|Season 4, Episode 16|
|Air date||March 26, 2003|
|Written by|| Sarah Fain|
|Directed by||Michael Grossman|
|J. August Richards||Gunn|
|Alexis Denisof|| Wesley |
|Alexa Davalos|| Gwen |
|Hope Shin||Little Asian Girl|
|Wendy Haines||Overly-Jeweled Woman|
|Michael Patrick McGill||Checkpoint Guard|
|John Fermont|| Security Guy |
|Craig Rees||Ticket Master|
"Players" is the sixteenth episode of the fourth season of Angel and the eighty-second episode overall. Written by Sarah Fain, Elizabeth Craft, and Jeffrey Bell and directed by Michael Grossman, it was originally broadcast on March 26, 2003 on the WB network.
Gwen Raiden returns to ask Gunn to help her rescue a little girl from a wealthy and powerful tycoon during a posh party at his high-tech security mansion. Gunn soon realizes he's been tricked by Gwen: her target is actually a high-tech military device titled L.I.S.A. which will enable Gwen to control her electrical powers and touch other people. Although Gunn initially is angry with Gwen for lying to him, she observes that he's having more fun than he's had in a long time and he eventually relents and assists her. Once they have the device, Gwen admits to Gunn that she has never been able to so much as hold hands. He touches her back to test whether the device has worked, and when they both realize it has, they have sex. Meanwhile, Angel and the rest of his team, researching Cordelia's sudden pregnancy, are hindered by an overprotective Connor.
- This episode implies that roughly two weeks have passed since at least "Awakening", with Cordelia explaining her awareness of her pregnancy since Angelus has come back. Gunn makes a later reference that could put "Apocalypse, Nowish" within the same time frame, referencing to the battle on the rooftop between The Beast, Angel, Gunn, Wesley and Lorne.
- This is the final episode with Gwen Raiden. She will reappear again in the Angel Season 6 comic.
- Gwen told Gunn he shouldn't buy into the notion that his only value to Angel's group is as "the muscle," which may have influenced his decision later to let Wolfram & Hart implant him with legal knowledge, making him a super lawyer.
- Wesley refers to the events of the Season One episode "Expecting" in which Cordelia was impregnated by a Haxil Beast and came to full term overnight. Fred and Gunn's surprised reactions would suggest that they were previously unaware of this incident.
- Wesley admitted, however subtly, that he really did love Lilah.
- Gunn taking out all of Morimoto's bodyguards proved that even if he was not on par with the likes of the Beast, Faith, Connor or Angel, he was still a very capable fighter.
Behind the Scenes
Pop Culture References
- Cordelia accuses Connor of retreating to the Fortress of Solitude, a reference to the Superman comics.
- Fred makes a reference to the eye clamps from A Clockwork Orange.
- Robert J. Kral - original score