"Soulless"
Written by Sarah Fain and Elizabeth Craft; directed by Sean Astin

According to the newspaper, the city has been shut down by a crime wave. Connor is trying to help out with that by killing vampires. At the Hyperion, the MoG store the Muo-Ping holding Angel’s soul (see “Awakening”) in a safe. They think that they’ve made the right decision, but they know that they need to be careful about how they handle Angelus. Cordelia points out that Angelus will hate them because they’re his link to humanity. Wesley heads back to the basement, telling the others to watch Angelus on the monitor and remember that he’ll try to find their weaknesses. He says that Angelus will exploit what he knows about them and “go for the jugular.” That may be true, but right now Angelus is entertaining himself by singing “The Teddy Bear Picnic.” Wesley arrives and Angelus jokes around with him a little, noting that he wouldn’t be there without Wesley’s help. Wesley tells him that they’re keeping him in a cage, because the last time he was Angelus, he killed a bunch of people. He adds that this is a high point in his life, since he spent a lot of time as a Watch researching Angelus. Angelus lets him start right in with the questions about the Beast. He also wants to know why Angel had an Indiana Jones-type dream (see “Awakening”). He explains to Wesley that Angel killed the Beast in his dream in order to get what he wanted. “We all want something, Wes,” he says. “It’s the way of the world. Everybody’s got an agenda.” Wesley tells him that he doesn’t care - he just wants to know how to kill the Beast. Angelus tells him that he always wants to impress Fred; he starts to get a little crude about Fred and Gunn’s relationship, most likely knowing that the other MoG are listening in upstairs. Fred reminds Gunn that they can’t believe anything Angelus says, but Gunn knows that it’s true. “He lies with the truth,” Cordelia speaks up.

Back downstairs, Wesley congratulates Angelus for finding a weakness and using it against him. Angelus tells him that he’s been looking for information on the Beast in the wrong place, but he doesn’t want to tell him where the right place is. Wesley points out that if Angelus and the Beast were enemies, Angelus would be doing himself a favor by helping the MoG. Angelus shoots back that Wesley isn’t fooling himself by pretending to be someone he isn’t. Wesley replies that at least he’s not the one locked in a cage. He tells Angelus that if he doesn’t cooperate, they’ll just give his soul back. Angelus tells him that that would make him a failure once again. Wesley starts to leave, taunting that the fact that Angel fights evil must bother Angelus. Angelus taunts back that he must be bothered by the fact that Angel gets called a champion but Wesley doesn’t. Wesley says that he does his part and Angelus starts listing things that Wesley has done wrong - letting Lilah take information from Lorne, screwing things up with Faith, and kidnapping Connor. Wesley says that Angelus got his soul back twice and wound up saving the world. They start taunting each other about their father-son relationships and Wesley tries to bring the conversation back around to the Beast. Angelus starts insulting Cordelia; upstairs, she tells the MoG that she’s okay. “Which do you think is worse, Wes?” Angelus asks. “Stealing my kid like you did, or banging him, like Cordelia?” Fred calls this idea ridiculous. A beaten-up Connor arrives and tells the MoG that vampires are out in full force. Wesley comes upstairs to get blood for Angelus; Fred and Gunn take it down to him. Angelus calls them Othello and Desdemona, adding that Desdemona “wasn’t in love with the other guy.” Gunn threatens to kill him and Angelus asks what his boss would want. Gunn points out that he doesn’t have a boss anymore. Angelus turns crude again, then grabs Fred, threatening to kill her.

Angelus goads Gunn to save Fred but stops when Wesley shoots him in the arm with a tranquilizer dart. Wesley assures Fred that her capture wasn’t her fault - Angelus is unpredictable. However, Gunn played into his hands and should remember not to let his guard down. Wesley isn’t too happy to see Gunn and Fred hugging. Cordelia gives Connor some of Angel’s clothes and tries to stop him from going out to fight more vamps. He doesn’t want to stick around the Hyperion, because he still thinks that the MoG think he’s connected to the Beast. She tells him that they were actually looking at him strangely because Angelus told them about Connor and Cordelia’s relationship. Connor says that she can’t tell him what to do now, since they’re not together anymore. In the office, Fred thanks Wesley for saving her, then tells him that Gunn heard what Angelus said about Wesley and Fred. She tries to say that there’s nothing wrong with him liking her, but he disagrees. He grabs her and kisses her, and they pull apart just as Gunn arrives. He suspects that something is going on, but Fred tries to brush it off as nothing. Wesley tells Gunn to leave Fred out of their problems, but Gunn thinks Wesley should be the one leaving her out of it. He accuses Fred of running to Wesley when she needs help, as if she doesn’t think Gunn is good enough, then orders Wesley to stay away from Fred. In the basement, Angelus regains consciousness and is happy to hear the MoG fighting. Connor heads out through the lobby, overhearing the fight, which has moved on to Gunn saying that Wesley is only in the anti-evil battle for himself. He adds that no one actually wants Wesley there. Lorne tries to break up the argument, but Gunn and Wesley aren’t done blaming each other for things. Wesley tells Gunn that he couldn’t give Fred what she needs. He gets punched in the face for his troubles. This turns into a physical fight, which Fred tries to stop by announcing that they’re doing what Angelus wants them to do. The fight finally does stop when Gunn accidentally hits Fred. Gunn looks up at the monitor and sees that Connor is in the basement with Angelus.

Connor tells Angelus that everyone is afraid of him. Angelus notes that his shirt looks good on Connor; “So did Cordy,” Connor replies. Angelus reminds Connor that he threatened to kill him, saying that he’ll probably be ready to kill himself by the end of the day. He mentions that Darla and Holtz felt the same way, which was why they killed themselves (see “Lullaby” and “Benediction”). He notes that Connor has been sleeping with the woman who’s the closest person he’s ever had to a mother - “doing your mom and trying to kill your dad. Hm. There should be a play.” Connor says that Angelus really is his father, despite what Angel told him in “Awakening” - Angel is something that Angelus is “forced to wear.” Angelus goads him to kill him, adding that Connor wouldn’t be able to take him. Cordelia comes downstairs and sends Connor away. She tells Angelus that they’re going to make a deal - in exchange for everything Angelus knows about the Beast, he gets her. She adds that Angelus is “the end of the line” and she has to make a sacrifice. He accuses her of lying, but she says that Angel knows her and would know that she’s telling the truth. Up in the office, the other MoG are shocked that Angelus is ready to talk. Wesley suspects that Angelus is manipulating Cordelia; she assures him that he’s not behind this. Wesley heads downstairs and sets the scene - it was 1789 and Angelus was in Prussia. He came across a bunch of soldiers who had already been killed and followed a trail to encounter the Beast. He says that the Beast had been watching him and had killed the soldiers to impress him. He wanted Angelus’ help with the Svea Priestesses, who wanted to banish him; he couldn’t kill them, but Angelus could. His deal was that if Angelus took care of them, he would do Angelus a favor in the future. Angelus declined to accept the deal, so the Beast hit him. The priestesses banished the Beast and Angelus passed out.

Back in the office, the MoG find information on the priestesses and possibly their banishment of the Beast. Gunn discovers that they’re in Pacoima, not too far from L.A. Wesley, Cordelia, and Connor head to the priestesses’ house but discover that they’re too late - the priestesses and their families are all already dead. Connor wonders if the Beast has been watching the MoG and knew that they were going to find the priestesses; Cordelia wonders if Angelus is communicating with the Beast somehow. Wesley realizes that the priestesses have been dead for days, which means that it was too late to get their help before Wo-Pang ever removed Angel’s soul. Wesley finds what he thinks is a banishment incantation and Cordelia says that the priestesses must have been trying to get rid of the Beast. Upset over the destruction of the family, Connor runs off. Outside, a vampire attacks him and Cordelia; Wesley rescues them and they head back to L.A. At the Hyperion, Angelus starts singing again as Fred, Gunn, and Lorne note that he seems relaxed. Wesley, Cordelia, and Connor return and Gunn realizes that their only hope has turned out to be a failure. The MoG agree that it’s time to bring Angel back. Cordelia goes downstairs and tells Angelus that the priestesses and their families are all dead; “I’m always missing the fun stuff,” he laments. He claims that he told Wesley everything he knows and wants her to hold up her end of the deal. She points out that the information was supposed to help them save the world; it didn’t, so she’s not giving him what he wants. As Wesley opens the safe to get Angel’s soul, Cordelia tells Angelus that they’re going to give it back to him. “What you don’t get, Angelus, is that you’re nobody,” she says. “Just a disease. And Angel can’t wait to be rid of you.” Angelus tries to threaten and grab her, but Cordelia happily shows him that he can’t get to her. She goes upstairs to rejoin the MoG and receives the unfortunate news that the safe is empty - Angel’s soul is gone.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Angelus can cause trouble even when he’s in a cage.

GRADE: B+ Psychological warfare is always fun.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “‘Oh, Angel. Angel, we can’t. I love you, but you were so bad. You ate babies.’ Chicks.” - Angelus, imitating Cordelia

Cordelia: “It’s been a long day, and I think you’ve done enough damage.”
Angelus: “So, no hug?”


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