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18 June 2014
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Episode Guide
Halloween

Review

It's odd that the American tradition of Trick or Treating, which seems so much fun, hasn't been more heartily embraced this side of the Atlantic. Halloween provides a backdrop rich in potential.

Carl Ellsworth's clever script takes full advantage of the situation, and even makes time to expand our knowledge of both Angel and Giles. There are one or two underdeveloped elements: Spike and Drusilla's appearance is rather perfunctory, for example, and shifts the focus away from the episode's villain du jour, Ethan.

It's obvious that everyone had a lot of fun making this episode. The script gives all the main actors a chance to expand their range a little, even if they have to do it dressed in silly costumes.

Although Alyson Hannigan puts up some stiff competition, Sarah Michelle Gellar steals the show as the prim and proper 1775 noblewoman: "I was brought up a proper lady. I wasn't meant to understand things. I'm just meant to look pretty, and then someone nice will marry me, possibly a Baron!"

There's also a wonderful dark side to Halloween which seems to underpin all the best episodes. Scenes of the children morphing into monsters and demons are great fun, but it's the scenes between Ethan Rayne and 'Ripper' that are the most intriguing. They open up new avenues of potential which are sadly only touched upon in subsequent episodes.


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