Underneath (Angel)

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"Underneath"
Angel episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 17
Directed by Skip Schoolnik
Written by Sarah Fain
Elizabeth Craft
Production code 5ADH17
Original air date April 14, 2004
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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List of Angel episodes

"Underneath" is episode 17 of season 5 in the television show Angel. Written by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain and directed by Skip Schoolnik, it was originally broadcast on April 14, 2004 on the WB television network.

In "Underneath", Angel, Spike and Gunn find the exiled Lindsey in a suburban hell dimension to bring him back to Earth to interrogate him on what he knows about the Senior Partners' plans for the upcoming apocalypse. Meanwhile, a well-dressed, deadly stranger named Marcus Hamilton infiltrates Wolfram & Hart looking for Eve, and a grief-stricken Wesley withdraws into drinking while trying to ‘domesticate’ the evil but confused Illyria to the ways of Earth.

Plot[edit]

Angel and Spike attempt to have a board meeting, but they are the only ones who show up, as the entire office is grief-stricken over Fred's death. They reminisce about Fred, and discuss the impending apocalypse and Angel says that the Senior Partners are planning something. He does not want to wait for them to do something, so Spike suggests finding a link to them. The two head to Eve’s apartment, but she will not help them. Eve berates Angel for letting the Senior Partners take Lindsey. Angel notes that Eve is hiding from the Senior Partners because they will take her if they find out where she is. As the building starts shaking, Eve blames Angel, thinking he told the Senior Partners where she is. The protective symbols in the apartment dissolve, and Eve says that she will tell him anything he wants to know if he takes her with him. As a man in a suit (Adam Baldwin) arrives, Angel, Spike and Eve flee to Wolfram and Hart. They ask Gunn if he has jurisdiction to protect Eve. Gunn reveals that Angel, as CEO, can invoke an order to protect Eve.

In his apartment, Wesley has a dream about Fred. When he wakes up, Illyria is with him. They both confess they do not like the world and she wonders why he is still in it. At the firm, Eve reveals that she is an immortal "child of the Senior Partners, created to do their bidding,” but is only on a need-to-know basis with them. Lindsey could give them more information, but the Senior Partners imprisoned him.

Lorne says Eve was being sincere when he read her. Angel wants to know what Lindsey knows about the Senior Partners, but Spike points out that they will have a hard time figuring out which hell dimension Lindsey is in. Gunn arrives and announces that he knows. Lindsey, it turns out, is living with a beautiful wife and son in the Senior Partners’ idea of Hell: suburbia. He goes out to get the morning paper, he picks up his son’s skateboard, he helps his son with his homework. His wife tells him that the oven light went out and she needs him to go to the basement to get a new bulb. Lindsey reluctantly heads downstairs, scared of something. Angel, Spike, and Gunn head to the garage and get in a Camaro that drives itself. Gunn tells them they have to find the Wrath, which they need to go through to return to Wolfram & Hart.

Believing their story to be a neighbor-inspired joke, Lindsey tells them to leave. Angel removes a necklace Lindsey is wearing, breaking the spell Lindsey is under. As they try to leave, Lindsey's wife and son open fire with uzis. They make a run for the Camaro, but it is gone. Gunn suggests trying to get out through the basement, but Lindsey refuses.

At Wolfram & Hart, Eve worries that the Senior Partners will not honor the CEO-protection arrangement. Lorne assures Eve that no one can get into the building as the alarm sounds and the man in the suit kills a guard and heads for Angel’s office.

In the hell dimension, the team discovers the basement is a torture chamber. Spike finds a pile of hearts that Lindsey says are his - carved out by the Wrath after inflicting torture. Angel finds a flaming furnace and thinks it might be the Wrath. Lindsey notes that "he" is coming, and the guys see a demon. Spike and Angel fight the Wrath, but are losing badly. Gunn puts on Lindsey’s necklace, saying, "If one leaves, one has to stay. A void is impossible." Angel realizes that Gunn knew about the Wrath and wanted to atone for Fred’s death. Gunn tells them they must leave before he forgets, as the door will close. Angel, Spike and Lindsey head through the furnace; once the gate closes, Gunn's memory is erased and he believes that he is "where I belong".

At Wolfram & Hart, Harmony tries to kill the man in the suit by breaking his neck, but the man throws Harmony off. Lorne and Eve flee to Angel’s garage and try to drive off, but the portal opens above them and Angel, Spike and Lindsey land on the car. Eve is thrilled to see Lindsey. Lorne starts to warn Angel about the guy in the suit, but realizes Gunn has not returned. The man in the suit arrives, pulls out Eve's contract, and has her sign it. He introduces himself as Marcus Hamilton, the new liaison to the Senior Partners. Eve has signed over her immortality and duties to him. Hamilton tells Angel that the Senior Partners are 100% behind him, and welcomes Spike to the team.

In Angel’s apartment, Lorne pulls bullets out of Spike as Lindsey and Eve cuddle, happy to be reunited. Angel tells Lindsey he will go into the holding facilities of Wolfram & Hart after he tells Angel and the group what he knows about the Senior Partners' plans. Lindsey talks about Earth being Hell, which is how Wolfram & Hart thrives. Angel says he has already heard that speech. Lindsey tells Angel the apocalypse has been around them even before Angel and his friends came to work at Wolfram & Hart, and Angel has not seen it. "Heroes don’t accept the world the way it is," Lindsey says. "Heroes fight." Angel realizes everything they have been doing has been a distraction to keep them from seeing what is happening all around them. "The war’s already here, Angel," Lindsey tells him. "And you’re already two soldiers down."

Acting[edit]

After guest starring as Harmony in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel for over six years, Mercedes McNab joins the regular cast and is added to the opening credits. The credits are also edited to show Amy Acker's character more prominently as Illyria.

Adam Baldwin had previously appeared as Jayne Cobb in Joss Whedon's series Firefly. Baldwin is the third Firefly main cast member to be recast as a villain in another Joss Whedon series, following Nathan Fillion's role as Caleb in Season 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and that of Gina Torres as Jasmine in Season 4 of Angel.

Production[edit]

In an essay exploring Illyria's postmodern identity, Jennifer A. Hudson feels that Wesley's dream suggests that Fred still exists through her connection with Illyria. The dream - in which Fred says "This is only the first layer. Don’t you wanna see how deep I go?" - may be intended to reveal that Fred's "subliminal energy" has been consumed and deposited deep in Illyria’s unconscious as "potential energy, ready to be activated and unleashed at any given time."[1]

The scene in the beginning with Lorne sitting in a bar reading a client was added, because the episode would have been too short otherwise.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hudson, Jennifer A. (March 2005), "She’s Unpredictable": Illyria and the Liberating Potential of Chaotic Postmodern Identity, Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture 
  2. ^ DVD commentary

External links[edit]