Rewatching Angel – Episode 104

Welcome to Rewatching Angel, the part of the blog where I rewatch the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off: Angel. Each Tuesday evening, you’re invited to join me as I attempt to rediscover what made me love these shows so many years ago.

Shells

  • Picking up immediately where last week’s episode left off…
  • Fred has died, but then she seemingly transforms and is reborn.
  • Her skin, hair, and eyes all have a blue tinge to them.
  • Wes calls her Fred… but she doesn’t respond.
  • From her clunky movements, it’s clear Illyria isn’t used to having human form as she walks to the mirror to get a good look at her new body.
  • Wes then calls her Illyria…
  • It doesn’t please her that a lowly human would dare utter her name simply because he was familiar with the shell she now inhabits.
  • She thought the humans would have all died off by this point in history, but she recognizes they have become bold.
  • He asks if she knows Winifred Burkle.
  • She doesn’t… nor does she care.
  • Illyria commands Wesley to “stop bleating at me, we’re done.”
  • His response? Yes, we are… as he grabs an axe to kill her.
  • As we pause for the opening credits, can I just say that Amy Acker did not receive enough attention for her dual role as Fred and Illyria.
  • In no time she switched from playing America’s sweetheart to an ancient demon monarch.
  • Anyway… Wes swings the axe only to have it shatter when it hits Illyria.
  • She then remembers that Fred is the shell she’s in.
  • Wes points out she’s the woman Illyria killed.
  • Illyria is disgusted by his human grief and Wes seizes this opportunity to point out she’ll experience it every day now.
  • He points out that humans rule the earth and will last for millennia, scurrying about like cockroaches.
  • Illyria may as well return to where she came from.
  • But she sees through this, knowing he’s still trying to save Fred.
  • “You seek to save what’s rotted through.”
  • She throws Wes against the wall and announces that she has work to do.
  • On a plane headed back to LA, Spike tries to console Angel by saying Fred wouldn’t have wanted them to kill thousands to save her.
  • Angel points out that dead doesn’t always have to stay that way in their world… there are ways to cheat death, citing himself, Spike, and Buffy as prime examples.
  • Back at the office, Harmony offers to help torture Knox.
  • Wes shows up and says it doesn’t matter anymore because Fred is gone.
  • Knox laughs and says it’s beautiful.
  • He explains how he loved Fred and why he chose her for Illyria.
  • Wes pulls a gun and is ready to kill Knox, but Gunn stops him.
  • Angel arrives and says it’s time to get her back.
  • The team meets and Angel shares what Drogyn said about the sarcophagus being preordained to disappear from the Deeper Well… that nothing could have stopped it.
  • Gunn says that’s not entirely true…
  • He reveals that the sarcophagus was stuck in Customs but someone got it out.
  • Doesn’t say it was him…
  • Wes argues that Fred is gone and there is no bringing her back based on how he saw Illyria hollow Fred out and take her body.
  • But our vampire heroes point out that it’s the soul that matters.
  • As long as Fred’s soul is still out there somewhere, they can find it and get it back where she belongs.
  • Once they do that, they’ll make everyone who had a hand in this pay.
  • In the meantime, they need to keep Illyria on a leash, so Angel asks Wes where he thinks she’d have gone.
  • Just then, Illyria grabs Knox through the office window and knocks Harmony across the lobby.
  • Knox brags about worshiping her and she just replies, “I know…”
  • In the lab, Illyria looks down at her sarcophagus while Knox goes on and on about loving her since he was 11.
  • He shows her how he surgically implanted her ancient relics inside his body so that she would be drawn to him when the time came.
  • She seems unimpressed.
  • Illyria complains that this world is not how she left it and Knox apologizes saying he can’t really do anything about that.
  • But she can… then she rips off her clothes…
  • Up in the office, Angel is on the phone with Giles, trying to track down Willow to help with Fred’s soul.
  • Wes apologizes for being irrational with Gunn, says he shouldn’t take it out on him because he has nothing to do with what happened.
  • But the guilt is written all over Gunn’s face.
  • Good thing Wes isn’t facing him as they talk.
  • Harmony strolls in to give them the news about Illyria being in the building and taking Knox.
  • Back in the lab, Illyria draws on energy from her sarcophagus to form new clothing for herself.
  • Just as she announces she’s ready, Angel, Spike, and a Wolfram & Hart tactical team enter the lab.
  • Angel tries to be intimidating, talking about how they’ve seen the rest of the Old Ones sealed away forever.
  • He tells her to stand down and they won’t destroy her as they work to restore Fred.
  • She declines, then throws Angel out the window, where he falls many stories to the ground below.
  • Illyria then exhibits some kind of time warping power that slows everyone else while she grabs Knox and exits the building.
  • Next step is to figure out where she’s going next.
  • Wes and Harmony go back to the lab to look for info that Knox could’ve been hiding.
  • Wes uses a crowbar to beat the crap out of the sarcophagus, which Harmony points out isn’t really helping.
  • But it does, because the point was to loosen a gem that could have some power left in it.
  • Harmony hands over Knox’s cell phone, which Wes discovers has been cleared of all incoming and outgoing calls.
  • But Harmony asks about missed calls, leading Wes to see that the same person has tried calling him three times in the last few hours.
  • Cut to the creepy doctor that pumped the law into Gunn’s brain.
  • Gunn walks in and is ready to beat him to a pulp.
  • The doctor just tells him what we already know… then he reveals there’s no way to get Fred back.
  • Fred’s soul was consumed by Illyria’s return.
  • Gunn accepts this as the truth and the doctor points out that he made a deal and now he has to learn to live with it.
  • Which is the moment Wes walks in, knocking out the doctor and pointing a shotgun at Gunn, asking if there’s anything he’d like to tell him.
  • Gunn explains to Wes that he couldn’t just go back to being the muscle, so he signed a paper…
  • He had no idea that it would affect one of them… that it would be Fred.
  • Wes tells Gunn that he understands not wanting to go back to what he was and can forgive that.
  • But then he says he cannot forgive that Gunn knew who was responsible for what happened to Fred…
  • Just before stabbing him in the gut.
  • Angel confronts Wes about stabbing Gunn and is still optimistic that they’ll get her back.
  • But Wes drops the bombshell about Fred’s soul being consumed in Illyria’s resurrection.
  • Wes still blames Gunn for just letting Fred die…
  • Angel says, “So did I.”
  • This confession should go over well.
  • It actually goes better than I thought, because Angel tells Wes he needs to bury what he’s feeling right now so they can focus on the real issue: Illyria.
  • Spike comes in and says she’s going to unleash hell on earth.
  • He’s been “interrogating” the doctor, who gave him the name of a place… where a temple to Illyria should be.
  • That’s where Illyria’s sarcophagus was meant to reappear.
  • Wes finds the temple in a book with an illustration of Illyria in its true form, surrounded by its army of doom.
  • The temple is located in LA, but out of phase with our time and only Illyria can open a portal to access it.
  • Illyria and Knox walk through a building that I assume is the exact location of the temple and she does just that… opens a portal.
  • Except nothing happens.
  • The gateway is blocked.
  • Knox assumes Wolfram & Hart did the blocking, but he brought a skeleton key.
  • Gunn wakes up in a hospital room and Harmony brings in some papers for him to sign.
  • Even Harmony is coming down on Gunn with the blame.
  • Sidebar: I get it. It’s tragic that Fred is gone. And I get how much it hurts everyone close to her.
  • But all the blame that Gunn is receiving for this is misplaced. It’s cheap and it’s petty.
  • Now, I can understand him blaming himself and I could even understand the others blaming him temporarily.
  • Thing is, Gunn had no idea what he was getting out of Customs when he signed that paper.
  • And even if he had read the document with his law-filled brain and known it was a document giving permission for the sarcophagus of an ancient demon to be delivered to Wolfram & Hart, there is no way he could have known that Knox intended for the demon to infect Fred.
  • He signed a paper that anyone else could have been guilty of signing.
  • Wrong place, wrong time.
  • Fred’s death is not Gunn’s fault.
  • He will carry the guilt of it for the rest of his life, but it is not his fault.
  • Rant over.
  • Knox is able to unblock the portal, but Wes, Angel, and Spike storm in.
  • Illyria doesn’t understand why Angel would fight for humanity… especially where Knox is concerned.
  • Angel explains that even though Knox is about as low as humanity gets, he’s still a part of it.
  • Sometimes humanity is ugly, but they’re fighting for the potential beauty–
  • And Wes shoots Knox dead.
  • I’m sure his finger slipped on the trigger…
  • Illyria is offended that they would think Knox matters to her.
  • She easily defeats them in battle and doesn’t kill any of them because they’re main characters.
  • Illyria slows time again and gets ready to make her escape, but then Angel shows up in her time zone and punches her.
  • Turns out the gem that Wes pulled from the sarcophagus gives the holder immunity to her time slowing power.
  • But that doesn’t stop her from opening her portal.
  • She hops through and Wes follows before it closes, leaving Angel and Wes behind.
  • Inside Illyria’s temple, Wes crashes to the floor as she announces he’s too late.
  • Her army will rise and the world will be hers once more.
  • Illyria finds the statue in tribute to her has been destroyed.
  • And her army of doom is nothing but dust.
  • Illyria kneels before her fallen statue and whines that her world is gone.
  • Wes holds a gun to her head and says, “Now you know how I feel.”
  • Before he can pull the trigger, he’s distracted by the opening of another portal.
  • When he turns back, Illyria is gone.
  • Wes regroups with Angel and Spike at the office.
  • Spike asks if he offer to go abroad is still on the table, then suggests Gunn should take it before Wes decides to take another poke.
  • Angel’s surprised that Spike is staying.
  • Spike seems surprised, too… but it’s what he wants.
  • The fight is coming and they can both feel it.
  • He doesn’t like Angel, probably never will, but what they’re doing at Wolfram & Hart is important… Fred gave her life for it.
  • Whatever is coming is bigger than Illyria.
  • Wes is cleaning out Fred’s office and Illyria shows up.
  • She doesn’t know why she was drawn there.
  • Illyria still retains some of Fred’s memories.
  • Wes tells her to leave but she has nowhere to go.
  • She needs to learn how to exist in this world and wants Wesley’s help.
  • He says that if he were to help her, she would have to change… no killing.
  • Body count: Humans – 1

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