Episode # 96
Original Air Date: November 19, 2003
Review by: Anne
A flashback shows the first meeting between William (AKA Spike) and Angelus; they size each other up and Angelus declares that they're going to be the best of friends. In the present day, at Wolfram & Hart, Harmony opens a package addressed to Spike, and a blinding flash occurs. At that point, the phones start to ring but no one's on the other end. Seconds later, Spike discovers that he is corporeal. He goes off to, um, explore his newly regained senses; Fred visits Angel's office, saying that a major disturbance blew out her lab equipment. Eve joins them, explaining that the universe is going into chaos because there are two vampire champions in the world, and it's unclear which one the Shanshu prophecy applies to. Around the office, further chaos ensues as stressed out workers suddenly fly into a deadly rage. Since Wesley is away on a leave of absence (to recover from the events in the previous episode) the gang consults another expert about the prophecy. Sirk tells them that whichever vampire drinks from the Cup of Perpetual Torment will be the one spoken of in the prophecy, and order will be restored to the universe. Spike and Angel race to the desert, where the cup is located. Once there, they start to fight for the cup. Another flashback shows that after William told Angelus of his love for Drusilla, William is furious to find them having sex. Angelus explains that though they can take and have whatever they want, *nothing* is really theirs. In the present day, Spike gets the upper hand in the fight and steps over to the cup: Angel tells Spike to ask himself whether this is really his destiny, or if he just wants to take something away from Angel. With a shrug, Spike answers, "A bit of both." He drinks from the cup only to discover that it is a fake. They return to Wolfram & Hart, where things seem normal again; Eve says that the Senior Partners intervened to restore order. Angel asks about Sirk's lies about the prophecy and Eve says that the Partners didn't know a thing about it. Eve assures them they will find Sirk, who has suddenly disappeared. The gang starts to go their separate ways for the night, and Gunn asks Angel if he's okay. Dejected, Angel says that Spike won a fight against him for the first time, and asks, "What if it means that I'm not the one?" Meanwhile Eve goes home. Entering her bedroom - which has strange symbols on the walls and door - she happily recounts the day's events, noting that though Spike didn't kill Angel, they did beat each other to bloody pulps. She undresses and climbs into bed - with Lindsey! Lindsey tells her that it's a start.
Suppose you have strong evidence that someone is doing something that you don't like. Then suppose that person tells you that they didn't do it. Would that allay your suspicion? Would you suddenly sigh with relief and say, "Well, okay then. They SAID they didn't do it, so obviously they didn't"? Yeah, I wouldn't either. Instead I would wonder, "What else are they going to do, but deny it?" I wrote all of that to say this: did anyone believe Eve when she denied being the bad guy? The fact that she works for the Senior Partners cannot be ignored. Plus, she just seems so cocky/annoying, who *wouldn't* think she's evil? Perhaps she might appear more sincere if she didn't constantly contradict everyone, and pepper her speech with annoying and somewhat condescending pet names for people. (Kids, Princess, Champ, etc.)
The surprising part of this episode - for the unspoiled anyway - is that Eve is not the kind of bad that the Angel team thinks she is. True, since she and Lindsey are working against the Senior Partners as well as against Angel, there's a slim chance that they are actually on the side of good; however, since they hoped Spike would kill Angel because of their deception, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that their plan is not a righteous one.
From what Eve said to Lindsey, they had no doubt that Spike would win when he fought Angel. Maybe they knew this because, having made Spike a ghost and consequently depriving him of all of the so-called pleasures of life, once he could feel again, he was intensely aware of every sense and he used that to his advantage. Plus, the encounter with Pavayne had taught Spike the importance of will.
At first glance, the flashbacks echoed the ambiguity of the dilemma: which vampire is the one spoken of in the prophecy? Angelus told William that nothing was theirs, so one could argue that the destiny in the prophecy was never Angel's to begin with. However, since Angelus first took Drusilla, William's self-proclaimed destiny, it seems more likely that Spike's motivation for wanting the cup was mainly to take it away from Angel. Notice what Spike did after he became corporeal: he took Angel's cup of blood, then Angel's secretary, then Angel's car... there certainly does seem to be a pattern. Plus, even if Spike really thinks he is the Prophecy Vamp, the flashbacks reveal that he was wrong about his destiny before when he believed that he and Drusilla were "forever."
In case you can't tell, I'm on Angel's side. He is THE vampire-with-a-soul. I like Spike but he is just... the other one.
* The fight scene was an interesting situation: two good guys, fighting each other to be the one who saves the world.
* Maybe Spike also won the fight because the flash that made him corporeal increased his strength.
* Since Wesley's absence was critical to this plot, we can assume that Lindsey is behind the cyborg attack.
* The symbols at Eve's place and on Lindsey must be blocking him and whatever is said in that room from being known by the Senior Partners.