[#39 on my Buffy/Angel ranking
of all 254 episodes from both series]


Drusilla’s trance-dance performed for Angel in light bondage.

Last week’s part one big build-up bursts all over in the second half of What’s My Line, and I’ve got jets of praise to shoot!

Love Is in the Air

Oz takes a bullet and garners Willow's attention.

Oz takes a bullet and garners Willow’s attention.

Whedon’s matchmaking takes flight here. Willow and Oz finally make their connection after weeks of Oz’s longing from afar and Willow’s obliviousness. Xander and Cordelia’s tension at last breaks into a series of passionate kisses accompanied by hokey orchestral swells. Buffy bravely rescues a helpless, shirtless Angel. And Spike risks everything to restore Drusilla, who in turn, saves him from mounds of rubble. The romance just keeps getting bigger. Only Giles and Miss Carpenter are left out this time, primarily because there is simply no more room. This could have been a Valentine’s episode!

what's my line 1 waffle meringue

Drusilla Is Fucking Bananas:

Dru in white in What's My Line 2

White is weakness for Dru. She’ll be strong soon!

She’s nuts, no question. But what exactly makes Drusilla special, aside from her fondness for blindfolding the naughty Miss Edith and cooing to dead birds in gilded cages? Her treatment of Angel suggests she’s got something over on the other vampires besides her visions and um, peculiarities.

Dru wears black for church.

Dru wears black for church.

Does Drusilla harbor anger toward Angel for the torment he visited upon her and her family when she was still human? As she tortures him with holy water, she seems lost (okay, she always seems a bit lost) in those moments of the remote past, as she muses about when Angelus murdered her entire family and drove her into eternal madness.

What exactly is the connection between Vampire Drusilla and the Drusilla who possessed a soul? We’ve never seen the link before and I don’t believe that we’ll see it quite this way again. Does Drusilla’s insanity blur the distinct line separating the before and after of siring?

Angel in Bondage 

Usually it’s Cordelia. We’ve seen her tied up in a cheerleading uniform, gagged, struggling, and then screaming and screaming and screaming. We’ve also seen her (and Buffy) chained in a cellar, again making full use of Charisma Carpenter’s considerable talent at shrieking. Now it’s Angel’s turn to titillate – shirtless, his wrists strapped, chest heaving, with Drusilla alternately writhing slowly between his legs and spilling holy water onto his exposed flesh. Angel doesn’t yell like Cordy; he grunts and bears it. Is he asking for more? I didn’t hear a safe word.

Angel's pits are shaven. He's made clean and safe to the point of sterility.

Angel’s pits are shaven. He’s made clean, safe, and smooth to the point of sterility.

I also didn’t see any armpit hair. Is this part of the de-/re-sexualization and depilation of the American male body in the 1990s? The scene would be much hotter if Angel’s pits bore fur, but he’s been boy-ified for the pining teenage girls and fussy homosexuals in the audience. His smoothness doesn’t match the animalistic grunts and groans elicited by the bondage and burning water, and I object.

The warm-up to shirtless torture: Angel is bound and gagged. Please note that Miss Edith is not blindfolded for this scene scene. She's allowed to watch. However, Dru has gagged her like Angel so that she doesn't talk out of turn and spoil the moment.

The warm-up to shirtless torture: Angel is bound and gagged. Please note that Miss Edith is not blindfolded for this scene scene. While she is allowed to watch, Dru has gagged Miss Edith – like Angel – so that she doesn’t talk out of turn and spoil the moment. Note also Miss Edith is seated next to the television so that Dru and Spike can sit down together and each have something to look at.

Chaos Reigns on Multiple Fronts

So much is going down! There’s Xander and Cordelia fending off the Taraka assassin who turns into thousands of larvae, then making out in Buffy’s basement, and then escaping out of the house with a pit-stop on the front lawn where Xander hoses some leftover larval creatures off of Cordy.

In some circles this is romantic. Minus the larvae.

I might have thought they’d save this level of kink for a second date.

And there’s the reveal of the third Taraka assassin, not Kendra of course, but the policewoman at the career fair! I absolutely flipped the first time I saw this. I may not remember loads from my first round of marathon viewings, but the cop calling Buffy’s name and then drawing her gun and firing almost point blank did indeed stick.

The third assassin! Raúl's head went spinning here.

The third assassin! Raúl’s head went spinning here.

[This begs the question, why not get a sniper to take out Buffy? Both the Taraka career fair hit and Darla’s attempt at shooting Buffy ended in failure. The Slayer is too fast for a bullet when she can see it coming. But then, snipers wouldn’t really make Buffy entertaining. The fun post-shooting melee in the halls could only exist in a very pre-Columbine era. Better to keep Buffy gun-free, even though the two attempts at shooting Buffy rank among my favorite scenes.]


Then there’s the final battle at the abandoned church. Spike and the two surviving Taraka assassins fend off Buffy, Kendra, Willow, Xander, Giles, and even Cordy, who stomps all over the larvae. There was some great tag-teaming to take everyone down before Angel is cut free and laid on the altar for Buffy.

Now this should be a top iconic image for season two.

Now this should be a top iconic image for season two.

Finally, the vision of a newly healthy Dru (the ritual did the trick!) lifting Spike out of the rubble of a collapsed pipe organ opens the door to grand mayhem to help round out the second half of the season. What a conclusion! What an episode!