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Recap / Angel S 03 E 18 Double Or Nothing

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Gunn and Fred look through Wesley's files. Gunn finds them bewildering. Sometimes he can't even pronounce the client's name. One file is for a demon couple named Frzylca (frizz-ill-ka), who have a squatter in their lair. Lorne comes downstairs and joins the conversation, and the three discuss that Angel won't come out of his room, and although his rage seems to have passed, the three would rather leave him be. Suddenly Cordelia and the Groosalugg return from their vacation in Mexico bearing gifts only to be greeted by everyone's solemn faces. Cordelia knows immediately that something terrible has happened.

Cordelia goes upstairs to comfort Angel, who is brooding by Connor's empty crib.

At a casino, Jenoff, a demon in a tuxedo with a bow tie who owns the place, hands a marker to one of his enforcers. "It's time to collect his soul," says Jenoff. The marker is a business card for Angel Investigations.

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Gunn and Fred interview the Frzylcas, an elderly couple married for 300 years. A Skench demon has occupied their house. Skench demons make loud noises and project streams of phlegm to drive other demons out of their lair. Gunn and Fred promise to remove the Skench demon that day.

Fred visits Wesley at the hospital and bring him some things from his office. Wesley cannot speak, but Fred tells him that while Angel was wrong to try and kill him, Angel was nonetheless right to blame him for Connor's disappearance. She tells him that they're supposed to be friends, yet he chose to go behind their backs and turn to Holtz over trusting them. She adds that Wesley is no longer welcome in the hotel and Angel will kill him if he ever returns. As she leaves, she tells him that the prophecy was false and Wesley is left with the painful truth that he sacrificed everything for nothing.

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Jenoff's enforcer appears at Angel Investigations. He meets the Groosalugg, whom he mistakes for Angel.

Gunn finds the Frzylca's home in a cave leading off a sewer. He quickly kills the Skench demon, but when he rises, he sees Jennoff's enforcer.

In a flashback to seven years earlier, Gunn enters Jenoff's casino. After a frisking by Jennoff's enforcer, Gunn speaks with the man himself, who recognizes him and knows his reputation as a protector of the young and innocent. Gunn hands Jenoff a photograph of his heart's desire. Jenoff says he can "make it happen," but it will cost Gunn his future. Gunn, thinking he has no future, agrees and signs a blood oath.

At the Frzylca's lair, the Repo Man tells Gunn it's time to pay off. The casino watches the Akashic Records and know that Gunn plans to transfer his soul to Fred, which would violate his contract with Jenoff. Gunn has 24 hours to report to the casino and deliver his soul. If Gunn reneges, Jenoff will take Fred's soul as well as Gunn's.

Gunn returns to Angel Investigations, where he meets Cordelia, who advises him to take a day off and go on a date with Fred.

The next morning, Gunn brings Fred breakfast in bed. He tells her they both have the day off and he intends that they should have the best day of their lives together.

At the hospital, a doctor informs Wesley he will be released from the hospital, and asks if Wesley has someone who can pick him up. Wesley remains silent, knowing that because of his foolish actions he now has no friends left.

Angel and Cordelia reflect on the loss of Connor and what it means.

Gunn and Fred are eating at a garden restaurant. Fred says she is full. Gunn wants to fill the afternoon with movies, club, shopping, and roller rink. Fred says she's "kind of wiped." Gunn is afraid he is trying too hard. Suddenly, Fred guesses that something is wrong. She asks Gunn if he has leukemia, which makes him laugh. Now she guesses that something is wrong, and asks Gunn to tell her the truth. Gunn, knowing she won't leave the subject alone otherwise, pretends to be suddenly angry and tells her they are through and storms off.

Cordelia tells Angel that the hurt he is feeling will never go away, and he will continue to love and miss his son always, even if he lives another 200 years. Angel says he does not know how he will get through it, and she assures him that the 'how' will work itself out, and regardless of what's happened life will go on and the helpless will still need help. Just then, the two hear sobbing through the door and Cordy opens to find Fred in tears over what happened. Fred says she didn't know where else to go, but she didn't want to knock and interrupt them. Angel asks Fred what's wrong, and she explains something is wrong with Gunn.

At the casino, Jenoff, standing on a mezzanine, sticks two fingers in a man's eyes, which is how he takes a person's soul. Downstairs, Gunn appears and tells the Repo Man that he is there to pay his bill.

In the lobby of the Hyperion Hotel, Fred explains that Gunn would only hurt her if that were necessary to protect her, so he must be in danger. Cordelia and the Groosalugg are doubtful, but Angel says he intends to help Gunn and doesn't want to lose another member of the family.

Wesley returns to his apartment alone.

The AI team makes plans to find Gunn. The Groosalugg produces the business card that the Repo Man left with him. Angel knows Jenoff, whom he calls "the soul sucker."

At the casino, Jenoff's latest victim is hauled away. The Repo Man brings Gunn to Jenoff. As Jenoff is about to insert his fingers in Gunn's eyes, the AI team bursts in. They are soon surrounded both by casino customers and Jenoff's henchmen, all hostile. Jenoff orders his henchmen to kill them. Angel interrupts the slaughter by offering Jenoff a double or nothing bet in which Jenoff might win Angel's soul as well as Gunn's.

Fred is unhappy with the wager. Angel promises he will not lose, then hands Cordelia a stake, telling her she knows what to do with it if he loses. At the card table, Angel proposes a simple cut of the deck, high card winning. Jenoff pulls the nine of clubs. Angel pulls the three of hearts. Cordelia then stakes Jennoff's hand to the table, and Angel chops off his head with an axe. Jenoff immediately sprouts a new head. Angel shouts, "Anybody else here owe this guy?" which causes the whole crowd to attack Jenoff. In the melee, the AI team escapes.

Sitting in Gunn's truck, Fred and Gunn make up. Fred asks for whom Gunn traded his soul. Gunn explains that he traded his soul for his truck.

Angel disassembles Connor's crib while Cordelia watches.


Tropes

  • A-Cup Angst: Gunn plays on Fred's potential for this trope when he breaks up with her.
    Fred: Wait, is there someone else? What—what's her name?
    Gunn: Her name is "I'm a real woman, not a stick figure." Get the picture?
  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: It's revealed that Gunn had sold his soul to Jeroff years earlier in return for his truck. To save him, Angel played cards against the demon double-or-nothing with his own soul on the line. In a twist, Angel loses the game, but then beheads Jeroff and asks all of the casino patrons and staff how much they had owed him as well.
  • Asshole Victim: Angel has to invoke this trope to enlist bystanders' help in taking down Jeroff. "How many of you owe this guy money?"
  • Bait-and-Switch
    • Lorne notes that Wesley is too smart to walk into Angel Investigations. Just then the door opens and everyone looks up in surprise...to see Groo and Cordelia back from holiday.
    • Fred points out that if Angel loses his soul playing the card game he'll turn into Angelus and kill them all. Angel hands Cordy a wooden stake and says she knows what to do if he loses. When Angel does lose, Cordy immediately rams the stake through Jenoff's palm, holding him in place so Angel can lop off his head.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Fred is the only member of the gang to visit Wes in the hospital and offer sympathy, only to give him a What the Hell, Hero? speech and tell Wes he's not to come back. She concludes by dropping the bombshell that the prophecy was false and that his actions were all for nothing.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Team Angel turn up just in time to save Gunn from soul-sucking.
  • Big Eater: Fred eats so much that even she is full.
  • Blood Oath: A spike that comes out of a ring Jenoff is wearing draws blood while he's shaking Gunn's hand, which is then placed on the soul contract.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Gunn is doomed to a fate that will destroy his relationship with Fred, so he dumps her as cruelly as he can. She quickly runs crying to Angel—not because of what he said, but because she knew what he's doing and realizes that he's in real trouble. Fred later makes him apologize for handling the problem that way.
  • Captain Obvious: The Fang Gang try their Big Damn Heroes thing, only to find they're vastly outnumbered in a casino full of demons.
    Cordy: Angel...
    Angel: I know.
    Groo: We are surrounded.
    Angel: I know.
    Fred: We have to save Charles!
    Angel: I know!
  • Casino Episode: A casino where people gamble for their souls in a way that is very hard to reconcile with the treatment of souls in other Buffyverse works.
  • Character Development: The Blood Knight Death Seeker who'd sell his soul for a truck because he thinks he's got no future, has now become a man with True Companions and a Love Interest to lose.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Groo as a Running Gag.
  • The Confidant: Cordelia sits in Angel's burnt-out apartment with a good book so she can provide comfort and a sympathetic ear when he needs it.
  • Corner of Woe: Angel sits in his burnt-out room, staring at Connor's crib.
  • Cutting the Knot/Murder Is the Best Solution: Double-subverted. In an attempt to save Gunn from Jenoff, Angel, after failing a game for his own soul, has Cordelia stake Jenoff's hand to the table and lops off his head... only for Jenoff to simply grow a new one; Gunn even points out that if killing Jenoff were that easy, he would have done it himself. Immediately afterwards, Angel asks if anyone else in the casino owes Jenoff anything, and everyone in the place, realizing they're better off with Jenoff dead, gang up on him en masse and tear him apart while Team Angel makes a break for it.
  • Deal with the Devil: Years ago, Gunn also traded his soul to Jenoff for a truck (which he used to great effect in his war against vampires), knowing that that if he perished in his Suicide Mission against vampires before Jenoff came to collect, the deal was void. When Gunn survives long enough for the demon to show up again, Angel manages to convince all the other people who owed something to the demon to gang up and kill him. Jenoff notes that Gunn is perhaps the first person to willingly walk back to demon when time was up, which Gunn did to make sure that Jenoff wouldn't go after anyone else.
  • Department of Redundancy Department
    Cordy: Fred, I hate to say this, but... are you sure he didn't? I mean, those things you said he said to you...
    Fred: I know I said he said those things to me, but he would never say those things to me!
    Cordy: Those things he said?
    Fred: Exactly!
  • Despair Event Horizon: As revealed in a flashback, Gunn seemingly crossed it at age 17, to the extent that he sold his soul to the demon Jenoff for a truck, believing he had nothing to live for; at that time, Gunn was maybe a notch above homeless, in a city where the homeless are basically a vampire buffet:
    Jenoff: You will sell your future in exchange for present happiness?
    Gunn: What future?
  • Do with Him as You Will: After the Mundane Solution subversion below, Angel quickly asks if there's anyone else who owes Jenoff... and then slips away with the rest of his crew as the entire casino goes after Jenoff en masse.
  • Evil Brit / Evil Debt Collector / Lennon Specs: The demon Repo Man.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Saint Cordy returns from her holiday as a blonde with a bob.
  • Eye Scream: Jenoff sucks out a soul by jamming his fingers in the debtors' eyes.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Jenoff notes that Gunn is one of the few people who've come back to pay their debt of their own free will, rather than being dragged in by his mooks.
  • Flashback: To 17 year-old Gangleader!Gunn's deal with Jenoff.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Groo returning from his holiday with Cordy.
  • Iconic Item: Wesley's china tea set is packed up in a box and delivered to him by Fred. Cordy realises Angel is starting to move on when he begins dismantling Connor's crib.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Jenoff is calling in his debt now because Gunn is falling in love with Fred, thereby losing his soul to her.
  • Impaled Palm: Angel is playing an Absurdly High-Stakes Game that if he loses will cost him his soul (which will turn him evil). He hands Cordy a wooden stake and says she knows what to do if that happens (an apparent Staking the Loved One trope). When Angel does lose the game, Cordy instead rams the stake through Jenoff's palm, holding him in place so Angel can lop off his head. This doesn't actually kill the villain (a demon that can regrow his head), but Angel then asks, "Anyone else owe this guy money?" As the assembled onlookers take advantage of the opening to beat the demon into a fine paste, Angel and Cordy skedaddle.
  • Innocent Innuendo:
    Fred: Don't forget your machete!
    Gunn: Yes dear.
    Groo: He is very fortunate to have such a woman looking after his weapon.
    (Fred tries not to giggle)
    Lorne: Not touching that one.
  • Last Day to Live: Having been told he's got to hand over his soul tomorrow, Gunn takes Fred out for a day of fun, frolic and food. Unfortunately Fred eventually realises what Gunn is up to, so he ends up feigning a relationship breakup.
  • Like an Old Married Couple / Finishing Each Others Insults: Demon couple Monica and Syd.
  • Loan Shark: Jenoff, a demonic casino owner who comes to collect Gunn's soul because he's in danger of losing it to Fred.
  • Mundane Solution: Subverted — Angel cuts off Jenoff's head, only for Gunn to say that if it was that easy he'd have killed Jenoff himself. Cue Oh, Crap! moment as Jenoff starts growing a new head.
  • Mundane Wish: The beauty Gunn sold his soul for turns out to be the pickup truck he uses to fight vamps.
    Fred: Not this truck?
    Gunn: Don't be dissin' my girl.
    Fred: Oh, Charles - your soul wasn't worth air conditioning?
  • My Card: The 'small rectangles' the Repo Man leaves with Groo.
  • Never Heard That One Before
    Repo Man: We all pay our debts to Mr. Jenoff.
    Gunn: There must be something else. Something else he can take.
    Repo Man: Gee, I never heard that before — except every damn time the bill comes due.
  • Oblivious to Love: Angel tries to sum up Fred's distraught ramblings.
    Angel: Let me get this straight...you and Gunn are dating?
  • Off with His Head!: Angel chops off Jenoff's head with an axe. Unfortunately, he can grow another.
  • Oh, Crap!: Angel's reaction after he beheads Jenoff, only for Gunn to inform him that if it was that easy, he would have killed Jenoff himself; sure enough, Jenoff grows a new head shortly after.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Gunn tries to push Fred away with some very mean words in order to spare her the pain of his leaving/death (not clear). Although visibly upset at first, she sees right through this ploy and tells the others he must be in some VERY BAD trouble because Gunn would never really say those things unless he was TRYING to push her away to protect her.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Jenoff
  • Rule of Symbolism: Wesley returning to his empty apartment.
  • Rule of Threes: Happens literally when Angel turns up the Three of Hearts (to Jenoff's Nine of Clubs).
    Angel: A three?
    Gunn: A three?
    Jenoff: A three!
  • Running Gag: From Buffy the Vampire SlayerLeprechauns don't exist.
  • Short-Distance Phone Call: Another one between Fred and Gunn as he turns up with breakfast waffles in bed for Fred.
  • Spaghetti Kiss: The pancake kiss.
  • Sold His Soul for a Donut: It's revealed that as a young man Gunn sold his soul for his pick-up truck. At the time he was so poor and in such despair about his lot and the state of the world it seemed a good deal. And to cap it all off, it wasn't even a particularly nice truck.
  • True Companions: The knowledge that Gunn is in danger pulls Angel out of his funk, as he doesn't want to lose another member of his 'family'.
  • Twisted Echo Cut
    Lorne: Groo, you might want to avoid saying the name—
    Cut to Monica: Wesley, right. [snip] That's who we talked to. Is he here?
    • Repo Man's first meeting with Gangleader!Gunn.
    "You got a name or just a 'tude?" (Cut to Repo Man introducing Gunn to Jenoff) "Name's Gunn."
  • Walk-In Chime-In / Tempting Fate: Gunn surprisingly avoids being Covered in Gunge while killing a Skench demon.
    Gunn: Must be my lucky day.
    Repo Man: (from the door) Wanna bet?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Fred tells Wesley that he should have told his friends about the prophecy, stating that even if Angel was wrong to try to kill him, it's nonetheless Wesley's fault that Connor is gone.
    Fred: Gunn and I found your notes about the baby. The prophecy. You took him away cause you thought Angel was gonna kill him. You were trying to protect them. Both of them. I just wanted you to know I understand that. And I also wanted to say I thought what Angel tried to do to you was wrong, and I'm sorry. But he was right to blame you, Wesley. You should've come to us. You should've trusted us instead of going to Holtz behind our back. You were supposed to be our friend, and you didn't even... If Angel sees you again, he'll kill you, Wesley. This time for real. Don't come back to the hotel. Ever. The prophecy was false. Angel was never gonna hurt Connor. It was all for nothing.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?
    Angel: You live as long as I do, eventually you lose everyone. It's what happens. I'm not sayin' you get used to it but you expect it, you deal. But [Connor] was just... (beat)...he was just a little... You think you know something about living, cause you have this really long past. And that's really all you have, in my case anyway. Then one day you wake up and you have something else...
    Cordy: A future.
  • You Know What to Do: Used for a Bait-and-Switch.
  • Your Soul Is Mine
  • Zerg Rush: Jenoff starts growing another head out of his body and it sounds pissed. Angel looks around at the casino patrons and says, "How many of you owe this guy money?" Team Angel rush out as everyone starts pounding on Jenoff.

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