"Inside Out"
Written and directed by Steven S. DeKnight

Cordelia is in the basement of the Hyperion, surrounded by the MoG, who have figured out that she was the Beastmaster (see “Players”). She brags that there was a time when she would have figured out that they were using Lorne as bait; she claims to be a lot smarter than Angel. She asks what tipped Angel off and he replies, “Tongue, slip of.” We flash back to Cordelia telling the MoG about the baby (see “Players”) and calling it “my sweet.” Angel says that this was the same phrase the Beastmaster used when she talked to Angelus. Cordelia is surprised that she was almost able to end the world and it was two words that tipped him off. Fred asks Cordelia why she’s doing this and Angel says that it’s not her. Cordelia tries to pull a knife on him but he grabs her and demands to know where the real Cordelia is. Connor jumps down through the glass roof and Angel tries to convince him that Cordelia isn’t who he thinks she is, but he doesn’t listen. He fights off the MoG, getting Fred to shoot Angel with a tranquilizer dart, and runs off with Cordelia. “What are you?” Angel tries to ask as he collapses on the floor. Lorne’s Magic 8 Ball rolls next to him, replying, “Ask Again Later.” After the MoG have recovered from Connor’s attack, Gunn returns to the hotel from his romp with Gwen and they fill him in. Fred and Wesley realizes that Cordelia has been trying to get closer to Connor because she was “grooming him as her champion.” They wonder when Cordelia turned evil and if her amnesia upon returning from the higher plane (see “The House Always Wins”) was an act or a side effect. Angel points out that nothing happened until Lorne gave Cordelia the memory potion in “Spin the Bottle.” Lorne realizes that Wolfram & Hart stole info from his head (see “Slouching Toward Bethlehem”) to keep the MoG from knowing about the Beastmaster.

Gunn wonders how Cordelia could get away with killing Manny (see “Long Day’s Journey”), since she didn’t have any blood on her clothes; Wesley determines that she took off her clothes first. She was able to slip out and kill the Svea priestesses (see “Soulless”) while the others were “chasing their tails,” then stole Angel’s soul. Her vision of how to re-ensoul Angel (see “Calvary”) was “misdirection,” so that she could put a spell on Lorne and keep him from reading Angelus properly. She then released Angelus from the cage and killed Lilah. The MoG wonder what exactly Cordelia is pregnant with. Cordelia and Connor head to a deserted warehouse, where Cordelia tells Connor that the MoG were trying to hurt her because they’re afraid of them and the baby. She says that Angel hates Connor for being with Cordelia; he can’t stand the fact that he lost her. “You were right about Angel,” she tells him. “He’s an animal, and he’s turned everyone against us.” He promises that he’ll kill all of the MoG before he lets them hurt her. “My sweet, sweet boy,” she replies. Angel returns to the Hyperion, having had no success finding Cordelia and Connor. Wesley tells him that he’s wasting his time looking for them; Connor will stay hidden if he wants to. Angel is distraught that the truth was in front of him the whole time and he didn’t know it. Wesley says that Cordelia played on his emotions in order to cloud his judgment and distract him. He implies that he blames himself for Lilah’s death and Angelus says that he cares about what happened to her because Wesley cares. Wesley goes back to researching, but he isn’t getting anywhere and they don’t have time to wait for Lorne to get black market books. Wesley suggests going to the Powers That Be, but Angel reminds him that the last few times he’s gone, they haven’t been forthcoming. He says that they wouldn’t stop Cordelia because they “didn’t want to get their hands dirty,” so they need to find someone who’s willing to: “somebody right in the middle of all this.”

Cordelia and Connor head to another deserted warehouse and Cordelia tries to assure him that they’ll be all right. Connor wonders if it wasn’t Angelus who tried to hurt Cordelia. She tells him that he knows it was really Angel; he lied about Connor trying to be a champion because he wanted to control him. She says that the MoG call themselves good, but that doesn’t mean they are. Cordelia reminds him that they’re special, so they’re sticking together, and their baby is going to be “extraordinary.” The MoG look through Cordelia’s things in the lobby of the Hyperion but don’t find anything to indicate that she’s evil. Angel finds a metal disk and heads off to a demon’s lair; he fights his way in and encounters Skip (last seen in “Tomorrow”). Angel asks when Skip last saw Cordelia, explaining that she told him Skip was her guide when she became part demon (see “Birthday”). Skip claims that he wanted to tell Angel what was going on, but the Powers That Be made him keep quiet. He tells Angel that Cordelia has gone to a higher plane and Angel says that she’s been back, or that at least something that looks like her is back. Skip says that people can’t return from “paradise,” though a Slayer did once (see “Bargaining, Part 1”), so he doesn’t know what’s going on. Angel is surprised that Skip wasn’t around when Cordelia came back. He thinks that either Skip has been fooled along with everyone else, or he’s been in on everything from the beginning. Skip laughs nervously, releases a dagger from his arm, and replies that he hasn’t been fooled. Skip and Angel start fighting, but Angel finds himself at a disadvantage, since he doesn’t have armor. Skip says that the worst part of the plan was having to take a dive when Angel showed up to free Billy (see “That Vision Thing”). This time, he’s not going to let Angel win.

At the warehouse, Cordelia tells Connor that Angel won’t stop until he finds them. She has him feel the baby moving and says that she wishes the MoG would just let them be happy. “I’ll make them,” Connor replies. She thinks that once the baby is born, everything will change and the MoG will understand. She says that the baby will probably be born in a week or two, but Angel will find them before that. She wants to find a way to have the baby before they can be hurt, but Connor has to get some things for her. Skip and Angel keep fighting in the cave as Angel asks what happened to Cordelia. Angel is losing the fight until he grabs a chain and manages to knock Skip out. Angel uses the disk he took from Cordelia’s things to open a portal in the hotel and bring Skip back to this dimension. He announces that Skip knows something about Cordelia and they need to bind him to their dimension. In an alley somewhere, a vampire stalks a high school student, but she’s rescued by Connor. Unfortunately for her, Connor then knocks her out and takes her to the warehouse. Cordelia tells him that he can mourn the girl, but they’re going to “elevate her life” and “give her death meaning” - they’re going to use her blood in some sort of ritual for the baby. At the Hyperion, Skip criticizes the MoG’s binding procedure, “sand of the red palm”; Fred threatens to bind him permanently. Angel asks where the real Cordelia is and Skip claims that the one who’s done all the evil stuff is the real Cordelia. However, she’s not in control of what she’s doing. Angel wonders if something took her over while she was a higher being, but Skip points out that something got her there in the first place.

Back at the warehouse, Cordelia chants as Connor checks on the girl; she begs him to let her go. Suddenly, Connor hears a woman say she’s always been with him. He looks up to see Darla (last seen in “Lullaby”). She tells him that the Powers That Be have sent her to give him a message. She says that she’ll always be with him and didn’t want to leave him, but she had to give up her life for him. Darla gestures to the girl and asks if Connor is going to repay his mother’s actions by killing someone. Connor argues that it’s for the baby and Darla says that he can’t provide safety by doing something evil. Connor repeats what Cordelia told him about good and evil just being words. “Don’t let my death mean nothing,” Darla pleads. Back at the Hyperion, Skip tells Angel that he can’t comprehend what has taken over Cordelia. “Fred, infinite agony,” Angel orders. Skip announces that the being doesn’t have a name. Angel points out that Cordelia was made a higher being because of her visions; Wesley wonders if the being controlling her made it so that she got the visions in the first place (see “Hero” and “Parting Gifts”). Skip says that all sorts of “lines have to intersect” to make things happen - Lorne leaving Pylea, Gunn’s sister being sired (see “War Zone”), Fred going to Pylea, and Wesley sleeping with Lilah among them. Gunn argues that they have free will, but Skip says that that’s only about the little stuff. The MoG realize that Connor’s birth was also a part of the whole plan; “an impossible birth to make one possible.” Angel says that Connor was a vessel and Gunn realizes that the being controlling Cordelia is going to give birth to itself. Angel asks how to stop this being, but Skip tells him that the only way is to kill Cordelia. When she gives birth to the being, the strain will be too much and she’ll either die or become incapacitated.

Skip mocks that Angel will have to kill the woman he loves in order to save the world. Angel asks how to find Cordelia and Skip says that they’ll have to do a certain ritual with a sacred Hutamin paw. He’s shocked when Lorne announces that they have one - Cordelia thought it was a back-scratcher. Skip tries to convince the MoG that he misspoke, but they don’t believe him. Back at the warehouse, Darla tells Connor that the MoG aren’t afraid of him, but of what he’s done. He reminds her that they wanted to kill him when Darla was pregnant with him; she says that they changed when they saw who he was. He thinks that this will happen again when his own baby is born. Darla tells him that he has a choice; he has a soul and doesn’t have to kill anyone. Connor says that he has to do it for the baby. “This isn’t you, Connor,” Darla tells him. “You’ve been gone a long time, Mom,” he replies. “How would you know?” She says that she knows because they shared a soul and she feels the same feelings he does. She also feels the good in him and knows that he can still be good. Back at the Hyperion, Fred wonders if Angel’s decisions will make a difference, since they seem to just be “pieces being moved around a board.” Gunn says that they’ll just start a new game if they have to. No matter how many things in a game are fixed, the outcome can’t be. They have to treat everything as if they can control it, because they never know when they can’t. Lorne and Wesley finish the ritual to locate Cordelia and announce that they’ve been successful. Angel decides that he wants to go on his own, because if he has to kill Cordelia, he doesn’t want the others to have to deal with it. The MoG realize that he really is going to kill her and try to stop him from leaving, but he doesn’t listen.

At the warehouse, Connor starts to free the girl but Cordelia catches him. He tells her that their baby “shouldn’t be anointed with innocent blood.” Surprised by his choice of words, Cordelia thinks that someone’s been talking to him. Darla urges him not to listen as Cordelia realizes that Darla has somehow appeared to him. She tells him that the vision is from Angel and he wants to hurt the baby. Connor finally yells at Darla, “You are not my mother!” and drags the girl into the other room. Despite the fact that he sees Darla’s face when he looks at her, he kills her. Cordelia and Connor do the ritual with the blood and the building starts to shake. The Hyperion shakes as well and Skip escapes his binding circle. At the warehouse, Cordelia starts laughing and says that it’s “the beginning of a new world.” Angel arrives and disagrees. Skip throws Gunn aside to get to Fred; Wesley tries to fight him off, but the armor stands in his way. Angel tells Connor that Cordelia lied to him and that she’s not really Cordelia. They start fighting and Cordelia yells for Connor to kill Angel. Skip grabs Fred as Wesley and Gunn continue to try to fight him. Wesley finally spots a place in Skip’s armor that Angel has already broken; he shoots a bullet into Skip’s head and kills him. At the warehouse, Angel tells Connor that he doesn’t have a choice, then raises his sword to kill Cordelia. “I’m so sorry,” he says. Suddenly, light shoots out of Cordelia and something emerges from her body. When the light is completed absorbed, it has created a human. (They don’t name her until the end of “Shiny Happy People,” but I’m calling her Jasmine, because it’s easier.) Cordelia passes out and Angel stands up, ready to attack the woman (Gina Torres). Suddenly, he stops, overcome by her beauty. “Angel,” Jasmine beams.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: You can’t blame everything on hormones.

R.I.P.: Skip

GRADE: B+ It’s all starting to come together….

WELCOME TO L.A.: Jasmine

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “Guy steps out for a few hours, half the place goes super-villain.” - Gunn

Angel: “We don’t know if it’s really Cordelia.”
Fred: “Or what she’s got baking in her oven.”
Gunn: “Evil and pregnant? I’m guessing it ain’t cookies.”

“Hey, here’s something. Maybe I can--” (Angel appears with Skip) “--have an embolism!” - Fred

Skip: “It doesn’t even have a name.”
Gunn: “Then what do you call it?”
Skip: “Oh, ‘Master,’ or, ‘Hey.’”

“Look out. The monkey’s thinking again.” - Skip, re: Angel

“Well, that ain’t right.” - Skip’s final words

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