Angel: The Series

Season 2


Are You Now or Have You Ever Been

First Impressions


Dear Boy

Guise Will Be Guise


The Metaphysics of "Judgment"

Warning: this page contains info about episodes up through season 3 BtVS/season 2 AtS. If you're in danger of being spoiled, proceed with caution.

The Tribunal: A woman (named "Jo" in the shooting script) is pregnant with a daughter who is destined to be a powerful, benevolent seer or leader. The Dark Ones want the child dead, so they put a price on the mother's life. Kamal, a good demon warrior, tells Jo he will be her protector. But defending her and then her child against every demon bounty hunter to come is a big job. Kamal probably went to the Tribunal, an other-worldly court also known as the Cahair Binse ('chair of judgment'), to get blanket protection for the women.

However, the Tribunal doesn't offer protection pro bono. Their job is to serve as a forum for resolving disputes. If Jo's protector wins their trial by combat, they will protect the women until the daughter comes of age. If the representative of the Dark Ones wins, they will allow him to kill the women to collect the Dark One's bounty.

In order to appear before the Tribunal, Jo needs to present a "coat of arms", a round bronze talisman, to them. The Tribunal is a mystical event that takes place on the Earthly plane by simply appearing wherever the disputing parties (or in this case, Jo) are. Angel arrives on that street corner to find Jo in front of three stone thrones occupied by dark robed figures who have risen out of the ground. A demon knight in armor, representing the Dark Ones, throws down a bronze disk. Angel (her 'Champion') presents the other one. They begin with a jousting duel on horseback and end the fight on the ground with swords. The demon knight stabs Angel through the gut, but Angel isn't defeated because metal can't kill vampires. When Angel beheads the knight, Jo is placed under the protection of the Tribunal.

Demons: Suleman's Compendium explains that Prio Motu demons, also known as Ancient Ofga-beasts, were bred to maim and massacre. Their possible Earthly origins are in northern Pakistan or Kazakhstan. Kamal wasn't a typical Prio Motu. He had a Buddhist shrine in his tiny underground room and was defending a human woman from demon assassins.

Caritas (Latin for mercy), a Karaoke bar, is a safe haven for demons--no violence is allowed within its walls. A metal detector prevents anyone from bringing weapons inside. Among the patrons is a lizard-demon from the same species as Cribb, and one from the same species as the mouthless demons in Earshot.

Psychic powers: Demons and humans come to Caritas to hear their fellow patrons sing hit tunes and to get their "spirit read" by the flamboyant green horned anagogic Host. The Host can only read someone if they sing. Angel croons Barry Manilow's "Mandy" and the Host is able to tell him where the Cahair Binse is going to take place. The Host doesn't read Angel's thoughts. He gets impressions about a singer's life and future and tells Angel things even Angel doesn't know.

The Praetorian sacrifice: The horned red-robed Carnyss demon and his human buddy are about to run swords through two bound and gagged teen-agers in the back room of a large LA gym. Their reason for doing this ritual is never explained, but "praetorian" means corrupt, bribable, or mercenary.

Moral Ambiguity and Ethical Quandaries in "Judgment"

Wesley introduces Angel to Merle, a gray, bald tongueless parasite demon. Merle is a "stool pigeon", someone who rats out others in exchange for protection or some other advantage. Merle gives Angel information on Prio's whereabouts for money. But his information is not to be trusted. He wanted the Prio out of the way for the benefit of the demon bounty hunters and he thought Angel could do it.

Ever since Wesley translated the prophecy, about Angel's destiny, Angel Investigations has been focused on helping him fulfill it and become human. They're keeping track of the demons Angel has killed and charge into a new case with tough efficiency. When Angel kills Kamal, however, they realize they've gotten a little cocky. It might be a long time before Angel can stand in the sunlight at the end of the tunnel.

Should Angel feel guilty about killing Kamal?

Angel takes on Kamal's mission because it was at his hands that the warrior of good died. But is he to blame for the protector's death? Angel feels responsible. But Angel didn't kill Kamal simply because he was a demon. The demons in Cordelia and Doyle's visions have usually been evil. Merle underscored this assumption with his misinformation about Prio. The Caritas Host argues that Angel made an honest mistake that others would have made in the same circumstances. Angel may be guilty of trusting his various sources too easily, but he did not deliberately murder a being he knew to be innocent.

Faith's fate

Philosophies Represented in "Judgment"

Trial by combat: This ancient style of justice has the same goal as a modern trial with lawyers and judges, resolving disputes between people. But rather than making judgments based on hearing each side's case and weighing evidence against the rule of law, trial by combat pits the two sides in a battle to the death. The winner of the fight is judged the winner in the dispute. If one of the parties does not have a fighting chance against the other, they are defended by a "champion"--someone who is willing to fight for them. It's not clear that this method of resolving disputes is the same thing as the "might makes right" philosophy. There are two ways of looking at it:

1. It is simply a practical tool for resolving heated disputes. Instead of a long, messy battle, a single duel decides the matter once and for all. Moral rightness is irrelevant.

2. Duels were often justified by the idea that God or some other mystic power gave strength to whomever really was morally right, so that everyone could assume that true justice had been served.

Are You Now or Have You Ever Been

The Metaphysics of "AYNOHYEB"

The Thesulac is an incorporeal (non-physical) demon that exists on the physical plane by possessing either people or places. A Thesulac has been tormenting the residents of the Hyperion Hotel since 1928. It whispers into people's minds and feeds on their personal insecurities and paranoia. In response, its victims kill themselves, attack others, and hide evils committed by others. In order for the Thesulac to do this, it would need to be psychic in some way.

The ritual to raise the Thesulac Demon: The demon can only be killed in its corporeal form. It takes physical form after a huge meal of paranoia (this happens after Angel's lynching) or when it is "raised". Cordelia tosses sacred herbs and divining powder on the staircase landing. Wesley reads an incantation:

We call thee forth, Thesulac of the netherworld.
We command you, leave our minds
and join us on this, the physical plane

Gunn tosses Wesley an Orb of Ramjarin which he holds up with his other hand.

We invoke thee by the power of all the priests of Ramjarin
What was once in our thoughts be now in our midst.

Reality bends and the demon appears. Gunn shoots an electrical cord at him with a cross bow and Angel turns on the juice, zapping the Thesulac into oblivion.

The invitation to vampires: How does a building become a "private residence"? Denver, an occult bookstore-owning cat who's hip to the ways of vamps claims he can turn his store into a private residence merely by making it his sleeping location. It certainly worked for Gunn's squatter in WZ

What about the Hyperion? A "residency" hotel is a cross between a regular short-stay hotel and an apartment. People make it their home on a temporary basis, much like a dormitory room (Faith's hotel stay is a similar example). Angel probably didn't need an invitation to enter its rooms. However, if he did, one can assume he was invited to enter his own room by the hotel staff, and Judy invited him into her room.

Vampires and photographs

Evil and Moral Ambiguity in "AYNOHYEB"

Paranoia: Fear makes people do stupid things. If you're a demon that feeds on paranoia, what better place and time to do it than early 1950's Hollywood?

The references to paranoia and racism worked well - the black family being turned away and the scene with the gay actor and his lover worked well - lent to the whole feel of how restrictive the 50s were, a breeding ground for paranoia and hostility (Supergirl, 8:15 Oct 4, 2000).

The fear that communists might use movies to spread propaganda instigated a Congressional investigation of the motion picture industry in 1947. Actors, producers, writers and directors with ties or suspected ties to the Communist Party were called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy, to defend their patriotism or reveal the names of other sympathizers. Newspaper coverage of the hearings sometimes questioned the loyalty of the innocent without confronting the "charges" against them. Many motion picture employees were blacklisted (made unemployable in the industry) because of leftist political leanings or suspected associations. Putting Hollywood on the hot seat made the hearings public and high-profile. When popular Hollywood figures charged that the House Committee's hearings threatened their Constitutional rights,

many Americans had to agree. One can argue that these hearings intended to protect the U.S. and its freedoms, but the ends don't always justify the means when they violate the very freedoms they sought to protect.

Did the bellhop's paranoia come from the demon? This isn't clear. He didn't like Angel one bit. And he cheers on Angel's lynching even after the paranoia seems to have worn off the others.

Judy adnits to stealing money from the Kansas bank she was employed at after her secret--being of mixed racial heritage--made her lose her fiance and her job. Her fear of prison makes her cast suspicion on Angel when the other hotel residents assault her. Her fear of persecution makes her accept the demon's word that she will be safe with him. Instead, it brings about her worst nightmare--she is imprisoned in the hotel for fifty years. It is likely that Judy's life was sustained magically by the demon, because she died soon after the demon did.


"Time was, I thought humans existed just to hurt each other. But then I came here. And I found out that there are other types of people. People who genuinely wanted to do right." --Angel, Consequences

This episode introduces us to Angel at a point midway between 1898, when his soul is restored and 1996, when he is called to join the forces of good by Whistler. Angel is neither living on rats in alleys, nor stalking humans. He is detached from humanity, and easily gives up helping them when they treat him cruelly. Present-day Angel kills the demon, but it's a little late for Judy, who missed the civil rights era sitting up there with the icky wall paper for fifty years.

"He's cynical, I-don't-get-involved guy.... We've been accused of a lot of retconning-retroactive continuity-by the fans, who say, 'We all know Angel was living on the streets of New York in the early 1990s when Whistler came to him.' I believe he was, but I don't believe he was thrown out of that room in Romania by Darla in 1898 and has been on the street ever since. ... in the 1950s, that was the beginning of his descent into the streets" ([BtVS/AtS writer] Tim Minear, 11/13/00).

Angel and blood: We don't often see present-day souled Angel consume blood (e.g. G2, TSOR, Reunion). He is typically shown picking up a glass or tub of animal blood but not putting it to his lips. In this episode, 1952 Angel is shown drinking chilled (ewww) previously bottled human blood from a glass. It was implied in a few episodes ("Angel", TDA, Eternity) that present-day Angel sometimes feeds on stolen? donated human blood. We've seen him chasing rats (B1) and purchasing blood at a meat packing plant (The Prom), but even when he was half-crazed from his ordeal in Hell, it was implied that the blood on his lips came from an attack on an animal (B&tB).

First Impressions

The Metaphysics of "First Impressions"

Deevak: We are not told a lot about the demon Deevak or his origins. He's just another amoral inhuman creep in L.A.'s seamy underbelly. He has a pack of vampire thugs who do his bidding and shape-shifting powers which allow him to pass as human and even get by Angel's (sometimes unreliable) demon-sensing radar.

Vampire home invasions? How can a vampire raiding party crash a human party? There are a couple possibilities:

1. The house belonged to Tito. Kill Tito, and the vamps could enter his house.

2. Henry the car lot owner tells Gunn and Cordelia to find car thief Desmond at Tito's party. "Everyone's invited," Henry tells them. Nice of Tito, but not too smart in the Buffyverse.

Psychic dreams

Good, Evil and Moral Ambiguity in "First Impressions"

Deevak's shape-shifting abilities allow him to deceive those he preys upon, like drawing Gunn and the others into a vamp-trap by playing Jamal-the-scared-snitch.

Survival of the fittest, bro: "Fitness" is not necessarily about who is the strongest, or the best fighter. As any good Darwinian will tell you, fitness is relative--it all depends on what dangers you're up against, even in the demon-hunting business. Gunn tries to stay alive by being ever-vigilant, and he's made it his responsibility to keep his fellow demon-fighters on their toes. He's also rude to people who lack his fighting skills. He wants to protect them, but they can only get in his way when it's fighting time. Or so he thinks.

Walking around with your fists perpetually raised can get people killed. You make enemies that way, and those enemies will go after the people you love. You can't always protect them, especially if you need their help. But why would you ever need that? Gunn has yet to learn the value of weapons other than brute strength--things like research, planning, magic spells, and tact. These are also fit traits in the Buffyverse.

Cordelia doesn't doubt herself when Gunn belittles her determination to "protect" him. Of course, she's never lacked for confidence, but the kinder, gentler, hero-Cordy is going to take a little getting used to.

I certainly cannot begin to imagine the old Cordy: (1) Picking up a battle axe and going out *by herself* to save Gunn (even after pausing at the door and saying to herself 'I'm going to die!') (2) Displaying the extraordinary level of calm she displayed while attending to the injury of Gunn's girlfriend. (3) Not making a single comment about the bloodstains ruining her sweater (4) Presenting her insights about Gunn's danger to himself from himself in a tough but compassionate manner rather than the usual cutting sarcasm (OnM, 11-Oct-00 23:56).

Angel is having seductive dreams featuring Darla, the sire he dusted three and a half years ago. They are part of Wolfram and Hart 's master plan to mess with his mind. If anyone should know Darla's sweet, seductive predator routine, it's Angel. But Angel believes Darla is a memory that cannot hurt him. In actuality, she is alive and well and with him in his bedroom. She drugs him with Calynthia powder and whispers suggestive dream-images to him, then experiences her handiwork through some sort of psychic connection.

Angel is no longer the ne'er-do-well out for a good time that he was the first time Darla preyed on him. Now he is a hard-working evil fighter who dreams of "Love. Family. A place on this planet I can call my own." And that's exactly what Darla gives him.

In the dream sequences, we see Darla as... the perfectly groomed, beautifully attired life partner that Angel lacks. She's there at the end of a hard day to comfort him and to care for him--and to point out that the people he saves never hang around to say thank you. She plays on the innate selfishness within Angel. She continually points out what a wonderful person he is, how much he's accomplished. She has woven a spell through Angel's dreams by creating a place where he feels safe, protected, loved and understood. And in creating this perfect dream world, she's slowly separating him from the others. Isolating him from his support system (Kristen Reidel , The WB Scoop 10/10/00).


The Metaphysics of "Untouched"

Telekinesis: According to Wesley's research, telekinesis usually occurs during periods of extreme emotional distress. Although people are born telekinetic, those who suffer abuse or other traumatic experiences have the highest potential for psychic power. For Bethany the run-away telekinetic, however, this so-called "power" is a "disease" she cannot control. When she is extremely frightened or angry, she dissociates from her ordeal and the power is unleashed on whomever is causing it. As she puts it:

"I don't make [things] move. I go into this and when I come back, things aren't where I left them."

On some level, she is the source of this unleashing, but it isn't the level of conscious intention. The power comes out of the dark wishes we all have at such moments and often keep in our subconscious minds. Bethany wouldn't act on them in a calm, conscious state.

The invitation to vampires

Evil in "Untouched"

Sire power. Darla's power over Angel, the father's power over Bethany. They both use sex to subjugate and oppress their off-spring. ...Its very twisted and evil. Packs a real emotional punch for me to realize that Angel is being abused in this way (Candy B., 7:03 am, Oct 19, 2000).

Bethany is Lilah's project. It is Lilah who arranges to have Bethany attacked by rapists and it is Lilah who tries to turn her into an assassin for Wolfram and Hart. One would think that empathy alone would keep one woman from treating another woman this way. But Lilah Morgan will do anything it takes to get what she wants and to stay in control.

Good and Moral Ambiguity in "Untouched"

Bethany "has the profile" of a Wolfram and Hart assassin candidate--intense rage and power to funnel it through. In many ways, she's like Marcie the Invisible Girl. Marcie's emotional trauma twisted her into a killer. The government (we presume) was able to control her impulses and turn her into an assassin. Bethany is afraid to control her telekinesis because she is afraid of her own "power" in the more general sense of the word. Her behavior towards men is a clear example of this. She manipulates men with sex, but not to control them. Her "innocent and fragile girl turns out to be a slut" routine is

deliberate, but she gains nothing from it. She dissociates during the sex. She doesn't feel better about herself. It's a compulsion. She doesn't know any other way to act with men except to offer herself up to be used.

Her telekinetic powers are fueled by the rage she is keeping inside.

Bethany's power is a symbol for her need to push people away with a look, because she's had a tough life and just can't trust anymore. ...Wolfram and Hart wanted to use Bethany to kill. As long as she doesn't have any faith in people, it would be easy. Then Angel comes along (D. Mello, Oct 17 22 2000).

Angel teaches Bethany to control her power in a normal, conscious state. He points out that Bethany has the ability to resist Wolfram and Hart's attempt to manipulate her and control her powers, if only she will exercise it.

Angel: In Bethany's moment of crisis, with her abusive father hanging by a telekinetic hook, Angel tells her, "You've got the power. Use it. Finish it." What did he mean by this?

I'm surprised that anyone thinks that he was telling Bethany to terminate Daddy Dearest with extreme prejudice. I think he meant it literally: End this, not end him (6:20 pm Oct 18, 2000). ...He'd shown her that she could control her power, that she could choose *not* to kill. He was offering her the chance to prove to herself that she wasn't a killer (J. Boyajian, 8:07 pm Oct 18, 2000).

Quick-thinking Cordelia

Dear Boy


The Metaphysics of "Dear Boy"

Turfog is a thrall demon, a creature with the ability to control other's minds. The humans who are under its influence are fighting over how to worship it. Wesley concludes that if they slay the demon, the mind-control will end. Turfog has attached itself to the convent pillars and is growing there like mold. But thrall demons can be tricky. Before Gunn plunges his ax into the demon's head, Turfog manages to drag a dream-weakened Angel into its violent thrall.

Sacred ground: The battle takes place in an underground water tank that was once St. Bridget's, a convent for Catholic nuns. The convent was built on top of Native burial grounds. To avenge the dishonoring of their dead, the land was cursed, and has been the site of murder and disasters ever since.

Unanswered questions about Darla:

(1) Wolfram and Hart brought Darla back as human so they could use her to manipulate Angel. And as Wesley points out, a human Darla is a lot easier to control than a vampire Darla. Her human status raises a sticky metaphysical question, though: Who is Darla?

(2) How does Darla know about the happiness clause that would turn Angel into Angelus? Two possibilities suggest themselves:

(3) How did Darla establish a psychic connection with Angel in his dreams? If she had been brought back as a vampire, the connection could have come from the psychic bond between vampire and sire. But she's human. Perhaps her new humanity does not break the psychic bond established earlier between vampires.

Vampires and love

Drusilla's visions

Evil in "Dear Boy"

Angelus: In 1860 London, doting lioness Darla found an interesting target for her seasoned spawn Angelus--an innocent young woman with pre-cognitive gifts, the mortal Drusilla. Angelus was later surprised by an accidental meeting with his "mark" in a confessional, just after he'd killed a priest (Becoming, pt. 1). Dru's unreliable visions did not warn her that she was speaking to an evil vampire, much less the man who'd stalked her on the street earlier. Angelus tormented Drusilla into madness (LTM, B1), killed her family, then invited Darla to help him slaughter all the nuns in the convent where Dru had taken refuge. And in the final move of his sadistic game, he made her insanity eternal by turning her into a vampire.

Darla poses as the innocent woman DeEtta Kramer and attempts to frame Angel for murder. First, she incites the already dream-crazed Angel to accost her in front of witnesses. Then she gets him to break into a house where "DeEtta" and her "husband" live after a W&H vamp-lackey has already killed the actor-husband. Angel is spotted by the police, but only escapes with Darla in tow after she's described what sounds like a stalking vampire's attack to the suspicious Kate.

Wolfram and Hart's plan for Angel: dust, dark, or distracted?

"What's the play, Darla?" Angel asks. We know that Wolfram and Hart had their hands on the scroll containing the prophecy about Angel's destiny and we know that they want to keep redemption-seeking Angel from interfering in their evil machinations. The initial stages of the project appear to be about distracting Angel from his work and dividing him from his support system. Angel's seductive dreams of Darla have made him less alert and he is keeping their content hidden from his friends. When Darla reveals herself, her subsequent comings and goings have Angel running in circles. The plan according to Lindsey, however, is to make Angel "dark". Both Lindsey and Darla interpret this as "turn Angel into Angelus".

...they explicitly said they want him turned again. They don't want him out of there hair...they want him working for them. The fools. Like Angelus is gonna pony up and serve a bunch of lawgeekers. He'd eat their livers and be off to play some more (PlainDave, Nov 14 21:51 2000).

But when Darla tries to give Angel a "moment of perfect happiness", Angel easily resists. More on Wolfram and Hart's plan for Angel and Darla

Moral Ambiguity in "Dear Boy"

Does Darla have a soul? Angel assumes she does. And he tells her that she will soon come to regret everything she did. But Darla doesn't appear to want to redeem herself. All she seems to regret is the disgust she had at "whiny do-gooder" Angel that made her reject him long ago. Yet she also seems much more capable of being hurt by Angel's interest in Buffy than she ever was before.

...Angel didn't instantly become mopey!Angel - it took awhile for the soul to have it's effect. Darla might be too far gone to redeem, but there will definitely be some angst a-brewin' (11:37 am Oct 25, 2000). But even if you decide to remain evil, it doesn't mean you get off scot-free forever. As Angel said to Faith before she went off the deep end - "You can't imagine the price for true evil." I don't expect Darla to suddenly see the light, but she's going to be dealing with feelings that she's never dealt with before (J. L. Baird, 12:00 pm Oct 25, 2000).

My demon, myself: While Darla acknowledges her role in encouraging Angelus' evil, she believes she only developed a potential already existing in the mortal Liam. And she senses it there still, under Angel's do-gooder persona. He certainly shows signs of it--he still has a fascination for convents, dreams about "nasty things", takes a creepy-Angel sniff of Cordelia's hair, and enjoys a bodice-ripping confrontation with human Darla. But Angel has it within himself to stop when he feels his darker urges rising. Ironically, this inner strength may come from the same source that made Angelus a legendary monster.

Kate's decision to take on the demonic underworld in L.A. has gained her a reputation among the supernaturally-clueless LAPD as a paranormal-hunting kook. They've moved her out of the downtown precinct and put her behind a desk out in the boonies with only her police scanner for company.

When Angel kidnaps "DeEtta Kramer", Kate goes to his hotel to arrest him. There she meets Gunn, the newest member of Angel's "vigilante" gang. With his record, Kate isn't willing to give Gunn the benefit of the doubt. The gang tells Kate that Angel's sire, Darla, is alive and attempting to frame him. Gunn points out that Angel could not have entered the Kramer house uninvited. Cordelia argues that the only way Angel could have gotten in is if the owners were already dead. Kate realizes that they're right about Angel's innocence. But she doesn't back off. As far as she is concerned, even if Angel is good, he's still taking the fight against evil on himself, and that is dangerous. She replies:

"You don't get it, do you?"
Gunn: "What, the fact that Angel's innocent?"
Kate: "The fact that while you're fighting your big battles of good and evil the innocent are the ones who get caught in the crossfire. Those are the ones I care about, like that man tonight, like the real owners of that house if what you say is true. And those are the ones I chalk up to your boss."
Wesley: "You can't blame Angel for that. He's trying to do what's right!"

A lot of people dismissed this speech as referring to Kate's father, who was certainly no "innocent" at the time of his death. And there might be some grief talking here, but Kate's statement is better understood as the most direct statement of anti-vigilantism she makes on the show.

Guise Will Be Guise

The Metaphysics of "Guise Will Be Guise"

Wizards: In the Buffyverse, street thugs are often demons, so it makes sense that there would be mafioso wizards who fight with talismans and potions rather than guns. They even have hired muscle that throw out spells as well as punches. To the world, Magnus Bryce is a cultured, wealthy CEO of a software and cable TV firm. In reality, he's the fourth generation of family of wizards that does custom spells for people with money. And like the regular mafia, he has rivals--Paul Lanier, whose "firm" does wish-granting, and Briggs over at Consolidated Curses. Bryce hires an Angel-masquerading Wesley to protect his daughter Virginia from Lanier, but Lanier doesn't want to use Virginia as leverage over Bryce. He just wants to get her away from her father before Bryce turns 50, because she is the key to giving Bryce incredible power.

Lanier: The Caritas bartender, Ramone, tips off Lanier that Angel is going up to Ojai to see a swami (wise man). Lanier's man kills the real swami, and waits for Angel, posing as T'ish Magev. Being the employee of a powerful wizard, the FakeT'ish Magev knows a lot about Angel. He knows, for example, that Angel is a "warrior slated for the coming apocalypse" and that he is a souled vampire fighting his inner demon. FakeT'ish tells Lanier that Angel is in Ojai with him. Lanier's thugs tell Lanier that Angel was with Viriginia in an up-scale wizard store. Lanier realizes that the man Bryce hired is a fake, and tips off Bryce about Wesley anonymously, hoping that when Bryce does something about Wesley, Virginia will be vulnerable again.

Yeska: Bryce plans to sacrifice Virginia to Yeska, a Davric demon who grants huge power to the person that offers a live virgin girl to her on their 50th birthday. Yeska is a large female demon with really bad hair and teeth.

The supplication to Yeska: An altar inscribed with symbols is set up in the center of a room in Bryce's house. Bryce lights a black candle, and says:

Yeska, of razor eyes and stone heart, take this offering. I cast my most precious emerald into the ocean on the moment of my birth plus fifty years.

His thugs chain Virginia to the altar.

Take my gift and let her death return ten-fold unto me my power.

Bryce dips his fingers in a bowl of water. He anoints Virginia's forehead. He continues his supplication even after Angel and the others burst into the house.

The hour approaches, Yeska. Do not be blind to my plea...

The demon Yeska materializes behind the altar and annouces, "The sacrifice... is impure!" and disappears without granting Bryce the power.

The weaking spell: Lanier's thugs wait for Virginia outside her bedroom door. When Wesley and Virginia arrive, one of them tries to stop Wesley with a spell:

Let your flesh be weakened, your spirit melted by the heat of--

That's as far as he gets.

The invitation to vampires: How does Angel get into Bryce's home? When Benny says to Wesley (believing him to be Angel) "I invite you in," the invitation was meant for Angel, even though it was spoken in Wesley's presence. That is apparently enough for the mystical forces.

Sex, Angel, and true happiness

Good and Evil in "Guise Will Be Guise"

Magnus Bryce has been keeping his adult daughter Virginia under lock and key, not just to protect her from his rivals, but to preserve her virginity for the day he turns 50. In the mean time, she has no life at all except what she makes for herself--books, day-dreams, and dalliances with some of her father's men. When she discovers that her father intends to sacrifice her to the demon Yeska, Virginia disowns him on the spot.

Wesley's Angel-guise gives him a chance to intimidate mobster thugs and use his sporadic fighting skills to help Virginia. He intimidates Lanier's thugs when they try to kidnap Virginia, and when they try again, he fights them off with Angel-like expertise.

Moral Ambiguity in "Guise Will Be Guise"

Angel's been feeling a little rocky lately. Seeing Darla again has triggered his inner struggle. He's so obsessed with finding her that he breaks into Wolfram and Hart without a plan and almost gets staked. He seems very intent on getting her away from Wolfram and Hart.

More moral ambiguity of Angel and Cordelia

Angel: the Series copyright © 1999-2000 The WB Television Network.
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This page last modified 3/22/02

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