"The Price"
Written by David Fury; directed by Marita Grabiak

The MoG are redoing Angel’s suite at the Hyperion, since it was ruined by the earthquake in “Loyalty.” The MoG try to convince Angel to change things around, but he wants to put everything back the way it was before. Angel finds a snow globe he’d gotten for Connor and wonders why he bought it, since it doesn’t even snow in southern California. “Did, once,” Cordelia replies (see “Amends,”) if you must. Angel encourages everyone to get back to work, but they point out that they haven’t had many cases recently. Downstairs, a guy named Philip Spivey walks in and sees the pentagram Angel painted on the lobby floor in “Forgiving.” A translucent slug-like creature (apparently called a sluk) slithers through the room and attacks Spivey as he’s about to leave. The sluk disappears into Spivey’s mouth and, a minute later, Angel comes downstairs and greets Spivey, who seems to have acquired a different personality. “We have to go,” Spivey tells Angel, heading out as Angel wonders if the pentagram spooked him. Later, Spivey, now ashen and kind of powdery goes to a juice bar and drinks a bunch of smoothies. “We’re thirsty,” he tells the manager. Back at the Hyperion, Fred wonders if it’s time to call Wesley back in to work and see if he and Angel can work together again. Gunn thinks that Angel would only forgive Wesley if he brought Connor back, and even then, he might not. Cordelia tries to scrub the pentagram off of the lobby floor, finally deciding that it would just be easier to buy a rug to put over it. Fred tries to talk to Cordelia about discussing Wesley with Angel, but Cordelia refuses. Fred asks Cordelia to consider Wesley’s feelings, but Cordelia says that Angel’s feelings are her priority. Unfortunately for Groo, he overhears this. Cordelia looks across the room and sees Angel in torn clothes, fighting an unseen opponent. When she tries to go over to him, he disappears and she realizes that she had a vision.

Lorne arrives and announces that something strange is going on at the juice bar across the street. At the bar, Spivey (whose face is now cracked) has beaten up the manager and an employee a little. The MoG arrive and Cordelia tries to warn Angel about her vision, but he’s distracted by Spivey. Angel recognizes him and Fred gets the guy’s name from the ID in his wallet. Angel tries to get Spivey to go back to the Hyperion to talk, but Spivey says, “We’re thirsty” and starts to get violent. Angel hits him and the MoG drag Spivey back across the street. Angel tells Fred to get some water and notes that Spivey kept saying “we” rather than “I.” Cordelia tries again to talk to him about her vision, but he says that he’s always in danger anyway. Spivey gets up and points at Angel, saying, “This is all your fault.” He falls over and his body falls apart, crumbling into dust. Angel takes offense at Spivey’s accusations as Lorne notices the sluk on Spivey. The sluk skedaddles and Angel wonders what it was and what it has to do with him. Cordelia points out that Spivey has collapsed in the exact middle of the pentagram on the floor. The MoG close up the Hyperion and grab weapons, ready to separate for some sluk-hunting. Angel sends Cordelia and Groo to the third floor while he and Lorne take the top floor and Fred researches. Angel tells her about thaumogenesis (see “After Life”), thinking that the sluk is the result of dark magic. Cordelia notes that the sluk drank all of the moisture out of Spivey; she thinks that they should wait until Fred finds out more about it before they go looking for it. Angel wants to move quickly in order to stop it, so the MoG split up. Upstairs, Lorne tries to keep himself from telling Angel that he was right about him taking a chance on dark magic to get Connor back. “There’s a price to pay. I know,” Angel says. “There’s always a price. Question is…is it one worth paying?” Lorne asks if it was. Angel says that he didn’t get Connor back, so the spell was for nothing, but he would still do it again. They hear a crash from the end of the hall and run into a room, finding the sluk drinking out of a toilet tank. Angel stabs it with a dagger, but they soon find that won’t kill it.

Downstairs in the office, Gunn guards the door while an anxious Fred finds it hard to research something supernatural. Out in the lobby, two more sluks drop down from the ceiling onto the pentagram. Somewhere upstairs, Cordelia tells Groo that she feels sorry for Angel, since he knows that the spell he did to try to get Connor back is responsible for Spivey’s death. Groo reveals that he heard her say that Angel is her priority; she tries to assure him that he’s her priority, too. Groo spots a sluk and Cordelia stabs it, but it heads through a mail slot. On their way downstairs to find it, Groo criticizes Cordelia for fighting the sluk herself when he told her that he was going to protect her. Cordelia and Groo run into Angel and Lorne, and both pairs announce that they saw the sluk. In the lobby, the four of them and Gunn realize that there’s more than one sluk now. Angel suggests that they shut off the lights, since the sluks glow in the dark and the MoG will have the advantage of seeing them and not being seen. Angel gives Fred a lamp and tells her to keep researching, despite the fact that she’s very freaked out now. Angel sends a reluctant Gunn to the basement to shut off the power; Gunn encounters a rat and tries to pretend that he’s not scared. As the lights in the hotel go off, a sluk becomes visible on the wall behind Fred in the office. It attacks her and disappears into her mouth. Angel, Cordelia, Lorne, and Groo head to a ballroom in the hotel as Gunn heads back to the office. Fred tells him that she’s scared and he says that when this is over, they should take a trip somewhere together. “We have to get out of here,” she says. Gunn hears a slurping noise and raises the lamp to see that Fred is drinking from the now-broken snow globe. “We’re thirsty,” she tells him.

Angel, Cordelia, Lorne, and Groo move through the ballroom, turning over tables and trying to figure out where a strange noise is coming from. Gunn runs in with Fred and the MoG realize that something’s wrong with her. Gunn tells her that they’ll get her to a hospital but she says that they can’t take her; the sluk wants to get out and spread itself around. Gunn decides that he doesn’t care and wants to take Fred out to get help anyway. Angel asks him how Fred would feel if her leaving the hotel caused problems for other people. Gunn turns the question around on him, asking if Angel is really wondering how he would feel. He blames Angel for what’s happening; Angel tries to say that he did what he had to and Gunn accuses him of not caring about the possible consequences. Cordelia breaks up their argument as Groo locates the origin of the noises. He chops through the wooden floor to reveal a pool full of sluks. The MoG skedaddle and barricade themselves in a kitchen. Fred complains that she’s hot and Angel tells Lorne to turn on the ovens; they’ll dry out the air and keep the sluks from coming in. Fred suddenly panics, realizing that Gunn isn’t with them. Gunn heads to Wesley’s and reluctantly announces that he needs his help. Back at the Hyperion, Fred drinks more water and Angel decides to take it from her, grabbing her throat. He demands to talk to the sluk inside Fred, which tells him that the sluks are trying to escape something: “the bringer of torment…agony…death…. The Destroyer.” Angel asks why the Destroyer is after the sluks, but he’s not - he’s after Angel. At Wesley’s apartment, Gunn makes it clear that he didn’t want to come to Wesley for help and Wesley hoarsely makes it clear that he doesn’t really want to help. He says that Angel will figure out how to kill them, but Gunn wants a way to get them out of someone who’s already been infected. Wesley declines to help until Gunn tells him that Fred is in danger. Wesley gives him a bottle of vodka and tells Gunn that he fought back to live because he wanted to see the MoG again and explain why he did what he did. He says that he’ll help Fred, but he doesn’t want the MoG to ever come to his apartment again.

Back at the hotel, the pipes in the kitchen creak as the sluks crawl around inside them. Angel takes Fred’s water again, wanting more information. Fred begs for help and Angel starts filling the sinks, telling the others to turn off the ovens. He tells Cordelia to take Fred to the hospital, but Groo points out that they’re surrounded. Angel says that he’ll do something to keep the sluks busy while Cordelia and Fred leave. Angel floods the sinks and Groo and Cordelia take off with Fred, letting the sluks into the kitchen. The sluks head for the water and Angel tries to keep them away from him. Cordelia decides to go back to the kitchen and fight with Angel while Lorne and Groo take Fred upstairs. In the lobby, they run into Gunn, who makes Fred drink the vodka Wesley gave him. In the kitchen, Cordelia surprises herself and Angel by catching a sluk in mid-air. After a little while, the sluk crawls out of Fred and Groo stabs it. Cordelia’s hand starts to glow white; the glow spreads through her and kills the sluk, stunning the others. A light shines from her entire body and kills all of the sluks. Angel and Cordelia rejoin the others in the lobby and explain that Cordelia somehow destroyed the sluks. Gunn tells them that the alcohol dehydrated Fred and make the sluk escape. He tells Angel that he didn’t want to run out while everyone else was fighting the sluks, but he had to get help for Fred. Angel assures him that they’re okay. Lorne reminds everyone that the Destroyer is supposed to be coming and the others wonder when that might be. Suddenly, there’s an electrical charge in the ceiling and a dimensional tear opens. A monster drops through and everyone instinctively steps back except Angel, who faces off with it. A human teenager (Vincent Kartheiser) drops through the tear and quickly kills the monster. The teenager points his blade at Angel’s heart and says, “Hi, Dad.”


GRADE: B The surprise ending deserves an extra half letter grade.

WELCOME TO L.A.: older Connor

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Angel: “But at least we have one advantage.”
Cordelia: “What, they glow in the dark? How’s that supposed to help us, unless we shut off all the lights in the - holy crap, you’re not serious.”

“Okay, unless anyone else has something, let me be the first to say, ‘WHAT THE HE%$ WAS THAT?” - Lorne

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