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Situational Ethics

Cordelia lets Lilah and Wesley in on the latest news: "Everything that's happened -- it's part of a bigger plan, with something even worse than the Beast sketching the blueprints." Wesley blurts, "So that's what [Angelus has] been trying to hide!" He wasn't trying very hard, since he told them directly. Although I hope they've learned that the way to get information from Angelus isn't by questioning him directly, but by making dumb guesses in front of him until he gets frustrated enough to correct them. Now that the MoG have shared all of the other plot developments with each other, it's time for Wesley to repeat the news about Lilah's book. Sigh. I guess we needed to see the reactions everyone had to all the news, but couldn't it have been done a little more quickly? So much of this scene is just watching the characters tell each other things we already know. Wesley explains that something wiped out all references to Satan, and Cordy seems particularly startled. Gunn figures that Angel's memory was wiped along with everything else. Connor, quite reasonably, asks why Angelus remembers meeting Satan if Angel didn't. Fred explains -- if you use the word "explains" very loosely -- "Because his mind wasn't here when the spell, or whatever, was cast, right?" Wesley ignores her, because the audience is screaming, "What? What?! That's so dumb! They're the same person! They don't have different minds! Argh!" Instead, Wesley suggests that he and Fred compare Lilah's copy of the book to the information Wolfram & Hart got from sucking Cary's brain. Gunn grumpily picks up the flame-thrower and heads downstairs for some vamp-sitting. Fred starts to go after Gunn, but Cordelia stops her and gives a "buck up, little troopers" speech about how they have to stay focused.

Angelus tells Gunn that he respects the way Gunn sticks to his strengths: "You don't try to change. Because you know your place." The flame-thrower is on low simmer, much like Gunn's temper. The conversation turns to Fred, and when Gunn mopes that "It's her life," Angelus gasps and wonders if he missed Gunn getting dumped. He insists that everyone saw the breakup coming after their encounter with Dr. Seidel. Gunn looks startled, and Angelus says, "Come on, even Angel's not that stupid. The way things changed between the two of you. The furtive looks. All that guilt. Nothing like your first murder." Angelus promises not to tell anyone what Fred did, and Gunn blurts, "She didn't!" before realizing what he's said. Angelus chortles, "So it was you! Steppin' up and being the man!" Angelus adds that Fred should have been grateful for Gunn's help, but instead "she still goes for the broody, smart guy, all mysterious and tortured. I guess, when you think about it, for the first time in your life you just weren't dark enough." Gunn jumps up and blasts the flame-thrower into the cage, looking extremely angry and also kinda hot. Angelus jumps back, and when Gunn shuts the flame-thrower off, he laughs merrily. You have to admire his sense of humor. I think.

In the office, Fred frets that she could only use the Orb of Thesulah to restore Angel's soul if the soul had "moved on to an afterlife or something." Wesley assures her that they'll figure something out, "the way [they] always do. [With] skill, perseverance...luck." He adds that they'll be all right, and Fred almost sarcastically adds, "As long as we stick together." Wesley sounds like the repressed, maladjusted twerp he really is as he says, "What happened between me and Gunn...I didn't mean...That's not what I wanted. Could you tell him that?" Oh, Wesley. You're so pathetic. The words you want are "I'm sorry," not "That's not what I wanted," and the person to say those words to is Gunn, not Fred. Fred looks understandably bewildered by this request -- which would be inappropriate for Wesley to make even if Fred wasn't the topic of the fight -- and hesitantly says, "I don't think he'll listen. We're not together anymore." Wesley looks shocked, and I do give him a little credit for saying, "Oh," instead of "Yippee!" He asks if he's to blame for the breakup, and Fred non-answers that things "haven't been right" for a while. Wesley drapes himself in another layer of slime as he whispers, "This is the part where I'm supposed to say 'I'm sorry,' and I'm really trying to be, but --" Lilah and Cordelia suddenly enter. Cordy asks if Wesley's making progress, and Lilah smirks, "Sure looks like he's trying," while giving Fred a knowing glance. Wesley quickly decides that it's his turn to go watch Angelus downstairs.

Cary enters the lobby, and Fred hurries out to ask what he's learned. Which is nothing. Cary spots Lilah and asks, "What the hell is Succubitch doing here?" Cordelia non-answers, sparing us from a third trip through Lilah's story. Cary says that nobody's spotted a bottle of soul in a thrift store. Lilah insists that they should sic Angelus on Satan, which proves that she was totally going to let him out, and she was lying when she told Wesley that she just wanted information. Go Lilah. Cordy snaps, "Do you know what Angelus would do if we let him out?" Lilah says, "Kill you all in a bloody shower of violence, but hey: greater good!" Hee. Cordy spews cheery optimism, and Lilah snarks, "Don't go Watchtower on me, Saint Cordelia," as she heads upstairs. Cordy offers to punch Lilah's face in, which is a rather un-Cordy thing to say, and yeah, I know, but I can't decide if it's intentionally strange or not. Lilah stops and asks, "Are you trying to turn me on?" Cordy lectures Lilah about hope, and Lilah shouts back that they're all going to die, "and if anybody has scales on their eyes..." Cordy suddenly tilts her head back and then her eyes go all white. "'s you," Lilah concludes in a puzzled tone. Cordy declares that she knows how to restore Angel's soul.

Fred enters the basement to tell Wesley about Cordy's vision. Angelus mocks Fred, Fred snaps back, and Angelus observes that "she really has put on spunk." Um. Is it just me? Angelus mentions that now that she's single, she can go for "the real prize." He eyes Wesley, and fanfic writers gurgle, as he says, "If I swung that way -- look at him. All rugged and handsome. And brains! Man, he's damn near perfect." Wesley gets a point for quietly saying, "Thank you." Wesley and Fred start upstairs and then Angelus quickly adds, "Except that part about banging Lilah for the past six months." Fred laughs at the ridiculousness of that idea, than spots Wesley's guilty expression. Hooray! Fred gets stammery again and goes upstairs while Angelus laughs.

Cut to Connor and Gunn, digging up something. They share some exposition about how, per Cordy's vision, they need to retrieve the head of a Souleater that was buried by the Chumash hundreds of years ago. Gunn says, "I don't expect it to put up too much of a fight," and unfortunately Connor hasn't been around long enough to recognize famous last words when he hears them. Gunn's very energetic and cheerful, possibly because it's the first time in ages he's gotten to interact with someone angst-free. Connor seems pretty happy, too, presumably for the same reason. They find a box, and as Gunn starts to pry the lid open, a hand pops out of the box and grabs him by the neck. It's not even his birthday, either! Connor quickly drives a sword down into the box, and frees Gunn. They both hurry far away from the box, which bugged me, but I guess they've assumed that Connor killed the demon. Gunn pants, "I so don't need that kind of crap." Naturally, when they turn back to the hole, the box is empty and the sword is gone. The Souleater suddenly grabs Gunn's shoulder, and he spins as Connor gets the other sword. The Souleater has the power of totally cool blurry moving effects, like the Flash. (The actual superhero, not Dawson's dad.) Gunn and Connor can't hit the (I guess) fast-moving target, and both are knocked about a few times. Not only is it a cool effect, but because you can't see it clearly, you're largely spared from thinking, "Oh, another guy in a rubber mask." Connor attacks it again, and it dodges his sword and then plunges its arm into his chest, but not in the gory way. Glowy stuff starts oozing out of Connor and along the Souleater's arm. Call it a hunch, but I'm guessing this means that the demon is eating Connor's soul. Gunn suddenly appears and hacks off the Souleater's arm. Connor falls back, and Gunn chops the demon's head off for good measure. Connor tosses the arm away, and then the Souleater's eye pops open as the rest of its body starts twitching. Gunn hacks away at the body. For a while. With squishy sound effects. Ick. He finally stops as Connor recovers enough to say, "Nice." Gunn explains, "Sometimes you just gotta keep whackin'." He picks up the Souleater's head and reminds us for the fifteenth time that they need to restore Angel's soul.

Blipvert. Spooky torch-lit cave. Satan kneels and makes a little welcoming speech: "Fire, death, and darkness I have bestowed in your name." Aw. He offers his mysterious leader a knife that was "forged of [his] unworthy bones." Sniffle. Sorry; it's like seeing my perfect Valentine's Day fantasy come to life. So romantic, with the bestowing of death and the mystical weapons. Sometimes I'm sentimental. Although I can't help wondering how one goes about forging something from bones. I know he's a demon and all, but it looks more like it was carved. Also, with the spooky darkness and the flickering light from the torches, it was really hard to tell that it even was a knife.

Beastvert. At the Hyperion, Cordy and Fred are finishing some knitting. Whoops, I mean, talismans. Fred's also taken this opportunity to curl her hair and change clothes. I understand that some time has passed, but it can't be that long, since nobody else has changed clothes. I'd accept the curls if she'd had her hair

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