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HERC Reviews ANGEL 3.4!!

Angel 3.4 FAQ

What’s it called?

“Carpe Noctum.”

Who’s responsible?

Teleplay credited to Scott Murphy (veteran of the sitcom “Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane.”)

What does TV Guide say?

Angel's body is taken over by a man (Rance Howard) who, in an effort to stay young, possesses younger guys - and ends up killing them in the process. Angel, meanwhile, is trapped in the soul switcher's frail body in a retirement home. The impostor is unaware of his new vampire status until he takes a bite out of someone.

What is TV Guide not telling us?

Marcus the bodysnatcher comes to realize that a vampire body won’t burn out like a human one – so in the third act he heads off to kill the elderly body in which Angel is trapped. There’s also a B-story about Angel having to dampen what Cordy calls Fred’s “big puppy love” for the Big A.

The big news?

For the second episode in a row: no Giant Darla!

Any mention of Buffy’s resurrection?

Yes. “Will is on the phone,” pants Cordelia in the very last scene. “She’s alive. Buffy’s alive.” As Angel rushes to grab the phone, a deflated Fred asks, “Buffy?” Executive Producers Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt.

Is it true Angel and his ex will meet off-camera?

The answer to this question comes at the conclusion of tomorrow night’s “Buffy.”

Anyone from Wolfram & Hart pay a visit this week?

Lilah stops by the hotel. We learn that she’s more than a little open to the idea of a vampire romantic interest when she and the faux Angel start humping on the office furniture. Also, back at the firm, we learn Gavin Park is pursuing the idea of exploiting Angel’s possible lack of a social security number.

Whoa whoa whoa! Back up a sec! Do Lilah and faux Angel have sex??

They’re definitely headed in that direction - until the bodysnatcher gets a little too excited and gives Lilah a vamp-hickey. She freaks and flees.

Sounds like act-break material.

Only because it is. Second-to-third-act-break material.

Why does Lilah stop by the hotel?

Technically, to enlist Angel’s help in screwing over Gavin. (But it’s really so she can almost have sex with faux Angel.)

Any sign of Holtz?

Not this week.

What about that fire-cage guy?


Krevlornswath (of the Deathwok Clan)?

Sits it out this week.

What’s good?

The bodysnatcher concludes from a few details – including Angel’s wardrobe – that Angel may have a boyfriend named Fred.

What’s not so good?

The rest of the mistaken identity stuff was more silly than funny. Also, Angel as a vulnerable old man is a pretty good dramatic gimmick, but they could have perhaps gotten a lot more comedy milage out of the real Angel being trapped in a retirement home.

Herc’s rating for “Angel” 3.4?


The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:

  • ***** better than we deserve
  • **** better than most motion pictures
  • *** actually worth your valuable time
  • ** as horrible as most stuff on TV
  • * makes you quietly pray for bulletins

I am – Hercules!!

To order boxer shorts adorned with the image of a green, handicapable lover of televised entertainment, click here.

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 15, 2001, 5:55 a.m. CST

    Sounds like...

    by Rosie_Cotton

    the premise of "The Tale of the Body Thief" by Anne Rice! ^_^ * So does Angel, despite being old and decripit, sort of wig out at being human again? * I'm just more amped about Buffy this year then Angel. Oh well! Can't wait for the spoilers for "Flooded". * PS: Heh, that bit about him having a boyfriend named Fred...nice one.

  • if that does not make you appreciate Angel nothing will!!

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 6:42 a.m. CST


    by woodly_6

    I am sad that crossovers are being limited to phone calls and off camrea type of stuff! I think this was a big mistake on the part of the companies that own these shows! My rant for the night is now finished, please proceed with whatever you were doing before.

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 7:21 a.m. CST

    i to miss the crossovers

    by 28

    they were always fun to watch BUT if angel moves to the u.p.n. network next season they may be back

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 7:27 a.m. CST


    by Funkaboo

    I am breathing a sigh of relief. For once, he talkbacks are all intelligent and on-topic. But then again, there's only like four. :-) Anyway, I agree these off-screen/telephone crossovers are so annoying but I think the writers/actors are doing a good job of having us feel all the emotion just the same. Though nothing will beat Angel popping up at the end of tomorrow's Buffy. I'd get up and do the "all is right with the world" dance of joy. And once again, Fred annoys me. Her voice, her appearance, her being. She's purposeless - give her purpose or kill her off. Hopefully Darla will do it. Her crush on Angel - so obvious they were going there. Nina

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 1:31 p.m. CST

    The new servers kick ass

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    I can almost view a story every tenth time I click on them now.

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 1:31 p.m. CST

    The new servers kick ass

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    I can almost view a story every tenth time I click on them now.

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 2:05 p.m. CST


    by thewoodpecker

    People, give the character some time to develop. Not only is she incredibly smart, a total babe, and in puppy love with Angel, she rivals Oz in non-linear thinking! Long term I can sense a love triangle with Darla and/or Cordy and Angel. I do feel she'd make a good mate with Wes in the long run, but first things first. Besides, I love that accent. **drool**

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Pregnant Darla! Pregnant Lilah!

    by ArchDiver

    Pregnant Fred! Pregnant Cordy! Spread that demon love around!

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Anne Rice's "Tales of the Body Thief"

    by Smugbug

    Hmmmm, sounds similar......but that's pure coincidence.................../ However, Angel seems to be traveling in some interesting areas. I do agree with the Herc-meister that it would be interesting to have the real Angel in the retirement home. But I'm not a writer of the show, and my opinion doesn't really matter......except on these here talkbacks.

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 4 p.m. CST

    Sounds pretty bad...

    by BurninBullwinkle

    But both series always feature some "stinker plots" over the course of the season, and while they can't always overcome the premises, the character writing is always top-notch. Besides, the worst episode of Angel or Buffy is better than the best episode of 99% of other TV shows on the air. A couple thoughts: I didn't like Fred much last season but she's grown on me VERY quickly. She's a much more interesting add-on than Tara ever was. Number 2: Last episode there was a big beef over whether or not characters like Lorne, Merle and Gunn were members of the "Buffyverse." The answer is yes. You don't refer to characters as being from the Enterprise-verse and the Deep Space 9-verse. They're quite simply from the Star Trek universe. Buffy and Angel (and Watcher and Fray...) are all part of the same universe with the same history and the same rules. Just because the name of the show isn't Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Angel, that doesn't mean it's not part of the Buffyverse. If it's the semantics, fine; sure, it's a convenient and understandable name but if you want to call it the Whedon-verse, go ahead. Whatever. But it's pretty simple, ya dig? Well, back to work.

  • but fox is now airing a baseball game oh well few will be abset about that

  • but fox is now airing a baseball game oh well few will be abset about that

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 10:46 p.m. CST

    2 and a half...yea...i guess so

    by GoonLord

    I was just thinking how much they squandered Angel's chances to live a human existence IN THE SUNLIGHT even for just a little while, not to mention his dealing with the frailty of being an old man. Not to mention, doesn't Angel drinking live blood mean anything? Him inside the body or not? I would think that would cause some problems. Oh well, maybe I'm not thinking straight or missed something in the past (ok, I'll admit it, havent seen it since ep #1 and am just now catching up on all the buffys on FX)--------------------Oh, and I'd just like to throw in my little comment about the server...did you guys downgrade or what??!! I havent had the site move fast once since the move. But like I read, those damned popups still seem to work just fine..which is cool since it pays the bills, but guys come on, lets work on that broadband! I've got DSL and it feels like I'm running on 36.6 or something.

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Note to self

    by fostercool

    If ever in Sci-fi / Fantasy series, give coworkers / associates a code word that I can use to identify myself in case I swap bodies with someone. ITS GOING TO HAPPEN! Can anyone name a sci-fi / fantasy show where there wasn't some body swapping?

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 11:28 p.m. CST

    **1/2 is about right.

    by MGTHEDJ

    1) The new writer did alright with the comedy, but more could have been done with the retirement home. 2) They foreshadowed Darla's return when Angel held the baby. 3) What Herc, no mention of the threesome at the start of the ep. 4) On the technical side, the picture seemed darker that usual. like the film stock was underexposed. Anyone else notice this?-----later-----m

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 11:31 p.m. CST

    At LEAST Three Stars...

    by Funkaboo

    I thought tonight's epi was pretty decent. There were several parts that were laugh out loud funny - Lilah and Angel humping on the desk, Angel letting "Fred" (Wesley) down lightly, Angel moving in on the girl in the bar, that hideous shirt, etc. Can't wait to see tomorrow night's Buffy. N.

  • Oct. 15, 2001, 11:59 p.m. CST

    fostercool: about the password idea...

    by dp4m

    ... my roommate in college came up with an idea of a "Super Secret Time-Travel Password," so that when your future-self comes back from the future to give you information he'll have to tell you the password in order for you to know it was yourself and not a hideous duplicate clone. Sort of along the lines of what you suggested...

  • Oct. 16, 2001, 12:42 a.m. CST


    by Thalya

    2.5 stars was about right. I'm just glad the comedy wasn't overworked because I tend to dislike comedy derived from others' misfortunes and it could've easily gone that way. (my cheeks are grateful for the lack of a workout caused by embarrassed blushing) It could've had a bit more earnest exploration given the unique setting, as others have noted, but maybe the writers will recover that a little with character reflections later on. I think all this was was a set-up episode, I mean, obviously they needed to jar Lilah somehow and this may have been the only way to go about it. I rather wish they'd get on with showing us some concrete underlying-plot development though, it's at the wearing-thin point. My hunch is as soon as Angel learns of Buffy, Darla will oh-so-handily pop in. (prays the cliche doesn't come true, or at least gets slicked or glossed over, hopefully not redoing Darla's haunting of Angel from last season).

  • Oct. 16, 2001, 2:19 a.m. CST

    please tell me someone taped it

    by elijahcade

    I really need tonight's Angel if anyone out there has a heart!!!

  • Oct. 16, 2001, 2:23 a.m. CST

    This was a bad retread of "Who Are You"

    by impalergeneral

    At least when Faith stole Buffy's body, we saw her enjoy fooling people, then seeing that she should have been more like Buffy after all. That led to her road to redemption, even if it runs through jail fight now. Two and a half stars is an ideal rating for this retread, but the extra half star goes to Fred' speech at the end and the WB failure to remove the word "Buffy" from the script. I thought they were going to make sure no one remembers that her show still exists. So this week's Buffy is 4 1/2 stars, huh? How much for what may or may not happen at the end?

  • Oct. 16, 2001, 3:12 a.m. CST

    Lilah drops in for a cold one? [nhph]

    by It's A Duck

    It's about time we see some Lilah action. She was smoking hot on Model's Inc. (yeah, that's right - shut up). But what is it with the room-temperature-sex0ring? **** One think I kept noticing about this episode is that Angel doesn't really look that young anymore. Obviously he can't look the same as he did during first season "Buffy," but you gotta wonder what they're going to do about a vampire that keeps aging - how many seasons can they pull this off? **** Still wondering why you guys don't just get a pop-up killer or use Opera or just turn off javascript instead of bitching about the ads all the time. I never see 'em. WAR HOTPANTS.

  • Oct. 16, 2001, 11:12 a.m. CST

    That episode kicked some bootay! And maybe nextime you shouldn&

    by Geekgrrl

  • Oct. 16, 2001, 11:34 a.m. CST

    I don't know, it was okay

    by Drath

    The comedy was nice, but I agree with the people who felt that not enough was done with Angel as an old man. I think the problem is, it wasn't Boreanaz in make-up, it was a guest star. Remember when Faith and Buffy traded places, the episode was 85-90% Sarah Michelle Gellar playing Faith? Remember how it felt like the biggest cheat in TV history since Dallas that Faith and Spike met but Eliza Dusku wasn't there and it ended as if it had never happened?! This episode was like that, only it wasn't as fun. It was really about Boreanaz playing a careless geezer in a young(er) guy's body. It wasn't about Angel, dammit! That's what disappointed me. This was arch filler, and I wish it hadn't been so obvious. On the other hand, I hope Angel sees Lilah about the liscence she gave him for the hotel and all. Her helping him to keep Gavin from competing with her(not to mention her being so "willing") suggests she might become an ally in the future. Not that I want her to stop being bad, but her character HAS to be going somewhere, right? ****** I know some of you like Fred because of the actress and some of the wacky ideas she's put forward, but I am not thrilled with her thus far. Better characters than her have come and gone without making the openning credits. Maybe they'll do something worthwhile with her, but right now I'd rather see Cordy's ghostly flat mate Dennis become a regular. Poor guy has been in the openning credits since day one but still they leave him out. It's wrong!

  • Oct. 16, 2001, 11:53 a.m. CST

    pretty funny

    by calvinthefish

    I thought this episode was pretty funny. I loved seeing Angel so cheesy.( are a beauuuutiful woman) Cordy was hilarious in the gym and later when Fred said Angel was with a cheap brunette and Cordy said oh, that isn't like him. And because I am not a Fred fan, I am glad she was let down (but it was pretty harsh). Now to my complaint. Why aren't we seeing any previews for next week???? It is killing me!!

  • Oct. 16, 2001, noon CST

    pretty funny

    by calvinthefish

    I thought this episode was pretty funny. I loved seeing Angel so cheesy.( are a beauuuutiful woman) Cordy was hilarious in the gym and later when Fred said Angel was with a cheap brunette and Cordy said oh, that isn't like him. And because I am not a Fred fan, I am glad she was let down (but it was pretty harsh). Now to my complaint. Why aren't we seeing any previews for next week???? It is killing me!! ugh i hate this server!!!!

  • Oct. 16, 2001, 2:34 p.m. CST

    One of the worst episodes ever

    by ZakChase

    Seriously. Could that "Angel" have been any lamer? First of all, it made no damn logical sense. Why do human bodies crumple into mush after the old man's soul leaves 'em? How in the hell does the old man's soul find its way back to its own body? Why does he have to leave a normal twenty-some-year-old body after a short period of time, but he can stay in Angel's as long as he wants? Plot holes so big, the Judge could fit in 'em. Secondly, did the actor who played the old fella make you believe for one second that it was Angel's soul trapped in that decripid body? Nope. Of course, that could have been the writer's fault as well. Man, that was an awful episode. Fred's still smokin' though. And Hercules -- how 'bout not posting Buffy spoilers with the Angel story? You know some of us don't read these spoiler-filled reports until AFTER we've watched the show. Also, PLEASE quit bragging about how on-the-money your infamous July Buffy post was. We got it. You were right. Enough already. Jeez. Zak Chase out.

  • Oct. 18, 2001, 2:22 a.m. CST

    No contest -- Buffy's beating the ever-nonliving crap outa A

    by Lt. Torello

    Now that the uneven premiere is out of the way, Buffy, especially this week's, is in top form, funny and genuinely scary. Just that one glimpse of evil Willow was downright chilling. Nothing on Angel this season has come close. No contest between the two shows this season. I still watch Angel, still enjoy parts of it, but it's definitely not having its best run. Four eps into the season with only one glimpse of Holtz and a total of, what, 15 minutes worth of The Host? Oh, and I've said it before but I'm gonna keep saying it -- Kill Fred. It's so clear the writers don't know what to do with her, but Joss likes Amy Acker so they keep her aboard to please the boss. No question, Joss IS a genius, but even geniuses make the occassional mistake and Fred is clearly one of them -- an ill-conceived, annoying character with no story purpose or mystique. Bust Faith outa the big house and pair up Angel with a REAL woman. (I know, Eliza wants to do movies, but have you SEEN the movies she's in?!?! Get her back in the Buffyverse where she belongs!!!!)

  • Oct. 19, 2001, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Fred in RED


    Fred is quite adorable. And though I can understand why some people may not like her character,I find her to be a breath of fresh air...and boy is she freakin HOT!

  • But that's OK dude. Many of us also find Ms. Acker attractive.-----later-----m (a potenial junior member of the Legion of Nerdy Doom if I don't watch myself)

  • Oct. 20, 2001, 5:19 a.m. CST

    LADIES and GIMPS..


    Hey MGTHEDJ, don't forget to mention, RECOILER is hung like an fire ant...interested? Thanks for the title though, it's quite flattering. Hugs and Kisses

  • Oct. 20, 2001, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Hey, it was funny and fine.

    by simian

    Once agian, sick of hearing people compare Angel and Buffy. Angel has existed on its own long enough to establish that yeah, it aint no Buffy, but it can be a great show still from time to time and has a lot to offer. TV is defintely better with it around. Carpe Noctum was funny and had engaging moments of character develpoment, and Boreanez showed he can turn the switch from "brooding" to "goofy" very convincingly and hilariously. Best episode of the season so far.

  • Oct. 21, 2001, 2:41 p.m. CST

    I'M TIRED OF IT TOO....Angel is a great show....stop COMPLAI

    by sledgehammer5050

    I would have to agree with the person who has posted before me...this comparison between Angel and Buffy is getting stupid...they both don't have great shows all of the time (I personally wasn't fond of the Buffy premiere...too easy for her to come back) But, they both do have great shows most of the time. They just aren't comparable any more...they each have their own world. Angel has been great...the second episode with the fighting with the oriental old people and the dialogue with Skip!!!: that was great. The Gunn episode was intense (though I don't like how it seems forgotten by the next show) and showed some good ideas that needed to be debated...why kill some demons and not others? Good idea to address. All I'm saying is that people need to BACK OFF of Angel and let it be. If you don't like, don't watch or at least don't post your complaining little remarks...get a life instead! Buffy has not been beating Angel this year...there has been a lot more action in least they aren't concentrating on his financial situation (they've brought it up, but it's not a major issue in the show...that would be boring!) in Buffy which is making it a soap opera type show...yuck.

  • Oct. 21, 2001, 2:45 p.m. CST

    I Have Noticed the Aged Angel

    by sledgehammer5050

    I do have to admit one thing I do not like seeing each week in Angel. This season Angel has been looking a lot he as a human normally should..but, he plays a vampire! When there are close ups, he's starting to get bags under his cheeks...that is a bummer. I haven't noticed it until this season....oh well...hope they can do something!