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Recap / Angel S 04 E 16 Players

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Gwen Raiden meets with a shady contact who gives her some papers. She is struck suddenly by something and is knocked down.

The Angel team reacts to Cordelia's revelation of her pregnancy. Lorne is shocked that a mystical pregnancy occurred right under his nose and he didn't sense it. They decide to research and see if they can understand how she is so far along so quickly. Cordelia talks to Connor, who questions why she asked him to kill Angel.

Gwen returns to ask Gunn to help her rescue a little girl from a wealthy and powerful tycoon during a posh party at his high-tech security mansion.

Wesley and Fred talk to each other during research, and Wesley admits that he did have feelings for Lilah.

Upon their arrival at the party, Gunn surprises everyone with his command of Japanese language and etiquette, even presenting the host with a gift (which he lifted from Gwen's apartment). Gwen uses him to cause a distraction while she goes off on her own mission.

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Meanwhile, Angel and the rest of his team, researching Cordelia's sudden pregnancy, are hindered by an overprotective Connor.

After beating up a guard, Gunn realizes he has been tricked by Gwen: her target is actually a high-tech military device titled L.I.S.A. Although Gunn initially is angry with Gwen for lying to him, she observes that he's having more fun than he's had in a long time and he eventually relents and assists her.

Angel has managed to reconstruct a passage from a destroyed book through his photographic memory. Unfortunately, he was not quite able to get all of the details right. Meanwhile, Lorne has managed to contact a demon called Wanda, who provided a spell that should restore his empathic abilities. It will require him to go off by himself, but he reassures the gang that completion of the ritual will allow him to tell what is inside Cordelia.

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After retrieving the device from the safe, Gunn and Gwen are cornered by Morimoto and his guards. In a fit of rage, Gwen reveals that she is stealing the device for herself. She electrocutes the guards and she and Gunn escape from the house.

Lorne begins his ritual, while Cordelia looks on, unseen.

Back in her apartment, Gwen admits to Gunn that she has never been able to so much as hold hands. She tells Gunn that he's more than just muscle. She explains that the device will allow her to control her electrical powers and touch other people. In an intimate moment, they use the device, he places it on her back. After a brief scare, when they are unsure of what the device will do, Gunn touches her to test whether the device has worked, and when they both realize it has, the moment becomes more intimate. Although she is initially concerned that the device won't hold, Gunn reassures her, and the two sleep together.

Lorne continues with the ritual, which includes burning several substances, sprinkling ash on his skin, and then vocalizing while holding a hidden object. Unseen, Cordelia sneaks up on him with a knife, only to find herself cornered by the rest of the Angel Investigations team, with rifles. Lorne reveals that the ritual was a fake, designed to expose Cordelia, and that the object he's holding is a Magic-8 Ball. He asks it if Cordelia has been a bad girl, and it replies "Definitely".


Tropes

  • Absolute Cleavage
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: When Gunn is about to walk out on her, Gwen says he can keep the suit. Gunn casually changes his mind.
  • Blood Knight / Percussive Therapy: After the apocalyptic soap opera shenanigans of the past few months, Gunn enjoys a chance to do some good ol' mook pounding.
  • Buffy Speak: Angel proving he was listening to what the others were talking about. "Easy Bake. Flop-a-palooza. Woosh. Pop."
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Gwen tells Gunn not to worry about the impending apocalypse, 'cause Team Angel will call if they need help. The next episode, Gunn apologises for not turning up for the cliffhanger because being near Gwen screwed up his equipment.
  • Cliffhanger: Cordelia is going to kill Lorne before he gets his empathic powers back, when the lights come on to reveal Angel, Wesley, and Fred all pointing weapons at her.
  • Comically Missing the Point
    Gwen: I need someone suave, a guy who can handle himself in a tight spot.
    Angel: (preening) Gwen, I'd love to help—
    Gwen: I meant him. (points to Gunn)
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Gwen meets with her contact, a nervous looking man in a trenchoat.
    Contact: So, is it that obvious? (laughs) That I've never done—
    Gwen: Trench coat. Definite rookie mistake.
    Contact: So, I should dress more like you?
  • Continuity Nod: Gwen's tendency to attract lightning, which she mentioned in a previous episode.
  • Corner of Woe: Connor's "Fortress of Solitude".
  • Dating Catwoman: Fred is squicked over Cordy and Connor getting all couply.
    Wesley: Things happen, Fred. When you're alienated from the people who care about you, you start to look other places.
    Fred: (looks away) Hm. Lilah.
    Wesley: We were fighting on opposite sides, but it was the same war.
    Fred: (rolls her eyes, scoffs) But you hated her...didn't you?
  • Decoy Damsel: Gwen tells Gunn she's been given a job to rescue the child of a client, being held hostage by a rival businessman. Actually she's the daughter of Mr Morimoto, the man whose house she is robbing.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Morimoto's mooks getting an even Bigger Stick than a Simple Staff.
  • Every Scar Has a Story
    Gwen: You collect anything when you travel?
    Gunn: Uh, yeah. I, uh, I got a big ol' scar on my thigh from Boyle Heights... A piece of vamp stake I picked up a while back in Alhambra... And a couple of burn marks on my hip from Encino... Yep, name a town, I'll show you the souvenir.
  • Fan Disservice: Cordelia's well-tassled pregnancy gown (according to the DVD Commentary, it was ordered online and the Costume Dept hadn't realised how trashy it would look).
  • Failed a Spot Check: Lorne is dumbfounded that a mystical pregnancy happened under his nose.
  • Fetus Terrible: Cordelia's stomach convulses in a sinister manner.
  • From the Mouths of Babes
    I'm Aiko Morimoto, and when my daddy finds out you tried to hurt me, (points at Gunn) he's gonna kill you.
  • Fun with Acronyms: 'Lisa' stands for Localized Ionic Sensory Activator.
    Gwen: A covert device worn by black ops. Regulates body temp, heartbeat, body chemistry. Morimoto's company designed it, and I've been hired to steal the beta test.
  • Genius Bruiser: After being stopped by security, Gunn bluffs Mr Morimoto into thinking they've met before; once the boss accepts them, his mooks let them through. Gwen lampshades this afterwards, pointing out that he's not the Dumb Muscle he thinks he is.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Wesley tries to translate a text and comes up with something about "strangling poultry".
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Lorne's "Oh fudgicle."
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Gwen uses this to explain why Mr Morimoto's 'hostage' is at the party, as she's surrounded by guards (actually bodyguards).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The waltz playing as Gunn and Gwen enter the party is "Gran Valz" — including the bit that would soon become ubiquitous as the ringtone of Nokia phones.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: As LISA can regulate one's physiology, Gwen thinks it will prevent her from zapping anyone she touches.
  • In the Hood: Lorne's ceremonial robe.
    "You think this Dungeons & Dragons cloak is a fashion statement?"
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Japanese Morimoto's party is frequented by many guests in Chinese qipaos.
  • Ironic Echo: "It's not like Holding Hands." Gwen hopes that the LISA device will at least allow her to hold hands with a man.
  • Kimono Fanservice: Gwen dressed up to infiltrate Morimoto's party. And for the ladies there's Gunn in a suit.
  • Left the Background Music On: One fourth-wall-breaking hint that Lorne's ceremony is fake is that the music he sings is just a more occult-sounding version of that scene's own background music.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Gunn isn't silly enough to fall for this twice.
  • Magic 8-Ball: Literally.
  • Magical Defibrillator: A virginal Gwen is about to have sex with Gunn, and points out that LISA is only a prototype — what if it fails while he's on the job? Gunn replies that if he goes Out with a Bang, Gwen knows how to start him up again.
  • The Nicknamer: The Big Bad is "High-and-Spitey".
  • Oblivious Mockery: Angel telling Gunn to hang around as they might need some muscle. Angel telling Cordelia that the Beastmaster was demented.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Gunn finding out the girl he's supposed to 'rescue' is not a hostage.
    • Cordy when she gets caught red-handed sneaking up on Lorne, knife in hand.
  • Pun: Gunn regarding Pregnant!Cordy.
    "As soon as you can say "Easy Bake Oven", there's a gigantic bun in hers."
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away
    Morimoto: Put that on the desk, and step away. Set it down now.
    Gwen: No.
    Gunn: (gestures to mooks) Just those two girls? I already kicked their ass once. (the mooks pull out guns) But, when you put it like that, maybe we should.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Angel insists that the Beast had a master, as Lava Boy was too crude.
    Cordelia: I'm his master. (beat) I'm his all-powerful master, and I'm gonna break into a guarded room, steal your soul from a safe (not by ripping it open, but by using the combination) then I'm gonna hunt and kill Lilah right under this very roof. Sure. Evil geniuses live for that playing with fire stuff.
    • When the tickets she bought off her contact don't scan properly, Gwen tells security it was because she was struck by lightning.
  • Saw It in a Movie Once: Gunn learnt enough basic Japanese etiquette to impress Mr Morimoto by watching samurai movies. Justified in that Morimoto appreciates Gunn making the effort to be polite, rather than whether he gets the details right.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Cut from Gwen/Gunn kissing, to a closeup of the candles in Lorne's ceremony.
  • Shaped Like Itself
  • Shock and Awe
  • Simple Staff: After Gunn kicks their asses, the mooks get a Bigger Stick.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye
    Contact: How did you do that?
    Gwen: I'm a thief.
  • Supernatural Soap Opera: "Listen, I spent most of this year trapped in what I can only describe as a turgid supernatural soap-opera."
  • Tempting Fate
    Gunn: Now, if we can just get out as easily as we got in— (as the guard scans the tickets, an alarm goes off) Why did I even say that?
  • Toplessness from the Back: Used to good effect when Gunn attaches the LISA device to Gwen's back so he can touch her skin.
  • Translation Train Wreck
    Wesley: I recognize the text. It's early Fallorian code system. Let's see... (translating) "The green cart-like vehicle eats...I am not a bucket head." It's a tricky language. An inverted serif can alter the meaning of an entire passage.
    later...
    Wesley: Something about "strangling poultry".
  • We Need a Distraction: Gwen pushes over a coffee table so Gunn can grab the girl. Gwen then points out what Gunn is doing so she can rob the safe.
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