Angel/Recap/S03/E13 Waiting in the Wings
Angel buys tickets to the ballet for the Fang Gang, but discovers the performers are the same people he saw back in 1890.
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- After-Action Patchup: Fred patches up Gunn after he's injured, resulting in their First Kiss.
- Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The medallion worn on Count Kurskov's chest -- Angel smashes it to break the spell.
- An Axe to Grind: Uncle Lorne protecting Connor.
- At the Opera Tonight
- Anywhere but Their Lips: While Kissing Under the Influence, Angel removes Cordy's dress and kisses his way down to her navel.
- Big Eater: Fred despite being so thin.
- Bond Breaker: Heartbroken over Fred's rejection, Wesley starts to withdraw emotionally from his friends, which will have serious consequences.
- Breather Episode
- Brick Joke: Cordelia wakes up after falling asleep on Angel's shoulder and asks if she drooled on him. Angel replies, "It matches the back." (where Connor drooled on him earlier)
- Angel gripes about how he couldn't get a box seat like in the old days. Later when he goes to take on the Count, Angel says, "I bet he's got a box seat!"
- Buffy-Speak: Angel tells the others to enjoy the performance while he snoops around a little. Cordelia says, "I'm with Snoopy."
- The Bus Came Back: Groo has been deposed as ruler of Pylea, so has come searching for Cordelia, his One True Love.
- Call Back: When Angel and Cordelia are discussing going back into the dressing room to become possessed by the spirits again Angel says "Look I've been possessed by the spirits of old lovers before, it never ends well." This is a reference to the Buffy episode "I Only Have Eyes For You", where Angelus and Buffy were possessed by the ghosts of two lovers. Earlier Cordelia kids Wesley about how he only had eyes for her in Sunnydale, referring to their courtship in BTVS Season 3.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Wesley is 'waiting for the right moment' to tell Fred his feelings, unaware that Fred is gravitating towards Gunn. Likewise Angel is stumbling his way through what may or may not be a Love Confession when Groo shows up.
- The Cast Showoff: The ballet episode originally conceived as an excuse for Whedon to utilize Amy Acker's dancing talent. The only scene that required her to dance was cut from the episode for pacing reasons. It did, however, allow him to display former ballerina Summer Glau's dancing talents — and her knack for accents.
- Summer Glau is arguably a subversion — "Waiting in the Wings" was the very first acting role that she ever took, so when Joss hired her, she wasn't so much an actor who could also dance as a dancer who could also act. In hindsight, however, it becomes a straight example.
- Closeup on Head: Fred appears to be naked in one scene, only to be revealed to be wearing a strapless dress.
- Comically Small Bribe / Mundane Solution: Angel suggests knocking out the security guard. Cordelia suggests a more subtle solution. Description Cut to Cordy saying...
Cordy: "Hey! Do you like bribes?"
- Creator In-Joke: Marti Hari, the band Gunn originally thinks they're going to see, is a band Joss Whedon's brother is in.
- Deadpan Snarker
Wes: "How will the dancers keep time without your rhythmic snoring?"
- Delicious Distraction: The Fang Gang wonder how the ballet company is the same as the one Angel saw over a hundred years ago.
Cordy: "Well, it's a puzzler. [beat] Are there snacks?"
- Deleted Scene: The fantasy ballet sequence between Fred and Wesley, available on the DVD.
- Description Cut: When Cordelia and Fred are shopping for dresses to go to the ballet, Cordelia makes a sarcastic comment to the effect of, "Oh, right. Angel's gonna spend the whole day worrying about his outfit." Cut to Angel worrying about his tux, which baby Connor had just spit upon.
- Despair Speech
Angel: "A hundred years, doing the same piece, every night. Is that enough? What about Stephan?"
- Dream Ballet / I Can't Dance: Wesley imagines himself ballet dancing (ineptly) up stage with a graceful Fred.
- Endless Corridor: Backstage in the theatre.
- Everyone Can See It: Lorne too notices the Kyrumption between Angel and Cordelia.
Lorne: "Okay. When two great heroes come together..."
- Fake Russian / Hey It's That Girl: Summer Glau in her first acting performance. She would later go on to other Joss Whedon productions like Firefly and Dollhouse.
- Forced Into Their Sunday Best: Gunn makes Fred promise not to laugh when he comes out in a tux. He does so and looks gorgeous, causing Fred to break out into nervous giggles.
- Geeky Turn On
- Give Me a Sword / Sword Fight: Fred takes the rapier off a dead mook and tosses it to Wes so he can duel another mook.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Count Kurskov discovered the ballerina he was obsessed with was in love with another man, so he had the theatre company trapped in a temporal fold so she would be forced to dance for him forever. Wesley realises this when he walks into a psychic hotspot after seeing Fred kiss Gunn. Later Wes tells Fred and Gunn to stay behind him while he swordfights the minions.
Cordy: "I hope you're in a killing mood."
- Groundhog Day Loop: The ballerina is trapped in a temporal fold, doomed to perform the exact same dance she did back in 1890 (even down to a minor stumble). Realising the wizard's power is weakening, Angel gets her to break the spell by dancing her own steps.
- Held Gaze: Fred and Gunn at the end, watched by a sad Wesley.
- Holding Hands: Wes and Gunn are sitting on either side of Fred during the performance. Each of them slowly reach over to touch her (leading either to a startled Fred or a hilarious accidental-gay joke) when Fred suddenly says that Angel and Cordy have been gone too long and they'd better go look for them.
- Holy Burns Evil / Moment Killer: Angel and Cordelia are snapped out of Kissing Under the Influence when the cross necklace Cordelia has picked up burns Angel. Cordy suggests going back in the room to find out more information, but Angel worries that things might get too intimate. Cordy says the cross will protect her, but it drops unnoticed to the floor once they start making out again.
- Hugo Award: Nominated 2003.
- Hydra Problem: Every time a lackey is killed, they split into two live lackeys. However every time this happens the spell weakens as the Count has to keep control of an increasing number of lackeys.
- I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Gunn is angry that Angel got them ballet tickets, instead of tickets to a hip-hop concert. He's almost weeping with joy by the first intermission.
Gunn: I was cool before I met y'all.
- Improvised Weapon: Angel is choking Tragedy Minion while Cordy is throwing everything she can get her hands on at Comedy Minion who's trying to run her through with a sword. Finally all she's got to brandish is a fly whisk, so she shouts, "A little help here!" Just then Tragedy shoves a stiletto into Angel's chest. Angel thanks him, pulls out the stiletto and uses it to kill Comedy minion.
- Incredibly Lame Pun
Cordy: "There will be no visions tonight."
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Angel kills two lackeys simultaneously, stabbing one while killing the other with a dagger thrown Offhand Backhand. As the lackeys interrupted them as they were about to have sex, Cordelia says they've got to get out of there immediately. "You just looked really hot doing that."
- Interrupted Declaration of Love
- Interrupted Intimacy: Angel is working his mouth down south on Cordy's hot body.
Cordy: (moaning) Oh no, oh no... (minions burst in) Oh thank God!
Cordy: Hey...it's awkward, but it's not us. So long as nothing is removed or...inserted it's all forgotten."
- Last Kiss: Gunn jokes about this trope after being wounded. Fred is not amused because watching him get stabbed was her Love Epiphany. However they deliberately act out such a scene moments later for their First Kiss.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again
Cordy: "You know, we should probably just not talk about...our little adventure. Anything that might have been seen, anything that might have been, oh (lets out a laugh) perky."
Gunn: "Hear that? Sounds like someone's in pain."
- Malevolent Masked Men: Count Kurskov's sword-wielding lackeys wear Tragedy or Comedy drama masks, and giggle or sob accordingly.
- Multi Boobage: Sorialus the Ravager.
Cordy: "Six breasts. Any man is gonna love that."
- Neck Snap: Angel does a dual version with a lackey under each arm!
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Cordelia thinks Fred is referring to Wesley when she's actually talking about being attracted to Gunn.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Gunn laughs off his backstabbing as "Only a scratch."
- Nightmare Fetishist: Spoofed when Wesley appears to be raving over a woodcut of a six-breasted she-demon, but he's actually going on about Fred.
- One-Scene Wonder: Summer Glau as the ballerina only speaks in one scene.
- Post Mortem One Liner: Wesley runs through a Comedy minion with his sword.
Wes: "Who is laughing now? (minion continues to laugh) Well, you. But I still win."
- Relationship Upgrade
- Russian Gal Suffers Most
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Everyone in the Fang Gang.
- Shipper on Deck: Lorne for Angel/Cordelia and Cordelia for Fred/Wesley.
- Something Else Also Rises: Angel and Cordelia are trying to get out of the ballerina's dressing room while Kissing Under the Influence.
Cordelia: Open the door!
- And then when they finally get out...
Cordelia: Good thing it wears off right away, huh?
- Show Some Leg: Averted with the overweight security guard.
Cordelia: You want I should distract him? Make with the nice-nice while you slip by?
- Sword Drag: Wesley staggers off after seeing Fred kiss Gunn.
- Too Much Information: Angel mutters that he used to get box seats, "or I'd eat the people in them." Cordelia tells him to stop with the reminiscing.
- That Came Out Wrong: "The best action I can get is an invisible ghost who's good with the Loohfah." Gentlemen that he is, Wesley states that he never heard that comment by Cordelia.
- Verbal Backspace
Angel: "Don't be stupid. I'm that guy and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen is making eyes at me? It's either bachelor party or a scam."
- Verbal Tic: Lorne refers to Angel as 'crumb cake', 'corn muffin', 'strudel', and 'cinnamon buns', causing an irritated Angel to ask him to "Stop calling me pastries!"
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Fred goes berserk on the Tragedy minion who backstabs Gunn. No wonder he was sobbing.
- White Shirt of Death: Gunn after being stabbed In the Back.
- You Remind Me of X: In reference to Cordy, Lorne kids Angel about his liking for ex-cheerleaders. Nice one Lorne -- you've just reminded Angel of his last disastrous affair with a human girl.
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