"Somnambulist"
Written by Tim Minear; directed by Winrich Kolbe

A girl runs through the streets at night, running into a man with fangs and metal-tipped fingers. He draws a mark on her cheek and bites her. After she’s collapsed, her attacker faces the camera and we see that it’s Angel. Suddenly, we’re in Angel’s room and he’s awakening from a nightmare. Kate drives up to a crime scene downtown and finds the body of the girl from Angel’s dream. She has a cross marked on her cheek, which indicates that she’s the third in a series of serial murders. The next day, Cordelia practices her “so you’ve decided to come to Angel Investigations for help” spiel with a chair. Wesley (see “Parting Gifts”) enters, claiming that he wants to compare plans with Angel, even though he’d said before that he wanted to work alone. He and Cordelia confirm that things have been quiet and they have nothing to do. Wesley spots something on the front page of the newspaper, but doesn’t tell Cordelia what it is. Angel arrives and Cordelia requests that he ask Kate to run someone’s license plate for them. Cordelia thinks that he seems out of it but he assures her that he’s fine, then heads off to do his job. Wesley leaves surreptitiously as well. Angel heads to the police station and gets Kate to run the plate for him. She mentions the serial murders to him and he catches a glimpse of a photo, flashing back to his dream. Kate says that the tabloids are calling the culprit “the Pope,” possibly because the guy thinks he’s doing God’s work. Angel tells her that it’s the opposite - the guy wants to mock God. Kate gets distracted and, as usual, Angel sneaks off.

Angel walks around downtown at night as Kate gives a briefing at the station. She says that the murders may have been precipitated by a bad breakup; as she mentions this, Angel spots a blond woman and seems to think she might be Buffy. Kate announces that the murderer has been killing for a long time and will strike again. Cordelia prepares to leave the office when she runs into Wesley, who’s just returning. He shows her the newspaper article about the third body being found and says that when Angelus first started killing in the 18th century, he would mark his victims’ bodies with a cross on the cheek. Cordelia blasts him for accusing Angel of murder, but Angel returns and says that Wesley is right. “You’ll stake him and I’ll cut his head off,” Cordelia tells Wesley. Angel tells them that he doesn’t remember committing the murders but he’s been having dreams about them. Wesley wonders if Angel is really having dreams or if he’s actually committing murders in his sleep. Cordelia says that he wouldn’t be able to go outside to kill anyone, but Wesley points out that he could before the sun came up. “There is only one way to be sure,” Angel says. At bedtime, Cordelia and Wesley shackle Angel to his bed, then sit back and wait. We see a girl running down a cobblestone street and trying to get through a locked door. Someone grabs her and a silver-tipped finger draws a cross on her cheek. After she’s good and dead, Angelus looks down at her and says, “There, now, isn’t that better?” In the present, Angel wakes up and is greeted by Cordelia and Wesley, who tell him that there was another murder, but he didn’t commit it. “Yes, I did,” Angel replies.

Back in the past, we see that Angelus wasn’t alone with the girl - he was accompanied by a blond vampire (no, not Spike) who did the actual killing. The vampire, Penn, mentions that the girl was his sister and Angelus encourages him to go kill the rest of his family. In the present, Penn looks at the latest newspaper article, then adds it to a collection of clippings on his wall. Back at his apartment, Angel finishes telling Wesley and Cordelia about Penn; Cordelia calls Angel “a real Psycho Wan Kenobi.” Wesley notes that Penn has had 200 years to perfect his routine and hasn’t changed it a bit. He wonders if Penn is trying to draw Angel out, but Angel says that he used to have a connection with the vamps he sired and the dreams only mean that Penn is nearby. Angel begins to worry about Kate, who won’t know what she’s dealing with if she encounters Penn. Wesley tries to convince him that telling Kate would just make him look crazy, but Angel would rather warn her, since he thinks she’ll eventually find Penn. He heads to the police station and, while he’s talking to Kate, matches up the pictures of Penn’s contemporary victims with the bodies of his family members. He notes that Penn is reliving the murders he committed in the past. He asks Kate if she trusts him, and when she says that she does, he pins up a drawing of Penn and tells her that he’s the guy she’s looking for. He warns that the next victim will be a young white male who will disappear from a low-rent neighborhood, then adds that she has to do everything she can to stop Penn.

Angel heads back to his car, where Wesley is waiting for him. Angel worries that he’s leading Kate into danger, but he has an advantage of a police radio, which he swiped from a cop car. Kate sends out officers as a kid tries to get people downtown to buy him beer. He is unsuccessful until he comes across Penn. A police car drives up, the cops seeing Penn with the kid and comparing him to Angel’s picture. Just as Penn is starting to bite the kid, the police ambush him. Penn runs off and jumps through a window into a warehouse, astonishing the cops. Angel’s newly-acquired police scanner issues a warning that the murderer is in the area and Angel and Wesley head over. Kate draws her gun and heads into the warehouse and Angel scales a pipe to beat her there. Kate encounters Penn and, when he doesn’t stop, shoots him a few times. He plays dead, then grabs her and throws her across the room. Angel arrives and Penn does some reminiscing, recalling that they were supposed to meet up in Italy. Penn says that he waited for him until the 19th century and Angel explains that he “got held up in Romania” (see “Becoming, Part 1”). Kate calls in some backup as Angel and Penn face off, both of them vamping out, to Kate’s shock. Angel tries to get Kate to leave, but she’s too surprised to move. Penn gets the upper hand, throwing Angel aside and making his escape. Another cop tries to summon Kate on the radio, but she’s too busy staring at Angel’s vamp face to respond.

Officers search the warehouse as Kate demands that Angel, back in human visage, tell her what’s going on. He says that he knows something about the victims that wasn’t released to the public - they all had puncture marks on their necks. Kate asks why she should trust Angel and he says that she can’t stop Penn with a gun. She refuses to believe that he’s being realistic about a creature which she thinks can only exist in “children’s stories.” He proves that he’s a vampire by grabbing the cross she wears around her neck and letting her see that it burns her skin. “There are some things in this world you’re just not ready to face,” he tells her as he leaves. Back at the station, Kate looks through old newspaper headlines, one of which reads, “Vampire Killer Strikes Again in Garment District.” At Angel Investigations, Cordelia gets to give her “so you’ve decided to come to Angel Investigations for help” spiel for real - only she doesn’t realize that she’s giving it to Penn. He mentions that Kate recommended Angel Investigations and thinks that Angel cares about Kate. Cordelia realizes that he’s trying to get information out of her and quickly notes that he’s Penn. He tries to warn her that she won’t be able to escape before he can kill her, but she pulls up the window shades and lets the sunlight delay him while she makes a break for the door. Angel arrives and sends Cordelia off to get him a stake. He tells Penn that he has to stop killing people, but Penn replies that Angel can’t just decide to be good and suddenly stop being evil. Angel says that he’s sorry for what he did to Penn, then calls him a “cheesy hack” and accuses him of trying to get revenge on his father for two centuries. Wesley arrives and Penn grabs him; Angel is unable to get to him because of a beam of sunlight coming through the window. Penn tells Angel that he appreciates his not-so-constructive criticism and has decided to try something new. Of course, Angel won’t know what it is. Penn grabs his coat and runs off.

As Angel strolls through downtown L.A. and Penn contemplates his next plan, Kate looks through books at a bookstore called the Ancient Eye, taking notes. At home, she’s still doing this when Angel arrives and asks to come in. Kate has been paying attention to her reading and notes that he can’t come in unless she invites him. She tells him that Penn has been in L.A. a few times before and that she believes what Angel has told her. She also looked Angelus up in the books and knows a lot about her past, which is why she has decided not to invite him in. He asks her to let him help her stop Penn, but she’s read so much about his past that she doesn’t think he’s truly reformed. She tells him that if she sees him again, she’ll stake him. Cordelia and Wesley do some investigating at Angel Investigations (imagine that), learning that Penn stayed at the same hotel on all of his trips to L.A. Angel and Wesley head over to Penn’s room and spot a school bus schedule and route. “He’s finally changing his act,” Angel notes. Kate re-briefs some cops at the station, telling them that Penn may contact Angel and might even target him next. Penn arrives and a couple of cops try to take him down, but they aren’t terribly successful. Kate tries to grab a stake, but Penn is too fast for her and grabs her to use her as a shield on his way out of the room. Wesley sneaks Angel into the garage at the police station, but they’re stopped by some officers. Angel realizes that Penn has been there and heads for the sewer. Down there, Penn starts to bite Kate, who claims that she’s not afraid to die. He tells her that he’s not going to kill her - Angel is.

Angel arrives and, as he and Penn face off, Kate grabs a bottle from her pocket. She throws holy water in Penn’s face and he throws her aside. Penn announces that he’s been trying to get revenge on Angel, not his real father, since Angel sired him. There’s some fighting, which Kate sits out until the end - she grabs a piece of wood and shoves it through Angel and into Penn’s heart. “You missed,” Angel tells Kate after Penn has turned to dust. “No, I didn’t,” she replies. She grabs the board and pulls it out of him. Later, Angel sits on the roof of his building and is joined by Cordelia, who tells him that she’s had another vision. Angel says that L.A. is a lot like where he grew up - both places have “people moving through their lives.” He’s worried about the fact that he enjoyed the dreams he had about the murders; he thinks that that joy in death is still a part of him. Cordelia points out that it’s not all that’s in him. “The name I got in my vision, the message didn’t come for Angelus, it came for you,” she tells him. “And you have to trust that whoever the Powers That Be be - are - is…anyway, they know the difference.” She informs him that people really can change, and he adds that sometimes people change back. She assures him that, if the time comes, she’ll kill him, because “what are friends for?”

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Be careful who you tutor.

GRADE: B+ Not bad for a serial killer storyline.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Angel: “Who were you talking to?”
Cordelia: “Nobody. And Wesley.”

Cordelia: “My glamorous L.A. life - I get to make the coffee and chain the boss to the bed. I’ve got to join a union.”
Angel: “Cordelia, I think that’s tight enough.”
Cordelia: “And if it turns out that we’re back on the liquid lunch, better safe than cocktails!”

Wesley: “You’d be locked up faster than Lady Hamilton’s virtue! (looks at Cordelia) My apologies.”
Cordelia: “That’s okay. I-I don’t know what that meant.”


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