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Recap: Angel S 05 E 22 Not Fade Away
Though it may be too late now to sound a death knell
It's time to declare this the end of Angel.
As usual there's plenty of angst and gloom:
Just forty-two minutes 'till they meet their doom.
It may start with a scuffle, but it ends with a clang.
There's a hole in the timeslot where Cary once sang.
This is the end, the end of Angel.

The final episode of Angel picks up exactly where the previous episode left off, with Angel wanting to know from Wesley, Lorne, Gunn, and Spike if they are game for wiping out the Circle of the Black Thorn. They all agree. Gunn thinks Illyria would be good to have in their corner, and Lorne mentions she's looking after Drogyn. Angel tells them to get over there right away, as Drogyn's already dead. Hamilton walks in and tells Angel that the Circle wants to see him, as they have concerns.

Amid a rectangular table, the members of the Black Thorn express doubts about Angel's loyalties. The head honcho, Archduke Sebassis, produces the original copy of the Shanshu prophecy and asks Angel to sign it in blood, thereby exempting himself from it and spoiling any chance of his becoming human. Left with little choice, Angel signs. The gang find Illyria bloodied and beaten in Spike's apartment; she confirms that Hamilton was responsible.

Back at Wolfram & Hart, Angel convenes with old enemy Lindsey MacDonald and enlists him in the planned attack on the Circle. The rest of his team rendezvous at Spike's apartment to discuss how the plan will proceed that night. Lorne has serious reservations about one aspect of Angel's plan; he agrees to perform this "last thing", but tells Angel that he's done with the group. Angel advises his friends to spend the rest of the day as if it were their last — since it probably is.

Angel meets with his son, Connor, for coffee. Connor reveals that he knows that Angel is his father; his old memories are now "mixed in" with his new ones, and he understands and appreciates what Angel did for him. Lindsey spends the day with Eve, who is suspicious of Angel even though Lindsey notes he always keeps his word. Wesley tends to the wounds of Illyria, who is puzzled at why he is spending his time this way. She knows he wants to be with Fred, and offers to assume her shape. Wesley confesses that with Fred gone, there is nothing he wants and nowhere else he'd rather be. He would prefer that Illyria not take her form again.

The team splits up to attack members of the circle separately, making plans to reunite at the Hyperion if they survive. Hamilton, forewarned by Harmony of Angel's intentions, confronts Angel in his office. Angel reveals he already poisoned his supposed target, Sebassis, and had his sights set on Hamilton all along. And the one-on-one smackdown commences.

Gunn, Spike, and Illyria kill their targets. Lindsey and Lorne double-team and kill the Sahvrin clan; then, on Angel's order, Lorne draws a pistol and executes Lindsey. Wesley is mortally wounded in his fight with Cyvus Vail; as he dies, Illyria comforts him in Fred's guise. She turns to face Vail, who mistakes her for human, his last mistake. Illyria shatters his skull with one punch.

Back at Wolfram & Hart, Angel is losing his fight with Hamilton until Connor arrives to help. Exasperated by Angel's persistence, Hamilton blurts out that his blood runs with unmitigated power. Oops. Angel vamps out and takes a bite out of Hamilton. This time, their strength is matched and Angel punches Hamilton so hard his neck breaks. Angel, forecasting a swift counterattack by the Senior Partners, tells Connor to get to safety.

Angel reaches the alley in the rain. Spike arrives, with a wounded Gunn following suit. Illyria leaps out of the sky and informs them Wesley didn't make it. She feels uncontrollable grief and wants to inflict more violence. She's about to get her wish: An army of demons flood into the alleyway, with a dragon flapping overhead. Spike rhetorically asks if they have a plan; Angel gazes upward and says, "Well personally, I kind of want to slay the dragon." The demons charge, and the battle commences with the clash of swords.

"Let's go to work."

Tropes:

  • After Action Patch Up: Wesley spends his last day on Earth tending to Illyria's injuries. When she asks him why, Wes gives a Despair Speech. "There is no perfect day for me, Illyria. There is no sunset or painting or finely-aged scotch that's going to sum up my life and make tonight any... There is nothing that I want." Illyria realises that what Wesley wants is Fred, and he's spending time with what's left of her.
  • Always Someone Better: Wesley is picked to assassinate Vail due to his knowledge of magic. He creates a glowy fireball in his hand, but Vail suddenly draws the fireball it into his own palm, leaving Wesley virtually defenseless.
    Vail: You don't know who you're dealing with, do you, boy? I mean, really. I crap better magic than this.
  • An Axe to Grind: Brucker is continuing her interview even as Gunn wipes out her staff. You have to admire her dedication. Gunn then pulls a small axe and lobs it across the room, landing it neatly in Brucker's forehead. THWACK.
    Brucker: The families are protected against pedophiles and other undesirables. Even the United States govern--
    Gunn: Looks like you boys need to find a new candidate.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Wesley tells Illyria!Fred that he missed her, and she kisses him, reassuring him that they will be together again soon. Wesley tells her that he loves her. Weeping, she tells him that she loves him too; he dies in her arms a few seconds later.
  • As the Good Book Says: Lindsey makes light of Angel's chronic speechifying when he paraphrases the Ten Commandments: "This is not about coveting your neighbor's ass, your buddy's job, the last Mallomar in the box."
    • When preparing for battle, Angel tells his team, "This may come out a little pretentious, but: one of you will betray me." Spike eagerly raises his hand, and Angel shoots him down, prompting Spike to moan, "Can I deny you three times?" Both are references to the Last Supper and The Crucifixion involving Judas' betrayal of Jesus and of Peter denying three times that he knows Jesus during his arrest.
    • With his last words, Marcus Hamilton says "We are Legion, we are forever." This is a reference from Mark 5:9 and Luke 8:30 in the Bible, when the devils (demons) refer to themselves as "Legion."
    • "Looks like we're getting kicked out of the garden, Eve." Another obvious joke at Eve's name.
  • A Storm Is Coming: A brief flash of rolling black clouds is shown during a scene cut, foreshadowing the upcoming Battle in the Rain.
  • Back for the Finale: Connor.
    • Gunn chooses to spend his last day helping Anne Steele, last seen in "The Thin Dead Line". Anne (played by Julia Lee), is a character who has sporadically appeared in both Buffy and Angel since the former's second season.
  • Badass and Baby: As soon as Spike lifts the baby out of his bassinet, he turns to face several members of the Fell Brethren in the doorway, looking annoyed. And also armed. They tell him to put the baby down, and Spike looks down at the infant, who seems to shake his head in the negative. "Right.", Spike announces, throwing off his hood and drawing a sword.
  • Badass Longcoat: Lorne wears a brown duster when he leaves to join up with Lindsey. The Brown Coat of Burgeoning Moral Qualms?
    • Lorne's wearing a browncoat! Self-reference?
  • Bait and Switch: Spike demands an explanation for Angel saying he's killed Drogyn. Angel punches Spike in the face...because Hamilton is entering the room and they need to play out the conflict he saw from outside the glamor.
    • Angel talks about how dangerous it will be for everyone on their team. Close-Up on Head of Harmony sprawled with Blood from the Mouth. Then a Bedmate Reveal shows Marcus is there too, sharing a cup of blood with her.
    • Spike's in a bar with some tough-looking customers, doing shots. The bartender comments on the ugly crowd, and Spike boasts that he'd welcome a fight. "Couple more shots of courage, and I may make my presence felt." The bartender says it's his funeral, and Spike quips, "Well, I never had a proper one." Looks like the Blood Knight is planning to spend his last night boozing and fighting. Subverted in his next scene, where it's revealed Spike was getting up the nerve to read poetry before an audience.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Izzy and his pals walk out from their restaurant to a car. Close-up of the ignition key turning; the driver turns on the headlights and sees Illyria standing directly in front of the car. In the next cut, we see Illyria marching down the street past Izzy's car, which is now a smoldering wreck.
  • Battle in the Rain: The final shot of the series.
  • Benevolent Boss: Angel tells Harmony to get out, and that she's fired. Harmony gets over her look of shock and asks, "Do you think I could get a recommendation?" Angel rolls his eyes and says it's already in her desk.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed: Angel rushes through the collapsing offices and finds Eve. Time to go. She pulls on his arm and demands to know what happened to Lindsey. Angel coldly replies that he won't be coming for her. He leaves her standing in the room — having lost her job, her immortality, and her love — as the building collapses in on itself.
    • Eve's death is confirmed in After the Fall, after her bosses (the Senior Partners) hash over the possibility of reviving her as a zombie (or possibly Lindsey, in a pinch).
  • Big Damn Hero: Connor.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Angel tells his group that they'd better go check on Illyria, because Drogyn's very dead.
    Spike: [supiciously] And how would you know that, Kreskin?
    Angel: Because I killed him.
    Spike: WHAT?
  • Blatant Lies: Illyria during Wesley's death scene, and even lampshaded beforehand.
  • Blindfolded Vision: Pee-Pee during the Circle meeting, which is why he blunders into Cyvus' blood machine.
  • Blood Knight: Spike is the first to vote in favour of Angel's plan. Wesley is second. Then Gunn and last of all a reluctant Lorne.
  • Blown Across the Room / Punched Across the Room
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: At the Sahrvin bar, Lindsey washes the blood from his hands and comments on how much he enjoys being a good guy (Yeah right — heard that before), whereas Lorne ominously says the work is getting too unsavory. Lindsey thinks "it's just getting interesting", which Lorne doesn't find reassuring. Lindsey jokingly offers to sing for him. Lorne says, "I've heard you sing," and suddenly shoots Lindsey twice.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: CLANG.
    • Though there were enough cryptic hints dropped to make it ambiguous. It's left unclear, for example, whether or not consuming Hamilton's blood made Angel just as invincible.
    • After the Fall confirms that everyone survived this battle except for Gunn, who succumbed to his wounds and was turned into a vampire. He got better but almost managed to destroy all reality during his 'evil' period. He felt really bad about it..
  • Book Ends: Spike recites, "My heart expands / 'Tis grown a bulge in it" and then hesitates for a second before the awful conclusion of "Effulgent." He waits again, presumably for the riotous laughter. But there isn't any, and the crowd goes wild. Genius recognized at long last!
    • Lindsey's boredom over Angel's Patrick Stewart Speech is similar to Angel's boredom over Lindsey's Freudian Excuse speech in the first season.
    • Illyria experiences grief after Wesley's death — just about the first thing she did on fully taking over Fred's body was express distaste at the grief Wesley was projecting. Likewise Wesley dies in the arms of 'Fred', just as Fred died in Wesley's arms.
  • Brass Balls: Angel. As observed by Lindsey, of all people.
    "Everybody goes on about your soul, vampire with a soul. Nobody ever mentions the fact that you're really a vampire with big brass testes!"
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: The comic series continuation has all of Los Angeles being dragged into Hell as punishment.
  • Call Back: As hinted at the end of "Origin", Connor got his old identity back when Wesley smashed an artifact belonging to Cyvus Vail — the sorcerer who doctored all of Connor's fake memories. His real memories are now "mixed in" with the fake ones. Angel figures that Connor has questions, but Connor shakes his head and says he understands what Angel did, but he doesn't want to complicate his normal life. Angel understands and agrees not to push the issue.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Archduke Sebassis's mini-slave. (Or "Pee pee" guy, if you prefer)
  • Chekhov's Skill: Angel's bloodlust turns out to be Hamilton's Achilles' Heel.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Angel says he knew Harmony would betray him as loyalty is not high on her list. Harmony blames Angel for lacking confidence in her and takes offense at being called disloyal. What?
    Angel: You betrayed me. You are betraying me now EVEN AS WE'RE TALKING.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Ignoring Angel's instructions to regroup at the alley, Illyria bursts into Vail's mansion and catches Wesley just as he collapses from his gut wound.
    Illyria: I killed all mine. And I was— [draws a blank]
    Wesley: ...Concerned?
  • Continuity Nod: Spike emphatically tells Angel that he's not wearing any amulets, bracelets, broaches, beads, pendants, pins or rings. This is because last time he died while wearing a piece of jewelry (in the Buffy series finale), he was brought back as a ghost.
    • Spike takes Angel's advice to "live the day as if it were his last" quite literally, as the poem he reads is a completed form of the poem that was originally read on his last day before being sired by Drusilla. A snippet of the poem was heard in Buffy S5's "Fool for Love". He dedicates his reading to Cecily, the object of his affection at the time.
    • Spike then announces his next poem is "The Wanton Folly of Me Mum", presumably about the events shown in BtVS "Lies My Parents Told Me".
    • Connor summarizes the real memories as being like a bad dream, and elaborates, "A very strange, violent... at times inappropriately erotic dream." This refers to his relationship with Cordelia.
    • At Brucker's campaign headquarters, Brucker is on the phone with a reporter. She says, "If Mr. Conley's recent confession is true, then he's a very sick man." This is in reference to "Power Play", in which Brucker hired Wolfram & Hart to brainwash her opponent and turn him into a pedophile.
    • Lindsey, standing in a roomful of corpses, commends Lorne on his assistance in a fight. "Couldn't have done it without that high note in Macarthur Park! They'll never have that recipe again." (Lorne hummed the song to Faith in "Salvage").
    • Judging by their final exchange, we can surmise that Lorne read Lindsey's future when he sang for him in "Dead End" and knows he will never change.
    • Before the end battle, Gunn says "Okay, you take the thirty thousand on the left..." This may be a reference to "Over the Rainbow" in which Gunn, when confronted by a gang of Pyleans, sarcastically quips, "I'll take the twenty on the left, you take the fifty on the right."
    • Illyria tells Gunn she finds him attractive — if she's indeed influenced by Fred's memories, they would include their affair in Seasons 3 and 4.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack From Behind: Angel is lying broken on the floor as Hamilton strolls over and finds a handy makeshift stake amongst the debris. He bends down to stake Angel, and is suddenly punched by Connor, causing Hamilton to go sailing through the windows lining Angel's office.
    Angel: What the hell are you doing here?
    Connor C'mon. You drop by for a cup of coffee and the world's not ending? Please.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Wesley tends to Illyria's wounds while she blusters that she's gonna totally kick the Black Thorns' asses for this insult.
    Illyria: I will shred my adversaries! Pull their eyes out just enough to turn them towards their mewling, mutilated faces!
    Wesley: You're a very inspirational person. Have I mentioned that?
    • Later, Angel instructs Illyria to take out Izzy and his entourage. She affirms, "I will make trophies of their spines."
  • Couldn't Find a Pen / Impaled Palm: Angel is reaching for the Shanshu Prophecy when Izzy jabs a fountain pen in his hand. "It's got to be in blood."
  • Destination Defenestration: This episode contains more broken windows per capita than the rest of Angel combined.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that Illyria is expressing her own feelings when she takes Fred's form and tells Wesley she loves him.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Wesley dies in the arms of Illyria!Fred, just as Fred died in his arms several episodes earlier.
  • Dirty Business: Why Lorne leaves.
  • Divide and Conquer: Gunn asks if the plan is to take out The Circle in one swoop. Angel says The Circle as one body is the most powerful group on earth, but separated they're just demons.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: "Let's go to work."
  • Dramatic Irony: When Lindsey says to Eve that he's glad she's the one thing in his life Angel didn't "get his mitts on", it becomes apparent that Eve omitted to tell Lindsey about their impromptu sex at the Halloween Party.
    • When Spike reminds him of their equal stake in the prophecy, Angel tellingly dodges the subject.
    Spike: So what do you think this means about that Shanshu bugaboo? We make it through this, does one of us get to be a real boy?
    Angel: Who are you kidding? We're not gonna make it through.
    Spike: [sighs] Well, long as it's not you.
    • Lorne sings, "If I Ruled the World", its feel-good lyrics making an ironic composition to the Crapsack World the Circle of the Black Thorn have created through their secret rule.
  • Dressing as the Enemy / In the Hood: The Fell Brethren march down a hallway in great big hooded robes. We hear a baby coo, and see that Spike is in disguise in one of the robes.
  • Dynamic Entry: The Sahrvin clan are hanging out in their lair when they hear a loud noise outside the door, which is suddenly pierced by a bloodstained sword. Lindsey then kicks down the door with the sword-impaled guard still attached to it.
  • Enemy Mine: Angel says that if they do succeed in crippling Wolfram & Hart, someone will have to fill the power vacuum. And he'd rather have Lindsey in that spot than anyone else. Subverted in the third act, when it's revealed that Lindsey was on Angel's hit list all along.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: At the Circle's insistence, Angel signs away his claim to the destiny foretold in the Shanshu Prophecy. Sebassis never suspected that Angel would kill them merely to do good and not for a reward.
    • Hamilton asks why Angel keeps fighting, noting that Angel signed his Shanshu away. Angel gasps, "People who don't care about anything... will never understand the people who do." Hamilton's rejoinder is to clobber Angel across the room.
    Hamilton: Yeah, but we won't care.
  • Executive Suite Fight
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Good one, Hamilton.
  • External Combustion: Referenced when Izzy and his minions get into their car and there's a closeup of a hand turning the ignition key — but instead of an explosion we get Illyria revealed in the headlights; after a cutaway the vehicle looks like it's been carbombed.
  • Fake Defector: Wesley is selected to kill Cyvus Vail for three reasons: he knows the layout of Vail's place ("Origin"), he's the team's magic expert, and Vail already thought that he'd usurp Angel at some point.
    Wesley: That's not very flattering.
  • Feed the Mole: Harmony expects her boss to be surprised at her betrayal. Angel informs Harmony that he never trusted her and used her as a pawn to lure Hamilton.
    Angel: I figured you were the one I needed to be alone with.
    Hamilton: Why, so I could kill you?
    Angel: Well... I thought the fight would be going a little better.
    Hamilton: Oh. [nods understandingly]
  • The Fog of Ages: Angel tells Harmony he can no longer remember what being human was like.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: A bell clangs moments after Hamilton reveals the source of his power to Angel.
  • Foreshadowing: During the war planning session, Angel doles out jobs to his teammates and turns to Lorne, who sighs, "I'm not a fighter, Angel-wings. Never had the stomach for it. Looks like I'm your weak link." Angel smiles reassuringly and says Lorne is simply providing "backup" for Lindsey.
    • Wesley marvels at Angel for bringing Lindsey onboard. Eve is equally skeptical, though Lindsey brushes off her concerns.
    "They're sending me in with karaoke-boy; how tough can they be?"
    • The dragon Angel is anxious to slay at the end of this episode turns out to be an ally in "After the Fall". Angel says he managed to tame the dragon not long into their fight.
    • Illyria offers to take Fred's form, but Wesley refuses because he knows Fred is gone and to accept anything else would be a lie. "And since I don't actually intend to die tonight, I won't accept a lie." Of course that's exactly what Wes does, when he realises he's dying.
  • Grand Finale
  • Half Truth: When Angel passes her desk, Harmony smartly reports that she's "been keeping [Hamilton] busy, just like you said."
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Lorne's final line, saying "Good night, folks" to the camera. Andy Hallett was suffering from serious heart problems by this time, which would soon make him so easily fatigued that he never performed again before his death a few years later.
  • Held Gaze: Wesley turns for a last look and a nod at Angel before he leaves on what will be his final mission.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Invoked when Lorne double-taps Lindsey in the chest. THWIP THWIP.
  • Hugo Award: Nominated 2005.
  • I Was Just Joking, Round #2:
    Connor: But it's the wolf part that jones's you. There's some full-moon love, am I right? Fur flying.
    Angel: ...Huh?
    Connor: So vampires really don't understand the concept of jokes....
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Gunn is assigned to take out Senator Brucker at her campaign headquarters in West L.A. Angel mentions that Brucker "tends to surround herself with vampires", making Gunn uniquely suited for the job.
  • Karma Houdini: Once Hamilton finally appears in the lobby, Harmony doesn't wait around to see who the victor is; she retrieves her recommendation letter, wishes them luck, and skips away happily.
    Harmony: Good luck! Umm... may the best man win?
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual
  • Lingerie Scene: Harmony in blue bra and panties.
  • Mind over Matter: At Château de Cyvus, Wesley is suspended in the air with magic as Cyvus Vail scoffs at his attempt to kill him with sorcery. Wesley shrugs that he'll have to do it "the old fashioned way" and produces a pocketknife, but Vail blocks it and calls forth a kukri from the wall, which he then plunges into Wesley's stomach and twists around.
  • Mortal Wound Reveal: Gunn comes running up with an axe, boasting about how he took out all those vampires. Spike comments, "You're supposed to wear the red stuff on the inside, Charlie boy."
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: Gunn uses Angel's dual wrist-stake rig for the last time.
  • Last Day to Live: On the eve of the big fight, Angel asks his teammates to take the day off and live as if its their last day.
    • Lorne sings "If I Ruled the World" onstage at a karaoke bar.
    • Angel visits his son, Connor, for coffee.
    • Spike is in a seedy bar somewhere, drinking shot after shot. It turns out to be courage-building for his poetry reading in front of a crowd.
    • Gunn visits his old neighborhood and greets Anne (last seen in "The Thin Dead Line"), who is busy loading boxes into a truck. Her shelter is moving to a new location. Gunn asks after Rondell and his old crew, and Anne says that they were supposed to help her with the move, but that something may have came up. They discuss the vampire situation, and Anne says that the Rondell and co. keep them pretty safe. Gunn suddenly grows dark and asks what she would do if he told her none of it helps; that everything is controlled by powerful forces who will never allow things to get better. Anne tells him she would get the truck packed. Gunn accepts that, and together they start moving a couch.
  • Last Villain Stand: Unbeknown to Hamilton, he's the last to be checked off on Angel's list. He's also the most difficult one to put down, however.
  • Last Words: Lindsey can't believe that a karaoke demon is the one who takes him out.
    "YOU kill me? A flunky?! I'm not just... Angel kills me! You don't— Angel..."
  • Let Them Die Happy: Illyria coldly observes that Wesley will be dead in a few moments. Then, unexpectedly, Illyria morphs into Fred and strokes his face, and Wes tells her he misses her. She kisses him, telling him the pain will be gone soon and then they will be together forever.
    • Assuming Dr. Sparrow was telling the truth, Illyria must know this is a lie, since Fred's soul was literally burned up when Illyira took over her body; Fred wouldn't be able to enjoy that afterlife or any other.
    • In After the Fall, Lorne claims that Fred made it to heaven after all. In a cruel irony, however, Wesley is trapped in Hell as the liaison to the Senior Partners.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The Wolfram & Hart building starts to rumble and shake once Hamilton bites the dust.
  • Meaningful Echo: Lorne coldly tells Lindsey he's "not part of the solution" after shooting him. This echoes what Angel told Agent Hauser in "Conviction," the season premiere — before blowing Hauser's head off with a shotgun.
    • Despite what Wesley claims, Illyria knows he wants to be with Fred, and adds that she could assume Fred's form. Wesley recalls that the first lesson he learned as a Watcher was to "separate truth from illusion", as it's the hardest thing to do in a world of magic. He concludes, "The truth... is that Fred is gone. To believe anything else would be a lie." Not long afterward, Illyria holds the dying Wesley's head and asks if he'd like her to lie to him now. He says yes.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: Angel vs. Hamilton. Right before the former breaks his fist on Hamilton's rock-hard abs.
  • The Mole: Not long after she pleaded with Angel to be allowed in on his secret plan, Harmony is seen cuddled against Hamilton in bed, clad in her underwear with a glass of blood in one hand. She has betrayed her boss. Again. "So, about Angel's secret plan..."
  • Neck Snap: Hamilton's demise, through being punched in the face.
  • The Nicknamer: Illyria is referred to as "Blue Thunder" — though by Gunn rather than Spike. Lorne calls his boss "Angel Wings".
  • Not Important to This Episode Camp: Buffy as it turns out. Sarah Michelle Gellar offered and David Boreanaz was all for it, but Joss Whedon deemed the character unnecessary.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Cyvus Vail appeared reliant on a complex intravenous drip, physically vulnerable and weak. However when under genuine attack his IV was broken and he ignored it, he shrugged off being hurled twice into a wall, and gutted his opponent with a kukri.
  • Obligatory Joke: Connor ribbing Angel over his werewolf girlfriend. "There's some full moon love, amirite? Fur flying?" Angel blinks. Connor resigns himself to the fact that vampires don't appreciate jokes.
  • Offscreen Inertia: Joss Whedon said this was explicitly his intent with the ending, and he was a little confused when people generally thought of it as a Downer Ending in which the characters fail at their "impossible" task and all die.
  • Once More with Clarity: At the Black Thorn meeting, Cyvus Vail goes into a wheezing fit when Sebassis' slave gets caught in his IV line. Angel leans over and impatiently shoves him away. Later, when Hamilton wonders aloud how Angel planned to kill Sebassis, Angel smirks back. He already did. A flashback reveals that he injected Sebassis' slave with a concealed, venom-tipped needle in his ring.
  • One Last Job: As they start to move out, Lorne says, "I'll do this last thing" as a favor to Angel, but then "I'm out." He says he won't be in the alley afterwards, and that they shouldn't try to find him.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Inverted with Lindsey's shooting. Lindsey is genuinely shocked; in his mind, it should be Angel who kills him, not a flunky.
  • Opium Den: Lorne and Lindsey ambush the Sahrvin clan inside what looks to be an opium bar.
  • Opt Out: When Lorne learns what his part is to be, he tells Angel not to look for him again. In his final scene, after shooting Lindsey with a silenced pistol, a disgusted Lorne drops the gun and simply says, "Goodnight, folks" as he leaves for good.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Angel sighs, "You haven't heard a word I've said. For, like, years back." Lindsey admits that when Angel gets "speechy," he dozes off a little, but he got the main idea.
  • Perfect Poison: After Angel reveals his gambit to Hamilton, we cut to Sebassis reclining in his bath while drinking his slave's blue blood. He realizes it tastes strange, then glances over to see his slave lying dead on the floor, blood dribbling from his mouth. Sebassis' glass shatters on the floor as he perishes in his tub.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Hamilton makes the mistake of mentioning that the power he has is in his blood.
    Angel: Can you pick the one word you probably shouldn't have said? *vamps out*
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: After killing Brucker, Gunn turns sees that there are still a half-dozen angry vamps glaring at him. Gunn grumps, "And you wonder why folks don't vote!"
  • Present Company Excluded
    Gunn I was hoping it'd be vamps. Haven't dusted nearly enough this year. [turns to Spike] No offense.
    Spike: S'alright.
  • Prophecy Twist: Ironically, by exempting himself from the Shanshu Prophecy, Angel has ensured that Spike is next in line to fulfill it and become human.
    • Another theory is that Wesley's first translation of the prophecy was the correct one: Angel does his thing and saves the world, then dies.
      • Then again, in Angel After The Fall it is revealed that Wolfram & Hart never "filed" the Scroll, thus Angel's claim to the prophecy remains.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: After a beat of the pair staring each other down, Angel punches Hamilton in the stomach. Hamilton barely flinches under the impact. Angel shakes his fist in pain and sighs, "Did that hurt at all?" Hamilton replies, "Lil' bit," and then lifts Angel off the ground by his neck.
    "But it's all part of the job."
  • Punctuated Pounding: Near the end, Hamilton asks if Angel really thinks that he can defeat the Senior Partners, saying "We are Legion. We are forever." Unimpressed, Angel punches Hamilton so hard his neck snaps.
    "I guess [PUNCH!] "forever" [PUNCH!] just got a hell of a lot shorter." [CRACK!]
  • The Purge: The deaths of the Black Thorn members has definite aspects of The Godfather finale, right down to the mafia-style murders of Izzy and Lindsey.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Hamilton hurls Angel across the lobby, over the balcony and through the wall, leaving his crumpled body on the floor. As he ascends the stairs, Hamilton tells Angel that the Senior Partners probably should not have bothered "wasting resources" on him.
    "You're gutter trash. That's where you should have stayed — drinking and whoring your way through an unremarkable life. But fate stepped in and made you a vampire. With a soul, no less. A "champion", a hero to the people. And yet, you still manage to fail everyone around you. Doyle. Cordelia. Fred. They're all gone. And it's time you followed."
  • Secret Circle of Secrets / Shaped Like Itself
    Sebassis: The Circle does not abide secrets.
    Angel: Which is interesting for a "secret society".
  • Shrug of God: Joss Whedon discussed the final battle in SFX magazine:
    "Gunn is dead. Illyria keeps fighting. Angel loses an arm. Spike gets Shanshu. And Xander loses another eye, which is funny, because he isn't even there."
    • This is all said in humor.
  • Smash Cut
  • So Proud of You: Clutching his wound, Wesley looks at Illyira rather proudly and says, "It was good... That you came." He's got a "I raised my girl up right" glow in this scene.
  • Stealth Insult: After drinking Hamilton's blood, Angel tells him he's full of it.
  • Suicide Mission
  • Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious: Hamilton, being the offspring of the Senior Partners, carries their essence in his own veins.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Angel soars through the air, crashes through a skylight, kersplats onto the lobby and moans, "Hamilton." Harmony, who is seated nearby, quickly stammers, "He's not my boyfriend! I mean, I certainly didn't betray you!"
  • Tender Tears: Illyria!Fred weeps over Wesley's death. We can't tell if Illyria is weeping in her natural form, because the sky is weeping buckets on her head.
  • Thanking the Viewer: After the episode ended, the WB showed a montage of scenes from the show over the past 5 years as a 'Thank You' to the production team and its viewers.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Lindsey compliments Angel's cojones and says that, win or lose, it'll be a hell of a fight, so he wants to be part of it. Lindsey concludes, "If you want me, I'm on your team."
    Angel: I want you, Lindsey. [beat] ..I'm thinking about rephrasing that.
    Lindsey [recoils] I think I'd be more comfortable if you did.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: As Angel confirms that Hamilton's dead, the building starts shaking. Connor asks what happens next. Angel tells Connor to go home: "This is my fight." Connor starts to accuse Angel of macho bullshit, but is interrupted by falling debris crashing around them.
    Connor: But they'll destroy you.
    Angel: As long as you're OK, they can't.
  • Trash the Set: Hamilton hauls Angel to his feet, mentions how much effort the Senior Partners have put into Angel, and tosses him up into a wall. But it's the wall with the "Wolfram & Hart" logo on it, so it's a wall-smash with symbolism! Presumably, the entire building gets leveled once the Senior Partners sense that Hamilton's been killed.
    • Confirmed in After the Fall. Hamilton's death rescinds Angel's contract with the Senior Partners and prompts them to unleash their punishment, which includes an earthquake that destroys the W&H Los Angeles branch, followed by a horde of demons sent after Angel and his crew.
  • The Triple: After signing away the Shanshu Prophecy, Angel reminisces with Harmony about how it felt to be human. "Not so great!," Harmony says supportively. "Zits, dandruff, mortality..."
  • Try Not to Die
    Illyria: Try not to die. You are not unpleasant to my eyes.
    Gunn: Uh, thanks. You... try not to die too.
  • Use Your Head: Hamilton head-butts Connor and grunts, "What is it with you people?" before slamming Connor into an elevator door.
  • We Need a Distraction: Harmony tells Angel that she knows something's going on, and whines, "Everybody's in on it except me." She says that she wants to help, and Angel ponders that. He tells her that he's going to 'visit' Sebassis later, and he'd prefer it if Hamilton was out of the loop.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Spike mutters about how little that will help if Hamilton returns, which cues Angel to enter and react with surprise, "Hamilton did this?" Angel realizes it was Hamilton who brought Drogyn before the Circle, prompting Wesley to connect the dots and exposit that Angel killed Drogyn to prove he had turned.
  • You Are Too Late: Wesley drops to the floor and collapses just as Illyria bursts in.Unfortunately, it's a minute too late, as Illyria remarks with blank surprise when she inspects Wes' wound and finds it is mortal.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Connor's cutting remark after bitch-slapping Hamilton through some pane glass.
    "You care about that, Dress-For-Less?"
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Lindsey's reaction to Angel's Enemy Mine offer.
  • You Have No Chance to Survive: Near death, Hamilton tells Angel that he cannot win his war against Wolfram & Hart.
  • Your Head A Splode: As Illyria (still in Fred guise) mourns over Wesley, Vail recovers behind her and hisses, "How very touching his meaningless death was." Illyria/Fred turns to face Vail, who spreads his arms out and chuckles, "Take your best shot, little girl." Illyria winds back a punch, reverts to her true form, and smashes her fist through Vail's head.

Angel S 05 E 21 Power PlayRecap/Angel    
Angel S 05 E 14 Smile TimeHugo AwardFirefly

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