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Well, I'm glad I chose to trust them Angel writers. I thought last night's episode of Angel, with the new Illyria/Fred was another extremely powerful and well done hour of television.
It was a nice variation on a theme in that Illyria ISN'T going to be the big villain for the season. She's now just another lost soul. An ancient demon who has to start over.
I do have a couple quibbles:
I wasn't fond of the artificial way they wrote Lorne out of the episode until the montage at the end. It just seemed like they felt they were too crowded to give his character any screen time.
It bothered me that no one could acknowledge that what was happening to Gun was an exact parallel to what happened to Wes when he stole Connor, because no one remembers Connor. That whole nobody-remembers-Connor thing still strikes me as only a step above the Bobby-Ewing-reappearing-in-the-shower/it-was-all-a-dream ploy on Dallas. But the Connor thing is more a fault of LAST season (which had its share of problems) as opposed to this season.
So I'm very optimistic that Angel will continue to be brilliant throughout its final year.