Commercials. I tell Johanna, "It's so sad that the basis of Angel's whole plan is that his friends are idiots. I wonder how he feels about that." Johanna reads me bits of an Entertainment Weekly interview with Joss Whedon and summarizes it at follows: "He's dumb. And so unprofessional! Every time he complains about someone, my respect for the people he's bitching about goes up, because they just ignore it and I wouldn't be able to."
When we return, Angel has opened his shirt. The Thornites chant, "Ooooh, suits you, Sir!" Not really. One of the Thornites holds his hand over Angel and intones, "The Circle entwined," and the no-longer-mysterious but still spikey circular symbol of doom appears on Angel's chest. The Thornites chant, "We've got power, yes we do, we've got power, how 'bout you?" Or, again, perhaps they don't. A Thornite shakes Angel's hand and welcomes him to the cabal as the lights come on and they all remove their masks. There are probably a dozen or so Thornites, among them Archduke Sebassis, Senator Brucker, Vail, and Izzy. As glasses of champagne are handed around, Izzy cheerfully asks, "How 'bout that lamb we got you to slaughter -- any idea who that was?" Angel identifies Drogyn, and Izzy says, "We got you some supercharged warrior juice, not some schmuck." Izzy starts introducing Angel around. Sebassis says, "I must say, it's gratifying to see you've returned to form, Angelus." Angel menaces, "It's still 'Angel.'" Senator Brucker interrupts their chat. Angel says that he didn't know she was so well-connected, and Brucker smiles, "I'm not gonna take the White House in 2008 on just my sparkling wit and funding from hostile governments." She giggles, and Angel giggles back and says, "I expect not." He's doing a good job of looking at everyone hatefully while he schmoozes. Izzy brings Vail over, and Vail chuckles that Angel has been looking for him. Angel insists, "Actually, I've been lookin' like I'm looking for you. Appearances, you know." Izzy encourages them to shake hands, and Angel admits, "Ultimately, everything worked out for the best," and shakes Vail's hand while looking disgusted. Vail chuckles and adds, "Your son -- he kills quite well!" Angel thanks him and turns away. Izzy tells Angel that there's a great turnout: "Everybody's here." Angel looks around at the Thornites.