the previews had lead me to believe....

    9.5
    When I first saw the previews for this episode, I thought I was going to hate it, but surprise, surprise, I loved it! In fact, it was one of my favorite episodes from the season and it is in my top ten episodes from the entire show. I am really unaware as to why, perhaps it was the clever flashbacks or the Angel-Spike interaction.
    And how about the revelation that Angel sired a vampire when he had a soul! I definitely did not see that coming. Honestly, it is difficult to put into words as to why this episode is so great, but I would definitely recommend watching it.
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