"Awakening"
Written by David Fury and Steve DeKnight; directed by James A. Contner

Everyone’s shocked that the sun has been blotted out (see “Long Day’s Journey”) and the MoG are worried that L.A. will turn into an undead party town. Fred is trying to decipher some symbols, but she needs Wesley’s help. Too bad he and Gwen have both left. Connor points out that it doesn’t matter, since Angel obviously has the answers they need (see “Long Day’s Journey”). Cordelia says that Angel doesn’t remember, since he was Angelus when he met the Beast. Gunn thinks that it’s time to bring Angelus back. Cordelia points out that the only way to do so is to remove Angel’s soul, and the only way to do that is to make him really happy. In Angel’s office, Lorne has finished reading Angel (who sang, appropriately, “The Night the Lights went Out in Georgia”) but hasn’t gotten any information about Angelus’ previous meeting with the Beast. Angel is fine with this - he wants whatever he knows to stay hidden, and he doesn’t want to revert to Angelus. Elsewhere, Wesley fights his way in to see a man who’s praying. “Rumor has it you possess certain skills I require,” Wesley says. “I need a soul extracted.” Back at the Hyperion, Fred tells Angel that the orb the Beast swallowed (again, see “Long Day’s Journey”) was their last chance to bring the sun back. Connor thinks that Angel is happy about the sun being gone, since he’s working with the Beast. Angel simply tells him to “get over it.” As the MoG go back to trying to formulate a plan, Wesley arrives with the praying man, who he introduces as Wo-Pang. Angel pulls Wesley aside and Wesley explains that Wo-Pang is a shaman who claims to have the power to extract and restore souls. Angel refuses to let Wesley extract his soul, but Wesley argues that he doesn’t have a choice. He says that they’re running out of time and Angel replies that if Angelus is there, Angel himself isn’t, which means the MoG are stuck without him. Angel refuses again and tells Wesley to get rid of Wo-Pang.

Out in the garden, Cordelia laments that with the sun gone, all of the trees and plants will die. She tells Angel that she’s on his side, since Angelus is so dangerous. He asks her if she thinks Connor’s right about him working with the Beast and not knowing it. She admits that she doesn’t know, but it’s possible. Angel points out that he could be a danger to the others and Cordelia says that he’s not as much of a danger as Angelus would be. She thinks that Angelus and the Beast are smart in the same way; they think alike and are always a step ahead of everyone else. Angel suddenly goes back inside and tells the MoG that they’ll need a cage. As he leaves, Gunn asks if the cage he wants will be enough to hold the Beast. Wesley says that he wants the cage for himself. In the basement, the male MoGs construct the cage and Angel tells them to tell Wo-Pang that he’s ready. Lorne heads upstairs to stay with Cordelia and Fred and Angel calls Connor back, warning that when he’s Angelus, he’ll be what Holtz always said he was (see “Benediction”). He adds that no matter what Angelus says or does, Angel, not Angelus, is Connor’s father. He also wants Connor to take care of the other MoG and, if need be, kill Angelus. Connor easily replies that he will. Wesley and Gunn strap Angel to a table in the cage as Wo-Pang brings out a jar. He explains to Cordelia that it’s the Muo-Ping and will hold Angel’s soul. Wo-Pang locks himself in the cage with Angel, telling the MoG that they should put another lock on. Angel closes his eyes and Wo-Pang beings chanting. Angel opens his eyes again; they’re red. “Time to say goodbye,” Wo-Pang whispers. He picks up a sword and swings it at Angel.

Angel breaks out of one of his restraints and stops the sword from hitting him. Gunn hurries to open the cage as Wo-Pang says, “Fool, why would I help you? I serve the awakened one.” Gunn distracts the shaman as Angel gets out of his restraints. Wo-Pang pushes Gunn out of the cage, knocking over the Muo-Ping in the process. Wo-Pang attacks Wesley and Connor, then faces off with Angel, who wonders why the Beast wanted Wo-Pang to kill him. He threatens to tear Wo-Pang apart, but Wo-Pang saves him the trouble by killing himself with a knife. Gunn pulls down Wo-Pang’s robe to reveal that he has Chinese characters all over his body. Wesley examines the characters, translating them to learn that they’re scripture about Wo-Pang’s fellow acolytes. Gunn notes that this is why they couldn’t find any info on the Beast - his acolytes literally have it on them. Wesley reads about the acolytes’ defeat of the Bosh M’ad, a group that opposed “the awakening” and forged a weapon called the Tooth of Light. However, before they could use it, the Beast killed all of them and the Tooth was never found. Cordelia’s eyes suddenly turn white and she announces that the Tooth is a sword. Her eyes go back to normal and she reveals that the sword can be found under L.A. Angel gives Wesley a little “I told you so” and Wesley apologizes for almost getting Angel killed. Angel and Wesley imply that things are all right between them and they head off with Cordelia and Connor to get the sword. They head through the sewers as Angel wonders how they can get the sword in L.A.; Cordelia says that she thinks the sword can be reached from a bunch of different locations around the world. The four continue on, heading into an underground passageway.

The reduced MoG are met by hundreds of straps hanging from the ceiling with bells tied to the ends. Angel rings a bell and discovers that doing so releases a bunch of stakes from the walls. “Wood,” he remarks. “Why’d it have to be wood?” (Too bad he didn’t say, “Stakes. Why’d it have to be stakes?”) Wesley notes that they have to make it through the corridor without ringing the bells; Cordelia is uncertain that her breasts will cooperate. The reduced MoG move slowly, stopping briefly when Cordelia’s sleeve catches on a bell. Wesley releases her and she and Connor make it through first. Just as he’s about to get through, Wesley’s lantern hits a bell and Angel tackles him, getting them both out of the way of the stakes. Unfortunately, they’ve wound up in a dead end. Wesley sees that there are Hebrew letters written on the wall; he pushes one of the lettered stones and the wall is raised about a foot. It goes back down and Wesley notes that there’s a pattern - Hebrew letters have numerical values, so he’ll have to press them in a certain order. Unfortunately, the next one he presses releases a spike into his hand. As Cordelia bandages his wound, Angel notes that there are nine stones. This makes Wesley realize that they refer to the first letters of the nine patriarchs in Genesis. The reduced MoG press a couple more stones and manage to raise the wall high enough to duck under it. The wall closes and they’re stuck in a room with two divergent paths. Wesley decides that they should split up; Angel sends Connor with him while he and Cordelia pair up. Connor isn’t happy about this, but they split up anyway. Cordelia tells Angel that she’d like to take back a lot of the choices she’s made, adding, “I don’t know if you ever could.” Before she can finish her thought, she and Angel find themselves in a room containing stone pillars and a large stone pedestal.

Cordelia laments that the sword isn’t in the room. Angel sees light coming from the pedestal and puts his hand into it. He tells Cordelia that it must be a dimensional hub, which allows people to reach the sword from different locations. Indeed, he pulls out the sword. The light in the pedestal turns red and the room starts to collapse. Angel grabs Cordelia and they make it out of the room. Cordelia is overcome with the realization that they could have died and she wouldn’t have gotten the chance to tell him that she’s sorry for what happened with her and Connor. She wanted to be with Angel but she couldn’t; she saw all of what he did as Angelus, but she doesn’t care because she can only think of all of the good he’s done since then. Cordelia says that she knows she doesn’t deserve forgiveness and Angel replies that he can only see the good that she’s done as well. They start kissing but are interrupted when Wesley and Connor arrive. Connor is, not surprisingly, unhappy. He heads into another room and Angel follows him. Connor accidentally triggers a booby trap which sends a dart into Angel’s shoulder. As Connor blames Angel for everything that’s gone wrong in his life, another dart is triggered and Angel saves Connor from it. They start fighting and triggering more darts; Connor blames Angel for everything and Angel tells him to get over it. He says that Cordelia never belonged to Connor and Connor runs off. Angel, Wesley, and Cordelia return to the Hyperion with the sword and Wesley announces that they just need to find the Beast. Lorne reports a rumor that the Beast might be in the warehouse district; Fred adds that, according to the Wo-Pang’s scripture, the only way to kill the Beast is to pierce its brain with the sword. This should also bring the sun back, but it will release a ton of power that will kill humans nearby.

Angel decides to do the job by himself, much to Cordelia’s dismay. He gives a little speech about how they’re all champions, then starts to leave. Cordelia catches up to him and reminds him that they’re stronger together. She tells him that she doesn’t want to lose him now that they’ve figured out their feelings for each other. He assures her that he’ll come back after he finds the Beast. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to go far - the Beast crashes into the Hyperion. Angel sends everyone out and starts fighting the Beast, but he isn’t very successful. After a little while, Connor arrives and fights the Beast with a battle axe. Angel manages to stab the Beast with the sword, killing him and bringing the sun back. Connor relents that Angel and Cordelia should be together and expresses pleasure at being a champion. The other MoG return as everyone else in L.A. is happy to see that the sun has returned. Later, a dressed-up Cordelia joins Angel in his room and they get friendly. In the middle of this friendliness, Angel suddenly gasps, “Buffy?” and falls off of the bed. Back in the basement, Wo-Pang is still sitting next to Angel on the table. “The vision becomes reality,” he says. “It is done.” Angel turns his head towards the MoG and Cordelia whispers, “Angelus.” Angelus just laughs as his soul glows in the Muo-Ping.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Weird things make Angel happy.

R.I.P.: the Beast (sort of)

GRADE: A Here we go….

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “Wood. Why’d it have to be wood?” - Angel

Cordelia: “The sword of the Bosh M’ad.”
Wesley: “The slayer of the Beast.”
Gunn: “Oh, can I play with it?”

“You made a difference. Each of you - not just to me, but to the world. We’ve been pushed to the edge so many times, done things we’re sure can never be forgiven, but we’re always there for each other when it counts. We’ve never let the darkness win. And it’s not because of the Powers That Be, or the super-strength, or the magical weapons. It’s because we believed in each other. Not just as friends or lovers, but as champions. All of us. Together.” - Angel to the MoG

“I gotta find the Beast--. (the Beast bursts through the front door) “Oh, there it is.” - Angel


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