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This article is about the episode, for the drug, see Orpheus (drug)

Season 4, Episode 15
Orpheus Willow Wesley
Air date March 19, 2003
Written by Mere Smith
Directed by Terrence O'Hara
Episode Guide
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"Lies My Parents Told Me"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"Dirty Girls"
David Boreanaz Angel/Angelus
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
J. August Richards Gunn
Amy Acker Fred
Vincent Kartheiser Connor
Andy Hallett Lorne
Alexis Denisof Wesley
Special Guest Starring
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Guest Starring
Eliza Dushku Faith
Co Starring
E.J. Callahan Old Craps Guy
Jeremy Guskin Cashier
Peter Renaday Master's Voice
Nate Dushku Armed Robber
Adrienne Wilkinson Flapper

"Orpheus" is the fifteenth episode of the fourth season of Angel and the eighty-first episode overall. Written by Mere Smith and directed by Terrence O'Hara, it was originally broadcast on March 19, 2003 on the WB network.


After drinking from Faith, Angelus pulls away in shock as she flashes back to earlier, when she injected herself with a drug stolen from a vampire junkie at the demon bar. Angelus and Faith both collapse, unconscious. Gunn drags Angelus's body to the Hyperion Hotel, where he and Connor shackle Angelus securely in the basement cage. Wesley brings a barely alive Faith to one of the hotel bedrooms. Knowing Faith injected herself with Orpheus, an enchanted psychedelic drug that poses a serious threat to her life, Lorne yells at Wesley for allowing Faith to purposely get bit by Angelus. Connor updates Cordelia on Faith and Angelus' conditions. Suddenly, Cordelia brutally shoves Connor into a wall in response to his constant talk about Faith. He's shocked and she tries to cover her behavior by blaming it on the pregnancy and crazy hormones.

Downstairs, Connor shouts at Fred and Wesley about the need for killing Angelus, when Willow Rosenberg appears at the door suggesting that she's a better alternative. Fred called Willow for help since she's the only one alive to have successfully restored Angel's soul. Willow wants to see Cordelia again and Connor reluctantly takes her upstairs. As Willow talks about the difficulties associated with ensouling Angelus, Cordelia secretly reaches for a large knife under her pillow and tries to get Willow close enough to strike. Willow realizes if they break the jar, they can avoid all the complications and free the soul. Willow rushes out of the room in time to unknowingly avoid the knife thrown at her, which hits the door instead.
Angel415 260

Faith and Angelus are forced to watch Angel's good deeds

In their shared coma, Angelus and Faith witness the 1920s-version of Angel rescue a small puppy from an oncoming car. Angelus is infuriated at being subjected to the memory again, and Faith realizes with glee that they're experiencing Angel's good deeds of the past. Next, a hippie Angel walks into a diner and selects "Mandy" on the jukebox, as Angelus complains to Faith about watching Angel's self-induced misery. A man barges into the diner and asks for money, but shoots the cashier when he doesn't react quickly enough. The shooter runs away, and Angel struggles with his desire to feed on the cashier, which wins out. The bite marks on dream-Faith's neck begins to bleed and she realizes Angel could have saved the cashier. Angelus watches on as Angel suffers with the guilt of feeding, enjoying Faith's pain as well.

Before Willow can begin her spell to locate the jar holding Angel's soul, the Beast Master's deep voice screams a warning to stop. Willow's magic overpowers the Master's, and Willow begins her spell as Cordelia works counter-magic from the bedroom. When Connor breaks Cordelia's concentration by trying to enter the bedroom, Willow is able to magically shatter the jar. Using the Orb of Thesulah, Willow and Fred begin the ritual that will give Angel back his soul. Dream-Faith finds herself in a dirty alley with Angelus again, watching a filthy past-Angel feed on a rat. Angelus tells Faith that, following what happened in the diner, Angel chose to cut himself off completely from humanity and live in the gutter. In a twist, past-Angel turns and addresses the twosome. Angelus and Angel face-off and begin to exchange blows, as Angel convinces Faith that life is worth living and she has to wake up. Faith disappears.

Angel VS Angelus

Angelus versus Angel

When Connor finally breaks into her barricaded bedroom, Cordy smashes a lamp over his head, then pretends not to have known it was him. Cordy deceives Connor into thinking Willow's magic is evil and threatens their unborn child. She tells him he has to kill Angelus to protect their family. Willow completes the restoration spell, pulling Angelus and Angel into one body, while Faith wakes up and rushes downstairs to the basement in time to stop Connor from staking Angel. She begins to beat up Connor until Angel wakes up and stops the fight. Later, Faith tells Angel that she is going back to Sunnydale with Willow to aid Buffy and her allies. After they leave, a very pregnant Cordelia comes downstairs and shocks the gang with the serious trouble they still have to deal with.


  • Angel is shown putting on a Barry Manilow record in the coffee shop in 1975. The events that occur in this scene lead to Angel's downward spiral to living on the streets for the next 21 years, culminating in him being contacted by Whistler in 1996.
  • Willow restores Angel's soul, and takes Faith back to Sunnydale to fight the First Evil.
  • "Cordelia" reveals her pregnancy to Angel Investigations.
  • This marks the first and only occasion where Angel and Angelus have interacted with each other; although the novel "Dark Mirror" featured a duplicate of Angel that preferred to be known as Angelus, the double was merely created out of the darkness in Angel's soul rather than a manifestation of his demon.
  • Like Angel, Faith switches from a more "passive" redemption to an "active" redemption. Rather than remaining in jail, out of society, she chooses to help fight "the good fight" and make the world better.
  • This is the second time that Willow restores Angel's soul.[1]
  • By recasting the first spell she ever learned, Willow was able to regain confidence in her ability to use and control magic, an issue she had been struggling with.
  • With the exception of flashbacks this is the last occasion on which we see Angelus.
  • This marks Willow's third appearance on Angel. Excepting the original Buffy movie this makes her the second most prevalent character in the Buffyverse with 144 appearances on Buffy and 3 guest spots on Angel. Buffy herself has 144 appearances on her own show plus 2 guest spots on Angel whilst the character of Angel is the most prevalent of all with 110 episodes of his own show and 57 appearances on Buffy.
  • Though not seriously, Willow is flirty with Fred.

Body Count

  • Unnamed doughnut shop clerk, shot by a robber and then Angel fed on the body (in flashback)



Behind the Scenes

  • The guy who played the robber in the 70's flashback is Eliza Dushku's brother, Nate Dushku.


  • With this episode, the "cross-over embargo" between The WB and UPN is lifted, allowing characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to cross-over to Angel, and vice-versa. The last cross-over was seen in "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb," again with Willow coming to see Angel Investigations, but to inform them on Buffy Summers' death in "The Gift." This also marks the final appearance of Willow and Faith on Angel.

Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors

  • Although the transliteration annals for the Ensoulment Spell were supposedly "lost",[2] Willow is seen reading the ritual directly from an old magic book.

Pop Culture References

  • Scrooge: Angelus: "Why do you get to be Marley's ghost?
  • Star Wars: Episode V:The Empire Strikes Back: Willow: "Does seem like you've given in to the grumpy side of the force."
  • The Wizard of Oz: "Cordelia" refers to Willow as Glinda, the good witch from The Wizard of Oz.
  • Nosferatu: Angelus' rising from a pile of garbage is a direct spoof of Count Orlok's raising from his coffin on the ship.
  • Wagons West: Willow: "Okay, good. Wagons west. See you guys."

International titles

  • German: Orpheus



  • Willow's quick and clean-cut solution to the Muo-Ping problem and Angelus's re-ensoulment can be seen as Deus ex Machina. Or, better, Dea ex Machina: it's not for nothing that in the last episode of "Buffy" Kennedy calls Willow Goddess.


Wesley - "Did the call of magic draw you here?"
Willow - "Oh, no. More like the call of Fred."
Wesley - "A lot's happened. Not just Angelus. I've been ... I've changed. I've seen a darkness in myself. I'm not sure you'd even begin to understand ..."
Willow - "I flayed a guy alive and tried to destroy the world."
Wesley - "Oh. So ..."
Willow - "Darkness. Been there."
Wesley - "Yeah. Well, I never flayed. I had a woman chained in a closet."
Willow - "Oh, well hey!"
Wesley - "No, it doesn't compare."
Willow - "No, dark. That's dark. You've been to a place."
Wesley - "You seem exactly the same as when I left. No other major changes I'm not up on?"
Willow - "Just little things. So, uh, Fred. What's her story?"
Faith - "'Cause I'm dying, dumbass."
Angelus - "Not soon enough."
Faith - "Way I figure, I got one last job. Baby-sit the psycho 'til they shove a soul up your ..."
Angelus - "Not gonna happen."
Faith - "Then I'm ... whatever. Dust in the wind. Candle in the wind. There'll be a general wind theme."
Angelus - "Oh, no. I remember this. I-I remember this place. I gotta get outta here."
Faith - "Why? You freakin' out?"
Angelus - "It's coming, again."
Faith - "What's coming?"
Angelus - "I can't do it again. I won't."
Faith - [Angel runs in front of a speeding car] "Angel, get out of the road!"
Angelus - "Arrrgh! No!"
Faith - [laughing] "Dude! You just rescued a puppy."
Angelus - [with Faith, watching Angel decide whether or not to feed on a murder victim] "I love this episode!"


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