"Not Fade Away"
Written by Joss Whedon and Jeffrey Bell; directed by Jeffrey Bell

The MoG, disguised by a glamour, have just agreed to help Angel carry out his plan against the Circle of the Black Thorn (see “Power Play”). Angel explains that they’ll have to separate the members in order to have a chance against them. Until they can make their move, the MoG have to keep pretending to fight, so the Senior Partners won’t get suspicious. Gunn suggests enlisting Illyria, but Angel isn’t sure they can trust her. Lorne thinks they can, mentioning that they left her to look after Drogyn. Angel tells the MoG to go back and get Illyria, since Drogyn is dead (see “Power Play”). Angel and Spike start fighting as Hamilton enters. After the MoG leave, Hamilton tells Angel that the Black Thorns want to see him. The MoG hurry back to Spike’s apartment, where they find Illyria unconscious. When she comes to, she explains that Hamilton grabbed Drogyn, and Lorne adds that he took him to Angel. Lorne says that Angel has lost it and he doesn’t trust him. Gunn says that they don’t have to trust him, they just have to hope that the Black Thorns do. The Black Thorns gather in their secret chamber, where Sebassis tells Angel that they’re not too happy about the MoG going against him. Angel smacks at Sebassis’ slave and asks if his people are really the problem. Sebassis replies that Angel is the big threat and Izzy produces a copy of the Shanshu prophecy. Angel says that he doesn’t care about becoming human, and Sebassis says that he won’t have a problem signing away the possibility. Angel signs the agreement in blood.

Angel returns to his office, where he asks Harmony if she ever misses being human. She says that part of her always knew that life would end after high school (which, for her, it literally did). Angel says that it’s been so long since he was human that he doesn’t remember what it was like. Harmony says that most of it wasn’t that great, but she does remember her heart. She notes that something big is happening and offers to help out. He tells her that he needs to do some things and she should keep Hamilton occupied while he does. Angel then meets with Lindsey and tells him about his plan, which Lindsey thinks is crazy, since he doubts Angel will beat the Senior Partners. “Maybe they’re not there to be beat,” Angel says. “Maybe they’re there to be fought. Maybe fighting them is what makes human beings so remarkably strong.” He says that the world doesn’t belong to the Senior Partners anymore. He adds that if things fall apart and there has to be a new leader, he’d be more comfortable with Lindsey taking over the firm than anyone else. He tells Lindsey that if the Senior Partners get mad, Lindsey can tell them that Angel forced him to participate. Lindsey agrees to play along, since Angel is about to launch the biggest fight “since mankind drop-kicked the last demon out of this dimension,” and he wants to be a part of it. The MoG tend to Illyria in Spike’s apartment and are joined by Angel, who is surprised that Hamilton was the one who brought Drogyn to the Black Thorns. The MoG would like to know in advance the next time Angel decides to kill someone, but he tells them that it doesn’t matter - they’re killing the Black Thorns tonight.

Angel tells the MoG to take the day off and do a little living, since this could very well be the last day of their lives. Lorne winds up at Caritas, where he sings “If I Ruled the World.” Angel tracks down Connor at a coffee shop. Spike, not surprisingly, goes to a bar. Gunn goes to the East Hills Teen Center, after trying to track down his old crew, and visits Anne (last seen in “The Thin Dead Line”). “What if I told you it doesn’t help?” he asks. “What would you do if you found out that none of it matters? That it’s all controlled by forces more powerful and uncaring than we can conceive, and they will never let it get better down here. What would you do?” Anne replies that she would keep doing what she’s doing. Wesley takes care of Illyria at Spike’s apartment as she notes that the others are out doing things they want to do. Wesley says that he can’t have a last, perfect day because there’s nothing left in the world that he wants. Illyria says that she could take Fred’s shape again, but she knows that Wesley would never ask her to, after her stunt in “The Girl in Question.” Wesley says that he’s always been taught separate truth from illusion, and he knows that Fred is gone, so he can’t live a lie. He also doesn’t intend to die tonight, so he has to keep living with the truth. At the bar, Spike reads some of his poetry (see “Fool for Love”), which is well-received. He dedicates his “effulgent” poem to Cecily and moves on to one called “The Wanton Folly of Me Mum.” At the coffee shop, Angel fills Connor in on his life. Connor reveals that he knows Angel is his father (see “Origin”), and he’s grateful for what Angel did for him, but he doesn’t want to pursue it further.

Lindsey and Eve make out in an apartment and Eve says that she doesn’t think Angel trusts Lindsey. Lindsey doesn’t think it matters, as long as they’re on the same side. Eve worries that Lindsey can’t handle his assignment - taking on Sahrvin demons (see “Harm’s Way”) - but Lindsey isn’t worried, since he’s going in with Lorne, which means that they can’t be that tough. Eve is a little worried about Lorne’s reading of her (see “A Hole in the World”), since he warned her that she would have a bad future. Lindsey warns her that if something bad happens, he wants her to stay away from it. The MoG reassemble in Spike’s apartment, where Angel announces that someone is going to betray him. Spike volunteers, but it’s actually going to be Wesley. Angel says that Vail will believe it if Wesley pretends to make a move for Angel’s position, so Wesley is in charge of getting to him. Illyria’s job is to go after Izzy and three other members of the Black Thorns who will be having dinner together. Gunn is to go to Senator Brucker’s office and take out her and her vamp henchmen. (Gunn is happy about this, since he hasn’t gotten to kill a lot of vampires lately.) Spike is ready for battle, but he refuses to wear any jewelry this time (see “Chosen”). Angel tells him that he just needs a rattle, since he’s in charge of getting Amanda’s baby and killing the Fell Brethren (see “Time Bomb”). Angel says that he’ll take care of Sebassis, since he’s the key player, but he wants a reluctant Lorne to back up Lindsey with the Sahrvins. In her apartment, Harmony cuddles with Hamilton and starts to fill him in on the MoG’s secret plan.

Angel tells the MoG that anyone who survives his encounter with the Black Thorns should meet in an alley near the Hyperion. The Senior Partners will probably come after them, so they should be ready for their potential final battle. Lorne pulls Angel aside and says that he’ll do this last job, but then he’s out. Angel shouldn’t expect to see him in the alley, and he shouldn’t try to find him at all. The MoG start to split up as Illyria tells Gunn, “Try not to die. You are not unpleasant to my eyes.” After everyone else leaves, Spike asks Angel what this might mean with regards to the Shanshu prophecy. Angel tells him that they’re not going to make it through anyway, so it doesn’t matter. “Well, long as it’s not you,” Spike replies. Wesley heads to Vail’s mansion and talks to him about Angel, then forms a fireball in his hand. Spike makes a move towards the baby as Gunn arrives at Brucker’s office and starts killing henchmen. Lindsey busts into the Sahrvins’ lair while Illyria confronts Izzy and his dinner companions. Angel heads back to the firm, where Harmony assures him that she’s been keeping Hamilton occupied. Up in his penthouse, Angel encounters Hamilton, who reveals that he knows what Angel is up to. They start fighting and Angel winds up going through a window and landing in the lobby. Harmony denies that she betrayed Angel, but he says that he knew she would turn on him eventually. He kicks her out of the building, telling her that she’s fired. She asks for a recommendation, then wishes both Angel and Hamilton good luck on her way out - “um…may the best man win?” Angel and Hamilton start fighting again.

Hamilton beats on Angel, insulting him for failing people and asking if he really thought he would kill Sebassis. Angel brags that he already did, and we see this in flashbacks - when Angel pushed Sebassis’ slave away, he stuck him with something that poisoned his blood in order to poison Sebassis. Dressed as a member of the Fell Brethren, Spike sneaks into their lair, gets the baby, and fights some demons. Lindsey fights the Sahrvins while Wesley fights Vail, telling him that he can’t control the world anymore. Unfortunately, Vail is more powerful than Wesley and is about to prove so. Angel keeps getting pummeled by Hamilton, who wonders why Angel keeps fighting since he signed away his Shanshu. “People who don’t care about anything will never understand the people who do,” Angel says. “Yeah, but we won’t care,” Hamilton replies. Just as Hamilton is about to stake Angel, Connor arrives and sends Hamilton through a glass wall. Angel wonders why Connor is there and he replies, “Come on. You drop by for a cup of coffee, and the world’s not ending? Please.” Brucker continues to talk on the phone while Gunn slaughters her henchvamps, finally killing Brucker with an axe. Meanwhile, Illyria easily finishes off Izzy and friends. Eve paces in Angel’s office as Lorne enters the Sahrvins’ lair and sees that Lindsey has done his job. (Apparently Lorne helped by singing a high note in “MacArthur Park.”) Lindsey kind of likes the feeling of being an MoG and wonders if Lorne is really leaving them. Lorne says that he can’t take the work anymore. “I could sing for you,” Lindsey offers. “I’ve heard you sing,” Lorne replies, shooting Lindsey in the chest. He tells Lindsey that he was never part of the solution and never will be. Lindsey is upset that an MoG is killing him, since he always thought Angel would. He dies, and Lorne heads off, saying, “Good night, folks.”

Vail gets the upper hand on Wesley, taunting him for not being able to beat him. He stabs Wesley, who manages to knock Vail unconscious with another fireball. Illyria runs in and notes that Wesley is going to die. Wesley is glad that Illyria showed up, and she asks if he’d like her to lie to him. He says that he would, so she takes on Fred’s visage, kisses him, and tells him that they’ll be together soon. “I - I love you,” Wesley says, then dies in Illyria’s arms. She then gets up, transforms back into Illyria, and kills Vail. Back at the firm, Angel and Connor fight Hamilton, who boasts that he’s filled with the power of the Wolf, Ram, and Hart. “My blood is filled with their ancient power,” he says. This gives Angel the idea to bite him and drink some of that blood. Hamilton warns that Angel will never win, since there are too many powers for him to fight, but Angel doesn’t care. He kills Hamilton and the building starts to shake, indicating that the Senior Partners aren’t happy. Angel sends Connor home, wanting him out of the fight, and says that as long as Connor is safe, the Senior Partners can’t completely destroy Angel. He heads to his office, tells her that Lindsey isn’t coming for her, and gets her to leave. In the final scene of the final episode of Angel, Angel, Spike and a barely-standing Gunn meet up in the alley as rain pours down on them. Illyria joins them and reveals that Wesley is dead; the four of them briefly grieve. A huge army of demons approaches the remaining MoG and a dragon flies overhead. “Okay,” Gunn remarks. “You take the 30,000 on the left….” The four face off with the demons as Spike asks if there’s a plan. “We fight,” Angel says. “Bit more specific,” Spike requests. “Well, personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon,” Angel replies. As the demons head towards them, Angel says, “Let’s go to work.”

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: The best you can hope for is a bittersweet ending.

R.I.P.: Sebassis, Brucker, Izzy, Lindsey, Wesley, Vail, Hamilton, possibly Gunn, Spike, Angel

GRADE: A- A very fitting end to the MoG and Angel.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “If the next words out of your mouth are ‘kill Spike,’ we just might have to kiss.” - Angel to Sebassis

Lindsey: “If you want me, I’m on your team.”
Angel: “I want you, Lindsey. (beat) I’m thinking about rephrasing that.”
Lindsey: “Yeah, I think I’d be more comfortable if you did.”

“My soul is wrapped in harsh repose
Midnight descends in raven-colored clothes
But soft…behold!
A sunlight beam
Cutting a swath of glimmering gleam.
My heart expands
‘Tis grown a bulge in it
Inspired by your beauty
Effulgent.” - Spike’s poem

Connor: “So vampires really don’t understand the concept of jokes.”
Angel: “I understand jokes. I was at the first taping of The Carol Burnett Show. Tim Conway was on fire. It was special.”

Connor: “I am applying for an internship. I’m supposed to write up a résumé.”
Angel: “Need any help?”
Connor: “Have you ever written a résumé before? Ever?”
Angel: “No…but I have very nice handwriting.”
Connor: “You girl.”

Angel: “This may come out a little pretentious, but…one of you will betray me. (Spike raises his hand) Wes.”
Spike: “Oh. Can I deny you three times?”

Angel: “Drop the act, Harm.”
Harmony: “It’s not an act. I’m really this nervous.”

“Well, personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon. Let’s go to work.” - Angel, speaking the final lines of Angel

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