So... why am I making a big deal about this? Isn't Joss the greatest? Yeah, yeah he is, but the future of the "Jossverse" was in peril last year after a (don't lynch me, but) lackluster Buffy finale and a just barely renewed Angel not to mention the cancellation of Firefly for which Fox can nibble my scrot! In a no holds barred effort to redirect a great show, the Jossinator threw his sabo into the machinery and took Angel and the investigations team into bizarre territory, that being the leadership of their former arch enemies (since episode one) the law firm of Wolfram and Hart! Last Season of Angel had its ups and downs but ended with an exciting, if risky proposal. Luckily, Angel did return, and did the gamble of a new direction work? Do Bears Bear? Do Bees Be? Do Ducks Duck?
In other words, yeah, it's working. To start with, Joss both wrote and directed this one! Is he tired and old and out of ideas? Well, check out this little snippet of dialogue:
Wesley: Do you think it's a bit unseemly to add "Y's" to the end of people's names?
Essentially this time around we're seeing how Angel, Wes (Alexis Denisof), Gunn (J. August Richards), Fred (Amy Acker) and, best of all that gay, green guy, Lorne (Andy Hallett) are settling in to heading the organization that represents most of the evil in the world! The answer? Well, not bad but not great! That is, except for Lorne, who is in a pile of pleasure being the head of the entertainment division. His method of screening employees just has to be seen! James Kidd should apply!
One slice of nastygram that they must face, either due to a Gregory Benford Moment or due to the vastly changing face of evil, Angel doesn't just "get his way" with the firm. Yeah, Lila swore they could do "whatever you want" with the LA branch, but, Corporate Rep Eve (cutie Sarah Thompson... Dana Poole from Boston Public) says "Nope!" They have to keep the clients happy, or they lose it all. So... the very people they've sworn to defeat they have to represent... or, you know, they'll go all bio-terrorist on our asses!
So Angel has to face his own security, his own clients, his own new sycophant assistant (none other than Pamper-pire Harmony, because "Who needs Dental more than we do?"), and his own self-righteous brooding to (again) save the gosh-darned world. I don't want to ruin anything for you, but let me say that Angel rules in this one! It's great to see the man on top of his game. Gunn takes a new role, and Fred takes charge, Lorne rocks, and Wes is... well, he's still grumpy gloomy Wes, not corny, geeky Wes.
Anyone whose seen the ads won't call me a spoiler for telling you that old Spike is back in black and ready to chomp on the power supply leading to Angelus' rise to power. Hey, it's great to see him back, but the question is... HOW? I guess I need to review next week's episode to find out, man!
All in all, I have to say I was pleased with this Premiere. It's great on the action, the comedy, the drama, and the in-jokes! It's great to see old Angel just gushing when granted a "new toy." The one liners are fantastic, and Brother Kneumsi for one is just as hyped as can be that the gamble worked and the new direction is worth watching! Heck Yes! "Conviction" gets Three and a Half Stars, and I just can't wait for the F u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u t u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u r e! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to gather up supplies for this year's Halloween Costume. I live close to L.A., so here's hoping Angel and company don't mistake me for one of their booty-head clients. Actually, you know, Hully Gee, with them around, it's safer to be a bad guy these days! Color me evil!
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