Friday, June 19, 2009

Lilah Morgan: Ready or Not

Here's a blunt question. Did Lilah Morgan have much of a sex life before she hooked up with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce? Gavin himself said it best with "From what I've heard, bumping uglies with an old man that body-jumped into a vampire is the closest thing you've had to a meaningful relationship in years." The audience was never given any clues that suggested otherwise.

There are a few websites out there that feature a Stephanie Romanov interview where she gave her thoughts about Lilah's love life. Unfortunately, every time I clicked on those sites, I started getting a bunch of annoying pop-ups warning me that I needed to download certain virus-scanning products. So, in good conscience, I can't link to those pages. However, I do remember reading that, before Lilah "bumped uglies" with Angel/the Old Man and before she hooked up with Wesley, Romanov had resigned herself to the idea that Lilah would never have any romantic scenes. I also remember her mentioning something about being surrounded by her "young boys" (Cyril from the mail room?) In an odd way, I was under the impression that, although she might have been somewhat annoyed by the advances made by the "young boys", she might have been secretly happy she was at least getting some attention. Or rather, it's fun to have people make advances on you so you can reject them.

There were several scenes sprinkled throughout Angel where Lilah seemed to enjoy dressing to the nines and drinking in bars. Specifically, I can think of when she was drinking at a table in Season 1's demon fight club episode, and when she rejected the fellow who tried to sit next to her in "Loyalty" before she met with Sahjhan for their rather unusual assignation.

Lilah also met Angel and Sahjhan in "Sleep Tight" when they both tracked her down at the same bar as in "Loyalty"(?), and she met with Wesley twice in drinking establishments before they finally ended up in bed. In each instance, we're under the impression that she certainly knew how to handle herself in bars, and would have had no trouble picking up someone for the night. However, in most of these instances, a case could certainly have been made that she was working on the time clock, and showing up at the bars in the line of duty. I also can't help but think that these visits were the closest thing Lilah had to an independent social life. She probably couldn't help but mix in business with pleasure once in a while.

We're reasonably certain that Lilah didn't have many (if any) meaningful relationships with men in her lifetime. I hate to bring up the possibility of her being a lesbian, simply because I hate it when someone gets labelled as being gay simply because he or she sometimes does things slightly outside of the box. For example, we know Wesley liked to drink tea from nice china tea cups. Big f*uckin' deal! On the other hand, I feel as though I'd be guilty of the sin of omission if I didn't at least mention a few lesbian undertones in some of her dealings with Bethany, Faith and Darla. And remember. Lilah was a master manipulator who would do whatever it took to get the job done. If it entailed a little bit of big sisterly love, so be it.

It's pretty obvious that Lilah was an accomplished femme fatale, but chose not to follow that route too far. Double standards are alive and well. If news got out that Lilah had an active sex life, the news would have been all over Wolfram & Hart the moment her head hit the pillow, possibly jeopardising her career. The topic of conversation at the water cooler would have centered more on her latest romantic exploits than what she might have accomplished in difficult contract negotiations. To take it to more of an extreme, the highest she might have climbed on the corporate ladder might have been Vice President of the Mata Hari division (which would have been about as prestigious as Vice President of Human Resources). The thought of reviewing weekly printouts of how her employees fared in their STD tests would have been just way too depressing for anyone. (Not to mention what she would have had to do in the field before she made her way to the VP spot.)

I'm thinking that Lilah made herself gorgeous and perfected her femme fatale act as an erotic thrill, kind of like a substitution for sex. (Perhaps similar isn't the correct word, but somewhat like my theory of Wesley getting a certain amount of sexual satisfaction when he went into his Watcher mode.)

If Lilah couldn't end up in bed with someone on a regular basis, she could at least go through the motions of the early stages of the ritual by casting her alluring glances and making sexually provocative statements. Any thought that she was not interested in completing the sex act disappeared when Lindsey, while playing a trick on her, almost kissed her, and when she and Angel/The Old Man, came this close to having sex on Wesley's desk at the Hyperion Hotel. In both instances, Lilah practically jumped at the opportunity for sex, showing that 1) she probably wasn't getting anything on a regular basis and 2) all she needed was just a little encouragement from the right men. (Who wouldn't jump at the opportunity for sex with Christian Kane and David Boreanaz?)

So, when it came time to seduce Wesley into working for Wolfram & Hart, sexy role-playing Lilah was probably more than ready to go a few rounds with Wesley and his handcuffs.

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