Gabriel goes to diner to have pudding – though he worries about the quality of pudding. Finding decent pudding is definitely a major concern for an Archangel. Also he’s meeting with William Whele who is, apparently, the one loyal man that Gabriel needs to bring god back (or so he tells William anyway. Personally I think it’s a good line to keep a spy on side). William is also concerned because Claire got hurt last week though. Gabriel hears this – and slaughters everyone in the diner (Archangel wings are bullet proof, apparently, but the fact he used them suggests his body isn’t). He gives William a lecture about strength and violence and blood which is all dramatic and evil.
He assures William he’s one of the strong, I don’t think William believes it (or he’s not very convincing). Now, back to dessert!
Random montages – General Riesen is still getting it on with an 8 Ball. Alex is still moping and has left the city. Arika and Whele spar at each other for a while before coming down to terms: the use of Helena’s airforce in exchange for lots of help setting up a nuclear reactor. But Whele can’t guarantee Riesen will agree, which Arika points out
Riesen and the senate (who Arika derides as “rubber stamping” Riesen) grill Michael on why he never mentioned these new human-looking higher angels. Michael’s reasoning is that they (and the other Archangels, Uriel and Raphael) were neutral. He also explains the limits of angelic perception and why, no Whele, Michael doesn’t know where the other angels are hiding. Whele decides to accuse Michael of all sorts, much to the tired disapproval of the council, including disloyalty (he’s untrustworthy because he supported humans over angels… wait, the logic there is… dubious). Michael runs with it – sure, maybe he is a traitor! Why he could kill everyone in the room and no-one there could stop him, the entire council, Whele himself (said right to Whele’s face since the man has definitely violated. Before he turns and leaves
Pretty much making the point that, if Michael were a traitor, they’d all be dead right now
Alas, we have to join Alex the Pouty Chosen One of Angst and Whining. He finds a wrecked car and lots of dead, humans attacked by 8 Balls. Alex gets to practice his frowny sad face as he talks to the last survivor and puts him out of his misery.
Back to chez Gabriel and Furiad, leader of the human-looking angels is miffed that they don’t just kidnap Alex (apparently they need to convert him to their side) especially since 2 of his fellows are now all gooey and prserved, but Gabriel thinks it would save them all a lot of pouty rebellion if Alex chose to swap sides (I think he’s just seen how much angst Alex throws out all the time and wants no part of it).
At Vega, Noma tells Ethan (these two are Alex’s soldier friends) about Alex running off. Ethan decides to go talk to Michael, which Noma doesn’t think is a good idea.
Wiliam finds Claire in the market and he’s all puppy-ish. Michael’s also in the market and meets Lewis – an apparent angel who knew Felicia, the angel who attacked Alex, though he insists he never knew she’d sided with Gabriel. He also says “us” suggesting there are a few like him. Michael apparently took them as neutral refugees but insists Lewis keep an eye on the others and check to see if any are infiltrators. He lays out an ultimatum – these angels can join Michael or get out.
It also looks like Whele’s suspicions are at least somewhat justified – Michael did know of angels in the city and chose not to tell them.
Ethan catches up with Michael and after lots of nervous babble, reveals that Alex has done a runner. Michael flies off.
Claire looks in on some of her students and finds out that her father has had everyone who has had any contact with Felicia locked up. Claire chews him out for both formenting paranoia and sacrificing people for politics – showing a powerful, over the top response to distract from the fact there was an angel hiding in his home. When he tries to raise her safety she awesomely shouts him down – she will not have him use her safety as an excuse to persecute V1s (lower class). She demands he treat them like people not numbers – and he says if she wants to change things she should marry William. She also knows he’s keeping a secret and he tells her he’s sick.
Alex, meanwhile, finds you can’t actually drive away from someone with wings who finds him in the middle of the high way. Alex, set your angst to maximum and prepare for a full pouting! Michael gets in the car. I’m sure there should be some kind of law against Angels calling shotgun. Also can you think of a more boring road trip than having an archangel in the front seat? Alex points a gun at Michael and Michael is unmoved – guns don’t tend to do much to him (or so he claims). Alex does his pouty, stompy thing and agrees to go to one stop if Michael will then leave him alone
Michael’s chosen stop is the house Alex and his dad lived in. Oh gods, more angst? On all of the walls are Jeep’s frenzied attempts to read the tattoos and becoming ever more desperate and extreme with each failure, which Alex also gets to see in flashback. Because this isn’t sufficient angst to make Alex obey, Michael throws in that Alex’s mother died in that house trying to protect Alex. Added bonus, Michael tells Alex that he was the one who forced Jeep to abandon Alex, just in case there needed to be another rift between them
They’re attacked by Furiad and a crew of minion angels. Michael slaughters most but while distracted by a minion attacking Alex, Furiad manages to stab Michael in the stomach and break his sword off in the wound.
Back to Vega and Whele is still being crafty, he talks to Rebecca, the sciency consul about how useful it would be if they could learn all of the angels’ weaknesses if she examined Michael. She isn’t a fan of his and tries to ignore him but he blackmails her over sleeping with Michael and demands any information she has on angel weakness.
Arika randomly decides Ethan, her guard is gay, as you do and receives a package (dropped by helicopter) containing the chopped up body parts of her sister. She holds her funeral ceremony for her and Whele arrives and explains that in Vega they burn the dead (so angels don’t claim them). Arika derides this as superstitious nonsense and Whele tosses a book of matches on the bed. Ouch, cold, Whele, very cold. He’s taken the fact that Arika’s WIFE delivering her sister’s body in pieces probably indicates that Arika is not all that in Queen Evelyn’s good books and probably can’t deliver what she offers. He basically kicks her out. So she shifts – she has friends in Evelyn’s inner circle (which he takes to be a coup attempt). Let her claim amnesty in Vega and when she’s in power Whele will get what he wants. Whele signals acceptance by saying he’ll have Arika’s sister’s body transported to the ocean – which I assume is Helena’s funeral rites.
That night Whele notices his son sneaking out and hopes that he’s sneaking out to be with Claire (that is just so intensely creepy) and can they get on with the damn wedding already. He scorns William being Claire’s friend and goes on to make lots of rapey allusions to his male lion “taking what he wants”. William, rather excellently, hits back on another benefit of the lion way of doing things – the cubs don’t have to deal with their fathers. Now there’s a sharp come back.
He then goes to his secret underground cult of evil angel worshippers (y’know, this post apocalyptic city must dedicate at least half of its industry to candle making). They initiate a new member which involves blind folds and agonising rib breaking. Honestly, I think your cult needs some new selling points – genocide and rib breaking don’t seem that fun. Do they not have twice weekly orgies or something?
That night Arika sets up her earrings on top of a tower and they glow and blink, sending signals to an answering blink in the sky.
Claire goes to William to tell him the “good” news – in exchange for a Bill of Rights for all people of Vega, she will marry William (yes William, she had to be bribed with overhauling the entire political system to agree to walk down the aisle with you. Feeling special?)
Furiad goes back to report to Gabriel (who is playing the trumpet for some reason) who is very not happy that Furiad stabbed Michael, his brother. In response Gabriel stabs a random angel Furiad apparently cares about, then informs Furiad that Michael won’t actually die from the wound but if Furiad tries Gabriel will kill him. Wow, Gabe is full of family issues.
We close with Alex driving Gabriel towards medical care.
We’re getting more hints of Helena – the f act that Whele specified that the nuclear technician he was going to send to Helena was female confirms the suggestion that Helena is a strongly matriarchal culture.
I know it’s actually realistic human instinct to give derogatory and belittling names to enemies to make them more manageable and encourage hatred – but calling your enemies “8 balls” does not make them seem all that intimidating.
Reisen’s response to Claire demanding he treat people like people is to turn round and not treat her like a person. And he still hasn’t explained why giving more power to the Wheles is, in any way, going to give her the power to change anything. Still I am glad to see Claire standing up and speaking out rather than being just the love interest and the marriage prize.
I am so very tired of Alex and his boringly predictable storyline. Angst angst whine manpain. And Gabriel thinks he can turn Alex? I hate this because it’s actually going to be a thing? Alex and all his angst is actually going to be presented as having CONFLICT over whether to support the genocide angel or not.
Ethan is gay (Well, that cuts any chance of him or Noma being developed further? I wondered what purpose his 2 friends would serve – minority inclusion! Am I being cynical? Yup, but I doubt I’ll be wrong) – and Arika can tell this by his eyes? Really? Hey, Arika, maybe he’s just not that into you?
And Arika’s wife delivers her sister in pieces? Followed by Arika planning a coup against her? See, the fact they’re in separate cities means we can never really see the relationship between these two – this is the first real “communication” between the two. This does not look promising. I hope that the glowey earrings at least suggest some of what she told Whele is a lie