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Awakening

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Angel
Season 4, Episode 10
Awakening515
Air date January 29, 2003
Written by David Fury
Steven S. DeKnight
Directed by James A. Contner
Episode Guide
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"Long Day's Journey"
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"Soulless"
Cast
Starring
David Boreanaz Angel/Angelus
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
J. August Richards Gunn
Amy Acker Fred
Vincent Kartheiser Connor
Alexis Denisof Wesley
Special Guest Starring
Andy Hallett Lorne
Guest Starring
Vladimir Kulich The Beast
Roger Yuan Wo-Pang
Co Starring
Larry McCormick Himself

"Awakening" is the tenth episode of the fourth season of Angel and the seventy-sixth episode overall. Written by David Fury and Steven S. DeKnight and directed by James A. Contner, it was originally broadcast on January 29, 2003 on the WB network.

Synopsis

The Beast has succeeded in his plan to block out the sun in Los Angeles, and in the hotel Fred tries to work out a way to bring it back and notes that she could use Wesley's help in the research. Gunn isn't impressed, as Wesley has gone missing while Gwen has completely skipped town. Connor points out than the answers lie with Angel, but Cordelia reminds him that her vision showed that it was Angelus who made a pact with the Beast in the past. Gunn reminds everyone of Wesley's earlier declaration that they needed to bring Angelus back to get answers, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon as the only way for Angel to lose his soul is to experience perfect happiness, and happiness of any kind is in short supply for any of them.

In his office, Angel has sang for Lorne in the hope that this could provide them with answers, but unfortunately Lorne's reading has shown nothing. Angel is confused, as he remembers every second of his time as Angelus and yet has no recollection of The Beast. Lorne points out that it seems only Angelus has the answers, but Angel is against bringing him back and even if he did approve of the idea, there's no way to do it.

Across town, Wesley breaks into the lair of a mystic named Wo-Pang knowing that he has the power to extract souls.

In the hotel, Fred informs everyone that she can't find any way to bring the sun back and Angel tries to rally round his demoralized team telling them they may be losing ground but they still need to protect the people in the city from the creatures that now have free reign. Connor snipes that this is exactly how Angel wanted it, and accuses his father of being in league with the Beast and that he is the reason he hates his life. Angel isn't impressed and tells his son to get over his issues, as Wesley walks in with Wo-Pang. As Fred goes to make the mystic tea, Angel wants to know what Wesley thinks he is doing by bringing in a dark mystic. Wesley tells Angel that Wo-Pang has the power to not only remove souls but to put them back, but Angel isn't interested and tells Wesley to get rid of Wo-Pang, refusing to have his soul removed.

Outside the hotel, Cordelia approaches and tells Angel she's on his side in this having experienced the horror of Angelus both personally in Sunnydale as well as seeing his actions while as a higher power. Angel then asks if she agrees with Connor in his accusation that he's working with the Beast. Cordelia admits that she thinks its possible, and Angel tells her that he's already a danger to them. Cordelia assures him that he isn't as big a danger as Angelus, but notes that Angelus is, in a way, smarter and as he's evil will think like the Beast. These words convince Angel that Angelus should be brought back and he starts to make arrangements for a cage to be built in the hotel's basement to contain him.

After the cage is constructed, the ritual to remove Angel's soul is ready to begin. Lorne decides not to watch, and Angel understands and asks that Cordelia and Fred don't watch either. He then talks to Connor, assuring his son that no matter what has happened or will happen that he loves him, and that he's in charge of protecting the group so if anything goes wrong with Angelus he'll have to kill him... to which Connor agrees a little too quickly for Angel's liking. Wo-Pang brings down a glass jar, which will house Angel's soul and Cordelia acts against Angel's wishes and comes to watch the ritual. Angel is strapped down, and Wo-Pang enters the cage and asks for it to be double-locked for safety. He then begins the ritual...

In the middle of chanting, Wo-Pang suddenly pulls out a sword and attempts to kill Angel with it while revealing he's actually working for the Beast who wants Angel dead. Angel manages to get free of his restraints, and Gunn is able to enter the cage upon which the two briefly fight Wo-Pang asking why the Beast suddenly wants Angel dead. Wo-Pang then commits suicide to prevent the gang from getting any information out of him, and while investigating his body the gang find it covered with symbols confirming he is an acolyte of the Beast and why there's no information on the Beast in the books, since the acolytes walk around wearing it. Reading the symbols, Wesley finds that an order called the Bosh M'ad, who were dedicated to destroying the Beast when he awoke, created a Sword that could do the job. Unfortunately, it's now a case of finding the sword when Cordelia has a vision showing her it can be found under LA.

Angel points out to Wesley that he wanted to bring Angelus back and brought in a shaman who tried to kill him, when all along there's a sword that can destroy the Beast. Wesley apologises for his error in judgement, and Angel notes that it's the first time he's apologised for any of his recent mistakes, allowing the two to finally come to an understanding. Angel, Cordelia, Wesley and Connor then set off to retrieve the sword.

As they head through the cave, Angel notes the convinience that the very sword that can destroy the Beast is located right under their feet but Cordelia explains that her vision told her the sword that be retrieved from over a hundred points around the world. They come to a passage filled with bells hanging from the ceiling that trip wooden stakes from the wall if rung. The gang carefully make their way through when, near the end, Wesley rings a bell accidentally causing them to run for it.

At the end of the passage is a dead-end, but Cordelia notes that dead-ends normally aren't booby-trapped. Wes notices a pattern to the symbols on the wall, and presses a panel that raises the wall a little. However, when he presses what he believes is the next symbol in the sequence, he gets a spike through his hand. Wesley then spots the correct pattern, and the door eventually raises enough to let everyone through.

Next, the gang decide to split up and Angel sends Connor with Wesley. However Connor wants to go with Cordelia, and Angel has to force him to go with Wes. Cordelia apologizes to Angel for her recent bad decisions when it comes to Connor, but before she can ask for forgiveness she and Angel come to a set of stone pillars in a room filled with light from an unknown source, but no sword. Angel suddenly reaches into an invisible portal, and realizes that the sword was hidden in a dimensional hub allowing it to be accessed from any number of locations. He pulls out the sword, however this causes the room to start to collapse around him and Cordelia.

The two barely make it out, and this brush with death causes Cordelia to break down and tell Angel that everything he did as Angelus doesn't matter and that she wants to be forgiven for sleeping with Connor, which Angel does and the two kiss. Connor sees this and storms out, with Angel closely following to explain. However Connor doesn't want to hear it and walks through a booby-trapped room which shoots darts at people. Angel narrowly saves Connor, but his son still angrily leaves.

Returning to the hotel, the gang claim that Connor is patrolling while Fred tells Angel that the only way to kill the Beast is to pierce his brain with the sword. This will also bring back the sun, but the sudden release of energy will surely kill any human and it isn't certain that Angel will survive it either. Angel tells the others that he needs to fight it along, and tells them they've each made a difference and the gang are also there for each other when needed and that's why the forces of evil will never win... every one of them is a champion. Cordelia argues that she isn't willing to lose him now when they're just starting to really work things out, but Angel tells her he needs to leave and find the Beast... a task that gets a lot easier when the helldemon himself smashes his way through the hotel's front doors.

The gang run for weapons, but Angel orders them to leave. Cordelia isn't willing, and has to be carried out by Gunn and Wesley. The initial fight against the Beast doesn't go well, and the sword is smashed in half before the Beast grabs Angel's throat only to be hit from behind by Connor who has returned to help his father (as well as correcting the Beast when he refers to Angel as Angelus, showing he has finally accepted that Angel isn't like his alter ego). As Connor keeps the Beast distracted, Angel shoves what remains of the sword into the Beast's head. The Beast is destroyed, and the sun returns to Los Angeles. Connor admits that Angel is the one Cordelia truly loves, and the two finally make-up and establish a bond as father and son.

The gang emerges, and Angel tells them that the Beast is dead and they all had a hand in it. Everyone is overjoyed, and even Wesley and Gunn settle their differences with a handshake restoring their friendship.

Outside, the people of Los Angeles rejoice at the return of the sun while Angel watches from inside the hotel. Cordelia notes it must be hard for Angel to watch everyone so happy in the sun where he can't go, but Angel assures Cordy there's nowhere he'd rather be. The two kiss, and Angel initially hesitates only for Cordelia to tell him not to worry. Angel succumbs and the two are soon making love, and Angel starts to feel perfect bliss... causing gasp out Buffy!" and begins to lose his soul.

...suddenly, the scene shifts back to Wo-Pang performing the ritual with Angel restrained in the cage as its revealed that everything that happened since he started the ritual (Wo-Pang's betrayal, finding the sword, destroying the Beast, restoring the sun and Angel working out his issues with Cordelia, Wesley and Connor) was all an illusion designed to make Angel feel a moment of perfect happiness. Wo-Pang tells everyone watching the vision has become reality. In the cage, Angelus wakes up and starts to laugh manically as the glass jar sitting nearby now contains his extracted soul.

Continuity

  • Angel says that Wesley has only read about Angelus, that he "never had the pleasure of his company". Although in Eternity, Rebecca Lowell drugs Angel, making him act like Angelus for a time, it wasn't the real thing.
  • Angel tells Connor to "get over it", the same thing Cordelia told him in the previous episode.
  • In his perfect-dream experience, when he was about to lose his soul, he called out "Buffy!" similar to what he did when he last lost his soul in Buffy in Surprise.
  • The scene where "Cordelia" sees the sword in the basement she nearly mimics when Willow went through her laptop to look at a diamond Warren stole in Smashed.

Body Count

  • Wo-Pang, killed himself (in the false continuity)
  • The Beast, killed by Angel (in the false continuity)

Behind the Scenes

Pop Culture References

International titles

  • German: Das Erwachen (The Awakening)

Music

Other

  • Angel's speech before he leaves to kill the Beast mirrors Buffy's rousing speech in the BTVS Season 7 episode, "Bring on the Night".

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