Angel S03 E17 – Winning at losing.

Previously: Wesley kidnapped Connor so Angel wouldn’t kill him, but ended up playing right into Holtz’s game. Holtz carried Connor right into a hell dimension. Angel’s pretty pissed.


Lorraine: Angel stands in his fire and earthquake destroyed room, staring at the charred and empty crib. We zoom in on his hurt face, which a lot of you seem to have very little sympathy for. You Heartless Cows can pretend he’s thinking about how to get rid of smoke damage.

Cut to Wesley’s apartment. Fred is sadly listening to several messages she left for Wesley. He has not been home. She’s having a hard time accepting that he would kidnap Connor. Gunn is more on team, “well. It happened.” They both know that if Angel reaches Wesley first, he’s a dead man. Fred wants to stay in the apartment in case Wesley comes back, but Gunn doesn’t think Wes is coming back. His toothbrush, razor and gun are gone, aka the essentials. I’m not sure what you would need to find gone from my house to assume I was gone forever. All my nail polishes and books probably wouldn’t be conducive to running away, you know?

Sweeney: You should really leave people a list.

Kirsti: It’s pretty easy to tell if I’m gone for any length of time. Because my phone charger is gone too. 

Lor: Good answer.

Anyway, Fred starts freaking out about how Wesley wouldn’t have have left without leaving her a message. She wants to find his diaries but so far they’ve had no luck locating them.

Fred and Gunn leave Wes’s apartment and there is some tension between them about whether or not Fred should keep calling Wes’s cell phone. As they drive away, Fred calls again. We pan from her, past a tree, and into some grass where Wes was throat sliced. The Zoomy Cameraman does his job on Wes’s abandoned cell phone. It stays there for a second before we pan over to Wesley looking mighty throat sliced and pretty dead. It’s a terrible sight to be sure but Sweeney told me Wesley exists in gifs of the future. PHEW.


K: All I can say is that Justine apparently sucks at slitting throats. 

Lor: OKAY, RIGHT? I’ve had this, “did she just give him a deep scratch?” thought bouncing around my head so I’m glad it found a place to be voiced.

Justine returns back to the Vampire Bad, Human Good Headquarters. I wish I could say I care more now that Holtz is gone, but I don’t. She just inherited his extreme boring. Congrats. Justine gives her soldiers a speech about how Holtz left and that was totally their plan all along, but now they have to finish the job and kill Angelus.

Electric Cellos.

Brooding Hotel. Fred is having a hard time believing that Connor is gone, through a portal, something she has too much experience with. Fred cries and Gunn holds her. (K: FRED FEELS.) Now it’s Gunn’s turn to say he can’t believe Wesley would do that. I guess because from our POV we’ve seen Wesley building up to the point where we totally believed he was capable of acting how he did, but this whole, “HOW COULD HE?” thing is kind of wearing on. We get it, we get it.

Angel joins them now to say he doesn’t much care about the why, just about getting his son back and making all those involved pay, including Wesley. Angel charges Lorne with finding out more about the hell dimension Sahjhan opened up. Fred and Gunn say they will go with Angel into this dimension, though Gunn does an awkward job reminding Angel that their portal-opening-expert is in fact Wesley. Angel says they don’t need Wesley because they are going to find Sahjhan. Angel shows Fred a picture he drew of Sahjhan for an awkwardly timed dose of Angel/art OTP. Enjoy it if you can!

Sweeney: Always.

Lor: From there, we Segue Magic over to Wolfram & Hart where Lilah and Linwood are also discussing Sahjhan, and the fact Lilah met with him and Angel behind Linwood’s back. She assures her evil boss that all those details are in a report. Linwood reminds Lilah they are in a war they can’t win, so Lilah should make sure to not win with him. Lilah understands his “pick the winning losing side” half-threat, but reminds him that she did have a gun to her head when all the Connor stealing commotion went down. Linwood calls it a win for Holtz, and Lilah doesn’t think jumping into a hell dimension a win. Linwood says it certainly isn’t a win for them.

Sweeney: There was just no need for this scene to use the word “win” as many times as it did.

Lor: Brooding Hotel. Fred isn’t haven’t any luck finding Sahjhan in their references, and Gunn is struggling with Cordelia’s filing system. Angel’s big contribution is to be moody and curt, like his baby was just kidnapped or something. Fred picks up the phone to call Cordelia. Angel stops her, even after she argues that Cordelia will want to know. Fred tries again and Angel says that when Cordy gets back she’ll have presents for Connor and he’ll be there to receive them.

K: Angel, dude. I get that you’re having feels and you don’t want other people to be having feels. But if I got back from holidays and all my friends were like “Oh, this MAJOR THING happened and we didn’t tell you,” I would be all kinds of pissed. CALL. CORDELIA. Also, surely this is the kind of thing that the Powers That Be (Contriving) should be keeping her posted about?! Unless she doesn’t get reception outside the US…

Lor: International rates are a bitch.

Angel apologizes for his outburst and says their research isn’t working and to forget about it. He storms out and Fred worries that Angel’s skipped the “locate Connor” part of the plan and jumped straight to the “make everyone responsible pay,” part. They need to find Wesley.

Throat Slicing Park. A homeless man finds Wesley’s body and pushes him over onto his back. Wesley gasps a bit, so we know he’s alive. Homeless Samaritan blames muggers for Wesley’s condition, but soon finds his wallet full of cash. The Homeless Samaritan pockets the cash, drags Wesley’s body into a bush and runs away. I CALLED YOU A SAMARITAN, SIR. YOU BETTER BE RUNNING FOR HELP.

Angel is staring at his weapons cabinet when Lorne returns to the Brooding Hotel. Lorne’s spoken to a few of his sources and the news isn’t good. They were all afraid of the Quor’toth hell dimension. Also, there are no portals that open up to Quor’toth. The only way in is to rip through the fabric of reality. Angel has been messing with a few office supplies (a staple remover and a memo pin), and now walks away from Lorne and heads upstairs.

Lorne follows and clarifies that getting into Quor’toth will require centuries old dark magic. He knows Angel doesn’t want to hear any of this but the truth is that even if Angel gets into the hell dimension, finding Connor would be like looking for a needle in a China sized haystack. Angel’s only response is that he should’ve found needles.

We see why a second later when he opens one of the hotel room doors and reveals Linwood tied up to a chair. OH SNAP. CRANGEL IN THE HOUSE.

K: Because CrAngel’s plans have always gone BRILLIANTLY in the past (see: hate sex with Darla, cross reference: Connor).

Lor: Angel lays out all his makeshift torture tools as Lorne asks who the heck the man tied to a chair is. Linwood introduces himself and says that Angel clearly hasn’t thought about the consequences of abducting an employee of Wolfram & Hart. I think Linwood hasn’t thought of the consequences of dying by staple remover. The consequences are mainly, “being dead.” Angel says that Wolfram & Hart would kill Linwood before they killed him. That’s one good part of being crucial to future apocalypses and stuff.

Sweeney: And being super expendable in the not-just-your-job-but-also-your-life sense is a major pitfall of working for W&H.

K: Super expendable because they own your ass once you’re dead too and can just bring you back to keep on working, but without that pesky getting paid thing. WHEEEEEEEEEE.

Lor: No benefits are worth working forever.

Lorne tells Angel that this is a human he’s got tied up and that torturing him won’t bring Connor back. Linwood rambles about how this is assault and kidnapping. I don’t think the guy with office supply torture weapons really cares about that stuff, dude. Linwood catches on to that as Angel picks up the memo pin and caresses it. By the time Angel puts the pin right up to Linwood’s eye as he asks who Sahjhan is and the Single Note of High Pitched Suspense strikes up, Linwood’s all, “NUMBER THREE ON MY SPEED DIAL.”

Number three on the speed dial is Lilah. Linwood tells her he’s sending over a client and that she needs to give him whatever he wants.

Fred and Gunn walk into Vampire Bad, Human Good Headquarters. They find Justine whittling some stakes because VAMPIRE BAD. Gunn snarks about the lack of security and Justine replies that getting out is the hard part. Gunn wonders if that’s what happened to Wesley. Justine isn’t forthcoming and Gunn almost gets violent but Fred stops him. She tries to reason with Justine, but quickly realizes that there is no way that Justine will ever be happy because she’s tortured and shit. Just then, the rest of the Vampire Bad Posse arrive. Gunn starts fighting and Justine backhands Fred. Gunn is outnumbered and one of the posse holds a knife to his throat. Justine has a guilt! flashback of slicing Wesley’s throat and calls off the fight. She tells Fred and Gunn to get out.

Wolfram & Hart. Lilah is leading Angel through the office, taking him to some big deal place called the white room. Getting there requires entering the elevator and hitting a series of floor numbers: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. JUST KIDDING.

K: As one who can see the future, allow me to say this: UGH, THE WHITE ROOM.

Lor: In the white room, they are greeted by a creepy little girl (S: It’s Kay Panabaker, of Disney Channel fame!) who compliments Lilah’s red nail polish and then says Angel’s got a taste for red nail polish too.  No, wait, I think this is a metaphor for blood. Yes. That.

Angel asks the little girl about his son and Sahjhan. Creepy Little Girl says his son is gone and that Sahjhan is basically nothing these days, though it wasn’t always like that. We flashback to a more solid Sahjhan removing heads and stabbing people. Apparently, he was causing so much chaos that “we” (whatever we the creepy little girl represents) made him immaterial.

Capturing Sahjahn requires a special urn. CLG knows, though, that Angel wants more than to just trap Sahjhan, but further information comes with a price. She tells him to kill Lilah. Angel doesn’t hesitate before grabbing Lilah for a neck snap. CLG stops him with a giggle. Just knowing that he would is enough for now. CLG gives Angel the ritual for turning Sahjhan into flesh.

Fred thinks Wesley threw away his diaries. She searches a dumpster briefly and finds the diaries in question. Back at the Brooding Hotel, she gets down to diary reading. Fred can tell Wes was worried and it isn’t long before Gunn finds the “father will kill the son,” prophecy. Fred thinks this is great and that Wes did the right thing. She wants to find Angel and explain.

Cut to Angel painting a pentagram on the floor for his ritual. Lorne is nervous about this and tells Lilah not talking would be a good look for her. I love Lorne. Angel is less in love with Lorne and his warnings at the moment. Next up on the ritual recipe sheet is some human blood. Lilah picks up a knife and walks purposefully toward Linwood, who is still tied to a chair. She apparently just wants to go on a little stroll before she cut her own hand, though. She steps into the pentagram and lets her blood drip to the floor.

Sweeney: Lilah is batshit, but she’s an entertaining villain-type. She gives good evil.

K: She really really does. The death stare she gave Linwood while walking was FABULOUS.

Lor: That all done, Angel says the magic ritual words like he’s reading a grocery list. Dude, it’s the spell that’s going to bring your enemy forth. Use a little intonation. Lights, mystical wind, indoor lightening, but no Sahjhan. Angel is pissed.

We cut to Sahjhan materializing on a street somewhere. He’s promptly hit by a truck. The truck driver freaks out accordingly, but we can assume he freaks out even more when Sahjhan flips over his truck like it ain’t no thang.

At the hotel, Angel is dragging Linwood back upstairs, still tied to his chair. It’s kind of hilarious because the chair is smacking against each step. Lorne is still on team, “DON’T DO THIS.” It’s Lilah, though, who gets him to stop, as she’s just gotten word about some mystical juju appearing at certain cross streets at the same time they did the spell. Angel lets the chair go, and we watch Linwood tumble all the way down.

Fred and Gunn run into the hotel as Angel is trying to get out. Fred tells him about the father killing the son prophecy and blocks his way to the exit. Angel glares at her and says that he knows the prophecy isn’t true because he would never hurt someone he cared about. “Now move,” he adds, so we can all not really believe him. Angel leaves.

Fred wants to go after him but Gunn says they can’t. He’ll kill Angel himself if he lays a hand on Fred. Lorne fills those two in on all the kidnapping and dark magic they missed. As Linwood dusts himself off and says Angel will pay, Lorne makes sure we all realize how bad things are.

Right outside the Brooding Hotel, Angel is attacked by the Vampire Bad Posse. He fights them off easily. He tells Justine that he isn’t her boyfriend so she should find someone else to smack her around. Yick. (S: MAJOR yick.) (K: Agreed. Yick.)

Angel pushes Justine and by the time she looks up again, he’s gone. She runs to her car and leaves her posse behind. Fred and Gunn see her leaving, and note that she’s driving Wesley’s car.

Angel arrives at the magical juju cross streets and talks to the truck driver who hit Sahjhan. He doesn’t know much but he does feel bad about what happened.

Justine’s at the underground place where Holtz screwdrivered her to a table. She’s having fond flashbacks of Holtz, and I really dislike this whole battered woman wanting more vibe they’ve got going on with Justine. It’s not particularly well done and also I don’t care about her. Sorry.

K: The “Not sorry” vibe is strong with this one. And justified.

Lor: Fred and Gunn (seriously, are they just going to appear always together now) have followed Justine and ask where Wesley is. Justine first sads about how Holtz lied to her, but then admits that Wesley was “innocent” and that also she slit his throat. Fred backhands the shit out of her. Justine moves to retaliate, but Gunn is there to punch her a few times. He picks her up by her collar and demands to be taken to Wesley. Sahjhan arrives now, wanting to pick a “real” fight since there are uninvited guests in his home.

After a cut to black, Sahjhan recognizes Justine and also punches her. Man. I know I just said I don’t care about her but watching Justine act as punching bag time is rough too. Angel arrives before Sahjhan can do more than threaten Fred and Gunn. They circle around each other as Angel tells Sahjhan to take him to his son. Sahjhan says he can’t even if he wanted to, because you can only open the door to Quor’tath once or else the whole universe “goes kablooey.”

Sweeney: Since I mentioned my amusement at Lilah, I have to say Sahjhan is a super excellent villain. This show all kind of runs together, but I think he’s my favorite AtS bad guy so far.

Lor: Sahjhan admits that he was the one who wrote the father the killing the son prophecy. OOOF. The original prophecy was about Connor killing him, so he used his time traveling powers to mess with the prophecy, and Wesley believed them. Angel is pissed (K: FAIR), so he vamps out and they fight. Gunn gets in a punch and gets knocked down for his trouble. Fred grabs a nearby torch thing and throws it in Sahjahn’s face. Angel pushes Fred aside and takes over the fighting again. He’s outmatched, though, and Sahjahn flips him onto a table. There is a convenient piece of pointy wood nearby, so things are looking bad for Angel. But hark! Sahjahn has been reading the Big Book of Villain Gloating recently and takes this moment to neener neener about Connor’s demise. This allows Justine time to come running in with that special urn that will trap Sahjahn. She opens it, he gets sucked inside, and that is that. The only thing left is for her to tell them where she left Wesley for dead.

We cut to the Throat SlicingPark, but they’ve had no luck finding Wesley. Fred thinks Justine was lying, but Angel can smell Wesley’s blood. The sun is coming up so Angel needs to get indoors. He says Wes can’t be dead, and Gunn assures him that they’ll find him.

Back at the Brooding Hotel, Angel gives Lorne what is supposed to sound like a repentant, “whoops! I went to far!” speech, but I’m not buying it completely. I don’t know if I should be buying it because being a Snow is hard. (S: Same!) Angel asks if Lorne thinks Wesley is dead. Lorne doesn’t know, but he does think that Angel did everything he could with the knowledge he had. Just like Wesley. Feelsy music starts up as Lorne says that maybe Angel must first forgive Wesley to forgive himself.

Sweeney: Lorne found it unconvincing too.

Lor: The phone rings and it’s Fred. They found Wesley.

Angel joins Fred and Gunn, Siamese Twins, at the hospital. Wesley can’t speak because his trachea is damaged and he lost a lot of blood. Angel goes into the hospital room to see him. Wesley stirs as Angel enters the room. Angel says that he knows about the prophecies and that he understands why he did what he did. Angel says that it’s important for West to know that he didn’t kill his son, and that it isn’t Angelus talking to him, it’s Angel. “You know that right?” Wesley acknowledges him with a slow blink. “Good,” Angel says.

Angel is yelling, “you took my son!” over and over, right until the nurses are alerted to Wesley’s dying. They run in and pull Angel back as Angel yells that he’s never going to forgive Wesley. “You’re a dead man,” he yells as he’s pulled out of the room. We see Wesley gasping for breath, not making much of a sound.

We all know Angel’s had a history of dealing with things by going crazy, so this doesn’t surprise me. He’s grieving, he’s lost, he’s out of options and he’s been trying all episode to get his hands on something. Of course he tried to kill Wesley. Poor Wesley. That final scene is tough because I understand them both. That’s my favorite part of the story line so far, is that they you can understand both of their motivations. Wesley was tricked and acting in a way he felt was best and to Angel, “I thought you were capable of killing your own son, so I kidnapped him,” is no explanation at all. It’s no consolation.

K: I’d completely forgotten about that last scene, so my reaction was mostly “HOLY FUCK WHAT IS HAPPENING OH MY GOD HOW DO I PROCESS THIS?????”

I guess someone’s up to the anger stage of grieving…


Next time: Apparently Gunn sold his soul? Apparently in Angel S03 E18 – Double or Nothing.


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.

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.

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  • Jojo

    Sweeney corrupted a Snow – lashes, I say lashes, and not the ones you put mascara on! Okay – mild corruption since Wesley lives on in this episode.

    I have to say that I think Angel wants to punish and torture Wes, and keep him around for more punishment even if he really doesn’t know it himself. Because – snapping a neck, two seconds – punch into chest and pull out heart, four seconds – lifetime of torture, priceless.

    But I agree with you – I understand both sides. I also agree with Lorne that if Angel had stayed on the W&H diet plan, he might well have snacked on Connor…..but I doubt it. And I have to say I do ache more for Wesley. I’m not sure why except that he made what he thought was the right move and it was so much the wrong move and now he has lost his entire family and he has to live with all of it.

    And I guess for the Angel thing – I wonder how many infants Angelus killed in front of their parents for far less reason than Wes had – and I wonder how he feels he can be redeemed for centuries of torture, murder and mayhem. And the Shanshu has always bothered me because it says all those murders can be washed away – and I still can’t see how that can happen when all the people were tortured to death and there is no saving them.

    Wesley went to Holz to try and persuade him to back off on Angel. Didn’t happen. So now Angel is in the same position that he left Holtz in (minus a raped murdered wife and a turned little girl) and he is reacting the same way. And Wesley had far better reasons to take Connor than Angel had to kill Holtz’s family. So Angel is no better than Holtz – and in some ways worse.

    • darkalter2000

      Angelus did those things though. It was/n’t (<–that slash is supposed to be there) Angel. He is two people in one body so how do we judge his actions? It is a sticky situation.

      Also Angel can't live his life thinking "I did this to someone once when my alter-ego was in control so I better not get upset about it". He wouldn't be doing any good at all if he just wallowed in his sins. So yes, he reacted badly to a situation similar to Holtz's. It was react badly or wallow in despair. I know which I prefer.

      • Jojo

        If it wasn’t Angel then why does Angel get the Shanshu – what is he being forgiven for? Angelus is always there – and Angel is atoning for the things he did before his soul restrained Angel’s demon.

        Yeah – I can see why Angel reacted as he did – I can also see why Holtz reacted as he did. I stand by what I said – Angel is no better than Holtz, and some ways worse. BTW – that does not mean that Connor in any way deserved this….but neither did all the other children.

        • darkalter2000

          I get you, but this mystical crap is a “reward”

          “Shanshu has roots in so many different languages. The most ancient source is the Proto-Bantu and they consider life and death the same thing, part of a cycle — only a thing that’s not alive never dies. It says that you get to live until you die. It says the vampire with a soul, once he fulfills his destiny, will shanshu. Become human. It’s his reward.”

          Angel is the one who sees it as redemption.

          • Jojo

            Wes said, in season 5 that “the vampire with a soul shall have his past washed clean and will live again as a mortal”. But this is a side point, except for the fact that having his past washed clean is needed because of what he did when he had no soul.

            Angel considers himself as responsible for his past actions – and btw, this Angel & Angelus divide came much later in the universe. Check out season 2 of Buffy – unsouled Angel calls himself Angel.

            Also – point of info – there are some who believe Connor is Angel’s shanshu (life out of death) and some who believe that Angel’s adventure with Buffy when he was gored and became human was his shanshu and he turned it down.

          • SnazzyO

            Can you ROT13 that first line?

          • Jojo

            Sorry – should have been thinking! Thanks for catching it.

          • darkalter2000

            Yea that is kinda what I’m saying, it’s inconsistent. The shanshu stuff just confuses the issue. Which is to say, screw the shanshu. It is one of Angel’s weirdest and most confusing plot devices.

            I personally don’t think if I were in Angel’s place I would believe my sins were washed away just because of some spell/prophecy/weird scroll. Angel himself has said he can’t ever truly atone for all the shit he did as Angelus.

            I’m mostly trying to address the fact that Angel isn’t the only personallity in his body. Just because he feels responsible for that personalities actions doesn’t mean he should whine and do nothing about things happening /now/.

          • Jojo

            But he doesn’t have Divided Identity Disorder (AKA Multiple Personalities). Both souled and unsouled are completely aware of what is happening. Angel said in season 2 – before Buffy sent him to hell – that everything was dreamlike and he was confused.

            Even with DID – let’s just say I have some very odd friends – there is a gatekeeper personality and more than one can be on either side of the gate. If you ever want to read about this check out “When Rabbit Howls”.

            I think that Angel is more like someone on mind altering medication. It’s not that he is separated, more like that he will respond differently if he is off his meds. In this situation I would say he was on his meds but medicine is not strong enough to deal with this trauma.

          • darkalter2000

            I would say he has a mystical disease, vampirism, and a curse, gypsy, that puts him in a strange and unique position.

            Maybe you could equate that with a guy who is on meds, I can see how you could; but ultimatly this conversation is going into the territory where I have to use the word that starts with ‘s’ and rhymes with ‘bowl’ to continue arguing sooooo I’m not going to continue. See ya later. 🙂

          • Jojo

            Yeah – agreed. One question – isn’t vampirism the result of having a demon inside you? Disease seems like there’s a cure.

          • darkalter2000

            They can apparently be made human again, with Mohra demon blood if nothing else (I Will Remember You S1E8), so why not classify it as a disease?

          • Jojo

            Oh, good one! I will have to ponder what the actual demon is. Is it the physical restrictions? What is lost when the demon leaves?

            Unfortunately there would probably have to be Mohra blood everywhere for protection. It is canon but it’s also like the ST episode where they use the transporter to make a new copy of someone dead. Sometimes they kill a universe and then step back slowly

            Great story material!

    • I think the Internet should get those lashes more than Sweeney should. It’s always the Internet.

      I doubt Angel would’ve snacked on Connor as well. I really want to believe he never, ever would’ve but part of being an Angel is being kind of unpredictable and explosive. I mean, DB’s acting doesn’t always do credit to Angel’s instability, but the character does have a tendency to explode, as we see here.

      Interesting point about the Shanshu. That entire paragraph, actually, brought me back to Spike, who is currently unsouled. Should both these vampires be forever accountable, judged, and punished for their acts? Should we see all they do through the lens of all they’ve done? I truly don’t have answers to these questions myself. It’s no secret that the whole soul thing gives me pause, despite being a huge universe thing. It’s one of the more sloppily handled items of mythology if you ask me.

      I never thought Holtz was a bad guy, per se, so again, good point. I always understood Holtz’s motivation. Mostly, I blamed Holtz for (1) being BORING and (2) being pitted against the MC of the show I’m watching. Root, root, root for the hoooome teaaaaam…

      • Jojo

        Internet is a serious spoiler zone – and trying to enjoy with you eyes closed – well it can work for some things but not many.

        I’m in the same boat with Connor snacks, though I do have to say that if anyone can give a moment of perfect happiness it’s gonna be the kid. The first word, the first steps, the first “I love you” – so many firsts. I just hope that Angel is always aware of the danger because Connor makes him feel like a human being, the same as Buffy did. I can see this as a danger, and at the same time I can’t see it happening.

        Angel has a soul – which does make him accountable in a different way. My belief is that demons would enjoy hell because they get to carry the pitchfork. But when a soul goes to hell – owies galore. Spike also needs to be judged – but all he has is the chip – not the soul. If he dies and goes to hell, he gets to hold the pitchfork still. So that is religious judgement.

        As for human judgement – Spike is chipped so he no longer sees all humans as food. He has a fairly small group he interacts with, and he has feeling for each of them. But he is a danger because even though he can try to be human, he isn’t. He can only guess at right or wrong. Two years with animal blood and helping humans has made him an anomaly – not really demon and yet not human. Yes – he needs to be judged but more immediately he still can’t be trusted. And he does not have the capacity, at this point, to judge himself in any meaningful way. He thinks he loves – he thinks he is trying to help – he doesn’t see the full reality….yet. I also see him as slipping over the line more toward the demon (selfish, obsessive, possessive) as he loses Buffy. My favorite line of Spike’s – one which shows where he is morally – is when Buffy told him he was like a serial killer in prison and he immediately responded – women marry them all the time. Completely lacking even a rudimentary caring for the victims, or distaste for the killers – it’s who he is even when he tries to be human.

        One caveat – he can be trusted with the welfare of someone he really cares about in certain situations – Dawn in particular. He just really wouldn’t care if Dawn’s friend or teacher was killed. Selfish, obsessive, possessive can be good.

        Angel judges himself on his past – and yes, he does need to be judged. But the past is over and i believe he can also reach for redemption. Angel does know what is right and what is wrong – and like all souled creatures he is still capable of wrong even with the soul intact. But it is judging himself, knowing the pain he caused, being able to empathize with his victims and with other humans – these are the things that have kept Angelus from overcoming the soul and taking over. As long as they raped and killed and tortured, they have to be held accountable. I have no problem with the Shanshu, except the idea that past actions can be washed away. And frankly, Angel already turned away a human life.

        And yeah – on the soul in this universe. Head canon has to be used at times. Or the careful constructs that take all sorts of lines and theories from different episodes. Angelus exists under the soul – Spike exists under the chip. Forgetting their past is dangerous and it’s impossible not to judge with what the past includes. (Hops off soapbox) 🙂

        Holtz is boring – and he’s pretty much contrived as well. He moves the plot forward. And while I have not really felt the pain Angel feels – in the next episode…….it hits. Both Wes, and Angel – and Angel gets the misery trophy this time.

  • darkalter2000

    “You’re a dead man Price!”

    That last scene gets me every time. Angel yelling dire imprecations spittle flying from his mouth! The acting here is a cut above. I love how conflicted it makes me feel to. As Lorne said both of them act according to the information they had at the time. We know NOW Wesley was wrong to take Conner but at the time it seemed reasonable. Angel has has lost his son, he isn’t going to be reasonable about it. I love that the conflict is both natural and divisive.

    ♫Where do we go, from here?♫

    • SnazzyO

      I was typing my love for that line whilst you were posting. It is one of my series favorites.

      • Jojo

        +1 for me too – Boreanaz did a great job throughout the whole episode listening to all his humans explain Wesley and what to do. with a perfectly inexpressive face. Then – boom!

        • darkalter2000

          I think this is the only time in the series Angel calls him Pryce.

    • This is really where the story excels. It seems that even if you side more with one or the other, you truly feel and understand both sides. That’s hard to achieve. The built the story so well, from the way we see Angel immediately hovering over Connor, and in a lot of ways acting in unreasonable ways (the money hungry thing to not wanting anyone to touch him, etc.) to the way we see Wesley being isolated and the prophecy building around him

      I hope where we go from here is a place where the ramifications of all this are far reaching. I love Wesley, but I hope no one forgives him very soon.

      • Jojo

        If I were a vengeance demon…..but I am not so spoilers….sigh

  • SnazzyO

    First, Dear LorSnow,
    Do you remember when I squeed about your prognostication skillz? You said you thought prophecies were NOT TRUSTWORTHY. F’ing brilliant and a retroactive 1430 to you. We need a Trelawny Award for this site…with glitter… and you should be given it because that was an awesome foreshadow.


    I love this episode. Why? Because Angel The Series FLIES WITHOUT A NET! Angel going CRAngel is PERFECT because really, he DOES have that in him. and then “You’re a DEAD MAN PRYCE! A DEAD MAN!” How do I love that he used Wesley’s last name? It’s a bitty thing but just perfect.

    Let me be clear, my heart BLEEDS for Angel. I guess I saved up my feels for this episode because it’s here where we fully explore how losing Connor unhinges him. Miracle children don’t just come along every century. This was a 1 in a gazillion chance at him having a family and it’s gone. And that innocent child is paying for it. What makes it worse is that Angel Broody McBrooderson feels the guilt of his past actions with Holtz and knows that Connor’s fate is HIS FAULT. Which makes the pain too unbearable. When he refuses to call Cordy, it’s so childlike in denial that I just melt in pain. Sure it’s stupid, but Angel is not in a rational head space. He wants to FIX IT before Cordy gets home with PRESENTS. ****need more wine now****

    I could write 4000 words on this ep but I’ll spare you my gushing. Bits that stand out:
    – Sahjahn rockets to the top of the Villain list for having not only truly screwed the protagonist but wins the BEST IN SNARK competition. I would watch that buddy cop movie.
    – Lilah, she’s a well manicured Magnificent Villain. I love when she gets all stone cold.
    – Speaking of stone cold, was there any doubt Angel would have snapped her neck? N/N?
    – CLG worked for me. Evil incarnate in mary janes
    – Lorne showed good survival instincts
    – Angel putting his torture skills to work. I loved it when he dumped Linwood down the steps. When Angel gets single-minded he is one BAMF with a side order of psychopath.

    – That end scene though. Seriously, I LOVE AND IMMEDIATELY FORGIVE WESLEY and I totally love and forgive Angel for wanting to kill him. For me I take no sides of one over the other. This is WESLEY. Wesley who found his confidence being at Angel’s side. Wesley who would die for Angel. And this is ANGEL. Angel who loves deeply and without hesitation those that he bonds with. Angel who would have ran Connor to the hospital in broad daylight if he had to. And the betrayal is just TOO MUCH. Even though Wesley was fatally flawed in following that prophecy. It’s an understandable flaw IMO. And so IT ALL JUST HURTS.

    ***Off to whimper in a corner with CRAngel, but not too close because neck snappage could occur if you make a sudden movement.***

    • Clément Polge

      Totally in agreement with everything you said ! It’s just an over-abundance of feels.

    • WOOHOO! I’d like to thank years of watching TV for this Trelawny Award. Also, the law of averages because I was bound to be right eventually! And of course, all of you guys, for laughing at me when I know nothing, but at least giving me shiny things when I know SOMETHING. THANK YOU.

      Even apart from Angel having a propensity for CRANGEL, we know that in this situation, most anyone would go crazy. Losing a child (“lose a child – now there’s a euphemism for you.”) is, well, something I don’t want to spend something too much time thinking about. I’d probably go CrLorraine is what I’m saying.

      You know, in all this discussing his loss, I never fully stopped to appreciate that Connor was a miracle baby. It’s something that I knew, but never put in line with everything that’s happening. Not only has Angel lost his son, but it was his one and only chance at a son. Woof. Excellent point. The not calling Cordy thing was weird because they had to push it for out of story reasons. But that moment of denial was nicely done. I think Angel knows that Cordelia might the one to make him face the loss and accept the news.

      We’ve been working a little ahead on our Buffy/Angel posts so I’m getting a little confused to be honest, but it’s funny that you say this about Sahjhan because we gush about Sahjhan and Lilah as villains in the next post, I believe!

      A+ comment, friend. We love feels around here. Have feels. All the feels.

      • Clément Polge

        CrLorraine sounds a bit like Chlorine. Not a thing I’d like to see.

        • Jojo

          I’m not sure I could just be CrAngel. Crjojo would be a screaming hysterical mess. But this baby is – at this point at least – just really lost and not necessarily dead.

  • darkalter2000

    The Girl in the White Room tells Angel and Lilah:

    -Nowadays you can walk right through ’em, but in the past they were something else… They were all about torture and death.
    -They caused a lot of trouble. Don’t get me wrong, I like trouble—but I hate chaos. So we changed ’em.

    /All/ of Sahjhan’s kin were made incorporeal. You mentioned ‘they’ (quotes for sinister vagueness) made /Sahjhan/ incorporeal but didn’t mention the rest of them.

    Sahjhan is a Granok demon by the way. Some lines where his race is mentioned are cut but the latin incantation Angel uses “Corpus Granok Sahjhan demonicus” translates to “Make corporeal the Granok demon Sahjhan”. The More You Know! *Rainbow*

    • I went back and forth during that scene and actually edited it from a vague “they all were made incorporeal.” It was super weird to me because there was all this reference to we and them and no clarification as to who anyone was. True story: I made a last minute edit and took away a vague “they” to add “Sahjhan.” 🙂

      We appreciate the PSA and the knowledge. Vague scene was vague.

      • darkalter2000

        I honestly thought you guys missed my comment! They probably should have kept at least one (non-latin) reference to Sahjhan’s race. We get the race names of one episode throw-away demons but not this major character? Weird.

  • Anagnorisis

    Ohh this is sad
    oh wesley was right there. fuck
    i forgot about fred and the portal paralel uggg
    Angel’s almost crying, I’m about to have feeeeelings.
    well you deserve that for being mean to Lilah
    The White Room! Almost as cool as The Room of Requirement but with more creepy children
    Nice try Justine.
    I liked Sahjahn better when he was incorporeal
    And now the prophesy was false so Wesley’s sacrifice was in vain. This is awesome.
    Yeah I didn’t believe that Angel was ok with, at the same time suffocating Wesley is a great idea. But I do find the acting from DB here a little over the top.

    Great follow up after ST, but not a lot happens.

    • I agree about DB in the end. His acting kills an otherwise great scene.

      • Clément Polge

        Haha it’s funny because I was making that point at his hurt/poop face at the end of last episode, but I love him there, I can see someone go over the top over the lost of a child they’d attribute to someone else.

        • It’s not so much the over the topness as much as his delivery. It FEELS like acting. Really bad acting. I can never take David B seriously, so maybe it’s just a personal problem I have haha. But his poop face at the end of the last episode is terrible too, as well as that ADRed “conner.” Oh, David.

        • I think DB takes away a lot from Angel the character but I liked this last scene here. It was perfectly insane.

  • Clément Polge

    Sooo yeah, this final scene is one of the few scene I think about when I think of AtS, basically in a “god, they went there” kind of way. CrAngel from S2 is another one, and Connor’s birth yet another one. This is really why I love this show, even though it doesn’t have as many outstanding episodes as Buffy IMO, it has amazing storylines that it really tries to follow honestly, even when it means splitting the party or having the party murder each other asses off.

    • MOMENTS! Angel is excellent at moments, and I was NOT expecting pillow smothering and will definitely remember this as a highlight (weird to say, considering) of the season. Angel has a way of doing some really weird shit in ways that make you go, “yes. I understand why this happened.”

  • Clément Polge

    Also, can we qualify “main characters killing their friend” as crossover magic between Angel and Buffy today ? Because srsly.

    • DARN! I missed that chance to point out my theme for the day. But yes, this. I also think I used “neener neener” in both posts, despite writing them a week apart…


  • Raluca

    I actually like this episode, and the one before. This starts the part of Wesley’s “arc” that I really enjoy watching, on account of anti-hero fangirling. 😀
    Wesley is one of my favourite characters of the Buffyverse, so his pain is real and unbearable to watch, but at the same time it makes for compelling TV. And Alexis Denisof is very good at it.

  • Alex

    So when Deird and I were geekily nitpicking (in rot13) over The Hamburger Prophecy a couple of episodes back, this was why. The Hamburger actually said ‘That the vampire will devour his son is certain’, and everyone knows that the exact wording is SUPER important when it comes to prophecies. I think that with Sahjahn’s revelation, it becomes clear that the ‘devouring’ refers to Angel ingesting Connor’s blood – which did indeed happen – and not killing him. Damn Hamburger could have made that a lot clearer, though.

    • Clément Polge

      There’s sort of a difference between “devouring” and “drinking a few drops of blood mixed with piggy blood” though… But I guess you’re right.

      I personally always figured that Wolfram & Hart got to the hamburger man one way or another, and threatened his french fries or little buns or something to get him to confirm the prophecy to Wesley…

      But I guess you could be right, and it may just be the prophets being all poetic and shit.

      • Jojo

        I don’t think you can bribe a burger Loa – I mean, what would you offer? A snazzy new paint job? OTH – burger Loas are known to be tricky. And there are many seasons to go.

    • darkalter2000

      I tend to think the Loa probably owed Sahjhan a favor. We can see Sahjhan still has his hands in quite a few pies despite being incorporeal and he certainly still has power (with him ripping holes into other realities).So he probably called in some markers so that the entities around L.A. would corroborate his false prophecy.

      • I also assumed that Burger Prophecies were part of all the manipulation. I mean, the father will kill the son never even existed, so Loa either is in on the lie or believe the lie or likes fucking with people because he’s a burger prophet, you know?

        • darkalter2000


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  • Meagan Malachite

    That last scene literally shook me up really badly, and I’m firmly in the camp of FUCK NO ANGEL. I felt so scared for Wesley because if that was real life that proba my would have killed him. That is not an acceptable way to deal with your feels Angel. I thought he was going to thank him for trying to save his kid. Albeit, Wesley was stupid for lowering his gun with Justine–if he hadnt done that this might have played out differently.

    I’m getting fed up with the macho “gunn pushes Fred out of harms way” moments in the last few episodes. With the lifestyle they’re living, the safest thing she can do is learn to fight well.

    I’m not sure I can forgive Angel for what he just did. He’s being really demanding lately too, bossing Lorne around and threatening everyone. His go-to strategy for times of crisis is to become a bully–is that the demon or just his personality? I want him to learn that trusting–and respecting–your friends is a much better way to force through catastrophe.

  • SonicRulez

    Doing Justine enjoys being battered so soon after/concurrent with Buffy enjoying being battered makes me uncomfortable. Who hurt you, Joss Whedon?

    This episode rides on that last scene though. It approaches me going into ugly crying. Angelus cackles through his evil. CrAngel is just EXTRA broody and maybe a bit snide. In that last scene, he’s neither of those things. The way he calmly lets Wesley know that he’s totally got his soul first is chilling. Then the rage. Angel literally froths at the mouth while he’s trying to SMOTHER Wesley to death. Horrifying stuff.