"Slouching Toward Bethlehem"
Episode # 70
Original Air Date: October 27, 2002
Review by: Anne
Connor breaks into the Hyperion just in time to watch the others find Cordelia in the lobby. Cordelia doesn't remember who they are, or who she is. Angel thinks it's best to keep the truth about what they really do a secret, but whispered conversations and unusual sights around the hotel make her suspicious. She finally confronts them, demanding to know everything, and they fill her in on the happenings up through her disappearance. Then they suggest she sing so Lorne can read her; as she sings, Lorne looks very nervous until he hurries from the room. Angel follows Lorne and learns that he saw only jumbled pieces but "something evil is coming and planning on staying." Cordelia wanders off in the hotel and winds up being chased by a murderous demon. Connor saves her and she asks him to get her out of the hotel. Elsewhere, Wesley overhears Lilah ordering an extraction team to be sent after Cordelia. He takes this information to Angel and the others and tells them that Cordy is with Connor. The Wolfram & Hart team breaks into Connor's place; as W&H gets the upper hand, Angel and the others join the fight. Suddenly, on orders from Lilah, the W&H flunkies retreat. Angel wants to take Cordy back to the Hyperion, but she says she'd rather stay with Connor because he's been honest with her. Back at the hotel, Angel, Fred and Gunn find Lorne tied up; W&H brought a demon that burrowed into Lorne's brain and took out the memory of what he saw when he read Cordelia.
Isn't this episode's title one of the coolest ever? I thought it was really abstract and clever - very Joss. I was a bit disappointed to learn that it was originally from a 1922 poem by William Butler Yeats. Sadly, that wasn't my only disappointment with this episode.
The main problem was that just about everything Cordelia did annoyed me. It was hard to feel much sympathy for her after she started to act like a brat, beginning with the point where she smugly said she wasn't surprised that she was popular in high school. Then she called Angel "Angie," which made me think that her IQ may have dropped several dozen points due to her amnesiac state. Then, threatening to turn Gunn into a rat was a very hollow (not to mention lame) threat. The worst part was when she petulantly announced that she was staying with Connor because he's been honest with her - she said that was what she needed. How does she know what she needed? She was petrified when Angel tried to greet her enthusiastically, then they were supposed to tell her everything else too?
Looking at my notes, I didn't have any other major problems with the episode. I didn't like for Connor to be shunned by the family he helped in the opening scene, but it reinforced that he's very much alone. It was also pretty realistic in the respect that a family stranded in the middle of the night probably wouldn't trust a shady-looking young person who approached them.
Who to trust was a recurring theme in this episode; we saw it again as Angel tried to convince Cordelia that she was safe and among friends. She - on the other hand - seemed determined to not believe him. Maybe that was intended to add credibility to her telling Connor that she didn't know who to trust but she trusted him. Still, it's just not right to see her cowering and backing away when Angel steps near her.
It's hard to believe that Wesley didn't expect a double-cross from Lilah. Did he really think that they have an actual "relationship"? Lilah is obviously clear on where they stand: he doesn't trust her and probably won't. (He definitely won't after this.) Reminding him that he lied to her before, she doesn't believe him when he says he could care less about Angel.
What was Wesley's motive for sending the others to protect Cordelia? Did he genuinely want to help them? Was he taking steps toward a reconciliation? Or was he playing along with Lilah's deception for some unforeseen purpose? He told Lilah, "It's never simple." He sure got that right.
* I liked Angel's "You see her too, right?" line. It really showed his frustration.
* Cordelia sang The Greatest Love of All in a talent show audition on an early Buffy episode.
* Since Cordelia didn't know that Connor was now grown or what he did to Angel, the gang lied when they said they told her everything.
* I love the scene changes on this show: Lorne remarked that something evil was planning on staying, and the next shot was of Lilah looking very cozy at Wesley's apartment.