Friday, May 15, 2009

Stunning Debut for Wesley

Ah, sweet Wesley did not disappoint me today in his Angel series debut in "Parting Gifts". There he was, leather-jacketed, tall, dark, handsome and mysterious, sporting just the slightest hint of stubble, emerging from the shadows with the crossbow trained squarely on Angel. And those glasses I've fallen in love with! Thank you God in heaven for rewarding me with such a beautiful sight.

Of course after his slightly pompous warning about "any sudden movement", Angel knocked the crossbow out of Wesley's hands, and the camera panned back to reveal his ridiculous motorcycle leathers. But it was too late. I'd already once more completely fallen in love with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.

And what about his opening with Cordelia, when she kissed him in an unsuccessful attempt to get rid of her brain-splitting visions from the Powers That Be? Wes, like any other red-blooded male, knew exactly what to do with her. He not only kissed her back, but with double the enthusiasm! You can guess I had to replay that part of the show more than once. And I loved how, after just a split-second's hesitation, Cordelia answered hungrily back before regaining her senses and pretending that the kiss didn't mean anything to her. She still acted a bit hot and bothered even after he stepped away from her.

Wesley had ample opportunity to show off his cowardly Watcher ways, yet he was able to make himself almost instantly invaluable to Angel by sharing his vast knowledge of ancient demons and dialects. He somehow managed to dress even dorkier outside of his motorcycle leathers by wearing his oversized suits, but hey, I've learned my lessons well from Cordelia and Doyle. Clothes don't make the man. Besides, I know what Wes has underneath all of that.

Just when I didn't think things could get any better, I saw Alexis Denisof's images during the theme music in the beginning of the next episode, "Somnambulist". He looked gorgeous! One of the brief images showed probably the nicest smile I've ever seen from Wesley. I don't think I've spent so much time replaying the opening credits as I have during the Angel series. (Heck, when his name appeared as a guest star in the beginning of "Parting Gifts", I even replayed that a few times.)

It's hard for me to pick out a favorite Wesley, whether it's adorable puppy-dog Wes or the dark and mysterious Wes. It just goes to show what a versatile (and good-looking) actor Alexis Denisof is to be able to completely reshape the same character while always keeping him appealing.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the new and improved Cordelia, when she gave Angel the fantastic pep talk by reassuring him he is no longer Angelus. I always liked it when the creators allowed Charisma Carpenter to let the mature Cordelia come through. Thank you Doyle!

At the end of my last post, I wondered how heart-broken viewers back in 1999 would have viewed Alexis Denisof's Angel debut. My guess is that if they were not already fans of Wesley, they may have been disappointed, simply because of his buffoonish ways (which he played to perfection, I might add. I died laughing when he had so many problems pulling the knife out of his sock at the end of "Parting Gifts"). However, his acting was excellent. Denisof did manage to stick around for a little more than four more years until the series finale, so he must have done something right. I'm certainly looking forward to watching Wesley grow as a character.

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