Rewatching Angel – Episode 109

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.

Power Play

  • 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.
  • Fred?
  • 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!

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