"Through the Looking Glass"
Episode # 43
Original Air Date: May 15, 2001
Review by: Anne
Two words about the comic antics of the Host's family: oh, please! I was thoroughly repulsed by the Host's mother's comments about cursing her loins. I was only slightly less repulsed when Numfar started dancing. Lately, I'm having a tough time remembering what series I'm watching because of the farfetched Deathwok Clan and the highly medieval setting of Pylea.
Having said that I *assume* that the "this isn't the right show" feeling is planned. (Please tell me that it's planned!) The episode's title refers to being in a strange new place. I noticed several references to dreams and storytelling; this reinforces the surreal/fairy-tale atmosphere of the recent episodes.
The thing about a story or a dream is that there comes a point when it is over and reality sets in. We saw what is hopefully the beginning of the return to reality with the all-too-familiar name of Wolfram & Hart.
Trying to decide what's real, Fred initially couldn't believe that Angel really saved her, and she couldn't believe that her name and her past weren't just a dream. She thought that it was too good to be true.
What was actually too good to be true was that Angel was now human. Walking in sunlight and seeing his reflection made Angel forget that he's still a demon.
The episode's title also refers to a mirror, and Lorne mentions the importance of the way others see us. Angel and Cordy both want assurance that the others would let them know if their hair didn't look right or if they gave off a weird vibe: "You'd tell me, right?" Angel told Fred to remember that he was her friend; she believed that even when his appearance and behavior changed radically. The shock of seeing his true monster is apparently what makes Angel revert to human form.
The primary example of deceptive appearance is Princess Cordelia. When the episode begins, she is ordering people around using her "important voice." We start to suspect that there is a catch when the so-called priests discuss what they will do *if* she survives. When Cordy later admits that she's not a princess; the Groosalugg disagrees and encourages her. I'll wager that even the Groosalugg is too good to be true since we know that he is only part human. In the final scene, the priest states that Cordy is still just a cow, and her lack of power is evident in her inability to save Lorne.
My big question about this "she's a princess, but not really" plot is: why did they not let her know from the start that they are in control? Why did they act like she had authority and allow her to pardon the others?
Back to Fred for a moment. She mentioned seeing what she was writing in a dream. Could that have been a vision? She saves Wesley and Gunn by using what must be her own blood to lure Angel away; did you notice that when Angel goes toward Fred he is walking literally into the light? Considering all of this and Fred's apparent madness leads me to pose the question: is Fred the real Cursed One? Curious, I looked up the meaning of Winifred/Fred. According to my source, Winifred means "peaceful friend;" Fred is a form of Frederick which means "peaceful ruler."