"Spin The Bottle"
Episode # 72
Original Air Date: November 10, 2002
Review by: Anne
On stage at a club, Lorne begins to tell the story by picking up where the previous episode ended, with Cordelia asking Angel if they were in love. Angel replies that he doesn't know because she disappeared before they could meet and talk about it. Lorne joins them, announcing that he has a foolproof spell to restore her memory. Wesley, Fred, Gunn, Angel, Lorne and Cordelia gather to perform the spell; as it begins a flash of light enters each of them, and they become disoriented. Cordy gets to her feet and staggers a bit before crushing the bottle on the floor, ending the drug-like haze they were in. However, no one recognizes anyone else, as each seems to believe that he or she is a teenager. They theorize what could have happened; after finding Lorne unconscious behind the counter, they tie him up. From his experience at the Watchers' Academy, Wesley decides that it's a test. They split up to search the hotel, hoping that if they find and kill a vampire, they pass the test and return to normal. Searching rooms with Cordy, Angel (aka "Liam") fearfully realizes that he's a vampire, and he does his best to conceal that from the others, so they don't try kill him. Tired of searching, the gang gathers downstairs, where Lorne wakes up. He remembers what happened and innocently reveals that Angel is a vampire. Gunn and Wes attack Angel, who decides that if they want him to be the bad guy, he'll be the bad guy. He knocks out Gunn and Wes, and chases after Cordy. Her scream brings Connor to the rescue, and he and Angel fight. Meanwhile upstairs, Lorne asks Fred to trust him. She unties him and he is able to restore the gang's memories. As Cordy's memory returns, she sees a glimpse of an evil-looking monster and runs away from the others. Angel follows and she says she remembers everything and needs time alone. He asks if they were in love, and she tells him sadly that they were, before turning to leave.
A few episodes ago Cordy asked who would want to remember the details about the life she lives. The same could be asked about the others, particularly given recent events. This episode gave them the chance to forget all of that. And what did they do? They repeatedly tried to regain those memories, similar to the way Cordy was willing to try anything if it would help.
Did Lorne really think the spell was foolproof? Or did the spell actually work the way it was intended to? In any event, she did get her memory back, so that's good. Unfortunately, with her memory she gained a knowledge of some hideous ... beast. Exactly where does she remember *that* from? Was that something she saw on the higher plane? That's unlikely, since that thing was ominous and evil-looking, and she was safe - not to mention bored - on the higher plane. Was she having a vision of something to come?
And while I'm asking questions, what was the significance of Lorne telling the story to the empty club? Maybe he was narrating the story for the benefit of the TV audience, but then, who was talking to him and applauding?
Perhaps another good outcome of the gang's trip down memory lane is that Connor was able to see a new side of Angel. Angel wasn't a tense, "Mr. Dad" type; he let his guard down and told Connor exactly what he was thinking. Hopefully, this will help Connor start to see that he isn't alone; other people struggle with the same feelings.
* "Hello salty goodness" is exactly the same thing Cordy said when she saw Angel for the first time in season one of Buffy.
* Cordy asked if Angel entered her room any time he felt like it: before her disappearance she didn't have a room in the hotel. She had an apartment, that had to be let go because the others couldn't afford to pay for it.