As is typical, everyone else’s thoughts on Angel You’re Welcome are either way better than mine or exactly like mine. Also typical, my reaction — at least for now — is an emotional one. Six months had passed before I could objectively ponder The Gift.
I love cross-overs, reunions and shout-outs in the Jossverse. I love it when characters (especially on Buffy, Angel and Alias) speak for the audience. Since season one of Buffy, Cordelia hasn’t just been the snarky one or the sooth-sayer. She’s been the one saying on my behalf what first said best, “Well, pardon me while I suspend my belief.” She’s always been the one to say, “Unbelievable!” In that vein, I thought much of Cordelia’s dialog in You’re Welcome was right off the tip of my tongue. So, I thought the presence of Doyle, mentions of Connor, Darla and Lilah, and especially the point-blank question, “Why is no one talking about it?” It being what people do and do not remember about Darla, Cordy, Connor, Angelus, The Beast, Lilah and Jasmine. Or, as I like to think of it, season four.
Sometimes, giving me what I want (Angel and Buffy smooching in The Pyramid Sunnydale Forgot, Angel snuggling Buffy in the graveyard after Joyce’s passing, Faith and Wes making with the Slayer-Watcher again), while making me momentarily thrilled with an hour of good television, ultimately feels a little cheap. I guess this is what prolific fanfic writers mean by Mary Sue. But the Mary Sue phenomenon exists for a reason! Because people (read: I) like it! So Cordelia asking all the right questions (as I would call them) and handing over a Goodbye in the perfect-sized box with the most fantastic Container Store wrapping paper and hand-curled bow had me holding my breath. It was too good. No, really. Too good.
Even if she was a wee bit Mary Sue, the return of Cordelia was earned. Not, like, “hard earned,” but Fred has been skeptical of Wolfram & Hart all season. Angel’s role as CEO of Hell Incorporated has been duly noted by Buffy, Giles, Andrew and “their camp.” Buffy’s distrust of Angel in Damage had to sting. He was on the fence about what he should and can do at W&H. The Powers saw an opening and took it.
All of Cordelia’s champing and gorgeousing at Angel, though? Less earned. I was never on board the Cordy-Angel train, but I was thrilled that they kissed. I don’t know why other than I knew Cordy was never coming back. I mean, why not? And that’s pretty much what she said, too, so I’m fine with it.
Other than that? Tears. Heartache. A sense of loss. I really, really thought I didn’t care about Angel any more. I was inadvertently spoiled to Cordelia’s death at the end of You’re Welcome last week, and I felt angst that I hadn’t since Once More, With Feeling. That was a keen shock. Even worse was that I accidentally told Tivo to delete this episode before I could watch it again! I cried more from my own stupidity than the loss of a great character. (God bless for hooking me up with a VCD.)
You’re not wrong.