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Recap / Angel S 04 E 19 The Magic Bullet

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Everyone in L.A. is happy and cheerful. The first scene opens with The Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice?" playing behind a montage of harmonious street scenes of pedestrians and drivers in the city, until Fred runs into a car at an intersection. She's pursued by Wesley and Gunn, but Fred eludes them by hiding out in a sewer under a shopping center.

Back at the Hyperion, Lorne has to turn away people who have come to the hotel to see Jasmine. She makes time to talk to many of them, and Angel asks how Jasmine always knows exactly what to say to people. She tells him that she looks into their hearts, though sometimes what they need is right on their faces. She tells a man in Spanish that his mustache "provides [him] great strength and dignity." Wesley and Gunn return with the news that Fred escaped. Connor wants to kill her and bring her back, but Wesley reminds him that Jasmine wants her alive. Jasmine invites a couple of people to go upstairs with her, while Wesley and Gunn admit to wishing she would pick them.

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Fred goes to the Magic Bullet Bookstore, which she apparently visited three days earlier to read up on mass hypnosis. Now she's looking for information on mind control. The shopkeeper mentions that business has been slow. Fred commiserates with him. He says that he used to be obsessed with mind control, and though he still believes in it, he just doesn't worry about it anymore. The shopkeeper pulls out a gun—then a yo-yo and a book called Making Mind Control Work for You—and says that he thinks Fred is trying to get the government to learn about Jasmine's love.

Connor and Angel try to track Fred through the sewers; Angel learns that Connor has been tracking people since he was a kid. Holtz would tie him to a tree and then run away, expecting Connor to free himself and find Holtz. Angel is shocked that Holtz abandoned Connor like that, but Connor considers it good, since he learned to track. Angel and Connor both suddenly close their eyes, receiving a message that Jasmine wants them back at the Hyperion.

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Back at the hotel, Wesley, Gunn, and Lorne are helping Jasmine build her media empire. Connor and Angel arrive, confused as to how they were able to receive a message. Jasmine explains that everyone is connected by love, and she wants to test that connection to see if they can find Fred. Everyone holds hands as Jasmine tells them to picture Fred and concentrate on finding her...

Fred checks into a motel, where people around her start looking at her. Fred takes off running, passing a man who is fueling his car. Another car hits his car, which sets off a fire. The guy from the car gets out and, in flames, walks to Fred, calls her by name, and tells her not to be afraid...

Jasmine's hand starts smoking. She explains that she saw Fred, and all of the Jasmaniacs now know who Fred is and what she looks like; Fred has nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. In the meantime, the Angel Investigations team takes charge of meeting the needs of various pilgrims in the hotel, meeting Jasmine's demands though a sort of psychic network that connects everyone under her spell.

Somewhere far away, Fred walks by the side of a highway. When thinks she's spotted by a passing SUV, she steps off the road and falls down a hill. She finds herself in a cave where a short demon is also holed up. The creature assures Fred that he won't hurt her; it doesn't seem to matter, since Fred makes sure he knows that she can handle herself. She tries to collect herself.

Back at the Hyperion, Wesley is giving a presentation to the assembled crowd about an insidious evil among them: Fred. He passes the podium to Lorne, who gives the "hourly Jasmine report." He then announces a new surprise - open mic night, an opportunity for everyone to pay their respects to Jasmine. A montage follows of various odes to Jasmine, including Lorne singing "Freddie's Dead" and Angel and Connor singing a revised version of "Mandy".

The demon in the cave reveals that he's hiding out because of "those freakin' Jasminites and their demon jihad." The two find common ground as fugitives, but then he gets hungry and attacks Fred, who is injured but fights back with an axe, killing him.

Fred returns to the Magic Bullet Bookstore, luring a crowd of people outside. The shopkeeper tells Fred that she's famous now, and that he's not supposed to hurt her. Jasmine arrives with Angel and Connor and, in exchange for the shopkeeper's help, tells him that Lee Harvey Oswald worked alone in assassinating JFK.

Jasmine turns to Fred, who says that she's sorry, and Jasmine accepts the apology, but it turns out that Fred is talking to Angel. She raises the shopkeeper's handgun, aims at Jasmine, and fires. The bullet goes through Jasmine and then into Angel's shoulder. Angel vamps out and attacks Fred, grabbing the gun and pointing it at her jaw. Crying, Fred tells him to look at Jasmine. He does, seeing the same decaying, maggot-infested flesh that Fred saw earlier and is released from her spell, being left in a state of shock.

Jasmine realizes that it was her blood that released Fred and Angel and tells Connor that Angel is infected. Fred shoots Jasmine repeatedly, and an enraged Connor attacks her, knocking her out. Angel fights Connor off, then makes a run for it with an unconscious Fred in his arms. Connor wants to follow, but Jasmine tells him she needs his help. Looking around at much blood she's lost and tells the shopkeeper to burn the store down.

Back in the hotel, Jasmine returns to find the pilgrims sharing a potluck. She goes into the office, and Wesley, Gunn, and Lorne follow her. Jasmine explains that they've lost Angel to Fred, and proclaims that they cannot be helped. Jasmine declares that, in order to prevent further "hatred," Fred and Angel must be killed on sight. She takes Connor with her as she leaves.

Elsewhere, Fred awakens to Angel in a darkened alleyway. Angel is depressed, admitting to Fred that he misses the way Jasmine made him feel even if it was only a lie. Fred tells him that she feels the same, and that she still cries despite it being over a week by now. She explains that that Jasmine's blood breaks the spell - she got it in her system when she washed Jasmine's shirt, and Angel got it after the bullet passed through Jasmine. Angel assures her that despite how awful they feel, she did the right thing. At this, Fred breaks down in tears, admitting that she's scared and claiming that she isn't a champion like Angel, but Angel comforts her and insists otherwise.

Fred decides that they need to get more of Jasmine's blood so that they can break the spell for the others. Angel points out that they'll never be able to get close to Jasmine now, but then he has another idea. Before he can explain, they hear people coming, and Fred kisses Angel to throw the people off. Unfortunately, it doesn't work, and the two are forced to run.

Upstairs, Jasmine asks Connor to guard the door after she takes several people into her room. She asks them to remove their clothes, then examines her wound in a mirror, magically healing herself...

Angel and Fred sneak into Cordelia's room, finding she's still comatose. Angel apologizes to Cordelia, then starts to cut her arm with a knife. She grabs his wrist and he panics, thinking that she's awake. Fred has to tell him that people in comas sometimes move or do things that don't mean they're waking up. They are able to get a small amount of blood, but Lorne comes in and finds them. Angel puts a hand over his mouth, and "infects" him with Cordelia's blood, breaking the spell.

Upstairs, Jasmine comes from out of her room, accompanied by a bright green light. Connor asks what happened to the three people who went into the room, and Jasmine replies, "I ate them." Connor is awestruck and impressed.

Lorne lures Wesley and Gunn upstairs, grabs a baseball bat, and knocks them out so that Fred can administer the cure. When they come to, Angel explains that Cordelia's blood worked because Jasmine used her to gain a physical body, so they share a blood link. Wesley brings Connor in, and the others hold him down for the cure. After Connor calms down, Angel tells him they had to make him see the truth. "You understand why we're here?" Angel asks. Connor nods, but then throws open the door and shouts to the rest of the Jasmaniacs, alerting them to the gang's presence.


Tropes

  • Actor Allusion At one point we have Gina Torres speaking Mandarin.
  • A Handaxe To Grind: Fred carries a hatchet.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: Angel kisses Cordelia's forehead before bleeding her.
  • Apologetic Attacker
    Fred: I'm so sorry.
    Jasmine: It's OK. I forgive you.
    Fred: No, I'm talking to Angel. I hope he can forgive me.
    (Fred takes out the revolver and fires it through Jasmine's body into Angel)
  • Batter Up!: Lorne knocking out Wes and : Gunn.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Literally with the deaf woman using sign language.
    [SUBTITLE] I wish I could be in Fred's skull...so I could explode her brain and kill her for rejecting Jasmine.
  • Bizarre and Improbable Ballistics: Fred breaks Jasmine's spell on Angel by deliberately shooting him with a bullet that first had to pass through Jasmine, since it is exposure to Jasmine's blood that breaks her glamour.
  • Blatant Lies: Fred stumbles on the hideout of a small demon who claims to be a vegetarian. When Fred points out that he's got sharp teeth, he changes it to fish and vermin. The severed hands hidden in his blanket tell a different story.
    Hey, these yours? 'Cause I've never seen 'em before. Why would anyone keep a stash (picks up a hand) of these tasty little—uh, disgusting meaty things like this laying around? (shrugs) OK, so, not a vegetarian. (breaks a finger off the hand, takes a bite of it, offers the hand to Fred) Finger food?
  • Bullet Time: Time slows down when Fred shoots a bullet through Jasmine and into Angel. This is a major plot point. Individuals enthralled by Jasmine snap out of it when exposed to her blood, so the Bullet Time Cam shows that the bullet carried Jasmine's blood with it as it entered Angel's body.
  • The Cameo: Blink and you'll miss Zakk Wylde — he's strumming a guitar while Angel and Conner sing "Mandy".
  • The Champion: Angel outright states that Fred is a Champion of the Powers That Be for her heroism in this episode (and overall).
  • Cliffhanger: Fred and Angel succeed in freeing the other members of the gang from Jasmine's influence, only for Connor to betray them.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Spoofed when Fred asks the owner of a conspiracy bookstore if he hasn't noticed anything strange about the way everyone is acting. The conspiracy nutter says that the CIA are still listening to the implants in his head, but it doesn't bother him any more as he's broadcasting Jasmine's love back to them via the mind control satellites.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Everyone is happy and nice to each other in a Los Angeles controlled by Jasmine.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: "I have 37 cats, and I've just changed all their names to Jasmine."
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Fred threatens to chop out the conspiracy nutter's implants.
  • A Day in the Limelight: This episode mainly features Fred as the sole heroine; in fact, if it weren't for her, the entire world might be a part of the Body Jasmine.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Jasmine's 'jihad', and all the love-bomb culty stuff.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The episode title has multiple meanings:
    • It refers to the bullet that Fred uses to expose Angel to Jasmine's blood
    • It refers to the "Magic Bullet" theory of President John F. Kennedy's assassination introduced by the Warren Commission to explain how a single bullet caused seven wounds during the assassination. As part of that theory, the "magic bullet" passed through JFK's body and then traveled through John Connelly's body as well. Jasmine references the assassination when she tells Ted that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
    • "The Magic Bullet" is the name of the shop Fred goes to, since the shopkeeper is obsessed with conspiracy theories and the JFK assassination
    • Additionally, a "magic bullet" is a concept by Dr. Paul Ehrlich for a treatment that cures specific diseases without harming the host. Similarly, Fred looks for a way to break people of Jasmine's control (disease), without harming them (host). In this case, the magic bullet ends up being a literal bullet infected with Jasmine's blood.
    • It refers to Jasmine's mind control, which she saw as the solution to human misery.
  • Enemy Mine: Averted when Fred finds herself hiding in a demon's lair.
    Demon: Wow. Amazing. Two beings dissimilar as you and me discovering a shared link against a common foe. Huh. The irony. My feelings for you are changing. (shrugs) I feel warmth. (sighs) Wait. No, I don't. (holds up hands) That's just me wetting myself because you wouldn't let me pee!
  • Eureka Moment: The small demon attacks Fred and tears her shoulder, causing her to remember Jasmine's wound in the previous episode.
  • The Evils of Free Will: All of the Fang Gang talk of how they miss Jasmine's love once they're removed from her glamour.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Fred breaks Jasmine's spell on Angel by deliberately shooting him with a bullet that first had to pass through Jasmine, since it is exposure to Jasmine's blood that breaks her glamour.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Fred hears people approaching and grabs Angel for a passionate snog. Of course it doesn't work, given that everyone in the city is being mind-controlled by Jasmine and nothing is happening in Los Angeles — not even a young couple making out on a midnight stroll — without her approval.
    Fred: (whispering) You think they bought it?
    Angel: (whispering) I did. I—I mean, I didn't hear anything.
    [Oh, Crap! moment when they realise it's because the group has stopped to stare at them.]
  • Get a Room!: The short demon's reaction to Fred removing her clothes to check out her injuries.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Gunn re Angel.
    "Evil. Not evil. Evil again. Wish he'd make up his mind."
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Angel and Connor singing a duet in praise of Jasmine, to the tune of "Mandy".
  • I'll Kill You!
    Connor: (struggling in Angel's grip) I'll kill you!
    Angel: It'll pass.
    Lorne: Right, 'cause Lord knows he's never tried that before.
  • Immune to Bullets
    Angel: Dumb idea for such a smarty. You know bullets don't kill me. (Dramatic Gun Cock) Want to see how they work on you?
    Fred: (crying) Look at her.
    (Angel does and recoils at the sight of Jasmine's Nightmare Face)
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Fred shoots Angel through Jasmine on a quickdraw. Not quite Wes' killshot on Skip, but pretty damn good for a non action girl.
  • Kill It with Fire: Jasmine orders the conspiracy theorist to burn down his own shop to destroy all traces of her blood.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Jasmine's followers are talking of the reasons why they love her — a cute child says, "Jasmine makes food taste good."
  • Magic Bullets: The Slow Motion bullet fired out of Fred's gun is clearly a rifle bullet rather than the much shorter round that would be fired from a revolver.
  • Man on Fire: A man crashes his car while pursuing Fred, then staggers out the vehicle in flames, still calling on her to accept Jasmine's love.
  • Mood Whiplash / Musicalis Interruptus: The Teaser has The Beach Boys playing as complete strangers share the love of Jasmine. A commuter happily stops his car to allow pedestrians to cross — only for a wide-eyed Fred to slam into his window before fleeing, pursued by Wes and Gunn.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Last week's On the Next episode trailer centered around Angel and Fred kissing, with the announcer going on about how the crisis will drive them together... the kiss turns out to be a Fake-Out Make-Out and no romance comes of it.
  • Omniglot: Jasmine can speak any language.
  • Person as Verb: "Fred pulled a Houdini on us."
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Angel carrying an unconscious Fred out of the Magic Bullet.
  • Quick Nip: Lorne fortifies himself before going out to grab Wes and Gunn.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Connor asks what happened to the three people who entered the room with Jasmine. She says matter-of-factly, "I ate them." Connor just replies, "Cool." Subverted when it turns out Connor already knows what Jasmine is, and doesn't care.
  • Scare Chord: When the guests at a motel turn and look at Fred. A comatose Cordelia grabbing Angel's wrist in an instinctive response.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: You can thank Holtz for tying Connor to a tree in the middle of nowhere, then leaving him to escape his ropes and find his way home all on his own (this in the worst hell dimension in existence). "One time, it only took me five days."
  • Ship Tease: Fred and Angel kiss to conceal their identities from Jasmine's spies. When they break apart, Fred asks "do you think they bought it?" and Angel replies "I did" but then quickly coughs and they separate. Earlier on, Fred developed a schoolgirl-like crush on Angel, but later got past it.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sickly Green Glow: Jasmine feeding.
  • So Much for Stealth: Angel has a Prat Fall trying to sneak through the window into Cordelia's room.
  • Sublime Rhyme: Jasmine wanting to meet ASAP for some TLC. Also "You're dead, Fred."
  • Telepathy: If any of Jasmine's followers see Fred, Jasmine knows immediately because they are becoming part of her Hive Mind.
  • Terrible Interviewees Montage: The people at the Hyperion talking of why they love Jasmine.
  • Title Drop: Not a straight example, Fred tells the shop attendant she wished everybody could be Shiny Happy People, which is the title of the previous episode.
  • That Came Out Wrong / Bizarre Demon Biology: Lorne talks about Jasmine walking through the door and into his ass, then has to explain that as a demon his heart is located there. "I could show you an X-ray."
  • The Triple: The conspiracy bookstore owner takes out a revolver, a yo-yo, and a book on "Making Mind Control Work For You."
  • Walk-In Chime-In: The owner of the Magic Shop asks for the autograph of the notorious Fred Burkle.
    Fred: Anything for a fan. Who should I sign it to? (reaches inside the desk drawer)
    Jasmine: (walks into the shop, followed by Angel and Connor) To me, of course.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Lorne and Connor reference "People" from Funny Girl:
    Lorne': You know what they say about people who need people.
    Connor: They’re the luckiest people in the world.
  • Weirdness Censor: No-one comments on the green-skinned, red-eyed, horned demon at the front desk of the Hyperion.
  • Who Shot JFK?: Spoofed when Jasmine tells the conspiracy theorist that Oswald did it. Of course "the magic bullet" is an often brought up conspiracy theory within the conspiracy theory regarding a bullet that went through both Kennedy and Connally, which took a course that makes no sense if one assumes a wrong position of Kennedy with regard to Connally - kind of like the bullet that went through Jasmine and Angel in this episode.
  • You Know What They Say
    Lorne: You know what they say about people who need people...
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