"Loyalty"
Written by Mere Smith; directed by James A. Contner

Wesley is asleep at his desk in the Hyperion, having spent the night researching the Nyazian prophecies and discovered that “the father will kill the son” (see “Couplet”). Fred and Gunn find him there and wonder if he’s found out anything about Connor’s place in the prophecies. Fred starts to look at his papers but Wesley quickly awakens and tells her not to, saying that they’re in a certain order and he doesn’t want them messed up. Angel enters with Connor and says, “Do you wanna see Connor do something cool?” He vamps out and says, “I’m teaching him how to die!” He bites Connor, who starts crying, and Wesley looks down to see that his hands are on the pages of the prophecy and blood is seeping out. “Tick-tock, Wes,” Gunn says, his voice growing deep. “Running out of time.” Wesley awakens for real as Angel enters the office with Connor and asks if he’s been there all night. Later, Angel and Wesley take Connor to his pediatrician, where Angel gives women in the waiting room some advice on how to quiet their babies. Angel is happy to be called “Mr. Dad” but notices that Wesley seems a little out of it. Wesley tells him he’s just tired and is working on a difficult translation. When they go in to see the doctor, Angel mentions that he hears something strange when Connor eats; the doctor tells him it’s digestion. Wesley confirms that the doctor didn’t find anything abnormal during his examination. As Angel, Wesley, and Connor leave, the doctor leaves a vial of Connor’s blood with his chart. A woman from the waiting room enters and switches blood samples.

Back at the Hyperion, Gunn wonders how Angel can order things from the Internet when he doesn’t have a last name or a bank account. Fred explains that he can hack into the shipping database and highjack someone else’s order. Angel says that he just memorized Cordelia’s credit card numbers. He’s ordered a little jersey and small hockey sticks for Connor, which he and Gunn start playing with. The MoG agree that things have been slow since Cordelia and Groo went on vacation (again, see “Couplet”), since she hasn’t called in to report a vision. Angel says that he can’t wait for Connor to grow up as Wesley listens in. A woman named Aubrey enters the hotel and asks for the MoG’s help. She explains that her son Timothy snuck out of the house one night, went to a pier, and returned a vampire. She didn’t let him in and the sun got him, so she blames himself for letting him die. Wesley sends Gunn to the pier and Gunn decides that Fred will go with him. After the meeting breaks up, Aubrey heads to Holtz’s lair and reports to him and others what she’s discovered about the MoG. In a mansion, men fight a chained vampire with quarterstaffs as Justine studies pictures of the MoG and wonders how they can work for a vampire. The chained vamp gets loose and Justine holds it off until it can be chained up again. Holtz tells her that she was made for the kind of thing he wants her to do. Sahjhan arrives, happy to hear that Holtz and his crew are going to make a move. Holtz tells him that he’s already fulfilled his part of the bargain and needs to leave Holtz alone to fulfill his part. Sahjhan calls Holtz a coward and tries to goad him into action. Holtz threatens to trap Sahjhan in a Resikhian urn, the only way he can get rid of him. (That will be important in “Forgiving” and “Origin.”)

Wesley talks to a wizard on the phone and tries to get him to do something. Fred arrives and, though put off by Wesley’s shortness with her, compliments him on the way he dealt with Aubrey. She urges him to take a break and encourages him to give Aubrey a call. Still jealous over her developing relationship with Gunn (see “Couplet” and “Waiting in the Wings”), Wesley tells her that they’re supposed to work, not date, and sends her to the pier. At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah calls her mother (who appears to have Alzheimer’s) and gets a surprise visit from Sahjhan. She confirms that he’s come there to get help from Wolfram & Hart to destroy Angel, since Holtz isn’t moving fast enough for his tastes. Lilah says that she can’t help him, since they’re supposed to “let Angel live until he becomes useful.” As she tells him that she has to stick to this policy, she writes the words “count me in” on a pad of paper and shows it to him. Sahjhan tells her that he has a plan but he needs some of Connor’s blood for it to work. Lilah informs him that she had some stolen from the pediatrician’s office, but it’s completely normal. Sahjhan tells her that the people who looked it over were “looking for the wrong thing.” Fred and Gunn head to the pier, where she starts looking for vamps; Gunn has to remind her that it’s daylight. They start talking about playing midway games, but Fred reminds him that they’re supposed to be working. Gunn says that they’re only there because Wesley wanted to get rid of Gunn and didn’t count on him bringing Fred along. Fred says that she likes being with Gunn, but when they’re supposed to be working, they should try to keep things professional.

Wesley heads out from the Hyperion as Angel thanks him for being a good friend. That night, after the carousel has closed on the pier, Fred and Gunn spot a guy trying to break in. Gunn decides to go after the guy with a stake, despite Fred’s reminder that Wesley told them not to fight. In the carousel’s building, Fred and Gunn find themselves surrounded by vamps as Justine and another man videotape them. Gunn sends Fred away and starts fighting the vamps. Fred sticks around anyway and starts helping, managing to stake a vamp on her own. Wesley uses a compass to find what he’s looking for - a giant plastic hamburger used as an ordering box at a fast food restaurant. (Wait, it gets better. Well…okay, not better.) He sprinkles some powder on the hamburger, which grows bigger and blasts him for calling on “the Loa.” Wesley asks if Angel will really kill Connor; Loa tells him that he will, and the question is when it will happen. Wesley wants to know how to stop it, but he learns that he can’t. Loa tells him, “Your pain is just beginning. Betrayal and agony lie in wait, and time is running out….” Wesley asks when Connor will be killed and Loa replies, “The first portent will shake the earth. The second will burn the air. The last will turn the sky to blood.” Wesley points out that an earthquake isn’t a good portent since they’re in California. Unfortunately, that’s all he’s getting out of the giant burger. At a bar, Lilah meets up with Sahjhan and tells him that their plan is on. She wants to know why Sahjhan wants Angel dead, but he won’t tell her. Lilah accuses Sahjhan of being afraid, but Sahjhan changes the subject to ask when their plan will go into effect. “It’s already started,” she replies.

Aubrey returns to the Hyperion and thanks Wesley for taking care of the vamps (the ones Fred and Gunn killed). She asks him out, saying that she’s been lonely since her son’s death, but Angel arrives and announces that he’s on to Aubrey. Wesley asks Aubrey if she met Holtz because of what happened to her son. Angel says that if Holtz sends anyone after the MoG or Connor, he’ll kill him. As Aubrey leaves, there’s a minor earthquake. Back at Holtz’s lair, Justine shows him the videotape she made of Fred and Gunn. He notes that Fred survived because she was willing to risk her life to save Gunn; he says that his crew needs to have the same attitude. Aubrey returns and confirms that the MoG found her out. Holtz says it’s not important, but he is annoyed that she let herself be followed - Wesley has trailed her there. Holtz’s crew prepares to fight Wes, but he tells them that he’s there to tell them that they shouldn’t be fighting Angel. He wants to sacrifice himself in Angel’s place, but Holtz won’t accept this, since Angelus was the one who killed his family. Holtz notes that Wesley is afraid Angel will kill Connor (apparently Aubrey got this information for him); he tries to convince Wesley that he wants to protect Connor as well. Fred and Gunn eat in their favorite diner and discuss their office romance, worrying that Wesley will make them choose between business and pleasure. Up in Angel’s suite at the Hyperion, Angel and Wesley discuss Aubrey, whom Angel can identify with. As Angel talks about how love is beautiful rather than destructive, Wesley starts laughing, realizing that everything he’s been worrying about isn’t that important. Suddenly an earthquake hits and knocks a stove over, setting Angel’s kitchenette on fire. Angel gets hit with a fallen beam, then grabs Connor from his crib and heads out of the room. Wesley is stunned by the fire and Angel has to pull him into the hall. Angel tends to Connor as blood from his forehead drips onto Connor’s sky-decorated blanket. “Earthquake. Fire. Blood,” Wesley notes. Angel says that it’s a good thing they weren’t trapped in the suite - though he would’ve had something to snack on.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Talking hamburgers sometimes have important things to say.

GRADE: B Most of it is filler, but the ending is kind of creepy.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Angel: “Check this out! How cute is this? Huh? Seriously.”
Gunn: “Seriously, I think you got way too much time on your hands.”
Fred: “Come on. You think it’s adorable.”
Gunn: “Well, yeah, but at least I’m manly enough to deny it.”

“Love the whole chained, undead look you got going on. Really sets off your fern.” - Sahjhan to Holtz

“My company rocks.” - Lilah

Loa: “Your insolence is displeasing.”
Wesley: “You try chatting with a cranky hamburger.”

“Not on your best day. ‘Bye.” - Lilah to a potential suitor


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