"Magic Bullet"
Written and directed by Jeffrey Bell

Thanks to the events of “Shiny Happy People,” everyone in L.A. is happy and cheerful. So happy and cheerful, in fact, that the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” is the perfect song to describe how they feel. Everyone is being friendly to everyone else, and it’s all peaceful and harmonious until Fred runs into a car at an intersection. She’s being pursued by Wesley and Gunn, who have somehow tracked her down after she ran away at the end of “Shiny Happy People.” They spot Fred’s jacket and catch up to the woman wearing it, but soon learn that Fred gave the jacket to the woman to throw them off. Fred winds up hiding out in a sewer under a shopping center. Back at the Hyperion, Lorne has to turn away people who have come to the hotel to see Jasmine. A man offers Lorne his house if he’ll let him stay to see Jasmine; Lorne says that Jasmine doesn’t want his material possessions. The man breaks down into tears, but Lorne can’t do anything. Jasmine enters with Connor and the crowd is immediately in awe. Jasmine speaks Chinese to a pregnant Chinese woman, assuring her that her baby will be healthy. Angel asks how Jasmine always knows exactly what to say to people. She tells him that she looks into their hearts, though sometimes what they need is right on their faces. She tells a man in Spanish that his mustache “provides [him] great strength and dignity.” Wesley and Gunn return and have a small meeting with Angel and Connor; they tell them that Fred escaped. Connor wants to kill her and bring her back, but Wesley reminds him that Jasmine wants her alive. Angel says that Fred gets to live until they figure out why she’s rejected Jasmine’s love.

In the lobby, Jasmine invites a couple of people (including the man who offered his house to Lorne) to go upstairs with her. Gunn and Wesley hope that someday, she’ll invite them upstairs. Fred goes to the Magic Bullet Bookstore (“Everything THEY don’t want you to know”), which she apparently visited three days earlier to read up on mass hypnosis. Now she’s looking for info on mind control. The shopkeeper says that Fred is the only customer he’s had recently - “not a huge demand for photo books of serial killer autopsies when you’re living in a utopian wonderland.” He’s happy, however, since he heard Jasmine on the radio. He says that he used to be obsessed with mind control, and though he still believes in it, he just doesn’t worry about it anymore. Fred is disappointed that her one potential ally is, to steal a term from later in the episode, a Jasmaniac. The shopkeeper pulls out a gun (as well as a yoyo and a book called Making Mind Control Work for You) and says that he thinks Fred is trying to get the government to learn about Jasmine’s love. Fred plays along and the shopkeeper tells her that they have to trust that Jasmine’s love will reach everyone. Connor and Angel try to track Fred through the sewers; Angel learns that Connor has been tracking people since he was a kid. Holtz would tie him to a tree and the run away and expect Connor to free himself and find Holtz. Angel is shocked that Holtz abandoned Connor like that, but Connor considers it good, since he learned to track. Angel and Connor both suddenly close their eyes, receiving a message that Jasmine wants them back at the Hyperion. At the hotel, Gunn wonders why Jasmine doesn’t take over a talk show to spread her love to everyone. Jasmine says that “it’s not the world’s time yet” and she still has a lot to learn.

Angel and Connor arrive, confused as to how she contacted them. She explains that they’re all connected by love and she wants to test that connection to see if they can find Fred. Everyone holds hands as Jasmine tells them to picture Fred and concentrate on finding her. Fred checks into a motel, where people around her start looking at her. At the Hyperion, Jasmine says that she sees her, and various people at the motel watch Fred. Fred takes off running, passing a man who’s putting gas in his car. Another car hits his car, which sets off a fire. The guy from the car gets out and, in flames, walks to Fred and tells her not to be afraid. At the Hyperion, Jasmine’s hand starts smoking and she almost collapses. The MoG note that she’s burned and start to call a doctor, but Jasmine says that she’ll be okay. She adds that she saw Fred, and now that all of the Jasmaniacs know what she looks like, she can’t hide anywhere. The MoG decide that they need to tend to the hotel guests. They also realize that, thanks to their connection to Jasmine and each other, they’re almost psychic. As the MoG leave, Jasmine asks them to bring up a pair of twins from the lobby. She tells them that no one will have to feel lonely ever again. Well, except Fred, who’s walking by the side of a highway. As she’s trying to run from people in an SUV, she falls down a hill and winds up in a cave with a weird creature. The creature assures Fred that he won’t hurt her; it doesn’t seem to matter, since Fred makes sure he knows that she can handle herself. Back at the Hyperion, the MoG and all of the guests have gathered in the lobby. Wesley tells the guests about Fred and warns that she’s dangerous who wants to lure people away from Jasmine “and onto the rocks of heresy and destruction.” Lorne gives the “hourly Jasmine report,” then announces that he has a surprise - open mic night.

A little boy reads a poem about how he loves Jasmine because she makes food taste good. A woman stands up at the podium, crying. A guy chants, “Jasmine rocks. Jasmine rocks.” A deaf woman signs, “I wish I could be in Fred’s skull so I could explode her brain and kill her for rejecting Jasmine.” Lorne sings “Freddie’s Dead.” An old woman says that she’s changed the names of all of her 37 cats to Jasmine. The woman at the podium keeps crying. Angel and Connor sing a revised version of “Mandy”: “Now we realize how happy you’ve made us / Oh, Jasmine / You came and you gave without taking / And we’ll keep you forever / Oh, Jasmine / You came and you gave without taking / And we’ll keep you forever / Oh, Jasmine.” Gunn thinks that they should have open mic night every day. In the cave, Fred learns that the creature used to be an executive, but he’s hiding out because of “those freakin’ Jasmaniacs and their demon jihad.” She tells him that she’s hiding out because of Jasmine as well and is trying to figure out how she controls people. He says that he’ll help her, but not until the next morning. Then he gets hungry and attacks Fred, who fights back with an axe. Fred has a brainstorm of herself luring people to the Magic Bullet Bookstore. At the Hyperion, Jasmine wakes up smiling and says, “Fred.” Fred returns to the bookstore, where the shopkeeper tells her that she’s famous now. She tells him to stay away or she’ll chop out his CIA implants. He tells her that he’s not supposed to hurt her and she confirms that Jasmine is coming for her.

Jasmine arrives with Angel and Connor and, in exchange for the shopkeeper’s help, tells him that there was no second gunman. Jasmine tells Fred that she loves her and that nothing Fred does will make her stop. Fred says that she’s sorry and Jasmine accepts the apology, but it turns out that Fred is talking to Angel. She raises the shopkeeper’s gun, aims at Jasmine, and fires. The bullet hits Jasmine, then goes into Angel’s shoulder. Angel vamps out and attacks Fred, grabbing the gun and pointing it at her jaw. He criticizes her for trying to shoot him when she knew that a bullet wouldn’t kill him. Crying, Fred tells him to look at Jasmine. He does, seeing the same decaying, maggot-infested flesh that Fred saw in “Shiny Happy People.” Shocked, he backs away from Fred and drops the gun. Fred apologizes, saying that she had to show Angel. Connor tries to talk to Angel, but Jasmine tells him that Angel is infected the way Fred is and he’s as lost to them as she is. Fred tells Jasmine that she loved her, then fires the gun at her three more times until Connor stops her. Connor tells Jasmine that they need to get out of there, stopping Angel from getting to Fred. Angel runs out with Fred and Jasmine keeps Connor from following them. Jasmine sees how much blood she’s lost and tells the shopkeeper to burn the store down. He quickly agrees as Connor and Jasmine leave, only asking, “You want me to stay here?” The MoG and hotel guests have a snack after open mic night and wish that Jasmine were there. Jasmine and Connor return and the other MoG wonder where Angel is. In the office, Jasmine explains that they’ve lost Angel to Fred: “by being loving to Fred, I opened the door to her hate. By trying to save Fred, I lost Angel. It won’t happen again. We must eradicate their hate.”

Jasmine heads back to the lobby and picks a bunch of people to go upstairs with her and Connor. Gunn wishes that Angel would stop switching back and forth between evil and good. Wesley says that it doesn’t matter, since Jasmine wants him dead. Fred regains consciousness in an alley, where Angel tells him that he doesn’t want to talk about what happened with Jasmine. He says that he misses her; Fred says that she does, too, and it’s been a week since she found out the truth. “Part of me wishes I still believed the lie,” she says. She explains that Jasmine’s blood breaks her spell - she got it in her system when she washed Jasmine’s shirt, and Angel go it in his system after the bullet passed through Jasmine. Angel says that Fred did the right thing and that it must have been hard for her to do so. Crying, Fred says that she’s been so alone and isn’t a champion like Angel. She decides that they need to get more of Jasmine’s blood so that they can break the spell for the other MoG. Angel doesn’t think that they can get that close to her again, but he has another idea. Before he can share it, they hear people coming and Fred kisses Angel to throw the people off. It doesn’t work, and a group of Jasmaniacs comes after them. At the Hyperion, Jasmine tells Connor to keep guard in the hallway as she goes into her room with her chosen guests. She tells them to strip, and as they do, she heals her gunshot wound. Angel and Fred sneak not-so-stealthily into Cordelia’s room, where she’s still comatose. Angel apologizes to Cordelia, then starts to cut her arm with a knife. She grabs his wrist and he panics, thinking that she’s awake. Fred has to tell him that people in comas sometimes move or do things that don’t mean they’re waking up. Connor stands guard outside Jasmine’s room; inside, green light shines.

Fred collects some blood from Cordelia’s arm as Lorne enters the room. Angel and Fred quickly pretend to be worshippers as Lorne joins them. He notices that Cordelia is bleeding and starts yelling, “Unclean!” as Angel shuts him up. The green light disappears from Jasmine’s room and she joins Connor in the hallway. He asks where the people went and Jasmine replies, “I ate them.” “Cool,” Connor says. Elsewhere, Angel and Fred have just “infected” Lorne and are sending him to pretend that nothing has happened. He heads into the lobby, pretending to still be a Jasmaniac, and readies himself to recruit the other MoG. He tells Wesley and Gunn that Jasmine wants to see them upstairs; they say a bandage on his wrist and he pretends that nothing happened. Upstairs, Lorne grabs a baseball bat and knocks Wesley and Gunn out. Post-infection, Fred explains to Wesley and Gunn that Angel figured out that using Cordelia’s blood would have the safe effect as using Jasmine’s blood. They’re upset that they were fooled by Jasmine, but they’re willing to help figure out what to do next. Angel announces that he’s not leaving without Connor, so Wesley offers to get him, noting that it wouldn’t be the first time (see “Sleep Tight”). Wesley brings Connor back to the room, where the other MoG hold him down as Wesley cuts him and “infects” him with Cordelia’s blood. After Connor calms down, Angel tells him they had to make him see the truth. Fred assures him that his feelings are normal and Connor confirms that he knows they did what they did because of Jasmine. “You understand why we’re here?” Angel asks. Connor nods and goes to the door. He throws it open and yells, “They’re here! Come quick!”

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Sometimes spoiling the party is harder than you think.

GRADE: A- Happy MoG? Who would’ve thought?

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “I thought Our Lady of the Perpetual Sea Breeze was the real deal until the Divine Miss J walked right through that door and right into my a%$ - which is where my heart is…physiologically.” - Lorne

Fred: “So, you don’t worry that it’s possible for someone to send out a biological or electronic trigger that effectively overrides your own sense of ideals and values, and replaces them with an alternative coercive agenda that reduces you to little more than a mindless meat puppet?”
Shopkeeper: “Wow. People used to think that I was paranoid. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I still got the implants in my head. CIA is still listening in. It just doesn’t bother me anymore.”

Lorne: “You know what they say about people who need people.”
Connor: “They’re the luckiest people in the world.”
Lorne: “You been sneaking peeks at my Streisand collection again, kiddo?”
Connor: “Just kinda popped out.”

“Evil. Not evil. Evil again. Wish he’d make up his mind.” - Gunn, re: Angel

“Tonight, the role of Judas Iscariot will be played by Krevlorneswath of the Deathwok Clan.” - Lorne


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