"Life of the Party"
Written by Ben Edlund; directed by Bill Norton

Lorne is doing his thing at Wolfram & Hart, making deals and possibly making an effort to resurrect Henry Fonda. He runs into Harmony, who calls him “Lorney-tunes,” and flatters her. Angel arrives after fighting with something slimy and tells Wesley that his new neural-intercept grenade didn’t do its job. Lorne tries to talk to him about an upcoming party, but Angel wants to take a shower first to wash the slimy Thraxis blood off of him. Lorne tells his assistant to cross the Thraxis off of the list of party guests. He heads to his office, where his reflection in a mirror talks to him and tries to get him to buck up. Lorne screams at the mirror to shut up, then smashes it with a wine bottle. His reflection sings “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and Lorne leaves his office, still stressed. In the hallway, however, he breaks into the peppier part of the song. Angel takes a shower in his apartment and exits to find Eve sitting on his bed. She lies that the door was unlocked, then admits that she had a key. She reminds him that they had a meeting and he heads off to get dressed. Once they’re both clothed, Angel admits that he has no idea how things are going for the MoG, since everything is so different from the way it was before. Eve thinks that he needs some sort of release, since he bottles everything up inside. He denies this, but when they arrive back in the lobby of the firm, he gets spooked by a giant skull decoration and punches it. Lorne reminds him that they’re decorating for the firm’s Halloween party. Unfortunately, a lot of the “A-list people” aren’t coming (possibly because the last time the firm had a big party, a bunch of people died. Angel doesn’t want the party to go off anyway, because he doesn’t understand celebrating with their evil clients. Lorne gets frustrated, then calms himself down and tells Angel that they need to discuss the party again later.

Down in the science lab, Wesley and Fred work on the grenade, which Fred designed and Knox worked on. Wesley isn’t happy that they’re so proud of each other. Lorne enters, wanting to talk about the party, and is disappointed to learn that Fred and Wesley weren’t planning on attending. Knox tries to get Fred to attend, since the party the year before was so great (no word on where he was when the Beast killed everyone in the L.A. branch). Lorne tells Fred and Wesley that they have to come, then tells them to meet him and Angel later in Angel’s office. Lorne pays Gunn a visit, asking him for help with making Angel change his mind about the party. He says that Angel may be the boss, but Gunn is moving up in the ranks, thanks to his legal knowledge transplant (see “Conviction”). “From now on,” Lorne says, “I want you to stake out your territory, and I want you to keep it staked.” He adds that he wants Gunn in Angel’s office later for the MoG’s meeting. Everyone else gathers for the meeting, including Spike, who’s not happy that everyone is celebrating Halloween. Lorne arrives and brings up the party; Gunn agrees that they should have it and show the evil clients that the MoG mean business. Angel is afraid that things will get out of control, but Lorne says that that will make things fun. He points out that when he ran Caritas, good and evil mingled all the time. (He fails to mention that they had to play nice because of the sanctuary spell.) Eve says that a Halloween party will boost morale for the employees; Halloween is their Christmas. Harmony, who’s passing through, agrees that morale in the firm is horrible because they’re afraid of Angel and don’t like him. Angel finally gives in and Lorne tells him that he needs Angel to “get out there and make it happen.”

That night, Angel and Lorne take a limo to see Archduke Sebassis (Leland Crooke), “the living end of a pure bloodline of demonic royalty.” Lorne says that if he can get Sebassis to come to the party, a bunch of other big-wigs will come as well. Angel notes that the party really matters to Lorne personally and Lorne says that it does. He doesn’t have the same skills or knowledge as the other MoG, but he can plan and pull off great celebrations. He gets Angel to agree to let him to the talking and not do anything violent. At Sebassis’ place, Angel and Lorne sit in a throne room and chat with Sebassis and his slave demon. Lorne is somewhat disgusted that Sebassis drinks from one of the slave’s veins. Lorne accepts a drink, trying to keep Sebassis happy, and finally convinces him to come to the party. After they leave, a demon named Artode tells Sebassis that he thinks they’re walking into a trap. Sebassis agrees that they might be, but he’s interested to find out. They’ll just take some weapons with them in case. The party kicks off, but Harmony is the only one really enjoying herself. A couple of lawyers complain that there’s no ritual sacrifice and Lorne gets them to mingle. Lorne meets up with a demon named Devlin who’s dressed as a “human bean” and seems to be enjoying making fun of humans. Nearby, Fred notes to Wesley how well Lorne handles everyone and says that she’s never liked parties. Lorne approaches, calling the two of them wallflowers and noting, “You should be three sheets to the wind already.” He heads to Angel’s office, gets frustrated that Angel won’t join the party, then calms himself and makes Angel join the crowd. Harmony tries to get Spike to dance with her, but he’s in a grumpy mood. She asks why he’s even there and he says that he’s not sure. As Lorne and Angel join them, Spike says that the party is boring. “Oh, really, Spike,” Lorne says, “would it kill you to be a little more positive?”

Sebassis arrives, noting that everyone there is sycophantic. Angel heads over to greet him, trying to appear upbeat. Lorne gets a little nervous when he learns that Artode’s jacket is made from skinned Pyleans. Elsewhere, Fred tipsily tells Wesley about Halloweens past as he, also a little tipsy, tells her that he never really celebrated Halloween in England. They head over to the food table and Harmony warns them that someone peed nearby. Lorne catches up with Gunn, who notes that Lorne has a lot of energy. Lorne confides that he had Wolfram & Hart remove his sleep, and he hasn’t slept in about a month. Gunn thinks this is great and says he might look into doing the same. Sebassis tells Artode that they succeeded in entering the party without anyone knowing they have weapons. Eve meets up with Angel and congratulates him on being so nice to Sebassis. Lorne walks by and says, “Oh, you two. Really. The sexual tension? Oh, with a knife you could cut it, huh? Get a room.” Not too long after, Angel and Eve wind up in Angel’s office, making out. Meanwhile, Artode is in the bathroom, getting killed by something. Back in the lobby, everyone is loosening up and dancing, including Fred and Wesley. A lawyer starts a conga line as Sebassis sends a demon to find Artode. The demon accidentally bumps into Fred, who tries to intimidate him by saying, “Hey, you want a piece of me, buddy? That's right. Keep walking. You walk alone! You walk alone!” She realizes that she’s drunk and Wesley notes that she hasn’t had anything to drink. He adds that he’s only had “about a third of a half of this beer” but is drunk as well. They agree that this is weird and decide to ask Gunn if he thinks it’s weird, too. Gunn is also doing something weird, namely, peeing all over the floor. Spike passes by, happy about the party and the music, and Fred realizes that there’s something wrong. Wesley decides that they’re under the effect of a spell. Spike says that he’s been acting strangely since he talked with Angel and Lorne, who told him to think positively. Wesley realizes that Lorne has something to do with this, and Lorne suddenly wonders why everyone is staring at him.

The MoG gather in Angel’s office, where Lorne denies that he did anything. Angel pops up from behind the couch, where he and Eve are getting friendly, and Spike exclaims, “Angel’s getting some! Good on you, mate.” Wesley figures that Angel and Eve are also under the effects of whatever Lorne is doing. Gunn remembers Lorne telling him to stake out his territory and Wesley determines that he took that a little too literally. Gunn announces that Lorne had his sleep removed, an action which, according to Wesley, is apparently not a good idea for an empath demon. Lorne says that he had so much to deal with, he had to do something to give himself more time and energy. Angel says that he should have told him and the MoG would have helped. He sends Wesley and Fred to find Lorne’s sleep and figure out how to return it to him. He tells Lorne to stay put and try not to talk. Lorne notes that someone has to tend to the guests; Spike excitedly says, “Ooh, ooh! Me! Me! I’m your people person!” Angel sends Gunn to see if anyone else has been effected by Lorne, adding, “And Eve, you stay here with me, and we’ll have more sex.” Meanwhile, Sebassis and his demon friends find Artode dead in the bathroom. Fred and Wesley head to the Psyche Component Storage Facility; Fred says that they should do things like this more often, meaning hanging out and doing things as friends. She says that they should be better friends than they are and hugs him. Wesley is excited that she wants to be his confidant, but he’s not so thrilled when she asks him what he thinks of Knox. Sebassis and his demons burst into Angel’s office, where he’s still behind the couch with Eve, despite the fact that Lorne and Spike are there. Sebassis tells Angel that they’re armed with poisoned darts and wants revenge for Artode’s murder.

The group hears a scream from the party and heads out to find Devlin either dead or unconscious. Angel tells Sebassis that the MoG haven’t done anything wrong. In the storage facility, Fred learns that people at Wolfram & Hart can also have their ennui removed. She finds Lorne’s sleep as Wesley announces that the results of Lorne’s sleep-removal could be “catastrophic.” Normally, Lorne can read people’s destinies, but now he’s creating them. If he’s separated from his subconscious (though it should be “unconscious”) for too long, it can manifest. Back at the party, Lorne takes responsibility for what’s been happening; Sebassis points out that he must be controlled him as well, and is making Sebassis kill him. Suddenly, a green creature jumps down from the balcony and Lorne notes, “It’s me.” Manifested Lorne starts fighting demons, knocking Lorne down instead of listening to him. “Wow, I must really hate myself,” Lorne comments. Fred and Wesley wait for an elevator to take them back to the party; they realize that it would come more quickly if one of them actually pushed the call button. Angel protects Sebassis long enough to let him run off as Manifested Lorne continues fighting people. Fred and Wesley arrive and Fred shoots Lorne’s sleep back into him. Manifested Lorne disappears and Lorne goes to sleep. The next morning, as a lawyer says that this year’s party was better than the previous year’s, Knox tells Fred that he fixed the grenade, though he’s not sure why he said he’d do it during the party. Fred says that she wishes Knox had been at the party and he asks her to go get some coffee with him. As Lorne sleeps in Angel’s office, Angel decides that he and Eve should discuss what happened between them the night before. She, however, doesn’t think it was a big deal. Gunn arrives and tells Angel that Sebassis’ people have no hard feelings. Angel says that they’ve been worried about their evil clients when they should be worried about how the firm is changing the MoG. Everyone else leaves and Lorne briefly awakens, telling Angel that it’s hard to be “the host of the party.” Angel tells him to stop trying to be.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Sleep is good.

GRADE: B It could have been better, but it could have been worse.

WELCOME TO L.A.: Sebassis

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Lorne: “And believe me, Milk Dud, speaking as the head of your PR department, we need all the face we can get.”
Angel: “Milk Dud?”
Lorne: “Said with affection.”

“You not get? I human bean. Look. I do human bean. Ahem. ‘I proud my honor roll student.’… ‘My other car a Lamborghini.’” - Devlin

Angel: “I’m busy. I’m brooding.”
Lorne: “Oh, you’re watching hockey!”
Angel: “Yeah, but my team is losing.”

“He’s already not killed, like, 100 guests.” - Lorne, re: Angel

Fred: “I am totally drunk-faced.”
Wesley: “Because you can’t hold your - what are you drinking?”
Fred: “Nothing.”
Wesley: “You can’t hold that.”

“Angel, it’s not like this is the first time I’ve had sex under a mystical influence. I went to UC Santa Cruz.” - Eve

Spike: “You pi%$@# in the big man’s chair? That’s fantastic!”
Gunn: “Spike, can you please turn off that warm fuzzy?”
Spike: “What, the Lorne thing? Wore off. I just think that’s bloody fabulous.”


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