Season 5 Episode 13

Why We Fight

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

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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out of 10
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  • Angel wins WW2


    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"


    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


    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.

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