Over the Rainbow (Angel)
|"Over the Rainbow"|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Fred Keller|
|Written by||Mere Smith|
|Original air date||May 8, 2001|
"Over the Rainbow" is episode 20 of season 2 in the television show Angel, originally broadcast on the WB network. This episode begins immediately where the previous ends: Cordelia has been inadvertently sucked into a dimensional portal. She ends up as a slave in an alternate world called Pylea, until her owners learn of her precognitive visions. Back in Los Angeles, Angel, Wesley and the Host attempt to rescue Cordelia, while Gunn discovers he has alienated his old street gang.
The group realizes Cordelia has been sucked into Lorne's home dimension of Pylea, which Lorne says he was glad to leave. Caritas, the bar he runs, was once the abandoned building where the portal from Pylea opened up. Angel reads from the book to reopen the portal, but it fails to open; Wesley's researching discovers that the portal can only open in hot spots and Caritas is currently cold. Lorne seeks help from a psychic friend in order to find a hot spot, but she won't provide the information until he agrees to go with the others to finish his business in Pylea. Two lawyers from Wolfram & Hart appear at Angel's hotel, informing Angel that the law firm plans to buy the hotel when the current lease expires. Angel vamps out and lawyers take their leave, but not before threatening to make Angel's life difficult. Angel leaves a message on an answering machine with information about saving the hotel in case they don't make it back from Pylea.
Cordelia finds herself in a new dimension, where she is chased down and captured by a green demon who declares her a "cow", or human slave. Her demon owner forces her into a collar that can be used to shock her when she doesn't obey. As she later mucks out the stables, wondering aloud if she can remove the collar, a runaway slave warns her through a hole in a wall that she shouldn't bother fighting. Cordelia is unable to see that the woman is Fred from her vision, crazy after all her years in Pylea. Before any more information can be exchanged, Fred is caught and taken away. Later, Cordelia follows her owner, carrying purchases from the market, until a vision causes her to fall and drop everything. She reveals she saw a villager being attacked by a Drokken in her vision, and a crowd draws, declaring her cursed. Cordelia is brought before Constable Narwek and explains she has precognitive visions.
Angel pulls his car up to the gate of a movie studio lot, following Lorne's information that it is a psychic hot spot. Although Gunn had earlier stated that George's death made him realize he's needed in this dimension, Angel's depressing phone message persuades him to join the mission. Wesley reads from the book, and with final good-byes to L.A., Angel drives his car through the portal. The book falls onto the sidewalk as the car vanishes. As the car arrives in daytime Pylea, Angel rushes to cover himself before realizing the two suns are not fatal to vampires. Happy and amazed, Angel goes off to gather branches to hide the car while enjoying the rare opportunity to be in sunlight. After covering the car, the guys realize that the book is gone and that they'll have to find another way to get back home. In town, Lorne advises that they stay to the shadows, as humans are treated as slaves. The Host tries to get help from an old friend but is met with bad reception. Chased by villagers, the gang is eventually caught and tied up in the middle of town.
After the Constable arrives, Lorne is taken away for questioning while the rest are chained in a dungeon until they are sentenced. In the dungeon, the guys brainstorm for escape plans and then with his vampire hearing, Angel overhears a conversation about Cordelia and her "sight." Guards bring Angel, Gunn, and Wesley to the Constable, who announces they will all be killed. For their death sentence, they are brought before the Princess of Pylea...Cordelia.
Production designer Stuart Blatt says the Angel location department had found a movie ranch with a standing set for a "Tijuana town," which they dressed for the Boxer Rebellion scenes of "Darla" and used again for the village of Pylea. He says, "it just so happens that the Chinese province town which looked a lot like Mexico also happens to look a lot like England, or Pylea or any other medieval pseudo Euro-space, alternative dimension with two suns kind of world". The set designers added timbers to the existing clay buildings, put thatching on the roofs, and created stalls for merchants and vendors. Blatt says their animal wranglers brought in "medieval chickens and goats and pigs and yaks" and old chariots were reconstructed to create the vehicles.
The opening scene for this episode is missing on the Region 1 DVD release: The "Previously On Angel" segment led directly into the teaser for this episode, and featured Angel, Wesley and The Host surprised to find Cordelia has vanished into the portal with Landok. They immediately begin searching for her, and the scene cuts to Cordelia's current location on Pylea. This scene is missing because the Region 1 DVD release of season 2 does not feature any of the "Previously On Angel" segments, but the scene and segments are intact on the Region 2 and Region 4 DVD releases.
Despite fan speculation that the Pylea episodes were due to Julie Benz being unavailable for the conclusion of the Darla storyline, writer Tim Minear says the writers decided they were "weary of the Darla drama" and wanted the finale to be something "totally unexpected" instead. Julie Benz confirmed that she left because the writers had "played out the storyline as much as possible."
- Over the Rainbow: The episode's title is a reference to the famous song written for The Wizard of Oz.
- After arriving in Pylea, Cordelia taps the heels of her shoes together three times, which is what Dorothy did when she was sent home, in the movie, The Wizard of Oz
- Among the things he lists as things he'd rather have to do instead of return to his home dimension, Lorne says "I'd rather sit through a junior high school production of Cats." Lorne's dislike for the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber was made known in Reprise.
Reception and reviews
The "Pylea" arc, which begins with this episode and concludes with the season finale, "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb", appears ninth on Slayage.com's list of the top 10 episodes of Angel. Charisma Carpenter was praised for demonstrating "true strength as a comedic actress." However, UGO Networks felt that the episodes were "something of a disappointment" because the "Dungeons & Dragons style world" of Pylea broke the dark tone that had been established.
- Interview with Stuart Blatt: A holiday in Pylea, BBC, retrieved 2007-09-20
- Angel Season Two Episode Guide: Over The Rainbow, BBC, retrieved 2007-09-20
- Tim Minear - "Angel" Tv Series - Stakesandsalvation.com Interview, July 30, 2007, retrieved 2007-09-22
- Goldman, Eric (December 14, 2006), IGN Interview: Dexter's Julie Benz, IGN.com, retrieved 2007-09-22
- Erenberg, Daniel, Best Of The Best, Part Two, Slayage.com, retrieved 2007-09-22
- Season 2 Review, CityOfAngel.com, retrieved 2007-09-22
- Sullivan, Michael Patrick, Angel Season Two DVD Review
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