Previously: Wes and Angel were both on Team Manpain due to the girls hooking up with dudes who weren’t them. Also, there was a demonic tree with an internet connection. Not even joking.
Kirsti: We open at the Hyperion, where Wes is asleep on his desk. Gunn and Fred walk in, and Gunn gets things off to an early start by saying, “You gotta admire the loyalty.” I don’t think we’ve ever given away a gold star in the first line of an episode!
ANYWAY. Gunn’s speech about how admirable Wes’ dedication is takes a turn down “Wes needs a life” lane. Fred wonders aloud if Wes has found anything new about Connor, and starts to move the pages. This wakes Wes, and he gets a little panicky on account of that page that says “The father will kill the son.” He asks what time it is, and that’s Angel’s cue to enter with Connor. Wes scrambles to pack up his papers before Angel asks if they want to see something cool – he’s teaching Connor how to die. He vamps out and bites Connor as Fred and Gunn stand by calmly. Blood gushes from under Wes’ hands, and he stares at them in shock. Fred smiles at him as Gunn informs him in a creepy slowed down voice that he’s running out of time. Wes wakes with a start and stares around the office. Angel enters with Connor and asks if he’s been there all night. Electric cello time.
Sweeney: Thinking about the nightmares I sometimes have after seeing fictional gore, these people all have to have some seriously traumatic dreams!
K: YUP. After the credits, we get a close up of a baby screaming. It’s not Connor, just a random baby. The camera pans out to reveal that we’re at a paediatrician’s office. The baby’s mother discusses with another woman about how her kid won’t stop crying, and Angel asks if she’s tried using the vacuum cleaner – apparently the white noise helps. She’s all “Oooh, thanks for the tip!” and calls him Mr. Dad before she gets called into the doctor’s office. Angel fangirls over his new nickname, and Wes – who for some bizarre reason is with him – looks concerned. (L: Wes is there just in case Angel tries to kill the baby in the waiting room, duh!) Angel asks if Wes is okay, and Wes replies that he’s just tired. The nurse calls Angel in, and he’s a little “Dude, WTF?” when Wes follows as well. (L: Might kill the baby in the exam room, duh!)
In the doctor’s office, Angel tells the doctor about this gurgle-y, wheezy sound he heard while feeding Connor the previous night. The doctor does the stethoscope thing, then informs Angel that his professional opinion is that it was digestion.
Lorraine: Dude, growing up with a dad that can hear and smell everything is gonna suck. Sorry, Connor.
Sweeney: LOLOLOL 1430. Rough break, Connor.
K: Wes asks if there’s anything abnormal about Connor, and the doctor assures them that there isn’t but that he’s taken some blood for testing just in case. Angel thanks the doctor repeatedly until Wes ushers him out. The zoomy cameraman does his thing on the vial of Connor’s blood as the doctor leaves the room. The door opens, and one of the random women from earlier walks in. She switches out the vial of Connor’s blood, then gets all “Oops, wrong room!” when the nurse busts her in there.
Seizure cut to the hotel. Angel is fangirling over a parcel of online shopping that’s arrived while Gunn wants to know how a guy with one name and no bank account can order things online. Fred suggests hacking the database and changing the address on someone else’s order, but Angel says he’s got Cordy’s credit card information memorised. HOPE YOU’RE ENJOYING YOUR HOLIDAY, CORDY!! Anyway, the order turns out to be teeny tiny ice hockey sticks and a baby-sized jersey with “CONNOR 03” on the back. Gunn tells Angel he has too much time on his hands, and Angel agrees because apparently without Cordy around to have visions, business is super slow.
Lor: But also, omg so cutes.
Sweeney: SO CUTES!
K: Angel starts to wonder why Cordy hasn’t called, then snaps back to talking about ice hockey again. Gunn’s all “Whitest sport ever, dude,” and Angel points out that it’s held indoors and usually at night, so he’s a big fan. Then he starts talking about how he can’t wait to see Connor grow up and meet the person he’s going to become. That takes us to a shot of Wes in the office, eavesdropping and looking distressed. Angel and Gunn start playing teeny tiny hockey, which ends in a window getting broken. A woman walks in and says that she needs their help.
In the office, she tells them her story – her son snuck out of the house a week or so ago to go to the pier, and when he came back, his face was all bumpy and he was screaming at her to open the door. She didn’t, the sun rose, he went up in flames. She blames herself, saying that she should have let him in and found a way to turn him back. Angel tells her that there is no way back – once you’re a vampire, there’s nothing left but an evil thing. There’s a moment of silence, then Wes tells Gunn to go and do some recon at the pier before the sun sets. Client of the Week says that if she could find the vampire herself, she’d tear it apart with her bare hands for making her afraid of her son. Wes looks pensive.
Cut to Client of the Week briefing Holtz and his team of mercenaries on the set up and staff at Angel Investigations. I’m gonna rename her Traitor Client. (L: Good thinking.) She points to surveillance style photos of the Fang Gang as she talks. Holtz tells her that she’s done good work. She smiles, and says, “Thanks boss.” Fade to black.
After the Not Commercial Break, we’re at an abandoned mansion. Two of Holtz’s mercenaries are fighting a chained vampire. To one side, Justine stares at the pictures of the Fang Gang and wants to know how humans can work for a vampire. Holtz points out that he once made a deal with a demon, and she says that it’s totally different because he only did it so that he could kill Angelus. He says that things aren’t always black and white, but that Angelus is definitely evil. Uh, okay. The chained vampire breaks free, and Justine rushes over and starts to fight. She overpowers the vamp, and grabs a sword. She stabs it, pinning it to the floor. The others rush up with chains. Holtz is pleased with her progress.
Lor: Yeah, she upgraded his stabbing her to the table with a screwdriver. He must be so proud.
K: He tells her that things are moving faster than he could have imagined, and Sahjhan appears to say that he’s thrilled about that because he’s bored. Justine swings her sword at him, and it passes straight through. Holtz tells her to stand down. Sahjhan wants to know why Angel isn’t dead yet, and Holtz is all “Whatcha gonna do about it?.” He argues that Sahjhan wouldn’t have brought Holtz to LA if he could have done something about it himself. Sahjhan reminds Holtz of his dead family, and wonders what they’d think. Holtz tells him to get out, and says that if he doesn’t, he’ll trap Sahjhan’s essence in…some kind of genie bottle? IDK. Whatevs, Sahjhan gets the fuck out.
Back at the Hyperion, Wes is on the phone to a wizard. He stares at his “the father will kill the son” translation and tells the wizard that he doesn’t care how dangerous it is, especially as he’s paying the guy a shit ton of cash to do it. He hangs up just as Fred bursts in. She wants to compliment him on being there for Traitor Client earlier, and then tells him he should get away from the books for a while, and maybe call Traitor Client for a date on account of Traitor Client is single according to her paperwork. Does anyone else get the impression that Cordy was the one to add that question to the paperwork? Wes tells her to go and do her job. Fred’s face falls and she leaves.
Lor: I love Fred, but this was all kinds of awkward and I can’t say I wouldn’t have snapped too.
Sweeney: (1) LOL, I love your headcanon with Cordelia adding that question. Accepted. (2) Agreed, Lor. Shit was awkward. I hate to see sad Fred, but Wesley is clearly stressed and in a bad mood and you came in to say that he should ask the (so she assumes) grieving mother if he can hit that? Chill, girl.
K: Thank you for accepting my headcanon. And seriously, Fred. Calm the fuck down.
Cut to Lilah’s office. She’s on the phone to her mother – who, from the sound of things, is in some kind of care facility – when Sahjhan appears. He’s a little disappointed by her matter-of-fact reaction. She knows who he is, thanks to FLO in Records, and gives a summary of why she thinks he’s there: Holtz isn’t working fast enough and Wolfram & Hart can do better. She goes on to inform him that official policy is to let Angel live until he becomes useful and that she can’t break policy, but then holds up a piece of paper with “Count me in” scrawled across it. He tells her that he has a plan, but in order for it to work, he needs some of Connor’s blood. “Got it,” she says, smugly. Sahjhan is all “WTF?! HOW??” She tells him that they swiped it, but that the lab guys said it’s perfectly normal. Sahjhan informs her that they’re looking for the wrong thing.
Santa Monica Pier. Fred wants to know what they should be looking for, but Gunn gets distracted by the ring toss and wanting to win a prize for his new girlfriend. Fred says that they should be working, and Gunn mentions that technically HE’S the one who should be working because Wes never said to bring her along, and that he probably just wanted some time to chat up Fred behind Gunn’s back. Fred’s surprised to find out that Wes knows they’re dating, and wants to know why Gunn didn’t say anything. He didn’t really think it mattered, then realises that Wes has said something to her. He asks if she had his back, and she says that maybe they should just act like they’re not dating when they’re at work. Gunn disagrees – he wants it all, and won’t give it up without a fight. She wants that too. They kiss, and set off to hunt vampires.
Sweeney: I’m trying really, really hard to like Fred/Gunn, but stuff like this just makes it feel so forced.
K: Hyperion. Angel is waving a rattle in Connor’s face. Wes walks in and looks concerned. (L: Might kill him with a rattle.) He tells Angel that he has to go out for a while, and Angel thanks him for looking into things and being a good friend. Wes leaves as Angel continues to play with a grinning Connor. Back to the pier. It’s now dark. Gunn’s spidey senses tingle, and Fred spots a guy breaking into the carousel. They hurry after him, and see him scurrying up a ladder behind the carousel. Fred wants to leave, but Gunn’s in favour of a fight. Just then, the carousel starts to spin. A vampire moves through the carousel horses as the other vamp drops down from above. A third walks up to Fred and Gunn who give each other “OH CRAP” looks. Fade to black.
After the Not Commercial Break, we see that Justine and a mercenary are watching and recording the whole thing with a video camera. It reminds me of the Buffy season 2 Halloween episode… Gunn tells Fred to run and attacks the three vampires. I would tell you what happens in the fight, but the whole scene is so fucking dark that I really don’t know what happens, other than Gunn stakes one of the vampires. There’s a bit more fighting and another vamp grabs Gunn by the throat. Mercenary Guy asks Justine if they should help, but NOPE. The last vamp is sneaking up behind Gunn. Lucky for him, Fred didn’t leave. She calls out to Gunn as she grabs a broken post and tosses it to him. He stakes the vamp behind him while she gets the one that’s holding Gunn. Justine is impressed. She and Mercenary Guy leave. Gunn wants to know why Fred didn’t leave, and she tells him that she’s got his back. He thanks her and they hug.
Lor: What did she do if she didn’t run away? I’d like to think she ran some of the way away and then was all, “OH, ALRIGHT.” and came back. Yeah.
K: That certainly works better than her standing around doing nothing for five minutes…
Elsewhere, Wes is wandering around with a Riley-esque gizmo. He reaches the coordinates the wizard gave him only to find a fibreglass hamburger with arms smiling at him. The coordinates were meant to lead him to a statue. Instead, it’s the drive through microphone for a burger joint. He figures it’s technically a statue of sorts, and sprinkles a bag of powder over it before muttering a spell. The hamburger comes to life in a very Ghostbusters way and asks who’s calling. Honestly, all I can think of is this:
Wes asks the Hamburger if the prophecy is true. The Hamburger replies that it is – Angel will kill Connor, it’s only a matter of when. Wes asks how he can stop it, and the Hamburger replies that it cannot be stopped. He says there has to be a way, and it shoots lightning out of its eyes, knocking him to the ground. It tells him that there will be three signs about when Angel will kill Connor: “The first portent will shake the earth. The second will burn the air. The last will turn the sky to blood.” Wes is unimpressed by the first, because earthquake in California = pretty much not helpful. The Hamburger tells him to heed the signs, and turns back into a statue.
Sweeney: This scene was extra campy and ridiculous but in a so-campy-it-worked kind of way.
K: Pretty much.
Lilah sits down at a bar, and orders thirty year old scotch. A guy comes up and sits next to her, and she “LOL, NOPE”s him. He leaves. Her drink arrives and she takes a sip as Sahjhan appears next to her. She tells him that the plan is a go, then asks why he wants Angel dead. He says that he has his reasons, and asks why SHE wants Angel dead. She replies that they have a history, and wants to know why he reeks of fear. He doesn’t reply, asking instead when the plan goes into motion. She says that it’s already started.
Seizure cut to the Hyperion. Wes is staring at Connor thoughtfully. Traitor Client walks in and offers her thanks for taking down the vamps as she hands Wes a cheque. He stares at her for a second, then says that he doesn’t recall mentioning there being multiple vampires. She covers, saying that he mentioned there might be a nest, and then asks if he’s okay. He replies that he hasn’t been sleeping well, and she asks if he wants to go out and get a coffee because she could use a friend – it’s been lonely since her son died. “You’re good. I like the lonely thing,” he replies.
From behind Traitor Client, Angel agrees. She goes for a stake in her bag, but he knocks it from her arm and grabs her by the neck. Wes and Angel agree that she moves like a fighter, not a victim. Wes wants to know if Holtz found her because of her son’s death. She looks from him to Angel. Angel says that Holtz is right to hate him, but that if Holtz tries to come after the Fang Gang or Connor, there’ll be hell to pay. He releases her, and she runs out. Angel turns to Wes, but just then, there’s a rumbling sound and the hotel starts to shake. Angel rushes over to Connor. Wes looks serious again.
Lor: I’m a sucker for growly Papa Bear Angel. He gives good threat.
K: At Holtz’s lair, he’s showing his mercenaries the video of Gunn and Fred fighting. He says that they all need to be more like Fred – willing to die for the cause. He tells them to study the video, then hears footsteps. Traitor Client is back. She apologises for getting busted, and he says it’s fine but that he wishes she hadn’t let herself get followed. Offscreen, Wes says that it’s not Traitor Client’s fault and that he would have found them eventually. Fade to black.
After the Not Commercial Break, one of Holtz’s mercenaries suggests cutting out Wes’ tongue and sending it to Angel as a warning. Wes whacks him in the throat and BAMFs that maybe the guy could lie on the floor gagging for a while instead.
Sweeney: We had only read about them from our good friend Throat Punch Todd! It’s exciting to see one in action!
K: Good old Wes, making our old tags useful again.
He tells Holtz that he’s not their enemy, and that Angel is a good man on account of the whole soul thing. Holtz has no fucks to give, and says that Wes knows as well as he does that evil is Angel’s default setting. The knowledge that Angelus will re-emerge is why Wes is there, Holtz says. He claims that they want the same thing – to protect Connor. Wes is uncertain, and Holtz tells him that a baby’s coffin weighs almost nothing and that he had to open his son’s coffin to make sure the body was actually there. Wes will find out for himself soon enough, apparently. Wes remains silent.
Seizure cut to the diner. Gunn’s not touching his food, and Fred asks if he’s okay. He’s worried that Wes was right, that they can’t juggle the whole work/dating thing. She wants to know what will happen if Wes makes them choose. Gunn says that he’s been fighting vampires for a long time, and he’s always had that feeling of waking up knowing he’s making the world a better place. Fred looks down sadly. “But I never had a Fred before,” he finishes. If it comes to a decision, he’s choosing her. They make gooey eyes at each other, and Gunn says that they shouldn’t worry too much because Wes is a good man and he’ll make the right call.
Cut to Wes walking down the hallway at the Hyperion. He heads into Angel’s apartment. Angel puts Connor down in his crib, and asks how Wes is doing. He lights the stove to heat up a bottle as he talks, and it’s clear that Wes is seeing the gas stove as the second sign. He tells Angel that he’s had better days. Angel starts talking about how he can understand why Traitor Client ended up with Holtz – because he would have too if anything like that happened to Connor. Angel goes on, saying that he loves his son, and that it’s a beautiful thing. Wes starts to laugh, because worrying about life and things that will never happen is funny.
Sweeney: His sleep-deprived crazy laugh of relief made me want to give him all the awkward hugs, because he’s clearly being played by the show too. Your relief is a lie, Wes. Come sit on the Couch of Feels with us. Have a drink or seven.
K: Cry it out, Wes. You’ll feel better. Just then, a second earthquake hits. It’s much stronger. The stove falls over, and there’s an explosion. A beam falls from the ceiling as the room catches on fire. Angel grabs Connor from his crib and leaps through the flames. He runs out the door, then turns to see Wes staring at the flames. He drags him out into the hall. Blood drips from a cut on Angel’s forehead onto Connor’s sky blue blanket, which has white clouds on it. “Earthquake. Fire. Blood.” Wes mutters in horror. Angel awkwardly jokes that he thought they were going to be trapped in there, but at least he would have had something to snack on. The zoomy cameraman zooms in on Wes’ “OMFG” facial expression as we fade to black.
K: SO MUCH. I don’t really know how to feel about this episode. There’s an awful lot of set up for what’s to come. The scenes between Fred and Gunn were kind of grating when interspersed with Wes having an “OH FUCK, WHAT DO I DO??” panic attack. It was kind of fitting that all this development took place while Cordy was elsewhere. Because I’m pretty sure that she would have sat Wes down and forced him to tell her what the problem was. Without Cordy, Wes is on his own. He feels betrayed by Fred and Gunn, so won’t talk to them about it. And he obviously can’t talk to Angel. Too bad Lorne was mysteriously not around to overhear Wes randomly humming to himself…
Lor: I liked it! Even without knowing where the story is going, this did indeed feel like a ton of set-up- an uphill climb, if you will. I like that you bring up Cordy being away. Really, Fred and Gunn are the lesser of Wesley’s problems, but ultimately it all adds to his isolation. It looks like he’s acting alone because he feels alone. I still don’t like the Fred/Gunn thing, but I found it interesting that Gunn expressed the desire to have his cake and eat it too. GOOD LUCK BRO. This episode brought the tone a bit darker, so I feel like I should prepare for what comes next.
Sweeney: Much like today’s Buffy, this episode marked some forward motion, albeit in a very different kind of way. It’s clear that a lot of intense things are coming around the corner and I actually enjoyed this episode enough to be excited/scared about what they are.
Next time: Wesley takes Connor away from Angel and this can’t be good in S03 E16 – Sleep Tight.