Just random thoughts after a truly awesome hour:
Fred’s line “why, yes Wesley, I would like a gun” was the perfect antidote for the John Woo moment. It was an awesome action shot, tempered with just the right touch to show the inherent absurdity of it.
My wife has big gaps so far in her knowledge of the Buffy/Angelverse, having watched only Seasons 1-4 of Buffy and all of Season 1 of Angel. She watched this episode, and said several times throughout “damn, Wesley is a bad-ass!” I had to tell her that we’re getting to when Wesley becomes a bad-ass, but it was nice to see that side of him again.
My favorite moment was Wesley shooting his father. In another show, they might have dragged it out, had some speeches or threats in there, a tense standoff. Instead, it was shockingly brutal - the moment that Roger’s gun pointed towards Fred, Wes emptied the clip into him. It was a direct and cold act. And very much in character.
It was also interesting to see Wesley slip into bumbling Wesley mode with his father around. It would have been even more interesting had Wesley’s voice risen a few pitches to where it was in Buffy Season 3.
Amy Acker is also surprising with her character development. She hasn’t been Miss Mousy for a long time, but her ambivalence towards Wesley’s obvious feelings for her has been nicely played. Interesting - she does not really go for figurative darkness in her men. (the “anti-Buffy”?) It’s clearly her knowledge of what Wesley is capable of that prevents her from acting on any feelings she might have for him, or which prevents the genesis of those feelings in the first place. And it was her knowledge that Gunn was capable of the same that ultimately drove them apart. Fred is kind of developing into the group’s conscience, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out as each of the others toes the line between light and dark.
I wonder if the robots actually were somehow associated, at one point, with the Watcher’s Council. Some kind of secret back-up army. Or perhaps one recently developed as a force the Watchers could control, as opposed to the Slayers, who are now clearly out of their control. The fact that the robots clearly had access to the Watcher’s Council files on Wesley shows that they either stole or have legitimate access to whatever Council records were not destroyed in the explosion.
RogerBot mentioned the “four surviving Watchers” if memory serves. I wonder who they are. Roger is clearly one, Giles may be another, though he is probably no longer comfortable with the concept of the Watchers Council now that he knows more about their ancient origins. Dobson (who was nearly killed by the Bringer in Buffy Season 7) is possibly another. Who might the fourth be?
Wesley mentioned, in a self-pitying way, that he was the one targeted as the weak link. Personally, I think he was the only one who could be targeted because, as Angel pointed out, there were files on him that probably don’t exist for the others. Angel and Spike have legend and lore about them, but not psych profiles. Fred and Gunn probably don’t have the same kinds of files available. And Lorne, well, he’s an undocumented immigrant from another dimension. It’s not clear that there are extensive records about Pylea in this dimension.
All in all, a fantastic outing.