Rm w/a Vu
Written by: Jane Espensen, David Greenwalt
Directed by: Scott McGinnis
Air Date: Nov. 2, 1999
Cordelia gets an apartment and Doyle learns what it means to have friends. That’s what this episode boils down to. And it is fun, don’t get me wrong, but it seems like so much time is spent on Cordelia freaking out about lame places and then freaking out about how cool her new place is, that… well, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, here. I’m going to rip into this episode a bit, but overall, let it be known that I kinda enjoy it. Its got charm and wit. But it just takes forever to get to any of it.
The episode features some more of Doyle’s past coming to bite him in the ass in the form of a red demon with some pointy spines on his forehead. He wants the money he owes and, after Angel confronts the guy, we learn that whomever the money is owed to doesn’t care about it anymore and is out for blood. While we don’t necessarily learn everything in this episode, Doyle’s past is getting caught up with him and we’ll soon get more info about him, but the major thing we learn here is that one of the reasons the Powers that Be may have sent him to Angel is because Doyle needs as much help as the damsels he is out to save. Angel, as a character and as a series, is all about people finding redemption. Doyle’s number is about up (in more ways than one).
This still gets all slow and lame, though, because while we’re learning this story, Cordelia’s side story is going on. She needs out of her old apartment because there are so many bugs crawling around. She and Doyle take a peek at some comically awful places (a commune, a place where the fat, pervy landlord lives next door, etc.) and eventually they come across the titular “Room with a View” (if you can’t figure that out, yourselves). Its perfect. Cordelia feels at home for the first time in a long time. How could there be anything wrong with the place? Oh, probably the fact that it exists in a show Joss Whedon created, that’s how.
Phantom Dennis lives here with the ghost of his crazy, murderous mother. But we don’ learn that for quite some time. Cordelia is haunted to the point of trying to commit suicide (ghost assisted, mind you) and this is the same M.O. that Mrs. Ghostly has been using since day one. She’s always hated floozie like women because her son was going to leave her for one. So she kills woman after woman when they move into the apartment. Its near the tail end of the episode, after Angel and co. deal with the loan sharks after Doyle (they also comically get caught up in all the ghost shit) that the punchline comes through. A dark as hell punchline.
Maude Pearson walled her son up in behind brick until he died and then she (in the most corny, eye-inducing death I’ve seen yet) has a heart attack or some shit and then immediately kicks the bucket. After this revelation, Cordelia busts Dennis’ ghost out from behind the brick and he expels her back into the ether, to never be heard from again. Its this moment and the brief battle prior to it that I enjoy. Every other thing that happens in this episode is a wash, though. You have to slog through so many boring moments to get Cordelia’s bitch power back, her sense of self-respect. Her laughing conversation with that dumb girl from the “BtVS” pilot brings it all together for her, but it’s not enough to really make it a million bucks worth of television.
We are getting more in line with the better parts of this show, though, in terms of both character development and story telling. I’d kinda forgotten how episodic the first season of “Angel” was. Later seasons, particularly Season 4, seem like one long episode, broken into segments. And while I long for that kind of narrative breakdown, its fun to see the characters develop bit by bit, rather than in fell swoops. Doyle’s time is coming up, and Cordelia’s role will change soon. Its going to be a fun time, here for a bit, as far as getting to know these characters again is concerned. I just hope the episodes aren’t as slow as this one.
Episode Rating: 85
-I do love Dennis, though. His role throughout the remaining episodes of the series are always a treat
-I really do hate that stupid scene where Maude bites it. It is so overwrought
-Cordelia’s exclamation of “the bitch” being “back” is funny, but she isn’t back. Not even close
-Some fun stuff happens in this apartment, though. I’m picturing a certain ex-Watcher dancing like a goof ball
-Inclusion of Kate makes me wonder if there was going to be some other plan for her character that didn’t come to fruition. Her role in the first season is interesting because it makes her the only human we see Angel really get invested in, but then it kinda just good “poof”
-Doyle’s not stupid enough to have a gun in a drawer. Especially since a drawer is a weapon on its own, apparently