"Origin"
Written by Drew Goddard; directed by Terrence O’Hara

Wesley observes an unmoving Illyria in the science lab, telling Angel that he still can’t put a finger on her behavior. Angel tells him that he doesn’t have to keep an eye on Illyria by himself, but Wesley notes that there aren’t too many people left for the job, especially now that Gunn is in suburbia (see “Underneath”). Angel suggests testing Illyria to see what powers she has, and when Wesley says that it could be dangerous, Angel volunteers Spike for the job. He then tells Wesley to pull himself together and start acting alive again. Later, Wesley meets with a couple who explain that their son was the victim of a hit-and-run involving a van, but wasn’t harmed. The mother notes that the son is downstairs, but thinks his parents are there to set up a trust for him. Down in the lobby, Angel is shocked to hear Connor (last seen in “Home”) calling out, “Dad!” Connor is, in fact, the son of Wesley’s clients, the Reillys, whom he’s calling to. Wesley tells Angel that they need Wolfram & Hart’s help, but Angel turns them down. Back in Angel’s office, Wesley tries to convince him that the Reillys have an interesting case, but Angel is more interested in finding out how they learned about Wolfram & Hart. He claims that they don’t have time to help them, but Wesley points out that this is their job. In suburbia, Gunn has his heart cut out by the demon in the basement. When he regains consciousness, he doesn’t remember what happened and goes upstairs with the new oven light bulb.

Spike works with Illyria in a training room, mostly learning that she likes to fight. Wesley arrives to check on them and Illyria notes that he’s frustrated. He mentions his disagreement with Angel and Illyria points out that he follows Angel anyway. Wesley says that he trusts him. Angel summons Hamilton (see “Underneath”) to his office and blasts him for not keeping Connor away. He reminds Hamilton that he made a deal with the Senior Partners in “Home” to keep Connor out of his life. Hamilton says that the Senior Partners weren’t behind this, but someone else must be. The Reillys head to a restaurant and Connor reveals that he knows they went to Wolfram & Hart because of the van incident. In the parking lot, the family is attacked by demons, and Connor is shocked to see that he can easily fight them. He’s joined by Angel, who helps him finish off the demons and impresses Connor with his skills. He agrees to take the Reillys back to Wolfram & Hart, so that Connor’s father can see a doctor, and tells Connor that they have some things to discuss. At the firm, Connor wonders if he’s a demon and Angel assures him that he isn’t. He takes the idea of possibly being a superhero very well. Angel fills him in a little on himself and tries to downplay how many interesting people work at the firm. They encounter Spike and Illyria, who are still battling it out in the training room. Illyria notes that Connor is lusting after her, which he unsuccessfully tries to deny. “I guess I’ve always had a thing for older women,” he says. Under his breath, Angel comments, “They were supposed to fix that.” Connor also meets Lorne, then proclaims that Wolfram & Hart is better than college. (He goes to Stanford, which makes Angel proud.)

Back in Angel’s office, he identifies the demons that attacked the Reillys and Wesley explains that they’re henchmen of a demon named Cyvus Vail (Dennis Christopher). Angel heads off to pay Vail a visit and Connor says that he’ll come along, but Angel refuses to let anyone come with him. After he leaves, Wesley attempts to get info on Vail. Angel fights his way into Vail’s palace and Vail says that he wasn’t trying to hurt Connor, he just wanted to see what he was capable of. Angel asks how Vail knows about Connor and Vail replies, “I built him.” Wesley and Lorne do research on Vail, learning that Wolfram & Hart has done business with him. He specializes in “memory restructuring, mind control, temporal shifts” and received his biggest paycheck the same day the MoG took over Wolfram & Hart. At the palace, Angel rips off Vail’s oxygen tubes and Vail tells him about a memory he placed in Connor’s head. He announces that he wants Sahjhan (last seen in “Forgiving”) dead; he has Sahjhan’s urn and wants to make sure he can’t get out. He conjures a yellow glass cube and explains that it’s an Orlon Window, a spell which allows warlocks such as Vail “to see the past as it once was.” If it breaks in the presence of someone whose mind was altered, that person would receive the old memories. Angel agrees to kills Sahjhan, but Vail reminds him of the prophecy Sahjhan altered (see “Forgiving”), which states that only Connor can kill him.

Back in his office, Angel explains things to Connor, who says that he doesn’t seem to have much of a choice. He decides that if his family will be okay after he kills Sahjhan, he’ll do it. Hamilton interrupts Gunn’s torture session in the basement and pulls off his necklace so that Gunn remembers who he is. Hamilton informs him that no one’s putting forth much effort to rescue him, but the Senior Partners want to make a deal with him. Gunn declines to hear more and puts the necklace back on. In a training room, Angel assures Connor that he’ll help him kill Sahjhan. Connor says that he wants to do things his way; now he just has to figure out what that is. Angel gives him some pointers, sure that Connor will be okay. Wesley and Illyria head to the archive department as Wesley notes that reality has been changed and he wants to know how things once were. He’s surprised when Illyria tells him that Fred’s memories were altered as well, but she can’t access them. She asks if Fred is still the woman Wesley thought she was; he replies that none of them are the same now. He’s found a contract signed in Angel’s blood. Angel and Connor head to Vail’s , where Connor takes charge and announces that he’ll kill Sahjhan and then leave. If Vail ever comes after his family again, Connor will kill him. Vail sends him to an adjacent room and, after some last-minute advice from Angel, Connor prepares to battle Sahjhan. After he enters the room, he realizes that there’s now a wall separating him from Angel and Vail, so he can’t see them anymore, though they can still see him.

Connor commands the urn to “open sesame. Or whatever,” then takes off the top and releases Sahjhan. Sahjhan messes with him a little, then realizes who he is and what’s supposed to happen. Connor, apparently wanting a fair fight, points Sahjhan towards some weapons as Angel wonders why Connor is talking to him at all. Sahjhan doesn’t realize that Connor’s memory has been altered, so he asks Connor about Quortoth, then notes that he isn’t very intimidating. They start fighting, and after a particularly hard punch from Sahjhan, Connor complains. “You need to call a time out?” Sahjhan taunts. They keep fighting and Angel orders Vail to open the door to the room. Vail tells him, “Sit back and watch his future unfold.” The fight continues and Angel again turns to Vail and tells him to open the door. However, this time, Vail is frozen and is no longer holding the Orlon Window - Wesley is. “You changed the world,” he tells Angel as he and Illyria glare at him. He accuses him of selling the MoG out to Wolfram & Hart. Angel warns him to be careful with the Orlon Window and Wesley asks, “Is this your 30 pieces of silver?” Angel tries to get the Orlon Window from him, but Illyria hits him and tells him that Wesley doesn’t follow him anymore. As Sahjhan and Connor keep fighting, Angel tells Wesley that Connor is his son. Wesley asks if Angel traded Fred for Connor, since everything’s gone downhill since they joined Wolfram & Hart. He wonders if breaking the Orlon Window will bring Fred back and starts to break it. Angel tries to stop him, telling Wesley to trust him, but Wesley says he doesn’t anymore, then smashes the Orlon Window.

Wesley receives all of his altered memories as Angel realizes that Connor is nearby and probably received his memories as well. Connor gets the upper hand on Sahjhan and manages to decapitate him. The barrier between the rooms disappears and Angel checks on Connor, who doesn’t indicate that he has his altered memories back. Back in Wesley’s office, Illyria remembers Wesley kidnapping Connor and betraying Angel, who then tried to kill him (see “Sleep Tight” and “Forgiving”). “Are these the memories you needed back? Does this now make you Wesley?” she asks. He nods, saying that at least now he knows what really happened. She points out that there are two sets of memories, one real and one fake, and it’s hard to tell the difference. Wesley says that the fabricated memories were created to help people endure the truth. Connor visits Angel in his office and mentions that his father wants to talk to Angel about putting Connor in danger. He then reveals that he’s kidding and his parents think the spent the whole night doing tests. He says he’ll tell his parents the truth, more or less, but they’ll feel better knowing that Angel is looking out for him. Angel reminds him that they don’t know where Vail is, but Connor says he’s not very worried - “nothing he can show me I haven’t already seen.” He leaves to get back to his regular life, though Angel is reluctant to see him go. Connor says that he needs to take care of his parents, since they’re not comfortable in this kind of world. “You gotta do what you can to protect your family,” he says. “I learned that from my father.” He takes one last look at Angel (until “Not Fade Away,” at least) and leaves.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Don’t drop things that can break.

R.I.P.: Sahjahn

GRADE: A- I didn’t really like Connor before, but he’s a lot of fun this time around.

WELCOME TO L.A.: Vail

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Wesley: “She’s either…counting oxygen molecules or analyzing the petri dish she just put into her mouth. Or sleeping. I can never quite tell.”
Angel: “You sure this was a good idea?”
Wesley: “Oh, we have plenty of petri dishes.”

Spike: “We need to set some ground rules. First off - no more punching me in the face. Secondly, when I punch you in the face, you tell me how you feel so I can write that down on my clipboard. Third - no touching my clipboard. Fourth--.”
Illyria: “I enjoy hurting you.”
Spike: “Well, we’re gonna have to fix that, ‘cause--.” (she kicks him in the face)

Connor: “So, what are you, like, 500 years old?”
Angel: “No, I’m about--. Do I look 500?”
Connor: “Do you spend all your time making out with other vampires, like in Anne Rice novels?”
Angel: “No. Uh - I used to, but….”

Spike: “So far, I’ve established that she can hit like a Mack truck, selectively alter the flow of time, and, uh…possibly talk to plants.”
Illyria: “I’d like to keep Spike as my pet.”

Sahjhan: “Thank you, mortal, for releasing me from my cursed prison. In gratitude, I grant you three wishes.”
Connor: “Really?”
Sahjhan: “Nah. I’m just messing with you.”

Sahjhan: “You know, I’ve had a long time to plan for this moment. I figured you’d be a lot more…intimidating.”
Connor: “Yeah. Well…I figured I was going to Tony Roma’s with my folks tonight, but…I’m here. Learn to cope.”


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