Written by Steven S. DeKnight
Directed by Terrence O’Hara
The whole A.I. team is having a big Thanksgiving-style dinner in the lobby. Angel isn’t eating, because he’s savoring the moment of having everyone there together. Including Wesley. They all clink glasses. Angel and Cordy get all flirty and lean in for a kiss, but Connor groans about it, so Angel ruffles his hair. Everyone passes the food to each other, but none for Angel. He tries to grab a plate, but it’s empty when it gets in front of him. He knocks his glass over. Suddenly the lobby is partially underwater. Connor sneers at him. He’s the only one left at the table. Angel is still in that box on the bottom of the ocean.
S4 opening credits! Connor is in them, and Wesley has been moved to the end.
Once the credits are over, Fred and Gunn flee to Fred’s truck. A vampire jumps on the hood before they get far. Seems like this has been their life all summer. More vampires catch up to them. Fred and Gunn are looking for one vampire in particular. They need to talk to her. The leader of the vamps reluctantly tells them where to find her but then decides to kill them. Fred uses a wrist-mounted stake to kill him. She and Gunn take out most of the vampires, but the last one hurls an axe at Fred. Connor appears, catches the axe, and throws it through the vamp’s neck. He’s very pleased with himself. Fred and Gunn try to shake off their battle anxiety.
Back at the hotel, Fred and Gunn lecture Connor about vanishing in the middle of their fight. He has to get better at working with a team. Gunn assigns him to polish the awesome hubcap axe, which annoys him. Fred and Gunn have been trying all summer to look for Angel and Cordy, but they’ve found very little. The reason they’re after that one vampire is that she’s known to hunt near where Angel’s car was discovered. Maybe she saw something. Lorne hasn’t been answering any of their many calls.
Angel is out on that bit of beach from the S3 finale. Cordelia is there. It starts off apparently his idea of what their perfect meeting would’ve been, but he keeps flashing to what actually happened. She says some of the cheesiest romantic lines known to the Buffyverse, they kiss, and then he bites her. Then it’s back to him at the bottom of the ocean. Seems like that box was watertight, so that’s one very small mercy. I think it’d be much less pleasant to actually be soaking in ocean for three months than just stuck in a box. What if moss started growing on you? Ugh.
Connor is indignant that Fred and Gunn didn’t tell him about their vamp lead. They hid it from him because they didn’t want to get his hopes up. He wants to come. They reluctantly agree. Gunn doesn’t think this is a good idea. They talk about how they’re basically out of allies and have no other leads. Holtz and Justine are nowhere to be found, W&H is too big to confront without Angel, and Wesley has apparently refused to help them twice, so Gunn no longer wants to ask him. That seems to be a point of friction between him and Fred.
Wesley and Lilah are still doing their hate-sex thing. They both seem to have acknowledged that they kind of like it. But that doesn’t mean she’s stopped trying to use him to get to Angel. He thinks it’s hilarious, because he neither knows nor cares what happened to Angel. Lilah thinks that’s promising. She kisses him goodbye, and he pulls her in for a more intense kiss. Then she leaves to go back to work. Also, he was totally lying about not knowing anything about Angel. He has Justine bound and gagged in a cage in his closet, and he’s about to take her out on a boat to look for Angel.
Wes and Justine are on the boat now. He’s been sending her into the water to look for Angel each time, and she’s super bitter about her whole slave girl situation (don’t blame her). Justine still doesn’t regret tricking Connor. She slowly grabs a wrench and gets ready to hit Wes over the head with it, but he threatens to take away her toilet bucket. She angrily drops the wrench.
Connor smashes his way into the vampire lady’s lair, Fred and Gunn in tow, wishing he’d be more cautious. Connor finds a CD player still on in the bed, which means she’s still there. Sure enough, vamp lady leaps down from the ceiling. Connor gets her pinned to the wall with his sword across her throat. She’s reluctant to share any information, and she fights her way free before she has to. Connor goes tearing after her. Gunn is furious at him for giving her an opening to get away.
Vamp lady climbs the side of a building (Spider-Man style) to get away, but Connor is already waiting on the roof. She drops her vampface and tries to sweet talk him. He stakes her. Then he hears Gunn coming, so he slices a cut on his arm to make it look like they fought and he had to kill her. Gunn yells at him for blowing their only lead on Angel, and Connor runs off. Fred scolds him for not being so patient. Gunn’s not so sure Connor’s a regular kid, since he’s the son of two vampires. (Well, he’s obviously not normal, but Gunn means in terms of moral alignment.)
Connor is crouching on a roof. Angel walks up. They admire the view of the city. Connor faces Angel and tells him to get it over with. That’s ominous. A gang of vampires shows up, and Angel and Connor fight them. They win! What a lovely father/son bonding moment—yeah no, because then Angel snaps Connor’s neck and wakes up screaming in the box again.
Lorne is in L.A., looking absurdly fancy for his upcoming gig. Fred calls him, hoping for help, but he’s super busy and hasn’t heard anything. He tells her to make sure “Fluffy” is getting enough love. Fred and Gunn are baffled by that one. What next? They have no clients and no leads. They’re going broke and have no idea where Angel and Cordy are.
Cut to Wolfram & Hart. Gavin has apparently gotten close to locating Angel. He knows he’s contained and immobile. Lilah is deeply unimpressed. But Linwood is on Team Gavin right now, because Gavin has also found out about Lilah and Wes. Linwood thinks Wesley might be the one taking advantage of Lilah.
Wes finally has something on the boat’s scanner, so he sends Justine down to check it out. It’s Angel in his box! He blinks and winces at the light from her big underwater flashlight. Next we see, they’re hauling the box up. Wes uses a torch to cut it open, and they pull the lid off. Wes cuts the metal bands holding Wes in there, and the first thing Angel does is grab Wes by the throat. Uh oh.
Wes slowly pries Angel’s hand away. He’s super delirious. Wes gets him down into the cabin and feeds him some pig’s blood. Angel isn’t getting it down very well. Justine mocks Wesley. Does he think this is going to make everything better, and that he’ll be able to go back home?
Connor returns to the hotel, where Fred and Gunn are waiting, looking like stern parents. He apologizes for running off. Gunn cuffs him over the head and tells him he’s a lot like his dad, which makes him angry. Fred suggests he go get cleaned up. Gunn really doesn’t appreciate the way Connor always tries to make him snap, but Fred thinks it’s just that Gunn is the alpha male while Angel’s gone, so it’s natural for Connor to test him. They get all cute, and then the phone rings. They want to let it ring, but Gunn answers it.
Angel is hallucinating Lorne this time. No matter how hard Angel tries, he can’t get good things in his life to last. Wes comes down into the cabin and Justine informs him that Angel’s been yammering to himself this whole time. Angel wants to stop Connor. Wes tries to get him to calm down. Hallucination Lorne sings a lullaby. Angel sees Connor instead of Wes and says he should’ve killed him. That’s fun for Wes to hear. Wes thinks Angel’s had too much brain damage from prolonged starvation. Animal blood won’t cut it. Justine thinks that means her blood, but Wes hasn’t gone that shady. He cuts his own arm and holds it to Angel’s mouth. That definitely hits the spot.
It’s time for a big meeting at W&H. Linwood would like to talk about Lilah first, but Lilah cuts in. They should be focusing on capturing Connor for study and finding Angel. Linwood doesn’t appreciate her trying to control the meeting. She accuses him of being spineless and weak. One of the Senior Partners agrees. She went over Linwood’s head, and now she’s literally going right below it, with a beheading device attached to his chair. Lilah is now in charge of Special Projects! Everyone in that room now works for her, including Gavin, who she assigns to clean up dead Linwood.
Fred brings Connor some food in his room. He’s playing a GameBoy. He likes baloney without tomatoes, and he starts wolfing it down. Fred tells him she can’t imagine everything he’s been through or what he’s suffered, but she hopes he’ll suffer much worse for what he did to Angel. Daaaang, girl! She tases him unconscious.
Next scene, Connor is tied up in the office while Fred circles him with the taser, still coldly furious. That phone call was from Wes. He’s bringing Angel home. Fred feels deeply betrayed. They’ve been taking care of him for three months and he knew where Angel was all along.
Wes loads Angel into his car. Justine yells at him that Angel will turn on him. He leaves her handcuffed to the pier, but he tosses the key at her and tells her it’s her choice whether or not to keep being a slave.
Fred is still reeling from the betrayal. She cared so much about Connor. Connor still isn’t remotely sorry for what he did. He thinks Angel deserved it. Angel’s back! Wes helps him into the lobby. He and Gunn get him onto the sofa, and then Wes immediately turns to leave again. Fred and Gunn are angry that he never warned them about Connor, since he’s known Connor buried Angel at sea for as long as he’s had Justine imprisoned. Wes was sure Connor wouldn’t hurt humans, so they were better off not knowing. They don’t appreciate that answer. He leaves.
Connor has broken out of his restraints. He attacks Fred and Gunn when they check the office, throwing Gunn down and tasing Fred. When he tries to run, Angel is standing in the doorway. Angel coldly tells him to sit. Connor does. Angel might be weak, but he still has a very commanding presence. He’d like a nice chat with Connor about how his summer was. He tells Connor what really happened to Holtz. It was all a trick to make Connor hate him. Connor still thinks Angel deserved it.
Angel’s trying to figure out what Connor deserves for what he did. Connor tries to bolt, but Angel catches him and throws him against the wall. He asks if Connor did anything to Cordy. Connor says no, and Angel believes him (even if Fred and Gunn are skeptical). Angel gives a pretty inspiring speech about living to show the world its best potential. Also he makes a reference to Buffy sending him to hell. Continuity points! Nice. Connor isn’t part of the A.I. mission...yet. Angel loves Connor, but he’s kicking him out. Connor leaves, and Angel collapses almost immediately. He wants to find Cordelia.
That might be tricky. Cordelia is up on a higher plane of glowy lights, having the most boring time of her multidimensional existence. Wait, what? Then what was all that crap Skip was saying about how the battle between good and evil is fought on many planes and she was needed up top? Why does she have time to be bored? Oh, right, because my theory about Jasmine orchestrating this whole thing is correct. That’s why.
Season four is off to a good start with “Deep Down.” It resolves the biggest cliffhanger of S3, but still leaves most of the rest of it to be dealt with later. There’s a very slight hint that all is not well with Lorne and something will likely change soon with Cordy. Lilah is in charge at W&H now, and there’s still a huge rift between Wesley and the rest of A.I. I kind of think it might’ve been better if Fred and Gunn were searching for Angel between helping the occasional client. The less frequently they actually work on cases, the farther this show gets from its original premise, which is about helping people. True, Cordelia isn’t there to get visions to point them in the right direction, but if advertising could get them swamped with clients in “Provider,” then they shouldn’t have too much trouble finding them without her. (Yeah, I’m still not over the continuity problems that stupid episode caused.) Maybe the writers could’ve substituted a case for a couple of those hallucinations, because they mostly seemed to say the same thing over and over again. Also, the review title is about Connor, because holy crap is he the worst in this one.
And what those hallucinations said is that Angel is starving, furious with Connor, regretful of the split with Wesley, and desperate to know how that conversation would’ve gone with Cordelia if they’d been able to have it. Also, it just occurred to me that Connor had no way of knowing Cordelia wouldn’t show up to meet Angel. What would he have done if she’d arrived and tried to stop him? I mean, he heard their whole phone conversation. He knew Angel was going to meet Cordelia. He must’ve had a plan for dealing with her, or was he just really stupid and really lucky? Bah. Anyway, I like Angel’s move at the end. The speech is really good, and it would’ve been the most awkward situation ever if Connor had continued to live at the hotel with the people he betrayed.
Cordelia is bored. That’s pretty much it. Moving on.
Gunn and Fred are clearly starting to have issues, but they’re barely visible right now. The friction between Gunn and Connor is interesting, given that Gunn and Fred both had no clue of Connor’s treachery. You’d think Connor would want to be polite and friendly with them so as not to arouse suspicion, but instead he and Gunn constantly butt heads.
Fred trying to use street slang is hilarious. But I’m most interested in how intensely protective she is of Angel. I’ve probably said it before, but I seriously love their dynamic. She can be terrifyingly fierce on behalf of someone she loves, even against someone else she loves. And I kind of love that she doesn’t hesitate to use a taser when she knows her target is stronger than her. It’s scary, but awesome.
Yeah, I’m still thinking Connor is a sociopath. He can spend three whole months under the care of two of Angel’s best friends without feeling so much as a little bit guilty for what he did? After this much time, he has to have realized that Fred and Gunn aren’t the type who could be tricked into thinking Angel’s good. Did Fred tell Connor how Angel rescued her from Pylea? Did Gunn tell Connor how he and Angel would fight side-by-side on so many of their cases? Three whole months, and Connor doesn’t start to wonder if maybe Holtz was wrong about Angel, and maybe there was something fishy about Holtz’s death? At this point, I’m not very thrilled about Connor being a big enough character to get a spot in the opening credits. I’d rather write about Lorne.
So Wesley is now a stone cold, incredibly morally ambiguous badass. Who could’ve seen that coming when he strutted onscreen in Buffy S3? I mean, he can convincingly lie to Lilah, who is so good at being an evil lawyer that she got permission to behead her boss in his own conference room. Why doesn’t he try to rejoin the team, though? He just saved Angel and fed him his own blood to get him healthy again. Considering that Connor is the one who put Angel down there, I think Angel might be a little more open to the idea of Wesley coming back than he was before. Does he not feel like he deserves to be part of the team? Or is he still bitter that they sided with Angel even after Angel tried to kill him? Because they’ve reached out to him multiple times now, so the ball is definitely in his court.
“He looks like he’s gonna yell.”
“I do not!”
“He always looks like he’s gonna yell.”
“I’M NOT GONNA YELL.”
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The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.