Friday, June 26, 2009

Domestic Bliss

Moving right along on my checklist of Wesley and Lilah scenes in Angel: The Series, we have that delicious phone sex sequence in "The House Always Wins".

This is one of my all-time favorite Alexis/Wesley scenes. (Incidentally, how many ways are there for me to say that he looked hot?) Luckily for me, I've already blogged about this. In my "Thoughts on Season 4", I came up with:
Incidentally, "The House Always Wins" also featured Wesley's marvelous phone sex scene which producer Joss Whedon reportedly wrote because the show was running a little short. The equally marvelous Lilah wasn't in the scene, but I hope Stephanie Romanov got paid all the same, since the scene just would not have worked without us thinking about what she was doing. And couldn't you help but love how Wesley's voice changed from his "Lilah's lover" voice to Wesley the Tough Guy when he accepted his business call during his conversation with Lilah? I thought having Emile's middleman sitting there reviewing the plans during most of Wesley's phone conversation (before Wesley kicked him out) was a nice added touch, so in essence, both Wesley and Lilah were performing out in the open (with Wesley ordering Lilah to take off her panties at her desk while she was in the middle of a meeting).
Knowing the history of this scene, where it was presumably written quite quickly, I wonder how much thought was given to how the scene fit within the overall framework of Wes and Lilah's relationship. Did the phone sex represent any sort of growth or turning point for them? Or was it simply a nice little diversion? I would like to think that since Joss Whedon himself wrote the scene, he might have wanted to bring certain aspects of their relationship into the forefront.

The beginning wording in the scene, "Sorry to disappoint, Lilah, but I am not waiting at the door with a scowl and burnt pot roast" was really quite charming. Wesley seemed relaxed and comfortable with Lilah while he was talking to her on the phone, even joking about "her lot" having "the world destroyed by midnight." He certainly seemed to be in a good mood! The "burnt pot roast" was a nice touch that added just a little hint of domesticity to their relationship. Wes and Lilah might not have actually been in the "burnt pot roast" stage, but they might not have been totally averse to the idea either.

You guessed it. One more time, I'll pull out Lewis Call's Slayage article for his thoughts. He states, "Lilah is unsurprisingly kinky. Like many professionals, she switches her toppy professional persona for a submissive one in the bedroom." He added a little later on, "In fact, Lilah turns out to be remarkably service-oriented. She has phone sex with Wes, and he is firmly in dominant mode: he orders her to take her panties off while she's in a meeting."

So, from these statements, we surmise that Lilah could be fitting the stereotype of the busy executive who likes to relax from a hard day of making difficult decisions by taking orders from someone else for a change. Except, we also know that Lilah didn't like to make things too easy for Wesley. Instead of coming on to him all meek and mild, she enjoyed challenging him and making him work hard to take control over her. This phone sex scene marked the first time that she seemed to acquiesce very early on.

In my last post I wrote that their rather wild foreplay scene in "Ground State" may have marked a beginning to an end to their relationship, since Lilah was not happy that Wesley was sneaking around and working on behalf of Angel behind her back. I noticed that she did seem to cut Wesley a little bit of slack by telling him he might have done her a favor by bringing Angel back from the ocean's depths. Clearly, Lilah wanted to keep things going with Wesley, and the phone sex scene could have been the first signal that she might have been willing to change her ways somewhat to keep the man she was obviously falling in love with. (Or lull him into a false sense of security? I hope not.)

Idle Thoughts: Alexis Denisof always seemed to do quite well with telephone scenes, and "The House Always Wins" was no exception. I would have loved to have heard what he was going to say after he finally got rid of the middleman and started relaxing on the couch. I just hope that the guy who was supposed to call him back with the details in 20 minutes didn't call too soon.

Yesterday I saw Season 4's "Salvage" and "Release" again. The first time I saw the Season 4 Angelus arc, I really hated David Boreanaz' performances. I notice that I'm really appreciating his acting a lot more this time around.

I know I repeat myself a lot, but didn't Faith and Wesley/Eliza Dushku and Alexis Denisof work great together in the Season 4 episodes? Although there was nothing remotely overt going on between the two of them, there certainly was an erotic electrical discharge taking place. There was nothing in their history (please note, I have not actually seen any Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes) that would indicate to me that they would get along so famously in Angel's Season 4. I was hoping for some additional insight this time around, but, nope, nothing. Was it simply Faith's redemption, courtesy of Angel, that mellowed her out? Was it also Angel's influence that changed Wesley's behavior toward Faith? If so, these were exactly the two best people for the job of bringing back Angelus alive.

(Afterthought: I can't help but add this. Faith, while still in prison, noted that Wes was "looking good". She couldn't help but notice that he had toughened himself up considerably. Do you think that might have helped her changed her attitude toward him? For his part, Wesley would have had to have been brain dead not to appreciate Faith.)


Kristiine Havener said...

I'm genuinely glad I'm not the only one who finds Boreanaz's acting wearisome at times. I was not a fan of his acting in many episodes, but I've recently been re-watching the entire series (am in Season 5 now) and the second, full time, around I find myself enjoying more of his work as well. I wonder why that is?

And I've always wanted a story arc about Wesley and Faith as Dushku and Denisof really so a great job with playing off one another; their dialogue is always so charged.

Miriam said...

Hi Kristine,

I saw "Orpheus" again last night, and I was back to scanning through most of Boreanaz' Angelus scenes. That was too bad, since I had to miss a lot of Eliza Dushku. Though I think it was his hair I was objecting to more than anything :-)

Miriam said...

Sorry for the typo on your name, Kristiine!