Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lilah, Meet Wesley

What was it with those looks Alexis Denisof was giving Stephanie Romanov in my favorite scene from Angel's "A New World", which aired earlier today on TNT? Smoldering sensuality doesn't even begin to describe what I saw. If I were to ever meet Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, I'd want to get him mad at me right away so he'd give me the same looks!

Romanov, who played Lilah Morgan, was fantastic as the curvaceous, power-suited (yet ultra-feminine) career woman trying to seduce Wesley Wyndam-Pryce into working for the evil law firm of Wolfram & Hart. She certainly put a unique twist on the idea of the villainous femme fatale.

Denisof exploded right through the top of the Handsome Meter as the casually (but deadly) cool New and Improved Wesley made one of his official debuts. It's amazing what losing your glasses and adding a permanent 3-day stubble to your face will do to your appearance. And I didn't have any problems with the Old Wesley, either!

I've written many times how intrigued I am with the interplay between Lilah's purposefully cruel remarks and Wesley's wary steely-eyed reactions. If I was about to try to recruit a new person to my cause, I don't think I'd start out by comparing him to Judas Iscariot, the denizen of Dante's Ninth Circle of Hell, particularly if the person I was recruiting was convinced that he was basically good. Don't you think most people would get all defensive and toss the recruiter out the door? Not Wesley! He actually seemed bemused by the whole process, and possibly enjoyed watching Lilah go through her paces.

In fact, the whole scene reminded me of an elaborate (and erotic) role-playing ritual. Lilah arrived at the apartment unannounced and immediately set the tone that she was probably most unwelcome. She asked to be invited in, Wes refused, but only gave token resistance to letting her in. After she came inside, Wesley ever-too-obviously stepped out into the hallway looking for non-existent evil henchmen. Lilah taunted and insulted Wesley by pointing out that he had no friends, and by giving him Dante's Inferno, practically came out and said that the only place an evil person like him belonged was at Wolfram & Hart. I've learned to equate Lilah's tauntings with being an invitation for Wesley to try to make a power play move over her, akin to the early stages of foreplay.

Wesley dramatically tossed the Inferno onto his couch or coffee table to prove he was unimpressed. (Although I'm convinced he was impressed since it was such an early, and presumably, expensive edition.) Lilah took Wesley's gesture in stride and even seemed to be amused by it. Lilah leaned in close to Wesley, (possibly brushing up against him?) and delivered her final dramatic line "So, don't pretend you're too good to work for us" then dramatically walked out the door.

During Lilah's whole performance, Wesley hardly took his eyes off of her. He watched her warily the entire time, but I think he was really appreciating her seductive routine. Lilah also seemed to really enjoy giving her performance in front of an appreciative audience. The two of them were definitely feeding off of each other's energy levels the entire time. I've said before that Wesley possibly compartmentalized his women into the "naughty" and "nice" categories, and seemed to equally enjoy both types. I think it's a given that Wesley turned to Lilah for companionship because he was lonely and had been cast off by his friends. I'll take it a step further and say that Wesley also turned to Lilah because he recognized her as being the ideal role-playing kink partner!

More Idle Thoughts. Would Lilah have been disappointed if Wesley caved in right away and agreed to work for Wolfram & Hart?

When I first started watching the series in late March (during the very end of Season 2), I mistakenly thought that Wesley and Charles Gunn did not get along very well. Now that I realize that they were actually very good friends, I'm looking at "The Price" (the episode with the demonic slugs) quite differently now.

Charles' decision to go to the now-outcast Wesley for help wasn't as out-of-character as I originally thought. Although Charles had to swallow his pride a little bit, it wasn't as if he had to completely submerge an ultra-macho ego to do so. Charles went to Wesley as a friend. Although their friendship was sorely tested, to say the least, I don't think the situation between them was a hopeless as the written dialogue made it appear. I think both of them said things that needed to be said, but they didn't leave me with the impression that they wouldn't be able to eventually reconcile in the future.

Oh, and didn't Wesley look fantastic in that scene with Charles? Sweatpants, full beard, raspy (sexily menacing) voice? I wouldn't have minded checking in on him a few times a day to see how he was doing as he was recuperating from having his throat slit by Justine. And I don't even like facial hair! Wesley's voice was also a little raspy, albeit rapidly improving, by the time Lilah made her first appearance at his apartment.

I'm sure that was the first time Lilah saw the New Improved Wesley when he answered the door. She must have been a pure professional if she didn't swoon right in the entrance way.

I thought the part about Wolfram & Hart offering a "full medical, dental, 401(k) package" was a nice touch, since I never get tired of the incongruity of evildoers having to sign up for their benefits programs.

I've said before that I must have performed some incredibly good deed in order to be rewarded by not only having an already sexy Alexis Denisof turn into something even sexier, but also by allowing him to perform in a series of love scenes with my favorite actress Stephanie Romanov. Conversely, someone must have pissed God off royally to make Him cancel the series just when Wesley was threatening to have an equally rewarding kinky relationship with Illyria. If I ever find out who messed it up for Wesley Wyndam-Pryce fans, I'll tear that person's hair out! (And I'll hope that person wasn't me.)

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