"To Shanshu in L.A."
Written and directed by David Greenwalt

Wesley looks up the word “shanshu” in Angel’s office, telling Cordelia that it’s an important part of the prophecies of Aberjian (see “Blind Date”). Cordelia jokes that she wants to know what the prophecies say about her. A hooded figure walks outside the building while Cordelia discovers that Lindsey has been promoted to junior partner. Angel suddenly sense that someone is nearby; in the outer office, he finds the hooded figure, who turns out to be Nabbit (see “War Zone”). He’s dropped by “to hang,” because he thinks that their lives are more interesting than his. Somewhere near trees, two monks chant in a white circle, raising a demon out of the ground. Holland (again, see “Blind Date”), Lindsey, and Lilah are there to greet it. Nabbit leaves the office and Wesley announces that he’s found the meaning of “shanshu” - it means “death.” Angel is fairly calm about this news. Wesley tells him that it probably won’t be for awhile, until “after the coming battles.” He’s surprised that Angel still isn’t showing any reaction to the information. Cordelia suddenly has a vision of a woman being attacked by a slime demon near a waste treatment plant. Angel heads off to the rescue while Cordelia curses the Powers That Be. At Wolfram & Hart, the demon, Voca, tells Holland that they can’t perform a “raising” without the scroll that Angel stole. Voca is unhappy to learn that Angel has the scroll, since it means that “his connection to the Powers That Be is complete.” Voca announces that he will get the scroll back and cut Angel off from all connections to the Powers.

Kate arrives at the homeless woman/slime demon crime scene and discovers that Angel is already there and has taken care of the demon. Angel tries to talk to Kate, but she says that she wants to get rid of all of the vampires in L.A. The next day, Wesley has finished some more research and found that “shanshu” means “death” in all of his sources. Cordelia points out that Angel faces death on a daily basis, but Wesley thinks that he’s not bothered by death because he doesn’t have anything in life that he wants. People are connected to life by being a part of it, but Angel isn’t human and is cut off from the world. Cordelia realizes that they need to help him, but Wesley says that “he is what he is.” Angel arrives and Cordelia tries to get him to want something, leading him to wonder what she’s thinking. Cordelia and Wesley tell him about their conversation and Wesley leaves to find more books. Angel agrees to lock the scroll in the weapons cabinet. Wesley suggests that Angel go see the Oracles, but Angel doesn’t think he needs to. Voca does, however, and the Oracles don’t give him any information, though Voca somehow acquires a scythe while with them. Cordelia goes to an open market, trying to find something for Angel. Voca brushes against her and she has a number of visions in quick succession. Voca goes to Angel Investigations, arriving as Angel receives a call from the hospital telling him that Cordelia is there. After he leaves, Voca gets the scroll from the weapons cabinet, replaces it with something, and leaves. Angel arrives at the hospital as doctors are trying unsuccessfully to calm Cordelia. Wesley returns to the office and sees that the cabinet has been broken into. Angel arrives back at the building in time to see it explode.

Angel heads into the burning building, quickly finding Wesley and getting him outside. Wesley is taken away in an ambulance as Kate arrives and tries to stop Angel from leaving the crime scene. Angel challenges her to stop him and she blasts him for not adhering to the law. He replies that it’s about life, not the law. He apologizes for her father’s death (see “The Prodigal”) but adds that he didn’t kill him and is sick of her blaming him. “You want to be enemies?” he asks. “Try me.” Angel checks on Wesley and Cordelia at the hospital, promising Cordelia that he’s going to get her back. He sees a black symbol on the back of her hand, then takes a piece of paper with the symbol on it to the Oracles. When he arrives, he’s shocked to see that the Oracles are dead, having been slaughtered by Voca’s scythe. The ghost of the woman’s Oracle appears to him tells him about Voca, mentioning that he’s the reason Cordelia is suffering. She says that he has to get the scroll back from Voca and find the words of Anatole, which will erase the mark. Angel asks where Voca is and the woman tells him that he’s there for “the raising.” Angel promises to stop Voca and grabs the scythe. Gunn and his crew are getting leftovers from an Italian restaurant when Angel arrives. He asks Gunn to look after Cordelia and Wesley while he goes after Voca. In a crypt, Voca prepares for “the raising” with the monks who raised him and five vampires chained to a box. Voca recites words about opening the gates of hell and raising a beast from below. A bunch of Wolfram & Hart lawyers head for the raising (a little late), Holland warning Lindsey not to let the Senior Partners down. They don’t notice Angel secretly following them. The lawyers arrive at the raising, quickly followed by Angel, who fights Voca scythe a scythe. Lindsey leads the monks in the continuation of their recitations; when they’re done, the five vampires suddenly turn to dust, which is sucked into the box. Light explodes from the box, hitting Lindsey and knocking him out.

The lawyers leave with the box, leaving Lindsey and the scroll behind. Angel kills Voca, then demands that Lindsey give him the scroll, which Lindsey refuses to do. Lindsey reminds him that he made a choice and thanks Angel for helping him to see what he needed to do. He warns that Angel could be in trouble because of the raising, adding, “I see that you are either the one with the power, or you’re powerless.” Lindsey knows that Angel needs to scroll to help Cordelia, but since it’s been prophesied that they’re supposed to cut off Angel’s connections to the Powers That Be, he wants to burn the scroll. Before he can, Angel throws the scythe at him, cutting off his hand. Angel grabs the scroll, telling Lindsey, “Don’t believe everything you’re foretold.” Angel, Cordelia, and Wesley gather at the hospital, where Wesley recites a passage that heals Cordelia. Cordelia says that she saw how many people are in pain and Angel assures her that they’ll help them all. Later, in Cordelia’s apartment, Wesley tries unsuccessfully to find information about the beast mentioned in the raising. He notes that Cordelia is acting slightly differently now; she tells him that she feels more compassion now that she’s seen how many people are hurting. Wesley realizes that he mistranslated the word “shanshu” - it actually means that Angel will become a human. (Get used to hearing about this.) Once Angel fulfills his destiny and survives some apocalyptic battles, he’ll be rewarded with humanity. At Wolfram & Hart, Holland, Lilah, and Lindsey (whose arm is in a sling) enter a vault where the box from the raising is being held. Holland tells Lindsey that the Senior Partners are impressed with the sacrifice he made. He promises that they’ll “even the score with them.” Lilah leans towards the box and tells the person inside that they’re glad she’s there. Unfortunately, I’m not, because it’s Darla.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Wesley’s translation skills shouldn’t always be trusted.

GRADE: B+ But…where did Gunn go?

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Cordelia: “What’s taking so long?”
Wesley: “Gee, I don’t know, Cordelia. The prophecies of Aberjian were only written over the last 4,000 years, in a dozen different languages, some of which aren’t even human! Why don’t we just get a phalangoid demon in here, suck the brain out of my skull? Maybe that would speed things up.”
Cordelia: “He sure gets testy when he's translating.”

Cordelia: “Well, hurry up and figure out what it says about Angel, because I wanna know what it says about me. If there is torrid romance in my future, massive wealth? If I have to, I’ll settle for enviable fame.”
Wesley: “This is an ancient sacred text, not a Magic Eight Ball.”
Cordelia: “Nobody gets my humor.”
Angel: “I thought it was funny.”

Cordelia: “Angel is going to die?”
Angel: “Oh. Anything else?”
Cordelia: “He certainly took that well. Is this that opportune time to talk about my raise?”
Wesley: “It’s probably years off, ah, after the coming battles.”
Cordelia: “My raise?”

“If I ever meet these Powers That Be, I’m gonna punch them in the nose! Do you think they have a nose?” - Cordelia

“Remember when Robert Price let the Senior Partners down and they made him eat his liver? I don’t know what made me think of that.” - Lilah to Lindsey


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