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18 June 2014
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Angel - Season Five Episode Guide
Why We Fight

PictureAngel helps America in the fight against the Nazi menace.

Written by: Drew Goddard and Steven S. DeKnight

Directed by: Terrence O'Hara

A strange young man breaks into Wolfram and Hart, and takes the gang hostage. Then he sits down for a chat with Angel.

Flashback to 1943, and Angel's been forced by the US Navy to help them out with a problem. They've captured a prototype German submarine, but it's full of vampires.

Beneath the waves, Angel protects the sub's crew from the monsters on board - one of whom turns out to be Spike. Working with a young officer called Lawson, they get the craft going, but are attacked.

As Lawson works on the damage, he's attacked by a Nazi officer and mortally wounded. With no other crewman able to repair the sub, Angel is forced to turn him into a vampire. The sub and crew are saved, but Lawson is damned.

Sixty years later, he returns to face Angel - and meets his death at the hands of his sire.

Quiz: - ten quick questions.

Trivia

Fight the good fight: The title of this episode is a reference to a series of World War II US propaganda films.

Taking the initiative: The black-clad military men who capture Angel back in 1943 are part of a new "Demon Research Initiative". Hmm... could that be the same Initiative that caused so much trouble back in season four of Buffy?

Flying the Flag: Steve Rogers, aka spandex-suited superhero Captain America, gets a mention. A hyper-patriotic hero who literally wore the flag in the fight against Nazism, Captain America was created in 1941 by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.

Dead Ringers: Nostroyev and The Prince of Lies seem to have been created for this episode, though The Prince looks an awful lot like Nosferatu, the terrifying vampire in FW Murnau's famous 1922 film of the same name. The name itself is more usually associated with the Devil.

First timer: Camden Toy, here seen playing The Prince of Lies, appears on Angel for the first time. Over on Buffy he's played a Gentleman in Hush and a Gnarl demon in Same Time, Same Place. A sucker for latex, obviously.

Review

As a bit of a fan of old war films, I was looking forward to this episode, but found it a real disappointment. The acting was hammy, the scenes set in Wolfram and Hart completely pointless, and the treatment of Nazism ill-judged.

Maybe it's rather easier for an American than a European audience to stomach a sympathetic character wearing a swastika armband - to me, though, Spike's sarcastic "Heil Hitler" was a pretty uncomfortable moment.

That would have been forgivable if the plotting had been a bit tighter, but instead we got holes like Lawson's unexplained sixty-year wait for revenge, and clichés like evil Nazis with round glasses. The worst of it is that there was a solid story around Angel's unwilling siring of Lawson for the greater good, but it was wasted in this silly mess.



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Angel is broadcast on Sky One and Five in the UK, and is © Twentieth Century Fox Television. Some images copyright Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.



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