Written by David Greenwalt
Directed by Terrence O’Hara
Wes is still contemplating the prophecy, and Connor’s fussing in his bassinet. Angel comes in, drinking blood from a tall glass. He picks up Connor, who calms down. The hotel’s in bad shape from the earthquake, but Angel doesn’t think it’s a big deal. He can just use a different room until they fix the damage. Also, he’s super energetic and super hungry lately. Lorne is seeing a client in the courtyard, so Angel takes Connor out to listen.
She’s pretty good. She sings and plays. Angel shows Connor the weapons cabinet, and then it occurs to him that they need to baby-proof the hotel before Connor starts crawling. Fred comes downstairs. She’s on the phone with Gunn, who is just arriving. They’re arguing flirtatiously about whether Texas or California is better. (Texas, definitely.) Wes doesn’t appreciate them using their work phones to flirt. Also, he proposes taking Connor out for the day soon. Angel thinks that’s a great idea.
Lorne wants everyone to come see the deal with this singer/guitarist chick. She resumes her song, and a few measures in, she starts turning into this demon thing and oozing green gook out of her mouth. Then she goes back to normal, very traumatized. She’s been a musician for a while, but this is a new development. Angel is being weird, interrupting the girl’s story with random comments, and still drinking tons of blood. The girl joined a normal band, and then weird demonic things started happening, first to the other members, and now to her. Wes and Fred have analyzed a sample of that green stuff, and they’ve determined she’s still human, but she can cure the infection by taking some kind of magical powder for a month.
Turns out the band guys are wraithers, which means they can look human for a couple weeks at a time. Wes sends Angel, Fred, and Gunn out to go kill the wraithers. Fred thinks it might be a good idea to get Cordy and Groo back, but Angel doesn’t want to interrupt their vacation.
Holtz’s goons are practicing fighting their chained-up vampires. Justine is playing drill sergeant while Holtz sits by drinking tea. They’re about ready to move on Angel, but Justine is less psyched about the possibility of killing his human allies. Speaking of, here’s Wes paying them another visit.
Cut to some dive where the wraithers are playing their incredibly unpleasant industrial punk music when Angel, Fred, and Gunn show up. One of the wraithers makes a lewd remark about Fred, which pushes Gunn’s berserk button. Which is nothing compared to Angel, who goes nuts on the demons, literally tearing two of them apart by the time Fred returns from ushering the groupies to safety.
Wes is trying to negotiate some kind of truce with Holtz. Holtz refuses to believe that Angel isn’t responsible for Angelus’s crime just because he has a soul. Justine threatens Wes, who doesn’t flinch. He guesses she must’ve lost a close family member. Wes tells her he views the A.I. team as his family, and he’ll do anything to protect them. He gets her in a headlock, which is pretty slick. Holtz has his goons stand down. He gives Wes one day to get Connor away from Angel (because he allegedly cares about the fate of Angel’s son), or else he’ll go in to take him with his whole team, guns ablazin’.
Lorne is entertaining Connor with stuffed animal theater. It’s adorable. Angel, Fred, and Gunn return. Angel immediately gets more blood. Connor is fussing now, and rather than picking him up and lovingly figuring out what’s wrong, Angel gets angry and starts yelling. Lorne, Fred, and Gunn are all very freaked out by this. Then Angel realizes what he’s doing and gets pretty freaked out himself. Lorne points out he’s been drinking a lot more blood than usual.
Wes is walking alone in a suburban neighborhood. He sees a boy run happily into the arms of his dad, and he keeps walking. Justine is following him, and he wants her to show herself already. She does. She claims to be alone and not here on Holtz’s orders. She tries to convince him that Holtz really is a good guy, but he’s pretty sure Holtz is leading a revenge cult. Wes walks away and leaves her there. Holtz appears behind her. He’s better at following people than she is.
Fred analyzes the blood and discovers that someone mixed human blood in with the pig’s blood. Angel knows it’s Connor’s blood, and he’s pretty sure W&H are behind this. They were trying to build his appetite up so that he’d kill his son.
Lilah is at a bar. We zoom in on the mirror behind the bar. She knows Angel’s there. The camera cuts back to her, and Angel is right behind her (with that awesome ghostly whistle sound!). He briefly describes how he could torture her. He wants to know why she’s been feeding him his own son’s blood. Because it’s her job! She’s gotten a lot for all the hard work she’s done. He tries to guilt trip her, but it doesn’t work. She’s pretty content with her lot, getting paid to screw with him.
Sahjhan appears. He’s not happy to see Lilah having drinks with Angel. Angel puts it all together. Sahjhan brought Holtz back and then switched to working with W&H when Holtz failed to work quickly enough. Angel and Lilah are both curious as to why Sahjhan hates Angel so much, but Sahjhan says nothing and vanishes.
Wes is back at the hotel. He gets Connor’s diaper bag and starts packing it. Lorne comes down with a bottle, which he gives Wes. Lorne is explaining what Angel’s been up to all day (which is actually a very important story for Wes to hear), but Connor starts crying loudly, so Wes tries to calm him down by singing. Which means Lorne can read him. Wes realizes this, then chases Lorne down and tackles him, then knocks him out. Rather brutally. Dang. He takes Connor and is about to leave when Angel shows up. Angel probably wouldn’t have been thrilled about the idea of Wes taking Connor for the night, except now he’s got Connor’s blood in his system, so it’ll be safer if Connor is elsewhere while he detoxes.
Wes hands Connor to Angel so Angel can say goodbye. Angel asks if Wes knows anything about Sahjhan. Then Fred and Gunn return with a bunch of food. Wes offers to do the Sahjhan research at his place, and Angel reluctantly hands Connor over. Wes leaves. Nooooo.
Angel isn’t looking forward to his first night without Connor. Lorne wakes up in the office. And that’s also when Holtz invades with his whole crew. Angel wants to know the deal with Sahjhan, but Holtz is more interested in Connor’s location. Holtz’s people attack. Angel, Fred, and Gunn fight back. Wow, Fred actually shoots a guy with a crossbow. Probably fatally. Lorne wakes the rest of the way up and uses his paralyzing high note. Bahaha. Love that trick. Holtz eventually walks away. The fight is over. Lorne has some very bad news for Angel. Wes has been to see Holtz, and he’s taking Connor away for good.
Wes is leaving his apartment and about to load Connor and a suitcase into his car when Justine staggers across the neighboring park. She’s beaten and bloodied. He points a pistol at her, but she says Wes was right about Holtz. Wes cautiously approaches. But it was a trick! She grabs him and slits his throat, then snatches Connor out of his arms while he’s clutching his profusely bleeding wound. She puts Connor in Wesley’s car and drives off in it.
At the hotel, the rest of the team and Lorne are trying to figure out why Wes would do that. Angel gets in Gunn’s face when Gunn proposes not overreacting about Wesley until they have the whole story. Angel grabs one of Holtz’s men and demands information. He won’t talk, so he throws him across the room and tries the next one, who gives him an address.
Lilah gets out of a black suburban somewhere and a special ops dude briefs her on the situation. They head out to intercept Holtz, but Angel beats up a couple of them and steals their Humvee.
Justine meets Holtz on a deserted street. He climbs in Wesley’s car. They’re planning to drive to Utah and raise Connor as Steven Franklin Thomas, their sun. Before they can drive away, the W&H vehicles surround them. Angel tries to get to Connor, but Holtz threatens to snap his neck. It’s a standoff. Sahjhan appears. Of all present, he’s the only one who doesn’t want Connor alive. He’s pissed at Lilah for breaking their deal so she can keep the baby. Angel gets hold of one of the special ops guys’ guns, which he will use on Lilah and the soldiers if they try to shoot Holtz. Angel will let Holtz leave if he’ll just keep Connor safe. Holtz vacillates over just killing Connor instead.
Sahjhan, annoyed, opens a portal to Quor’Toth, a super nasty hell dimension. He’ll send all of them there if they don’t do what he wants. Holtz jumps into the portal, still holding Connor. Angel tries to follow but gets zapped backward by lightning from the portal. Sahjhan seals it and leaves, having gotten more or less what he wanted. Lilah, annoyed, leaves with her special ops guys. Angel is so devastated by the loss of Connor that he can’t even stand up. Justine drives away in Wesley’s car.
“Sleep Tight” is one of those episodes that’s particularly heartbreaking because you can see about ten different ways things almost could’ve been okay. One of the A.I. team could’ve spotted the unconscious Lorne in the office before Wesley left. Lorne could’ve told Wes about W&H spiking the pig’s blood with Connor’s blood. Wes could’ve been there to witness Angel’s behavior and Fred’s discovery of the cause of it. Wes could’ve gotten into his car quickly enough that he wouldn’t have heard Justine. (Or, heck, he could’ve had his car packed and ready to go so that once he got Connor out of the hotel, he could just leave.) I mean, I suppose if Wes hadn’t gotten away with Connor, then Holtz and his men would’ve just attacked in full force, but why did Holtz even care about Connor’s safety? Anyway. I like this episode, but it hurts. I’m kind of confused about Holtz’s crew. For all Holtz’s talk about how killing Angel will be justice, soul notwithstanding, he sure didn’t try very hard to actually kill him. It really was just a diversion to give Wes enough time to get his throat slit by Justine. Either Team Holtz isn’t being written very well, or Holtz has a more devious plan than he’s letting on.
I wonder if the writers of The Vampire Diaries were inspired by Angel’s behavior in this episode, because Angel on human blood is a lot like Stefan on human blood. More upbeat and energetic than usual, but also less focused and incredibly short-fused. Is it just the common consensus that human blood works like a combination of no sleep and an energy drink on vampires who aren’t used to it? That’s such a strange trope. I like how as soon as Angel realizes there’s something wrong with him, he’s suddenly much more careful about the way he behaves.
Wesley! Why are you hiding this super important knowledge from everyone? They could help you! He spends so much time away from the team in this one, which causes him to miss several vital scenes that might change his mind about what he has to do. The original purpose of the show was for Angel to learn the importance of human connections. Now we’re seeing an example of the dangers of being cut off from such connections—not through Angel, like in season two, but through Wesley. No one should be completely isolated.
Gunn, unlike Wesley (lately, anyway), is willing to actually call Angel out to his face when he’s being scary. And, also unlike Wesley, he’s willing to give an errant member of the team the benefit of the doubt when he doesn’t have all the information yet. The cuteness of him and Fred, though, is starting to wear off. I mean, they’re still being cute, but it’s starting to be nauseating rather than endearing.
Fred shot a human with a crossbow! Go Fred! I love it when the good guys don’t refuse to go for the kill even though they’re being attacked in larger numbers by people who are perfectly fine with using lethal force.
“Sworn enemy? Really? Have we met, because I don’t remember swearing.”
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.