I’ve Got You Under My Skin
I’ve always said that Angel 1.14 is my favorite episode in that series, citing the fine narrative devices that lead the viewer to the deeper reveal beyond the dear old hackneyed. I don’t remember noticing previously that The Prodigal episode (that directly follows my permanent favorite) drops our titular protagonist into the eternal Oedipal soup in the very same position that Ryan occupies in the preceding hour. Angelus’ consternation arrives with Darla’s incontestible observation, to blight the hellish victory he’s made of his liberated future on the bodies of his parents and the blameless faith of his murdered sister.
I’ve always thought that I’ve Got you Under My Skin speaks with uncommon brilliance, through the horror of an Ethros demon, of the writer’s void. It also opens the cover on a study on the properties of bullying. The thing is that The Prodigal ends by refreshing the infinite uncertainty of the challenged, writerly point of view, and expressing it in the wordless revelation of tragic futility or divine humilation that plays across Liam’s face. A transposed and augmented echo that’s approximately as indescribably cool as the last chord in A Day in the Life.
There’s an allegorical warning there, lurking in the darkness. It’s probably meant to caution those who aspire to be either vampires or writers; not so much to dissuade anyone, as to fairly present the first, unpublicized sacrifice that marks the turf where a person died and a writer arose it its place. Great stories sometimes appear long before we’re ready to appreciate them whole.
“Let’s get to work”, is an unremarkable phrase that ends the series’ final episode as aptly and succinctly as it punctuates the first. It’s a phrase that goes entirely unnoticed on the first pass through the show, yet stands out like a hitchhiker’s swollen thumb sticks out from beneath the tires of the bus, whenever the story’s retold, with the shocking inevitability of half-forgotten prophecy.