|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||David Grossman|
|Written by||Tim Minear
|Original air date||October 29, 2001|
"Billy" is episode 6 of season 3 in the television show Angel. Written by Tim Minear and Jeffrey Bell and directed by David Grossman, it was originally broadcast on October 29, 2001 on the WB television network. In this episode, Angel investigates a wave of violence against women throughout Los Angeles, caused by Billy's ability to infect men with murderous misogyny. Cordelia seeks the aid of Lilah, who is a victim of Billy’s power, while Fred finds herself in danger from an infected Wesley.
Angel teaches Cordelia how to sword fight so that she can defend herself if Angel isn't there to protect her. Due to her cheerleading experience, she is a fast study. Lilah finds Billy (the man Angel was forced to rescue from a fiery hell dimension by the lawyers of Wolfram & Hart in "That Vision Thing") in her office talking with Gavin Park. The influential Congressman Blim, Billy's uncle, arrives to take the young man home. After Billy and the congressman leave, Lilah tells Gavin to stay away from her clients. Gavin isn't interested in her suggestions and suddenly attacks her, smashing her head into a glass case and strangling her.
Cordy and Wesley discuss Cordelia's training with Angel, and Wesley suggests he train Fred, leading Cordelia to his romantic feelings for Fred. She suggests that he ask her out, but their conversation is cut short by a vision of a woman being beaten by her husband in a convenience store. Strangely, the event occurred a week ago and the woman is now dead. Wesley learns that the husband's explanation for killing his wife was simply that "she wouldn't stop talking" and gets surveillance photos from the crime, in which they spot Billy. After learning that Angel freed Billy to save her, Cordelia feels responsible for the woman's death, but Angel assures her the blame belongs to Lilah. He visits Lilah at her apartment and is shocked to find her badly beaten. She says Billy is untouchable due to his political connections. Wesley, Gunn, and Angel track down Billy; however, the police arrive first to take Billy into custody for phoning in a tip on the location of a murder victim. Before he's taken away, Billy touches one of the officers on the arm. Later in the squad car, Sanchez's female partner doesn't take the route he tells her to, causing him to get angry and hit her repeatedly. Fred relays information from a police scanner, saying that Billy got away before arriving at the station. It is later discovered that after being hit by her partner, the female cop shot him and is now resting in the hospital. At the scene of the crime, Angel realizes that some of the blood is Billy's, and Wesley takes a sample of his blood to examine at the hotel.
Cordelia goes to Lilah's to demand information, and Lilah explains that Billy's touch turns men into vicious misogynists, though the effect varies from male to male. Wesley returns to the hotel and Fred helps him examine Billy's blood cells through the microscope and observes that his power is in his blood, saliva, and sweat. Wesley begins to act hostile towards Fred, and when she runs from the office, he catches her and tosses her face-first into the stairs. He stalks her through the hotel with an axe in his hand. As she runs, she is caught by Gunn and taken into one of the bedrooms.
Following reports of misogynistic violence, Angel tracks Billy's last location to a party at his cousin's house, where he discovers that Billy's entire family is aware of his situation and want him gone. Cordelia finds Billy waiting for a private plane at the airport. He's not interested in talking with her, and she isn't either, debilitating him with a stun gun to his groin. Angel arrives to help Cordelia, and Billy touches Angel's face.
In the bedroom, Gunn realizes that he too has been infected after touching the bloody paper down in the lobby. He tries to leave, but Wesley is blocking the door, so Gunn has Fred knock him unconscious. Wesley breaks into the room, insulting Fred as he advances toward her. She pulls a rope which sends a fire extinguisher flying down to hit Wesley in the face and send him falling through a hole in the floor. Meanwhile, at the airport, Angel turns on Billy and hits him, explaining that Billy's power doesn't affect him. As Angel and Billy fight, Lilah shoots Billy dead before Cordelia can get a clear shot with her crossbow.
Days later, Cordelia and Angel continue with their training, as Angel reveals that the reason he wasn't affected by Billy's touch was that he left behind the capacity to hate long ago. Meanwhile, Wesley, who has kept to himself since the incident, receives a visit from Fred. She doesn't blame him for what happened, but he blames himself. Concerned that violence is a part of him, he doesn't know who he is or how to return to life as it was before. Fred says he's needed at the office and insists that she knows he had no control over what happened. Fred leaves when Wesley agrees to return to the office. As the door closes, she can hear him crying on the other side.
- This episode is the aftermath of the earlier episode, "That Vision Thing." Billy is the man that Angel freed from Skip's cell.
- The remarks that Wesley makes to Fred closely mimic that of the cop talking to Kate under the influence of the talking stick in "Sense & Sensitivity"
- This episode is the first in which it is brought to viewers' attention that Wesley has feelings for Fred.
- Angel claims he no longer has the capacity to hate. Events later in the season, specifically his violent reactions to the abduction of his soon-to-be born Connor, arguably prove him wrong.[original research?]
Stephanie Romanov says the ending to this episode was one of her "favorite Lilah moments. It was the only time Lilah was a hero." However, DVD Verdict called this episode a The Shining homage with an "unsubtle metaphor" that "misogyny is BAD."
The Futon Critic named it the 36th best episode of 2001, saying "No show pushes as many buttons at the same time as this one."
- Stafford, Nikki (2004), Once Bitten: An Unofficial Guide to the World of Angel, ECW Press, pp. 207–210, ISBN 1-55022-654-1
- Cullum, Brett (October 20, 2004), DVD Verdict Review - Angel: The Complete Third Season, retrieved 2007-12-30
- Brian Ford Sullivan (January 2, 2002). "The 50 Best Episodes of 2001 - #40-31". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
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