Angel wakes up in the middle of the night, and enters the lobby of the Hotel. Cordy and Wesley are arguing, by insulting each other and calling each other names. Angel asks what is the argument about, and they reveal they were arguing over whether Gunn should be paid or not. Angel's disturbed sleep patterns are under scrutiny by Wesley. Just then, Cordy has a vision of a girl in trouble in an alley on Hollywood and Wilcox. Angel runs out the door, but Cordy says he's going to be too late. Meanwhile, the girl in question runs into an alley, followed by two men. She falls and one guy takes out a knife. The girl is sobbing as a dumpster physically slams into the two men, crushing them against the wall. Ker-splat.
Angel arrives at the crime scene, but the police and an ambulance are there as well. He pretends to be the detective on call and pumps an officer for information. The trail of blood leads Angel into a nearby building, where a frightened girl is still hiding. She warns him to stay away from her because she is very upset. He walks closer, and is impaled by a flying piece of rebar. The girl starts to flee, but stops when Angel calls her again. He stands up and yanks the rebar out. Jinkies! Angel points out that he's "different from most people", just like her. He offers her his card. The girl takes the card and quickly runs off. After she's gone, Angel collapses, and mumbles: "Okay, maybe she can hurt me a little." Bethany walks up to an apartment door, but before she can unlock it, Lilah opens it, saying she was worried. Apparently, Lilah is letting her stay at her place. Something's afoot...
Bethany is in bed sleeping, while Lilah steps in with Calynthia powder in hopes of manipulating her new lab rat. Bethany is dreaming about her father. He grasps her hand and leads her down as items begin to shake in the attic. Lilah watches Bethany sleep, while she telekinetically rocks objects on her dresser. The objects shake more, and Lilah smiles, until a lamp flies off the dresser and clocks Lilah in the head. Bethany wakes up, realizes what she's done, and flees, despite Lilah's calls for her to stay. At the Hyperion, a tear-stained Bethany walks through the door and introduces herself: Bethany Chaulk.
At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah is being reprimanded by Holland Manners on losing Bethany. It is revealed that Lilah sent those two men after Bethany the previous night, and that Lilah wants to hone Bethany into a bone fide assassin. Holland expresses doubt that Lilah's up to the task, since Bethany is closer to being a Molotov than a laser. Lilah pledges to find her, right before her phone rings: it's Bethany. With a triumphant look, Lilah winks at Holland and asks Bethany where she is right now. The Hyperion Hotel. D'oh.
Bethany is explaining what it's like to have her power. Angel sits next to her on a bench. She says she doesn't know how to control it and calls it a disease. Angel is trying to help her but he's too close and she's getting uncomfortable and nervous. Wes steps into the foyer and points out that they shouldn't be wasting their time on someone who doesn't want their help, and suggests she go back to her father's. Bethany gets mad and throws Wesley into a wall, and Angel out into the sunlight. Angel scrambles back into the shadows, smoking slightly. Bethany realizes what she has just done.
Cordy puts a towel with ice on Wesley's back and gets after him for not listening to his own advice. He points out that now they know the cause of Bethanys powers. Wes explains that this kind of power comes about after an abusive experience. Angel finds Bethany in the top floor of the hotel. Bethany is embarrassed, and is hiding. Angel explains that not all people are bad.
Angel is again having the dream with Darla, when he was Angelius, and snacking on the gypsy girl. Bethany is walking around, and eventually finds her way into Angel's bedroom. Bethany offers to make Angel happy, but shouts at him when he touches her. Angel asks Bethany to let him get some sleep, and she leaves. We see Darla hiding, watching Angel from around a corner.
Wolfram & Hart. Lilah is having another chat with Holland. He says Bethany needs to leave the Angel Investigations, Inc. head quarters soon. She is keeping Angel from sleeping, which means that Lindsey's plan is getting botched. Lilah gets the message loud and clear.
Angel and Gunn break into one of Bethany's attackers' apartments. Angel stands outside, since he is not invited in by the owner, while Gunn looks around. Gunn explains that Bethanys attacker was an expensive muscle-for-hire. In hospital, the splattered muscle dies of his injuries, and Angel falls into the room. Doing some snooping of his own, he hits redial on the speaker-phone, and is greeted by a receptionist of W&H.
Cordy and Bethany are walking through a carnival, drinking lattes. Cordy cuts to the chase: "Don't bone my boss." Bethany acts innocent and denies any of her emotions. Cordy explains that she fears for herself and her friends. She says she understands how Bethany felt, because she saw her in a vision. Bethany finally accepts Cordy as a friend and assures her she won't "bone" Angel. They begin to continue walking when a man walks by and injects something into Bethany's neck. She begins to get sleepy and two other men try to kidnap her. Cordy acts quickly by throwing the hot lattes into the men's faces. The van drives away, just as Angel and Gunn arrive in Angel's convertible. Cordy points out the fleeing van, and Angel chases after it. Angel tries to get in front of the van, but fails. Gunn takes the wheel as Angel jumps onto the front of his car, then the back of the van. Angel grabs out Bethany's kidnappers and tosses them off the van.
Lilah is angry that Angel rescued Bethany, and tells a person on her phone to let Angel play with time-bomb Bethany. Lilah instructs them to "pull the trigger."
Bethany makes her way to the top floor, as Angel explains that Lilah Morgan is evil. Bethany believes that Lilah is her friend, and Bethany starts to lose control over her powers. She opens the door to leave, and sees her father standing in front of her. Bethany's power is triggered, and this time, all of the windows of the floor explode.
Her father walks in, trying to convince her to come back home with him. The plaster is falling and the walls are rattling. Cordy's arm gets stabbed with a nail and Angel is thrown against the wall. Angel gets up and calls out Bethany's name, urging her to control her powers. She hangs her father in mid-air, choking him. He flies out the window, but she stops his fall a few feet before the cement sidewalk and then lets him safely fall to the ground. Bethany's battle is over.
In Lilah's apartment, Bethany is packing up her things, while Lilah tries to convince Bethany to stay. Bethany tells Lilah not to look for her. Lilah reveals that Angel is a vampire. Angel tells Lilah to find somebody else's brain to play with. Lilah tells Angel that they have someone else in mind, then slams her door.
- Abusive Parents: Bethany was sexually abused by her father. Wolfram and Hart's attempt to turn her into a killer amounted to putting her father in the same room, on the basis that she'd be unable not to kill him with her new powers.
- After-Action Patch-UpCordelia: Stop breathingAngel: I don't breatheCordelia: Then stop flexing your manly boob muscle.
- An Axe to Grind: Gunn arrives at the hotel while toting a gift from his crew - a new axe, the head of which is made from a sharpened hubcap. It remains in his arsenal up until Season Four. Cordy cites this as further evidence for why Gunn should be treated as a real employee."The poor man can't even afford a real axe!"
- Asshole Victim: The thugs that Bethany smushes with her telekinesis. One of them passes away in the hospital while Gunn and Angel are checking out his apartment, causing Angel to fall through the threshold he'd been leaning on.Gunn: Rapist for hire. See me cryin'?
- And again with her father. Bethany doesn't kill him, but expels him from the hotel quite painfully.
- Attempted Rape: Lilah sics two thugs-for-hire on Bethany hoping it will trigger her abilities.
- Audible Sharpness: Gunn drawing his axe, even through there's no holster to draw it from.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: Angel walks onto the crime scene in his Badass Longcoat and starts bossing the police around. It works since he's gone before the real detective shows up.
- Beard of Evil: The pair of thugs in the alley.
- Berserk Button: Mr. Chaulk; and used deliberately as such by Wolfram & Hart.
- Blown Across the Room: Bethany's standard manifestation of her telekinesis
- Buffy Speak: Cordelia hasn't forgotten how to speak Sunnydale, referring to "vibe-y" and "latte-y".
- Captain Obvious:
- Angel asks Wesley what he knows about telekinesis. Wesley says, "Ah, yes, the power of moving things with one's mind," astutely. ...He then clarifies that this is, in fact, the extent of his knowledge. "That's it, really, the... power of moving."
- "We should definitely approach this girl with caution... (looks at Angel's wound) I guess you already figured that out."
- Chekhov's Gunman: Mr. Chaulk.
- Continuity Nod:
- As Cordelia patches up his wound, Angel remarks that they need to find out everything they can about the girl. "Like, oh, say, her name?" Cordy snarks. Exasperated, Angel rhetorically asks if she's ever tried to think straight with a stick of rebar through her torso. "Actually, I do," Cordy answers. "Benefits of a Sunnydale education." She is referring to the Buffy S3 episode "Lover's Walk".
- Gunn's attitude toward Cordelia has softened since the previous episode. He jokingly asks if she's still busy saving his life, as threatened in "First Impressions".
- The Corrupter: Lilah remarks in passing that she got acquainted with Bethany after speaking at her public school.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Wesley intentionally plays the "send her home to daddy" card, hoping to provoke a reaction. As he later confides to Cordelia, Wesley worked it out by observing Bethany's discomfort with touch, as well as her wisecrack about Angel Investigations being a "family business." Statistically speaking, the father was the best guess.
- This logical leap could also be a reference to Wesley's emotionally abusive home life, which is hinted at throughout the series before it is ultimately explained. It suffices to say that he and his father don't get along.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon:Lilah: One more excuse from you and I am gonna bury you alive next to my house so I can hear you screaming.
- Dramatic Shattering: Bethany opens the door and sees her father. Cut to an external shot of every window in the Hyperion blowing out.
- Dream Weaver: Lilah and Darla discuss how the latter has been using Calynthia powder to do this to Angel. Lilah attempts to do the same to Bethany, but Bethany wakes up and accidentally injures her, then flees Lilah's apartment out of shame, before she can apply the powder.
- Erotic Dream: And they're getting Darker and Edgier too.
- Exact Words: Plenty of this re Angel's vampire nature.
- Foreshadowing: Angel 'firing' Cordy and Wes.
- Freud Was Right: Gunn is proudly showing off his new axe.Gunn: "Thought I might get the chance to stick it in something now."
Cordy: "Men are all alike."
- Ghost Butler: Doors slam as Bethany's 'trigger' is pulled.
- Hates Being Touched: Bethany's discomfort with being touched clues Wesley in to the source of her telekinetic powers: she was a victim of rape by her father.
- Humans Are Bastards: Lilah wants to convince Bethany of this to mold her into an assassin.
- Hypocritical Humor: Cordelia talks with Bethany over a couple of lattes, revealing that she saw through Bethany's "weak little girl" act. She had the ability to freeze those attackers in their tracks, spin them around until they were nauseus, or harmlessly float them away. Instead, "You squashed them." In the midst of this conversation, mooks from W&H swoop in and stuff Bethany into the rear of a van. Cordelia chases after the fleeing vehicle, shouting, "YOU CAN SQUASH THOSE GUYS!"
- Impersonating an Officer:
- As paramedics wheel away the dead mooks, Angel slips under the police tape, grabs an unattended cup of coffee off a police car, and asks a uniformed officer, "So what've we got here?" The officer starts to question Angel's identify, but Angel quickly shouts to the crowd to get behind the tape. He goes on about being "out of vice three weeks" and "amateur-night crap" and, by God, anyone would be fooled by his wily impersonation of a world-weary detective. Is he doing an impersonation of Kate? After he leaves, a real plainclothes detective comes up and asks, "So what've we got here?"
- Also later when the kidnappers are hauling off Bethany, Cordelia shouts "Halt, police!" causing them to instinctively turn towards this new threat, whereupon Cordy chucks hot coffee in their faces.
- Instant Sedation: A Wolfram & Hart agent does a 'bump and jab' with a syringe into Bethany's neck. As she starts to collapse two other agents smoothly walk up behind and grab Bethany by the arms, hauling her off.
- The Ketchup Test: A uniformed cop is puzzled when 'detective' Angel instantly tells the splattered blood doesn't belong to the victims and is that of a young girl.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Bethany accidentally cause a dumpster to squash two men to death, but since those men had been planning to rape her, Cordelia says the men are "better off squashed".
- Major Injury Underreaction: Played with when Angel gets impaled by an iron bar through the chest. He shrugs off the non-lethal injury at first, but still collapses in pain once he is alone.
- Mind over Matter: Bethany has this power.Angel: What do we know about telekinesis?
Wesley: Ah. Yes. The power of moving things with one's mind. [Beat] That's... pretty much it. The power of... moving... I-I'm better with demons, really.
- Mugging the Monster: Cordelia tells Wesley that her vision shows that Angel will arrive too late — to save the rapists, who are squashed by their victim.
- Must Be Invited: Played for Laughs when Angel leans against the invisible barrier preventing him from entering the apartment Gunn is searching as though it were a solid wall, only to fall inside when the owner dies in the hospital.
- Neck Lift: Bethany does this via telekenesis.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Lilah's attempt to convince Bethany that only W&H can help her causes Bethany to develop the strength to stand up to her father and more control over her powers.
- Not So Stoic: Broody Forehead Guy struggles not to smile when Vision Girl sticks her tongue out at him.
- Oblivious Mockery: Angel says he doesn't want to make love to Bethany.Bethany: "'Make love'? What are you — from the eighteenth century?"
- Parental Incest: Bethany's father sexually abused her when she was younger, which caused her to develop her powers.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Not of the city-destroying kind, but the 'trigger' is clearly meant to make Bethany flip out and kill everyone in the vicinity.
- Professional Killer: Lilah's hapless mooks in the intro. Her real aim is to fashion Bethany Chaulk into one of these.
- Promiscuity After Rape: Bethany who was molested by her father confesses that she sleeps around.
- Raging Stiffie: Darla has been trying to corrupt Angel by using magic to send him dreams of his vampire kills. He claims to find them nightmarish, but...Bethany: "It looked like a pretty happy dream - or maybe the covers were just rumpled."
- Rescue Sex: Bethany assumes Angel expects this of her and tries to start it, even though she clearly doesn't want to.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Cordelia is chastising Angel for letting a demon get away:Angel: Do you know how hard it is to think with a rebar through your torso?
Cordelia: Actually, I do. Benefits of a Sunnydale education. note
- Sarcasm Mode: Cordelia goes all out in the first half of this episode.
- Sarcastic Confession: Not said in a sarcastic tone, but Lilah casually tells Bethany that her workload just got insane "and our new clients are monsters." Bethany of course doesn't suspect that Lilah means that literally.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Bethany had her telekenisis awakened when she was abused physically and sexually by her father. It also flared up when someone threatened her in an alley.
- Ultimate Job Security: Back at the hotel, Angel wakes up and heads downstairs, still groggy. Wesley and Cordelia are arguing over whether they should pay Gunn for his help. Wes doesn't want to offer, claiming Gunn's too proud, but Cordy says the man does work and he should get paid. Cordelia tells Angel to ask Gunn, and he says that hell think about it. Cordy gets forceful, and uncharacteristically, Angel threatens to fire her. He can't, she replies, sticking out her tongue — she's "Vision Girl." You can't fire the vision girl!!!
- Volleying Insults: Angel wanders downstairs to the sound of Wesley and Cordelia bickering. Angel asks why they're arguing. Cordy says they were discussing whether or not they should pay Gunn. Wesley adds that after three minutes, their discussions turn into "name-calling and hair-pulling."Coredlia: At least I'm not a sheep like you.Wesley: I am not a sheep!Coredlia: You're such a sheep! You've never had an opinion that you didn't read in a book.Wesley: At least I've opened a book.Coredlia: Oh, don't even try with the snooty, woolly-boy! I was top 10% of my class!Wesley: What class? Advanced Bosoms?
- Your Door Was Open: Angel kicks open a door.Gunn: "Knock, knock. See, this works great. You break, I enter."
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Inverted rather amusingly when Bethany offers to "make him happy". Angel responds that "You won't like me when I'm happy", as the last time he made love he turned into the evil Angelus — he's under a curse that will make him lose his soul if he experiences a moment of perfect happiness.