"Shiny Happy People"
Episode # 84
Original Air Date: April 9, 2003
Review by: Anne
The woman that is Connor and Cordelia's child looks around, noting in awe that everything is so wonderful. Angel confesses that he came there to kill her; she says that she can feel his suffering but assures him that suffering will end. She disappears. Connor and Angel return to the hotel with the unconscious Cordy. The others notice that Cordy is no longer pregnant; they go to the weapons cabinet saying they need to find the "baby" and kill it. Connor and Angel - both acting strangely calm - disagree; Angel says that they want to find it so they can worship it. Wes reminds him of the evil things it did through Cordy and tells him he must be under a spell. At this, the woman appears and the others drop to their knees in awe. She says that all the past deeds will be rectified: she wants to help if they'll let her. Jasmine explains that she was on Earth before, but it became a demon realm, so she and others left. She says that finally she could no longer bear to just watch; she needed a miracle, so she arranged one. Angel asks about Cordy, and the woman says that once they've won the battle, she thinks Cordelia will wake up. The woman speaks of "forces of hate" all over the city and Fred says confidently, "We will destroy them." The gang attacks a group of vampires, but one of them scratches the woman's arm before running into a crowd of people. The vampire knocks a man down, scratching him, before Angel catches up and stakes the vamp. Other people are there and they drop to their knees as Jasmine arrives. She speaks of bringing them peace, but the man the vampire scratched suddenly calls her a monster. Screaming that she must die, he runs at her with a knife, but Angel vamps out and stops the man, pounding on him. The woman stops Angel and calls for Wes to get an ambulance. Back at the hotel, Fred obsesses over cleaning the blood stain from the woman's shirt. The guys fight and defeat various vampires, demons, etc. Lorne presents the woman with an extremely nice suite at the hotel; Fred enters the room to explain about the shirt, but when she looks at the woman's face, she sees rotting flesh oozing with blood and maggots. Fred freaks out, but she covers as the others appear. She goes to the hospital to see the woman's would-be attacker; Fred says she knows what he saw, and he says that she's been "called." Fred denies that. Her phone rings and she hurries out as the man warns her not to trust anyone. At the hotel, people are everywhere, having followed the woman after she went for a walk. Fred nervously tells Wesley what she and the man at the hospital saw, then she watches as he goes to whisper to the others. Fred arms herself and fires a crossbow at the woman. Angel takes the bolt. Fred escapes, and the woman tells them to let her go. After the others have left, Wes expresses disbelief that Fred is evil. Angel says they have to kill her, but the woman says that they have to help her and get at the root of whatever's affected Fred's heart. The next morning, Fred sits glumly at a diner. A television is on and the talk show host welcomes Jasmine. The patrons at the diner become entranced by her, and Fred quickly leaves.
This is the first episode in a long time that I didn't like, primarily because it's just wrong to see the gang be so ignorantly blissful. The atmosphere was almost surreal, given the very recent dramatic events. Even when Wes recalled the horrible things done by and for the Beast's master, they didn't seem real as Angel remained so obliviously unaffected.
The gang is being controlled like Cordy was, yet Jasmine is also comparable to Cordy. Connor told her that "Cordelia used to say" that he could tell her anything. Later, Connor asked Jasmine why the man tried to attack her; in a similar scene, he asked Cordy why Angel tried to hurt her. As with Cordelia, the answer he received is a lie.
The guy that tried to kill Jasmine had been scratched by the vampire who also wounded Jasmine. (I don't take credit for noticing this, btw. I read it in the recap at the Angelguide.) Later, Fred said that she scrubbed the shirt until her fingers bled. So, Jasmine's blood mixing with someone's must be what opens a person's eyes, so-to-speak.
One of the most curious things about Jasmine's behavior is that she didn't kill - or let Angel kill - the would-be attacker, and she stopped the gang three times from going after Fred. Jasmine must not think Fred is a threat. Or perhaps Jasmine fears (or knows?) that if Fred is around the others, there's a chance their eyes will be opened, too.
* Cordy used the phrase "shiny happies" to describe the others when she talked to Angel in his dream of the perfect day several episodes ago.
* The vampires aren't affected by Jasmine; perhaps it's a soul that falls under the spell?
* Who is "calling" people against Jasmine? TPTB?
* Jasmine touch warped her attacker's face, but she also touched Angel's and Connor's faces and they're okay so far. Perhaps her evil touch only affects those who aren't under her spell. Or maybe it doesn't affect the supernatural beings.