Reprise (Angel)

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"Reprise"
Angel episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 15
Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.
Written by Tim Minear
Production code 2ADH15
Original air date February 20, 2001
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"The Thin Dead Line"
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"Epiphany"
List of Angel episodes

"Reprise" is episode 15 of season 2 in the television show Angel. Written by Tim Minear and directed by James Whitmore, Jr., it was originally broadcast on February 20, 2001 on the WB network. In this episode, Angel learns that during the impending Wolfram & Hart 75-Year Review, the firm is visited by one of the demonic Senior Partners. The demon wears a ring with the power to transport to the firm’s hellish Home Office, which Angel steals with the aid of a magically protective glove. When Angel travels to the Home Office, he learns it is on Earth, and depressed, seeks solace in Darla's arms. Meanwhile, Kate's life falls apart when she is fired from the police force.

Plot[edit]

Angel prevents a sacrificial ritual from being performed by two Wolfram & Hart employees, who are nervous about something called "the Review". He asks Kate for information about the Review, but Kate - under investigation due to her involvement with odd cases - bitterly refuses, showing him crime scene photos from Holland Manners' wine cellar illustrating his involvement in the slaughter. Angel turns to Lorne, who is having a busy night as Caritas is full of Wolfram & Hart lawyers wanting to have their destinies read. Lorne tells Angel that a Wolfram & Hart Senior Partner (manifesting in the form of a lower demon) is coming to earth for the historically deadly Review, and that the sacrifices and rituals are simply the lawyers trying to get brownie points with the Senior Partner before he shows up. Lorne also tells Angel that anything that can manifest itself in our dimension can be killed and that something called the Band of Blacknil is important. Angel goes to leave but Lorne stops him and tells him one last thing... that pretty much every lawyer in the club really wants to see him dead, but you don't need to be a psychic to know that, given that everyone in the club is giving Angel hostile stares.

Meanwhile, at Angel Investigations, the team have successfully removed the third eye from the back of Stephanie Sharp's head. However Mrs. Sharp tells the gang that she has no intention of paying the bill and that as far as she is concerned Angel Investigations are running a scam since it is 'impossible' for a third eye to grow out the back of a skull, despite the fact that it was she who approached them with the problem. She and her daughter leave having successfully stiffed the gang for payment and an exasperated Gunn leaves.

Lindsey finds Darla waiting for him at home and she weakly tells him that Drusilla is not returning to L.A.. He gives her a container of human blood; she stops feigning weakness and searches his briefcase while he is in the shower. Meanwhile, at the hotel Angel attempts to look up the Band of Blacknil but doesn't have much research material given that it all left along with Wesley. Angel then shows up at the office of his former employees uninvited and unwelcome, barely acknowledges his former friends and helps himself to a book. Cordelia refuses to let him take it and grabs it off him, but Angel grows cold and deadly and it is clear he is willing to use force to get the book back. Wesley rises from his wheelchair and tells Cordy to let Angel have the book so he can remove himself from the premises. She finally gives him the book and Angel leaves without a second thought. Cordelia vents about Angel until Wesley catches her attention: stitches from his healing gunshot wound have torn in the confrontation.

Angel returns to the bookstore he visited fifty years ago in search of information on the Senior Partner. A decades-older Denver tells Angel that it wears a ring that allows passage to Hell. To take the ring, Angel needs a one-of-a-kind magic glove that would allow him to strangle the Senior Partner without being incinerated. Denver gets the glove from the back room, but before he can give it to Angel, Darla stabs him with a sword and takes the glove.

Facing a review board during an Internal Affairs investigation, Kate is unceremoniously fired. She self-destructively deals with her dismissal by drinking and knocking her accolades to the floor, pausing to cry at a picture of her father. Virginia talks with Wesley about how much danger he's always in. With heartbreaking insight, Wesley acknowledges how difficult it must for her - to break up with him. Wesley and Cordelia talk on the phone, both depressed about their lives and lack of work. Wesley tells Cordy that things are going to get better, but it is clear neither believes it. Cordelia gets a call from Mrs. Sharp, claiming to have changed her mind and offering to pay; what Cordelia doesn't know is that Mrs. Sharp was threatened into calling by a demon that kills her after she tells him Cordelia is on her way.

Angel arrives at the Review, and when he spots Darla in the crowd the two fight while the Senior Partner materializes. Security guards attack Darla after Angel exposes her as a vampire by dousing her with holy water. In the confusion, Angel gets the glove away from Darla, dons it and flies at the Senior Partner's throat. The Senior Partner implodes, but the force of Angel's leap carries him crashing out the window. When he hits the ground, Angel puts on the ring, causing elevator doors to open in the foundation of the Wolfram & Hart building. Holland (whose contract extends well beyond death) offers Angel a one-way trip down to the "Home Office," which Angel assumes is Hell. After passing through nether realms of darkness and fire, the elevator comes to a stop and its doors open - right back where they started. The "Home Office" is Earth, the implication being that Angel can never rescue humanity because humanity is its own worst enemy.

Angel walks away, witnessing the despair around him. Returning to the hotel, he hangs up on a message from Kate, who is drunk and overdosing on pills. Angel finds Darla waiting for him and, realizing that he wants to feel something, anything, Angel kisses her. At first, she pushes him away, but he takes her roughly and soon the two are lost in each other. Later, as a storm crashes outside, Angel wakes with a gasp.

Production[edit]

The Wolfram & Hart exterior is an office building in downtown Culver City, located across the street from the main Sony Studios lot.[1]

Acting[edit]

One of the people sacrificing goats at the beginning of the episode is writer/producer David Fury, who later has a larger acting role in the fifth season episode "Smile Time".[2]

Writing[edit]

In her essay entitled "Why We Love Lindsey," M.S. West points out a conversation in this episode that illuminates Lindsey's character. Darla asks Lindsey why he always showers when he comes home from work. "You're never dirty," she says. His reply - "I'm always dirty" - gives "insight into Lindsey, or perhaps a clear nod to the fact he doesn't lie to himself, either," West writes.[3]

Arc significance[edit]

  • Angel's characterization descends into existential angst beginning with "Reunion", when his inability to stop Darla being turned into a vampire causes him to reevaluate the meaningfulness of his existence. Despairing, Angel edges closer to his Angelus side, which is explicitly noted by Cordelia in this episode after Angel threatens her over a book: "I don't even know what you are anymore." He continues to search for meaning by deciding to destroy Wolfram & Hart - he tells Lorne, "Getting to these Senior Partners... that's my destiny" - but once again loses meaning after being shown that hell is on Earth, which causes him to reach the peak of his existential misery.[4] In this episode, Angel's metaphorical descent becomes a literal one, via the elevator to the Home Office.
  • Angel kills one of Wolfram & Hart's Senior Partners.
  • Angel learns that Wolfram & Hart's Home Office, the hell from which the Senior Partners supposedly come, is actually everyday life on Earth.
  • Kate is fired from the LAPD.
  • Wesley and Virginia end their relationship.

Reception[edit]

IGN says that in most television shows, a hero is brought to the edge of darkness, but pulls back before going too far; Angel writers have the courage to instead, "push its hero right over... He all but becomes a villain, dismissing the help of his friends and ignoring what is left of his conscience."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TV Locations - part 7". Gary Wayne. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  2. ^ Reprise, BBC 
  3. ^ West, Michelle Sagara (2004), "Why We Love Lindsey", in Glenn Yeffeth, Five Seasons of Angel, BenBella, p. 98, ISBN 1-932100-33-4 
  4. ^ Abbott, Stacey, "Walking the Fine Line Between Angel and Angelus", Slayage 9 
  5. ^ Vukcevic, Filip (July 13, 2004), Angel Season Two: Angel becomes angry, depressed, and hopeless. Then things get dark., IGN.com 

External links[edit]