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Recap / Angel S 03 E 15 Loyalty

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Wesley, asleep at his desk, has a dream where he sees Angel kill Connor and blood seeps from the book he is reading, coating his hands, while Gunn says he is "running out of time." He wakes up to see Angel holding Connor.

Angel and Wesley take Connor to a doctor's office. The doctor says Connor is "as healthy as a human being can possibly be" and that the results of a routine blood test should be returned within the week. They all leave the room. One of the women from the waiting room enters, steals the vial containing Connor's blood sample, and replaces it with a fake..

At the hotel, with Cordelia away, business is slow. Angel speculates on what Cordelia and Groo are doing. Angel unpacks a box of miniature hockey equipment and a personalized jersey for Connor. Angel and Gunn play hockey together until Angel breaks a window with the puck. A woman in need of help, Aubrey, comes to Angel Investigations about her son who ran away, became a vampire, and then went up in flames when Aubrey refused to let him return to his former home. Aubrey wonders whether the boy could have been turned back. Angel says this is impossible. "No matter how much you want to believe there's some part of him you can save," he says, "all that's left is an evil thing."

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Aubrey returns to Holtz, Justine and others, reporting back on the members of the Angel Investigations team. Human members of Holtz's team practice fighting vampires that are chained up in the hideaway. Sahjhan appears and questions the progress of Holtz's efforts to kill Angel. Holtz, however, refuses to speed up his timetable and isn't concerned by Sahjhan's threats due to the fact he is immaterial and Holtz happens to be in possession of a special urn that can contain his essence. Sahjhan isn't happy, but leaves.

Wesley talks on the phone with a wizard and directs him to do his job for the money he was paid. Fred shows up and suggests that Wesley hook up with Aubrey, but Wesley brushes it off and says the job is their purpose, not dating. Lilah talks with her sick mother on the phone until, Sahjhan shows up at Wolfram & Hart in Lilah's office. She's not shocked to see him, and she knows quite a bit about him already, right down to his need for the law firm's help in destroying Angel. Lilah states that she won't go against firm policy which is to keep Angel alive, but she writes on a piece of paper that he has her support. Sahjhan explains that he needs Connor's blood, and Lilah surprises him by explaining that it's already possessed by the firm since they stole it from the hospital where Connor was cared for, but it's been completely checked over and there's nothing unusual about it. However Sahjhan tells Lilah that he has another use for it in mind...

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At a carnival on the pier, Fred tries to concentrate on work while Gunn is more interested in playing around and spending time with her. Wesley's knowledge of their relationship is discussed, and Gunn finds out that Wesley said something to Fred that led her to question the appropriateness of their relationship. Upset by that, he stresses that he won't let Wesley impede his efforts at a good personal and working relationship with Fred.

Angel spends quality time with Connor as Wesley drops in to check on the two of them. The vampire drinks from a glass of blood while his attention is divided between his son and his friend. Looking troubled, Wesley leaves for a little while. Back at the carnival, Fred spots a man breaking into a building and Gunn leads the way to follow him. Inside the building is a carousel, which turns on and as Gunn prepares for battle, he and Fred suddenly find themselves completely surrounded by vampires. Holtz's protégé, Justine, films the events with a man at her side.

Fred runs away at Gunn's insistence and he takes all of the vampires on alone. Justine and the man watch, commenting on Gunn's chance at survival. Gunn holds his own for a short while before he's grabbed by a vampire and Fred returns in time to stake the vampire and save Gunn. As Justine and her friend depart, Gunn and Fred appreciate the fact that they're both alive.

Wesley follows a GPS unit to a precise location where he finds a hamburger-shaped speaker outside of a fast food restaurant. He performs a ritual and the plastic cartoonish hamburger comes to life. The Loa confirms his suspicion that Angel will "devour" his son and informs him that the prophecy cannot be stopped. It predicts a future of betrayal and agony for Wesley. The Loa finally reveals that when the earth shakes, the air burns, and the sky turns to blood, the prophecy will come true. Lilah meets Sahjhan at a bar and ignores Sahjhan's attempts at small talk, informing him that arrangements have been made to deal with their Angel problem.

Aubrey returns to the office and thanks Wesley for his help in destroying the monsters. Wesley is thrown by her identification of "monsters" and accepts her check in return for their services. She tries to come onto him and Wesley calls her on her attempt to play him. Angel appears behind her and makes it clear that he knows who she's working for and that no one will be harming Connor. As she runs away, a small earthquake shakes the ground and Wesley realizes that the first portent has come true.

Holtz directs the humans to study the video of Fred and Gunn by the carousel. Aubrey returns, but much to her surprise, Wesley has followed her. Wesley explains that he is there in peace and tries to persuade Holtz that Angel is not the same vampire as Angelus. Holtz knows too much pain at Angelus's hands to care about the difference; he also knows why Wesley is there and suggests he prepare for what he'll feel when Connor is killed. Gunn and Fred have their regular meal together and talk about how right their relationship really is. He is worried that they can't do so many things at once and is worried about the consequences if things don't work out. She wonders what his decision would be if he had to choose between her and work, and he admits to choosing her.

Wesley finds Angel with Connor in his room, preparing a meal for his child. They talk about Aubrey and her reasons for joining with Holtz and Angel's unconditional love for Connor. Wesley realizes that Angel would never harm his son, and finally feeling released from the prophecy, begins to laugh at the oddity that is life, and then a powerful earthquake begins to shake all of Los Angeles. The room goes up in flames as the gas stove explodes and beams come down from the ceiling. Angel rescues Connor and gets all three of them out of the room. A large cut on his forehead drips blood onto Connor's blanket, which is patterned with a blue sky and clouds. As the third of the portents comes true, Angel smiles and comments that if they had been trapped in there, he would have had a snack. Wesley, who a few seconds ago had dismissed the prophecy, is left more paranoid than ever.


Tropes

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Wesley and Angel talking just before the earthquake.
  • Adult Fear: How Angel understands that Aubrey is actually working for Holtz. He realises the lengths he would go to if someone were to harm Connor.
  • ...And That Would Be Wrong
    Gunn: "I wanna know how [Angel] does it. No last name, no bank account. How are you ordering stuff off the web?"
    Fred: "It's not that hard, really. All you have to do is hack into the shipping database, find someone who is ordering what you want, then substitute your information. (Sees Gunn and Angel looking at her) Except that would just be high-tech robbery."
    Angel: "I memorized Cordelia's credit card numbers."
    Fred: "Oh. Low-tech robbery."
  • The Bait: Holtz's team lure Fred and Gunn into a nest of vampires to get some idea of how they fight.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Blood from the cut on Angel's head drips onto the towel in which he's wrapped Connor.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • When Wesley turns up alone at Holtz's place, one of his mooks suggests cutting out his tongue as a message to Angelus. Wes punches him in the throat. "Or perhaps you could lie on the floor and gag for a while."
    • Fred after staking a vampire. "I got your back! Well, actually I got his back."
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Wesley. Meanwhile, the non-morally conflicted Lilah skits around W&H's policy regarding Angel and collaborates with Sahjhan to arrange the earthquake.
  • Daydream Surprise: In The Teaser Fred and Gunn find Wesley asleep at his desk and kid him about working too hard. Angel enters holding Connor. "Do you wanna see Connor do something cool? (Angel morphs into vamp face) I'm teaching him how to DIE!" Blood starts pouring from Wesley's Tome of Eldritch Lore and he wakes up at his desk.
  • Death Seeker / It Has Only Just Begun
    Loa: "You risk your life, human, calling on the Loa. Perhaps what you really seek is death. The pain in your heart begs for it."
    Wes: "Then do it and be done. Nothing else will stop me."
    Loa: "Simple mortal, your pain is just beginning."
  • Decoy Damsel: Aubrey — she actually has lost her son to vampires, but went to Holtz for vengeance, not Angel Investigations.
  • Description Cut: A Stealth Pun where Wesley's encounter with a prophetic god-like being manifesting through a giant hamburger cuts to Lilah Morgan in a bar saying, "I need a drink", no doubt reflecting how Wesley feels at that moment.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Wesley starts arguing with the Loa about the meaning of the prophecy.
    Loa: (zapping Wes with lightning from its eyes) "Your insolence is displeasing."
    Wes: (picking himself back up) "You try chatting with a cranky hamburger."
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Holtz has shaved off his goatee (perhaps because Justine mentioned his 'creepy stalker look') while Wesley now has a Perma-Stubble as he's been neglecting his appearance, immersed in his research as way to deal with Fred hooking up with Gunn.
  • Extreme Doormat: Gunn finds out that Wes has been getting on at Fred about their office romance.
    Gunn: "Well, you-you-you got my back, right? You stood up to him and said we're two adults and what we do with our personal lives is none of his business, right?"
    Fred: (nods) "You bet I, uh...didn't."
  • Even Evil Lawyers Love Their Mamas: Lilah talks to her senile mother on the phone.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Sahjahn does a Villain Teleportation into Lilah's office; she doesn't even blink, much to his disappointment. Then he starts off on a dramatic spiel about the extremely difficult to obtain item he needs, only for Lilah to butt in saying they've already got a sample of Connor's blood.
  • Foreshadowing: Loads of it.
  • Gallows Humor: Angel sees his blood dripping on the towel and makes a quip about if he were trapped in the room, at least he would have something to feed on. As the towel is wrapped around Connor at the time, Wesley takes a very different interpretation.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality
    Justine: "I don't understand. How can these people work for a vampire."
    Holtz: "I once made a pact with a demon."
    Justine: "So you could get to Angelus. So you could kill a vampire."
    Holtz: "I'm sure they believe their reasons are good, however misguided. Things aren't always black and white, Justine, good and evil."
    Justine: "What about Angelus?"
    Holtz: "He is evil."
  • Heroic BSoD: Wesley shows increasing strain as he is divided between loyalty to Angel and his desire to protect Angel's child.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Spoofed with Wesley seeking answers from a loa that takes the form of a plastic hamburger-man statue at a fast food joint.
  • Honey Trap: Aubrey asks Wesley out, but Wesley's already worked out what her game is.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Aubrey thanks Wesley for dusting the vamps who killed her son. Wesley says he never said there was more than one. Aubrey covers it well though, pointing out that Wesley did say there might be a nest of vampires.
  • Neck Lift: The boardwalk vampire does this to Gunn.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Much of the tragedy of the next two years could have been avoided if Wesley had only confided in his friends. Wesley however knows that Angel will never give up his son, and Wes' selfless hero complex as well as his own paranoia and trust issues makes him believe that he alone should handle the burden of making this decision.
  • Portent of Doom
    Loa: "The first portent will shake the earth. The second will burn the air. The last will turn the sky to blood."
    Wes: "An earthquake? That's the first portent? We live California!"
    Loa: "Earthquake, fire, blood. Be heedful of the signs, human, and trouble the Loa no more."
  • Relative Button meets Tranquil Fury
    Sahjhan: "You owe me a dead vampire."
    Holtz: "Yes. Well, how shall I put this? What are you going to do about it? Nothing. That's what you'll do. That's all you *can* do, or else you wouldn't have brought me here in the first place. (Holtz turns back to the table) You've done your part, Sahjhan. Now let me do mine."
    Sahjhan: "What is your part? Recruiting a bunch of paramilitary moonie freaks, who run around playing Candid Camera with Angel's buddies? That's crap. Admit it. You're a coward... and I bet Caroline would agree. You remember her, don't you? Your dead wife? Mother of your dead kids? How'd they die? Who swore revenge? Any of this ringing a bell?"
    Holtz is silent for a long moment, then says quietly:
    Holtz: "Get Out!."
    Sahjhan: "Or what? You can't kill me."
    Holtz: (turns suddenly to face Sahjhan) "But I can trap your dimensional essence in a Resikhian Urn. Wonderful devices the urns. They last a lifetime. That is, if you live forever."
    Sahjhan: "This isn't over, Holtz."
  • Revenge Myopia: From Holtz and his followers
  • Sarcasm Mode
    Wesley: "Well, I must have misunderstood. Here I thought it was a simple blood vendetta, when... what you really want is to protect Angel's son."
    Holtz: "You don't believe me."
    Wes: "Hmm. Not sure really. Could be the low scary voice that's giving me trouble."
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Wesley tries to argue that Angel is a different person who should not be punished for Angelus' crimes. Holtz responds that Angelus always exists within Angel, has emerged in the past and will do again in future.
  • Silent Offer: As insurance in case her office is bugged, Lilah writes her answer to Sahjahn on her legal pad.
  • Smooch of Victory: Fred/Gunn after killing the boardwalk vamps.
  • Staking the Loved One: A different version of the trope is related by Aubrey. Her son came back near dawn after being turned into a vampire. Aubrey was too afraid to invite him in, and he was killed at sunrise.
  • Suggestive Collision: Holtz falls on top of Justine after pushing her out of the way of a collapsing cabinet. They are implied to have become lovers in the next episode.
  • Take Me Instead: Wes offers his own life to Holtz in the place of Angel's. Holtz of course isn't interested, but the act shows the Loa might have been right about Wesley seeking death to escape his dilemma.
  • Tempting Fate: Played for Drama when Wesley laughs thinking he's reading too much into everything, whereupon all three portents happen at once. An earthquake causes a gas explosion setting the room on fire, giving Angel a head wound that drips onto Connor's blue blanket.
  • Tension-Cutting Laughter: After being wound tight for the entire episode, Wesley starts to laugh after hearing Angel talk about how much he loves his son.
    Angel: "What's so funny?"
    Wes: "Life. Life is funny. Listening to stupid people talking to hamburgers is funny. Worrying about things that will never... It's all so incredibly funny and...and beautiful."
  • Tested on Vamps: Vampires are chained up in Holtz's hideout so his soldiers can be trained to fight them.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Justine has learned unarmed combat and sword fighting skills from Holtz.
  • Trick-and-Follow Ploy: Wesley follows Aubrey to Holtz's hideout.
  • True Companions: Lampshaded by Holtz who shows his troops the video they took of Fred saving Gunn's life.
    Holtz: "This tiny girl; outsized, outmatched, outnumbered — and she survived. Why? Because she was willing not to. She was prepared to die for the cause rather than abandon her comrade."
  • Villain Team-Up: COUNT ME IN. (between Lilah and Sahjhan)
  • You Can't Fight Fate
    Loa: "That the vampire will devour his child is certain. The dark question you harbor is only 'when.'"
    Wes: "No. The dark question I harbor is 'how do I stop it?'"
    Loa: "It can not be stopped."

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