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Angel: Origin

Connor: "I went a little hard core there for a second. That guy made me really cranky."

When Connor was so beautifully written out of the show, several good-sized loose ends remained: (1) the possibility that Connor still had powers; (2) whether or not he would eventually remember who he was; and (3) the unfulfilled prophecy that Connor would kill Sahjhan. This episode took all of those loose ends, along with the unresolved emotional issues between Angel and Connor, and tied them up in the most satisfying bow possible. It was perfect.

After last week's plunge into the well of gloom, we got some wonderful lighthearted moments, although Gunn probably wouldn't think so. (Pun intended.) My favorite was, of course, Spike's unorthodox methods of testing Illyria's powers. Connor Lite was also a lot of fun. He rarely got the funny lines before with the raging psychopath thing and all, but he got in some good ones here. It's interesting that even in his gosh gee incarnation, Connor was still Angel's son on the inside, retaining his taste for older women, and not even hesitating to say he'd kill Sahjhan to ensure his family's safety.

We could choose to interpret that Connor was behind the mystical wall and didn't get his memories back when the Orlon window broke, but I don't believe it. Illyria said that both sets of memories still existed. I think that Connor's happy, normal childhood memories and loving family were enough to heal him and balance out his memories of Quor-toth, Holtz, and Jasmine. That final, powerful scene convinced me that Connor now knows that Angel really loves him more than anyone on earth, and he can now appreciate the sacrifice Angel made for him. Connor finally accepted Angel's gift of love, and he was kind enough to let Angel know it. ("You gotta do what you can to protect your family. I learned that from my father.")

It was no surprise that Wesley, in spite of his current alcoholic depression, would be the one to figure out the Connor situation. Like Wesley, for a moment I thought maybe breaking the Orlon window would do something for Fred... but no. Issues with Illyria are still on hold. There have been several references to Illyria's mouth being unusually big (the Petri dish), certainly bigger than it appears. This made me think of the voracious aliens on V, as well as Jasmine. What I'm saying is... I don't think Illyria is going to end up as one of the Scooby Gang.

On the penalty box front, poor Gunn continues to suffer. Even though Gunn's predicament was mentioned, Angel doesn't seem to be in a huge hurry to rescue him. Perhaps on a subconscious level, Angel feels that Gunn deserves to suffer for awhile. Interestingly enough, Gunn feels the same way. What Gunn did – not even listening to Hamilton's offer — that really took guts. (Yeah, I'm hot with the puns tonight.)

This episode left me wondering what sort of future Connor will have. There should be a comic book or something. Maybe there is. I'll admit I'm not up on comic books.

Bits and pieces:

— Illyria isn't the first supernatural woman who likes hurting Spike. I kept thinking about Buffy knocking him around.

— "I'm not a little girl, and you and I won't be making love on this couch any time soon." Adam Baldwin is scary in a way that Eve just... isn't. And that's not because she's female, either. Lilah and Drusilla could be plenty scary.

— Connor asked Angel, "Do you spend all your time making out with other vampires like in Anne Rice novels?" Except in Anne Rice novels, the vampires bite each other romantically; they don't actually have sex. But I guess that could still be interpreted as making out, since they get off on it.

— Gold acting stars this week to Vincent Kartheiser and David Boreanaz. We could see Angel trying to hide his love for Connor, even though it kept coming out (finding out Connor was going to Stanford, straightening his collar, and so on.) That final scene was just outstanding.

— The child of two vamps doesn't like people touching his neck. I find that funny.

— I enjoyed seeing Sahjhan again. He was always a hoot.

— Connor's new last name is Riley, a fine Buffyverse name. I'm sure we didn't know that before because I would have commented on it.

— Lorne and Gunn still won't remember Connor. Except with only four more episodes to go, it's probably not an issue any more.


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."
Angel: "You sure this is a good idea?"
Wesley: "We have plenty of Petri dishes."

Wesley: "Illyria can be difficult. Testing her might be hard without getting someone seriously hurt."
Angel: "We'll make Spike do it."
Wesley: "Good."

Illyria: "I'd like to keep Spike as my pet."
Me, too.

Connor: "You know, they have dried scorpions in the vending machines downstairs?"

Lorne: "He's powerful, heads up a large demon empire, has tendrils stretching throughout L.A."
Angel: "Tendril tendrils?"
Lorne: "Metaphor tendrils."

Gunn: "C'mon, Sparky, let's go. This heart ain't gonna cut itself out."

Illyria: "Your body warms. This one is lusting after me."
Connor: "Oh, no. It's, it's just, it's the outfit. I guess I've always had a thing for older women."
Angel: "They were supposed to fix that."
Connor: "What?"
Angel: "Nothing."

Sahjhan: "These prophecies are turning out to be pretty overrated. I've gotta tell you, kid, you're making a good case for the whole concept of free will."

Wesley: "Try to push reality out of your mind. Focus on the other memories. They were created for a reason."
Illyria: "To hide from the truth?"
Wesley: "To endure it."

This is so a four,

Billie Doux reviewed all of Buffy and Angel, so she knows the plural of apocalypse.


  1. Great episode. I love Connor's double-talk at the end.

    I also love how willingly Illyria follows Wes and how giddy she is at his breaking from Angel's leadership. I think she's a bit in love with him. I suppose that could be a sign Fred is still in there somehow, but I like to believe she's fallen for his mix of suicidal devotion to his cause, intellectual curiosity, and propensity for taking on the world on his own. When you think about it, these are all traits a demon goddess would find very attractive. He's the only person who understands her, and, in a way, she's the only person left who understands him.

    I'm going to defend Eve here. I don't think she was ever meant to be scary. More quirky and mysterious with ambiguous loyalties. I liked her fine.

    I'm sad Gunn is once again on the sidelines. What with his panther deal, I had hoped he'd take a larger role this season.

  2. Connor is my least favorite character in the entire Buffyverse, but this episode almost always chokes me up at the end. No matter my opinion of the character you gotta give the writers props for the way they wrote him out, it was beautifully done, and to Vincent Kartheiser for a really well done acting job throughout, but especially this episode with the transition into-out of-and back into the new/happy Connor.

  3. I think this might be my favourite episode of Angel season 5. Beautifully written by Drew Goddard. We finally got some Connor closure which we didn't know we needed.

  4. I so loved the Connor wrap up! I knew he'd be back in some form but when I realized that he knew Angel was his father I gasped out loud! That was just such a great way to get closure on the whole situation. And I am SUPER pissed at the WB for cancelling this show, even 9 years later. Season 5 is by far the best season of Angel and it definitely could have gone on for a couple more seasons at least!

  5. How the hell did Amy Acker do it? Illyria still reads like a totally different actor. Like, look at her still and haunting form posed there in the shot right after Wes says "[...]Or analyzing the petri dish she just put into her mouth" in the cold open. That's not Amy! That looks like someone else! It's amazing. Doesn't read as human even, she's like a bird of prey. Can't sing her praises enough now.

    @Dimitri Well she definitely does want his devotion, I could see her seeing him as the ideal worshipper. But I feel like I'm wronging her, and with the destruction of her army maybe she's truly given up on that fuckery and he's an equal survivor partner to her now, nothing less. She does already have Spike for position as her anointed pet.

    Excellent episode, one to rewatch and easily one of my favourites of s5. And I knew it would be from that very first scene lol, which I love rewatching on its own. Wesley watching Illyria watching him. It didn't occur to me to be cautiously optimistic, and for once I wasn't let down for expecting the best.

    Wesley: "Try to push reality out of your mind. Focus on the other memories. They were created for a reason."
    Illyria: "To hide from the truth?"
    Wesley: "To endure it."
    Based... just based.


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