"Carpe Noctem"
Written by Scott Murphy; directed by James A. Contner

Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn are hanging out in the lobby of the Hyperion when Fred arrives, startling them. Angel comes downstairs and announces that there’s a Charlton Heston double feature at a nearby theater; Fred’s the only one interested in going with him. Angel criticizes the others for always teasing him for staying home, sulking. In a hotel room somewhere, a guy named Woody has a little fun with two women until his body steams and deflates. In his office the next day, Fred tells Wesley what a gentleman Angel was. In the lobby, Cordelia tells Angel that he needs to talk to Fred, since she thinks their trip to the movies was a date. She sends him into Wesley’s office, but Angel finds a news story about Woody’s weird deflation. Wesley notes that something like that happened the week before. Angel takes advantage of the situation to avoid talking to Fred, telling Cordelia to open a case file instead. At Wolfram & Hart, Gavin is trying to convince Lilah that he does want to go after Angel, just in his own way. Back at the Hyperion that night, Wesley discovers that there have been three deflation deaths in the past few weeks, all in nice hotels. He sends Gunn to talk to the staff of the hotels while he talks to a coroner about the bodies. Cordelia finds out that the three guys all went to the same health club, so she and Angel decide to go check it out. On their way inside the club, Cordelia tells Angel that he can’t keep ignoring Fred and needs to keep his personal and work lives separate. Inside, Cordelia spots a bunch of cute guys and goes to talk to them while Angel questions an attendant and gets him to let him look at records. In one of the exercise rooms, Angel spots a guy watching through binoculars from the Monserrat retirement community across the street and decides to go talk to him. The guy, Marcus, has some occult items. He casts some sort of spell and switches bodies with Angel, then knocks him out.

Outside, Marcus-in-Angel’s body (aka MIA) runs into Cordelia and tries to go along with what she says to him. She takes him back to the Hyperion and at first he doesn’t realize that he’s supposed to work there. He sees the MoG’s business cards and realizes that they run a detective agency out of the hotel. “Cordelia, have I ever told you you are a very beautiful woman?” he asks her. She brushes him off and reminds him that he needs to have a talk with Fred. She tells him that he needs to say that he’s different from other men and that he can’t have a romance with someone he works with. MIA looks down at his clothes and says, “So I’m a…. Obviously.” At Monserrat, Angel-in-Marcus’ body (aka AIM) wakes up, puts on his glasses, and heads for the lobby to use the phone. He calls the Hyperion and leaves a message for Cordelia, which MIA hears. He picks up the phone and warns AIM to stay away from a guy named Ryan. Ryan, an orderly, takes the phone from AIM and revokes his phone privileges, taking him back to his room. Ryan advises him to stop thinking that he’s a younger guy if he doesn’t want to end up in restraints. The next morning, Cordelia finds MIA asleep in Wesley’s office; she refuses to let him keep working on the deflation death case until he talks to Fred. Wesley enters with tea and MIA assumes that he’s Fred; after Cordelia leaves, MIA and Wesley have an awkward conversation. Cordelia calls in for Wesley and MIA realizes that he’s made a mistake, quickly discovering that Fred is actually a female. He heads into the lobby, where Gunn has arrived with food, and assumes that Gunn is a delivery guy. Cordelia finds it strange that “Angel” is eating regular food. Wesley and Gunn have discovered that all of the deflated dead guys called the same escort service and the two of them argue over which of them gets to interview hookers; Cordelia breaks up the fight by taking the assignment for herself.

At Monserrat, AIM tries to make a break for it but runs into a friend of Marcus’ and has to make conversation. In Wesley’s office, MIA shreds articles about the deflated guys and is caught by Fred. “Have I ever told you you are a very beautiful woman?” MIA asks her. He tells her that when he’s done with her work, they’ll go out somewhere; this excites both of them. Lilah arrives with forged papers that take care of all of the Hyperion’s violations (see “That Vision Thing”), implying that she wants to pull one over on Gavin. MIA offers her a drink and says, “Have I ever told you you are a very beautiful woman?” At Monserrat, AIM trips an alarm and starts to make his escape, but collapses from chest pains instead. In Wesley’s office, Lilah and MIA get a little friendly on the desk; Fred sees them together and runs off. MIA vamps out and bites Lilah, causing her to swear that he’ll never get that close to her again. After she leaves, MIA realizes that he’s a vampire. AIM wakes up at Monserrat and is surprised to hear his heart beating. Ryan warns that if he tries to escape again and has another heart attack, he might not survive. Cordelia returns to the Hyperion after her interviews with the hookers and finds Fred crying in an elevator. Cordelia thinks that Angel just had his conversation with Fred, but Fred tells her that he was making out with someone. MIA heads to a nightclub and gets a little friendly with a girl who already has a boyfriend. He bites the girl and gets attacked up by her boyfriend; MIA fights back and is pleased to discover that he has some skills. He realizes that since he’s a vampire, won’t die, and will be “young, handsome, and strong forever.”

Back at the Hyperion, Wesley and Gunn learn of MIA’s fun time with Lilah (though they don’t know it was her) and note that this kind of behavior isn’t like him. Cordelia is sure of this when she learns that the woman was a brunette. She wonders if Angel has become Angelus again (and Gunn has to explain to Fred who Angelus is), but Gunn notes that he probably would have killed the woman. Wesley sees that MIA was reading about vampires and thinks that whatever affected the deflated dead guys has now invaded Angel. Cordelia tells the others that something might have happened when Angel went over to Monserrat. At Monserrat, Marcus’ friend tells AIM that his son is there to visit - it turns out to be MIA. AIM tries to hide from MIA, who easily finds him. AIM notes that MIA has found a body he can stay in forever, but in order to keep it, he’ll have to kill AIM. MIA mocks him for being “the world’s worst vampire” for helping people rather than killing them. The MoG arrive and MIA tries to convince them that he’s the real Angel, but Cordelia says that he can’t be with the cologne he’s wearing. There’s some fighting, and Cordelia drops MIA with a taser. (Fred takes out some aggression on him by hitting him over the head after he’s already unconscious.) AIM reads the spell that reverses the body switch and everything goes back to normal. As the MoG leave Monserrat, Marcus has more heart problems, but no one stops to help him. Back at the Hyperion, Angel finally sits down with Fred to have their talk, but she reveals that Cordelia’s already had it with her. “She said you’d probably just screw it up,” she tells him. He confirms that she’s probably right. She says that his life is “like something out of Fitzgerald” - he can have anything he wants except love. This might be good, because he gets to avoid heartache, but it’s bad, because love is so great. Cordelia interrupts the conversation to tell Angel that Willow has called - Buffy’s alive. Angel hurries inside as Fred wonders who Buffy is.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Old people are weird.

GRADE: B- It looks like at least David Boreanaz had fun doing this episode. “Who Are You” was a lot better.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Angel: “Looks like it’s just you and me, Fred. Well, the worm certainly has turned.”
Fred: “Y-y-yeah. The worm’s turning and…. Am I the worm?”

Fred: “And even though he didn’t talk a lot, it was still okay. It was comfortable. It wasn’t that awkward kind of quiet. You know that awkward kind of quiet?”
(silence)
Wesley: “No. That’s never happened to me.”

Wesley: “This isn’t like him.”
Cordelia: “What? This is totally like him. Doing the mystery dance with some cheap blonde?”
Fred: “Brunette. She was a cheap brunette.”
Cordelia: “You’re right. This isn’t like him.”


Back to Angel episode guides

Back to Fun and Games