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 Angel's Secrets

Angel the Series Episode Guide

"Soulless"

Episode # 77
Original Air Date: February 5 2003
Review by: Anne

Episode Summary

At the Hyperion, the gang places the glass jar that now contains Angel's soul into the safe; they also consider whether they've done the right thing. As Wesley prepares to go down to question Angelus, he warns the others that they must be careful. Angelus will use all of Angel's knowledge against them, and his one goal will be to get out of the cage and slaughter them. Wesley goes into the basement, but as predicted, Angelus is less than cooperative. As they banter back and forth, Angelus taunts Wesley about everything from being a failure as a Watcher to his feelings about Fred. The others watch and hear everything from a monitor upstairs. Angelus also reveals that Connor and Cordy slept together; a fact which stuns Fred and Gunn. Wesley leaves the basement, having learned only that Angel fought The Beast in his fantasy using a sword. Connor returns; he was fighting vampires, but there are getting to be too many of them. After a few awkward moments, Fred and Gunn volunteer to take blood to Angelus. In the basement, Angelus taunts them, playing on Gunn's fear that Fred doesn't love him, and teasing Fred that he hears the things she does in her room with Gunn. At the first opportunity, Angelus grabs Fred by the neck. Gunn tries in vain to free her, then Wesley appears and shoots Angelus with tranquilizer darts. A few minutes later, Fred finds Wesley in the office to thank him for saving her. She mentions the way he feels about her, and they wind up kissing. They break apart as Gunn approaches, but he recognizes that something just happened. He and Wesley start to argue; downstairs, Angelus hears them and says, "That was easy." Wesley and Gunn come to blows until Gunn knocks down Fred, who was trying to break up the fight. At this point, Cordelia notices on the monitor that Connor has crept downstairs. He is mostly unaffected by the verbal jabs, until Angelus mentions Holtz. Just as Connor appears ready to open the cage and fight, Cordy appears, telling him to go upstairs. When he's gone, Cordy offers herself to Angelus if he tells what he knows about TB. He agrees. He reveals that it was in 1789 in Prussia when he met TB; the massacre from Cordy's vision was staged by TB to impress Angelus. He needed the help of a vampire to eliminate some priestesses who were trying to banish him. Angelus refused, and TB was apparently banished. Researching leads to the discovery that the descendants of the priestesses live near LA. Cordy, Connor, and Wesley go to see them, but they're too late: TB must have slaughtered the family days earlier. Back at the hotel, the gang decides to bring Angel back. However, they soon learn that the glass jar which contained his soul has been taken from the safe.

Episode Review

Will Connor's real father please stand up? Angel wanted Connor to remember that Angelus wasn't his father, yet Connor said that he is. However, Connor also refers to Holtz as his father. I was actually glad that the writers put that line in, because it fits Connor's character for him to still think of Holtz that way. He said that Holtz was a good man, and he was; Angelus killed Holtz' family and if anything ever gave someone a right to seek vengeance, that would be it. However, when Holtz was back again, he didn't recognize that Angel is not the one he should seek vengeance on. Holtz believed that a demon is a demon, and, not surprisingly, Connor was taught to believe the same thing.

Perhaps in his Punk Kid phase, Connor can't tell the difference between Angelus and Angel, but the others do. They know that the soul is what makes Angel who he is, and removing it is a very serious thing. It means that the powerful force that is Angel suddenly has no reason to do good. When talking to Angelus, the gang tries to remember that he's not their friend, but still he has intimate knowledge of them, and he takes pleasure in using it to hurt them. Obviously, he's also attempting to use the divide-and-conquer tactic against them.

Cordy seems the most unaffected by his remarks; she's seen Angelus before and she clearly understands that it's not Angel. She tries to use Angel's knowledge of her against Angelus, to convince him that she's telling the truth so that he'll agree to her deal. It seems to work; however, unless there was some dialogue that we didn't see, she did *not* include saving the world as a part of the deal. Maybe that part was implied, but she said that if he tells what he knows, he gets her.

The rest of the episode continued the recent mystery that's been keeping the gang busy. We can practically feel their frustration as they learn that the Beast has beat them to the punch again by killing the modern-day priestesses. How is that possible: didn't someone (oh yeah, Angelus) say TB couldn't touch them? Did someone else kill them? Was Angelus lying? And who in the world has taken Angel's soul? The sun's still gone and things just keep getting darker.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

* Since Angelus didn't say anything in the flashback, DB didn't have to try to do an Irish accent. That's good because I've seen several negative comments on his previous attempts to speak with an accent.

* I don't think Angelus would use the word "idiots."

* I found it odd that Angelus asked Connor, "Is that my shirt?" Angelus is always so quick to separate himself from Angel, that it's weird for him to claim ownership of the shirt. Then again, "Is that Angel's shirt?" doesn't sound right either.

* This episode was directed by Sean Astin (aka Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings).

* Connor does look good in Angel's shirt.

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