Episode # 95
Original Air Date: November 12, 2003
Review by: Anne
On a sting operation to smoke out an illegal weapons ring, Fred and Wesley are ambushed by a deadly cyborg; while Wesley fights, Fred is injured. After Angel angrily confronts Wesley that Fred should not have been at the exchange, Eve questions whether Angel is worried about the next time Wesley betrays him while trying to do the right thing. Meanwhile, Wesley's father - Roger Wyndam-Pryce - arrives unexpectedly; he says that the remaining members of the Watcher's Council are planning to re-form the group, and they have asked him to evaluate whether Wesley is worthy to join them again. Wesley tells his father that he's happy where he is, and his father scoffs at that, recalling the atrocities committed by Wolfram & Hart. While showing Roger around, Wesley enlists his help in doing research. In Wesley's study, Roger questions the safety of the archived books, which could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Not long after Wesley declares the building secure, a cyborg enters the study and goes straight for the books. Wesley and his father defeat it, and his dad suggests that they move the books to the vault. However, inside the vault Roger knocks Wesley unconscious and retrieves a stick-like object from a nearby drawer. Roger then finds Angel and tells him that Wesley needs him. He shows Angel to the roof; Angel falls to the ground as a vapor is drawn from him into the object. Wesley sneaks up, snatching the object, and he and his father point guns at each other in a stand-off. Wesley knows that his father is using the Staff of Devosynn to take Angel's will - but he doesn't know why. Fred arrives; seeing Angel on the ground, she hurries to his side, demanding to know what's going on. When Roger turns his gun to threaten Fred, Wesley shoots him, several times. As Wesley reels, shocked by his own actions, his father's appearance changes, revealing that it was only another cyborg. Later, Fred tries to console Wesley that deep down he knew it wasn't his father, but he disagrees: he was sure it was him. When Fred argues that he was trying to save his friends, he corrects her that his "father" was threatening her, and so he shot him. Before Fred can react to this, Knox arrives offering to take her home, and Wesley tells her that she should go. Then, Wesley calls his real father.
To quote Buffy: "There are two things I don't believe in - coincidence and leprechauns." In the scene in the vault, after a surprised/confused Wesley asked his father "You want my advice?" in my notes I wrote, "Is his dad a fake?" That uncharacteristic behavior was even more suspicious given that someone tried to take the books mere seconds after his father questioned their security. I was sure that Wesley had figured out that the person in his presence was an imposter. Perhaps the fact that he didn't recognize the fake shows us the degree to which his father unsettles him.
Wesley's attacking what he believed to be his own flesh and blood seems to have given Angel an insight into his character; Angel could see that Wesley will go far, even at his own expense, to do the right thing. Still, you have to wonder what he would have done if someone other than Fred was the one in danger.
* If the fake dad had killed Wesley in the vault, instead of just knocking him out, his plan would have worked.
* At least someone recognizes that Eve isn't what she pretends to be.