"Rain of Fire," aka "Apocalypse, Nowish"
Written by Steven S. DeKnight; directed by Vern Gillum

Lorne and Angel are arguing at the Hyperion - Lorne wants Angel to find out if Cordelia remembers anything from being a higher power, but Angel thinks it’s too soon to start bothering her. Gunn and Fred are on their way out to help a woman who reports having heard noises in her pipes. At the museum, Connor brings Cordelia a snack while she watches an old horror movie. She thanks him for helping her out and he tells her that she should get some rest, since she hasn’t slept since the events of “Spin the Bottle.” Cordelia says that every time she tries to sleep, she sees that something horrible is going to happen. Connor tries to assure her that she’s safe, but she says that no one is - something’s coming and no one can stop it. Connor stands up, and when Cordelia looks up at him, she sees the Beast (see “Spin the Bottle”) instead. As he grabs her, she wakes up and Connor runs in to check on her. She breaks down in tears and he comforts her. Back at the Hyperion, Lorne takes a phone call from a guy with a snake infestation. Angel says that they can’t take the case unless the snakes are giant, demons, or giant demons. Fred and Gunn arrive at their client’s house and head to the huge bathroom to investigate her possible ghosts. Gunn tries to talk about his future with Fred, but she’s reluctant to discuss it. Their conversation is interrupted by dozens of rats, which have been living in the pipes. Fred and Gunn escape unharmed, telling the client to get an exterminator. Wesley goes home after fighting a swarm of bugs to find Lilah waiting for him, dressed as Fred. She wonders if that turns him on, revealing that she’s picked up on his crush on Fred, but she knows he’ll always wind up in bed with her. They start to get friendly and Wesley tells Lilah to leave her glasses on.

Fred and Gunn return to the Hyperion; Gunn is hurt that Fred seems to be pushing him away. They start fighting and Fred recognizes that their relationship has been strained since the events of “Supersymmetry.” They don’t exactly get anywhere. Back in the lobby, Lorne is handling a bunch of calls reporting more supernatural strangeness. He tries again to get Angel to talk to Cordelia, but they’re interrupted by Connor’s arrival. He also thinks that Angel should talk to Cordelia, saying, “Dad, please?” Angel heads to the museum and Cordelia gently tells him that nothing can ever happen between them. She reveals that when she was a higher being, she saw him back when he was Angelus and now knows a lot of the things he did. In the middle of their conversation, Cordelia’s eyes turn white and she starts hyperventilating. She has a vision of the Beast coming out of the ground and says, “He’s coming. He’s coming now.” Later, Angel notes that Cordelia’s visions aren’t supposed to be painful anymore; she says that this one was different. She tells him about the Beast but can’t figure out where it will rise. She says that the Beast won’t stop until it kills everyone, and Angel assures her that he’ll figure out how to stop him. Cordelia replies that it’ll be too late. Angel suggests that she let Lorne read her again. Lorne and Gunn handle calls at the Hyperion; Lorne suggests that Gunn get Fred to help them, noticing that something is off with the two of them. A bird flies into a window of the hotel and Gunn goes outside to investigate. Lorne suddenly tells him to close the door, which he does just as hundreds of birds fly into the glass. Gunn notes that this can’t be a good sign and Lorne agrees.

At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah learns of the increase in supernatural happenings and asks someone to find Gavin, saying that she’s not going to let anyone else get involved in what’s supposed to be the firm’s apocalypse. She finds Angel waiting for her in her office and notes that he must be there to discuss Lorne. She tells him that he won’t get any information out of her and he says that Gavin has already told him some things. He reveals that he has Gavin tied up nearby. “Couldn’t you have at least tortured him a little bit more?” Lilah asks. Angel says that he knows Lilah is trying to decipher the information she had removed from Lorne’s head (see “Slouching Toward Bethlehem”), but every psychic who’s tried to figure it out has died. He wants more information on what’s coming, but Lilah still refuses to say anything. Angel thinks that Lilah is afraid of whatever’s coming and notes that they can help each other, since they have a common enemy. Again, Lilah says no way and tells him to go away. Angel notes that if she helps him, Wolfram & Hart will praise her, especially if Angel winds up getting killed. Connor returns to the museum, where a tense Cordelia wants to go out for a walk. She thinks that the vision might be pulling her to a specific place, possibly where the Beast is going to rise. Cordelia wonders why she was sent back from the higher plane; Connor says it’s because she’s important. She thinks that she may have even been sent back to stop what’s going to happen. Connor wants to come with her, saying that it might be dangerous. They head off, winding up in an alley which Cordelia recognizes. She realizes that they’re in the alley where Darla died and Connor was born (see “Lullaby”). Suddenly, the Beast bursts out of the ground.

Connor goes after the Beast, who easily tosses him aside. The Beasts picks Cordelia up by the throat and tosses Connor aside again. He jumps up to the top of a building, leaving Cordelia and Connor alone. Back at the hotel, Gunn tries to track Fred down without success. He and Lorne decide to go out looking for her. Wesley arrives and, learning that the MoG have also heard about an increase in paranormal activities, suggests that they work together. Gunn refuses to work with him and starts to go look for Fred, but stops when Angel returns. He gives them hundreds of pages of what Wolfram & Hart have deciphered from Lorne’s head and says that they just need to figure out what it all means. He tells Lorne to mark down the locations of all of the occurrences he’s gotten calls about to see if they’re all from one area. After some time, Gunn finally figures out that the papers fit together and overlap each other. When they’ve all been arranged, they form an X that Angel recognizes as the Eye of Fire, a symbol of fire and destruction. “Um, boys?” Lorne says. “I hate to be the little demon that cried apocalypse, nowish, but, uh….” He holds up the map where he’s marked down the locations of the calls to show that they form a square. At the diner where she and Gunn used to eat breakfast all the time, Fred drinks tons of coffee while a waitress encourages her to talk to Gunn. Suddenly the building starts to shake and Fred and the waitress get under a table. At the museum, Cordelia and Connor feel the shaking and Connor says that he needs to go stop the Beast. He says that if the Beast tries to hurt Cordelia again, he’ll kill it. At the Hyperion, Angel connects Lorne’s square to find the place where the occurrences converge. Gunn recognizes it as a rooftop club called the Sky Temple and the MoG get ready for the fight. Angel makes sure to ask Wesley if he’s coming along.

They arrive at the Sky Temple to find that the Beast is already there and has caused plenty of damage. “I’m gonna need a bigger arrow,” Lorne realizes. There’s lots of fighting and throwing that goes on for a long time. Angel gets thrown off the building and everyone else gets beaten up pretty badly. The sky begins raining fire, which Connor and Cordelia see from the museum. Connor blames himself, noting that he couldn’t stop the Beast and that it rose where he was born. Cordelia comforts him and they start to get friendly. She says that if this is the end of the world, she wants Connor to have something real. Elsewhere in the city, the other MoGs watch the raining fire as Cordelia and Connor hit the sheets. Unfortunately, Angel can see them from a nearby roof.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Don’t mess with the big demon.

GRADE: B- A lot of this stuff is just leading up to future episodes.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “I’m good and pure and science turns me on, and-and one day, if I pray hard enough and eat all my vegetables, I just might just have hips.” - Lilah, as Fred

“Well, if Snowball hasn’t tried to eat your spine yet, hit her with the catnip until we get there.” - Gunn


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