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Benediction

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Angel
Season 3, Episode 21
Benediction Main
Air date May 13, 2002
Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Tim Minear
Episode Guide
previous
"A New World"
next
"Tomorrow"
Cast
Starring
David Boreanaz Angel
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
Alexis Denisof Wesley
J. August Richards Gunn
Amy Acker Fred
Guest Starring
Vincent Kartheiser Connor
Laurel Holloman Justine
Mark Lutz Groosalugg
Andy Hallett Lorne
Stephanie Romanov Lilah
Keith Szarabajka Holtz

"Benediction" is the twenty-first episode of the third season of Angel and the sixty-fifth episode overall. Written and directed by Tim Minear, it was originally broadcast on May 13, 2002 on the WB network.

Angel and Connor fight side-by-side against a gang of vampires at a nightclub. Angel learns that Daniel Holtz, now much older, has also returned himself from Quor'toth, and seeks a confrontation with him. Cordelia's interest in Angel makes the Groosalugg jealous. Cordelia learns she has a demon power that can help Connor let go of his bitterness and hatred. Lilah tries again to recruit Wesley for Wolfram & Hart. He dismisses the offer, but keeps her business card. Holtz tells Connor that his future is with Angel, but he also arranges for his own death at the hands of Justine in an alleyway in such a way that Connor will think Angel murdered him.

Synopsis

Angel returns to the Hyperion Hotel. He tells the AI team about his meeting with Connor. He is convinced that Connor, who was able to survive in Quor-Toth, will be all right in Los Angeles. The others fear that something else might have escaped from Quor-Toth after Connor and might be pursuing him. Angel says Connor will come to the hotel as soon as he realizes what he needs. Cordelia says that what Connor needs is a father.

Connor and Holtz rent a motel room with money taken from Tyke (the drug dealer he fought). The next morning, Connor gets a newspaper and brings it to Holtz. Looking at the date, Holtz knows that only a few days have passed since he took Connor to Quar-Toth, for all that many years passed for him and Connor.

Holtz praises Connor for finding a way to escape Quar-Toth. Connor says he did it by following the Sluks, the translucent, slug-like creatures that the AI team fought. Connor adds that Holtz should have remained in Quar-Toth, because he, Connor, intended to return there to join Holtz after killing Angel. Holtz replies that Connor does not have it in him to kill Angel. Connor's real reason for coming to Los Angeles, Holtz claims, was to meet Angel.

Holtz says God gave Connor into his care, to make up for the children that Holtz lost. Holtz says he is glad that Connor did not kill Angel, and tells him to rejoin Angel so that he may learn about this world and himself, but he also warns Connor to be on his guard.

At the hotel, Lorne brings in a Cedrian crystal, which can store mystical energy in the way a battery can store electricity. The team uses it to power a modified Geiger counter that will detect para-plasmic radioactivity and so tell them whether anything, beyond what they already know of, escaped from Quar-Toth. Cordelia goes upstairs to talk with Angel.

In the hotel courtyard, Lorne and the Groosalugg discuss Angel's handling of Connor's return. The Groosalugg's words also refer to his relationship with Cordelia.

Upstairs, Cordelia assures Angel that Connor will eventually return.

Wesley eats a TV dinner. A beep from his computer alerts him to a mail message. The anonymous message instructs him to go to 782 W. Palm Terrace at 8:30 p.m., and be alone.

Fred sweeps the hotel lobby with her para-plasmic Geiger counter. The sound leads her to the door, where Connor has just entered. Angel introduces him to the team as Steven. The four others leave so that Connor and Angel are alone.

Before the two can begin their conversation, Cordelia re-enters. She reports a vision about a woman in a bar who is threatened by a gang of vampires. Angel says he has to leave, and invites Connor to go with him.

Wesley goes to the address as instructed. It turns out to be a bar. Wesley finds Lilah on the mezzanine, and understands it was she who summoned him. As he is about to leave, Lilah points out Justine, who is sitting at the bar on the main floor. Lilah got Justine to come by telling her there would be vampires at the bar. She also got the vampires to come by telling them Justine would be at the bar. Lilah thinks Wesley will enjoy watching Justine, the woman who helped ruin his life, die.

Wesley turns to leave, and Lilah asks if he's going to warn Justine before he goes. Wes hesitates, and this tells Lilah what she wants to know. The fact that he briefly considered leaving Justine knowing she would be killed otherwise proves to her that she isn't wasting her time with him and she professes to have no further interest in the case, while also promising to extricate Justine before she is killed. Wesley says that won't be necessary, because he notices Angel circulating in the crowd.

Connor asks Angel why he kills vampires, in as much as he is a vampire too. Before Angel can answer, several vampires attack Justine and the battle is on. Connor saves Justine, and the two of them give each other a long time. Angel tells her to go and she does.

On the mezzanine, Lilah asks Wesley who the "boy wonder" is. Wesley tells her the boy is Angel's son. Lilah watches the two expertly fight off the vampires, and asks Wesley what he thinks, only to learn he's already left unnoticed.

Connor pursues a vampire into an alley. Angel appears and the two kill the vampire together. Angel congratulates Connor on his fighting. Angel smiles and the two spar playfully. Holtz watches from a balcony in the same alley.

Holtz returns to the motel room where he is staying. He finds Connor there, eating candy. Connor says Angel tried to fool him, but it didn't work. "I've seen his true face," Connor says. "And I've seen yours," Holt replies.

Angel and Cordelia exult over Connor's fighting. Cordelia says that she went back into her vision after Angel left, and she saw the whole fight.

In their second-floor motel room, Holtz tells Connor he is meant to be with Angel, though Connor objects. It looks like Holtz has had a change of heart about Angel. He says Connor is not a demon, but other than that, he does not know what Connor is. He tells Connor to go find out.

Fred and Gunn are cruising in Gunn's truck with their Geiger counter. They find the motel where Connor and Holtz are staying. Connor comes out of the motel room and leaps to the parking lot, so Gunn and Fred see him. Gunn also sees Holtz standing in the doorway.

Connor returns to the Hyperion Hotel. Finding Lorne in the lobby, Connor insults him as a "filthy demon." Cordelia appears and attempts to mollify Connor. She tells him that in this dimension demons are not always evil. She mentions that she is part demon. Hearing this, Connor attacks her with a knife.

A soft light envelopes Cordelia and spreads to Connor. The blade of Connor's knife disappears. The light fades from Cordelia first, then from Connor a few seconds later, while Cordelia counsels him to "let it go, honey." He cries on her shoulder.

Angel appears. While Connor sits by himself, apparently reflecting on his recent experience with Cordelia, the three adults discuss Cordelia's new powers and what she did to Connor. Lorne guesses that she purged Connor of the evil energy that he brought with him from Quor-Toth.

Angel speaks to Connor. Connor reminds Angel that he tried to kill Cordelia, and says he should go. Angel asks him to stay, saying the Hyperion Hotel could be a home for Connor. Without mentioning Holtz's name, Connor says Holtz told him the same thing, which alerts Angel to the fact that Holtz is back.

Gunn and Fred enter the hotel.

Holtz opens his door to find Justine there.

Angel sends Connor off with Fred and Gunn. He plans to confront Holtz. Cordelia tells him not to go. She doesn't mind if Angel wants to kill Holtz, but she warns him not to lie to his son.

Holtz and Justine talk. Justine is still loyal to Holtz. Holtz says something changed while he was in Quor-Toth. He developed love for Connor, and found love is more powerful than hate. He says he needs Justine to do something for him, and then he will be done with vengeance.

Fred and Gunn take Connor to a beach. He has never seen an ocean before. Connor walks to the edge of the surf for a closer look, while Fred and Gunn talk about what Angel plans to do. Connor, who seems to have abnormally good hearing, overhears them and runs off.

At the Hyperion Hotel, Cordelia is about to leave when a figure enters. At first she thinks it is Angel. She says it makes her happy that he didn't go when she asked him not to. It turns out to be the Groosalugg, not Angel at the door.

Holtz is putting a letter into an envelope when Angel enters his motel room. Angel pins Holtz against a wall and shouts, "You took my son!" Holtz replied, "I kept your son alive, you murdered mine." Angel says he is sorry, "for whatever little it might mean," and asserts that Holtz taking Connor was vengeance, not justice. Holtz says he has lost his taste for vengeance and will now give Connor back to Angel. He hands Angel a letter to give Connor. It is not sealed. He expects and intends for Angel to read it.

Connor runs through an alley toward Holtz's motel.

Angel, sitting in his convertible, reads Holtz's letter, which is a valedictory.

Holtz meets Justine in a nearby alley. At his request, and as she promised, she cuts his throat.

Connor looks in the motel room. Holtz is not there.

Connor finds Justine in the alley with Holtz's head in her lap. Connor sees a wound in his neck that resembles the fang wounds that result from a vampire attack. Connor says, "Angelus."

Continuity

  • Holtz asks Justine to kill him, and she reluctantly complies. It is made to look as if Angel killed him, as a way to turn Connor against his father.
  • In this episode it is revealed that Connor has extraordinary hearing. Not surprisingly, as his parents are vampires.
  • Lilah uses the term "Undead-American" when referencing a vampire, a term first used mockingly by Buffy in When She was Bad.
  • Cordelia's relationship with Groosalugg is similar to Buffy's relationship with Riley. In both cases, the man completely loves the woman, but the woman does not quite return the affection. Interestingly, in Buffy's relationship, she cannot commit to Riley because she was not over Angel. In Cordelia's relationship, she cannot commit to Groo because she had unknowingly fallen in love with Angel.
  • When Cordelia sees the modified Geiger counter, she exclaims "Shiny!"—a phrase commonly associated with the Whedon show "Firefly."
  • When discussing the fact that Connor is on his own in Los Angeles, Fred says, "Okay, so he survived an unspeakable hell dimension. Who hasn't?" This is a clear reference to her time in Pylea.
    • Among the others of the group, all had spent some time in Pylea, with Groosalugg and Lorne both having been born there and Angel and Gunn having gone to save Cordelia who had been sucked in. Furthermore, Angel had previously spent a century in Acathla's Dimension.

Body Count

  • Two vampires, dusted by Angel
  • Two vampires, dusted by Connor
  • Daniel Holtz, killed by Justine (on his request)

Behind the Scenes

Music

International titles

  • German: Vater und Sohn (Father and Son)

Goofs, Bloopers and Continuity Errors

  • During the club scene there are two instances where a dusting by stake occurs without actual peneration from the stake. First when Angel stakes the bartender vampire the stake barely touches the vampire and second when Angel deflects Connor's stake to the vampire behind him it's simply the side of the stake that hits the vampire.
  • The Geiger counter modifications would have placed the crystal in the wand tool, as the box is just for storing the other components and readouts. In addition, the detector wand shown would be measuring out of the end, yet Fred measured with the sides. Further, Earth being a lower energy ground state than other dimensions is less likely than the mystical energy contamination for things tunneling through dimensional barriers.

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