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Recap / Angel S 04 E 15 Orpheus

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After drinking from Faith, Angelus pulls away in shock as she flashes back to earlier, when she injected herself with a drug stolen from a vampire junkie at the demon bar. Angelus and Faith both collapse, unconscious. Gunn drags Angelus's body to the Hyperion Hotel, where he and Connor shackle Angelus securely in the basement cage. Wesley brings a barely alive Faith to one of the hotel bedrooms. Knowing Faith injected herself with Orpheus, an enchanted psychedelic drug that poses a serious threat to her life, Lorne yells at Wesley for allowing Faith to purposely get bit by Angelus. Connor updates Cordelia on Faith and Angelus' conditions. Suddenly, Cordelia brutally shoves Connor into a wall in response to his constant talk about Faith. He's shocked and she tries to cover her behavior by blaming it on the hormones of pregnancy.

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Downstairs, Connor shouts at Fred and Wesley about the need for killing Angelus, when Willow appears at the door suggesting that she's a better alternative. Fred called Willow for help since she's the only one alive to have successfully restored Angel's soul. Willow wants to see Cordelia again and Connor reluctantly takes her upstairs. As Willow talks about the difficulties associated with ensouling Angelus, Cordelia secretly reaches for a large knife under her pillow and tries to get Willow close enough to strike. Willow realizes that while the jar housing the soul is impervious to magic it can still be broken and if it is the soul will be released into the ether (after which it can be resummoned), and Willow knows a spell that will let them strike the jar despite not knowing where it is. Willow rushes out of the room in time to unknowingly avoid the knife thrown at her, which hits the door instead.

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In their shared coma, Angelus and Faith witness the 1920s version of Angel rescue a small puppy from an oncoming car. Angelus is infuriated at being subjected to the memory again, and Faith realizes with glee that they're experiencing Angel's good deeds of the past. Next, a hippie Angel walks into a diner and selects "Mandy" on the jukebox, as Angelus complains to Faith about watching Angel's self-induced misery. A man barges into the diner and asks for money, but shoots the cashier when he doesn't react quickly enough. The shooter runs away, and Angel struggles with his desire to feed on the cashier, which wins out. The bite marks on dream-Faith's neck begins to bleed and she realizes Angel could have saved the cashier. Angelus watches on as Angel suffers with the guilt of feeding, enjoying Faith's pain as well.

Before Willow can begin her spell to break the jar holding Angel's soul, the Beast Master's deep voice screams a warning to stop. Willow's magic overpowers the Master's, and Willow begins her spell as Cordelia works counter-magic from the bedroom. When Connor breaks Cordelia's concentration by trying to enter the bedroom, Willow's projectile is able to magically shatter the jar. Using the Orb of Thesulah, Willow and Fred begin the ritual that will give Angel back his soul. Dream-Faith finds herself in a dirty alley with Angelus again, watching a filthy past-Angel feed on a rat. Angelus tells Faith that, following what happened in the diner, Angel chose to cut himself off completely from humanity and live in the gutter. In a twist, past-Angel turns and addresses the twosome. Angelus and Angel face-off and begin to exchange blows, as Angel convinces Faith that life is worth living and she has to wake up. Faith disappears.

When Connor finally breaks into her barricaded bedroom, Cordy smashes a lamp over his head, then pretends not to have known it was him. Cordy deceives Connor into thinking Willow's magic is evil and threatens their unborn child. She tells him he has to kill Angelus to protect their family. Willow completes the restoration spell, pulling Angelus and Angel into one body, while Faith wakes up and rushes downstairs to the basement in time to stop Connor from staking Angel. She begins to beat up Connor until Angel wakes up and stops the fight. Later, Faith tells Angel that she is going back to Sunnydale with Willow to aid Buffy and her allies. After they leave, a very pregnant Cordelia comes downstairs and shocks the gang with the serious trouble they still have to deal with.


Tropes

  • Adventures in Comaland: Faith and Angelus dream of Angel and Angelus' past after Faith takes Orpheus and feeds herself to Angelus. Faith has to choose to keep fighting in order to live.
  • Amazon Chaser: Cordelia's description of Connor/Faith.
  • Angst Coma: And not Faith's first, either - lampshaded by Cordelia.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Willow visits Cordelia in her bedroom to explain how she's been called to help put Angel's soul back. Evil!Cordy reaches under the covers for her butcher's knife, but relaxes as Willow talks of how impossible her task is...until Willow has a "Eureka!" Moment.
    Willow: (excited) Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
    Cordelia: (grabs the knife again) I doubt it.
  • Attack Hello: Cordelia breaks a vase over Connor's head to make him think she's afraid of the Huge Floaty Head (and probably to punish him for making her break Angel's Soul Jar).
  • Backstory:
    Faith: I'm guessing it's more like "Angelus, this is your life."
  • Bait-and-Switch: Angelus starts freaking out when he realises he's flashed back to the 1920's. We see Angel, apparently Driven to Suicide, but he's actually diving in front of a vehicle to save a puppy, to Angelus' total disgust.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Angel vs. Angelus. Technically it's a tag-team bout, since Faith is in Angel's brain, too.
  • Beware the Superman: Cordelia telling Connor that they're special and the rules don't apply to them.
  • Bishounen
    Willow: You must be Angel's handsome yet androgynous son.
    Connor: It's Connor.
    Willow: And the sneer's genetic; who knew?
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Connor wonders aloud if Willow is powerful enough to take on the Beastmaster. Next moment it's hello, Dark-Eyed Girl!
  • Buffy Speak: With Willow on the scene the amount of Buffy Speak jumps exponentially. Lack-of-Hygiene World, avoidy, bone-age, smash-o-crash, huge floaty head, pep-talky.
  • Call-Back:
    • Faith seeking to atone for her crimes with a grand yet suicidal gesture, as Angel tried to do in "Reprise".
    • Willow's reunion with Cordelia rings similar to Buffy's exchange with Amy in Smashed:
    Willow: How've you been?
    Cordelia: Higher Power. You?
    Willow: Ultimate Evil.
  • Character Overlap: Willow crosses over from Buffy, and later brings Faith back with her. Willow is shown receiving the call from Fred in "Lies My Parents Told Me".
  • Cliffhanger Copout: The previous episode ends with Angelus defeating Faith, drinking her blood, and declaring that he's going to turn her into a vampire. This opens with a flashback of Faith drugging herself with the titular drug as a back-up plan for defeating Angelus.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Angel listening to the song "Mandy", which he confessed to being fond of.
    • Angelus' disgust at saving a puppy — Giles once told Buffy about how Angelus did something terrible to a puppy to 'commemorate' St Valentine's Day.
    • The re-ensoulment ritual is the same as the one used in "Becoming" (except the English lines are cut).
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Connor is about to stake an unconscious Angel when Faith grabs his wrist.
    Faith: Break me off a switch, son. (throws Connor against the cage wall) There's about to be a whoppin'.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Lorne talks to an unconscious Faith, but it's clear he thinks there's little hope. At one point he sings 'Macarthur Park' to her — Faith and Angelus hear the song in their shared dream playing on a jukebox.
  • Curse Cut Short: Cordelia on seeing the broken Muo-Ping, gets out an "Oh sh—" before a Twisted Echo Cut of Angelus saying "I don't believe this!".
    Faith: Way I figure, I've got one last job: baby-sit the psycho 'til they shove a soul up your—
    Angelus: Not gonna happen.
  • Description Cut: Fred mentions that Connor and Cordelia have a relationship that might be "a bit icky". Cut to Cordelia telling Connor to kill his father.
  • Despair Speech: Wesley tries to explain to Willow how he's not the same person she once knew.
    Wesley: A lot's happened. Not just Angelus. I've been...I've changed. I've seen a darkness in myself. I'm not sure you'd even begin to understand...
    Wesley: Oh. So...
    Willow: Darkness? Been there.
    Wesley: Yeah. Well, I never... flayed... I had a woman chained in a closet.
    Willow: (supportively) Hey!
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Willow zaps Evil!Cordy with a spell.
  • Domestic Abuse: Evil!Cordy's treatment of Connor has a very unsettling resemblance of an abusive spouse, in the way she speaks to him, physically strikes him in anger, manipulates him, and then plays the abuse off with excuses and apologies.
  • Epiphany Therapy: We see how agonizing it is for the evil Angelus to be trapped inside the brooding but heroic Angel - he screams in horror when forced to relive a night when Angel saved a puppy. He quickly gets over this problem when he remembers that he can still torment Angel, no matter what happens in the outside world.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Excited over her new idea of how to restore Angel, Willow rushes out the door — into which slams a butcher knife thrown by Cordelia in a last-ditch effort to kill her.
  • Felony Misdemeanor
    Angel: I'm not perfect, Faith. Even with a soul, I've done things I wished a thousand times I could take back.
    Angelus: Yeah, like those Manilow concerts, you son of a bitch!
  • Fighting from the Inside: Angelus claims to always be doing this to Angel.
  • Foreshadowing: Cordelia saying, "If only this were a few weeks later" when trying to summon enough power to defeat Willow.
  • Golden Moment: Averted by Faith as it would only lead to hugging.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Cordelia's reaction to the possibility of Connor/Faith, though it could simply be because she fears losing her influence over Connor.
  • Half-Truth: Wesley asks Willow if anything else (besides the whole turning evil thing) has changed with her. Willow says, "Oh, little things..." then 'casually' inquires about Fred.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Everyone, including Faith herself, thinks she's done this.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: Bell, book and candle are used for the magic ritual to put Angel's soul back.
  • Humiliation Conga: Angelus is considered the monster of both series, a name everyone fears. Well, after Faith fights him to a standstill she allows him to feed on her, having doped up beforehand so he gets drugged and taken out. Let the conga commence: he couldn't beat a Slayer that was higher than a kite, he can't attack her during his head trip, ashamed at Faith seeing him live like a bum, horrified she sees him rescue a puppy, goes on about how it sucks that he's such an uncool Fashion-Victim Villain, and to top it off Faith snarks the whole way, ending with the revelation he listens to "Mandy" and attends Manilow concerts.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Wesley says this almost exactly as his reasoning for allowing Faith to drug herself, perhaps fatally, in order to capture Angelus.
  • Ironic Echo Cut:
    Lorne: It's OK, Faith. It's OK. You just wait. They'll get Angel back, and... (trying to convince himself) it'll all be worth it. It'll all— (Faith gasps and sits up — cut to her dream where Faith wakes up in an alley)
    Angelus: It'll all be worth it. Is that what you try to tell yourself, Faithy? Is that the nasty little lie that kept those thighs nice and warm in your prison bunk?
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: The drug traps both Angelus and Faith inside his memories until his soul is restored.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Evil!Cordelia really brings out her inner Lady Macbeth.
  • Meaningful Name: Orpheus.
    Wesley: It leads you down to hell. And leaves you there.
  • Mirror Match: After 11 seasons of Buffyverse, we finally get a showdown between Angel and Angelus. It's a draw.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Willow thinks she and Fred are flirting. Fred thinks they're just geeking out.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe, 1970's Angel waiting for a man to die so he can feed off him, completing the transformation into the homeless rat-eater we remember from BTVS "Becoming". For Angelus above any of the good deeds he's done he treats the Manilow concerts as this.
  • Mundane Solution: Willow's solution is to cast a spell to break the jar.
  • The Needs of the Many: Cordy re why Connor should kill his father.
  • The Nicknamer: Cordelia refers to Willow as Glinda.
  • No Sense of Humor:
    Wesley: Sorry. I think my sense of humor's trapped in a jar somewhere.
    Willow: Does seem like you've given in to the grumpy side of the Force.
  • Oedipus Complex: Cordelia snogs Connor and talks him into killing his father.
  • Oh My Gods!: Willow says "Hecate's sake."
  • Once More, with Clarity!: We're treated to a flashback of the end of the last episode — only this time, the camera holds on Faith so we can see her pump herself full of magical heroin before fighting Angelus.
  • Orphean Rescue: Angelus and Faith end up sharing a drugged dream state where they trade barbs while observing Angel's memories from his quest for redemption as she tries to find a way to restore his soul.
  • Perma-Stubble / The Nicknamer
    Willow: (seeing Wesley) Oh, and it's the Marlboro Man. Or at least his extra-stubbly, mentally unstable, insomniac, first cousin of— For the love of Hecate, somebody stop me.
  • Pet the Dog: 1920's Angel.
    Angelus: Oh no. I got to get out of here.
    Faith: Dude! You just rescued a puppy!
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Wesley carries Faith's bloodied body into the Hyperion Hotel in Slow Motion.
  • Pivotal Wake-up: Angelus does this inside Faith's mind — given that the Buffyverse had been running for six years, it's surprising they waited till now to fulfill this trope.
  • Previously On…: Carries on directly from the last scene.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Charisma Carpenter's pregnancy required a lot of shuffling around of the intended story.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Discussed, and averted. Faith seems to have accepted this. Angel disagrees.
    Faith: Rolled the bones. You for me.
    Angel: I used to think that. That there'd be a point when I'd paid my dues. (...) Our time is never up, Faith. We pay for everything.
    Faith: It hurts.
    Angel: I know. I know.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: Willow appears for the third and final time. Whereas her previous guest roles were cameos, here she's a main guest star.
  • Rescue Sex: The Flapper is willing to be very grateful to the handsome man who saved her puppy. As Angel is craving something else, he tells her to take a walk.
  • Rock Bottom: Angelus thinks Evil Is Cool so having Faith who used to think this see him so uncool (to him) that he rescues puppies and listens to "Mandy" is his worst fear made real. It's akin to what he would see were he around in the episode Nightmares.
  • Running Gag / Real Men Wear Pink: Back in season two Angel sang Mandy so Lorne could read his future. Angelus is humiliated when Faith sees a flashback of Angel listening to the song.
    Angelus: Bring on the pain!
  • Same Clothes, Different Year: Angel's wearing a black leather jacket in The '70s. It goes great with the striped pants, semi-unbuttoned shirt, gold necklace and gratuitously wide collars.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:
    Willow: OK, now all I gotta do is contact the spirit world, harness the Delothrian ebb, and focus it through my little marble-o'-doom here, and we'll restore the Muo-Ping's entropic equilibrium.
  • Shared Dream: Angelus and Faith have a shared drug-induced hallucination, after Faith took the drug and lured Angelus into biting her, to incapacitate him.
  • Ship Tease: Willow/Fred's Geeky Turn-On. Connor also has a Slayer attraction.
  • Skyward Scream: Angel lets one loose after feeding on a murder victim during the 1970s.
  • Slave Collar: For once not played for fetish aspects.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Faith does this to Angelus the hard way - overdosing on a drug that affects vampires, then letting him drink her blood. The downside, of course, being that she takes a lethal overdose and loses a lot of blood.
    Faith: Kicked his ass. *coma*
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Angel's flashback to a donut shop robbery, in which he witnessed the clerk get fatally shot. Angel drinks the corpse's blood as "Mandy" plays on a jukebox.
  • Straw Nihilist: Angelus flat-out states that as far as he's concerned, humans only exist to suffer and die.
  • Terse Talker: Times 2
    Faith: Wes.
    Wesley: Faith.
    Faith: See. Brits know how to say goodbye. Angel here wanted a hug.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others
    Willow: There's lots of jars in the world — can't shatter them all. I mean, you could, but good things come in jars. Peanut butter, jelly, those two-headed fetal pigs at the natural history museum. (Wes doesn't respond) Come on, everybody loves fetal pigs.
  • Think Nothing of It: Subverted, Willow is blase about thanks for restoring Angel, but much of that is due to getting one hell of a recompense in Faith.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: After Faith drugs Angelus he is forced to relive the good acts he's done. He actually freaks out to Faith when he realizes what's coming.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue / Talking in Your Dreams: Justified as Faith and Angelus are linked psychically.
  • Walk-In Chime-In:
    Connor: We need to put Angelus down!
    Willow: I don't think so. (everyone turns to look at Willow) I think you need a witch.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lorne does this to Wesley once he realises how he and Faith took down Angelus.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: When Dream!Angelus kicks Faith in the face, her cheek wound breaks open in the real world.
  • Your Mom:
    Faith: Did you kiss your mother with that mouth?
    Angelus: No, but I ate her with it.

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