Last month, Buffy and Angel found themselves face-to-face with Drusilla, who definitely did not look in control of things despite being responsible for opening the Hellmouth beneath Sunnydale.
This week, they face down their biggest challenge in what has already been a physically and emotionally taxing gauntlet.
Snappy Spoiler-Lite Recap
- As someone who has their name mispronounced and misunderstood all the time, I can appreciate what Angelus is going through here.
- Leave it to Drusilla to sow seeds of distrust right after she was betrayed.
- Dang…Hellmother has been eating her Wheaties.
- “Okay. Sure. A Hellmouth Hut.“
- Buffy and Drusilla: The team up neither of them wanted.
- Augie and Angel: The hidden exposition dump none of us wanted.
- Bought time Angel tried that…
- …and there goes all the chemistry and sexual tension.
Once again, Eleonora Carlini’s art is superb. This time, however, she gets additional props for the giant splash pages featuring the Hellmother, which are both visually stunning and filled with enough energy to make you worry the demonic entity might leap off the page.
As far as the story goes, the script by Jordie Bellaire and Jeremy Lambert starts off with an intriguing twist before grinding to a complete halt via a completely unnecessary exposition dump. I’m sure Angel is all types of anxious to find out what he needs to do to regain his soul, but I highly doubt he’d pick this exact time to discuss it with a friendly oracle demon.
As if that weren’t frustrating enough, we don’t even get to learn what he needs to do–only that it’s something really bad that Angel refuses to consider. Definitely a good narrative seed, but the wrong time/place to plant it.
That said, we do get some great action sequences leading up to Buffy learning more about Angel than he wanted her to know. Also, the dialogue between Drusilla and Buffy deftly walks the line between lethal tension and realistic humor.
Let’s hope all the side conflicts spawned from this issue can organically flow back into what had been a compelling story thus far.