Double or Nothing (Angel)
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|"Double or Nothing"|
|Directed by||David Grossman|
|Written by||David H. Goodman|
|Original air date||April 22, 2002|
"Double or Nothing" is episode 18 of season three in the television show Angel.
Fred and Gunn work at the office searching through files for current cases and try to get by without Wesley. Lorne joins them and a discussion arises about Angel, who is upstairs alone. As they continue to discuss whether Angel would actually kill Wesley, Cordelia returns to the hotel with Groo in tow. The sight of her friends quickly dampens her mood. Upstairs, a depressed Angel watches Connor's crib. At a demon-populated casino, a demon by the name of Jenoff meets with another, the "Repo-Man." The Repo-Man is given instructions to collect someone's soul and hands over a card to Angel Investigations to guide the collection demon. Back at the hotel, the next day, Angel rests silently in his room. Lorne packs Wesley's belongings into boxes while Groo tries to carry on a conversation about the recent events affecting the agency and group of friends. Meanwhile, a couple of elderly demons talk with Gunn and Fred about their case. They explain that there is an uninvited demon staying at their lair, then begin to bicker. Gunn recognizes the type of demon, a Skench, and agrees to battle the phlegm projecting demon to rid the couple of their problem. Gunn and Fred admire the couple's long relationship while Groo appreciates Fred and Gunn's concern for each other. Lorne leaves for a private reading while Fred takes the box of Wesley's belongings to him at the hospital. There, she fills him in on the whole story and everyone's knowledge of his true motivations as well as their feelings of betrayal. She reveals that the prophecy was a fake and warns him never to return to the hotel or Angel really will kill him.
Gunn investigates the demon lair and finds the grotesque Skench demon. He fights with the demon and eventually manages to slay it without getting hit by phlegm. His luck changes however when the Repo-Man appears at the lair after receiving directions from Groo at the hotel. Seven years before, Gunn visited Jenoff at the casino and assuming he didn't have a future, sacrificed it in exchange for something he wanted badly. The Repo-Man advises Gunn that since Gunn was preparing to offer his soul to a girl (Fred), Jenoff wanted to ensure he collected before that happened. Gunn is given 24 hours to show up at the casino to pay and any failure to go through with it will not only cost Gunn his soul, but also Fred's.
Back at the hotel, Gunn is disconnected and preoccupied with his thoughts, which Cordelia picks up on. She assumes he's feeling guilty about being happy with Fred when Angel's so down, and advises him to enjoy life and seize the day. The following day, Gunn follows that advice and brings Fred breakfast in bed and announces he has planned the day for them to spend together. A doctor at the hospital informs Wesley that he'll be released soon, and asks if he has anyone who can pick him up. Wesley is left with the stark reality that he has no friends left. Angel muses over Connor.
Gunn treats Fred to a fun day all over town, with excessive amounts of her favorite foods. Fred gets tired and full of food and then realizes that something is wrong with Gunn because he's trying to live the day like it's his last. She pressures him for the truth and he explodes. He throws insults and rudeness at her and ends their relationship brutally, leaving Fred in tears. Back at the hotel, Cordelia is distracted by crying that she hears out in the hallway. A tearful Fred stands out in the hallway and tells them there's something wrong with Gunn.
Meanwhile, Gunn shows up at the casino to pay his debt to Jenoff. Fred tries to explain the situation with Gunn, but her story is confusing to the others. Trusting Fred's judgment, Angel assures his friends that they will rescue Gunn as the family will not be losing another member. As they plan to search for Gunn, Groo reveals a business card from the Repo-Man and tells the gang about the demon's visit. Just before Jenoff can suck Gunn's soul, Angel and the gang break into the casino and start fighting the demons. Gunn is detained and dozens of demons surround the gang.
Angel puts his soul on the line along with Gunn's in order to get Jenoff to agree to a challenge. Angel instructs Cordelia to stake him quickly if he loses, and she assures him she will. Jenoff allows Angel to pick the game and he suggests the winner be determined by cutting the deck for a high card. His plan doesn't work however and he loses the game. Cordelia reacts quickly and stakes Jenoff's hand to the table while Angel decapitates him. Gunn breaks free, but he knows the terror is not over as the parasitic soul-sucking creature within Jenoff's body emerges from where his head was and starts emitting horrible, high-pitched screams.
Thinking quickly, Angel questions whether anyone else in the crowd is in Jenoff's debt and the customers all jump on Jenoff while the Angel Investigations team escapes. In his truck, Gunn apologizes repeatedly to Fred for breaking up with her and she accepts after many repetitions. With her prompting, he reveals that he traded his soul not for a girl, but for his truck, which served him and his fellow vampire hunters (first seen in "War Zone") well in their years of protecting their neighborhood; at the time, he valued such a resource far more than his life, since he presumed he would be killed in action long before Jenoff could claim his soul anyway. At the hotel, Angel begins to dismantle the crib in his bedroom.
- Angel is put back in charge of Angel Investigations after the fallout between Wesley and the rest of the team.
- Angel accepts that Connor is gone, that he is never coming back, and that he did everything he could to bring him back.
- Gunn's demon clients assure him there are no such things as leprechauns. This is a running gag in the Buffyverse: In Faith, Hope and Trick, Buffy tells Giles "There are two things I don't believe in: coincidence and leprechauns," and Giles concurs that, as far as he knows, she is correct about the latter. In Unleashed, Gunn sarcastically asks evil restaurateur Crane if he serves (as food, not as patrons) leprechauns along with werewolves, and Crane disdainfully informs him that leprechauns do not exist.
- In an earlier episode, Guise Will Be Guise, Gunn, having rarely ventured out of the neighborhood he had sworn to protect from vampires, expressed surprise upon learning of Los Angeles' hidden demon community and its haunts, such as Caritas. However, this episode depicts him, in flashback, visiting precisely such an establishment, Jenoff's casino, long before meeting Angel and company.
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