The Lost Gunman

4.19. The Magic Bullet, Airdate: 04/16/03 (WB, 8/9c).

"There wasn't a second gunman." If we ever needed a clear and unmistakable sign of Jasmine being evil, here it is. There WAS a second one, evil mistress. Did you hear that? No second gunman? Don't be ridiculous, o sovereign Beauty!

Lean back and breathe. There is good news this week: it isn't getting worse. Yeah, you heard right, TMB is waaaay better than the last two eps. Thrilling storytelling, some little surprises and dialogues to die for. More importantly: Angel's back!

Jasmine: Getting rid of the spell is pretty much like many readers predicted here on the feeback site of last week's SHP: you have to mix Jasmine's blood with yours. The surprise: Cordy's blood does the hokey-pokey, too. The goddess has to eat - how come we never asked that question before? Well, here's how she does it: somehow she's digesting her followers. Thankfully they didn't show exactly how Jasmine does it, but since the room was all glowy, we can expect it is more of a mystical digesting than a "vampirical" one.

Time turned on another feature of Jasmine: she's able to develop some kind of link not only between her and her followers, but between followers as well. Sometimes, they know who the others are, where their hopes, their fears and their abilities lay. That's a hell of a weapon, because at the end, she's unifiying the people, bringing them closer together - honestly, something good, and it's amazing to see how they deal with it on the show.

If you lose the ability to see Jasmine as she wants to be seen, losing the ability to get mingled with the crowd, it hurts - it hurts so much you wish you wouldn't see things as they are. That's the old message: Life isn't always fun and it's never easy. Most of the time it's fighting, trying to find a way, exhausting to do whatever you have to do and still complying with your ideals, living without losing yourself.

Angel's back - and not only in the sense of him actually being freed from Jasmine's influence. After two walks into the valleys of "Mmh, what was that?" storytelling, the series is back - and good.

Jasmine is doing evil things by doing good - we actually didn't see her do many evil things, just a bit of chasing Fred and a tinier bit of chasing Angel. That's a nice twist and the magical button to turn her off, is something you can't so easily spread about tens of thousands of followers - except you organize some kind of mass blood injection. It'll be thrilling to see how they figure a way out - and what surprises they storyline has in stock.

The Magic Bullet: It was fun to see how they play with the notion of "Magic Bullet". After all, the Magic Bullet was both the name of the book-shop and the bullet that went through Jasmine (thus was baptized or bewitched) and then hit Angel. That was a smart - so smart, I tend to forget to think about things such as why Fred was so sure, Jasmine and Angel would come to the book-shop (since the whole gang isn't going out with her all the time) and why she was so sure, the bullet would go through Jasmine's body - and not be trapped by bones, intestines or whatever.

Connor: At the end, Connor seemed to be immune against Jasmine's blood. It could be explained by the fact that he - as Jasmine's father, technically - shares some kind of blood bond with her, and that his blood just as Cordy's blood can be used to take the spell away, but that he can't be turned that easily - which leads to the question if Cordy will be loyal to Jasmine if she awakes.

In terms of story plotting, Connor - as many times before - was the weakest part. Putting him against Angel - how many times did we see that before? It would have been nice to see them both on the same side for a change. Perhaps his denial of what Jasmine is, isn't so much influenced by magic and the blood, but by his character? Perhaps he felt so good to belong somewhere - a feeling he didn't have ever before - that he decided to stay with Jasmine, against yielding to the sadness of real life, the problems, the difficulties that come with it?

It would be much better to see his behaviour put into some frame like that. Magic coming into the mix, bouncing off or enthralling, never is as thrilling as to see how real characters deal with it, deal with life under extraordinary circumstances. To learn and convey that, that's Joss Whedon's amazing achievement.

But hey, what do you think about this weeks TMB? Let me know! As always, I'm keen on feedback. I'll add the most interesting points of view to my feedback section.

Shortcuts: AtS 4.19. The Magic Bullet

What happened?
Fred figured a way out to break Jasmine's spell. Her blood and yours have to be mixed. So she shot Jasmine, the bullet went through her body and into Angel's - which made him see Jasmine as she is. Angel then figured out, Cordy's blood could do the trick as well, and it did. They turned all of the gang - only Connor called for Jasmine at the end, and seemed not to be affected by her blood, putting him once again against his father.

Topics addressed?
Lots: How can Jasmine's spell be broken? Where does she get her energy from? It's by eating people, and of course, it's "cool" as Connor put it. This week's TMB was pretty much of a "gather the troops" kinda ep.

Any strange things?
Gwenn's still not to be seen; why was Fred so sure she would keep the gun, Jasmine would be coming to the shop, Angel would be with her and the bullet would make it through Jasmine's body? If Connor - as Jasmine's father - isn't affected by the blood, why is Angel - Jasmine's grandfather?

Was it good or not?
Yes, it was. Four stakes out of five.

What do you hope for?
For Gwenn.

Feedback (updated frequently)

Fred: Some of you write and say, Fred didn't plan all the turning Angel thing exactly as it did turn out. She went to get the gun, since she saw it there earlier, and everything else developped as it did.

Jasmine: Carl writes, the twist is, Jasmine is good after all - and that's why it seems impossible to break her spell. It can't be broken, because she's the good one. I doubt that - why is she eating people if she's good? And if she really is good, why should that be a reason for her spell being unbreakable? Sean wonders why I thought about how the spell is broken. They've to figure out how to kill Jasmine, he says, it's as simple as that. (He wrote "Can't you fell the 'duh' creeping in?" and I just like to quote that here for its wonderful expressionism). The gang should go ahead and try more axes on Jasmine before going into enhanced planning mode, Sean writes. Erin brought up an interesting theory, I'd like to share. She said, perhaps Jasmine IS the spell, meaning, she's sending out pheromones (or whatever) and her power is as much biological as it is mystical.

Connor: Laura says, she's sure, Connor was calling for Jasmine, because he doesn't want to see her as she is. When he sees her (and the worms), he'll turn. Tiffany added an interesting thought about the "the father will kill the son" prophecy: What if Connor's blood really can turn people "infected" by Jasmine? And what if he himself can't be turned? Could it be that Angel has to kill Connor to free those people? Well, it could be, that Jasmine somehow needs her parents around to live - Connor and Cordy - and by losing one or both of them, her power will be reduced. But aren't you suggesting Angel's killing Connor rather explosively, so his blood can spread? I doubt the WB would a show like that allow to be aired. To be honest, I doubt, we'll see blood as a solution to cure those people infected. It may cure them, but there are many more to be converted to Jasmine, so they have to go for her. And they most probably will. However, I wouldn't go as far as to dismiss the whole Angel having to kill Connor idea. Seems possible. Lots of people agree, that Connor is going to die this season.

Colleen and a bunch of others said, Connor's part was the weakest and the twist over-used and boring - they say, when Angel said "I'm not going to leave without my son" you could guess that's not working. A few people were wondering why Angel was "turnable" - he's Jasmine's grandfather after all. Is the bond only between Cordy and Jasmine - than it's because Jasmine grew inside of her. If not, than it's about family relations, and both Angel and Connor shouldn't be affected by the "Jasmine's blood" loophole. Is Angel feigning goodness? Or did Connor voluntarily opt for Jasmine's side?

Revolver: RipAycock writes: "The revolver Fred shot Jasmine, and, indirectly, Angel, with, was a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum. The bullet configuration of the projactile shown passing through said Jasmine and into, and, by the way, through, Angel indicated that it was ARMOR PIERCING. It would have passed completely through both of them and retained enough velocity to penetrate at least one normal wall before stopping. One of the very, VERY rare times Hollywood got their firearms data correct."

Tom Ahrendt


Thanks to: Brachnu for offering free web space, for listing my review.

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