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Recap / Angel S01E19 "Sanctuary"

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Angel attempts to save Faith's soul, but things are complicated by the unexpected arrival of Buffy.

Meanwhile, Wolfram & Hart send another assassin after Faith and Angel, and the Council Special Ops Team arrives in Los Angeles and offer to have Wesley reinstated as a Watcher if he helps them take out Faith.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Agent Mulder: When Detective Kate Lockley turns up at the apartment where Faith fought Angel, the detective in charge of the case realizes she's there because everyone knows Kate has gone "Agent Scully" investigating cases involving the supernatural. Kate patiently explains that makes her more like Mulder, which only confuses him. "Scully was the chick, right?"
  • And This Is for...: Wesley jabs Weatherby with the tranquilizer syringe, and then walks up to his doped face and punches it. "That's for calling me a ponce."
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  • Anti-Hero BSOD: Faith spends the early portion of the episode slipping in and out of a fugue state, to the point she is shocked when she finds herself holding a butcher's knife.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Buffy decks Angel across the face when he stops her from going after Faith, and is genuinely shocked when Angel punches her back; Angel is just as shocked and says "I'm sorry" twice. This is later inverted, however, since when Buffy later tries to throw it in his face during a different argument Angel points out that she hit him first, she's stronger than he is, and she hasn't apologised yet.
  • The Atoner: Faith begins making a genuine effort to become one.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Buffy tries to invoke this; after Angel has apparently taken sides with Faith against her, Buffy says, "See? Faith wins again." Given that Faith is now legitimately trying to reform, she doesn't really count as The Bad Guy anymore, which Angel knows and thus tells Buffy to shut it.
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  • Being Evil Sucks: For Faith, though she didn't see any way out until now.
    Faith: You have no idea what it's like on the other side! Where nothing's in control, nothing makes sense! There is just pain and hate and nothing you do means anything!
  • Big Damn Heroes: The helicopter gunner has Buffy dead to rights when Angel bursts through a skylight to grab the helicopter skid, throws out the gunner and forces the pilot to land. Watching from below, Buffy can only gape in amazement.
  • Big Damn Villains: The Council assassins try and take out both Buffy and Faith, just when the latter is about to let the former kill her. May not count, as it's unlikely Buffy would have actually gone through with it, despite what she claimed.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The spec ops team claim they're going to take Faith back to England to be rehabilitated. Anyone who's seen "Who Are You?" would know they've already received the Council's approval to kill Faith, as getting her out of the country is too difficult.
    • Buffy tells Angel that she came to L.A. to save him from Faith because he was in danger. Angel states he's in danger every day, and knows that Buffy was just using that as an excuse to come to L.A. to get revenge on Faith; Buffy doesn't deny it and says she's entitled to revenge.
    • There is also Buffy's claim that she tried her best to help Faith, when her efforts were pretty variable. She didn't like Faith when she first showed up and took out some of her insecurities on her, although Buffy did stick up for Faith to Giles about the Alan Finch scenario and tried to reach out to her after Gwendolin Post tricked Faith.
  • Book-Ends: "Who Are You?" ends with Faith hiding in a boxcar looking lost; "Sanctuary" ends with Faith in prison looking like she's finally at peace.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Wesley and Angel's argument about Angel housing Faith. As Wesley points out, Faith has a reputation for killing or attempting murder, just tortured him and Cordelia the night before and can't be trusted. The most sensible thing would be to lock her up with restraints that can hold a Slayer, something the police lack. Angel retorts that their investigation doesn't play judge and jury, and Faith has the potential to become a good person. After all, Angel was once worse than she was, when he lacked a soul. Ultimately the point becomes moot when Faith willingly surrenders to the police at the end of the episode, removing the moral dilemma from both parties. Wesley admits that in the end that Angel did the right thing in believing in Faith.
  • Call-Back:
    • Buffy's anger over Angel helping Faith needs to be understood not only in the context of "Who Are You?", but also the BtVS episode "Enemies" where Faith went to Angel for help (also involving Last-Second Chance, These Hands Have Killed and a Cooldown Hug) as a ploy to seduce him so he would turn evil. Buffy naturally assumes Faith is playing Angel this time as well.
    • Buffy and Faith face off on a rooftop as in "Graduation Day", with hints that Faith was planning to take the same way down as last time.
      Faith: It'd make things easier for you.
      Buffy: Till you got bored with the whole guilt thing, decided to come back to shake things up?
      Faith: That's not gonna happen.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: Collins lights up in front of the NO SMOKING sign.
  • Ceiling Cling: The demon contract killer.
  • Character Shilling: Faith possibly does this in regards to Buffy at one point, claiming that Buffy was the only person in Sunnydale who was there for her and tried to be her friend. The same Buffy who picked a fight with Faith on their very first patrol together and had to be talked into including Faith on several different gatherings. The only possible justification is Faith is majorly guilt tripping into revisionist history.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Wes throwing darts. Later he throws the Tranquilizer Dart into Weatherby's neck.
  • Contract on the Hitman: Their attempt to kill Angel having failed, Wolfram & Hart hire a second assassin to try and clean up both loose ends. That one doesn't work out either.
    Mercer: This is getting ridiculous. The first assassin kills the second assassin, sent to kill the first assassin, who didn't assassinate anyone until we hired the second assassin to assassinate the first assassin!
  • Death Glare: Buffy—it's surprising Angel Investigations doesn't burn to the ground.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: It's finally confirmed that Faith didn't have sex with Angel when they were trying to Honey Trap each other in "Enemies".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Another addiction metaphor.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Buffy punches Angel. Angel punches Buffy back. Both look horrified at what he did. Later subverted, however; in their fight at the end, Buffy tries to play this card by bringing up the fact that he hit her, only for Angel to angrily retort that she hit him first, and is stronger than him, so doesn't get to automatically claim the high ground there.
  • Dramatic Shattering: Faith knocks her glass off the chair when her face comes up on TV as a wanted murderer.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Wesley walks in on Angel right as the latter is angrily letting off steam following his final argument with Buffy over Faith's fate. Wesley, who had similarly been angry with Angel over his attempt to help Faith earlier in the episode, attempts to make him feel better by admitting that Angel was in the right. Angel, still stewing, briefly misinterprets.
    Wesley: I don't know how much my opinion counts for, but - I think you did the right thing.
    Angel: Yelling at Buffy?
    Wesley: No. The other thing.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Buffy at first mistakenly believes that Faith is trying to seduce Angel again when she catches him hugging, since she heard from Giles that Faith tried to kill Angel. Angel clarifies, but it doesn't soften Buffy's murderous rage.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy
    Angel: I once told you that you didn't have to go out in that darkness. Remember? That it was your choice. Well, you chose. You thought that you could just touch it. That you'd be okay. Five by five, right, Faith? But it swallowed you whole. So tell me—how did you like it?
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Buffy's crinkly hair shows that she is the vengeful rape victim villain of this episode.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The Council tries to get Wesley to perform one, helping them to kill Faith. He trusts Angel more than he trusts them, however, and aids Faith in escaping. Buffy does this for this episode, going to LA out of a purely personal vendetta and attacking those who are the good guys on this show.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Discussed. When Faith pleads for a chance to make it up to her, Buffy retorts that she gave Faith plenty of chances and tried to help her, and every time, Faith either tried to kill her or ruin her life. Now, she's done with it.
  • Fake Defector: Wesley
  • Fanservice: Another scene of Angel stepping out of the shower dripping wet.
  • Flag Drop: Weatherby is introduced holding a dart with the British flag on it, naturally.
  • Flashback Cut: To Faith killing the Deputy Mayor of Sunnydale, the event that set her on the path to evil.
  • The Fundamentalist: Weatherby is the member of the black ops team that most fervently believes in the Council's cause.
    Wesley: Weatherby, listen to reason.
    Weatherby: Reason? A Watcher working for a vampire. It's perversion.
  • Get Out!: At the end of the episode, Angel finishes his tirade against Buffy by ordering her to go home.
  • "Get out of Jail Free" Card: Averted; though Angel promises to protect Faith from those hunting her, including the LAPD, she turns herself in at the end.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Collins looks downright sinister as he's puffing on a cig.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: As seen in BtVS "Enemies," Buffy worries about Angel's attraction to Faith, and she makes a point of mentioning her new boyfriend back in Sunnydale, who (unlike Angel) she loves and trusts. This seems to tick Angel off and cause him to become a green-eyed monster himself, as he tells Buffy she's no longer welcome in LA.
  • Guns Akimbo: Faced by both Wesley and Angel, Weatherby has a gun in one hand and a pistol crossbow in the other.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Angel gets Faith to perform one, and the assassination bid is enough for Wesley to be fully on board with Angel, putting aside his misgivings about Faith.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: The spec ops team all wear black leather jackets. Faith still has her Black Leather Pants of Evil, but wears the Brown Leather Jacket of Moral Ambiguity towards the end.
  • Hero Antagonist: Buffy is the villain in this episode, as Angel wants to save Faith and Buffy wants to kill her. When she calms down she wants Faith to go to jail instead, but as Angel notes it's touch and go.
  • Hypocrite: Buffy tries to claim the moral high ground with Angel at one point, calling both him and Faith killers. Problem is, she isn't one yet because Faith survived Buffy's attack on her in Graduation Day Part 1, and she was in Los Angeles to finish the job.
  • I'll Kill You!:
    Faith: Buffy... [Buffy whips around to face her] I'm sor—
    Buffy: Apologize to me and I will beat you to death.
    Faith: [quietly] Go ahead.
  • Imagine Spot: Faith imagines stabbing Angel in the face. This causes her to clam up when she was going to ask him something, and possibly leads to her fugue state the next time we see her.
  • In Love with the Mark: Wolfram & Hart assume this has happened when they discover Faith spent the night at Angel's place without killing him, especially given rumors that Angel used to date a vampire slayer.
  • Instant Sedation: The Watcher's Council operatives give Wesley a syringe containing a sedative "powerful enough to bring down a man twice your size—or a Slayer." (i.e. Faith) What's more, all it requires is "a little pressure on the flesh" to work.
  • It's All About Me: Buffy doesn't take Angel's wishes, or what Faith did to him, into account. Nor is what Faith did to her friends brought up. She wants Faith dead because of the body swap that enabled Faith to sleep with Riley. When Angel calls her out on it, Buffy blows him off and states that she has a right to want revenge on Faith after what she did.
  • I Want Them Alive: Averted; when briefing the next assassin Lindsey stresses that they just want Faith dead—"no slow and painful death." Lee Mercer, however, mutters that "some pain would be good."
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: As Wesley and Cordelia compare bruises from the previous night's tangle with Faith, Cordy says, "If it's any consolation, it really does look like you were tortured by a much larger woman."
  • It's Personal: Buffy has handled a lot of Faith's betrayals and attempts to hurt her in Season Three... until Faith tried to kill Angel back in "Graduation Day" and slept with Riley. Then she learns from Giles that Faith tried to kill Angel again after running from Sunnydale. By the time she arrives in Los Angeles, she has murderous intent.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Lilah is preparing a coffee tray for someone she's talking to off-screen, whom we don't see until a four-eyed demon contract killer throws itself on the sugar bowl and messily devours the contents.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: When Angel refuses to tell Kate where Faith is.
    Kate: I think you're gonna like the cell we have for you, Angel. It faces east. It'll give you a great view of the sunrise in about four hours.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • After getting beaten up by Faith, Cordelia is hardly blameless in wanting nothing more to do with her. So she hightails it out of there and leaves Angel and Wesley to clean up the Slayer mess.
    • Buffy and Wesley have their reasons in wanting Faith dead, but Angel thinks trying to reform her is better. While the two have a point, the show is about Angel, who was one of the biggest bastards ever when he was evil, and for him or the show to accept Buffy and Wesley's views of death over redemption as valid would be hypocritical to the max.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Angel knows the evil things Faith had done, perhaps even more than Buffy, as he had witnessed at least Faith's attack of Xander and it's never shown whether he shared this. Despite this he offers Faith sanctuary when she is so disgusted at how evil she had become she wants Angel to kill her. Buffy, on the other hand, is more than happy to honor that request, enraged at what Faith has done and enraged that Angel wants to reform her.
  • Kick the Dog: During their argument after Faith turns herself in, Buffy takes the time to rub her new relationship in Angel's face, stating that unlike what she had with him, she actually knows and trusts Riley. Angel gives her one hell of a tongue-lashing in response.
  • Mathematician's Answer: After Buffy storms off, Wesley asks Angel if he wants to go after her. Angel replies "Yes," and doesn't move. He does stop by Sunnydale to apologize in "The Yoko Factor."
  • More Dakka: After the fiasco in Sunnydale, the spec ops team have upgraded from pistols to automatic weapons and a helicopter.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Buffy storming into Los Angeles to take revenge on Faith ruins any amicability between her and Angel after their breakup. She ends up worsening the dilemma of what Angel needs to do with Faith.
    • Angel exiling Buffy from Los Angeles means that, even if he needed her help, she's less than likely to give it, depriving him of a free Slayer ally. It also means he's officially done with helping out in Sunnydale, and with Buffy's problems.
    • To cement that they both messed up, Buffy admits in "The Yoko Factor" that they can't go back to what they had before. Even though she and Angel talk out what happened, they acknowledge that their lives are too different now and lose any amicable closeness.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Wesley spends the first part of the episode seriously angry at Angel for harboring Faith and ignoring the pain she inflicted on him and Cordelia. The Watchers' Special Ops Team try to take advantage of this by recruiting him to take down Faith, but Wesley's interactions with them just cause him to cement his loyalty to Angel and fight against the Special Ops Team in the climax.
  • Not Actually the Ultimate Question
    Faith: So, how does this work?
    Angel: There's no real simple answer to that. I won't lie to you and tell you it'll be easy. Because it won't be. Just because you've decided to change doesn't mean the world's ready for you to. Truth is, no matter how much you suffer, no matter how many good deeds you do to try to make up for the past, you may never balance out the cosmic scale. The only thing I can promise you is that you'll probably be haunted, and maybe for the rest of your life.
    Faith: [indicating the microwave] So, how does this work?
    Angel: Uh, power level, time, start.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Lampshaded by Joss Whedon in writing the Buffy/Angel fight scene—while not Ship Sinking, it does establish the two Star-Crossed Lovers have moved on with their lives and are two different people, just as Angel has now forged a separate identity from its parent series.
  • Not So Stoic: Angry at how Buffy refuses to understand why he's helping Faith (not to mention talking about her great new boyfriend), Angel blows his stack, telling Buffy that she's no longer part of his life and to get out of his city. Afterwards he punches the wall and mutters, "For a taciturn, shadowy guy—I've got a big mouth."
  • Not What It Looks Like: Buffy arrives just in time to see Angel (with his shirt unbuttoned, having just come out of the shower) giving Faith a Cooldown Hug.
    Angel: It's not what you think.
    Buffy: You actually think that I can form a thought right now? Giles heard that—that she tried to kill you.
    Angel: That's true.
    Buffy: So you decided to punish her with a severe cuddling.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Angel and likely the viewer have this reaction, when looking up from comforting Faith to see Buffy, clearly enraged.
    • Buffy tells Faith they should escape a submachine-gun-toting Collins by Roof Hopping to the next building. As they run for the edge, a helicopter lifts up over the roof and starts firing on them.
  • Persona Non Grata: At the end of the episode, after everything that's happened, as well as Buffy's blatant refusal to accept or understand Faith's remorse or why Angel would want to help her, along with her rubbing her new boyfriend in his face, Angel loses his temper, bluntly telling her that she doesn't know him anymore and that she has no right to just show up with her "great new life" and tell him how to do things before harshly ordering her to Get Out! of Los Angeles.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: When Lilah uses the phrase "handshake deal" when bartering with an insectoid assassin, Lindsey quickly jumps in to emphasize that she meant metaphorical hands.
    Lilah: That was species-ist of me. I apologize.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Every attempt at killing Angel or Faith having failed, Lindsey decides to turn to the law and gives Faith's whereabouts to Kate.
  • Professional Killers: The Council Operations Team.
  • Rant-Inducing Slight: Angel manages to keep it together over the course of the episode... until Buffy takes the time to rub her new relationship in his face.
  • Reality Ensues: Angel takes in Faith to help her find peace. Cordelia and Wesley (whom Faith had respectively beaten up and tortured in the last episode) both tell him they don't like it and take off.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Buffy gives one to Faith after the latter remarks that Angel himself told her that Buffy wouldn't give her a chance:
      Buffy: I gave you every chance! I tried so hard to help you, and you spat on me! My life was just something for you to play with. Angel, Riley... anything that you could take from me, you took! I've lost battles before, but nobody else has ever made me a victim.
    • Angel gives Buffy one after she tells him that she's moved on and actually trusts her new boyfriend, unlike him:
      Angel: That's great. It's nice. You moved on. I can't. You found someone new. I'm not allowed to, remember? I see you again, it cuts me up inside, and the person I share that with is me. You don't know me anymore, so don't come down here with your great new life and expect me to do things your way! Go home.
  • Redemption Earns Life: What Angel is pushing for.
  • Redemption Equals Death: As Faith couldn't get Angel to kill her, she is prepared to let Buffy do it. Angel's having none of it though.
  • Rejected Apology: While Faith is genuinely remorseful for her crimes, Buffy does not care, going so far as to openly threaten to beat Faith to death if she tries to apologize to her for her actions. To be fair, Faith had recently used a device left to her by Mayor Wilkins to swap bodies with Buffy and used it to her advantage to sleep with Buffy's new boyfriend, and Faith had rejected Buffy's other offers of redemption beforehand:
    Faith: Angel told me there was no way you were gonna give me a chance.
    Buffy: I gave you every chance! I tried so hard to help you, and you spat on me!
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Buffy appears on Angel for the last time, hunting Faith. Angel returns to Sunnydale to apologize to Buffy in "The Yoko Factor".
  • Reveal Shot:
    • Happens twice with the Wolfram & Hart lawyers talking to someone off-screen—first Lee Mercer with a neck brace and wired jaw, later the demon assassin.
    • Also this scene:
      Angel: I understand what you're going through, and I want to help, but there are a few things you have to do. First... I need you to give me that knife.
      [camera pans down to reveal that Faith is holding a large butcher knife]
  • Revenge: Wesley wants revenge for being tortured, Lee Mercer wants revenge for Faith beating him into a neck brace, Kate wants revenge for her father being killed by vampires, Buffy wants revenge for Faith's Grand Theft Me (particularly sleeping with Riley), and the spec ops team want payback for Faith making them look like pillocks—ironically it's actually Buffy-in-Faith's-body who did that.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: Neither Faith nor the Council team knows about Angel's sewer access, so when the team surrounds Angel Investigations, Faith flees to the roof. They're ready for her.
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    • Wesley's recent torture brings out the snarker in him.
      Collins: That was a nasty business back in Sunnydale, but nobody blames you.
      Wesley: Really. Because I rather got the impression they did when they sacked me.
    • "Won't she have trouble enjoying delicious jelly donuts if she is (one assumes) bound and gagged?"
    • Angel describes Faith's attempt to kill him as "a cry for help." Buffy replies that a cry for help is when you shout "help" in a loud voice.
  • Save the Villain: Despite everything, Buffy instinctively pulls Faith to cover when Collins opens fire on them.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Cordelia sees no point in hanging around just because her boss wants to keep Faith in the same basement where he keeps "three tons of medieval weaponry," tricking Angel into signing off on a paid vacation for her. Subverted with Faith, who appears to have run off, but turns up later at the police station to confess her crimes.
  • The Scrooge: The spec ops team gripe that they're made to fly coach even though the Council has alchemists on the board of directors (presumably turning lead into gold).
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Cordelia leaves right before the whole of Angel Investigations becomes a war zone. Given that she wasn't combat capable at this point of the series, it was a smart move.
  • Suicide by Cop: After Faith couldn't get Angel to kill her, she tries to get Buffy to do it. Angel's not about to let her.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: At the end of the episode Angel exiles Buffy from Los Angeles, and she doesn't return for the rest of the series.
  • Surprise Vehicle: Though we do hear the helicopter approaching earlier.
  • Swapped Roles: Angel and Wesley, in comparison from last episode; during "Five by Five," Angel was fully prepared to kill Faith for whatever she did to Buffy in Sunnydale, while Wesley insisted that Faith was a "sick, sick girl" and they could rehabilitate her. Now, Angel's the one making the case for Faith's rehabilitation, while Wesley, having been the victim of Cold-Blooded Torture at Faith's hands, is now firmly convinced that Faith can't be redeemed, openly regarding her as a "rabid animal."
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Angel tells Faith she's safe just before a demon hitman drops off the ceiling to attack them.
    • Before departing L.A., Buffy makes a passing laceration at Angel by comparing him to her new boyfriend (Riley), whom she "knows" and "trusts." As she discovers in "The Yoko Factor" and "Into the Woods", she doesn't know the real Riley very well at all.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Cordelia notes incredulously that Angel let Faith have his bed.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Faith drops the knife in shock after seeing the demon assassin's blood on her hands.
  • We Need a Distraction: Cordy gets Angel to sign off on a paid vacation for her while he's busy justifying his actions with Faith.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Wesley and especially Buffy have this reaction when Angel won't kill Faith. The Council have this reaction with Wesley insisting that Angel not be killed, which shuts down a teased Face–Heel Turn. Angel has this reaction to Buffy wanting to kill Faith, and Buffy has this reaction for Angel trying to save Faith, defending himself when she attacks him, and when he tells her she's not welcome in LA.
    • Wesley and Angel's debate at the office over Faith's future is them taking turns with this trope.
      Angel: Wesley, we went through all this last night.
      Wesley: Yes, you were right. The police would be ill-equipped to hold a Slayer against her will. I understand why you chose not to turn her over to them. I do not, however, understand why the woman who brutally tortured me last night - this morning - gets pastries!
      Angel: I don't really have anything else downstairs. What do you want to do, Wesley? Let her starve?
      Wesley: Certainly not. There are far more humane ways to deal with a rabid animal.
      Angel: She is not an animal.
      Wesley: No?
      Angel: She's a person. In case you've forgotten - we're not in the business of giving up on people.
      Wesley: (shoots him a Death Glare) Don't you dare take the moral high ground with me after what she did. I believe in helping people. I do not believe in coddling murderers!
      Angel: It wasn't too long ago that you were the one making the case for her rehabilitation.
      Wesley: It wasn't too long ago I had full feeling in my right arm!
      Angel: She wants to change.
      Wesley: There is evil in that girl, Angel. It doesn't matter what she wants, or says she wants. You set her free, she'll kill again.
  • Wild Card: Wesley
  • Would Hit a Girl: Angel decks Buffy in the face in a knee-jerk reaction to Buffy punching him in the face. He's immediately shocked at what he did.
    Angel: Not to go all schoolyard on you, but you hit me first. And in case you've forgotten, you're a little bit stronger than I am.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: Wesley insists that he'll only go along with the spec ops team if Angel isn't harmed. Collins agrees, but Wesley isn't stupid enough to trust his word and is just playing along until he can warn Angel.

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