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- "There are no absolutes. No right and wrong. Haven't you learned anything working for the Powers? There are only choices. I offered paradise; YOU chose this!"
- ―Jasmine to Angel
"Jasmine" (also known as The Blessed Devourer, and Cordelia Chase, true name unpronounceable by human tongues) was a rogue member of The Powers That Be. Jasmine was the "Big Bad" that Angel Investigations had to deal with in 2003.
Jasmine was an ambiguously evil being whose goal was to gain a corporeal form on Earth and become ruler of the world. The main goal of Jasmine, the Devourer, was to bring world peace. The catch, however, was that Jasmine's vision of world peace was a complete lack of free will, wherein all humans would be mindlessly and unquestioningly devoted to her, while she had to literally eat people to maintain her energy.
According to her servant Skip (a demon in secret contact with Jasmine, but openly friends with Cordelia Chase), Jasmine arranged for many of the events in the lives of the Angel Investigations staff to align players as necessary in order to create the opportunity to come to Earth. These events included Lorne's arrival on Earth, Angel's move from Sunnydale to Los Angeles, the passing of Doyle's visions to Cordelia, Cordelia's later transformation into half-demon and her ascension into the realm of the Powers, the birth of Connor, and the coming of the Beast.
She could also be considered the final event of the Tro-Clon, a confluence of events destined to bring about the ruination and/or purification of mankind.
Ancient TimesLong ago, the primeval forces that are now considered good and evil took shape; however, the malevolent grew in power and the era of demons began. The primeval forces for good became The Powers That Be who left this world and made themselves content to watch from an alternate reality, only directing the remaining forces for good on Earth and not taking an active part in the war against evil.
However, one power was a renegade who decided to take matters into her own hands and impose peace on Earth via mind control. First, she conquered a dimension filled with a race of insectoid demons as a "rehearsal" before going to Earth. This former power, known to these demons as "The Blessed Devourer", tinkered with the demons' evolution and society, but eventually abandoned them and later spoke of them as a "mistake". In the following centuries, many lost their faith in her while others fanatically awaited for her return. Like in the case of mankind, Jasmine assumed a shape similar to that of her zealots.
After Angel wins for the dying human Darla a second chance at life through passing a series of trials, he learns that Darla can't use the second chance because she is already on her second life, having been resurrected as a human by Wolfram & Hart as part of a scheme to turn Angel into Angelus, Angel's evil vampire persona. And so it appears that the battle to win the life was for nothing. However, that second life continued to be Darla's to use in some fashion as the former Power used it to create Connor after Angel had sex with Darla (who had been made into a vampire again by Drusilla at Wolfram & Hart's behest). Following the birth of Connor, the ex-power had Skip maneuver Cordelia into becoming part-demon. After Connor later returned from Quor'toth, Skip "helped" Cordelia into ascending in the realm of the Powers. Once in the realm of the Powers, Cordelia finds herself consumed with boredom. Cordelia eventually elects to give up her godhood and return to Earth in her previous part-demon form, but the ex-power uses this interdimensional trip to "piggy-back" into our dimension by possessing Cordelia. However, the Powers had in place a safeguard for this type of travel.
Back on Earth
Upon arrival back on Earth, Cordelia finds herself with a severe case of amnesia that locks out her experiences as Cordelia. Undaunted (and unaware of the ex-power's presence), the Angel Investigations team immediately sets about restoring their friend's memory using a magical spell. Eventually, the team is able to restore her memory, but in so doing, they unlock the ex-power's personality instead of Cordelia's.
The ex-power is able to take over Cordelia and manipulate all of Cordelia's friends, who do not know that she is possessed. Following her return to Earth, the ex-power works to keep Angel Investigations off-balance and distracted so they won't notice or prevent her birth into her own new body via Cordelia. First, she summons The Beast (her seemingly unstoppable servant) and slaughters a family of priestesses who banished him from this dimension 214 years ago. Then she has him completely obliterate all manifestations of Wolfram & Hart in Los Angeles and then create a rain of fire and block out the Sun all over Los Angeles by killing the 5 Ra-Tet Totems (a group of immortals) and using their respective talismans to cast a spell that will eventually cover the entire Earth in darkness. With the champions distracted by the Beast blotting out the sun, "Cordelia" seduces Connor, whose primaty purpose had been to be the father of her new body, her use of Cordelia as a host being simply a "transitionary" state until she can become independent. Then, having cast a powerful spell to erase all references to the Beast in memory and literature in this reality, she convinces the team to release Angelus, the only one who has memories of the Beast, since Angelus met the Beast many years ago, his memory remaining intact despite the dimension-wide erasure as he did not technically exist when the spell was cast. Following that, she steals the Muo-Ping (a sacred glass jar that contained Angel's soul), fakes a replacement way of re-ensouling Angel, and casts a spell that confuses Lorne's abilities so Angelus will be freed from his cage by tricking everyone into thinking that he's Angel.
She also murders Lilah Morgan, manipulates Connor, who had advocated simply staking Angelus over re-ensouling him, into trying to do so, and magically battles Willow Rosenberg to prevent Angelus from being re-ensouled and turned back into Angel, but she gets distracted during the battle and Willow successfully turns Angelus back into Angel. Despite this failure, by the end of the crisis, her goal has been achieved and "Cordelia" has been impregnated with the fast-gestating "baby".
"Cordelia" finally blows her cover during Lorne's attempt to regain his powers. During a secret ritual where Lorne is expected to be alone, "Cordelia" arrives with a large knife to kill him. It is really a trap set by the Angel team who had all realized that Cordelia was possessed, but she is saved by Connor. With his further assistance (including the kidnapping of an innocent virgin for sacrifice), "Cordelia" is able to give "birth" to Jasmine.
Upon being born, Jasmine drains the life-force out of Cordelia, leaving her in a comatose state, one from which she will never wake up. At the birth, a glowing, tentacled form emerges, its light filling the room. But it quickly assumes the shape of a beautiful young woman. When Angel and Connor see her for the first time, they both fall to their knees, having quickly fallen under her thrall.
Jasmine appears before the rest of Angel's crew, turning them into her followers and announcing that, despite the great evil done in her name, her plan is to bring world peace and the elimination of evil, starting in Los Angeles. However, Jasmine's peace comes at a high price. One drawback is that Jasmine needs to devour a certain number of humans to maintain her force, with that number growing as her power and influence grow. For victims, she usually chooses people that are both beautiful and fit, but also people that had been lost and in pain, sparing those that will prove useful for the society she plans on creating.
Peace on Earth
Jasmine's mind control virtually eliminates free will from the world, with everyone being unable to do much of anything except praise and serve Jasmine all day, until Fred sees Jasmine's true form--that of a decaying, maggot-infested dead thing. Eventually, Fred realizes why she alone has been able to throw off Jasmine's mind control--Jasmine's blood. Earlier, Fred's devotion to Jasmine had led her to scrub Jasmine's bloodstained clothing so hard that her own fingers bled. Once Fred figures this out, she cures Angel by shooting Jasmine and having the bullet pass through both Jasmine and Angel. Unfortunately, the act causes Jasmine to learn of the curative effects of her blood and to guard against it.
Angel and Fred are nevertheless able to free the rest of the AI team by exposing them to blood from the comatose Cordelia, which has the same properties as Jasmine's blood. They "infect" Lorne, Wesley, and Gunn with it (although their attempts to "infect" Connor fail as he was apparently never fully under her thrall in the first place; he willingly went along with her plans due to his warped psyche).
Jasmine accuses them of being dissidents bent on spreading hatred, and directs her followers to kill them. As her powers have grown, she has become capable of projecting her will and voice through each of her followers. She begins to refer to those under her control as "The Body Jasmine," as they are veritable extensions of her own body.
While Fred, Wesley, Lorne, and Gunn fight against Jasmine's forces under Connor's command, Angel is able to undo her control over the world by revealing her true name. This second and more powerful weakness of Jasmine's is hidden in the demon dimension that she had formerly ruled, which is revealed to Wesley when one of the zealots there travels to Earth in the hope of reminding Jasmine of his world's existence. As the other world's atmosphere is poisonous to humans, Angel (who, as a vampire, doesn't need to breathe) travels to the other dimension via a mystic globe that he took from the demon from Jasmine's first world.
In this world, Angel fights and decapitates the Keeper of the Name, the only being who knows Jasmine's name. The being's mouth has been sewn closed, and when Angel brings the head back to L.A, he unsews the mouth, which causes the name, trapped in his mouth, to now be released with the dead priest's last breath. This shatters Jasmine's mind control and removes her power during the worldwide news broadcast in which she was going to extend her influence over the globe.
When her name is revealed, her appearance is also altered; though she retains a human appearance, she is rotting and covered with boils. Her followers run horrified as the sensation of inner peace and bliss they experienced as part of Jasmine's collective is obliterated. Many cause riots and chaos, while others even contemplate suicide. When she leaves, her former subjects are filled with a feeling of loneliness and despair. They miss the all-encompassing love Jasmine had brought with her mind control. With her name revealed, Jasmine's mind control powers are destroyed, though she keeps her superhuman strength and can easily withstand electricity. Her unique psychic link with Connor also remains, as their connection is of a different nature. Through this link, Connor tracks down Jasmine.
With her agenda ruined by Angel, Jasmine initially finds herself lost and purposeless, until Angel tries to reach out to her. Jasmine is upset with Angel and tries to impart to him that there is no absolute good, no absolute evil—everything is a gray area. Angel tries to sway her to his point of view, to recruit her to his side, but Jasmine prefers to slaughter humanity herself before giving free will a chance, as she had seen for millennia what this precious free will would bring about. Jasmine says that without her help, the world is doomed to drown in its own blood; Angel protests that it should be humanity's choice to bring about a perfect world, rather than having it forced on them.
This discussion quickly broke out out into a massive fight between the two, during which Jasmine easily outmatched her "grandfather" before Connor appeared. Though initially appearing to side with Jasmine, Connor immediately turned on her and put his fist through her head, killing her instantly, later admitting to Angel that he had known all along that Jasmine's utopia was a lie and that he had gone along with her plans simply because he didn't know what else to do.
After Jasmine's destruction, the Angel Investigations team was offered control over the newly-reopened Wolfram & Hart by the now-undead Lilah Morgan, the Senior Partners being impressed that they ended world peace despite Jasmine's ethically questionable methods; in reality, however, the Senior Partners wanted to win Angel over to their side and keep him distracted while their "scheduled" apocalypse was under way. Angel only accepted the deal after Connor, mentally and emotionally torn apart by the knowledge that he only existed to bring Jasmine into the world, attempted to kill Cordelia, himself, and a shop full of innocents with explosives. In accordance with Angel's agreement, the Senior Partners altered reality so that Connor would have a normal human life and family with no memory of the Angel Investigations team and vice versa.
Cordelia later died in her coma, but not before using her one last day on Earth to put a misguided and disillusioned Angel back on track.
- Angel: "Thousands of people are dead because of what you've done!"
- Jasmine: "And how many will die because of you? I could've stopped it, Angel. All of it. War, disease, poverty. How many precious, beautiful lives would've been saved in a handful of years? Yes, I murdered thousands to save billions. This world is doomed to drown in its own blood now."
- Angel: "The price was too high, Jasmine. Our fate has to be our own, or we're nothing."
- — Angel and Jasmine[src]
Jasmine's good or evil status is source for discussion among the acolytes. In her skewed view; she argued she was a force for good, ending all the suffering in the world. Angel argues her methods are not "good", and only through suffering can souls grow. Without free will there would be no joy.
The fact one of the last things Jasmine did before dying was pledge to use her remaining power to destroy the world shows she was clearly motivated by the desire for power and control and not by any other. The childish desire to destroy what you can't own clearly shows that her own lack of foresight and may indicate why she fell from favor with the PTB. All the malevolent deeds she felt were required in the achievements of her goal are also an indication as to which side her real intent actually lies
Once bored after gaining control over earth's humans she would have abandoned Earth like she did to the previous dimensions she ruled leaving in a state utterly devastated as she claimed Angel had created. Angel and his friends do feel somewhat torn about whether they had done a good thing or a bad thing in defeating her, especially when Wolfram & Hart praise them for ending world peace.
Powers and Abilities
- "We're fusing together like the cells of a single body. They're my eyes, my skin, my limbs, and, if need be, my fists."
Being one of the Powers That Be, Jasmine was a particularly powerful entity, although less than what she had been before she fell from grace.
Hypnosis — Jasmine's signature ability was her hypnosis, with which she could strip both humans and benevolent demons of their free will. Merely seeing or hearing her instantly put people under her influence. Those who were infected were unquestioningly loyal to her, and she could also take control of them and use them as extensions of her own body, able to see through their eyes and speak through them. However, evil demons, such as vampires, were immune to her mind control- the fact that Angel could be controlled suggested that it was based on an influence she had over the person's soul-, and those whose blood came into contact with her own or the blood of Cordelia were released from her influence, the "infected" typically experiencing extreme sadness and even suicidal depression after being freed. Additionally, due to her connection with Connor, she could project her thoughts into his mind even though he was not under her control.
Superhuman physical attributes — Jasmine was also immortal, superhumanly strong, and durable, able to effortlessly withstand electricity and regenerate herself fairly quickly. Even when she was weakened when Angel exposed her, she proved to be extremely strong, effortlessly lifting a station wagon over her head, withstanding contact with a live power line, and taking blows from Angel without even flinching. The only one who was able to cause her truly lasting harm was Connor.
Healing — Jasmine was able to heal other people by touching them.
Necrosis projection — Jasmine could cause rapid necrosis in others by touching them.
Precognition — Jasmine foretold the future of a pregnant woman's unborn child (although this last is ambiguous as she may have simply been saying what the other woman wanted to hear).
Shapeshifting — Jasmine always took a form similar to that of the beings in the worlds she took over- although she had to use a pre-prepared individual as a host to give birth to herself- and could also take the form of a tentacled bioluminescent creature to feed.
Omnilingualism — She also appeared fluent in many languages, such as English, Mandarin and Spanish.
Voice Manipulation — Jasmine could put on a deep males voice that was convincing to disguise herself.
Behind the Scenes
- She was portrayed by Gina Torres.
- Gina Torres later guest-starred on Bones with David Boreanaz (Angel) and T.J. Thyne (a lawyer in Angel Season Five). This show include also many actors of Buffyverse like Clea DuVall (Marcie Ross), Brent Jennings (Absalom), Gregory Scott Cummins (Big Ugly), Bianca Lawson (Kendra Young), Harry Groener (Richard Wilkins), Edward Edwards (Travis), Channon Roe (Jack O'Toole), Michael Cudltiz (Big Bob), Andy Umberger (D'Hoffryn/Ronald Meltzer), Tracy Middendorf (Tina), Michael Mantell (Oliver Simon), Beth Grant (Maude Pearson), Leonard Roberts (Forrest Gates), Colby French (Tay), Justina Machado (Jo), Melissa Marsala (Judy Kovacs), Edwin Hodge (Keenan), Kali Rocha (Halfrek), Mik Scriba (Sam), Tom McCleister (Lorne's mother), Kate Norby (Elisabeth), David Denman (Skip), Kristoffer Polaha (Dylan Blim), Jim Ortlieb (the translator in Lullaby), Mark Harellik (Kurskov), Clayton Rohner (Lee DeMarco), Azura Skye (Cassie Newton), Randy Oglesby (Oliver Seidel), Jack Kehler (Manjet), Joel David Moore (Karl), K.D. Aubert (Nikki Wood), Bonita Friedericy (Patience), Patrick Fischler (Ted), Danny Woodburn (Finger eating demon), Rod Rowland (Corbin Fries), Ryan Alvarez (Pee Pee demon) and Adam Baldwin (Marcus Hamilton).
- Gina Torres later guest-starred with Nicholas Brendon (Alexander Harris), Luke Perry (Oliver Pike), Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall), Juliet Landau (Drusilla), Clayne Crawford (Rodney Munson), Jennifer Hetrick (Ms. Moran), Edward Edwards (Travis), Jeff Kober (Zachary Kralik/Rack), Michael Cudlitz (Big Bob), Lindsay Crouse (Maggie Walsh), Leonard Roberts (Forrest Gates), Bailey Chase (Graham Miller), Maury Sterling (Barney) Conor O'Farrell (McNamara), Sam Anderson (Holland Manners), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), Steve Rankin (Mr. Maclay), Randy Thompson (Aaron Kriegel), Nick Chinlund (Ellis), Abraham Benrubi (Olaf), Wade Andrew Williams (Gregor), Keith Szarabajka (Daniel Holtz), John Rubinstein (Linwood Murrow), Angela Sarafyan (Lori) and Jon Billingsley (Evan Royce) on Criminal Minds.