Episode # 88
Original Air Date: May 7, 2003
Review by: Anne
The gang is speechless after Lilah offers them the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram and Hart; she says it's a reward for stopping world peace. They argue that they ended a nefarious world domination scheme, not world peace. Lilah tells them a limousine will be waiting outside at dawn for anyone interested in a tour. In the streets, Connor wanders among the rioting and looting. He sees a policeman on the roof of a building; the man is distraught over losing Jasmine. Connor stops him from killing himself; he tells the cop to go home. When the man pulls out a picture of his family, Connor becomes enraged that the man was going to leave them. Connor attacks the man, hitting him again and again. The next morning, the gang meets the limo. At the re-built and re-staffed Wolfram and Hart, the gang is given separate tours. Fred is shown the Research and Development lab and is informed that she would be the head of the science department. Wesley punches out his guide and sneaks away. Lilah finds him in a room full of files; he finds her contract and burns it to set her free. It doesn't work, but she's touched that he tried. Gunn is shown to the White Room, where a black panther growls at him, before they apparently begin to communicate. Lilah takes Angel to his office, where she announces that all of the windows in the building are specially filtered so that sunlight doesn't affect him. Among other things, Lilah offers him an amulet that is said to be important to a final battle in Sunnydale. Angel refuses and turns to leave, but Lilah shows him a news report of Connor who has taken a group of people hostage in a sporting goods store. Furious with Lilah, Angel tells her "what the deal is." Angel goes to the store where Connor has rigged the hostages as well as himself and Cordelia to a group of car batteries, so that any of them could explode. Angel tries to talk to him, but Connor angrily refuses to listen. He sadly tells Angel that only death changes anything. Angel moves in, stopping Connor from detonating the explosions. They fight and Angel picks up a knife. He gets the upper hand, standing over Connor with the knife poised. He tells Connor that he loves him. Connor asks what he's going to do about it, and Angel replies, "Prove it, " and swings the knife at Connor's throat. Back at Wolfram and Hart, Angel joins the rest of the A-team in the lobby and announces that he's taken the deal. Lilah says that Cordelia is there; she's still in a coma, but she'll receive the finest care. Angel insists that he see Connor; Lilah tells him there's a car waiting and she gives him the amulet to take to Buffy. As Angel heads for the door, Fred asks, "Who's Connor?" The limo drives for a long time, finally arriving at a house. Angel creeps to the window, where he sees Connor at a dinner table with two adults and two teen-aged girls. The father is toasting to Connor's being in the top ten percent of his class, and the family chatters about where Connor will go to college. Finally Connor insists on making the toast: "To family." Angel turns and walks back to the car.
Angel's repeated line this season has been, "I don't have a choice." That was his main complaint against Jasmine, too: her spell left her followers no choice but to love her. Well, this time Angel and the others were given a choice - by Wolfram and Hart. Although the gang acknowledged that it was a bad idea, they still leaned toward giving it a shot. Lorne, Gunn and Wesley seemed ready to sign on, but Angel apparently decided for all of them.
I'm a bit confused that Connor was arguing in defense of Jasmine: did he not realize for himself that she was a lie? I thought that's why he killed her. In any event, although we might feel sad that Angel gave up his son, it's good to see Connor finally have the family he longed for. Watching the exchange around the dinner table, I forgot for a moment that this was the same son-of-a-vampire that has been such a mess this season.
In typical season finale fashion, the episode left us wondering (among other things) what other details were part of Angel's terms to accept the deal. Whatever Wolfram and Hart promised, you can bet that its true cost is hidden somewhere up their sleeves.
* In the scene with Connor and his new family, no one said his name.
* I wonder if Angel chose to retain his memory of Connor.
* Lilah knew what she was getting into when she signed on, but does the gang? Are they now bound to the firm?
* Connor's new reality was much like Angel's fantasy in the season premiere, when they were all dining and Wesley toasted "to family."
* I was thrilled that they mentioned MacGyver: I'm a *huge* fan.