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Recap / Angel S 03 E 02 That Vision Thing

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At the hotel, Wesley and Gunn eat take-out with Fred, who has finally emerged from her room but it sitting under the table and is grading their attempts to be sincere towards Cordelia, who is on edge having not had a vision in a while. Suddenly Gavin Park, a lawyer from Wolfram & Hart, shows up at Angel Investigations and is met with a frosty reception by Wesley who recoginises him from his previous visit before Angel arrives. Gavin is attempting to cause more trouble for the gang regarding their lease. He gives them a list of 57 code violations they are guilty of, in an effort to drive them out of their building but Angel is unimpressed and Gavin leaves before promising to return.

Suddenly, Cordelia gets a new vision and the pains that accompany her vision take a turn for the worse as a vision of a creature with claws causes deep claw marks to appear on her back, stomach, and shoulder. Angel expresses great concern about Cordelia's condition, but she conceals the claw marks from him because she does not want to stop having her visions. The gang heads out to find a magical coin Cordelia saw in the vision. The team relatively easily dispatches a pair of demons disguised as an elderly couple from Cordy's vision, and obtains the magical coin.

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At Wolfram & Hart, Gavin Park talks to Lilah Morgan. She is threatened by Park's presence and his offer for her to join "his" team's attack on Angel via code violations, as she feels her position is superior to his.

Cordy has a second vision—this time of a demon covered in boils, and in reaction, boils erupt all over her face, too. The team is troubled, wondering why the Powers That Be would afflict Cordy in this way. At Fred 's suggestion, the team tries to trace the source of her visions—they bring Lorne to investigate, while other members of the team obtain a key from the vision.

At the Hyperion, Gunn and Fred come upon exterminators fumigating the hotel. Gunn quickly kicks them out.

Meanwhile, at Wolfram & Hart, the true source of the visions is revealed: Lilah has hired a psychic to send the visions to Cordy. The third vision of the night is the most violent one yet, and Cordelia's skin becomes burned at a vision of fire, while Lorne is thrown across the room by the power of the vision. Cordelia is extremely demoralized and says she doesn't want visions anymore, and that she is frightened all the time, despite her brave attempts to remain stoic, and her selfless embrace of earlier visions because she was happy to be helping people. Lorne confirms that the visions aren't coming from the Powers that Be, and someone must have jacked the line to send their own message. The gang realizes the source of the visions must be Wolfram & Hart and Angel confronts Lilah, who explains that Angel must free a man in another dimension who has been "wrongfully imprisoned", using the coin and key to travel there.

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At the hotel, Wesley's research has turned up information on the coin and key which shows them to be objects of good meaning the guardians that Angel fought off were likely on the side of good too. Wesley points out to Angel that helping Wolfram & Hart is against everything he fights for, and its likely the prisoner deserves to be there. Despite all that, Wesley agrees with what Angel is doing (since it's to save Cordy) and is ready to go along but Angel asks him to stay in case anything goes wrong.

Angel travels to the new dimension, but his weapons are prevented from being transported with him. At his destination, there is a cage made of fire, where a being is constantly being burned yet not consumed inside of it, and is being guarded by a frightening demon namedSkip. Angel and Skip speak, realize they are on the same side ultimately, but that Angel must act against Skip in this one instance. Angel defeats Skip and returns with the being to Los Angeles. Angel Investigations meets Wolfram & Hart at a levee in LA, and the prisoner is handed over to Lilah, who then restores Cordy to health. As Lilah turns to leave, she explains that "it's just business." At that, Angel hurls a rebar through the window of Lilah's limo, killing the psychic who was causing the visions. Angel then threatens Lilah personally, promising that he'll kill her if she ever comes at him through Cordelia again. Angel and Cordelia talk with each other of their concern that they have freed someone who is evil, and Angel says that Cordy's visions are more important than this person, whoever he is and he will be dealt with when the time comes.

In the Yoro Mountains of Honduras, Darla visits a shaman and asks for help in finding out why and how she is pregnant, and in killing the fetus. The shaman tries but fails to help her, so she decides that now she must return to L.A. in order to visit "daddy".


Tropes:

  • All Asians Know Martial Arts: The elderly Asian couple who turn out to be demons give Angel, Wesley and Gunn quite a fight.
  • All Women Love Shoes: Cordelia admires Gavin's Guccis. And his nice suit.
  • Always Save the Girl: Angel thinks saving Cordelia is more important than whatever damage the prisoner will do.
  • And I Must Scream: The prisoner Angel is sent to free is engulfed in flames inside a burning cube floating in midair.
    Angel: "Uh, what keeps him in the fire?"
    Skip: "My will."
    Angel: "How come he's not screaming in pain?"
    Skip: "Oh, he is. My will prevents him from being heard. I mean there is only so many 'oh my god! The pain! Please make it stop!' that you can listen to before it starts to bug the crap out of you."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Lorne works out who the obvious suspect for Cordy's problems is.
    Lorne: "Who wants to get to you, who has the sizable resources, and who'd be willing to mess up a pretty face like Cordelia's?"
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Fred is looking up the addresses of Chinatown herbal shops.
    Wesley: "Anything of interest yet, Fred?"
    Fred: "Oh, sure. Lots. 'H' is a fascinating letter. Helicopters, helium, helmets, hernias...'
    Wesley: "Did you happen to notice 'herbs' in your wanderings?"
  • Batter Up!: Gunn carries a sharpened baseball bat so he can both stake and smash. Ironically the same weapon was used in a MADtv spoof Buffy the Umpire Slayer.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Fred tells Cordelia she is "Angel's Lassie". Of course it is a Shout-Out to the famous dog, but it also serves as a Foreshadowing. "Lassie" is colloquial Scots English for "girl", and this will take on considerable prominence as the season develops. Come the last episode, Cordelia is pretty close to becoming Angel`s "lass" for real.
  • Blood Magic/Bloody Handprint: The shaman trying to abort Darla's child.
  • Brain Monster: Wolfram & Hart hire a psychic with an exposed brain to torture Cordelia, forcing Angel to release a soul from torment in return for stopping the torture.
  • Buffy Speak/Shaped Like Itself: The fortress demon dimension.
    Angel: "I don't suppose we know what this dimension is like? I mean, besides fortress-y and demon-y?
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The prisoner Angel freed will turn up again in "Billy", and the demon Skip in "Birthday". The exterminators sent by Gavin Park are revealed to have been planting bugs instead of getting rid of them.
  • Discriminate and Switch/Fantastic Racism: Subverted when you find the Chinese couple are working for the Powers — vampires are (after all) evil.
    Old Chinese Woman: Your kind not welcome here.
    Charles Gunn: Since when can't a brother buy some ginseng tea?
    Old Chinese Man: Not you. Him. (Points at Angel) Vampire not welcome.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Wesley mentions a Chinese herbal shop called Wang Ho Dong, getting a long look from Gunn.
  • Dramatic Thunder/A Storm Is Coming: Darla consulting the shaman. Just call it foreshadowing.
  • Evil Is Petty: Gavin Park steps up his harassment of Angel Investigations, listing 57 city code violations with the city planners office and sending pest exterminators in the middle of the night to clean out the Hyperion.
  • Facial Dialogue: Angel and Skip share some amusing eyebrow movements when they first meet.
  • Facial Horror: Cordy
  • Fantastically Indifferent: The character of Skip was inspired by the writer meeting a guard at a maximum security prison on holiday, and the casual way he talked about his job.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: The locals are distinctly unfriendly this time round.
  • Ghost Butler: Cordelia gets Phantom Dennis to open the door for her so she can usher Fred out.
  • Gibbering Genius: Fred comes up with the idea of tracing back the signal from the Powers That Be.
  • Hilarious Outtakes/Delicious Distraction:
    David Boreanaz: No, Cordy; this isn't about winning, this is about what's at stake, and these waffles are fucking great. Can we eat 'em?
  • A House Divided: When Lilah blows off Gavin's offer to come on his team, he lets Angel past Wolfram & Hart's vampire detectors to visit her.
  • Innocent Innuendo:
    Fred: I've been forking with Gunn.
  • It's a Long Story/Talk to the Fist:
    Skip: "And you're here to try to...rescue this guy? (Angel nods) But we're on the same side. Shouldn't you be helping to keep him in here?"
    Angel: "I know. I know. Long story. Involves a girl. I don't like it any better than you do."
    Skip: "So I really can't talk you out of this?"
    Angel: "Sorry. I wish you could. I guess we just have to agree to—" (Skip punches him in the face) "...disagree."
  • Improvised Weapon/Wire Fu: Angel yanks the Chinaman's belt sash, causing him to spin through the air.
  • Kubrick Stare: Just in case you had any doubt the man Angel freed was evil.
  • Levitating Lotus Position/Please Keep Your Hat On/My Brain Is Big: The Man in the Fez sits on Lilah's table, floats in the air, then removes his fez to reveal the top of his skull has been cut off to reveal a squirming brain.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: The key is hidden in a key shop; averted though because it's too distinctive to miss.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Darla isn't surprised the shaman doesn't have any answers for her.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The elderly Chinese couple guarding the Key have Wolverine Claws.
  • No Name Given: The Man in a Fez.
  • The Nose Knows: Skip sniffs Angel and realises he's both a vampire and working for the Powers.
  • Nothing Personal: Angel and Skip have a friendly conversation before trying to beat each other's heads in. Averted with Lilah — after making the swap, she tells Angel it was "just business". Angel responds by hurling a rebar through the skull of the Man with the Fez. Lilah stares at the corpse, then jumps when she realises Angel is right in front of her.
    Angel: "Don't you come at me through Cordelia ever again. You play that card a second time and I'll kill you."
  • Oh, Crap!: Angel crosses into the fortressed demon dimension. His weapons don't come with him.
    Angel: "Sure. Because it would be too easy if I could actually defend myself."
  • Office Golf / Stealth Hi/Bye: Lilah is playing golf on her computer, then jumps when she realises Angel is behind her.
  • Plot Coupons: The ring and the key enable Angel to enter the fortress dimension.
  • Ship Tease: Blood Knight Gunn tells Fred he'd rather be out with her than fighting.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The episode title is a reference to an infamous George H. W. Bush gaffe.
    • Writer Jeffrey Bell included a reference to a creature he created for The X-Files episode "Alpha" called a Wan-Shang Dhole.
  • Sword Fight: Angel fights the Boil Demon this way.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: The Man in the Fez puts his own visions in Cordelia's head.
  • Tempting Fate: "This has never failed me." Well shaman, there's a first time for everything.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Cordelia being compared to cars and dogs. And of course the inevitable Getting Crap Past the Radar versions.
    Wesley: "I supposed it is one of the unwritten laws of being a 'dick.' (Gunn give Wes a look) Ah, a sleuth, a gumshoe, Sherlock."
    Gunn: "All I know is you use the word 'dick' again and we're gonna have a problem. So what is the name of this place anyway?"
    Wesley: "Van Hoa Dong."
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: The man Angel rescues looks like an ordinary human, rather than some hideous demon.
  • Undead Tax Exemption: Averted; Gavin thinks he can harass Angel this way.
  • Villains Never Lie: Averted; Lilah claims the man Angel is going to rescue has been unfairly imprisoned. Angel doesn't even bother asking for details. Both he and Wesley know that Lilah is either lying or not telling the full story. Regardless, if Wolfram & Hart want the man released it'll be bad news for someone.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame:
    Lilah: "To be honest, nobody at the firm thought that you could do it...except me. You're a remarkable man, Angel."
    Angel: "Yeah, and you're an evil bitch."

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