From The TV IV
Smile Time is the fourteenth episode of the fifth season of Angel, and the one-hundred and second episode overall. When Angel goes to investigate a children's program that is connected to a string of hospitalized kids, he is turned into a puppet.
Monster of the Week
- Puppets: The puppets in this episode are actually four demons who dealt with Gregor Framkin after his show, Smile Time, started to fall in ratings. The demons possessed the bodies of four puppets on the show, turned Gregor himself into a puppet and used the television to suck the innocence out of children. They intended to use this as currency to build their own hell.
|1||Groofus||Gunn||Decapitated||Smile Time Set|
|2||Ratio||Fred||Shot||Nest Egg Room|
|3||Girl Puppet||Gunn||Torn Apart||Smile Time Set|
|4||Polo||Angel||Impaled||Smile Time Set|
No licensed music was used in this episode.
- Gunn: As hinted in the previous episode, Gunn's legal knowledge is starting to slip. In order to prevent the Senior Partners from completely removing his link (as well as juice it with the permanent version of the implant), he goes back to the doctor he first saw and agrees to help him work through customs loopholes.
- Angel and Nina: Angel and Nina go out on something resembling a date at the end of this episode. Although Angel is still a puppet at this point, he does seem to recognize that she has a thing for him and he has those same feelings for her.
- Wesley and Fred: Similarly to the Angel/Nina romantic relationship, Wesley and Fred also rekindle their own relationship after several episodes of complications between the two.
- 5x03 - Unleashed: Nina returns in this episode after being transformed into a werewolf earlier in the season. She comes to Wolfram & Hart every month for three days in order to prevent herself from getting out and hurting someone.
- Cameo: Gregor Framkin was played by David Fury, a writer and director for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
Behind the Scenes
- Ratings: On its first airing, this episode scored a 4.0/6 in the overnight Nielsen ratings.
- Director: This episode was originally meant to be directed by Joss Whedon, but he decided to back out and direct the next episode, A Hole in the World instead.
Allusions and References
- The Joker: The Joker is Batman's archenemy in the DC comics universe. In his various appearance since he was first introduced in the pages of Batman, Joker often kills people using his "Joker Gas," a gaseous compound which destroys a person's central nervous system and literally uses laughter to kill them. His victims die with a twisted grin after being exposed to the gas.
- Knox: Right. Could be the Joker.
- Papa Smurf: On Smurfs, Papa Smurf was the leader of the village and was distinguishable by his white beard and red clothes (whereas the other Smurfs wore white). Lorne likely refers to Framkin by this name because of his beard.
- Lorne: Well, a fight suits us just fine, Papa Smurf.
- Flowers for Algernon: In Daniel Keyes' novellette "Flowers for Algernon" (1959, later expanded into a novel and also adapted for the screen), Charlie, a mentally retarded janitor, takes part in an experimental intelligence-enhancing treatment. He becomes a genius, but the procedure does not prove to be permanent and Charlie experiences his intelligence fading away again.
- Sparrow: Oh, acute "Flowers for Algernon" syndrome.
- Happy Days: Happy Days was a popular sitcom that aired on ABC between 1974 and 1984. The last three seasons were notable because Ron Howard, a long-time cast member, left the show as well as several other billed members of the cast who went on to other projects or the short-lived spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi. These seasons are typically regarded as the worst of the series because many of the new characters failed to create the same chemistry and many felt that the series had gone stale after so many years on the air.
- Gunn: You see the last few seasons of "Happy Days"?
- Groofus: Yeah! So tomorrow's gonna be a pretty big show, huh?
Polo: The biggest.
Groofus: Cool. 'Cause I've been workin' on this great new song about the difference between analogy and metaphor?
(Polo throws his coffee mug at Groofus, hitting him in the head)
Polo: Are you out of your mind?!
Groofus: Well, we want it to be good, don't we?
Polo: We eat babies' lives!
Groofus: And uphold a certain standard of quality edu-tainment.
Polo: Screw edu-tainment!
- Overall Grade: B, 1 reviews
- Review Breakdown: A+: 0 A: 0 A-: 0 B+: 0 B: 1 B-: 0 C+: 0 C: 0 C-: 0 D: 0 F: 0
- This is one of the more strange episodes ever produced from the buffyverse, and certainly the most strange one on Angel (a show that is supposed to be noir). For me the idea that Angel was a puppet just didn't work. I have no idea why given what it takes to believe anything about this show in the first place. But Angel as a puppet.... you just have to have the actor in order to believe his character. It's in the mannerisms that doesn't work with puppetry. I think this episode was almost certainly supposed to be satirical; I can't imagine them writing the scenes with the werewolves serious. But there is enough absurdist comedy here to make it a fun episode to watch; even if it makes little sense to the show in general. The scene with Spike confronting Angel the puppet is too good to miss. --MateoP 18:04, 23 June 2006 (EDT)