"Over the Rainbow"
Episode # 42
Original Air Date: May 8, 2001
Review by: Anne
Okay, they explained why the portal opened at Caritas - apparently sometimes they just open. They explained why the Caritas portal couldn't open again. They explained why Cordelia didn't land near the Host's cousin. They even explained how the A-Team could leave the convertible's top down as they traveled through the portal. (Although, I suspect that if the top had been up we might have missed that Angel can walk in sunlight in that world...)
I have one main question about Pylea. (And, no, it isn't why those human-hating "aliens" speak English.) How common are humans in that dimension? The woman(?) that bought Cordy mentioned that her previous "cow" died. Are any humans born there? Or is there often portal activity that brings humans there from Earth?
There was a notable parallel between Cordy in slavery and Cordy working for the director. They both don't call her by her name. When she tried to voice her ideas, they both told her, "work don't speak!" They both wanted her to wear clothes that reinforced her lesser position - a skimpy bikini and then a dirty, shapeless potato-sack dress.
The relationships between the characters can be seen in the ways they address each other. The host rarely calls anyone by their real name - e.g "Angelcakes" - but he was on a first-name basis with his psychic friend. Although the men from Wolfram & Hart introduce themselves, Angel sums them up as "lawyers." Cordy declares herself a human being and a citizen of the United States, but this means nothing to the people of Pylea who refer to humans as "cows." (Being "inferior," we don't deserve a name of our own.) The Pyleans address each other by their very impersonal full names; their mothers are basically "life-givers." To reflect their closeness, in this episode Gunn, Wes, and Angel mostly refer to Cordelia simply as "her," and Gunn calls Wesley "English."
The episode's title refers to a belief that the proverbial grass is greener somewhere else, somewhere better than where we are. After the run-in with the lawyers, Angel couldn't wait to leave this world for a new one. After finding herself in a new world, Cordelia wanted to go back home.
After all there is no place like home. This can be bad, but it can also be good as it was in the host's case. He didn't feel as though he belonged in his so-called home. Then he stumbled upon the portal and found a better place.
Likewise, we've heard of the bad place where Wesley grew up; we saw a glimpse of its effects as he faced the constable. As I recall, the Host, Angel, and Gunn were defiant and got hit. Wesley had nothing to say, as if he learned long ago when he was helpless to fight back.
As a variation of the "greener grass elsewhere" theme, Gunn wants to be in the old and the new places at the same time. He wants to fight with his crew, but he also wants to help the A-Team.
Changing the subject now to pure speculation, I see similarities between Buffy and Angel of late. Specifically, both shows are talking about other dimensions and opening pathways into them. Also, Glory is a "hellgod" and in this Angel episode both the Host (Lorne - whatever!) and Cordelia referred to hell/hellbeasts. What if, for the season finales (of both shows), the Key opened the portal to Pylea allowing Angel and the gang to fall right into Buffy's battle with Glory? Just a thought!