"Double or Nothing"
Episode # 62
Original Air Date: April 22, 2002
Review by: Anne
Cordelia returns from vacation with Groo; she knows something is wrong when she sees the others' faces. She goes to Angel's room and sits with him as he stares at the crib. Fred takes Wesley's belongings to him at the hospital: she tells him that the prophecy was false and that he must never return to the hotel or Angel will kill him. A demon from a casino finds Gunn and tells him it's time to pay; years ago Gunn "mortgaged his future for his present happiness." To try to protect Fred, Gunn breaks up with her. Because he was so mean to her, she tells the others that he must be in terrible danger. Determined not to lose another member of their family, the A-team goes to the casino. Angel wants to play the owner - Jenoff - for Gunn's soul, and he offers his own if Jenoff wins. Angel loses but attacks Jenoff and encourages the other casino patrons - who also owe Jenoff - to do the same. Elsewhere, Wes is released from the hospital and quietly returns to his apartment. Fred has Gunn apologize repeatedly for what he said to her; he tells her that he loves her. At the hotel, Angel looks at Connor's crib and leans on it a moment before he begins to take it apart.
At the risk of gushing, David's performance in this episode was outstanding. He did a great job of conveying Angel's anguish over the loss of his son, without saying a word. By the time he finally spoke I already felt such sympathy for him that I cried.
As bad as Angel's situation is, Wesley's is arguably worse. He's lost everything - his job and the friends who were like his family. He did possibly the worst thing he's ever done and it turns out it was all for nothing.
After the meeting with Jenoff's hired man, Gunn, like Wesley, didn't tell the others about his problem. The scene where the others were trying to call/page him was also reminiscent of when they were trying to locate Wes after learning of his betrayal. However, unlike with Wes, one of the team recognized that Gunn wasn't acting like himself, so they were able to help him.
One of the worst parts of being down is that you often can't see beyond the sadness. Although a tad on the preachy side, Cordelia was correct in that you don't need to know how to go on with your life: it just works out somehow. (If only someone could have told Gunn that all those years ago!)
* Did you catch the remark that leprechauns don't exist? In a Buffy episode from season three - I think - Buffy says that she doesn't believe in leprechauns or coincidence, and Giles says that she's correct about the leprechauns as far as he knows.
* It was sadly ironic that Wesley wouldn't talk to the others about the prophecy and then he temporarily lost the power of speech and couldn't talk at all.
* I like that we didn't see the picture Gunn gave Jenoff: Gunn could be lying about trading his soul for a truck. (Didn't Jenoff say something about a beauty?)
* I kept trying to recall why I associate the name Jenoff with Angel, then I remembered that he writes reviews of Angel and Buffy. Read them here.