Wesley is staring at his translation of the prophecy. Connor is fussing. Angel comes in and says you're supposed to pick them up when they fuss. Angel is very chipper. Wesley points out they have no insurance and so cannot afford to fix the earthquake damage. Angel says he'll just move to another room in the hotel. He hears singing, Lorne has a client in the garden. Angel shows Connor his weapons and realizes he has to start babyproofing the place. Fred is on the phone telling someone Texas is the best state. It becomes clear she's talking to Gunn, who arrives with his cell phone in hand. Wesley says he'd like to take Connor to the park or beach, just the two of them, in the next day or two. Angel agrees. Lorne comes out and asks them to look at his client. She sings a quiet and sweet song, then suddenly turns it into hard rock and becomes a demon. She reverts back to human and Lorne comforts her.
The singer tells her story. She hooked up with a new band and they began changing after a few days. The guys grew extra fingers and spiny things and she started having these episodes. And their music changed and became louder and more violent. Angel starts talking about the flying nun and whether it was magic or God which made her fly. Wesley realizes the musicians are wraithers, they can appear human for a short time and infect humans with a disease which makes them appear as demons. There's an antibiotic and Lorne says he can get it for her. Angel says they pose as musicians to get the chicks. Wesley send Angel, Gunn, and Fred to kill the wraithers, tells Lorne to look after the baby, and says he has some errands to run. Fred wants to call Cordelia and Groo, but Angel says no.
Justine is training the followers. Holtz says he doesn't like tea in styrofoam cups and she says she'll get him china. She tells him she has qualms about killing the people who side with Angel. She believes they are innocent. But she does admit they chose to be soldiers on the other side. Wesley shows up and asks if that makes it alright. Holtz offers Wesley some apple.
The gang arrive at the rehearsal space where the wraithers are playing surrounded by some girls. Fred takes the girls outside and Angel puts on his vampire face and attacks the wraithers. He goes pretty wild, taking out two of them and actually ripping the arm of one of them. He says it was fun. Meanwhile, Wesley is telling Holtz he doesn't want to see anyone get hurt and Holtz says he also dislikes violence and he's meted out less of it in his life than Angel has. Justine says he's a vampire, end of story. She approaches Wesley with a knife, saying she thinks he's there to stab them in the back. Wesley asks who she lost. Holtz says her twin sister Julia. Wesley says he's sorry she lost family. He says Angel and the others are his family. He grabs Justine and says when he says he doesn't want anyone to get hurt he means them. Holtz takes away Justine's knife and says Wesley is an honest man and so is he. That Wesley can trust him. Wesley says he doesn't. Holtz says that's not his problem. His problem is that Angel is going to kill his son. He says Wesley must do something about that or he will. He gives him one day to act.
Lorne is telling a rat pack story to Connor. Angel, Gunn, and Fred return and Angel starts complaining about what a burden Connor is. Angel gets angry and hurls his glass of blood into the wall. They all stare at him and he wonders what's wrong with him. Lorne wonders why he's drinking so much blood. Angel says it's from the same butcher as always, but it tastes better. They wonder if his blood is spiked.
Wesley is walking down a street. He realizes someone is following him and we see it is Justine. She says he doesn't understand Holtz. Wesley says she thinks Holtz is noble and good and he isn't. But that Angel is. Justine suggests Wesley is busy hating Holtz because that's easier than hating himself for his coming betrayal of Angel. Wesley walks off and Holtz suddenly appears behind Justine having followed her.
Fred discovers the pigs blood has some human blood mixed in. Angel realizes it is Connor's blood and that lately Connor has smelled like food to him. He realizes Wolfram & Hart are behind this. Cut to the bar, where Lilah is having a drink. Angel shows up. Lilah comes on tough, saying she's happy with the bargains she has made and has no regrets. She says making him suffer is her goal. Sahjhan appears, thinking Lilah and Angel are joining forces. She explains the situation, but now Angel knows that they are working together. But he doesn't recognize Sahjhan and can't figure out what he has against him.
Wesley returns to the hotel. He starts packing Connor's things. Lorne comes in and asks what he's doing and Wesley says he's taking Connor for the night. Lorne starts to tell him about what happened, but before he gets to the bit about the doped blood Connor starts to cry and Wesley picks him up and starts humming a lullaby. Lorne reads him and clearly doesn't like what he reads. Wesley realizes what has happened and takes off after Lorne. He catches him in the office and beats him unconscious. Wesley goes back into the other room and picks up Connor. Angel arrives and asks where everyone is. Wesley tells him Gunn and Fred went for food (Lorne has told him this) and Lorne went out. He says he wants to take Connor to the park across the street from his place and would like to keep him overnight so they can go in the morning. Angel agrees and asks if he knows anything about Sahjhan. Gunn and Fred return with the food and ask where Lorne is. Wesley says he thinks he had to see a client. Wesley says he has books to look up Sahjhan at home. He takes Connor. Angel asks where's the closest emergency room to his place and Wesley says Drew Medical is one minute away. He leaves.
Angel is obviously lonely and Fred and Gunn offer to stay with him. Lorne moans, but before they can investigate Holtz and his gang enter. Angel asks about Sahjhan, but Holtz isn't answering questions. He orders his men to attack. Holtz' men start to get the upper hand, but Lorne comes too and utters a piercing high note which incapacitates them. Angel and Gunn manage to fight them off and Holtz leaves, abandoning some of his people. Angel thinks they beat up Lorne, but he tells them what happened with Wesley. He read that Wesley saw Holtz and that he is taking the baby away for good.
Wesley is leaving his place with Connor. Justine shows up. She's badly beaten and says Holtz betrayed her. But when Wesley goes to help her, she cuts his throat, grabs the baby, and takes off in his car. Wesley is holding his throat and falls to the ground.
Angel realizes he has to find Holtz to find Wesley. Gunn tries to calm him down, but soon they are fighting. Fred breaks them up and Angel threatens the injured followers and gets one to tell where Holtz is. Angel leaves and Fred and Gunn go to Wesley's place to see if they can find him. At Holtz', Lilah is waiting with a small army. Holtz isn't there, but her men find him at the Sixth Street Bridge. They leave for the bridge. Angel is there and knocks out two of the men and takes their vehicle. Holtz meets Justine who has brought the baby. They are leaving together for Utah and Holtz intends to raise Connor as his son with Justine as his wife. He's renaming him Steven Franklin Thomas. As they drive off, Lilah's army and Angel arrive. They are stopped and Angel knocks down Justine, but Holtz grabs Connor and threatens to kill him. Angel says they want the baby alive. Holtz says they all do. Sahjhan materializes and says not all of them. He tells Lilah to kill the baby, but she won't saying she wants it. Angel grabs a gun from one of the soldiers. Holtz says he's leaving and Angel agrees he can keep the baby. Holtz says he'll take good care of him, raising him as his own son and not telling him about Angel. Sahjhan opens a portal to Quortoth, the darkest of the dark worlds. He says he'll widen it and envelop them all if they don't do what he wants. They don't and he starts widening the portal. Lilah orders her men to kill the baby. Holtz pushes Justine away and runs into the portal. Angel tries to follow but a lightning bolt hurtles him back. Sahjhan closes the portal and leaves. Lilah tells her men to leave Angel to suffer and goes. Angel lies on the ground, in pain, calling Connor's name.
Back when Buffy debuted, the Buffyverse applied a criminal model to demons. Demons were bad and you destroyed and/or punished them. When we discovered Angel was a vampire with a soul, he became the one exception to the rule. Then Angel debuted and we met Doyle, a good semi demon. Since then we've had Spike (turned good or at least forced to act good through science), Anya (a reformed now exdemon), Lorne (a completely socialized demon on the side of good), a whole host of good or at least not actively evil demons like Skip and Clem and Merl, and the demonization of Cordelia, one of the good guys. And this week we get antidemon antibiotics. The criminal model has been replaced by a medical model, one which says demons can be good or evil depending on how you treat them. That they can change from evil to good. Holtz doesn't believe that. He believes once evil always evil. And he's willing to do anything to stop that evil, including betraying everyone who has sided with him. And he does that big time this episode, betraying Sahjhan, Justine, and his other followers. Meanwhile, Wesley continues to parallel Holtz, engaging in a similar series of betrayals with similar high ideals at their core.
Holtz offering Wesley some apple is a clear reference to the temptation of Eve. Holtz hopes to get through to Angel by causing Wesley to fall. Wesley has acquired some knowledge, of the prophecy, and has been talking to the devil (Holtz) without Angel's knowledge. Holtz is tempting him to join the side of evil by making it seem good. He tells Wesley that he will be saving Connor. Justine further confuses Wesley by asking whether his hatred and distrust of Holtz is really an attempt to avoid self hatred for his planned betrayal of Angel.
Back in Epiphany, Angel tried to make up for his betrayal of the gang (a betrayal which was the result of his good intentions of keeping them separate from his descent into darkness) by making himself subservient to them, realizing only time and many good deeds would lead to his reacceptance. You have to wonder what Wesley will have to do to make up for his betrayal.
I think Justine and Lilah are becoming parallel characters. Both are pretty cold blooded and yet both seem redeemable. Both have made deals with the devil, Lilah literally and Justine metaphorically through Holtz. Both reject overtures for help, Lilah in her talk with Angel and Justine in her several encounters with Wesley. Lilah leaves Angel crying on the ground and Justine leaves Wesley bleeding on the ground. Both have adopted a persona, Lilah the femme fatale and Justine the vampire slayer. But you get the feeling both are a lot softer than they let on.
The big mystery is who is Sahjhan. The most obvious answer is that he is Connor raised in the hell dimension and unaware of his true identity. But why would he want to kill himself. I can see Holtz raising him to hate Angel, but why focus on killing the baby if they are the same person. Also, I can't think of any corruption of the name Holtz was going to give him that sounds like Sahjhan (I was thinking St. John). I've seen speculation he is Doyle, although why Doyle would become evil isn't clear. He might be Groo, I can definitely see Groo hating Angel. He could be Skip, who seems to have similar powers and whose motivations are obscure. Of course, he could also be a demonized Lindsey which might be the most credible explanation. But Angel has made tons of enemies over the years and picking one isn't easy. To be honest, I'll be disappointed if he is Connor since that is the most obvious connection.
Some quick final thoughts. Last week, I commented on how much blood Angel was drinking. This was a little too obvious. Although apparently not obvious enough for the gang who took forever to notice it. You'd think Angel's obsession with the Flying Nun would have been enough to get them thinking about spiked blood. For the record, the flying nun flew because she was really light and tiny and her habit was like a giant set of wings. When the winds was really strong, as it always seemed to be, she lifted off. The show never implied anything mystical or even divine (probably fearful of a backlash from religious groups). When you come down to it, that was probably a pretty daring show for the times. There was some nice misdirection or maybe foreshadowing when Holtz takes out his knife while talking to Justine about her qualms. Justine's twin sister was called Julia. De Sade wrote a story about sisters Justine and Juliette. In an episode full of sad moments, one of the best was Angel not holding his son because he feared he would hurt him. We're getting to the point where anytime someone looks in a mirror you just know a vampire is sneaking up on them. I love the continual reference to Fred and her eating. I can see how that high pitched squeal from Lorne hurts, but I don't understand why the gang are less incapacitated than the others. It was nice the way they worked in the fact there is an ER within a minute of Wesley's place. He's going to need it. A good rule of thumb is if you know something of vital importance (like they were doping Angel's blood), blurt it out right away. Did Holtz change his mind about Angel right at the end? If not, why does he tell him he'll take care of Connor, justifying Angel letting him go?
Lines of the week:
"Glad to see you're using the company phones for such important calls." - Wesley being petty.
"The past couple of days, he's smelled like food." - Angel after having drunk Connor's blood.
"It's all about making the rest of your eternal life miserable." - Lilah answering the big question of life.
"I'm a lawyer, have you met me." - Lilah on why you can't trust her.
"We should let him suffer." - Lilah on what to do with Angel.Got a comment? Send me mail.
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