ANGEL: “Sleep Tight”
Last week I started a new project on the blog: a series of retro recaps. I started things off by revisiting the first part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer pilot, “Welcome to the Hellmouth.” I wasn’t sure what the next episode to recap would be, but I found myself returning to a long-abandoned Angel rewatch this week, having been inspired by discussion on Twitter about Wesley’s story arc on the show. Also, this post is particularly fitting in that this week was the anniversary of Andy Hallett’s (Lorne) death. Mr. Hallett was a beautifully talented man, and he will always be remembered fondly by a legion of fans. I thought this might be a nice way to remember his work.
I chose “Sleep Tight” for a few reasons. One was simply happenstance, as I was by chance up to this episode in my Angel rewatch. Lucky me. Second, this is a major turning point for the character of Wesley Wyndam-Price. Wesley is one of my very favorite characters in the Whedonverse, and I consider his character arc to be one of the best on television. Alexis Denisof plays the twists and turns and slow builds oh-so perfectly, and it was an absolute pleasure to watch his journey from bumbling idiot to hardcore Marlboro Man throughout his Buffyverse run. (And yes, Wesley is my #1 TV boyfriend. Shhhhh. Don’t tell Malcom Reynolds, Dean Winchester, or Alaric Saltzman.) Also, this is a key episode for the series as a whole. The ramifications of “Sleep Tight” would be felt throughout the rest of season three, and even on through to the final season. Crazy important, people. The pivotal episode was written by series co-creator David Greenwalt, and directed by Terrence O’Hara.
Read on for my recap & review of Angel 3×16, “Sleep Tight.” The episode originally aired on March 4th, 2002. Don’t read this if you haven’t seen the entire series of Angel, because it could spoil you.
We open on the scribbled-down prophecy: “The father will kill the son.” A reminder, Wesley had been struggling with translating said prophecy for multiple episodes, and trying to figure out whether there was any way he might have misinterpreted it. After talking to a giant hamburger (don’t ask), he was convinced. Also, there were signs, including an earthquake and blood. (Too bad someone didn’t point out “Hey, Wesley, this is California. Also, blood is a daily part of your job description.” Sigh.) Anyway, Wesley is now convinced that Angel could kill is son, and he sits in his office reading with an intense look on his face. Then he gets up to look at Connor in the bassinette, who starts crying. Angel comes in and is all upbeat and drinking blood. There is some tension, as Wesley stands there kind of out of it, and Angel steps in to pick up his son. Since Angel thinks it’s sort of odd that Wes was just standing there rather than picking up the crying infant, Wes explains that he didn’t sleep. Angel: “You look like hell. And not the fun one where the burn you with hot pokers for all eternity, but the bad hard core one—you know, with Nixon and Britney Spears.” And we all know that Angel knows from hell. Wesley comments on Angel’s strange upbeat attitude (it really is weird), but Angel just says that he has all this energy and he could “drink a horse.” Hmmm. Angel brings up the earthquake from the previous episode, and Wesley proceeds to worry about not having insurance to pay for the damage. Angel tells him not to worry, as he can just move to another room. Reminder: this is when he’s living in the Hyperion Hotel.
Then they hear someone singing, and Angel brings Connor out to the courtyard to listen. Angel is still happily drinking his blood and has a little bit of a smirk on his face. We see that Lorne is with a young blond lady, who is singing to him as he reads her. Connor fusses and Angel brings him over to the weapons cabinet to calm him. He points out his favorite broad sword to his son. Ah, nothing like father and son bonding. Hee. Then Angel suddenly starts to worry that they need to start baby-proofing everything. He hands off the baby to Wesley, intending to start right away. Oh, nervous daddy Angel. Upon seeing Wesley’s odd expression, Angel tells Connor: “Yeah, he loves you bunches. He’s just … English.” Ha!
We then see Fred (love her!) coming down the stairs, talking on the phone to Gunn. She tries to convince her boyfriend (yes, this is when they’re dating) that “Texas doesn’t hate the black man.” Hmmm. She then asks what’s so great about California, and as Gunn answers, he enters the hotel. The two are all cutesy in love. This type of happiness can only lead to heartbreak in the Angelverse. Don’t smile so widely in front of the cameras, Fred and Gunn! Think of the children! Wesley is not as charmed by the lovebirds, and makes an ill-humored comment about them using company phones. Oh, Wesley, I wish Fred picked you in “Waiting in the Wings” too, but don’t be such a brat.
Angel, meanwhile, is still all happy and upbeat and it is really starting to freak me out. Seeing Wes holding Connor, Angel comments on how Connor likes Wesley. Wesley says that he likes him too and suggests taking Connor to the park or beach or something. Planning a kidnapping, Wesley? Oh, that’s bound to work out swimmingly. Then Lorne comes in from outside and asks them to all come out to the courtyard to listen to Kim (that’s the blond lady’s name) sing. They do so, and after some pretty singing, her face suddenly shifts into a scary and gross demon face. Icky. Lorne: “Catchy finish, huh?” Cue the credits. I love the Angel credits and the theme music by the Darling Violetta. In fact, I am listening to the Angel: Live Fast, Die Never soundtrack as I write this. Oh, and I especially love the shot of Cordy bouncing with joy because Angel bought her clothes. So classic. Ah, and then there’s Angel’s “Batman” shot at the end. Love it.
Lorne then tells the others that Kim is “good people.” He explains that he set her on her true path. The poor girl had been wasting her life in medical school. Gunn snarks, “Yeah, who needs more doctors in the world when you can have singing demons?” Hee. Angel continues to act weird (this will be a running theme, so bear with me). He starts talking about how he loves nuns, and all the while he can’t stop moving. Kim tells the story about her band, which is not really important, except that she is the client of the week. She explains that they started sprouting demon parts, and then she did too. She wonders if she’ll become like them, but the gang explains that it is just an infection, and they’ll give her “mystical antibiotic” (seriously) to clear it up. Fred: “I thought your saliva was suspect, what with being green and all … no offense Lorne.” Aw, I love sweet moments between Lorne and Fred. We learn that Kim’s band-mates are Wraithers, but they can briefly appear as human if they want to. Wes says that they have to kill the Wraithers, but he has business to take care of. Remember, this is back when Wes was in charge of Angel Investigations. Wes assigns the others to take care of it, while Angel continues to act weird and drink more blood. It really is odd that nobody notices Angel’s odd behavior, since he so rarely even drinks blood in front of people. If Cordelia was here she would have said something. Sadly, Cordelia is off with the Groosalugg on vacation, and doesn’t appear in this episode. However, since when she returns in the next episode she is sporting The Blond Hair of Impending Doom, we should probably just count our blessings. Speaking of Cordy, Fred suggests that they call her, but Angel doesn’t want to disturb her. He says that the Wraithers will be a piece of cake.
Cut to Holtz’s vampire-hatin’ fight club, led by the crazy redhead Justine. Oh, Justine, you do not have a good future ahead of you. Thinking about what happens later—you know, THE BUCKET—I kind of feel sorry for the evil bi*** … but only a little. The fanatics train, using a captive vampire to practice on. When break time is called, Justine chats with Holtz, whom she clearly idolizes and loves. In a nod to his old-world persona, he comments that he doesn’t like tea in Styrofoam cups. Well, there’s something that Mr. Revenge and I can agree on. Holtz asks Justine if she’s ready, referring to the impending attack on Angel and company, and she reveals that she is hesitant about killing humans. It looks like Holtz is going for his knife, but before he can use it, Justine justifies the attack to him and, more importantly, to herself: “They chose Angel. That makes them enemy soldiers.” At this point we see that Wesley has entered, and he overheard. He sarcastically comments, “So I guess that makes it alright.” Holtz greets him politely and tells Justine not to be rude when she is less welcoming. Holtz says that Wes is “in the throes of a very difficult decision.” Hmmm.
Meanwhile, Kim’s demon band plays bad music for a couple groupies, and we see the icky demon body parts that were previously described. Then Angel, Gunn, and Fred show up. Gunn throws something through the window to make a grand entrance, and one of the demon musicians asks if they’re the A & R guys. Angel: “We’re not the A & R guys. We just want to kill you.” Well then. Fred quickly ushers the girls out, so that they won’t get hurt. Just as Gunn has his crossbow aimed, Angel decides to take a more up-close-and-personal approach. He vamps out and jumps onto the stage to attack them. He really wants to get his hands dirty, I guess. In fact, he throws one guy across the room, ripping his entire arm off in the process. Eeew. Since Angel is usually more prone to using weapons, and only rarely vamps out when fighting, this should have been another major clue. Again, Cordy is missed. Another clue: Angel reacts to the arm-ripping with “That was fun!” Um, when Broody McBrooderson is having FUN, it is really time to worry.
We then return to Holtz and Wesley’s meeting. Does anyone else think that Holtz’s voice sounds a lot like the voice of the six-fingered man from The Princess Bride? You know, the measured tones and the quiet intensity? Anyway, Wesley insists, “I don’t want to see anyone get hurt—your soldiers or mine.” Holtz: “I share your hatred of violence, Mr. Wyndam-Price.” Riiiight. Holtz then refers to Angel as “Angelus” and Wes corrects him. Holtz: “I will never agree that he has somehow been absolved of his past by the presence of a soul.” Justine: “He’s a vampire, end of discussion. And I’ll bet you a dollar that this one’s here to stab us in the back.” Wes is perceptive, and asks who she lost. Justine says that it’s none of his business, but Holtz spills: it was her twin sister Julia. Wesley: “You lost family. I’m sorry. Angel and the people I work with are my family, and when I say that I don’t want to see anyone get hurt [grabs her, and pulls her knife away], I mostly mean them. But I don’t stab people in the back.” Hard core awesome. And see, Wes’s intentions are oh-so good, even though his secretive planning is ill-advised. Holtz: “You’re an honest man. I trust you. And you can trust me.” Wes is not an idiot: “That’s funny. I don’t.” Holtz: “Well your problem isn’t me right now. Your problem is your friend who’s going to kill his own child. You know you have to do something about it. You know if you don’t, I will. Don’t misunderstand me. I won’t stand by while an innocent child is murdered. But I won’t attack and endanger other innocent lives unless I’m forced to.” Wesley: “How long do I have?” Holtz: “I’ll give you one day. You may not trust me, but I trust you to do what’s right. One day. After that … everyone will get hurt.”
Cut to Lorne, wearing a bright orange shirt. Love him! He’s babysitting Connor, and telling the baby stories about the Rat Pack. You know, just to further prove his awesomeness. Love him times a thousand! Angel and company return and report that the Wraithers have been dealt with. Angel immediately pours some blood, and he seems really thirsty. Lorne comments, “Connor needs some papa-love,” which sets Angel off. Angel starts ranting: “He needs a lot of things. All day, every day.” Lorne: “Yeah, that’s kind of how kids …” Angel: “Connor needs a bath. Connor needs a bottle. What Connor needs is to grow up.” Lorne asks if something is wrong. (Duh!) Angel: “Gosh, no, Lorne. Everything’s just great. I’ve got a kid that cries, pees, and moans, and never gives me a moment to myself.” Lorne tries to soothe the fussing baby: “Oh, it’s all right.” Angel: “It’s really not. Connor, shut up!” Fred speaks up: “Don’t yell at him. He’s just a baby!” Angel: “If he keeps it up, he’s not gonna be a baby for long.” Oh wow. He then throws his glass of blood against the wall, and Gunn tells him to get a grip. Angel kind of stands there, out of it, staring at the blood on the wall, and then asks what’s wrong with him. That is the question. He notes that “Something’s not right,” which I think is a bit of an understatement. Lorne asks about the increased blood that he’s drinking, and Angel says that it’s been going on for a few days. He got it from the same butcher as always, but “This last batch just seemed so much more … tasty.” Uh oh. Gunn starts describing Angel’s recent wacky behavior, and Fred wisely adds: “Just like my aunt Viola and her Southern Comfort.” Hee. The gang decides to check out if someone’s been spiking his blood.
Meanwhile, Welsey walks down the sidewalk, presumably on his way home. He sees a normal father and son, and a woman at the door welcoming them home, and kind of slows down to watch. It’s a sweet and sad little moment. But then he calls out: “Oh, for god’s sake. I know you’re better at following people than this. So what’s the play?” It seems that Justine is following him, and Wes caught on. Justine says: “I just need to talk to you. I’m alone. He doesn’t know that I’m … I want to talk to you about him.” Wes: “Holtz? Great guy. Not overly tall. Is this the part where you offer to help me behind his back?” I love Wes’s dark sense of humor, and just the way that he interacts with Justine in general. He totally has her psychology down (though in the end he will underestimate her psychosis). Justine gets annoyed: “Do you believe in anything? Or is it all just a big scam to you?” Wes: “You’re a soldier—the fight to the death kind. I respect that. You work for a man who you think is noble and good. I respect that. Trouble is, he’s not.” Well said. Justine: “You work with a vampire.” Wes: “Who in fact is noble and good. Quirky, but there it is. Holtz talks about justice and its stirring, but what he wants is revenge. He’s driven by it, blinded by it. And if you, me, or anybody else gets in his way, he’ll kill for it.” Justine: “You’re wrong. You don’t know him. Everything that he’s done for me, for all of us …” Wes: “It sounds like a nice cult.” Ha! EXACTLY. Justine: “He gave you his word. He’ll keep it. You’re the one who’s blind.” Wes: “How so?” Justine: “What you’re about to do to your friend—I imagine it’s easier to hate Holtz than yourself.” Wes sadly replies: “There’s enough to go around for both him and me.” He then tells her to be careful before turning and walking away. As soon as Wes is out of sight, Holtz shows up behind Justine. He says that he didn’t even hear her leave, which surprised me, because I was thinking that her discussion with Wes might have been Holtz-approved. Uh oh … someone’s in trouble with her crazy time-travelling vampire-hunter cult leader.
Cut back to the hotel, where the blood drips down the wall. Angel passes on holding his son, worried about his recent behavior. Fred has analyzed the blood and says that there’s more to it than pig’s blood: “There’s just a trace of …” Angel: “Human blood in it. I can feel it. It’s Connor’s.” Creeeeepy. Gunn: “How do you know that?” Angel: “For the past couple of days, he’s smelled like food.” Even more creeeeepy. Vampires: not ideal parents. Lorne: “They’ve been feeding you your own son’s blood so you’d get the taste for it and want more.” Shudder. Fred: “Who’s they?” Angel: “Who do you think?” Oh, who is it always? Gotta love that evil law firm …
Speaking of, we then cut to my favorite Wolfram & Hart attorney, Lilah, sitting at a bar. As she looks ahead into the mirror behind the bar, she senses Angel’s presence. It is a very cool scene. Lilah: “Like a cat. Can’t hear you, but I’m starting to be able to feel you when you’re near. Isn’t that nice and creepy?” Hee. She asks how he found her. Angel: “Your assistant.” Lilah: “I’ll have his arms broken.” Angel: “Already taken care of.” Lilah: “And am I next?” Angel: “You know, Lilah, there are so many things I could do to you. With transfusions, I could keep you alive indefinitely. I do have some expertise in this area. My own son. How could you?” Lilah: “It’s my job.” Angel: “Don’t you ever get tired of the whole femme fatale act? [He orders whiskey.] How ‘bout just once you talk to me like a person.” Lilah: “Look, I’ve been doing this a long damn time. I’ve had to be better, smarter, quicker than every man at Wolfram & Hart.” Angel: “So it’s a feminist thing.” He tells the bartender that his drink is on Lilah. Lilah: “It’s a survival thing. I’ve made a lot of devil’s bargains and I stuck to them. As a result I live somewhat dangerously and quite comfortably. My mother, who no longer recognizes me, has the best room at the clinic. I get up every morning, put on my game face, and do what I have to.” Angel: “The thing about a game face, Lilah, you wear it long enough, it stops being something you can put on and take off.” Lilah: “Wow. We have spent so much time and money on you, you’re so pivotal to the coming cataclysms, that I sometimes forget how dense you can be. The game face, the one I worked hard to get, I became that years ago. Just like you’ve become simpering and good from yours. If you’re the new poster boy for human, thank you very much, I don’t want it.” See why Lilah is my favorite? Like, I seriously get so happy when I see Stephanie Romanov’s name in the credits. Angel gives as good as he gets in the conversation too, which is something. He replies: “Speaking as one non-human to another, I’m sorry if I hit a nerve.” Lilah laughs. “You think you can awaken some buried spark of decency in me? Is that the way you ‘help your helpless’? I am not helpless. I’m glad you came along, because I was sitting here feeling a little what’s-it-all-about, and now I know. It is all about making the rest of your eternal life miserable.” Glasses clink. What a toast.
This awesome exchange is interrupted when Sahjhan appears. Remember, he’s the weird looking demon who brought Holtz to the present. He yells at Lilah: “You backstabbing traitorous bitch! I have a lot of work to do. I can’t be in every time-space at once. And here I find you drinking with my sworn enemy.” Angel’s reaction is hilarious: “Sworn enemy? Really? Have we met? Because I don’t remember swearing.” Hee. Lilah: “Sahjhan, he found me.” Angel: “So, you all are in cahoots. Ethereal time-traveling demon. You’re the screwball who brought Holtz back. How’s that working out? He’s not very fond of demons, is he?” Ha! Sahjahn: “You will learn nothing from me.” Lilah: “Other than you’re his sworn enemy who brought Holtz back and when that didn’t work out you came to me. Idiot!” Hee. Favorite scene! I love the way that this show could shift tonally, from intense to hilarious, in the blink of an eye. Even when the plot-lines aren’t my favorite, Angel episodes always provide little moments of pure awesome. Sahjhan: “Hey, you think my life is easy? I’m jumping from one dimension to another. I don’t always have sound. Sometimes it’s just a visual. Saw you two sitting here all chummy.” Angel: “So, why do you want to kill me?” Lilah: “He wouldn’t tell me either. Not that I need a reason. I was just curious.” She turns to Sahjahn: “Did he boink your demon bride? Eat your mother?” She realizes that Angel really doesn’t know who he is. Instead of explaining, Sahjhan cryptically announces “You will pay,” and then disappears.
Cut to Wesley, returning to the hotel. Baby Connor in his bassinette, fussing. Wesley starts packing the diaper bag, when Lorne comes downstairs and asks what he’s doing. Wesley explains that he’s taking Connor to his place. They’re going to the park in the morning, so the baby is going to spend the night. Lorne says that Fred and Gunn went out to get food, and wonders why Angel didn’t say anything. However, Lorne quickly rationalizes that everything was a bit hectic, so he seems to accept Wes’s story. Wes picks up the baby, ready to leave, but then he makes the mistake of singing to him to soothe his fussing. Lorne, being Lorne, is able to read Wes and learn the highlights of his regrettable plan–but without any of the context. Wesley realizes his mistake, and puts down the baby. He then attacks Lorne (bad Wesley!), knocking him out. However, when Wes picks up Connor again, Angel returns. Angel asks where everyone is, and Wesley nervously explains. He talks fast, and fills him in on his plan to take Connor for the night. Given what happened earlier, Angel thinks that this is a good idea. Wesley passes the baby over to his dad to say goodbye. Again, Wes seems nervous, but Angel doesn’t seem to notice. Angel is very sweet with Connor, and shows his overprotective side by grilling Wes about his pediatrician’s number, etc. So bittersweet, given that this is actually the last time that Angel will hold his baby. Angel then asks if Wes knows about a time traveling demon named Sahjhan. He wants Wes to hit the books before he goes. Wes says that he has better reference materials at home, and also makes excuses for Lorne’s absence. Angel says okay, but to call him if he finds something. Wes assures the worried daddy that he knows the closest infant care center before leaving. Gaaaah! Such a stressful scene. I want to be able to jump into my TV, and then pull a Zack timeout, you know. I would grab the baby, and leave a detailed note explaining everything to everyone. Alas …
Later, Gunn and Fred return, and Angel tries to play off Connor’s absence as a good thing. But Gunn can see that Angel is feeling a little lost on his first night without his son, and he offers to stay up with him. Awww. These sweet plans are interrupted, however, when they hear a noise. There’s always a noise, right? It’s Lorne groaning in the next room, but before they can check, Holtz and his makeshift army enter. So much for the whole “I’ll give you one day” promise. What a lying liar who lies. There’s some small talk, and Angel brings up Sahjhan: “He hates me. Do you know why?” Holtz: “I don’t’ really care why. So, where is the little nipper?” Angel says that he’s out, and asks: “Did you come here to fight or should I make some tea?” Holtz came to fight, and he tells his minions, “I want to keep Angelus alive, but not well.” Violence ensues, in which Fred proves herself to be pretty handy with a crossbow. Go, Fred! Then Lorne wakes up and uses his shrill screaming powers. Lorne rules! As the fighting goes south for Holtz and company, Holtz actually just walks out on his people. Seriously. Looks like this may have been a diversion and/or he’s a selfish bastard motivated purely by revenge. Once things calm down, the truth comes out about Wes—he’s the one who knocked out Lorne. Lorne also explains about his reading: “He’s been to see Holtz behind your back, twice. And he’s not taking the baby overnight. He’s taking the baby away … for good.” Dun dun dun.
Cut to Wesley loading the car. He hears a noise, and despite me screaming at the TV to JUST IGNORE IT, Wesley turns to see Justine stumbling across the park. Just leave Wesley! Leeeeeeeeaaaaaaave! But he doesn’t listen to me. Instead, he pulls out his gun—while holding Connor—and walks toward the visibly injured psychopath. She cries: “He’s everything you said. It’s true.” Wes: “What happened?” Justine: “Well, he didn’t keep his word. He took everybody and he went after the baby. And when I questioned him … bastard! I’ll kill him for this. You have to get out of here.” From what she’s saying, it seems that Holtz beat the crap out of her when she dared to question him. Wesley takes pity on her (he won’t make that mistake again!) and tells her that she has to get to the hospital. Then, when Wes gets close to help her, she SLITS HIS THROAT and steals the baby and his car. OMG. I just … can’t even. This was all part of Holtz’s plan! Wesley lies bleeding and alone in the middle of the dark and deserted park. Oh, my poor fragile heart!
Cut to the Angel and company at the hotel, discussing their next move. Angel declares: “Holtz is the key. I want Holtz.” Gunn points out that they don’t have the whole story, and warns Angel that he shouldn’t get carried away. Angel gets aggressive, and Fred steps in to break up the fight. She says, “There’s only one thing that matters right now and that’s where is Connor.” Angel is understandably upset and starts throwing Holtz’s men around, trying to get information. Eventually, he gets an address and rushes off to Holtz’s house/ training camp. Meanwhile, Fred and Gunn decide to try to find Wes before Angel does. Good plan. Lorne: “I’ll stay here in case he comes back. And this time I’ll be ready.” He brandishes a baseball bat. Awww.
We then see Lilah standing in front of Holtz’s place with a SWAT team of sorts. There is no sign of Holtz or the baby. Then there’s some intel over the police radio, and Lilah and team learn Holtz’s location. As they gear up to head after Holtz, Angel does too, confiscating one of the Wolfram & Hart vehicles. Stealthy.
Meanwhile, Justine picks up Holtz, who was waiting for her on a deserted street. He asks, “It went well?” Justine: “Very well. You’re paying for my dental work.” Holtz looks back at Connor: “Hello, son, I’m your father. And that strong lady with the black eye is your mother. Your name is Steven Franklin Thomas, and you’re going to grow up with me on a little ranch in the middle of nowhere.” To Justine: “What’s it like in Utah?” Justine: “It’s pretty.” Holtz: “Let’s go.” Soooooo creeeeeepy. Steven was Holtz’s dead baby’s name—the who Angelus killed. And Holtz and Justine have such a disturbing relationship. “Oh, honey, remember that time you beat me up so I could trick that well-meaning guy and slit his throat? And then we kidnapped a baby! Haha! Good times. We’re gonna be GREAT parents.”
As the new “family” drives away, however, a number of Jeeps begin trailing them, and eventually Holtz and Justine are cornered and must get out of the car. Holtz threatens to snap the baby’s neck if anyone comes closer. A lovely man, really. Lilah demands that he hand the kid over to her people. Angel: “Don’t.” Lilah: “That’s cute. You’d rather see the fanatic with the baby than us?” She then starts explaining automatic weapons to Holtz, trying to threaten him into giving up, but Angel steps in: “And if they were gonna use them, they would have already. They want the baby alive.” Holtz: “Something we all have in common.” Sahjhan appears, however, and begs to differ: “Not all of us.” He addresses Lilah: “You do not want the child alive. You want the child dead. That was our arrangement.” Lilah: “Yeah, I’m a lawyer. Have you met me? We have a new arrangement. I’m keeping the baby.” Ha! So Lilah-esque. Sahjhan: “You can’t do that.” Lilah tells her people: “Ignore the loudmouth with the bad skin. He’s impotent in this dimension.” Then Holtz speaks up: “We’re leaving.” Lilah: “No one’s going anywhere.” As her armed man step forward, Angel pulls away a machine gun. Lilah tells her men not to shoot. Angel: “Yeah. You really don’t want to. Your bullets won’t kill me, but mine will kill you and her first.” Holtz, still maintaining the threat of infant-neck-snapping, warns: “He’ll be dead before I hit the ground.” Angel: “I know.” Holtz: “So, I’m going to leave now. With me he gets to live. If anyone tries to take him, he dies.” Angel concedes: “Take him.” He just wants his son to be safe. Sahjhan is NOT pleased: “Whoa, no! What is wrong with you people?!” Holtz ignores the demon with the bad skin, and tells Angel: “I will take good care of him, as if he were my own son. He will never even know that you existed. But come after me … you will though, won’t you? Maybe I should just ….” Angel shouts: “No! Please, take him.”
However, this better-of-two-evils solution is not to be. Sahjhan starts muttering an incantation of sorts, and suddenly opens up a portal. And not just any portal, but some kind of hardcore tear in the fabric of the universe. Now that he has everyone’s attention, he explains: “What you’re looking into is the Quor’toth, the darkest of the dark worlds. So, I can widen the portal and you all can be swallowed up by a world you cannot begin to imagine. Or you can keep your word and kill that child. Now!” There is a pause, and when he get no response, he says, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” and the portal gets even scarier and more fiery. Lilah orders her people: “Kill it.” Angel: “No!” As he steps forward to block Connor from Wolfram & Hart bullets, Holtz runs forward and jumps into the portal, taking baby Connor with him. Angel tries to follow, but he is incapacitated by some type of mystical lightning bolt thingy. Sahjhan: “Wow. I didn’t count on that. Kind of takes care of my problem.” He mutters the incantation again, and the portal closes. Before disappearing, he adds: “All right then. Have a good summer.” Lilah’s response? “Well, I’m looking at a mountain of paperwork.” Oh, Lilah. One of her minions asks, “Should we do something about …” Lilah looks at Angel, lying on the ground in all kinds of pain, and replies: “Yes we should. We should let him suffer.” Dramatic music plays, as we see the distraught father lying on the ground calling Connor’s name. Grrr. Arrgh.
So, what did you think of this episode and the whole Connor-is-kidnapped storyline? What about Wesley? Did you want to kill him, like Angel tries to in the next episode? Or did you, like me, understand where he was coming from, and forgive him? He did suffer a lot for his mistake after all, including coming pretty frakin’ close to death. And his alienation from his friends leads to so much dark and twisted awesomeness: Justine and her bucket, the Wes and Lilah relationship, etc. What about the series as a whole? What were your favorite seasons, episodes, and moments? If and when I do another retro recap about Angel, what episode should I pick? (To be clear, “She” is off the table.) I so rarely get to talk about this show, so let’s discuss in the comments. Of course, Cordelia’s blonde hair (and the subsequent ruination of her character) is too painful a topic. Let us forget that happened.