"Epiphany"
Written by Tim Minear; directed by Tom Wright

Angel is still in bed with Darla, reenacting the endings of both “Surprise” and “Reprise.” He heads out into the rain (a la “Surprise”) as Darla wakes up. “Don’t fight it, my love,” she tells him as she joins him outside. “Just let it happen. It’ll only hurt for a minute.” Angel is slightly freaking out over the possibility of having lost his soul again. Darla tells him that he needs to kill someone to get rid of the memory of having a soul. “You saved me,” he says. She admits that she was going to kill him, but she didn’t have to, since he was willing to sleep with her. He tells her he’s sorry, which confuses her until she realizes that he didn’t lose his soul after all. Darla is astonished that, as a former prostitute, she couldn’t have sex perfect enough to make Angel lose his soul. He tells her that it was “perfect despair” and they’re through. She complains that he made her trust him and believe that things were going to be good between them. Angel suddenly remembers Kate’s phone call (see “Reprise”) and starts to leave. Darla tries to stop him with a stake, but he tells her he’s kicking her out, adding that if he sees her again, he’ll kill her. Angel rushes over to Kate’s apartment, where she’s taken a bunch of pills and blacked out. He’s able to get into the apartment (without an invitation) and gets Kate to the shower, reviving her. Later, after she’s recovered from her brief death, she kicks him out. Lindsey heads home and finds Darla in his apartment. He wonders where she’s been all night and tells her that Wolfram & Hart employees have orders to kill her if they see her. He notices that she has the band of Blacknil (again, see “Reprise”) and asks her what happened between her and Angel.

Lorne is closing up Caritas when someone rings the buzzer impatiently. “Jeez, keep your pants on!” he yells, going to the door. He opens it to find Angel outside and remarks, “Well, I see we’re a little late with that advice.” Lorne notes that Angel has “turned a corner” and hit rock bottom. He informs Angel that he had a “moment of clarity” and has finally realized where he is in his life. Angel isn’t sure how to get back to where he was. Lorne says that he can’t - he has to move on to a different place. Angel doesn’t think he can, since he’s done so many “questionable” things, but Lorne tells him that the wine cellar massacre (see “Reunion”) was planned by the Powers That Be and can’t be blamed on Angel. Angel wants to know how he can fix things, but Lorne doesn’t know, since he’s not Angel’s link to the Powers That Be. He warns that Angel might not be able to fix everything, especially since Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn might not live through the night. Cordelia arrives at Francine’s house (see “The Thin Dead Line” and “Reprise”) and finds the family dead. She suddenly gets a vision of herself trying to leave the house but encountering a Skilosh demon. Of course, it actually happens, and Cordelia complains, “That was helpful!” as she’s attacked. Later, Cordelia regains consciousness and the Skilosh orders her to make Wesley and Gunn come to the house to pay for destroying their spawn (“three are responsible. Three must pay”). The Skilosh tells Cordelia that his cronies have located “the wheeled one” (aka Wesley) but don’t know where Gunn is.

Wesley is in his apartment, not realizing that he’s being spied on by a Skilosh. He hears noises outside and finally sees the Skilosh. He tries to grab a shotgun on a shelf and, when he finally does, is disappointed to realize that it isn’t loaded. When he finally gets it loaded, the demon is gone. Angel throws the door open and demands that Wesley invite him in. The Skilosh crashes through the window and Wesley quickly invites Angel inside to fight it and its friend. Angel asks how to kill the demons and Wesley tells him to hack them to pieces. Angel attacks one with an axe while Wesley gets the other with his shotgun. Once they’re safe, Wesley tries to hide his relief and asks Angel why he’s there. At his apartment, Lindsey grabs some cowboy boots. (No, it’s not really important. Just go with it.) Angel and Wesley are driving through L.A. in Angel’s convertible, Wesley trying to call Cordelia. Angel admits that he stopped by her apartment before he went to Wesley’s. Wesley fills him in on the reduced MoG’s experience with the Skilosh demons and Angel tries to praise him for doing a good job with his books. Wesley is pleased to hear Angel congratulating him for helping Stephanie. At Francine’s house, Cordelia learns that two other Skilosh demons have been killed and tries to apologize. One of the demons tells her that more demons must be born to make up for the losses, but she’s not willing to cooperate, since she was impregnated with a demon before (see “Expecting”). They don’t really care what she wants and start impregnating her.

Angel and Wesley arrive at the reduced MoG’s office and realize that Cordelia isn’t there. Angel wonders if she’s out with friends, but Wesley says that he doesn’t know her as well as he thinks, since she doesn’t have a lot of friends. He says that Cordelia’s visions make her “solitary” and give her more concern for people she needs to help. Angel realizes that something’s coming, so they turn off the lights and try to hide. Fortunately for them, Gunn has arrived, announcing that he didn’t want to abandon the MoG like Angel did. Angel sees that Wesley and Gunn have bonded, which they say happened while they were fighting together. They fill Gunn in on the return of the Skilosh demons and Cordelia’s disappearance. By reading the carbon on Cordelia’s message pad, the guys are able to figure out that she went to Francine’s house. They grab some “deoculation powder” and head off. Cordelia is still at the house, and has a nifty new third eye in the back of her head. In the car on the way to Francine’s, Gunn is not quite pleased to hear that Angel has had an epiphany, since he could always have another one and leave them again. He tells Angel that if anything happens to Cordelia, he’ll blame him. A Skilosh demon attacks them and Gunn manages to fight it off. They see more approaching, but Angel tells Wesley and Gunn to go off by themselves to help Cordelia. They drive off in the car, leaving Angel behind to face three Skilosh demons on his own. If that’s not enough, he’s soon joined by a ticked off Lindsey and his pickup truck. Wesley and Gunn make it to the house, seeing the demons and Cordelia’s third eye. Lindsey keeps running Angel over with his truck. Wesley decides that he and Gunn shouldn’t wait for Angel, since they’ve been doing fine without him and might not be sincere in his desire to help them anyway. However, Wesley is having a hard time standing up.

Lindsey starts attacking Angel with a sledgehammer, demanding to know what happened between him and Darla. Angel fights back, refusing to give Lindsey any information and telling him that Darla will never love him. Lindsey is about to stake Angel when Angel picks up the sledgehammer and smashes Lindsey’s plastic hand. He then knocks him out and steals Lindsey’s truck. Wesley and Gunn head into the house, but, unfortunately, they’re being forced inside by the demons. As Angel rushes to the house, the demons prepare to impregnate Wesley and Gunn. Angel arrives just in time and starts fighting the demons as Wesley and Gunn untie each other. Wesley deoculates Cordelia, finishing up just as Angel defeats the demons. She’s still upset with him, complaining that he hurt her feelings, and the three reduced MoG leave together. The next morning, Lindsey makes it back to his apartment to find his truck outside; there’s a note on the windshield that says, “Thanks.” Inside, he sees that Darla has taken all of her stuff and left. (We won’t see her again until “Heartthrob.” Enjoy it.) That night, Angel and Kate talk at the Hyperion and he shares his theory that nothing they do matters. However, he does still want to help people, even if he won’t get a reward in the end. “If there is no bigger meaning,” he tells her, “then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.” Kate says that she’s grateful that Angel saved her, since she didn’t think that he would. She tells him that she thinks they “might not be alone in this.” “Why?” he asks. “Because I never invited you in,” she replies. (‘Bye, Kate! Have fun doing…whatever it is you wind up doing!) Back at the reduced MoG’s office, things are back to normal. Angel arrives and apologizes to his three former co-workers. Wesley starts to say that they’re not ready to work for Angel again, but Angel tells him that he doesn’t want them to - he wants to work for them. Cordelia wonders how they can trust him again and Angel says that he’ll have to earn it. Cordelia suddenly has a vision and is surprised to realize that she didn’t wind up on the floor. It’s because Angel is holding onto her. “Maybe he should drive?” Cordelia suggests. After a moment, Wesley says, “Let’s go,” and the reunited MoG head off to do some good.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Epiphanies are fun.

GRADE: B+ Aww, all the MoG, back together again. Also, ‘bye, Darla!

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Angel: “I’m still not sure I understand what happened.”
Lorne: “What’s to understand? You think you’re the first guy who ever rolled over, saw what was lying next to him, and went, ‘Guyeah!’?”

“I think I’m speaking for everyone when I say, if all you’re gonna do is switch back to brood mode, we’d rather have you evil. Then, at least - leather pants.” - Lorne to Angel

Gunn: “You checked her pad?”
Angel: “I stopped by there earlier.”
Gunn: “You enjoying your visit to 1973?”

Gunn: “So, you had an epiphany, did you?”
Angel: “Yeah.”
Gunn: “So, what, you just wake up and bang?”
Angel: “Well, it was sort of the other way around.”


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