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Recap / Angel S 05 E 18 Origin

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A troubled couple comes to Wolfram & Hart seeking help. The explain that their son was hit by a truck, but was completely undamaged by the experience, and they are sure that there is something supernatural going on. Angel refuses to take the case, saying that it's not their area of expertise. But as he goes down to the lobby with them, he sees their son... and it's Connor, his own son. Wesley is puzzled why Angel won't take the case—but Wesley, Fred, Gunn, and the others have no memory of Connor, since Angel had those memories removed from everyone.

Turned away, Connor and his parents go home in their car, but they are attacked by demons. Connor begins to fight them off, and is astonished at his strength. Angel arrives and rescues them, and says that he and Connor need to talk. Angel has his team investigate where the demons came from. Angel also learns from Hamilton that the Senior Partners are not behind this.

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Angel and Connor go back to Wolfram & Hart, where Connor meets some of Angel's colleagues. Wesley learns that the demons that attacked Connor were working for Cyvus Vail, an incredibly powerful demon, and Vail must not have wanted it to be a secret, because he specifically sent demons that would be recognized as his—he clearly wants Connor to learn more about him. Angel pays him a visit, killing all of his demons in the meantime.

Angel is checkmated when he learns that Cyvus Vail is the one responsible for Connor's new life. He erased everyone's memories of Connor and created new ones for him so that he could live a normal life. Vail conjures a box and explains that it is an Orlon Window—through it, one who has changed reality can see things as they once were. If it is smashed, anyone in the vicinity whose memory has been altered would get their old memories back. Vail wants Connor to kill Sahjhan, a demon who Vail feels is a threat to himself. It has been prophesied that only Connor will kill Sahjhan. It was this prophecy that caused Sahjhan to bring Holtz forward it time to attempt to kill Angel, Darla, and Connor, and which results in Connor being taken from Angel and trapped in a hell dimension. But Angel, having no choice, agrees.

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Wesley is shocked that Angel is even considering this, and tells him that records show that a large spell was performed by Vail the day they took over Wolfram & Hart. Angel tells Wesley it needs to be done and that Connor is special and he can do this. Connor and Angel go off to practice some fighting techniques before going to Vail's home. Connor is not very good at fighting, and stumbles awkwardly when he tries to hold some of the weapons he used to be so adept at using before. He is willing to kill Sahjhan, but seems rather naive about the realities of killing.

Meanwhile, Gunn is being tortured—he has his heart torn out every day—and Marcus Hamilton pays him a visit and offers him a deal in exchange for escaping the demon dimension. But before Hamilton can finish offering the deal, Gunn refuses and resumes the torture.

Wesley and Illyria go to the archives searching for the nature of the spell cast by Vail. Wesley realizes that reality had been changed and Illyria states that some of Fred's memories have been altered. He then finds the contract, signed by Angel, and becomes suspicious that Angel engaged in some kind of contract that caused Fred's death, just as Gunn had done, and that the reason Angel doesn't want Wesley to research this further is because he doesn't want Wesley to find out about Angel's guilt.

Connor and Angel go to Vail's to fight Sahjhan, but Vail traps Connor in a room with Sahjhan—Angel can watch the fight, but neither of the combatants can see Angel or Vail on the other side of the mystic partition, and Angel cannot interfere. Vail is deaf to Angel's pleas to let him help. The battle between Sahjhan and Connor goes poorly—Connor is not really trained in this type of combat. At that point, Wesley and Illyria show up to confront Angel. Wesley seizes the memory box from Cyvus Vail—who seems frozen in time by Illyria—and demands to know what is going on. Angel tells them he can't explain, but Wesley must trust him. Wesley accuses him of selling out Fred to her death, but Angel denies that charge and tells him he did what he did because it was for the best, and begs Wesley to not smash the box and to trust him. Wesley replies that he can't and smashes the memory box. In a split second, all of the memories of the past year related to Connor return to Wesley, including his own regrettable role in kidnapping the baby—he realizes that Angel wasn't trying to protect himself, but rather trying to protect Wesley. Angel anxiously watches Connor to see how he will react to his returned memories. Connor suddenly begins fighting back well, ultimately decapitating Sahjhan. When the mystical partition dissolves, Connor acts just like the well-adjusted suburbanite Stanford freshman he was before the battle, giving no indication that he has gotten his memories back. It appears that the mystic partition saved Connor from the effects of the Orlon Window.

They return to Wolfram & Hart, and Connor says that he is taking his parents home because this is not their world and you do what you need to do when it comes to family. As he is leaving he turns and, looking Angel in the eye, says "I learned that from my father". Connor proceeds toward the elevator and takes one last look at Angel before the doors close. Meanwhile, a humbled Wesley begins to adjust to his newly re-acquired memories of betraying Angel.


Tropes

  • Aesop Amnesia / Deal with the Devil: Averted when Hamilton enters the Torture Cellar and offers to release Gunn in exchange for— Gunn puts his amulet back on and lies down on the table. "Come on Sparky, this heart ain't gonna cut itself out."
  • Affably Evil / You Talk Too Much: Angel warns Connor this is Sahjhan's tactic for disarming his opponents.
  • The Alcoholic / Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Angel tells off Wesley for continuing to drown his sorrows when there's work to be done.
  • Alien Lunch:
    Connor: You know, they have dried scorpions in the vending machines downstairs.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It isn't made clear in this episode if Connor regained his memories like everyone else did. The only clues given are how he suddenly turns the tables on Sahjhan, and the line "I learned that from my father."
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Averted; Connor's 'good' memories help stabilize his personality when the real ones come flooding back.
  • Awful Truth: Wesley confronts Angel, believing he had traded Fred's life in order to get Connor back, and threatens to destroy the Orlon Window in order to prove it. Angel tries to make it clear that this isn't true and that he shouldn't do that, but he does... and recieves a montage of events from the past two seasons in return.
  • Back for the Dead: After a lengthy stay in his urn, Sahjhan is intentionally released so that Connor can kill him.
  • Badass Adorable: Connor Reilly — a polite, good-natured and boyishly handsome young man, but shy, innocent and somewhat awkward. Except he can punch demons over the roof of an SUV.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Angel is stunned when Connor steps off the elevator and says, "Hey Dad!" Turns out he's addressing his human father who's standing across the room.
  • Blatant Lies: Angel is telling Connor how boring things are at Wolfram & Hart, when Spike gets hurled out into the corridor by Illyria.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Spike tells Illyria not to touch his clipboard. Later when Spike gets tossed out the door, there's a pause, then his clipboard comes flying out after him.
    • Illyria can talk to plants, which Fred was shown doing in her Cloud Cuckoolander moments.
    • Connor asks if Angel has torrid affairs with female vampires. Connor is the child of Angel and his vampire paramour Darla.
    • "She put a whole petri dish in her mouth?"
  • Butt-Monkey: Spike being pounded on by Illyria.
  • Call-Back:
    • Cyvus Vail obsesses over Sahjhan killing him, the same way Sahjhan did over Connor. Because it was predestined Sahjhan had to arrange for Connor to die at a particular time (he failed due to Prophecy Twist), just as Sahjhan has to be killed by a particular person.
    • Cyvus sends demons to attack Connor, knowing it will activate his latent talents. Lilah Morgan did the same, sending rapists after a woman with telekinetic powers in "Unleashed".
    • When Angel tries Perp Sweating Marcus, the new Liaison to the Senior Partners calmly points out that things have changed.
    I'm not a little girl. You and I won't be making love on this couch any time soon.
  • Can't Stay Normal: Angel's son ends up fitting this trope nicely. To make a very long story short, Angel agreed to a devil's bargain with Wolfram & Hart to rewrite Connor's entire life, brainwashing him so he can live happily with a human family. Not long afterward, however, Angel is blackmailed by Cyvus Vail, the sorcerer responsible for Connor's new memories. Vail announces that he needs the old Connor back, since it is only he who can kill Vail's nemesis, Sahjhan. Hoping to preserve Connor's new life, Angel attempts to re-train his son from scratch in the art of fighting — only to be waylaid by Wesley, who restores Connor's memories by shattering Vail's Orlon Window. Wesley, who suspected Angel of involvement in Fred's death, hoped to rewind time by undermining the basis on which Angel joined the firm.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Gunn 'waking' when his memories are rebooted after his daily torture session. Nightmare indeed...
  • Chekhov's Gun: Cyvus Vail telling Angel that the Orlon Window will restore the original memories of anyone it's broken near — this turns out to be Connor, Wesley and Illyria.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Demon warrior Sahjhan, the Big Bad from Season 3.
    • Cyvus Vail will turn out to be another member of the Circle of the Black Thorn.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The Wrath torturing Gunn. Hamilton points out that it will get round to using every one of its Wall of Weapons and torture devices.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Connor's "thing for older women" is a tongue-in-cheek reference to his sleeping with Cordelia in Season 4.
    • The Wrath politely hands Gunn a lightbulb after his torture session. In "Underneath" the sessions were commenced each day by the prisoner's 'wife' asking him to go down to the cellar to get a replacement bulb.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Spike after being tossed out the door by Illyria.
    You filthy harlot! I'm gonna tear your neck out!
  • Deadpan Snarker: Connor must have studied snarking in college. Becomes Snark-to-Snark Combat when he meets Sahjhan.
  • Dominatrix: We get a Close Up On Head shot of Spike's head under Illyria's boot.
    Illyria: I'd like to keep Spike as my pet.
  • Double Consciousness: Connor's False Memories of his loving parents help him cope with the real memory of being raised in a hell dimension, being manipulated into bringing forth an Eldritch Abomination, collaborating with said creature and later killing her, and trying to commit suicide. Wesley's restored memories however drive him deeper into depression.
  • Double Meaning: Connor's final conversation with Angel is ostensibly about his human father, but he's actually telling Angel that he understands what he did and forgives him.
  • Dramatic Irony: Wesley talking of how he trusts Angel. Later he comes to believe that Angel betrayed them, only to find out the opposite is true when his memories are restored.
  • Dynamic Entry: A demon mook gets Punched Across the Room, sliding to a stop in front of Cyvus Vail.
    Cyvus: Did you kill all of my guards?
    Cyvus: I should have given them the day off...
  • Eye Awaken / Kubrick Stare: Connor when his memories return and he instantly Takes A Level In Badass.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: Angel tells Connor the spectacular truth about the supernatural world. Connor doesn't seem fazed.
  • Flashback / Montage: Wesley is bombarded with memories when the Orlon Window is broken.
  • Healing Factor: After having his heart cut out, we see Gunn's wound repair itself; he then gets up off the table and resumes his normal day.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather / Likes Older Women: Connor is introduced to Illyria.
    Connor: Um...I like your outfit.
    Illyria: Your body warms. (to Angel) This one is lusting after me.
    Connor: It's the outfit. (whispers to Angel) I guess I've always had a thing for older women.
    Angel: (mutters) They were supposed to fix that...
  • Heroic Second Wind: Sahjahn easily bests Connor despite his Super Strength...until his memories are restored.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: When Connor gets back his real memories, he can't get back to his new, normal life fast enough.
  • I Was Just Joking, Round #1:
    Connor: I told [Dad] that you took me out demon fighting and, uh, almost got me killed. He wants to have a talk with you.
    Angel: All right. I'll, uh-.
    Connor: I'm kidding! Man,... you gotta lighten up.
  • Immortal Immaturity: When Connor finds out Angel is a vampire, he asks if he's five hundred years old. Angel asks petulantly, "Do I look 500?"
    • Ironically, Connor actually isn't far off. When Angel first appeared on Buffy he was 242 years old, and later spent a few hundred years being tortured in a Year Inside, Hour Outside Hell dimension. He could plausibly be even older than 500.
  • Ineffectual Death Threat
    Connor: Here's how it works. I kill this Sahjahn thing, and we walk. You come near my family again, and I'll slit your throat. And if that doesn't kill ya, I'll chop your whole head off. And if that doesn't work, I'll—I'll just keep... stabbing you till you bleed to death. Understand?
    Cyvus: (smirking) I do.
  • Literal-Minded
    Lorne: [Cyvus] is powerful. Heads up a large demon empire, has tendrils stretching throughout L.A.
    Angel: Tendril-tendrils?
    Lorne: Metaphor-tendrils.
  • Made of Iron: Connor's parents bring him to Wolfram & Hart after he survives being hit by a truck.
  • Mood Whiplash: Angel rescues Connor's family from demons.
    Connor: (in shock) You almost broke that guy in half! (grins) That was awesome!
  • Mooks
    Wesley: Kith'harn demons. In Los Angeles, they're the known henchmen of a warlock called Cyvus Vail.
  • Mugging the Monster: Cyvus sends his mooks to attack Connor and his family — not to harm them but so Connor will discover his powers when he fights them.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Wesley's reaction to his old memories.
  • Neck Snap / Hoist Demon Mook Over Head: Angel killing the demons attacking Connor. Connor is impressed.
  • Nice Job Breaking the Orlon Window, Hero
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Herod!: Sahjhan's manipulations in Season 3 were responsible for Connor becoming badass enough to kill him.
  • The Nicknamer: Spike refers to Angel as "Broody Pants".
  • The Nose Knows: Spike can tell what type of booze Wesley has been drowning his sorrows in.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sahjhan when he realises who this young pup is, then more seriously when Connor turns badass.
  • Off with His Head! / An Axe to Grind: Sahjhan's demise. He looks baffled right before it happens, too. All that work, to no good end?
  • Percussive Therapy: Illyria gets to work off her angst by beating up Spike. And he doesn't even get laid this time.
  • Perma-Stubble: Wesley's version of a Beard of Sorrow.
  • Power Glows: The Orlon Window.
  • Punched Across the Room: Happens several times.
  • Reality Warper: Cyvus Vail, though even he needed the help of the most powerful sorcerers on the West Coast to alter Connor's life history.
  • Relative Button: Connor doesn't hesitate to agree to kill Sahjhan if it will protect his family.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The Orlon Window is a box, as in Pandora's Box.
  • Sealed Evil in an Urn: This trope is why Cyvus wants to ensure his enemy's permanent death. Urns can be broken.
  • Some Kind Of Forcefield: Cyvus puts one around the room where Connor fights Sahjhan in case he loses; it also means Angel can't help his son.
  • Sound-Only Death: The Wrath cutting out Gunn's heart. Again.
  • Talk To The Foot: Spike is telling off Illyria for punching him in the face.
    Illyria: (smiling) I enjoy hurting you.
    Spike: Well, we're gonna have to fix that, 'cause— (Illyria kicks him in the face)
  • Tempting Fate: Connor tells his parents they don't have to be scared — cue a demon ripping the car door off its hinges and yanking out Connor.
    • Spike tells Illyria not to punch him in the face. She kicks him in the face instead.
    • "Lucky shot." It's obvious though that Sahjhan realises he's screwed.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Angel tries to step in during Connor's fight with Sahjhan, but Cyvus' force field prevents him.
  • Three Wishes:
    Sahjhan: Thank you mortal, for releasing me from my cursed prison. In gratitude I grant you three wishes.
    Connor: Really?
    Sahjhan: Nah, I'm just messin' with you.
  • The Triple:
    • Wesley re Illyria: "She's either counting oxygen molecules or analyzing the petri dish she just put into her mouth. Or sleeping. I can never quite tell."
    • Spike re Illyria: "So far, I've established that she can hit like a Mack truck, selectively alter the flow of time, and, uh... (flips through his clipboard) possibly talk to plants."
  • Verbal Backspace: The Wolfram & Hart doctors are treating Connor's parents. Angel assures him they're in good hands...claws.
  • With Friends Like These...: Wesley warns that 'testing' Illyria could be dangerous. Angel just says they'll have Spike do it.
  • You Can't Fight Fate / Only I Can Kill Him: Angel offers to kill Sahjhan himself, but Cyvus says that events have to follow prophecy, so Connor must do it.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Both Spike and Connor hint at this re Angel.
  • Your Vampires Suck:
    Connor: So, do you spend all your time making out with other vampires like in Anne Rice novels?
    Angel: No! (beat) Well, I used to...

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