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Recap / Angel S 02 E 13 Happy Anniversary

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"I looked into this guy and I saw...he has no future after ten o'clock tomorrow night. And neither does anybody else."

Wesley and Cordelia, cleaning up their new office, discuss their future as investigators without Angel and most likely without enough clients to keep their business running for long. The two decide to keep the name 'Angel Investigations' as Gunn walks in fresh from posting flyers. Unfortunately, the three then find out the phone line is still disconnected which is quickly followed with the power going out.

At the hotel, Angel awakes to the sounds of the Host singing "The Star Spangled Banner" down in the lobby. He tells Angel about a "normal-looking" guy who came to sing at Caritas and when reading the man's aura, the he was literally knocked out, having seen that the world would be ending the following night and this man would have something to do with it. Unfortunately, the man left the bar without speaking to the Host so they have no idea who he is, where he is or how he'll destroy the world. The Host came to Angel for help because Angel is a champion. Angel initially refuses to help, but eventually goes along.


The man singing at the bar, a physicist named Gene Rainy, is working on a device to stop time. His girlfriend, Denise, visits him and they talk of their plans for their first anniversary. With no other leads, Angel and the Host check out karaoke bars across LA to find Gene and eventually find one that Gene frequently visits and learn he's a student at UCLA. After an unsuccessful attempt to test his formula, Gene leaves his work area and two Lubber demons emerge from the shadows to alter the formula Gene has been working on.

Wesley, Gunn and Cordelia mope about their job troubles, but Virginia stops by with food, champagne, and a case they can take to earn a lot of money—a wealthy family is being menaced by a demon, who has killed the eldest son.

Gene successfully tests his new theory and equipment, while Angel and the Host look at yearbooks at the college library for the name of their depressed mystery man. Denise confesses to her friend that she has to break up with Gene because things aren't working out. However, as its their anniversary that night, she still plans to go through with the romantic evening which includes having sex with Gene. Little does Denise realize that Gene has overheard everything and he returns to the lab, dejected. While getting directions to Gene and the physics lab, Angel is attacked by the Lubber demons. The Host identifies them as a species of demon that are awaiting a promised one who will end the world. Angel reasons that the promised one is Gene, and that he's got the demons protecting him.


When Angel finally gets to the physics lab, he discovers that Gene is gone and so is his equipment. It turns out that Gene took the equipment home because he has plans to freeze time during a moment of love between him and Denise. As they race to Gene's apartment, the Host asks Angel if a part of him wouldn't mind if the world ended that night. Angel's lack of response confirms this, and the Host tries to get Angel to talk about his recent steps into darkness and how he's gone from helping the innocent to punishing the guilty. After some prodding Angel eventually vents his feelings about his supposed redemption, Wolfram & Hart's attempts to turn him to the dark side and the resurrection and siring of Darla and the fact that despite everything people expect him to lighten up. He pledges to kill Darla, then destroy Wolfram & Hart, and he fired his friends because he feels they won't be able to handle it which he says is a good thing.

Meanwhile, Gunn kills the demon that he and the others were hired to protect a rich family from. In a Sherlock Holmes fashion, Wesley uses deductive reasoning to reveal the real truth behind the murder, that one of the family hired the demon to kill the eldest son and heir and thereby gain control of the family money.

Angel and the Host fight several Lubber demons who are trying to prevent them from stopping Gene. They then rush to stop Gene before it was too late. Gene freezes Denise and himself at his moment of greatest passion, but thanks to the altered calculations the bubble encasing Gene and Denise expands and threatens to freeze the whole world. Thankfully Angel is able to defeat the remaining Lubber demons and turn off the machine and undo the whole process, and Denise breaks up with Gene afterwards. When Angel and the Host talk to Gene later, Gene confesses he did not know the overall effects of his actions; he just didn't want to lose his love. Angel and the Host convince Gene that things need to move on, and while sometimes things do not work out that's part of life. Gene goes to get some drinks, and the Host commends Angel on connecting with a human for the first time in a while. Angel can relate, given they have both had disasters in the romance area and nearly destroyed the world and starts to feel guilty about firing his friends and leaving them with nothing.

At their new office, Wesley, Cordelia and Gunn party in celebration of their success with several friends until a man shows up in need of their services. The three immediately offer to help, and he asks which on the three is the Angel of Angel Investigations. Wesley tells him it was just a name.

Tropes featured

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Gene sings in the Host's karaoke bar and apparently doesn't notice it's a demon hangout. Later he sees the new equations left on his whiteboard by the Lubber cult and assumes he thought them up last night.
  • Artifact Name: The gang opts to keep operating under the name "Angel Investigations" without Angel. "It's just a name," says Wesley when asked which of them is Angel.
  • Aura Vision: Angel's is beige.
  • Big Blackout: No points for guessing what's going to happen when Wes finds the 'right' wire to plug in at their new headquarters.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The Lubber demons.
  • Bait-and-Switch: It looks like Angel is going to go back to his friends to at least explain his actions. Cue Cordy looking at someone hanging about outside and dragging Wes and Gunn away from their party — to meet a new client looking for help.
    Man: "Which one of you is Angel?"
    Wesley: "It's just a name."
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Not only did the death of the Wainakay demon happen off-screen, but also a whole string of Noodle Incidents which Wesley references when giving The Summation as to who summoned it.
  • Brain Bleach: Angel having to "scrub out the inside of his head" after listening to too much karaoke.
  • Buffy Speak: According to Cordelia, Wesley is "Negative Energy Guy".
  • Continuity Nod: To the previous episode when the trio couldn't agree on a name to replace Angel Investigations. The Host also mentions the last two occasions he sent Angel on a mission which didn't work out well ("Guise Will Be Guise" and "The Trial").
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon
    Mike: "You know what you are?"
    Val: "Yes. I do, Mike. And if you say it I'll put your face in liquid nitrogen."
  • Cut the Juice: Angel saves the world at the nth second simply by unplugging Gene's machine.
  • Description Cut: "It's pretty clear we're dealing with a criminal mastermind." Cut to nerdy Gene in his lab singing a sappy love song. Angel admits that he made things pretty hard for his former colleagues — cut to them dancing happily.
  • Despair Speech: The Host nudges a reluctant Angel into giving Gene An Aesop.
    Angel: "Well, you (lets out his breath) it's a fire."
    Gene: "You been there."
    Angel: "It burns you. Alive. (Gene frowns at him) Down to the bone. And then it turns the bone to ash..."
    Host: "I-I think what my chipper friend is trying to say here, Gene, is the wheel keeps turning."
    • And earlier...
    Angel: "You want to know what my problem is? I'm screwed. That's my problem. I can't win. I'm trying to atone for a hundred years of unthinkable evil. News flash! I never can! Never going to be enough. Now I got Wolfram and Hart dogging me, it's too much! Two hundred highly intelligent law-school graduates working fulltime driving me crazy. Why the hell is everyone so surprised that it's working? But no, it's 'Angel, why you're so cranky?' 'Angel, you should lighten up. You should smile. You should wear a nice plaid.'"
    Host: "Oh. Not this season, honey."
  • Drives Like Crazy
    Angel: "Where did you learn how to drive?"
    Host: "Just now in your car. Not bad for a beginner, huh?"
    Angel: "What? You nearly got us killed — four times!"
  • Egocentric Team Naming: Averted — they decide to stick with Angel Investigations.
  • E = MC Hammer
  • Enemy Rising Behind: Angel is talking to the man at the information desk when the man looks over his shoulder and says, "What is that?" Angel just assumes it's the Host, whereupon a Lubber demon hits him In the Back with an axe.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: In the historical sense.
    Gene: "I did it. Oh, this is a yee-ha moment. I definitely think this is a yee-ha moment!"
  • Exact Eavesdropping
  • Fainting Seer: The Host passes out when he sees the end of the world.
    Host: "But when he started singing — man, he knocked me out!"
    Angel: "He was good?"
    Host: "No, Angel-face, he knocked me out. (shot of the Host collapsing) When I came to he was gone."
  • Fantastic Racism: The Lubber cult want to rid the world of the scourge of humanity.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The Host's difficulties of finding a bartender who can make a proper Sea Breeze after Ramone's departure.
  • Flashback: The Host telling Angel of how he read Gene and saw the end of everything.
  • Foreshadowing: The Host working with Angel preempts his role as a future member of the Fang Gang.
  • Friend or Foe: The Host hurls a book at the demon attacking Angel and hits him instead.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Though in fairness to Gene, his experiment was tampered with by an apocalyptic demon cult.
  • Hero of Another Story: While Angel is dealing with the potential end of the world, the rest of the firm is engaged in an entire Agatha Christie-style murder mystery which we only see the end of.
  • I Come in Peace: The Host tries talking to the Lubber demon who was fighting Angel in his own language.
    Angel: "What did you say to it?"
    Host: "I said we come in peace. I don't think he believed me."
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Angel admits to Lorne that he fired his team and severed all ties with them for their own good because the kind of dark territory he was treading would damage them internally and compromise their morality (while he was compromising his), and his mission to bring down Wolfram & Hart would have endangered their lives. So he had to make that he didn't care about them so they wouldn't worry about his well-being and that he'd do something as extreme as letting Darla and Drusilla massacre the Wolfram & Hart lawyers, including Holland Manners, for making Darla a vampire again and ruining his chance of redeeming her. He was willing to allow his team to hate him and consider it a betrayal (and they did, especially Cordelia) just to keep them from getting darker as well and instead stick to the good fight he'd given up on.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!:
    Host: "You went from helping the helpless to hunting down the guilty. Blood vengeance is a luxury of the lesser beings. You're a champion, Angel."
  • Ironic Echo Cut: "Not the kind of love that lasts".
  • Layman's Terms
    Angel: "Do you know what Gene Rainy was working on?"
    Mike: "Ah. Time paradox. Accelerate specific particles out of our continuum into their own excised universe."
    Angel: "Come again?"
    Host: "Stopping time."
  • Love Makes You Accidentally Destroy The World
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: When two Lubber demons decide to attack the Host, he sings a high note that makes them cover their ears in pain (cue off-screen Glass-Shattering Sound) then knocks them out.
  • Multiple Head Case: A demon sings a duet of "Bye Bye Love", which you can do if you've got a second head in your chest.
  • Nerd Glasses
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: The Host tries hiding behind a book in the school library to avoid being seen.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Angel pulls up at Gene's house and ponders where he might have put his time-stopping machine. The Host simply points out the Lubber demons guarding the entry to the basement.
  • Noodle Incident: Due to investigation taking place off screen, The Summation is full of references that we know nothing about.
  • Not Hyperbole: When the Host tells Angel that Gene's singing knocked him out, Angel snarks that Gene was probably that good. The Host then explains that, no, it's because seeing Gene's (lack of) a future instantly (and literally) knocked him out.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn's investigation for the rich family happens offscreen, but Wesley's summation makes it sound like an absolutely fascinating case.
  • The Only One: Angel asks why the Host would come to him for help. He explains that all the other champions he knows are out of town. Or dead.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Cordy nibbles the hors d'oeuvres while Wes is giving The Summation.
  • Race Against the Clock
  • Running Gag: Angel trying to explain away the Host as the "school mascot".
  • Sex for Solace: Denise is guilty that she's going to dump Gene, so she decides to pretend all is normal at their anniversary and "give him the sympathy bone". Gene overhears this and decides to preserve the moment forever.
  • Spanner in the Works: A fanatical sect of Lubber demons decides to use Gene's experiment to end humanity.
  • Stepford Smiler: Cordelia. The others tell her to stop trying and wallow in the depression.
  • Suicide Attack: A Lubber demon stops Angel's car simply by standing in the middle of the road so Angel can run into him. When they stop to examine his body, the other Lubber demons attack.
  • Summation Gathering: Gunn is being congratulated on having killed a demon who was threatening a rich family, only for Wesley to announce that the demon was being controlled by someone in this very room! Wes then launches into a classic Agatha Christie-style summation, listing the clues until he narrows it down to the guilty party. Once he's done Gunn comments that was damn cool...and Wes admits he had no idea who did it when he started talking, and just kept going over the evidence until he figured it out.
  • Tempting Fate: One should never use the word "controllable" in reference to a time experiment.
  • Time Stands Still: Gene attempts to create one of these so that he and his girlfriend won't break up, but will stay frozen forever. In the midst of having the break-up sex. At the moment of climax, in fact. There are worse moments to be stuck at.
  • Wham Episode: Downplayed, but Angel reveals to Lorne that he fired his team to keep them away from that kind of dark territory, as he thought it would do more damage to them than firing them and staying away from them, despite that they would've rather prevented Angel from doing anything as horrible (or more horrible) as what he did to Wolfram & Hart's lawyers, as they cared about him.
  • You Remind Me of X: The Host notices that Angel appears to have struck a cord with Gene.
    Angel: "Well, the guy is a disaster at love, and nearly destroyed the world. I can relate."
  • You Talk Too Much!: Angel gets tired of the Host's Patrick Stewart Speech.
    Angel: "I think you should shut up now."
    Host: "I'm the Host. Have you met me? I never shut up."