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.
- Some poor sap with a sack over his head is being beaten to a bloody pulp in front of a fiery doorway.
- Angel rushes through the flames and pulls the man up to his feet, removing the sack from his head.
- The man thanks him…
- But then Angel vamps out and feeds.
- That’s not how this is supposed to work.
- Angel is supposed to rush through the flames and beat up the bad guys, saving the poor sap being beaten to a bloody pulp.
- He’s not supposed to feast on the guy as if he’s a piece of meat that’s just been tenderized.
- 19 hours earlier…
- Angel is in bed with Nina, the werewolf girl, who is seemingly quite impressed with his sexual prowess.
- Nina makes sure he’s not perfectly happy and is then concerned that he has too much on his mind.
- She suggests a vacation, but he says there are things he has to do… things he’s already set in motion that he needs to see through.
- Spike and Illyria have a pleasant conversation in the hallway and he suggests she should get out in the world instead of continuing to haunt Wolfram & Hart.
- She seems disturbed that Wesley no longer communicates with her but she’s aware that it’s because of her recent transformation into Fred.
- Spike tells her that even though she’s lost a lot of her power, looking like Fred is the most devastating power she has.
- Hamilton introduces Angel and Gunn to a Senator Brucker who goes way back with Wolfram & Hart.
- She has a vampire as a personal aide.
- …Who would like some virgin blood if they have it.
- Harmony mentions a no human blood policy, but Hamilton insists they could make an exception this time.
- Wesley interrupts before Angel can go into the meeting with the senator to inform him of a third body found in an abandoned amusement park.
- All evidence points to a Boretz demon, which Spike has a low opinion of.
- The most recent victim was a teenage girl who was apparently ripped apart…
- Angel says there’s not much they can do about it now.
- But Wes insists they need to stop the demon before it kills again, but Angel is less than concerned.
- “We can’t save everybody and we can’t sweat the small stuff.”
- That really doesn’t sound like Angel talking.
- Spike volunteers to go after the Boretz and offers to take Illyria with him.
- Senator Brucker is concerned about a political rival running for her seat…
- She says she didn’t claw her way out of hell to be installed in a human body just to let some pedophile steal her Senate seat.
- That’s a lot of backstory in one sentence, lady.
- Gunn’s ears perk up at her claim of her opponent being a pedophile.
- She says he’s not yet… but the public better think he is by the time Wolfram & Hart are done with him.
- Gunn is vehemently against this suggestion, but Angel says they’ll do it.
- Gunn tries to pull Angel aside but he simply says he’s with the senator now.
- In Wesley’s office, he’s looking up info on the Boretz demon, but the magic book tells him he’s looking in the wrong place…
- Then the book shows him an image of a black circle with thorns all around it.
- Gunn bursts in to complain about Angel and Wes tells him to hold on, but the book is back to normal.
- Angel is playing racquetball with a demon who has that classic devil look about him.
- You know… red skin, goatee, horns, tail… the whole nine.
- He’s chatting up Angel about how pleased the Fell Brethren have been about the baby that they got a few episodes back.
- Devil boy says there’s a real buzz about Angel these days.
- So Angel asks how long until he gets an answer…
- Devil boy tells him to be patient.
- So that’s ambiguously disturbing.
- Spike and Illyria explore the abandoned park and she has noticed that Angel is clearly corrupted now.
- Spike doesn’t buy it, but Illyria tells him the proof will make itself known soon enough.
- She says that Angel will murder one of his people…
- Then Drogyn, Guardian of the Deeper Well, emerges from the shadows and declares that Angel already has.
- Of course, this is when the Boretz demon attacks, but Illyria makes light work of it.
- Drogyn seems like he’s in a lot of pain… verge of death…
- When Spike notices how wounded Drogyn is, he asks what did this.
- “It was Angel…”
- Wes goes to Angel with a hand drawn version of what he saw in the book.
- But he’s interrupting a meeting that Angel’s having with Hamilton.
- Surprisingly, Angel turns Wes away and tells him to close the door behind him.
- Lorne and Gunn ask Wes how it went with the boss and he lets them know exactly how it went.
- They can’t help but wonder why Angel doesn’t seem to be himself.
- Wes gets a call and they all head to Spike’s apartment where Drogyn tells his tale.
- He had been attacked and tortured by a demon that claimed it was sent by Angel.
- As for why Angel sent a demon to kill Drogyn?
- Because Angel was afraid that he would find evidence in the Deeper Well pointing to Angel’s involvement in Illyria’s escape.
- What about Illyria’s escape being predestined?
- Drogyn believes that Angel was involved in sacrificing Fred to bring forth Illyria.
- Wes asks Drogyn about the symbol, but he’s never seen it.
- Spike, however, grabs it and asks where he got that.
- Wes tells them that someone tapped into the book template to show it to him.
- Someone is leaving clues and Angel is acting out of character.
- Illyria tells them that he will make his move soon.
- Gunn, Lorne, Wes, and Spike decide it’s time to just talk to Angel, so they leave Illyria to guard Drogyn.
- Angel doesn’t seem too concerned that Drogyn is in town and that someone tried to kill him.
- Gunn asks if he’s Angel or Angelus and he just tells them if Angelus were here, half of them would be dead already, just for the fun of it.
- Angel reveals that it’s no longer about good and evil, tipping the balance one way or the other…
- It’s about power.
- Angel wants global power and until he has that he has nothing.
- Harmony interrupts with a call on line three and Angel sends everyone else away, slamming the door behind them.
- Wes and Lorne discuss Angel… that he’s never cared about power before.
- But Lorne points out that he’s never had real power before, even as Angelus.
- Spike and Gunn burst in with Lindsey in chains.
- Elsewhere, Angel meets with Nina and surprises her with plane tickets.
- Three of them… He wants her to take her sister and niece out of town because trouble is coming.
- He tells her he wants to be with her, but he wants her to be safe.
- Then he says if he gets through all of this intact, he’ll find her.
- So I guess he can cross “Break girlfriend’s heart” off his list of things to do.
- Illyria and Drogyn try to figure out the purpose of Crash Bandicoot.
- He tells her she has no right to walk this earth… and she now wishes it had never happened.
- Hamilton barges in… apparently he and Drogyn have a history.
- Illyria attempts to stop Hamilton, but he is able to easily beat the crap out of her.
- Lindsey claims he has no clue why Angel is doing what he’s doing.
- Then Wes shows him the symbol, which he clearly recognizes.
- “No way they’d take Angel.”
- The symbol is for the Circle of the Black Thorn, a powerful evil secret society.
- The players in the Circle are the ones responsible for keeping the apocalypse going in this dimension.
- To be in the Black Thorn is to be the Senior Partners’ instrument of destruction on earth.
- Angel couldn’t even get on the Circle’s radar until he killed one of his lieutenants.
- Wes suggests that something has swayed Angel and it may not be too late for them to save him… Angel would do the same for any one of them.
- Back to the scene from the start of the episode.
- We discover that the tortured man that Angel feeds on is Drogyn.
- Except he not only feeds… he snaps Drogyn’s neck.
- Devil boy brands Angel with the Black Thorn symbol, welcoming him to the fold.
- Among the members: Archduke Sebassis, Senator Brucker, the Fell Brethren, and Cyvus Vail.
- The Archduke refers to him as Angelus, but Angel makes it clear that he still has a soul.
- The next day at the office, Angel is cornered by his team who seem ready to kill him.
- They reveal that they figured out the Circle of the Black Thorn connection.
- He tells them that he’s running his business the way it needs to be run and if they don’t like it they can leave…
- …Before he kills them.
- Then the fight ensues.
- Angel manages to get Lorne and uses him as a demon shield.
- I almost said human shield but… you know…
- With a knife to Lorne’s throat, Angel pulls some kind of amulet out of his pocket and casts a spell.
- Then he releases Lorne and tells them they have six minutes before the glamour collapses.
- As far as anyone outside that room is concerned, they’re all still at each other’s throats.
- Wes: “Aren’t we?!”
- Everything they think they know about Angel and the Circle is a lie.
- It’s a lie that he has carefully put together.
- Angel’s the one who tapped into Wesley’s book to drop the symbol.
- Angel knew Drogyn could handle himself against the assassin, so Angel gave the killer enough information to make Drogyn think he had something to do with Fred’s death.
- The Black Thorn needed to believe Angel killed Fred and that his people no longer trusted him.
- Spike asks when all this started…
- Two months ago, with a kiss.
- Cordelia’s kiss before she died passed one last vision on to Angel, only it didn’t hit him until later.
- The vision put him on the right path to take down the powers that needed to be taken down.
- From then on, Angel decided to make Fred’s death matter and now he’s in the Circle.
- The Senior Partners will always be around in one form or another because mankind is weak.
- Those in power will always have power but they’ll never be able to control humanity’s ability to make choices.
- Heroes don’t accept the world the way it is.
- Angel wants to kill every single member of the Circle of the Black Thorn.
- It’ll bring the machine to a halt, if only for a moment.
- But this isn’t the kind of thing they just walk away from…
- The Senior Partners won’t allow them to just walk away if they do this.
- He puts it to a vote, as a team… telling them to seriously consider what he’s asking them to do.
- One by one, they all let him know they’re in.
- Outside the office, Hamilton watches through the window, seeing them still at each others’ throats…
- Body count: Humans – 1; Demons – 1
Only one episode left and then my rewatch of Angel is finished! In two weeks, I plan on putting together a top 10 list of favorite episodes. In three weeks, I plan on starting a rewatch of a new show. I haven’t given any clues about which show I’m choosing, but feel free to speculate in the comments!