Angel S01 E22 – Giving Angel a hand.

Previously: Angel broke into Wolfram & Hart to steal files that would rescue some kids, and The Powers That Be Contriving encouraged him to grab an ancient prophecy about himself while he was at it.

To Shanshu in L.A.

Sweeney: Woo more finales! This double finale thing is fun. Especially now that it’s summer and all my actually-still-on-the-air-and-not-a-decade-old shows are deserting me. Super rude.

This finale begins with Wesley trying to decode the Scrolls of Prophetic Contrivance, and Cordelia being a pest. He’s struggling with the word “Shanshu” which I wouldn’t have caught or cared about, but it’s in the title. Only part of the title, though, so no gold star for you yet, Wesley. Cordelia wants Wesley to figure out what it says about Angel so he can move on to her fortune-telling, but Wesley’s not having her shit. Angel found it amusing, though.


Kirsti: Wesley even throws a pen across the room. It’s pretty great.

Sweeney: Out in the halls, ominous cameras are reading the directory for this building. I don’t understand how other things happen in this building. Don’t people complain about all the breaking glass and stuff? In my headcanon, the contrivance bank account that allowed Angel to have this office/basement in the first place also covered the cost of the rest of the building, which he just left abandoned or something. Anyway, Cordelia reads in the newspaper that Lindsey just got promoted, so that whole reform thing didn’t work out.

K: Womp womp.

Lorraine: It must’ve been a very, very slow news day in LOS ANGELES. Also, Wesley says that Lindsey sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver, because he’s Judas? And Angel is Jesus? OKAY.

Sweeney: AngelJesus hears the ominous cameras and notes that it’s a little late for visitors. He approaches the purple-cape-wearing “visitor” only for it to be Mr. Nerdy Money Bags, as if someone heard us wondering about the endless dolla dolla billz Angel has for no apparent reason. Mr. Nerdy Money Bags blew off business stuff to come “hang” with them. He fanboys about all the cool magical stuff that must happen in Angel’s office.

He asks if they’ve seen any cool demons lately as our way to segue magic to some weird robed guys chanting about bringing someone of pure darkness into the light. They casually walk away as their circle of magic dust erupts and what I can only assume is He Of Pure Darkness appears in the flames. His suit looks kind of like it was made out of duct tape. Boss Man, Lilah, and Lindsey are there to welcome this guy to Wolfram & Hart. Electric Cello time.

After the Electric Cellos, Mr. Nerdy Money Bags awkwards some more and leaves because of his painful lack of social skills.

Lor: He didn’t really bug me before, but it’s strange to me that a show ran by a big ole nerd would rely on such an obvious and painful portrayal of one. Seriously, a shiny, purple cape?

Sweeney: He got more campy and ridiculous here than he was in the previous episode. The shiny purple cape was a step too far.

Wesley suddenly realizes what Shanshu means and runs back into Angel’s office and flips around some more books before confirming that it means death. Cordelia babbles about a potential raise while Wesley tries to be consoling with this news that it must mean that the vampire with the soul (as the prophecy never calls Angel out by name) has to die after the coming battles. Angel, for all Wesley’s efforts, appears in no need of comforting and keeps reading his book, adding, “Anything else?” I guess he’s seen a few apocalyptic prophecies in his day.

K: Plus, he’s died once already, AND been trapped in a hell dimension for a millionty years. So 4,000 year old prophecy? Pfff, whatevs.

Lor: Nice try ladies. In our heads this is, “pffft!” In real life this is, “BROOOOD.”

Sweeney: It wouldn’t be the finale of Angel without a sizable helping of brood. He stirs from that brood when Cordelia starts to have another Migraine Premonition. Homeless woman vs a very smelly slime demon who lives behind a waste treatment plant. After Angel leaves, Cordelia complains to Wesley about how annoying the “scratch and sniff visions” are, threatening to issue a beat down to The Powers That Be (Contriving) if she ever meets them.

Back at Wolfram & Hart, the Duct Tape Demon is way pissed that they lost the scrolls. Lindsay offers to get them back, but Duct Tape Demon tells him to STFU and stay out of his way. He gets even angrier when he learns that Angel is the one who stole the scrolls, because Duct Tape Demon was summoned to sever Angel’s ties to The Powers That Be (Contriving), and Angel having the scrolls basically means that his connection to TBTB(C) is complete. Lilah adds that Angel can’t have made a full study of the scrolls, and Duct Tape Demon says he won’t have that opportunity before making his dramatic exit.

Elsewhere, cops are arriving on the scene of where we can assume Angel was headed. Two random cops comment that they knew Kate would show, because everyone now believes she’s crazy. (K: Her current hair situation lends itself to the confirmation of this belief.) Kate gets out of her car and heads back to investigate, telling them to stay put. I don’t know why they were just standing around doing nothing in the first place, except to demonstrate some characteristic inept police work from members of The Traumaland Unified Police Departments.

Kate goes back to see Angel comforting and escorting a crazy homeless woman out. The homeless woman leaves on her own when Kate arrives so that they can have an intense conversation about the slime demon. Kate brats to Angel about how he’s not even a person so he should STFU and she’s all about ridding the city of his kind, the kind that killed her father.

I really appreciate that Kate wasn’t instantly all right with the demon thing. I think that they have done a lot of really great things with writing that, and I get that the death of her father adds another element to it. That said, I don’t know how many more scenes like this I can take. It’s starting to get repetitive, and make Kate’s character feel very static.

K: Agreed. Either become a vampire hunting vigilante, like Gunn, or suck it up and deal with the fact that Angel’s not responsible for your father’s death, girl.

Sweeney: Back at Brooding HQ, Wesley is getting his own brood on, as he has now extra confirmed that the prophecy is about death. Cordelia is very blase about it, because Angel faces death about as often as normal guys face waffles. (K: And, apparently, as often as Cordy faces dipping approximately half her face in glittery lavender coloured eyeshadow… Wowsers.) Wesley is less upset about the death prophecy than by how casually Angel took the news.

Cordelia still doesn’t get what the big deal is, but Wesley goes on to say that Angel is cut off and isn’t concerned by the idea of death because there is nothing in life that he wants. “He’s got a soul, but he’s not a part of the world. He can never be part of the world.” Wesley takes Cordelia’s doughnut away (rude!) and continues:

Wesley: What connects us to life?
Cordelia: Right now? I’m going with doughnuts.
Wesley: What connects us to life is the simple truth that we’re a part of it. We live. We grow. We change. But Angel —
Cordelia: Can’t do any of those things. What are you saying, Wesley? That Angel has nothing to look forward to? That he’s going to go on forever, the same, in the world, but always cut off from it.
Wesley: Yes.
Cordelia: Well that sucks!

Sorry, long quote is long, but I liked it.

Lor: It just reminds me of Doyle.

All this was basically Doyle’s gospel. And then Angel lost Doyle. And then Angel re-lost Buffy. And then Angel lost faith in humanity and his ability to do good. Broooood.


Wesley doesn’t think that there is anything he can do, and Cordelia shows us her awesome side with her determination to fix this. “He’s Angel. He’s good. He helps the helpless, and now he’s one of them.”

With that, Angel arrives, and she’s trying to push coffee or doughnuts on him and gets upset when he laughs that he doesn’t want anything.

K: Wait. Does her pushing doughnuts on him mean that he eats now? Because GODDAMMIT WHEDON. (L: LOL.)

Sweeney: Wesley awkwardly tries to clue Angel in to the fact that they were just discussing how he doesn’t want many things from life. Cordelia says she’s going to fix his cut-off-from-life problem with a puppy or a ficus or an ant farm, all suggestions that are shot down by Angel’s blank stare.



Wesley takes that as his cue to head off for more books to help with the decoding. He adds that Angel should take this as an opportunity to consult the oracles, but Angel’s not having any of that. He will keep the scrolls locked up while Wesley’s gone though. Cordelia just stands there being precious.


Kirsti: Angel heads back down to the Brooding Basement with a book, and we cut over to the Oracles. They’re super pissed about being summoned by some gross poor person type who didn’t even bring them a present, and the camera pans around to show us that their icky unwanted visitor is the Duct Tape Demon. They basically tell him that evil isn’t allowed in there and to GTFO. He puts his hand behind his back, conjures up some kind of scythe-y thing, and grins in a crazy eyes way.

Lor: The Oracles probably deserve to be killed because they stood there stupidly for way too long. But okay. Avenue #1 to The Powers That Be (Contriving) cut off.

K: True. Cut to an open air market. Cordy looks at some paints and figures that Angel likes art and needs a hobby, so they’ll probably be helpful. (S: Another fun Angel + Art reference! I saw a thing on Tumblr about Angel/Art being someone’s favorite ship. I LOL’d and reblogged because, you know +1.) (K: I reblogged your reblog, because OBVS.) The stall owner, who has INSANE canine teeth that make me think she’s a secret beastie, says that art therapy really helps mental patients so she’s probably right. LOL.

Duct Tape Demon billowy-cloaks his way through the crowd to a Cordy who’s now bought half the stall. He touches her hand as he passes, and she looks around in surprise. But there’s no one there. She gets a vision and screams in pain, causing everyone to stare. It passes, and she gets out her phone to call Angel with the details. Then a second vision hits, and she screams again. But this vision doesn’t end. She sees person after person in need of help, and ends up crying and screaming in the foetal position as everyone at the market walks past. Eventually, the stall owner runs over and yells for someone to call 911.

Sweeney: The screaming in agony is something that can easily miss the mark by being overdone and coming across too ridic to be believable, so points to Charisma Carpenter for making me genuinely uncomfortable and sad for her during this.

Lor: And fuck everyone WHO WALKED BY HER and didn’t do anything to help. People suck. Also, avenue #2 to The Powers That Be (Contriving)? Done for. 

K: Conclusion? L.A. is full of arseholes. Seizure cut to the office. Duct Tape Demon billowy-cloaks his way in. Angel walks down the stairs to the Brooding Basements staring at the prophecy. Then he rolls it up, puts it back in the Spirit Stick and shoves it at the back of his weapons cupboard. REALLY SECURE, ANGEL. Great hiding spot. He locks the cupboard door and pockets the key, then gets a “something’s there” vibe as he walks across the room.

He heads back to unlock the cupboard, but is interrupted by the phone ringing. He answers, asks what happened to Cordy, and then says that he’s on his way. He runs out towards the sewers. Once he leaves, Duct Tape Demon appears. He breaks the lock on the cupboard door with no effort whatsoever, and takes the Spirit Stick. There are weird conjuring-y noises, then he closes the cupboard and leaves.

Lor: It pretty much sounds like he left a phone off the hook inside the cupboard, but that isn’t nearly nefarious enough.

K: More or less. Cut to the psychiatric ward at the hospital. Angel runs down the corridor and says that he’s looking for Cordelia. The nurse says that he’ll have to wait, but he hears Cordy screaming and runs towards the room. A bunch of nurses are holding her down as the doctor orders another round of sedatives. When Angel runs in, the doctor says he can’t be there, but he says he’s family. Awww.

Sweeney: This was the cutest thing. It’s not the first time this season we’ve been reminded of their chosen family. We already talked about it on today’s Buffy finale, but, again, it’s a huge theme across the Buffyverse, that family can be a thing you choose.



Kirsti: He gets asked a bunch of questions about her mental history and whether or not she uses drugs, and then the doctor tells him that they’ve been trying to sedate her but it’s not working. Angel looks desperate and begs Cordelia to hear him. Nothing changes though. The doctor tells him that if the drugs don’t work DOT DOT DOT, and he runs off in search of another solution.

Meanwhile, Wesley’s arrived back at the office. He heads down to the Brooding Basement and sees the broken weapons cupboard. He opens the door – which seems dumb because it’s making hella weird noises – and then backs away in horror.

Cut to outside and Angel driving towards the building. He pulls up and walks towards the building just as the entire ground floor explodes, throwing him across the street. Cut to the Now Flamey Brooding Basement. Angel fights his way in, yelling Wesley’s name. He finds him on the stairs, bleeding and unconscious, and WHUT. The ENTIRE BUILDING just exploded. There’s no way that a) the basement would be that intact, or b) that Wesley would have survived considering he was like A METRE from the origin point. But okay, show. Whatever. Angel carries Wes out of the building.

Sweeney: +1 to the general lack of sense-making in this scene. I’m glad Wesley’s not dead, but he definitely should be after that.

Lor: Also, this really had nothing to do with Angel’s connection to TBTB(C) but with Wesley out and Angel Investigations flaming, Angel is FOR REAL cut off from all things.

K: NO THINGS FOR ANGEL. Cut to some unspecified time later and Wes being loaded into an ambulance. Angel’s all jittery and freaked on account of a) someone blew up his office, and b) his two best friends are basically at death’s door. So he’s none too thrilled when Kate bitches her way over and tells him that he’s not allowed to leave because he’s a witness to a crime. He basically tells her that he ain’t got time for her shit, and that if homegirl wants to be enemies, bring it on. Based on the serious case of bitch face and crazy eyes she gives his back as he leaves, I’m guessing that will prove to be a bad decision.

Sweeney: Kate, I appreciated you for a while, but I’m with Angel at the party of So Over Your Bullshit.


Seriously, I cheered on his moment of bitchiness so much.

Sweeney: GIF win, right here. ALL THE CHEERING.

K: So much. Over at the hospital, Wes is in the ICU and hooked up to all kinds of monitors and IVs. Angel stands by his bed for a minute, then walks sadly away. He heads over to the psych ward to visit Cordy, who’s now moved past screaming into silent crying. He tells her that he’s going to fix it, because he needs her back. As he lets go of her hand, he notices a black symbol drawn on the back of it.

Lor: Also, she’s borrowed a little bit of Faith’s coma make-up. Girl looks rough.

K: She really does. Cut to Angel asking to see the Oracles. He’s granted entry only to find them both dead on the floor. The ghost of the female Oracle appears, and basically says that shit’s getting serious. It includes the line “I’ve been dead a while, and so far I don’t like it,” which I find strangely awesome. (S: +1) Angel asks for help, and shows her the mark that was on Cordy’s hand. Apparently it’s Duct Tape Demon’s symbol. His name is Vocah, and he’s a warrior of the underworld. He asks how to stop him, and the ghost starts to fade.

Summary: save the cheerleader, save the world. Oh, sorry. Wrong show. Find the scroll, save Cordy. Also, Duct Tape Demon “hides behind man’s law.” She fades for good, and Angel promises to stop him. He grabs the blood covered scythe and I hand over to Lor for the big finale.


Lorraine: We cut to Gunn and his merry band of gentle-thugs loading up their killer truck with food donations. Angel drives up and gets straight to the point of asking Gunn for help. Gunn tries to joke about Angel looking a little pale, but he’s all, “FOOL. MY PEOPLE ARE IN THE HOSPITAL.” For his part, Gunn gets the seriousness of the situation as Angel asks him to protect Cordy and Wesley while he goes after Vocah.

Despite a long establishing shot, I have no idea where we are. Inside, though, there’s lots of white marble so perhaps the temple of the Oracles.

K: My money’s on “some kind of mausoleum-y thing,” which is based solely on watching too much Alias and Supernatural…

Lor: Okay! We’ll go with that.

Inside, there are a bunch of vampires chained to a wooden box. The Duct Tape Affiliated Monks are chanting stuff as the Duct Tape Demon enters and chants his little bit, and it gets the earth a’quaking. The camera man zooms in on the wooden box but we can’t see if there is anything in there. Thanks for nothing, Zoomy Camera Man.

After a cut to black, we see that Angel is lurking in some shadows just outside of Wolfram & Hart. Lilah asks Holland if they will be late, but he’s of the mind that they can skip some of the chanting and blood rites. Before they head off, Holland tells Lindsey that the senior partners are watching, and he better not let them down. Holland gets in the car and Lilah takes this moment to remind Lindsey of that one time someone named Robert Price let the senior partners down and they made him eat his liver. I’m not sure how they de-livered him and them made him eat it, BUT OKAY.

K: Ew. Even if it’s like that Greek myth where an eagle ripped out the guy’s liver every day and it grew back by magic overnight…

Lor: Angel watches as the Wolfram and Hart caravan heads off. He hops in his Broodmobile and follows.

Sweeney: Getting some A+ lurking in, another essential Angel trope to work into the finale.

Lor: Back in the mausoleum , Vocah is still doing his ritual. There are five vampires, we see now, so he keeps saying things like, “five are without soul,” and “five are without sun,” and his monks reply, “yet they live.” The Wolfram lawyers arrive and Holland comments that they haven’t even gotten to the Latin yet.

Vocah stops his ceremony because he hears the trill of the Something is Out There music. He makes his scythe appear and Angel comes crashing through some window. If you thought the season finale wouldn’t include Angel crashing into something, you must be new here. Welcome.

K: Crashing through things while dramatic music plays is what Angels do best.

Lor: As Holland watches Vocah and Angel in their scythe-off, he sing-songs Lindsey’s name. We get some more of Vocah and Angel fighting and soon Lindsey is all FUCK IT. CHANTING DIDN’T LOOK TOO HARD. So he picks up the scroll and is all, “Latin? I GOT THIS.” as Vocah keeps fighting Angel.

Apparently Lindsey’s Latin is right on point, because the chained vampires are magically dusted. Their combined dust makes a funnel around the wooden box, then disappears as a bright light pulses out of the box and throws Lindsey up against the marble wall. And kids, this is why we don’t randomly decide we can do rituals all by ourselves, okay? Just Say No to Latin.

Sweeney: If I weren’t so opposed to Snark Squad ever endorsing anything anti-education, I would be putting this on a t-shirt IMMEDIATELY. Because seriously, kids. Just Say No.

Lor: Angel is still fighting as Holland commands the wooden box removed from the mausoleum. Angel finally gets the upper hand in the fight and manages to take Vocah’s face mask off, revealing a missing nose and maggots and general nastiness I will now try to forget forever. (K: GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSS) Angel scythes him in the face.

Lindsey is all OH SHIT and grabs a nearby makeshift weapon. Angel calmly asks for the scroll but Lindsey doesn’t want to give it up. He goes on a bit about how he had a crisis and Angel helped him pick a side. These Wolfram and Hart lawyers really boggle my mind. They deal with baddies constantly, and yet walk around with this invincible swagger. LINDSEY. STFU. GIVE HIM THE SCROLL. HE WILL EAT YOU.

But no. He’s going to speech some more about it being foretold that Wolfram & Hart are to separate Angel from TBTP(C). Lindsey moves to burn the scroll in a nearby torch AND ANGEL THROWS THE SCYTHE AND CUTS HIS MOTHER FUCKING HAND OFF.

A few gifs per episode | Angel - 1x22 - “To Shanshu in L.A.”


K: My notes at this point say “Ooooooooooh snap. Shit just got Game of Thrones-y up in here.” Apparently Note Taking Kirsti is a lot less eloquent than actual Kirsti…

Sweeney: Except hand-chopping-off on GoT gave me feelings of general, “WUT? WHY WHY WHY?”


Whereas this was just awesome. “Oh, you won’t let go of that thing I want? And I already hate you and hate that I can’t do anything about how much I hate you? THEN I’LL TAKE YOUR FUCKING HAND OFF.


Lor: EXACTLY. Angel for his part looks super pained about having to have cut someone’s hand off, but seriously, this is some of the best kind of violence. I approve so heartily.

He cut his hand off. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha.

Oh, crap, and then we get a shot of Lindsey’s rubber hand as Angel grabs the scroll and awful puns, “don’t believe everything you are foretold.” You had to ruin this moment for me, didn’t you? Angel billowy-coats out of there.

We fade to Cordy in her coma make-up as Wesley’s voice reads from the scroll about how if the beast touches you, you are going to go crazy. But Wesley says the magic words, there is a flash of light, and Cordelia comes back to herself.

K: The magic words, incidentally, are “Unbind, unbind, unbind.” Obviously, this instantly reminded me of when Wesley told Buffy that the three key words for any Slayer were, “preparation, preparation, preparation,” and she replied, “that’s one word three times.”

Lor: Cordelia smiles lovingly at Angel before her face crumbles into a little silent cry. Great work by Charisma here as she turns and looks at Wesley also. She tells Angel that she saw all those people in pain, and they have to help them. Angel agrees that they will.

A few gifs per episode | Angel - 1x22 - “To Shanshu in L.A.”

Sometime later at Cordelia’s apartment, she’s busy in the kitchen while Wesley is still busy translating the ancient prophecies. He finds a bit about the Beast of Amalfie, a razor-toothed, six-eyed harbinger of death, but wait, that isn’t due to rise until 2003 in Reseeda. Wesley doesn’t know what they raised in the wooden box.

Cordy says that Wesley’s been looking for answers for two days, but he needs rest and also eat a sandwich. She also hands Angel a cup of blood. He looks at her hesitantly, but she says, “don’t be embarrassed. We’re family.” AW. YOU GUYS.

K: Team Heartless Cow has the warm and fuzzies.

Lor: Wesley and Angel still look at Cordy like she’s still crazy. When Cordy asks what their deal is, Angel says that Wesley isn’t used to the new her. She says that she knows what’s out in the big bad world now, and that they have a lot of people to help. Then she insults Wesley and reminds Angel he’s about to die. Good ole Cordy.

Wes then realizes he made a mistake. Shanshu doesn’t mean die, it means live. The prophecies aren’t saying he’s going to die, they’res saying he’s going to live… as a human. Once the vampire with a soul fulfills his destiny, his reward will be that he will be made human. Angel kind of blankly stares at them as Wesley clarifies that he’s going to have to face a lot of fiends and apocalypses before this happens. I think this piece of news makes Angel happier than the human part of it.

We cut to Wolfram & Hart where the bestie in the wooden box is being kept in the vault. Lindsey has his arm in a sling. BECAUSE REMEMBER? ANGEL CUT HIS HAND OFF. Holland is all, “the bosses are pretty impressed you sacrificed your hand,” and Lindsey looks at him like, “I HATE YOU.”

K: Not gonna lie, I was kind off waiting for Holland to give Lindsey a hand made out of silver light, like the one Voldemort gives to Peter Pettigrew. 

Lor: Alas.

Holland promises that they will get Angel back, starting with what’s in the box.

Lilah walks up to the box and coos at whoever’s in there that things are confusing now, but they will be better soon. We pan back to reveal that it’s none other than Darla.

Interesting that this whole ancient ritual would be all about bringing Darla back.

At any rate, I’m pretty sure shit’s gonna get real for Angel next season.

See you there!


Next time on Angel: I just told you. Shit’s gonna get real. Join us for the new season in S02 E01 – Judgement.


Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. I spend too much time on YouTube. 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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  • SnazzyO

    I’m pretty sure “To Shanshu in LA” is a play on the movie “To Live and Die in LA”. See if Wesley had JUST read the episode title he would know that Shanshu means both Live AND Die so Angel will live and then eventually die…cause he’s HUMAN. Just sayin’

    Excellent recap. I especially LOVE the Duct Tape Demon name.

    Oh Kirsti are you spoiled? If not one of your off-the-cuff remarks is going to come back to haunt you. (Sorry not telling due to Angel Virginity presence but it made me do a spit-take)

    I LOVE the family gif. It gives me warm feels. And yes, Shit Just Got Real. I love that they cut off Lindsey’s hand for being an asshat. And they blew up their main set! Well done Props & Set team! And Cordy was adorable about getting Angel a hobby but I think a puppy would be bad because it would bring back broodful memories of Angelus nailing a puppy to a door that one time…squick.

    BTW does anyone now have trauma every time we see Dennis being bricked up to the tune of electric cellos? It’s bugging me.

    • Kirsti is spoiled but I will let her answer to what extent she remembers plot lines and such.

      I was just thinking about the puppy being adorable, but yeah. Probably not great for McBroody. UGH.

      YES. That scene was still one of the squickiest we’ve seen on Angel, for real. You can tell because in today’s Buffy when Joyce was behind the wall, I was all, “OMG DENNIS. GET HIM OUT NOW.”


    • Melbourne on my Mind

      If by “spoiled” you mean “have seen the show before”, then yes. Lor and Sweeney haven’t seen it before, but I have.

      • SnazzyO

        So did you pick up on which comment set me off (hint S5)?

        • Melbourne on my Mind

          That would require me rereading the entire post again, and I’ve already read it like seven times in the course of writing and commenting on Lor and Sweeney’s stuff, so…no 😉

          • SnazzyO

            No worries i”ll remind you when it happens

  • Anagnorisis

    Angel To Shanshu in LA
    Cordy: “Nobody gets my humor.” Angel: “I thought it was funny”. Awww, just kiss already
    Nabbit, what is the point of you? Why is this character here?
    Uhhh, it’s about death. Sucks. (Wait! If Angel is Jesus, he is going to die for our sins and then resuscitate? Awesome!)
    Kate, I understand your point, but you are this close to being a little annoying.
    “…scream like a girl…” Cordy, you should know better.
    “It’s our desires that make us human.” That’s very lacanian (also, ‘lacanian’ autocorrects to ‘maniacal’ in my Google Chrome, this is so funny to me), but it’s one of the few theories of him that I agree, actually it’s the fact that we are not perfect, we are missing something, we always will miss something and we will want to have what we don’t have, wanting, desiring something is what keeps us alive.
    In other words, if you watched the perfect episode of a tv series, then you would never be able to watch another episode of anything in your life. If you lived the perfect day, you would never live another day.
    Sorry, back to the episode. Sometimes I get possessed by the psychologist that is in me, I can’t control her, help!
    Yes! A puppy! Make this happen, show! (I love that Angel doesn’t even answer).
    Aww, Cordy bought Angel a present! Well, that looks painful. Sucks.
    “Are you family” “Yes” <3
    And there goes Wesley.
    This is not the moment, Kate, maybe you should watch the show or something.
    "I need you back" Ugg, stop. You are not making me fell anything. No. Not at all.
    Haha, Lilah teasing Lindsey, and lol at Holland wanting to be late.
    I'm reading the transcript now (because of memory and English and having a lot of free time) and I found Lindsey's lines in Latin (I know, I should have said no to Latin), translated:
    Lindsey (in Latin): "And the five shall be a sacrifice… and the one who is dead shall live…"
    Lindsey (in Latin): "Even as life and death are not two things but one… in darkness is the light, in light is the darkness. Arise! Arise! Arise!"
    I knew you all wanted to know that (?).
    Bye Lindsey's hand. Wait, this means Lindsey is Luke now? Or Anakin? Maybe that's the whole point. Which side of the force he really belongs to?
    Or maybe he is just Buster. Please tell me he screams: I'm a monster!!
    Well, that was a missed opportunity.
    Wait, I forgot about Peter Pettigrew! What's with the whole cutting someone's hand that is so popular? It totally has something to do with castration. There is the psychologist again.
    "We have to help them" "We will". How awesome is this development? I love when one thing (giving Cordy all this visions at the same time) serves to different purposes: define Voca (sp?) as a villain, make Angel want something, make having the prophecy back a priority, and develop Cordy's character.
    So it means "live". Live and Die. To Shanshu in LA. To Live and Die in LA. BRILLIANT.
    Also, it was too good not to use it at some point.

    Random: the last word of the season is said by Lilah (!) and it's "Darla".
    The first word of the season was "Los" from Los Angeles.
    And that is very important! Because… no, it doesn't mean anything, i just like to point facts.

    • Interesting how quickly Kate became annoying. I think the biggest problem is that they only ever show her for a few minutes at a time, and every time it’s the same damn thing with her. So, while her reaction is totally believable, ALRIGHT ALREADY.

      Your inner psychologist, eh? 😉

      Los Darla, eh? Between this and the Cheese Man we have oodles to dissect!

      • Anagnorisis

        My inner psychologist! Now I have to write a trashy novel that includes pages of me fighting with my inner psychologist.

        I’ll call it: Fifty Shades of Freud.

        I’ll be rich!

  • Danna

    I find it interesting that Wes discovers the prophecy is about Angel turning human since in this episode he seems to have an epiphany about the fact that he really cares about Cordelia and Wes and considers them family. So he sort of becomes human…like. It won’t last.

    This review was hysterical!!

    • Very nicely connected. Wesley says he’s losing his connection to humanity, and he very much is reminded of that when he loses so many things close to him.

      Thank you! Most of the credit goes to Angel chopping off Lindsey’s hand! THAT WAS SO GREAT.

  • darkalter2000

    The prophesies of Abersha. I always forgot what the actual scroll’s name is. I also forgot that the scroll was magic in and of itself as well. It makes things that happen later make sense. Also I forgot that Angel gave up humanity the first time specifically for Buffy and it made the Shanshu prophecy stuff seem weird. I forgot a great deal of important shit my first couple watches through on this show.

    Minor Points
    After he says “Welcome to Wolfram & Hart” Holland’s face does not match up with the words he says at all. Super bad editing.
    All Angel’s nice things. All gone 🙁

    • I will remember not to forget then. Hopefully. Probably.

      AGREED! When Wesley said that Angel would be human, I had a very “…oh.” moment. That didn’t seem like a thing he wanted, remember? I mean, I guess he didn’t want it in that moment because of his whole redemption journey, but whatever. My knee-jerk was to be all, “he already returned that gift.”

      Plus, when you start talking about Angel as human, any lingering Bangel feels get agitated, and I don’t like to linger there.

      ALL HIS WEAPONS AND OLD BOOKS. There is no replacing old books. 🙁

      • darkalter2000

        “Returned that gift” 🙂
        I love the way you put that.

  • Jen

    I like Kate overall, but even for me she really breaks the b*tch-o-meter here. Seriously, Angel’s whole office building/house is burning in front of her, his friend is being carted away in an ambulance, and she gives him a hard time?! Not cool. I definitely cheered when Angel (finally) called her out on her attitude towards him.

    Lindsey is a MORON. Dude, Lindsey, W&H can’t possibly pay you enough to pick a fight with Angel while armed only with a cross on a stick. Now maybe if you had a super soaker filled with holy water…

    Re: Cordy offering Angel a doughnut – I can only think of 4 times in the entire series where Angel actually eats something (3 shown explicitly), so I think it’s pretty accurate to say that he generally doesn’t like food and will only eat it under special circumstances.

    Cordelia is adorable here, and the Fang Gang is at their best, so I A+ this episode. It’s one of my favorites to re-watch.

    • Jen

      Oh I meant to add:

      If the 5 vampires chained to the box were into teamwork, they could’ve totally escaped by all moving the box in the same direction. They were trapped by tug-of-war.

      Silly, uncooperative, evil vamps. 🙂

      • Yeeeaaaah… Let’s chalk it up to some magic vampire entrapment spell… Something like that.

    • Polge Clément

      To be fair to Kate, her dad did just die and she discovered the existence of demons, there’s bound to be a bit of trauma and systematic rejection of the supernatural here. It’s mostly grating because most characters seem to be ok with it, so she’s the “realisitic” character in an unrealistic world.

      • Jen

        I like Kate for exactly that reason. She’s believable. She just gets on my nerves in this particular episode.

      • I mentioned to another commenter but I’m not against her “realistic” reaction so much as I am against her repetitive reaction. It’s less of a, “this is stupid” and more of a, “ALRIGHT ALREADY.”

    • Agreed about Kate. I mean, I don’t expect her to be particularly caring of Angel’s feels, but then she should have expected Angel’s brat-back.

      RIGHT? I guess I get different character motivations to be involved in all this supernatural stuff, but DUDE. VALUE YOUR LIFE.

      I think the food thing only really bothers Kirsti. I’m kind of over that one because whether or not the vamps eat food is of little consequence. The sunlight thing still bothers me, though, because of that whole erupting into flames thing, which is a pretty big deal.

      This is one of my favorite Cordelia episodes. I tend to like when she’s doing less of that ditzy, self involved thing…

  • Polge Clément

    I totally agree with this post: Angel cutting Lindsey’s hand is A-AWESOME, and Wesley surviving the explosion is Indiana-Jones-nuclear-bomb-in-a-fridge worthy.

    First time I saw the show I didn’t even recognise Darla… After all, she was a secondary character in Buffy season 1, and more often than not in vamp make-up. But it’s nice to have her back, and her she gets to create some pretty amazing storylines. Not saying any more to avoid getting all spoilery.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      Part of me is now wondering how much of the “including all the Terrible Wig Flashbacks” was to reacquaint the viewers with Darla before bringing her back for season 2. And YES to the Indiana Jones style plausibility.

  • Polge Clément

    As for the hand cutting: I was watching “Dead Like Me” recently, and at one moment Rube quotes Charlie Chaplin by saying the difference between comedy and drama, and it goes something like this (i’m paraphrasing, I don’t have the exact quote): “people falling, getting hit by stuff, all that’s funny, but then you get closer, close enough to see the pain, and it’s not funny anymore”, and I think it applies SO. MUCH. in this episode. Lindsey is being an ass and Angel just cut his hands off with a shrug a one of his trademark lame pun. We’re far, so it’s funny (plus we hate Lindsey).

    Cut to Game of Thrones, and the hand cutting with that huge close-up and the pain, and it’s not funny anymore. Even with someone we’re barely supposed to have feelings for.

    I don’t have any point with this, except noting how writing and direction can transform something dramatic in something funny.

    • Melbourne on my Mind

      I’m starting to regret making a Game of Thrones related joke, seeing as how I don’t watch the show and all… I’ve only seen it in gif form, and it took me at least ten times through the gif to even work out what was happening. So based on like two seconds worth of footage, it seemed similar enough to make the joke. Apparently not. Womp womp.

      • Polge Clément

        Oh no the parallel was funny, and I still burst out laughing everytime I see Angel cutting Lindsey’s hand (or talking about it), it just reminded me of that quote which seems really appropriate since we didn’t laugh as much on GoT 🙂

        But anyway, with what happened recently on GoT, I think everyone aggrees that losing a hand isn’t that bad after all.

        • I love this. It’s the same action but two completely different reactions from the viewing public. Plus, in Angel’s case, I think it was very reactionary. He needed that scroll to save Cordy’s life and it’s a second away from being up in flames. To be fair, Angel seems to have a lot less fun with it than we do. Jaime’s case was totally different. He was being a dick, but there was no immediate need or reason to cut Jaime’s hand.


  • Jojo

    I have always considered Kate to be a low rate Buffy!surrogate who lacked chemistry so badly that they decided to make her a low rate repetitive annoyance. But this episode gives me lots of HUGE FEELS about Cordy in pain, and Wesley having a really good personal bubble which locks out explosives. Or maybe Wesley was appalled at something else – like a corset in extra large with high heel shoes that sparkle – and a huge poster of Rocky Horror starring Angel as Frank-n-furter And therefore the bomb was not anywhere near the stairs.

    Sorry – derailed my train of thought. Okay, Wesley is in pain and still struggling to help everyone on the team, and so is Angel. And – here is the real question – why the hell would anyone want to become human? I mean he has the mass murderer impulse under control. So he’s gonna give up on super everything and immortality to become….boring. Meh?

    • So THAT’S what Angel kept locked in the cabinet. Everything makes so much more sense now. Thank you.

      I mentioned to a commenter above that I was thrown off by the human thing too, because he basically had it for a couple of hours and was all, “nah! Not for me!” He didn’t seem very happy about the development either, but that may just have been cruddy DB acting.

      • Jojo

        Yeah – and there is more to the prophecy of contrivance that is even more contrived and it’s kinda brain sucking.

        • Polge Clément

          As far as I remember, the prophecy really is just the incentive for the show, like “if you do enough episode and stop enough apocalypses, you’ll be human again, like, in the series finale, perhaps, if you don’t keep going as a comic book”

          • Jojo

            Past washed clean and live as a human (not sure if the past washed clean has come out yet but it will soon) Two issues – doing good in hope of a reward cheapens the whole effort, and how can even the PTB wash any past clean. The victims will all still be dead.

          • Polge Clément

            Huh, funny, I’m reading the Game of Thrones book right now (no spoiler follows), and one thing I read in a chapter recently was about the Onion Knight, who was a smuggler, but saved some people that were under siege by bringing them Onions to eat while they were starving. For that, Stannis decided to cut one knuckle of each of his right hand’s fingers, and give him a knighthood.

            And Stannis’ argument was that “the bad doesn’t undo the good, nor the good the bad. Both must be punished and rewarded separately.”

            So yeah, I sort of agree, but Angel will always have his guilt anyway, so that’s his bad actions punished, and he should get a reward for his good actions too.

            And it doesn’t really cheapen his actions, since he was already doing good for the sake of it anyway, it’s more about aditionnal motivation…

          • Jojo

            Yeah – I can see where you are coming from! BTW – I love ASOIF, my favorite series, bar none. I started reading it about 15 years ago, and I had a ten year wait for the entirety of the last book (which was split into two volumes with 5 years between the two).

            One of the things that is said about Spike is that he….does stuff because he wants a reward and I don’t want to get spoilery here. I think this puts Angel even more into that category but I may be prejudiced because I would never trade being a souled vamp for being a human. I would keep the sunlight allergy in order to keep the eternal youth and strength, etc.

  • Acy

    Kirsti, I was definitely thinking, “What are the odds my fandoms would collide and Lindsey would get some kind of epic silvery hand in exchange for his sacrifice?!” Sadly, our dreams were not fulfilled. Sighh…

    • Take comfort. Watch Lindsey losing his hand in the first place again and feel so much better about everything.

  • Disa Marnesdottr

    I’m bothered by the word “person” as it is used in the Buffyverse.

    I’m a long-time science fiction and fantasy buff. A “person” is a being with self-awareness and agency, and humanity isn’t a requirement. Aliens can be people. Elves are people. Dwarves are people. Reepicheep is a person. So are Aslan and Mr. Tumnas. The White Witch is a person. The Ents are people, too. Bilbo Baggins is a person. Mr. Spock and Worf and Data are people. Deanna Troi is a person. Doyle is a person. Lorne is a person. Angel is a person. Spike, Drusilla, and Harmony are people. Clem is a person. They’re people whether they’re on our side or not.

    When the phrase “You’re not a person!” is stuffed repeatedly into the mouths of characters in the Buffyverse, it smacks of objectifying and (for lack of a better word) dehumanizing the enemy as a tactic of war–to make it easier for the “good guys” to kill them–and it has horrifying parallels in the real world. Every time a character says that, I hear, “You’re not a person, you [insert ethnic slur here]!”

    It’s tricky, though. What’s left of our heroes if the beings they kill every night are people?

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  • SonicRulez

    Is it ok if I just comment on each episode how cute the Fang Gang are? That little “shoo shoo” Cordy does is adorable. So is all of the talk of family. Of all the Scoobies, I bet Angel never figured he would come to care about and be cared for by Cordelia and Wesley. It’s also super precious that Angel is still embarrassed about drinking blood in front of the others.

    The Shanshu does a good job of giving Angel’s random acts a purpose. I know there’s a divide on how much it adds to the series vs how much it detracts and I’m excited to read what you guys conclude about it.

    • SonicRulez

      Also Re: Angel’s human side, he gets excited about this vs the time in I Will Remember You because it’s implied that it comes AFTER all the fighting. Like the prophecy reads like there will eventually be the end of all evil and Angel’s reward is that he gets to live out the rest of a normal life (prolly with Buffy in his head).