The Ring

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The Ring

The next day, Wesley is attaching some alligator clips to the bracelet. He tells Cordelia, "I need something that conducts electricity, but not too much of it. This cuff is half magic, half medieval technology." He carefully touches something to the bracelet and is blown back to the floor by a powerful surge of electricity. And another blipvert. Angel marches back toward the gladiators' prison. "He was free," Trepkos tells Froggy. If by "free" you mean surrounded by armed guards, sure. Angel steps back over the red line and allows Darin to reattach his bracelet. Darin asks if Angel thinks he's proving something by returning. Just that he's very, very stupid, Darin. Darin adds that tonight Angel will fight Trepkos. If Trepkos wins, it will be his twenty-first kill, and he'll be free. Angel turns around so that he and Trepkos can exchange deep, meaningful, soulful looks. Before they kiss, we cut to Wesley, who is carefully holding a wire in an alligator clip while he gingerly moves it toward the bracelet. "Too thick," he says before actually touching the wire to the bracelet. I leave it to you to decide whether he's describing the wire, himself, Angel, or the writers. Cordelia says, "Tick, tick" by way of indicating that he should hurry. Wesley says, "We need something supple enough to thread the locking mechanism, but strong enough to spring the release." "Horsehair," suggests Cordelia, and begins fiddling with one of her bracelets. She removes a strand from one bracelet and explains the hair is from "Keanu, my palomino, before the IRS took him away." Wesley touches the horsehair to the bracelet, and zap, it opens. Horsehair. Well, isn't that convenient?

Lilah bets ten thousand dollars on Trepkos at the arena. The emcee introduces Angel and Trepkos. Angel looks bored as he asks Trepkos, "Is this how you want to pay for your freedom? With twenty-one bodies?" Trepkos tells Angel, "I'll kill you quick [sic]." Angel waggles his eyebrows and says, "I won't let you." Well, you sure told him. They start punching and kicking in that way they always do. The fight goes into slow motion to intensify the deep hurting. Ours, I mean, not Angel's. Cordelia roams about backstage and tells a guard that she's looking for the bathroom, distracting him so that Wesley can scamper by. Wesley, blocked from the cells by a gate, calls Froggy over. Wesley says, "I need to see Angel. Tall fellow, prominent brow?" Froggy says that Angel is dead, then clarifies, "[In] about twenty seconds, he will be." Wesley pulls out his homemade horsehair key, explains that it will release the bracelets, and says, "Help me save Angel, and I'll get you out." Froggy snatches the key with his tongue and smirks before walking away. Back at the arena, Darin directs one of the guards to toss a sharpened wooden pole to Trepkos. You know, these fights aren't exactly fair since Darin provides weapons to some of the participants; I'm amazed the audience doesn't complain about that. Another pole is tossed in for Angel, but still, I think a big pointy stick is a little more dangerous for Angel than for Trepkos. They whirl their sticks around for a while. Wesley finds Cordelia back in the audience and tells her that one of the prisoners took his key. Cordy says they have to help Angel. Trepkos manages to spear Angel through the stomach. Angel breaks the stick off and then knocks Trepkos off his feet. He pulls out the broken end and puts it to Trepkos' throat. The crowd starts their "Killing blow!" chant again. I wait eagerly for Angel to shout, "I won't kill him! D'ya hear me? I won't!" a la Captain Kirk.

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