"Somnambulist" is the eleventh episode of the first season of Angel and the eleventh episode overall. It was originally broadcast on January 18, 2000.
Angel worries that he might be sleep-killing when a string of murders turn out to be identical to his dreams.
A woman is running though the night, under a bridge. Splashing through a puddle reflecting the moon, and looking behind her in terror, she slides to a stop, eyes wide with terror, as someone steps in front of her, and grabs her throat. The figure uses a metal finger claw to cover her mouth in a shushing expression, then cuts her cheek with it before biting her and draining her blood. When the figure looks up at the sounds of sirens, after dropping his dead victim, it is Angel in his vamp face.
Angel wakes up from this apparent dream shaken. Meanwhile, Kate is investigating the crime scene, which is apparently real, and not just from Angel's dream. She comes across the woman and tilts her face to the side, revealing a cross has been scratched into the woman's face and announces that this was done by the same "guy" and that this woman is his third victim before speculating that he's just getting started.
The next morning, Cordelia is practicing lines she'll give to any potential clients, when Wesley comes in and sees her. She remarks that he said he works alone. Despite that, Wesley makes feeble attempts at getting information on any recent visions Cordelia has had, as he is clearly having difficulties finding any jobs on his own, and that he will keep himself available as the situation can only escalate. He states he's brought Cordelia their mail and she notices that this isn’t theirs, it belongs to the dentist’s office next door. As she points that out, Wesley sees something on the front page of the paper that catches his interest, and turns his happy attitude to one of concern. He leaves when he hears Angel coming down the elevator, stating he needs to return the mail to their proper owner.
Angel comes into the office in a bad mood, and Cordelia suggests having Kate help them run a license plate for a runaway case they have going. Angel is so distracted he almost walks out the front door, during the day, and announces he’ll take the tunnels to get to Kate.
Kate is having her own troubles, but agrees to help Angel. While there, Angel sees the victim from his dream in one of Kate’s active cases. He instantly is un-nerved by the revelation that his dream is apparently so much more. Kate reveals that the tabloids are calling the killer The Pope, and Angel says this isn’t a religious man acting out, it’s about mocking God.
Angel leaves and Kate gives a criminal profile to a number of police officers, and her profile of the murderer known as The Pope resembles Angel by definition, that he sees himself as sub human, not his victims, that he is a loner, and that he likely doesn’t remember what he has done.
Back at the Angel Investigations office, Wesley quickly runs in, startling Cordelia, and asking where Angel is. Cordelia states he isn’t here, and sees that Wesley has a stake with him and informs him how rude it is. Wesley shows her the newspaper article that shows the mutilated victim from Angels dream, and shows her that his extensive research, specifically on Angel. The way the victim has beenkilled is identical to Angelus’ custom in the 1800’s of carving a cross into his victims left cheek. Cordelia is extremely defensive against Wesley’s accusation against Angel, and tells him that Angel isn’t Angelus anymore, and she doesn’t care what else he says. Angel interrupts her and tells her Wesley is right. Cordelia then tells Wesley to stake Angel while she cuts his head off, but Angel proves, with his quick strength, that if he had any intention of hurting either of them he could have easily done it by now. Angel tells them of the dreams he has been having, and that he enjoys the actions during the dreams. Wesley surmises that it is possible that Angel is sleepwalking in the pre-dawn hours, which is when the attacks happen. They decide that, for the night, Angel will be tied down to his bed and Wesley stays in the room to guard and make sure Angel doesn’t escape.
As Angel sleeps, he dreams of a time in the 1800’s where he is stalking a girl who is running scared. A figure gets in front of her, cuts a cross into her cheek and then bites her and drains her of blood. The next morning, Cordelia comes in and happily explains that Angel couldn’t have killed the woman because there has been another murder. Both Wesley and Cordelia seem happy about this, but Angel interrupts their happy situation by insisting he is responsible.
In the office, Angel explains that he sired another vampire, Penn, and taught him to kill in the exact way these current victims are being slaughtered, and tells him family blood is always the sweetest. He says he has always had a connection to those he’s sired, so he knows Penn is close and that’s why he is seeing what Penn is doing.
They realize that Kate is hunting Penn, and getting too close. However, this could be good, Angel decides, as they can use Kate and her resources to track down Penn. He visits Kate and gives her a drawing of what he assumes Penn will look like now, and asking her is she trusts him, which she confirms she does. While he is there, he sees all the kills “The Pope” has done. Seeing them, Angel realizes Penn has been killing people in this same way over and over, re-living murdering his family by killing people that remind him of his mother, brother, sister, and father. He tells her the next victim will be a white male teen, and steels a police radio to keep track of where Kate and her officers go, so that Wesley himself can protect them.
Staying true to his current theme, Penn finds a white male teen to make his next meal by telling him he’ll buy him alcohol from a discount liquor store. He starts his ritual, but the police interrupt and Penn has to run away, by jumping into a nearby warehouse window.
Angel and Wesley drive up just then, and realize Penn must still be in the building. Angel throws the car in reverse and stops by a drainage pipe, which he climbs after telling Wesley he will meet him back there. Kate creeps into the warehouse alone, searching for Penn, who comes down the stairs in a swaggering walk showing no fear. She orders him not to move, but he continues, so she shoots him three times. Penn falls and Kate approaches, checking for a pulse and, of course, not finding one. Penn wakes up and says “owch” before throwing Kate across the room. As he stalks toward her, Angel breaks in from the higher floor and confronts Penn, telling him he is here to kill him, while changing to his Vamp Face. The two vampires fight brutally, slamming each other into and through walls and Angel orders Kate to get out of there. Penn throws Angel into Kate and escapes, as Angel looks back at the woman, realizing she is seeing him for the first time as a vampire, and she is absolutely horrified at the sight.
Later, Kate asks Angel what he is, and he insists she already knows the answer. He tells Kate that she won’t stop him without decapitation, a stake, or direct sunlight. She insists he is wrong, but he argues back that she is just in denial, despite what she just saw, as there are some things in this world she just doesn’t want to face.
Angel leaves and Kate goes back to the station and starts researching murder cases that match The Pope, from as far back as they have records.
Back at Angel Investigations, Cordelia is repeating her speech and we see she is talking to Penn, who she thinks is a potential customer, before realizing that he is pumping her for information and figures out who he is. Penn tells her she’ll never make it to the exit, but she draws the curtains behind her open just as Angel arrives and insists she get him a stake. Penn and Angel argue with one another before Cordy returns and hands Angel the weapon. Wesley walks in and Penn grabs him and shoves him to Angel as a distraction before fleeing.
Kate has taken the time to study everything she can on Vampires, and on Angelus, who she has figured out must be Angel. When Angel goes to her house, she remarks that he has to be invited in, but that she certainly won’t be inviting him, because she knows what type of person he was in the past, and she blames him for everything Penn is doing. She tells Angel she no longer needs his help, as she knows what to do and the next time she sees Angel she’ll kill him.
Cordy finds reports from murders related to The Pope, and with Wesley and Angel’s help, figures out where Penn is hiding, as he is a rather predictable vampire and kills in the same place every time he begins this reenactment. They go to the place, a hotel, and search for Penn, coming across the newspaper clippings Penn has kept as trophies. They come across information on a school bus and its route, but Angel realizes this is just a distraction, and runs to find Kate who is being assaulted by Penn at the police station.
Penn drags Kate into the sewer and tells her he’s not going to kill her, he’s going to make her wish he had by making her one of them, because then Angel will kill her. Kate throws Holy Water into Penn’s face and runs away from him, as Penn tells Angel that he is correct, Penn admits to having spent the past 200 years sticking it to his father, but that Angel is his real father, as he has improved him in so many ways his mortal father never could. Angel accepts the role as father and tells Penn he’s grounded. The two vampires fight, and Penn gets Angel pinned so that if Kate is going to stake him, she’ll have to go through Angel. Kate, however, shoves the spear through Angel’s stomach and up into Penn’s heart, killing him. Angel says she missed, but Kate says she didn’t. The two sit in the tunnel together in silence, their relationship permanently strained. While Kate is able to see that Angel isn’t evil, she still cannot forgive him for forcing her to see the supernatural underside that lurks throughout L.A. and making her realize that the world is far more unusual and deadly than she imagined.
Later, Angel sits alone watching the city from the balcony of his apartment. Cordy tells him she has had a new vision, and Angel tells her he’s wondering if the world really does change. Cordy assures him the world does change, and that he has changed. She assures him that the message she got in her vision wasn’t for Angelus, it was for Angel, and that The Powers That Be know the difference.
Angel tells her that he agrees, people change… but they also change back, and asks her what she’d do if the day ever comes that he reverts back to being Angelus, and Cordelia assures him that she’ll kill him dead. He says thanks.
Angel comments that he maintains a link between himself and those he sired, explaining the dreams he has of Penn's kills.
Wesley apologized from bringing up Lady Hamiltion to Cordelia. This was because, similarly, Cordelia had also gone in debt and was forced to live in poverty back in Sunnydale.
In spite of three centuries spent until 2000, Penn has never known that his sire Angel has a soul. This implies that Penn has never had knowledge or a link with " his sister " Drusilla, or even with " his family " like The Master, Darla and Spike.
In 'Love Dares You, Part Two', Spike would later go through a very similar situation as he, a redeemed vampire with a soul as well, would have nightmares of his bloodthirsty, souless self preying on people, which briefly caused him to be distrusted by Buffy and the Scooby Gang.
Penn's family (sister, father, brother), drained by Penn, centuries before the episode's events
The script was originally called "The Killer I Created", until a detailed summary appeared online, prompting Tim Minear to alter the title. "I went on to the Buffy message board... changed the title and said it was about dreams and about horrible things that you do in your sleep, which completely fooled the fans," says Minear.
After writing the first draft, Tim Minear had to rewrite parts of the script to accommodate Wesley's arrival and Doyle's departure; the final scene on the rooftop was originally between Angel and Doyle.
Obi-wan Kenobi: Cordelia refers to Angelus' training of Penn by calling him Psycho-Wan Kenobi after the Star Wars character.
Gallagher: Cordelia comments that the comedian has changed his act more times than Penn has in two centuries of performing.
Apt Pupil: Cordy refers to this film when she recognizes Penn.
Up with People: Penn mocks Angel with the name of the upbeat singing group.
Lady Hamilton: Wesley says, "You'd be locked up faster than Lady Hamilton's virtue." Lady Hamilton, wife of Sir William Hamilton, was born Emma Hart (1765-1815), a woman of great beauty and charm who rose from humble origins to international fame. Emma attracted the attention of Lord Horatio Nelson, with whom she had a notorious romantic liaison until his death at the Battle of Trafalgar. Although she inherited money from both Hamilton and Nelson, her extravagance led her into debt, and she died in poverty.
Elizabeth Rhom and Jeremy Renner would later reunite to play husband and wife in the 2013 film 'American Hustle'.
Angel - Who are you talking to?
Cordelia - Nobody. And Wesley.
Cordelia - Okay, you get to leave now. - You're not gonna come in here and accuse Angel like this.
Wesley - Cordelia...
Cordelia - No! I don't care how many files you have on all the horrible things he did back in the powdered wig days! - He is good now. And he's my friend. And nothing you or anyone else can say will make me turn on a friend!
Angel - Cordelia. He's right.
Cordelia - You stake him and I'll cut his head off.
Cordelia - Great news, sports fans. There's been another killing. Okay, well, maybe not so great news for the, you know, dead person...
Wesley - Nothing on the streets about a new vampire in town... Which is maybe because he's here - and has me by the throat.
Penn - Angelus? We were supposed to meet in Italy. Do you remember?
Angel - I remember.
Penn - Well, I waited. Hell, I waited until the 19th century. What happened?
Angel - Got held up in Romania.
Penn - Romania. What's in Romania?
Angel - Gypsies.
Wesley - "You'd be locked up faster than Lady Hamiltion's virtue (looks to Cordelia guiltily) My apologies."
Cordelia - "That's okay. I didn't know what that meant."