|Index||5 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To understand this episode, you really need to see season seven of
BTVS. The idea of countless new slayers roaming the globe comes
directly from the final episode, "Chosen" and if you haven't seen it,
"Damage" could be confusing. If you have seen it, it's easy to
appreciate the way "Angel" deals with the fall out of Buffy's plan to
awaken all the potential slayers in the world. Over on BTVS, it seemed
like such a great, simple idea. On "Angel," where story lines tend to
be murkier, Buffy's actions have some unexpected and tragic results.
Anyway, this is a good episode and you really shouldn't skip it if
you're watching the season, as it ties in with an important reveal in
Basically, "Damage" revolves around a deranged vampire slayer named Dana. Like I said, over on BTVS, Buffy woke up all the potential slayer's in the world to help her fight this massive battle with the First Evil. Unfortunately, there were some slayers who probably SHOULDN'T have super powers. For instance, crazy ones, like Dana. See, she was kidnapped & tortured as a kid and has spent the time since in an institution. Now, with her slayer talents going full blast, she breaks out and goes on a rampage through LA. Spike and Angel try to stop her with a little help from Giles' "Top Man," Andrew. (Who was a recurring character on seasons 6 and 7 of BTVS, notable for his sci-fi fanboy-ness; his desperation to belong, which had often tragic results; and for his hero worship of an annoyed, but generally tolerant, Spike.) Andrew arrives on the scene to offer his "expert" advise, taste pennies, urge Spike to call Buffy and show everyone how he's 82% more manly than before.
Spike ignores Angel's orders to stay away from Dana. What he doesn't realize is that Dana has the memories of the two slayers Spike killed in her head and she confusing him with the man who kidnapped her. Spike tracks her down to a warehouse and tries to reason with her, but Dana drugs him and hacks off his hands. Angel gets there just in time to stop her from staking Spike. While Fred takes Spike to the hospital to have his hands reattached, Andrew tells Angel that Dana is a slayer and Wolfram & Hart can't have her. Along with a bunch of other slayers, her takes Dana away, saying that no one trusts Angel anymore, not even Buffy. Angel winds up at the hospital, where he and Spike have a rare moment of actual bonding as they talk about the past.
There are some great parts to this episode. I like the crossword puzzle the nurse is working on at the beginning. Q: "An eight letter word that means mellifluous noise." A: "Harmony." Also, Spike and Andrew are just so cute together that I end up smiling through all their scenes. And when Angel accidentally says "Vam-Pyre" exactly like Andrew always does, it just cracks me up. Also, the scene of the real estate lady, Lorne, Angel and the physic in Dana's old house is just great. She starts talking about the hard wood floors and the physic breaks in with with the encouraging news that the walls scream with blood. I laugh every time. Finally, the last scene of Spike and Angel in the hospital is really beautiful. Angel explains that Dana isn't a monster, but an innocent victim. Spike's sad reply, "So were we once" just blows me away. I can't think of another scene in the Buffyverse that deals with the grey, shifting nature of good and evil so well and it only takes four words.
Interestingly, this is the first episode where Spike aligns himself with Team Angel over the Scoobies. At the end of "Damage," Andrew insists that no one trusts Angel anymore. . . Not even Buffy. Yet, through out the episode, Andrew hung around with Spike and even volunteered to tell the Scoobie gang that Spike was alive. (Or un-dead, at least.) It seems obvious that while Team Angel has been labeled Black Hats by the Sunnydale Alums, Spike could still have a place within the Slayers ranks. He wouldn't even have to muster the courage to call Buffy. All he had to do was join up with Andrew and he could finally leave LA. Instead the episode ends with Angel explaining to Spike that Andrew had taken Dana away. Spike replies, "He double-crossed us?", which instantly sums up his new allegiances. With the word "us," Spike places himself with Angel over Andrew and the Slayers. Spike, apparently automatically, sees himself as part of Team Angel now, even if he doesn't work for Wolfram & Hart. LA is his new home and they're his new "family," whether he likes it or not.
On the down side, I still get annoyed when Andrew and the Slayers start mouthing off to Angel. I love Andrew, but I love Angel WAY more, so I just want to hit the kid in that scene. Also, the first time I saw this episode, I was deeply traumatized by the idea that they were going to make Spike Dana's kidnapper and I'm still not over it.
My favorite part of the episode: Andrew's weeping, hugging, "Lord of the Rings" quoting reaction to discovering that Spike's alive. He's so sappily happy and Spike's so embarrassed that I just have to laugh.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having originally rejected viewing the unique and very well written
BtVPS series, based solely on its title...a phenom now known as "The
Buffy Syndrome"...many pertinent references in Angel episodes, and this
one in particular, went right over my head upon the first viewing.
And yet "Damage" is still a great stand-alone episode; it continues to advance the season's overall arc of conflict between Angel & Co. corporate efforts and Spike's lone wolf attitude. The storyline has cohesion, and credibility in the Whedon realm. Scenes of Dana's torturous past I found a bit dark and disturbing to watch, but the flashbacks are well done and the sepia tones used to delineate it from time present was an added interest.
Upon a second viewing of this epi (after having DVD-marathoned through 7 seasons of Buffy), I found it even more interesting, reveling in layers of meanings not noticed before. It was also now apparent to me that the rogue slayer storyline concept was not new: Dana's character mirrors Faith, Sunnydale's bad girl (and alter ego of good girl Buffy); a rogue slayer who ended up in an institution after embracing the dark side.
There were other revelations now that I have some BtVPS back-story: Spike's character took on greater nuances. Andrew was an unknown character during my first viewing; the second time around I understood better his rather emotional reaction upon seeing Spike. The slayer history lesson also made more sense, especially where Dana's violent behavior was concerned.
Other significant references:
Andrew's accounting of Sunnydale characters (Buffy, willow, Kennedy, Xander, Dawn) take on greater meaning for those familiar with the ending of the BtVPS series. And Andrew putting a dirty penny in his mouth to test Spike's statement that the scent of blood was like tasting a coin was so in line with the geek's hero worship developed in BtVPS!
Spikes comment "Sorry, love...I don't speak Chinese" was exactly the one he made to the slayer dying in his arms during the Boxer Rebellion. "I used to date a girl who wasn't all there": a direct reference to Drusilla, his vampire lover for a century. Also, Spike quickly reacted Dana's statement, "I have to get home to my son, my Robin" knowing she spoke of Robin Wood, the son of the NY slayer Spike killed in the 1977, and who in S7 of BtVPS, almost beat Spike to death in revenge.
The scene in which Andrew demands to take custody of Dana is a repeat of a similar scene in BtVPS when the Watcher's demand their rogue slayer, Faith, be turned over to them. "She's a slayer. That means she's ours..." The true significance of the crowd of young girls appearing to back Andrew in his demand for Dana can be lost on those who didn't watch the development of the Potentials in the last episode of BtVPS. Certainly *I* didn't understand why Angel & Co backed down so readily in front of a bunch of young girls! Now I get it...
All in all an episode worthy of viewing a second time! Or maybe a third... :)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Good; Great breakout scene, very Halloween, Terminator 2. Andrew is
funny as hell and wonderful final scene between Spike and Angel.
The Bad; How does Lindsey know about these things to send Spike to?
Best line; Angel (of Dana); "She's an innocent victim" Spike; "So were we, once upon a time" Makes me tear up every single time!
Jeez, how did they get away with that? All the torture and murder scenes and of course Spike's arms being cut off! Can't watch any of the scenes with Dana being tortured or her family being killed, just too horrible
Angel Clichés In disguise; 8
DB/JM get's his shirt off; 18,
Cheap Angel; 8
Fang Gang in bondage: Spike chained up Cordy: 5 Angel: 14 Wes: 7 Gunn; 7 Lorne; 6 Fred; 4 Spike; 6
Fang gang knocked out: Spike Cordy: 15 Angel: 19 Wes: 8 Doyle; 1 Gunn; 3 Lorne; 8 Groo; 1 Connor; 1 Faith; 1 Fred; 5 Spike; 5
Kills; Cordy: 5 vamps, 3 demons Angel; 45 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
Fang Gang go evil: Cordy: 3 Angel: 3 Gunn; 1 Wes; 1
Alternate Fang Gang; Cordy: 4 Angel: 11 Fred; 2 Wes; 1 Gunn; 1 Connor; 1 Lorne; 1
Characters killed: Dana cuts up the 2 poor orderlies at the hospital, the unfortunate security guard at the supermarket (someone should count all the security guards who get killed in Buffy/Angel over the years) and the tragic docker who tries to help her 2265
Recurring characters killed; 10
Total number of Angel Investigations; 5, Angel, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Wes,
Angel Investigations shot: Angel: 14 Wes; 2
Packing heat; Wes; 11 Doyle; 1 Angel; 4 Gunn; 3 Fred; 3
Notches on Fang Gang bedpost: Cordy: 5 ?+Wilson/Hacksaw Beast+Phantom Dennis+Groo+Connor plus possibly the Beast Angel: 6; Buffy, Darla, The Transcending Furies, Eve Wes; 3 definite; Virginia, the bleached blonde and Lilah, 1 possible, Justine Gunn; 2 Fred and Gwen. Fred; 1 Gunn Groo; 1Cordy Spike; 3-Buffy, Anya, Harmony
Kinky dinky: Andrew refers to Fred as 'attractive slender woman'. Lorne calls his assistant to get the whip. Spike asks Andrew if he's ever tasted 'a penny' From The Big Bang Theory? (Thank you scrawny71 for pointing out that)
Captain Subtext; Andrew says that Spike is beautiful and comments on his 'Viggo Mortenson' pecs. Spike calls Andrew a ponce.
Know the face, different character; 5
Parking garages; 9,
Guantanamo Bay; Andrew takes Dana into protective custody
Buffy characters on Angel; 17 Andrew Wetherby, Collins and Smith. Angel, Cordy, Oz, Spike, Buffy, Wes, Faith, Darla, Dru, The Master, Anne, Willow and Harmony. POSSIBLY The First Evil, Andrew.
Questions and observations; Note Dana marks herself just as the first Slayer did. Gunn of all people loves the system, very different from his first entry to WR&H in season 1. Note that some of Dana's drawing has the Shadowmen in it. When Dana speaks in Chinese Spike replies with the same words he said to the Chinese Slayer as he killed her. Wes is in touch with Giles (through his father if nothing else?). Spike jokes that Angel's worry is starting to make him look old, a comment on ageless vampire Angel starting to look a few years older. Irrelevant that Spike didn't torture Dana or kill her family because he did it to THOUSANDS of other people. Remember the little girl in the coal cellar? No one trusts Angel any more, he realises that he and Wes&co have cut themselves off from the other Scoobs.
Buffy and Dawn are in Rome with Dawn going to an Italian school. The reason we saw so little Joyce in season 4 is that Kristine Sutherland was housesitting in Italy for a year in order to let her daughter go to school there and learn Italian. And now Joyce's daughters do the same which I suspect is a very clever inside joke. Andrew's remark of Buffy needing a break from California may be a reference to SMG needing a break from the character of Buffy. The various Scoobies are reassembling the Watcher's Council just as Wes' false dad said they were in Lineage.
In 'Lies My Parent's Told Me' Spike goads Robin Wood that his mother never really loved him and put slaying first (in fairness to Spike Wood had just tried to kill him). Here we find that this wasn't true, she did love him, her last thought was her begging for Spike to spare her so that she could go back to her beloved son. In School Hard Spike tells Buffy that the last Slayer he killed begged for her life. In 'Fool for Love' he tells her how he killed her and she doesn't beg. Maybe she did beg, just not out loud?
Dana dreams of previous Slayers just as Buffy did in the original movie.
Spike and Angel both consider themselves to be monsters. They might be right. The scene between them is too wonderful for words. Love to see Dana in the comics some day, all cured. Episode 11, halfway through the final season.
Marks out of 10; 8/10, strong ep but hard to watch. The final scene between Angel and Spike raises it up.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Is pathological idiot an actual condition? - Although, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the first 10 episodes quite a lot, they still felt a little bit too much like BTVS, and even though I love that show, I prefer ANGEL anytime of the week. 'Damage' is the closest thing to the previous seasons, despite the whole slayer storyline. The only thing that keeps me from giving this episode a 'perfect' grade is 'Andrew', they already brought 'Spike' and 'Harmony' from BTVS but do they really need to bring 'Andrew' in as swell? that irritating little virgin? and the worst part were those wannabe-slayers taking 'Dana' at the end, do the writers want to torture us or what!? But besides that, the episode was old-school ANGEL, it was dark and had different layers. 'Dana' played by Navi Rewat gets my 'best one-episode character of the show' award, as the psychotic slayer who was out for revenge. And although 'Spike' always irritates the hell out of me, his best scene of the entire show was his conversation with 'Angel' at the end of the episode The lass thought I killed her family. And I'm supposed to what, complain 'cause hers wasn't one of the hundreds of families I did kill?. The episode also had quite some slightly-disturbing moments, like when 'Dana' sliced the throat of a male-nurse and paints her face with his blood and of course when she cut off 'Spike's arms. ANGEL is a show that is so good when it's disturbing and season 5 hadn't really done that yet, until this episode. SPIKE: The tingling in my forearms tells me she's too far gone to help. She's...one of us now. She's a monster. ANGEL: She's an innocent victim. SPIKE: So were we... once upon a time. (9.5 out of 10)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Whose idea was it to have that little ponce Andrew in an episode? And
of all things, he's a Watcher, let alone Giles' "top man". Andrew makes
Wesley on BTVS look like he does in season 5 of Angel. The brown bag
lunch with a juice box, the Frodo comment, screeching like a little
girl when he sees the dead body while following Spike. David Nabbit,
the Dungeons & Dragons guy from 'War Zone', 'To Shanshu in LA' and
'First Impressions' would've been more believable as a watcher than
OK now, on to the main part of the story line. A psychotic girl has escaped from a mental asylum and by chance she's one of the potential slayers. To make matters even more fun, she was driven insane from being tortured by the man who killed her family 15 years earlier. Due to the memories of past slayers and what she's seeing mixing in her head, she thinks that man is Spike. And wouldn't you know it, he is the 'vigilante' do-gooder who is tracking her while Team Angel looks for her too. Now she tortures him by drugging him and cutting his hands off before Angel and the strike team manage to subdue her.
Now for the biggest shocker. Andrew stands up to Angel and says he's taking custody of the girl. Of course, he does it with 12 of the new slayers around him. For him to say that the orders came from Buffy, that they don't trust Team Angel anymore because they work for Wolfram & Hart and that they're the enemy now shows how much of a narrow minded bitch Buffy had really become.
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