Episode # 100
Original Air Date: February 4, 2004
Review by: Anne
After yet another of Wolfram and Hart's evil clients escapes punishment, Angel declares that he quits. At the same time, a vision wakes Cordelia from her coma. Angel and the others are in his office discussing the possibility that Wolfram and Hart wouldn't let them leave when Angel receives the call about Cordelia. He and Wesley go to the hospital and find her not only awake, but walking around. They take her to the office, where she learns that many things have changed. Elsewhere, Lindsey visits Spike who is "working his digits" by playing video games; Eve calls Lindsey to inform him that Cordelia is awake. Alone with Angel, Cordelia accuses him of having been seduced by the trinkets that Wolfram and Hart offered. Angel explains that he took their offer so that they would give Connor a better life. He says that Connor is fine, and they've done some good things. Cordy doesn't buy it. She says he's forgotten who he is, and he implores, "Remind me." She recalls a guy that fought his hardest for what was right, even when he couldn't remember why. Later, Cordy and Wesley search through books, looking for the symbols that she saw in her vision. She finds them, and Wes reads that they conceal the bearer from detection by higher beings - or modern surveillance equipment. Elsewhere, Lindsey sneaks into a restricted area of the building. Upstairs, Cordy sees Spike approaching her; she calls a friendly greeting to him but he vamps out and bites her. Angel rushes in to save Cordy, and Spike finally explains that a man calling himself Doyle had a vision that Cordy was evil. Finding Eve watching, Angel and Cordy escort her to the office for questioning. Angel speculates that Eve is working with Spike's source, which Eve naturally denies. Harmony steps up to the proverbial plate and punches Eve who finally confesses: the Senior Partners installed a failsafe, in the event that Angel got out of control. She doesn't know exactly what it is, but it's alive and specifically designed to destroy Angel. The gang realizes that Eve's partner is Lindsey. Cordy, Spike and Angel head to the basement to stop him. Spike fights off the zombies that guard the restricted area, and Angel and Cordy find Lindsey, who has acquired some mystical powers during his time away. He and Angel fight as Cordelia tries to shut down the tank that is about to release the failsafe monster. She succeeds as Angel, apparently remembering "who he is," defeats Lindsey. Lindsey's concealment tattoos disappear, courtesy of a spell performed by the other members of the A-team, and Lindsey is pulled into a vortex by the not-happy-to-see-him Senior Partners. Later, Angel tells Cordy that he now feels that he can beat whatever Wolfram and Hart has in store for him. Cordy says she always knew he could, she just needed him to know it too. Then she tells him that she can't stay: The Powers That Be owed her one, and she used it to get him back on track. As they kiss goodbye, the phone rings, and Cordy tells Angel that he has to get it. He crosses the room and answers it. He turns to look for Cordelia, but she's gone. The caller informs him that she died without ever waking up. Angel hangs up and whispers, "Thank you."
Even the un-spoiled could have guessed how this episode would end. The ads showed that Cordelia would return, so we knew that something major would have to happen, since she was not joining the cast for the rest of the season. And that something major pretty much had to be her death, because I can't really picture her waking up and then leaving the gang for whatever reason.
In the tradition of this well-written show, we can look back on the episode and pick up the subtle references to her fate. The girl that Cordelia hid in the hospital ("Miss One-foot-in-the-grave") was in the bed next to the window - the bed where Cordy appeared to wake up after her vision. After apologizing to Wes for Lilah's death, Cordy remarks that she "wanted to tell you before . . ." The biggest clue was perhaps the way she spoke of Doyle's death and how she now "gets" the sacrifice he made so that Angel would keep fighting.
Please don't think that because I'm praising the writing it means that I'm happy with what happened. Sure, it's very dramatic and all but, Cordy died, for Pete's sake. Cordy, who came so far from the spoiled brat she was in Buffy season one. Getting to see her again seems especially cruel, because it reminded us that her absence is sorely missed. Didn't Fred once classify Cordy as "the heart"? That's a very accurate assessment; without her, the gang has largely been just going through the motions. Then again, that must have been the reason for her reappearance, and it worked, since Angel is back on track.
Speaking of which, Angel's attempt to quit felt rather hollow. It makes sense, given what we've seen so far this season, particularly his recent questioning of whether accepting the job was the right thing. It also gave the writers a chance to create some conflict, with Gunn not wanting to leave, which led to the revelation that they may not have the option to quit. Still, knowing that the setting for the show this season is the law firm, the chances of him quitting are very slim.
* Angel really had forgotten who he was: he used to be so good at menacing/torture.
* I thought it was very appropriate to include the footage of Doyle in this milestone 100th episode.
* If the zombies had been guarding the entrance to the restricted area, instead of the lasers that summoned the zombies when activated, Lindsey wouldn't have been able to sneak in.
* Wesley's remark that he could feel the spell working seems like a bit of foreshadowing. Is Wesley becoming mystical, or something?