Angel S01 E10 – Choosing Feelings

Previously: All of the tears. DOYLE DIED.

Parting Gifts

Sweeney: The episode begins with Angel begging the Oracles for the thing we all want: UNDO IT. TAKE IT BACK. The Oracles give no shits, though, and tell him not to be so selfish. Obnoxious. Angel points out that Doyle was PTB(C)’s messenger to them, so he should come back with his visions. The Oracles are already walking away, though, because they don’t care and this will work itself out. BYE. Then we see a demon running down an alley. Roll credits, WHICH STILL INCLUDE GLENN QUINN AND MY CORRESPONDING TEARS.


Lorraine: I try to avoid looking into the show or actors ’cause of all the spoilers, but seeing Quinn still in the credits made me curious. TIL of his death via overdose in 2002. So, you know, double the sads.

K: BRB, crying all the cries.

Sweeney: Appropriately moody music plays as Cordelia inspects every mug in the office, trying to establish Doyle’s special coffee mug, which he did not have. “Don’t you think he should have?” she asks. She’s looking for some sort of tangible evidence of his having been there. Angel tries to tell her to get out of the office so she can grieve, but she interprets this as him pushing her away, which she will not stand for. Of course, as she is insisting that she’ll stay RIGHT THERE, an alarm goes off reminding her that she has an audition for a national commercial. Oops.

Angel tries to suggest that she might not be up to that, but she’s not having it. On her way out the door she runs into the freckled demon from the alley. He also has horns, and is generally reddish, so I don’t know why I led with “freckles” as if that was his distinguishing trait, but for some reason I was distracted by his freckles.

K: Because freckles are an excellent thing to have?


I rest my case.

Sweeney: Freckles tells Cordelia to chill because he’s sensing that she has performance anxiety.

Freckles knew this because he is an empath; he can feel the emotions of those around him. He has heard of Angel and he’s there for his help. Once Cordelia leaves he asks Angel why he’s awake during the day, being a vampire. Angel gets very defensive about all of the misconceptions generated by hack writers and adds that vampires can and do move around during the day as long as they avoid direct sunlight. I see what you’re doing here Whedon. I see it, I’m giggling at it, and I tip my hat to it.

Lor: I’m throwing my hat at Whedon’s head. He’s taunting me. 

Sweeney: At her audition, Cordelia is a hot fucking mess as she tries to sell a stain removing product. They graciously assume that she was making a crazypants choice as an actress and ask her to run through it again, but to little avail because her second attempt is interrupted by MIGRAINE PREMONITION. Guess that one’s blown.

K: On the plus side, POTENTIAL PAYING CLIENT! 

Sweeney: Back at Angel’s office, Angel wants to know who or what is hunting Freckles, as that is the reason Freckles has come to Angel for his help. All of this is said and done while cutting to shots of an armed leather-clad guy on a motorcycle, with all shots below the neck. Angel wants to know what mischief Freckles has been up to that would get him so hunted, but Freckles swears he’s totes regular and it couldn’t be him.

Seizure cut to later in the day when Cordelia returns from her audition. She walks in and kisses Angel who gets really uncomfortable and awkwardly tries to smooth it over. Cordelia’s not listening, though, because she launches into a speech about how she felt nothing, which means that she still has the visions. She believes that she got them from Doyle’s kiss, and she’s determined to get rid of them.


Lor: THE WEIRD BLUE LIGHT FROM LAST EPISODE, RIGHT? That was the mouth-to-mouth vision transference.

K: Yup. That sneaky Whedon. “Maybe it’s something, maybe it’s not. TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO FIND OUT!”

Sweeney: Angel finally realizes what’s going on and he asks her what the vision was, but all she remembered was a big grey blobby thing. She’s still focused on getting rid of the crazy painful visions. Freckles emerges from the bathroom and she greets him with another kiss, which still doesn’t accomplish the goal.

Angel leaves to go to check out the place where Freckles is staying, hoping to find some sort of clues there, leaving Cordelia to babysit him. At the building, the power is out and there are ominous flickering noises.

K: Also, it spontaneously went from mid-afternoon to middle of the night dark. I mean, I know LA traffic is bad, but seriously?! 

Sweeney: Once in the door, the leather-clad man emerges from the shadows pointing a crossbow at Angel. It’s Wesley Wyndam-Pryce! He tries to threaten Angel, who promptly knocks the crossbow out of his hand so they can chat. Wesley insists that he left the council (Got fired, Angel suggests) to become a Rogue Demon Hunter, a gig which appears to come with a weird leather fetish.


Lor: Y’all told us that WWP becomes a bad-ass in another time and place. I guess this is the place but it still isn’t the time. You have a ways to go, Wesley.

K: It’s like he attempted a Ripper-esque transformation, but sucked at it. 

Sweeney: Wesley recovers his braggy posturing after awkwardly trying to dodge the you-got-fired thing, and tells Angel that he has been hunting a nasty demon that kills other people/things that have special powers. This demon dismembers the source of their power. Angel then describes Freckles, but that doesn’t match Wesley’s description of what he’s hunting. As he’s offering a correction, some green stuff that reminds me of Nickelodeon slime falls on Wesley and then a demon drops from the ceiling. Fighting ensues and they manage to shoot an arrow in the demon so he jumps out the window and flees.

Down in the Brooding Basement, Cordelia is doodling, attempting to capture the gray blobby thing. Freckles suggests that drawing is therapeutic during the grieving process and then explains the empathic thing. Cordelia thinks snooping around her feels is fucking rude and stop that kthnx. She does open up, though, when asked to talk about Doyle. In typical Cordelia fashion, she insults Doyle before talking about how totes sweet he was.

Angel and Wesley return and Freckles flees to the kitchen, because he realizes that Wesley is the guy who has been hunting him. Cordelia grabs Wesley and kisses him, but that didn’t work out either. He’s bummed because he thought it went way better than their previous totally awkward make out.


K: Let’s be honest: ANYTHING would be better than their previous totally awkward makeout. 

Sweeney: Indeed. They didn’t set the starting bar that high.

In the kitchen-area, Angel is explaining to Freckles that Wesley was actually hunting the thing that was hunting him, because it wants to steal his empathic abilities. “The feeling feelings thing?” Cordelia asks, because I can only assume she’s horrified. As you should be. No sane person would choose to feel all the feels.

Lor: And yet, we keep watching TV.

K: A+.

Sweeney: Wesley enters with a book, insisting that the demon was a Kungai, which is a demon of Asian origin that is very deadly and has a horn that is capable of consuming an opponent’s life force. Freckles knows these demons and gets really antsy for Angel to go find this guy because they’re super murdery.

Then we make a questionable bit of dot connecting, because it’s of Asian origin and Koreatown is just north of them, SO like, probs there, yeah? OK, show. OK. Angel’s all, “Great, thanks for the tip! Bye Wesley!” and Wesley is pissed, because that demon is HIS. No luck, though, because Angel had a bro by his side and he’s dead now, so NOPE.


K: Also, Wesley’s leather trousers are giving him chafing issues. LOL. 

Sweeney: Seizure cut to a random spa in Koreatown where we learn that Angel knows Korean because that’s what he does during his sex-and-hunting-free nights of brooding? I don’t know, Whedon. You’ve got to give me something.

Lor: He’s sitting in the dark… with Rosetta Stone tapes?


Anyway, Angel pays the guy at the desk off to be let into the back. A demon appears from behind a curtain and asks Angel where they do shiatsu massages. Womp.

In the brooding basement, Cordelia’s mad that all her blob drawings just look like blobs and not the very specific ugly grey blobby thing from her migraine premonition. Freckles creeps some more about her feelings. Cordelia’s all, “Yeah, I’m glad you can see the totally obvious frustration! Great!” She then explains the visions to Freckles, and adds that she’ll never forgive Doyle for this. “For what? Trusting you? Believing in you?” He gives a nod back to the beginning of the episode and adds, “Seems like he gave you the most valuable thing he had.

Elsewhere, Angel comes upon the demon being cared for by a random Korean woman, who informs Angel that the Kungai is dying. His lethal horn is missing.

Back in the basement, Cordelia is getting coffee for Freckles while he takes a call off to the side. He tells the caller that he has the Kungai horn. More importantly, he has found something much better, he says as he looks at Cordelia.

K: Oh. So the vision was less “potential paying customer” and more “potential slavery and/or death”. Womp womp.

Sweeney: After the Not Commercial Break, Cordelia sets down the coffee and Freckles switches his emotional read to picking at Cordelia’s worst fears and feels. He calls her deluded for believing she could be an actress. Freckles then adds that he is a good actor, though!

He also, horribly, tells her that she killed Doyle. If she had let her walls down or stopped obsessing over herself, or basically all of the other things Cordelia must surely have fretted over herself. I hate this moment in a feels-for-the-characters-way, but I love it as a narrative choice. Cordelia is not the sort of person to ever openly express any of these feelings, though it is perfectly believable that she’d feel them. Still, her lack of expression means that without this scene, the audience would be given little reason to make that connection.

Lor: It’s interesting because there was very little other reason to make this particular baddie an empath. It was a nice way to say, “yes, Doyle is dead and we are feeling all these things,” without saying it in so many words.

Sweeney: Back at the Kungai’s deathbed, Angel is angry with the dying demon because Angel can’t speak his language. Uh, Angel, yelling at it that you don’t know its language is a pretty obviously pointless and dickish move.

K: It kind of reminds me of watching the Amazing Race and all the obnoxious people yelling “WHY DOESN’T ANYBODY IN JAPAN/FRANCE/RURAL BURKINA FASO SPEAK AMERICAN???”. Except that at least the demon language is a language. American is not a language, y’all. 

Sweeney: It was really just set-up, though, so that Wesley can enternounce that he does. He has ditched the black leather for his old pale suit. (L: The leather was chafing his… legs.) Wesley tries to talk to the Kungai and deduces that he’s trying to say that his horn was stolen. “No shit,” says Angel.

Freckles is attacking Cordelia, due to him wanting her eyes. Creep. At this point I was thinking it was going to go a very Sylar from Heroes route, even though that didn’t actually make a world of sense with his phone call about the horn. I didn’t think about that until just now.

Lor: A+ reference, though, and MMMMM, Zachary Quinto.

K: Zachary Quinto will forever scare the living shit out of me courtesy of playing Sylar. 

Sweeney: Wesley is still trying to translate the Kungai’s dying words. The horn was taken for a thing that Wesley can’t translate. Back in the basement, Cordelia cleverly tries to fake a vision to get away. She manages to knee Freckles in the balls, but fails in her actual escape. He doesn’t want to hurt her, because bruises will bring down the price. Alas, she tries to scream and he knocks her out.

On the Kungai’s deathbed, he is trying to describe his killer when he finally dies. “Demon heart reader” is what Wesley gathers. Freckles, of course!

Cordelia wakes up bound and gagged on a red satin sheet and OMG I thought we were doing pretty well on avoiding Fifty Shades references. Fail. Freckles is arguing with some other guy about all the weird demony shit they’re selling.

Angel and Wesley return to the basement to find Cordelia gone and they both freak out a little. Wesley whines about his failure, admitting to being fired, while Angel looks around for clues. DOYLE WOULDN’T MOPE LIKE THIS. Angel finds one of Cordelia’s doodles and even though it looks like a drawing by a toddler, Angel immediately recognizes it as a drawing of a sculpture. OK, show.

Lor: There are an abundance of these moments today. I guess they figured we’d be distracted by Doyle Death anyways.

K: I guess all that alone brooding time allows you to not only learn Korean but also develop a great appreciation of art and play endless games of Pictionary?

Sweeney: Before they get to the research, Angel has to pep talk Wesley about how they’ll both save the day together. Upstairs, Angel is able to track the most recent buyer of this sculpture as a hotel chain, of which they have about a dozen possible locations. Wesley works out a translation of that word, “caller sale” which actually means auction.

At the exclamation of the word “auction” we segue magic to Freckles running the auction. His buddy brings out Cordelia and bidding on the eyes of a seer begins and ramps up to $11,000. Back at the office, Angel has been making calls and has found the location they’re looking for. The sale on her eyes is about to end when Cordelia jumps in to become her own salesperson. It’s a stalling mechanism that Freckles obviously allows because it turns out to be effective. She encourages in-fighting that ultimately ends in one of her bidders being murdered. The final sale is made for $30,000 to a lawyer from Wolfram & Hart.

After, the lawyer tells Freckles that they only want the eyes, no body. He charges an extra thousand for extraction and she reluctantly agrees. Freckles’s assistant is way pissed that Freckles gets to do the extracting, and this buys the additional seconds for Angel and Wesley to find/attack their way to the room.

Wesley has aggressively taped his knife to his ankle, making him somewhat useless, as Angel fights off all of the half dozen henchmen alone, because it’s one of those times where he can do that. Hit or miss skill. Wesley frees Cordelia and goes after Freckles, mostly by yelling at him.

Wolfram & Hart’s lawyer leaves. On her way out she places a call, saying that their merchandise was just taken off the market and she’ll give the person on the other end three guesses by whom. More setup for the list of reasons Wolfram & Hart hates Angel, for whenever that conflict first comes to a boil.

K: Eventually. Like, season finale kind of eventually.

Sweeney: Downstairs, the fight continues and Wesley isn’t doing so well. Cordelia grabs the horn, which is sitting on a pillow, and stabs Freckles with it. He gets his life force sucked out, as advertised. Game over.

Cordelia insists that she knew Angel would save her. His people skills are evidently improving, because he has the good sense to acknowledge that Wesley, who is on the floor recovering, was an important part of that saving.

In the brooding basement, they chat as Cordelia is framing her doodle of the ugly grey blobby thing as a thanks for saving her life and a reminder of Doyle’s presence in the office. MY FEELS. DOYLE. BRB, DRYING MY EYES.


Sweeney: Wesley makes a big show of how he’s leaving to go find more evil. He’s clearly waiting for them to ask him to stay and work with them. They don’t bite. Angel is, however, making breakfast for Cordelia and offers Wesley some. This is sufficient opening for Wesley. Cordelia adds that Angel’s cooking is a major job perk, as he is a very good cook for someone who doesn’t actually eat. That’s a precious little Angel fact.

Lor: Spike eats. So maybe brooding makes one feel full. IDK. I’m doing my best here.

Sweeney: Roll credits. I’m still not done being angry for two consecutive EPIC FEELS episodes, but this was a good follow-up to the last episode. Wesley feels like a major downgrade from Doyle, but hopefully he’ll grow on me. This was a good way to handle the immediate fallout for both Angel and Cordelia (her especially) as they are without a Willow or a Giles to give voice to all the feels.

Next time on Angel: Jeremy Renner is a guest star! We don’t actually know what happens in the episode, though. But you can find out in S01 E11 – Somnambulist.

Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. I earned my MA in Global Communications and watching too many YouTube videos. Now people pay me to edit YouTube videos. The circle of life. Reconciling my aversion to leaving the house/wearing pants with my deep desire to explore everything is my life's great struggle.

Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

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  • Jen

    I wasn’t impressed with Wesley in this episode when I first watched it. The only scene involving him that I especially like is when he threatens Angel with the crossbow and Angel’s like, “uh huh…” *swats aside*. Mostly because Angel’s reaction is hilarious. Wesley did grow on me pretty quickly, though, in the next few episodes.

    I like how Angel’s sort of weirdly artsy (his ability to ID the sculpture, here). It adds more depth to his character. The only pre-AtS, non-spoilery evidence of this I can think of is Angelus’s drawing of Buffy asleep in S2. As creepy as it was, it was a very impressive sketch.

    Also, this episode really demonstrates what I love about Cordelia’s character. She doesn’t have any superpowers or fighting skills, but she doesn’t panic when she’s in trouble, and she’s great at coming up with stall tactics under pressure. This makes her super awesome and brave, in my opinion, and it’s a nice call-back to her Sunnydale experiences.

    Finally – Angel and Cordelia’s extremely awkward kiss is hilarious.

  • Jojo

    Yeah – Angel is actually known for his art. Remember the drawings – and his apt had some nice stuff. My impression is that he doesn’t stint himself with the creature comforts. And – yeah – getting close to spoilers. here. Let’s just say – stop thinking of vampires as a group. The only thing we do know is they all pretty much can get killed by stake, fire, beheading and they drink some sort of blood. Beyond that they are as individual as the humans they once were. Spike eats – Angel draws – Dru has visions – Darla….hmmm….Darla has been dusted. And The Master pontificated.

    Yes, he is still fetal Wes. I love the black leather – obviously he is trying to imitate Angel but he is so lacking in the cool. I love Wes, even when he is funny/weird. Alexis Denisoff really does some great stuff with the role. But I really disliked him at first – thought he was just stupid. It’s kind of cool to go back to the beginning after you witness the entire character arc. I’d say that Spike and Wes have the best character arcs – IMHO. He does improve rather quickly – next show is the beginning. I really love his interaction with Angel, and Cordy.

    I love the auction – that is so Cordelia. And you know that she started that to save time, and then got caught up because she was insulted at the amount she was going for.

    And finally – excellent question – what is a rogue demon? Angel shows more demons – many of them peaceful. This is where my hatred of the Initiative began – because they hunt down any demons, even the peaceful ones.

    • Oh, gads. Here I go, agreeing with you again. The black and white thing doesn’t work–not in Whedon’s fictional world or in this one. The willfully blind Initiative is the most definitive evil in the whole Buffyverse.

      • Jojo

        We seem to agree on everything! (Do you have a live journal? There’s a really strong BTVS community there. If you decide to get one, I am spikesjojo – lot’s of terrific fans there. You would love it!)

  • Brenna Murphy

    Because I am totally oblivious to everything ever, I had no idea until recently that Alexis Denisof and Alyson Hannigan were married. Now whenever Wesley is on screen all I can think is “Damn, you were flirting with Willow offscreen and Cordy on. Player.”

    Also, I didn’t know until this post that Glen Quinn died in 2002. Thanks you guys for the extra hit of feels before I go to bed, I’m getting to Angel level brooding over here. Though I don’t look nearly as hot when I do it. *shots*

    • Jen

      This reminds me, I think an entire episode went by without anyone mentioning how hot Angel is!

    • Jojo

      They have two beautiful daughters, too. Every time I run into a photo they just look so happy. BTW – Denisoff just starred in Whedon’s Shakespeare film Much Ado About Nothing along with some other familiar faces.


  • Deborah Wiseman

    So on the whole spike eating/angel not thing. Spike indulges in everything, it’s his character. You know how everyone makes those super obvious “food and sex, yo. they’re totes the same thing!” and angel is his opposite because if he has a smidgen of joy he gets soulless and kill happy. spike can eat, because he can indulge and enjoy everything. and he eats way more food now, because one of his indulgences has been taken away a la initiative. angel is a broodmaster at all things, including food.

    anyway, that’s my theory. and i can’t freaking say anything more because of spoilers BUT OMG WESLEY.

    can i say there’s major development for everyone here?

    angel’s an awesome awesome show in terms of character development. joss whedon is an evil relentless bastard, worse than george r.r. martin.

  • Melodie Hatley

    Yay! I loved Doyle, but I was sitting here waiting for Wesley to come back! He was a complete tool in Buffy, but towards the end, he had an attitude adjustment and just wanted to be part of the team… which was the start of his very long character arc. I absolutely adore Wes. He’s my favorite character in the Buffyverse. Yes, even more than Spike, although not by much. Wes gets a lot of feels from me after this point. He’s just… just… human, I guess, more so than a lot of the other characters. He doubts himself, he has problems, he’s awkward, he doesn’t fit in and he knows it… I really identified with him. So, he gets feels.

    SOON! Soon you will meet the most awesomest character ever, except for Wesley and Spike, both of which you have already met.

  • darkalter2000

    Angel as Angelus traveled all over his home continent and learned the languages… usually to make people suffer in understanding, rather than confusion. He was also at the Boxer Rebelion. The reason he was there is spoilery but it helps demonstrate how around he got in those days. Heck he has lived in America so long he identifies as an American, and he came over here when coming over to America was done with wooden ships, and was a pretty ballsy thing to do.

  • “K: Zachary Quinto will forever scare the living shit out of me courtesy of playing Sylar. ”

    This. All of this. That role was so, so creepy, that no matter how big of a Star Trek fan I am, I could not get over the Sylar squick factor.

  • Anagnorisis

    Wesley!! I am really excited to see his character development. I still can’t connect the two versions of Wesley, feels like two different characters, but that’s because I missed a lot of episodes in between XD
    Nice episode, it was ok, not great. I’d like to see more of Cordelia dealing with the visions, that was a great part. Also: Cangel kiss!
    (I’m May García Velloso from the last Buffy epi but I didn’t like my profile picture and couldn’t find a way to change it, so I’m connected as Anagnorisis now)

  • SnazzyO

    I’ll add my Wesley squee here. Don’t give up on him, it gets better.

    I also spotted a prototype character for a later fabulous character and just realized it with this go-round. Who knew?

    I liked Angel’s humor in this one. LOVED Cordy’s feels and her sassy at the auction. Like the bidders too.

  • Angi Black

    I’m so excited Wesley is finally here. He is a great add to this cast. I promise. You’ll come around.

    And re: last Buffy recap…you don’t find Jared Padalecki attractive????? I’m not sure what to do with this information, but I kinda feel like my life is a lie right now.

    • Melodie Hatley

      Jared Padalecki looks like a drowned dog. :-/ He’s got puppy dog eyes, but everything else is just … ew. 😛

  • It’s funny that you say that Wesley feels like a downgrade from Doyle, because I just finished watching the whole series and it’s like: Doyle? Aww, he was cool and I miss him. But OMG WESLEEEEEEEEY!! Possibly with more exclamation points. He may be my favorite character in the Buffyverse. He definitely had my favorite character arc. It’s not quite as drastic an arc as my second favorite character’s, but it’s just freaking awesome.

  • XXm0rt

    Patience, good things come to those who wait ^_^
    Also, stubble and angst do wonders for a mans sex appeal…

    • Jojo

      But don’t get spoilered by these photos….ahem!

      • XXm0rt

        I don’t see anything spoilery about them? If you’ve seen the series before and recognize the scenes you know what’s going on, otherwise they’re dramatic looking shots taken at random…

        • Jojo

          They do show the future of the show. Yeah – we told Lorraine he turns in a BAMF but we never showed her how gorgeous he is. Now she can make educated guesses. And besides I wasted too much time checking out those photos….for spoilers not for fun. Better go check them again…just in case.

          (BTW – no one panic – XX and I know each other well. This will not turn into any sort of flame war. Dani refuses to lend me any of her dragons).

          • XXm0rt

            But…but…what if I wanted to start a flame war? o_o
            I was looking forward to calling you insulting names and casting aspersions on yer mother…

          • Jojo

            Insulting names – eh, Spawn of Satan!
            Cast aspersion on your own mother….or not….well, leave Grandma out of it. She has a walker and she knows how to use it!

    • Alex

      Pardon me while I drool…

      But I agree that Lorraine and Sweeney probably shouldn’t look at these photos.

  • Polge Clément

    I’ll just say what everyone else has said: Welsey’s growth is AMAZING. I would watch Angel only for him.

    Think how much Angel changed in half a season, Wesley just arrived, now it’s time for him to reveal his true potential, and become a super-wesley.

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  • SonicRulez

    AtS heaps a ton of layers on Angel since he’s been around for hundreds of years and to Joss that means he had time to go full Groundhog Day and learn all of the things. He’ll randomly bust out all sorts of random talents all the way through to Season 5. It’s nuts, but they’re usually endearing like cooking and opera.

    I think the bit where Wes wants an invitation and Angel offers him eggs is pretty sweet.