Written by Howard Gordon
Directed by David Semel
Cordelia is doing her makeup at the office. Angel surprises her (since she can’t see that he’s a few feet behind her in the window’s reflection), causing her to smear her lipstick rather badly. Angel is very confused by Cordelia’s filing system, which is based on character judgments rather than the alphabet. Enter Wesley! He’s very proud of his spiffy new axe, and he very much wants to help them with any cases they might have. Since he was in the neighborhood. Or they could play some kind of 3D Scrabble game he happened to bring along. Oh, Wesley. You’re so adorable.
A couple of attractive young ladies come in. One of them compliments Wesley’s axe, and he bashfully swings it into the wall in reply.
The girls are here to pick up Cordelia for a fun night of partying. Also, Cordelia is dating some dude named Wilson Christopher. Tonight will be date #3, but this is the first Angel and Wesley are hearing of it. Angel would like to hear more about this guy. Cordelia hasn’t mentioned him because he doesn’t want Angel to start acting like her big brother again. She gets struck with a vision and drops to the floor behind the desk, so Angel and Wesley cause a minor distraction with some files and ask them about their plans for the night so that the two girls don’t notice.
Cordelia’s vision is of some kind of monster. Wesley is such a spaz in his efforts to help Angel cover for Cordelia that the girls end up thinking he and Angel are a couple. Cordelia’s vision is over, so she tells Angel about the “client he’s supposed to be meeting tonight.” Then she leaves to go party. Wesley offers his assistance, though he assures Angel that he’d enjoy playing Word Puzzle 3D just as much. Angel silently hands him the post-it with the address of the demon they’re about to fight, and Wesley does a terrible job of playing it cool. Wesley is seriously a treasure. I adore him.
They arrive at the location and Wesley is the one who gets to kick down the door! That’s fun. Except that he just kicked down the door of an old couple’s apartment. While Wesley threatens them, Angel notices the demon hatching across the street. They leave awkwardly and head for the actual location.
During the fight against the demon, Wesley gets thrown through the door, but that’s not enough to keep him down! He and Angel triumph, and are now covered in goop and demon viscera. They head out, and Wesley voices concerns about Cordelia, and whether or not she’s focused enough on their work. Angel knows Wesley well enough already to realize that his complaints are just covering how much he wants to go to that party with those girls who thought he was hot.
The party seems to be going well for at least two of the three girls. The blonde is bored, but the black girl, Serena, is enjoying herself and Cordelia is chatting with her date, who seems incredibly bland. Sweet, though. And Cordelia is smiling and opening up. He says he feels insecure, even though he’s got a great career as a celebrity photographer. He drives her home, and things seem promising between them. She invites him in. Ghost Dennis doesn’t approve. He refuses to let Cordelia keep the mood lighting she wants. Also, he screws up the music she puts on. She goes into the kitchen to make tea and reprimand Dennis. Wilson follows her into the kitchen and kisses her. The kissing leads to the bedroom, where they end up sleeping together.
The next morning, Wilson is gone, and Cordelia pulls off the covers to reveal a giant pregnant tummy. She is understandably extremely upset. Angel and Wesley are worried about her because it’s almost noon and she hasn’t contacted them. Angel breaks her lock to get in, and they find her sitting in bed, distraught. She’s waiting for her nightmare to end and to wake up. She tells Angel what happened the previous night. She doesn’t understand how this could happen, because Wilson was normal and they used protection. Angel wants to get answers out of Wilson. Cordelia reluctantly dials his number while crying about how she’s being punished. Wesley assures her that isn’t the case. The number has been disconnected, but Angel tells Cordelia that Wilson just isn’t answering. She asks for some alone time. Dennis floats a tissue box over to her and pulls the covers up higher for her. Aww.
Wilson seems to have dropped off the grid. None of his usual contact methods are working. Wesley thinks they’re dealing with some kind of demon that needs to impregnate human women in order to reproduce. They’re going to take Cordelia in for a prenatal exam. Well, Wesley’s going to do that. Angel is going to go find Wilson.
He goes to the bar and shakes down the bartender. He offers money for information. It turns out that Serena sets all this stuff up. She tells the guys (including Wilson) where to go, and then she finds girls to bring to them. Yikes. The bartender asks what Angel’s connection to Cordelia is, and Angel says he’s family. Aww!
Cordelia is in the waiting room, and another pregnant lady asks her if she knows the sex of her baby yet. She tries to touch Cordelia’s stomach, and Cordy freaks out. It’s awesome. She and Wesley go in for the exam, pretending to be a couple who recently moved to L.A. from England. They do an ultrasound, and the doctor finds at least six little baby heartbeats. He wants to withdraw some amniotic fluid to make sure everything’s okay.
Angel finds Serena’s place and knocks. She invites him in, and he discovers that things might not be as straightforward as her being the mastermind behind all of this, because she’s just as pregnant as Cordy. She’s been drinking tons of alcohol, very much hoping it will hurt the baby.
At the hospital, the doctor gets the amniotic fluid, but the fluid shatters the syringe, then burns a hole in the exam room floor. The doctor and nurse run away, and Wesley braces to tell Cordelia what just happened, but it seems she’s now being mind controlled by the babies a bit, because she just wants to know that they’re healthy.
Angel tells Serena that Cordelia’s in the same boat as her. She didn’t know any of this would happen when she set the guys up with those girls, and she can’t get a hold of her boyfriend. There was definitely something weird about the whole thing, but she thought that was just L.A. quirkiness. She starts convulsing in pain.
So does Cordelia, just as Wesley leads her into Angel’s apartment. She lays down on Angel’s bed, and she’s annoyed with Wesley for being afraid of her babies. She knows that there are seven of them, and they’re talking to her. She’s getting very creepy now. It’s hard to tell if she’s crazy or if she’s just struggling to be optimistic. She thinks maybe demon babies don’t have to be horrible, since Angel’s okay and Doyle was. She goes to sleep, and Wesley turns around to find that Angel is back.
Angel wants to track down the men involved, who hang out at some kind of gun club. Weird. He’s going to go look for them, and meanwhile, he wants Wesley to research ways of terminating the pregnancy without hurting Cordelia—and, if he can’t do that, then he should research how to kill the spawn once they’re out. On their way to accomplish these errands, they see Cordelia in the kitchen, chugging down one of Angel’s containers of blood. Demonic pregnancy cravings, yay! Angel suggests that Wesley order a pizza for her.
Wilson is at a gun range, and Angel sneaks up behind him. Wilson’s all cocky because he’s the one with a gun, but you don’t bring a gun to a vampire fight. Angel gets him in a headlock, then throws him into a pillar. He’s just a human guy. Angel is still willing (and happy) to beat him up until he talks. The other guys come in.
Wesley has found the demon whose spawn Cordelia is having. He tells her that now they’ll have a better chance of ending the pregnancy. She expresses her appreciation by clubbing him over the head with the book. Nobody touches her babies.
Wilson’s friends are more talkative than he is. Angel manages to learn what he needs to know about the demon daddy. It’s a lot like that frat in “Reptile Boy,” actually. A bunch of total losers sign on to serve as proxies to help the demon procreate, and in exchange, the demon makes them wealthy and successful. Wilson shoots Angel three times, but he gets up in vamp face and starts beating all five guys up. Wilson is finally cowed enough to tell Angel where to find the demon.
Cordelia and the other pregnant girls are walking, zombie-like, into a spooky warehouse. We can hear the chatter of the demon babies. The girls all seem very proud to be mothering an army of demons.
Wesley regains consciousness in time to answer Angel’s call. Angel is pulling bullets out of himself while telling Wesley what he learned. (Why is he using a phone booth? Doesn’t he have a cell phone? Or did it get shot through? Yeah, I’m gonna go with that.) Wesley tells Angel about the demon, which has a psychic connection to its babies (hence their ability to control the mothers). If it dies, the babies will too. The problem is that the demon is going to be pretty hard to kill. It’s giant, and it’s invulnerable to fire and decapitation.
The girls are all wearing shapeless white birthing gowns now, and they wade into a pool of yellowish-green liquid. Gross. Wesley tries to get the girls to exit the pool. They’re not listening. The demon daddy emerges, and it’s about twenty feet tall. No wonder he couldn’t get dates with human ladies. Yuck. Wesley introduces himself and raises his fists. Hehe, Wesley’s great. He sees himself as the David to the demon’s Goliath. Well, he’s stalling really. That doesn’t make it any less awesome.
The thing Wesley was waiting for arrives! A giant tank of liquid nitrogen, which Angel throws at the demon. Wesley shoots it, and it explodes all over the demon, freezing it where it stands. The girls all start screaming and clutching their stomachs, but then they ‘re back to normal, sane and not pregnant. Cordelia gets out of the pool and swings a huge pulley thing at the demon, shattering it.
It’s been a couple of days. Angel and Wesley are awaiting Cordelia’s return, trying to make the office presentable for her, and really excited to see her. She walks in. She looks great, and she’s smiling. She also has plans for a date, and she messes with them a bit over all their worrying. She’s just happy to know that she has two people in her life who would do anything for her. Wesley is so touched that he comes over with a convenient allergy attack.
Angel and Cordelia exchange amused grins.
Well, Plot A certainly doesn’t get much weirder than what we get in “Expecting.” I’m not sure what they were trying to achieve with a story about a bunch of girls getting knocked up by guys working for a demon. My best guesses on the message are “pick-up artists are horrible human beings” and “you can never be too paranoid about your date’s intentions.” *shrug* But even with the weirdness, there’s still a lot to love here. Demonic babies are a theme for the entire episode, which is kind of cool (in terms of unity of storytelling). The thing Angel and Wesley fight at the beginning is a brand new hatchling. But enough about Plot A. Wesley, as I said already, is an absolute treasure. I imagine it won’t be long before Angel just offers him a permanent position, to spare him the trouble of inventing other commitments every time he shows up, desperately hoping to be included. This is the first episode where Angel describes the team as a family, and it really feels like that. Unlike in Buffy, where most of the characters came together through friendship first, the Angel Investigations team is knit together by a common purpose. It’s the same reason Buffy and Giles have the most familial connection of any of the Scoobies. Friends are people you choose to associate with, but being thrown together because you’re working towards the same goal is much more like family. These may not be the people you would’ve chosen to befriend, but you end up sharing something that feels deeper than mere friendship.
One thing that stands out to me about Angel lately is that he is extremely unassuming. He doesn’t expect anything from Cordelia or Wesley. He includes them in his mission as much as they want to be included, but he doesn’t act like they owe him anything. He doesn’t often let on how much he values them, but he’s there for Cordelia whenever she needs anything and he always finds legitimate ways to make Wesley feel useful. He doesn’t even hesitate when Wesley tells him how hard the demon will be to kill. To stop the demon from spawning an army and to save Cordelia, he’ll take on anything. It’s so endearing. He deserves some hugs. Can Angel have some hugs now?
Whenever Cordelia’s life was in danger in Sunnydale, Buffy and the Scoobies would save her, sure, but there was never a sense that they truly valued her life. They were usually saving her as a side-effect of stopping the monster of the week. It was kind of the same thing when Angel saved her from Russell Winters in “City Of.” In “Rm w/a Vu,” Angel and Doyle saved her, but that episode was much more about her getting her own power back than it was about her being rescued. But increasingly since then, Doyle, Angel, and now Wesley have been protecting Cordelia because they care about her. That was what changed her mind about Doyle, and it’s why she cares so much about Angel and Wesley. She is already much more a part of this group than she ever was a part of the Scoobies. As the team’s emotional center, she’s crucial to Plot B, and now that she has the visions, she’s much more crucial to Plot A than she was as just the secretary. This episode removed the last emotional barriers Cordelia was keeping between herself and the guys. At the beginning, she was keeping them separate from her social life, but by the end, she’s openly acknowledging how much they mean to her.
Wesley has never been valued as much as he is by Angel and Cordelia, and it clearly means the world to him. They don’t even make a big deal about it, and he’s such a spaz sometimes that you wouldn’t really blame them for trying to edge him out a little. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Wesley has always tried so hard because he’s starving for affection and approval. He didn’t get much of that in Sunnydale. Academics seems to have been the only realm in which he succeeded, but he made himself pompous and unlikable there. In the year since his arrival in Sunnydale, he’s learned that he was going about things in the wrong way. Acting superior does not win friends, particularly when his superiority is mostly just bluster. It’s also just really nice to see how strong Wesley’s friendship is with Cordelia in the aftermath of their abysmal failure of a romance. That could easily have been so much more awkward.
Angel, after watching pregnant Cordelia drink a container of blood: “I don’t think I’ve ever realized just how disgusting that was.”
“I really don’t like it when people shoot me.”
“As a point of courtesy, I like to get to know my enemies before I engage them in mortal combat. Do you…do you have any hobbies?”
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.