Previously on Angel, Darla went poof, Cordy shared her home with a ghost, Cordy punched Angel in the nose, Cordy honed her falling-down-screaming skills, and Cordy made her voice get all sad and scratchy. I wonder who the focus of this episode will be.
We open with some misdirection-based-comedy. For a change. Cordy's making a tearful speech of gratitude, and it turns out she's just demonstrating an imaginary award acceptance speech for Fred. Then Cordy and Fred go back to cleaning up the mess made when Angel used a grenade to make a daring escape. Which means that this episode follows fairly soon after "Dad." Which took place the day after "Lullaby," which took place the same night as "Quickening," which probably happened the day after "Offspring." I'm starting to wonder if this entire season occurs in the space of a month. You know, considering that the cast already tends to look older than their characters are meant to be, I'd probably have show time go faster than real-time, not slower. Plus, then it'd be easy to justify the abrupt character shifts. "Of course Gunn and Angel are friends now -- it's been six months since the events of "That Old Gang of Mine!" Just a suggestion. Where was I?
Oh yes: they're cleaning. I can't imagine why my interest wasn't captured by that fact. Gunn wanders over from his own clean-up duties and asks Fred if Wesley is back. Cordy answers that Wesley's still out shopping for cleaning supplies. Gunn leaves to go make a single tally mark next to his "number of lines I got this week" scorecard. Angel enters with a plot-devouring demon. Oops, I meant to say "his kid." Angel makes Cordy go wash up before she can hold the baby. Once she's gone, Angel leans over to Fred and whispers, "Does she know?" Suddenly Wesley rushes in, loaded with bags, and asks where Cordy is. Hey, while they're engaged in this cleaning frenzy; do you think they're bothering to remove all the cameras and microphones that Wolfram & Hart have hidden everywhere? Or do they all just go into the janitor's closet when they want to talk privately?
Cordy's in the bathroom, popping painkillers. Believe me when I say that I know exactly how she feels.
When Cordy returns to the lobby, she is greeted by the others singing "Happy Birthday." Gunn and Wesley are holding a cake with a picture of some Wonder Woman-type superhero on it. Cordy is quite surprised. As is the audience, since it was strongly implied that her birthday is in May. After she blows out the (six) candles, Angel hands Cordy the baby while everyone else rushes off to fetch Cordy's presents. Angel awkwardly pulls out a small box and gives it to her. Cordy insists that he didn't have to get her a present, and does that sound like Cordelia? No. I'm not talking about the Cordelia from years ago; I'm talking about the Cordelia from as recently as "Heartthrob," who basically said, "Angel! Great to have you back, did you bring me a present?" Is it really this hard to remember basic things like character traits? Angel non-explains his gift-giving by saying, "I'm a champion. We do important stuff. Hey, who's more important than --" Alas, he is cut off when the MoG return carrying presents. Cordy agonizes about trading the baby for the presents, and then makes with the baby talk because I'm not hating this scene enough yet. Suddenly Cordy orders Angel to take the baby. He chuckles, "You're choosing birthday gifts over my kid?" "Take the baby!" she snaps, and Angel does so just as she reels back with a vision. Cordy sees an address, and a young girl being menaced by a demon. Suddenly she's blown back into the weapons cabinet and collapses. Cordy lies on the floor, eyes open, while the MoG kneel around her.