"Through the Looking Glass"
Written and directed by Tim Minear

The MoG rejoice over Cordelia’s safety (see “Over the Rainbow”) and learn that the Pyleans made her their princess. Wesley points out that she could order the demons to release him, Angel, and Gunn; she announces that the MoG be beheaded, then tells the demons that she’s kidding. She kicks the demons out of the room and the guys immediately head for food rather than reuniting with her. Wesley wonders why Cordelia would be made a princess when the Pyleans enslave humans. Lorne realizes that Cordelia must have had a vision and explains that there’s a prophecy in Pylea (taught by the Covenant of Trombli) about a messiah with “pure sight” (aka a link to the Powers That Be) who will “restore the monarchy.” Gunn finds the idea of Cordelia being a messiah funny. Wesley decides that if Cordelia is seen as this messiah, the MoG have a good chance of making it out of Pylea alive. Cordelia learns that the MoG lost their book (again, see “Over the Rainbow”) and tells them that the Trombli have a bunch of books that might be useful. Angel suddenly realizes that in this dimension, he has a reflection; he’s disappointed to see what his hair really looks like. Wesley sends Angel and Lorne out into the village to find out if there are any portals. Lorne isn’t happy that Wesley wants him to talk to Landok (see “Belonging”) and the rest of his family. Angel just wants to know if he can get his coat back. Elsewhere, Silas talks to a demon named Barshon, who thinks that Cordelia’s reign is a sacrilege. Silas tells him that nothing bad can happen to Cordelia until after the “com-shuk.”

Angel and Lorne arrive at Lorne’s family’s house and encounter a bunch of his relatives. Lorne’s mother spits in his face and tells him that the family was disgraced when he left. “Your father was right. We ate the wrong son,” she says. Lorne tries to ask if she noticed anything strange the night he disappeared, but all she remembers are the celebrations that went on. She yells for Lorne’s brother Numfar (played by Joss Whedon) to “do the dance of joy,” which he does. Lorne’s mother tells him to take Angel and leave, but Landok arrives and praises Angel for killing the Drokken in “Belonging.” Lorne decides that since Angel’s a hero, they should welcome him; she tells Numfar to do the “dance of honor.” A couple of relatives take Angel’s coat so that he can be dressed in “raiments befitting a warrior”; he tells them not to put it on a wire hanger. Back at the castle, Wesley does some research, noticing that passages are missing from a book he’s looking at. He sees the cover of a book Cordelia is looking at and notes that it has a picture of a hart. He looks at two other books and realizes that they’re in Trionic - the three must go together in order to make sense. He tells Cordelia that there are passages in the books about her and says that they mention a com-shuk, which she’ll have to do with a “groosalug.” Gunn wonders if Cordelia can get a priest to translate the words for them and she decides that she can make a decree. Wesley studies the three books, realizing that they contain pictures of a wolf, a ram, and a hart - aka Wolfram & Hart. “I’m not sure the priests can be trusted,” he says.

Lorne drinks in the village square as Angel tells Pylean children about his fight with Lindsey in “To Shanshu in L.A.”) - “I chopped off the lawyer-beast’s hand and he screamed and he screamed and then I left.” “Well, you’re just a regular Hans Christian Taratino, aren’t you?” Lorne asks him. He thinks that Angel is enjoying being considered a hero in a world that’s only black and white. He tells Angel that after awhile, he might start to see himself the way the children see him. Landok wants to hear the story of “the sorcerer who could remove his limbs and reassemble at will” (see “I Fall to Pieces”); he also wants Angel to come to a bacchanal and “swing the Crebbil,” an idea which makes Lorne freak out. Back at the castle, Wesley tries to convince Cordelia that she has to leave the throne, reminding her that she’ll have to com-shuk with a groosalug. Silas enters and Gunn and Wesley ask him for info on the groosalug, telling him that Cordelia had a vision about it and will know if he lies to her. Silas explains that the groosalug is arriving that evening from the scum pits of Ur. He adds that the com-shuk is a mating ritual. Cordelia tells Silas that she wants to leave the castle, claiming that she wants to get a gift for the groosalug, but he tells her that she shouldn’t go because some rebels are causing trouble. She sends Silas away and tells Wesley and Gunn that they need to leave immediately. In the village square, Angel is placed on a platform while Fred is brought in and placed on a block. Landok hands Angel an axe and tells him to kill Fred.

Fred repeats, “Make it quick” as the demons tell Angel to hurry up and kill her so that they can have their feast. Angel tries to reason with the villagers but winds up freeing Fred and running off with her as Lorne sings to drive the Pyleans crazy. As Angel and Fred ride off on a horse, Lorne gets smacked in the face with a mace. Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn sneak through the castle, Cordelia with an armful of stuff she’s stealing. They discover that their only escape is through what seems to be sewage. Gunn and Wesley go first, but before Cordelia can follow them, Silas arrives to tell her that the groosalug is there. Wesley and Gunn make it out of the castle and note that Cordelia didn’t get out with them. They decide that they need to find Angel. Angel and Fred decide to head off on foot; Fred is grateful to him for rescuing her and says, “Handsome man - saved me from the monsters.” (That won’t be the last time she says that.) Then she says goodbye to him and runs off. Angel follows her to a cave, which seems to be where she lives, and tells her that she doesn’t have to be afraid of him. She tells him that one of them can’t be real, so she can’t talk to him. Fred writes mathematical formulas on a wall as Angel finds her driver’s license and realizes who she is. He tells her that he knows she disappeared from L.A. five years earlier and assures her that they’re both real. She says that she doesn’t want him to be real, since he was nice to her and only bad things happen in Pylea. Angel tells her that when the MoG figure out how to open a portal, she can come back to L.A. with them. She remembers meeting Cordelia (again see “Over the Rainbow”) and Angel assures her that she’s fine, adding that they made her a princess. “When I got here, they…they didn’t do that. Well. That’s nice for her,” Fred says.

At the castle, Cordelia gets ready to meet the groosalug, though she’s not thrilled about it. Her attitude changes, however, when she meets Groo (Mark Lutz), who turns out to be handsome and looks like a human. Angel and Fred head through a field and encounter some guards, who Angel attacks. He tries to vamp out but winds up turning into a feral green demon. He kills a guard, then looks over at Fred, who’s afraid of him now. He heads over to attack her but something makes him stop and leave. Cordelia chats with Groo, who explains that he was alienated from the Pyleans because he didn’t look like them. He tells her that he entered a bunch of contests of skill, trying to get himself killed, but wound up winning them all. After that, he was given the name “groosalug,” which means brave and undefeated. Narwek arrives with a gagged Lorne and tells Cordelia that there was a brawl at the bacchanal. He tells her that she needs to punish Lorne for his part in the mess, but she’s too busy gazing at Groo to notice that the prisoner is Lorne. Narwek gives the order to kill Lorne but Cordelia quickly sees who it is and pardons him. Freed, Lorne asks Cordelia where Gunn and Wesley are. They happen to be in the woods, where they encounter the still-feral Angel and start to fight him. Wesley notice Angel’s tattoo and tries to talk to him; Fred leads Angel away with some blood. Wesley notes that the new dimension must have made Angel feral; at first he tapped into his human side, but now his demon side has taken it over. Wesley and Gunn start to head off again but are captured by a group of humans. Fred leads Angel back to her cave, where he sees his reflection in a puddle. He turns back into his human forms and collapses on the ground, shaking.

That night, Groo and Cordelia are still in the castle, where Cordelia admits to him that she’s not really a princess. He says that people should be able to see that she’s a princess just by looking at her. Silas tells a priest that Cordelia has asked for some paper so that she can make proclamations. Silas thinks that it’s time to send her “a message.” In the woods, the human rebels tie up Wesley and Gunn and talk about storming the castle to send a message to Cordelia. Wesley announces that he and Gunn might be able to help the rebels, but the rebels aren’t willing to accept their help. Wesley tells them that they’re friends with the princess, proving it by showing the rebels pictures from his wallet. He tells the rebels that if they make up a list of their demands, he can give it to Cordelia. The rebel leader decides that it would be more effective to behead him and Gunn, put the list in their mouths, and put their heads outside Cordelia’s window. In the cave Fred tends to Angel, who notes that the MoG saw him as a demon. He worries that he can never reunite with them now that they’ve seen what he really is. She tells him that he can stay there with her. Cordelia is writing up her proclamations (she’s freeing the slaves and outlawing polyester) when Silas and two other priests enter the throne room with a pedestal and a platter. Silas kicks Groo out of the room and Cordelia protests that she’s going to change things in Pylea. Silas tells her that she may have visions but she has no authority in Pylea - she’s the Trombli’s tool and will do what they tell her to. He tells her that she’ll be made to mate with Groo and she replies with, “Pardon me?” Silas asks if she hasn’t done enough pardoning for one day. He lifts the lid off the platter, revealing Lorne’s severed head.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: You can always overthrow the monarcy.

GRADE: A- A lot of people hate the Pylea arc, but I think this episode is a lot of fun.


MEMORABLE QUOTES: Angel: (re: his hair) “Okay, this is because of going through the portal, right?”
Cordelia: “No. It always looks like that.”

Lorne’s mother: “Your brother Numfar did the dance of joy for three moons. Numfar! Do the dance of joy.”
(Numfar dances)
Lorne: “Actually, what I meant was more along the lines of a strange flashing, kind of a weird pulsating…. (to Angel) You remember when I said we didn’t have music in my world? Wish I could say the same about the dancing. (to his mother) Lights. Really, you couldn’t have missed it. Big, bendy, swirly….”
Lorne’s mother: “No longer do the dance of joy, Numfar!”

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