After a The Exorcist tribute two episodes ago, Angel now tries his demon hand at Gladiator. Tricked by tricksters and duped by dupesters, Angel ends up an unwilling contestant in underground fighting. Notes:
Cordelia suggests archfiend.org as a good URL for a demon database. I just looked it up, and some bastard is sitting on it.
A chap, who I’m sure is called Rob, but who wiki tells me is called Darin (no sp) appears at Angel HQ. He tells the team that his brother Jack (who’s name I did get right, hooray) was abducted by some deemunz. I smell a rat. Angel doesn’t. I remain god.
I had a ‘Buffyverse’ theory that when someone is on a computer and the hero (Buffy or Angel) isn’t there, trouble comes a-knocking. But I’m proven wrong when nothing happens to Cordelia or Wes. Then I realised that situation has occurred millions of times with no trouble. My theory ruined, I skulked away, back into the darkness.
We discover that Angel is on the hunt of some ‘howler demons’. And yes, they do exactly what they say on the tin. While looking for them (in a sewer unsurprisingly) Angel finds a face.
Moving on, I consider the regularity of sewer scenes in Angel. I know he’s a bit photophobic, but he seems to really enjoy getting in a sewer. Angel, if you love sewers so much, why don’t you marry one?
Angel marries a sewer and finally finds the fighting club that he believes Jack has been taken to. The fighting arena is a mix of that episode of the Wire where Cheese goes dogfighting and the film Ong Bak. And Angel. They even have a proper posh announcer and everything, clearly based on that “Let’s get ready to rumble” fellow.
And now it’s become Good WIll Hunting, as we see Jack, and he’s the “how you like them apples?” guy from GWH. I’m ruined at this point, as I can’t help but imagine Ben Affleck gunning him to death, “Applesauce bitch”.
“I guess you’re just not that good, Will Hunting”, Jack doesn’t say, as his henchman bum Angel to death. The whole damn charade in Angel’s office was just to get him here, so he can fight the other demons to death and that.
Sadly, it was only at this point I realised why this episode is called The Ring. When I first loaded the DVD up, I thought “is this the episode where Angel gets that ring that grants him lots of power?”. I then realised that was about 13 episodes ago. Then I thought “is this the one were he gets a ring that makes him mortal?”. Then I realised that there was no ring involved in that story and I am a stupid man.
Angel wakes up wearing a bracelet emblazoned with ‘XXI’. Not, as you may think, a reference to XXI Jump Street, but it actually means he has to kill 21 other combatants before he’s freed. The bracelet also stops the fighters from escaping, as it vapourises them. That’ll do it.
Wes pulls some surprisingly G moves involving a crossbow and a pistol to find out where Angel is being kept. The whole time I was expecting him to Frank Spencer it all up. Ripper would be proud.
Meanwhile, back at the arena, Angel tries to convince the demons that killing each other isn’t the way out. Even thought it is. He tries to unite them to battle their way out. But you know how demons are, they’re not having it.
Anyway, Angel gets his Maximus on, being forced to fight but refusing to fatalatise anyone. Wes turns up after figuring out how to undo the bracelet, all the fighters get freed, both the brothers get deathed. And that’s that, finito.