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Recap / Angel S 03 E 19 The Price

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Fred plans to repaint the room once occupied by Connor. The Groosalugg suggests a change of color. Angel insists that everything in the room will remain the same. Cordelia adds that the cracks in the wall will stay unless they hire a contractor.

Angel examines a snow-globe that he once bought for Connor. He doesn't know why he bought it. He looks up and suggests that everyone go back to work. Gunn says there is no work. Fred says there are no active cases, and the last call was more than a week ago.

Angel goes downstairs to wait, in case a walk-in customer appears.

Downstairs, an actual walk-in customer enters the building. He finds no one, and is about to leave, saying "they probably couldn't find my dog anyway," when he is jumped by a translucent, slug-like creature that crawls into his mouth. Angel comes downstairs and introduces himself to the customer, who turns away saying, "we have to go."

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Cordelia comes downstairs and asks Angel about the pentagram. She reminds him that dark magic will entail a "cosmic price" and unintended consequences. Angel admits he might not have been thinking clearly when he did the spell.

Cordelia is unhappy that Angel did not call her back from her vacation to help when Wesley took Connor. Angel promises to call her "next time" and asks her to find another case for him to work on.

At a juice bar, the same man who walked into Angel Investigations now drinks two peach smoothies at once. He has been there for six hours and has consumed at least 100 of them. The manager asks him to leave. He shoves the manager aside and demands more water.

At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah and Gavin have a tense conversation about whether Lilah is making progress in bringing Angel over to the dark side.

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Angel, once again CEO of Angel Investigations, is sitting at his old desk where Wesley was sitting a few days before. Fred and Gunn discuss the situation. Gunn says they should never mention Wesley's name again. We see a brief closeup of the snow globe Angel once bought for Connor.

Cordelia and the Groosalugg try to remove the pentagram from the Hyperion Hotel lobby. Cordelia gives up and suggests buying a throw rug to cover it up. While the Groosalugg empties their bucket, Fred tries to persuade Cordelia to intervene with Angel on Wesley's behalf, but Cordelia replies that she will not and cannot, only caring about Angel's feelings on the subject. The Groosalugg overhears her speak of all the things she has done for Angel, including becoming part demon. She mentions that parenthetically that it is now sometimes unclear to her whether something she sees or hears is or is not part of a vision. At that moment, she sees Angel thrown across the floor to the base of the stairs, then, an instant later, sees him standing behind his desk.

Lorne enters. He describes what is happening at the juice bar. The AI team enters. Angel recognizes the walk-in customer from earlier that day. Fred finds his wallet with his driver's license, and identifies him as Phillip Spivey. Angel knocks him out. He smiles for the first time since Wesley took Connor, happy to have a case.

The Groosalugg carries Spivey back to Angel Investigations. While Fred goes for water, Angel remembers that Spivey used the word "we" instead of "I," as when he complained that "we" were thirsty.

While Cordelia tries to tell Angel about her most recent vision, Spivey wakes up, points his finger at Angel, and says, "This is all your fault!" He falls forward and breaks into powder. Lorne notices the transparent lobster creature escaping from Spivey's neck. The AI team retreats to avoid it.

Angel details Fred to research the monster. He suggests she look into thaumogenesis, the creation of a demon as a byproduct of dark magic. Gunn stays with Fred. The rest pick up weapons and hunt for the monster.

Upstairs, Angel and Lorne find a slug drinking from a toilet. Angel spears it with a sword, but it slips off and runs away.

Downstairs, Fred complains to Gunn that she is having little success researching thaumogenesis. She doubts she will ever be as good as "some people," meaning Wesley. They fail to notice when a portal opens momentarily in the lobby and two slugs drop out.

At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah receives a confidential email describing the situation at Angel Investigations as a "bio-plasmic infection." The email says the exact nature of the infection is not known, but it seems to involve thaumogenesis.

Gavin Park enters Lilah's office. He has received the same email. He notes that Linwood is not around to handle the crisis, and says Lilah will be in big trouble if Angel dies and the Senior Partners find out his death was caused by a spell Lilah helped him cast.

Upstairs at the Hyperion Hotel, Cordelia and the Groosalugg are hunting slugs. The Groosalugg reminds Cordelia of what she said about Angel's feelings being her only priority. Cordelia tries to explain what she meant, but she is interrupted by the appearance of another slug.

The AI team assembles in the lobby. Angel hands out flashlights. His plan is to shut off all the lights, which will make the slugs, which glow in the dark, easier to find and kill.

Angel and Gunn go downstairs to shut off the power.

Upstairs, Fred is still doing research. A slug is hanging on the wall behind her. It leaps at her and dives into her mouth.

Angel, Lorne, Cordelia and the Groosalugg are in the south wing hunting for slugs. They find a double door that is chained shut. A sound like the chirping of birds is coming from behind it. Angel kicks it open.

Gunn joins Fred at her desk. Fred says she is scared and Gunn tries to reassure her. Fred tells Gunn he should get out of there, but Gunn misunderstands her. She breaks the glass on the snowglobe and drinks the water inside, saying "we're thirsty."

Upstairs, Angel and the other three find a ballroom behind the door that Angel kicked open. Gunn appears supporting Fred. Gunn wants to take Fred to a hospital. Fred says that going to a hospital is just what the slug wants, but Gunn insists on taking her anyway. The Groosalugg determines that the sounds are coming from underneath the floor, so he and Angel chop up the floor with axes. They find a swimming pool full of slugs. Some of the slugs escape through the floor and the AI team runs.

They escape into a large kitchen. When Fred, with the slug inside her body, complains of the heat, Angel has an idea. He turns on all the stoves and ovens to make the kitchen so hot and dry that the slugs will not want in. Fred suddenly asks where Gunn is. He is not in the kitchen.

At Wolfram & Hart, Lilah assembled an operations team to clean out the Hyperion Hotel before Linwood returns. Gavin Park enters and says she is "a little late." Lilah dismisses the operations team and questions Gavin, who says he has spoken with Linwood on a special cell phone. Linwood wants to "let them all die" and threatens to take the cost out of Lilah's salary if she orders a special operation to rescue Angel Investigations.

Gunn knocks on Wesley's door and asks for help.

In the kitchen, Angel pins Fred against the wall and interrogates the slug inside her. The slug says it wants to live and is running from something it calls "the Destroyer." It says the Destroyer is not after it, but after Angel.

Gunn, who is clearly harbouring a great deal of anger and resentment towards his former friend, explains the problem to Wesley. Wesley says he cannot help, and explains that the only reason he lived after his throat was cut was to tell his friends his side of the story, however Gunn isn't interested in Wesley's side. When he hears that Fred is the one in most immediate danger, Wes tosses a bottle of vodka to Gunn and agrees to help, but warns Gunn that neither he nor any other person at Angel Investigations must ever come to him again.

When Fred's skin begins to crack and Angel fears she may be near death, he orders the stoves and ovens turned off and tells Lorne and the Groosalugg to take her to a hospital. He turns on all the water faucets in the kitchen to distract the slugs.

As Lorne and the Groosalugg are about to leave the hotel with Fred, Gunn enters and tells them to put Fred down. He gives her a drink of vodka, which causes the slug to burst out of her body through her mouth. The Groosalugg kills it.

In the kitchen, Cordelia and Angel fight the slugs. Several slugs land on Cordelia's arm. She seems to turn into a creature of light. The glow from her body fills the hotel, and all the slugs are dead, killed by her demon power.

In the lobby, Gunn explains that he did what he had to do to save Fred (although he doesn't mention that he went to Wesley) reconciles with Angel. Lorne reminds the team that the Destroyer mentioned by the slugs is still not arrived. Fred says the Destroyer is coming right at that moment, just as the portal starts to crackle. The gang prepare themselves for a fight, as a large monstrous demon emerges ready for a fight... when immediately afterward, a second portal opens and a young man emerges who easily kills the demon with one blow. The boy then aims a weapon at Angel and says "Hi, Dad", revealing himself to actually be Connor.


Tropes

  • An Axe to Grind / Snark-to-Snark Combat:
    Groo: This weapon will serve me better.
    Angel: Little big for our purposes, isn't it?
    Groo: I have had no complaints.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Angel and Cordelia briefly do this when they plan to hold off the Sluk Demons while Groo and Lorne take Fred to safety.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The Sluks aren't an unfortunate side-effect of Angel's black magic incantation. They are actually fleeing from Quor-toth in an attempt to escape the Destroyer, who is using them to find a rift back to our dimension.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment:
    Groo: You and I have fought side by side on more than one occasion. Fellow warriors, shoulder to shoulder. By now, my counsel must assuredly hold weight, so I beseech you to heed my words. "Pomegranate Mist" is the wrong color for this room.
  • Big Blackout: After learning the Sluks glow in the dark, Angel decides to kill the lights and go searching with torches. The others are not happy.
  • Body Snatcher: The Victim of the Week and Fred both have Sluks crawl into their mouths and force them to talk in the Royal "We".
  • Cliffhanger: The Destroyer turns out to be Connor, now a sixteen-year old demon-slaying badass looking to kill his vampire father.
  • Continuity Nod: To Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "After Life" where Willow first defined thaumogenesis after creating a demon as a byproduct of the Black Magic spell used to resurrect Buffy. Buffy presumably told Angel about the incident during their off-screen meeting earlier in the year.
    • Angel is looking at the snowglobe and says it doesn't ever snow in Southern California. Cordy reminds him that it did once.
  • Damsel in Distress: Fred
    Angel: Groo. Damsel in distress. You know the drill.
  • Description Cut: Angel says someone should be down in the lobby in case they have a walk-in client. He's told no-one ever comes in on Sunday. Cut to Victim of the Week walking in the door.
  • Deus ex Machina / New Powers as the Plot Demands: Cordelia suddenly starts to glow, then emits a burst of whiteness that cleanses the Hyperion of all Sluks.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Thaumogenesis — creatures manifested as a by-product of using dark magic.
  • Exact Eavesdropping / Damning With Faint Praise
    Groo: You said... earlier. Angel's feelings were your only concern. He is all that matters.
    Cordy: Oh. Oh, no, Grooey... I— I meant, work priority. Work. You see? You. You're my... other... stuff priority. You get that, right?
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    Lilah: Do you have a point - or are you just waxing my desk with your ass for fun?
    Gavin: Well, I was just thinking, whatever these things are, they can't be too cuddly, considering Angel barricaded himself inside to prevent unleashing them on an innocent populous.
    Lilah: So yay! Let him reap what he's sown. Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll rip him to...
    Gavin: Think the Senior Partners might be upset if Angel dies as a result of a spell you helped him cast?
  • Facial Horror: A person infected by a Sluk starts to dry out and their skin cracks, before eventually disintegrating into powder.
  • Gigantic Gulp: A demon possessee, in the form of one Philip J. Spivey, attacking a slushee stand.
  • Gilligan Cut
    Angel: Glad to hear you're enjoying this, 'cause somebody's got to go down to the basement and shut off the power.
    Gunn: (shaking his head) Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh... (Cut to a nervous Gunn creeping down the stairs of a Creepy Basement)
  • Heal It with Booze: Fred is infected by a parasite that soaks up all the water in her body, so they force it out by making her drink an entire bottle of vodka. Alcohol dehydrates you, by the way...
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Angel haS this reasoning for using dark magic to try and find Connor. Interestingly, Gunn accuses him of doing what he wanted to get what he wanted, to hell with the consequences, and it’s Gunn himself who later had this reasoning for letting his mind be upgraded in a bid that he didn’t know would lead to Fred’s death.
  • I'm Standing Right Here:
    Groo: You are truly a goddess.
    Cordelia: Well, demoness, anyway. Sure beats horns and a tail.
    Lorne: (offended) Hey. I'm standing right here.
  • Jabba Table Manners: The Victim of the Week drinking peach smoothies.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: A guy gets infected with a parasite that sucks all the moisture out of him. End result: shattered guy.
  • Lock Down: Angel locks the doors to the Hyperion (though it would surely take more than that to stop small scurrying creatures) and the gang go on a search-and-destroy to stop the infestation before it spreads.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: When the gang learn that the Destoryer's on its way to Earth, there are several comments from characters commenting that anyone called that has to be someone you don't want to meet. It turns out to be Angel's kidnapped son, Connor.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome / Single-Stroke Battle:
    • Angel knocking down the Victim of the Week with one punch.
    • The monster is roaring and slavering when Connor appears and decapitates it with one stroke.
  • Never Say That Again: None speak the name of the treacherous Wesley.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
  • No Sympathy:
    • Fred approaches Cordelia, trying to convince her to speak to Angel on Wesley's behalf. Cordelia tells her point-blank that she won't, and doesn't care about Wesley's side.
      Fred: Look, whatever he did... It's Wesley. You care about it. I know you do. Can you imagine the pain he's in, how horrible he must be feeling—
      Cordelia: Angel's feelings are the only ones I care about. He's my priority.
    • Later, Wesley gives Gunn, and by extension all of Angel Investigations, a What the Hell, Hero? speech for ostracizing him, bitterly remarking that they turned against him and shut him out for something that he was tricked into doing without ever letting him explain his side of the story. Gunn flat-out tells him he's not interested in Wesley's side.
  • Not Named in Opening Credits: Vincent Kartheiser as Connor.
  • Oh, Crap!: First the gang think they've only got one Sluk. Then they see several. Then they hack up the floorboards and find hundreds of Sluks swimming around in water.
    Cordy: Oh my God! We have a pool?
    • After defeating the Sluks, Lorne reminds everyone that Possessed!Fred said to them that the Sluks were being driven into this world by the Destroyer, which was coming specifically for Angel. Fred calculates that the Destroyer should be arriving right about...now. Cue arrival through the rift of a huge slavering monster with big teeth.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted — Fred can't take over the role of demonologist just because she's their resident brain.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Cordelia comes across the chained doors to the Hyperion ballroom and asks, "Do we even have keys for this?" Angel gives a sly grin and does his thing.
  • Perp Sweating: Angel interrogating the Sluk inside Fred by withholding water from her. Except Fred is too dried out to sweat.
  • Power Glows: The Miracle of Saint Cordy.
  • Power of Friendship: Averted. Stung by his former friends' ostracism, Wesley turns down the opportunity to build some bridges. He tells Gunn how to expel the Sluk from Fred, but says he's not to seek his help again.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The "sluks", transparent crustacean-like demons who enter their hosts through their mouths, the downside being that these creatures require lots of water to survive, causing their hosts to dry down and die.
  • Shout-Out: Cordy uses lines from a classic commercial when trying to remove the pentagram from the lobby.
    Cordy: Tried soaking it out, tried scrubbing it out. No question, we've got "Ring Around The [Lobby]!
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Lilah and Gavin think that Angel trying to smother his friend is a sign of this. Locking a roomful of people in with two vampires the previous year doesn't count. They were, after all, lawyers.
  • Speak in Unison
    Angel & Cordelia: "We saw it." / "You saw it?"
  • Stab the Scorpion: Cordy is trying to convince Groo that Angel isn't more important to her than he is when Groo gets a killer look in his eye and raises his axe. Cordy is babbling that they can work this out when she realises he's looking at a Sluk crawling up the wall behind her, ready to pounce.
  • Swiss Cheese Security / Failed Attempt at Drama: Lilah uses an enchanted tarantula kept inside a combination-locked box to enter the password of her encrypted email, only for Gavin to walk into her office and smugly tell her its contents.
  • Tempting Fate: Angel impales a Sluk with a thrown dagger.
    Lorne: Well Go Team! That wasn't so— (Sluk pulls free and wriggles off)
  • That Came Out Wrong: Cordy re Groo.
    He is such a sweetie. So loyal. And loving. Like a puppy-dog. I know. That didn't sound very good. But he is. A puppy-dog. A sexy, well-built, go-all-night, puppy-dog. Okay, that sounded worse.
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Cordelia and Gunn both make it very clear that they don't care about Wesley's side of the story or why he kidnapped Connor; he betrayed their trust, and that's all there is to it. Fred, however, is more sympathetic and even tries to persuade Cordelia to speak to Angel on Wes' behalf.
  • We ARE Struggling Together / No Honor Among Thieves: The rivalries inside Wolfram & Hart - and the rift between Wesley and Team Angel - prevent the Sluk infestation from being handled efficiently, endangering Los Angeles and perhaps the rest of the world.
  • Wham Line: "Hi Dad."
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Gunn to Angel for messing with Black Magic in the first place.
    • Also delivered by Wesley to Gunn for all of Angel Investigations after they turned against him and shut him out for something that he was tricked into doing which resulted in his throat being slit. Gunn tells him point-blank that he doesn't care about Wesley's side of the story.

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