Expecting (Angel)

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Angel episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 12
Directed byDavid Semel
Written byHoward Gordon
Production code1ADH12
Original air dateJanuary 25, 2000
Guest appearance(s)
  • Daphnee Duplaix as Serena
  • Ken Marino as Wilson Christopher
  • Josh Randall as Bartender
  • Doug Tompos as Dr. Wasserman
  • Louisette Geiss as Emily
  • Julie Quinn as Pregnant Woman
  • Maggie Connelly as Nurse
  • Steven Roy as Jason
Episode chronology
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Angel (season 1)
List of Angel episodes

"Expecting" is episode 12 of season 1 in the television show Angel. Written by Howard Gordon and directed by David Semel, it was originally broadcast on January 25, 2000 on the WB network. In "Expecting", Cordelia, having spent the night with her charming date, wakes up carrying a near-term pregnancy. Research reveals she and several other women bear the spawn of a Haxil Beast that uses men as sexual surrogates. Angel and Wesley must find a way to break the demon's psychic control over its human incubators before they deliver—an ordeal likely to be lethal to the hosts.


Cordelia goes out with her friends Serena and Emily, for an evening with the man Cordelia has been seeing, famous photographer, Wilson Christopher. Meanwhile, Wesley and Angel fight a demon after being notified of its presence by one of Cordelia's visions.

At Club La Brea, Cordelia and Wilson talk, seeming to make a genuine connection. Wilson takes Cordelia home, and he spends the night there. The Phantom Dennis registers his displeasure by changing the lights and music that Cordelia selects. She wakes the next morning to an empty bed, but she find that in the night,she has grown—in a matter of hours—very pregnant. Angel and Wesley are alarmed by her absence so break into the apartment. They find the pregnant Cordelia in bed. After discovering that the phone number Wilson gave to Cordelia is no longer in service, Angel instructs Wesley to take her for an ultrasound to see exactly what it is they are dealing with, while he goes to hunt down "daddy."

Starting his search at the club where Cordelia went, Angel gains the bartender's (Josh Randall) reluctant trust and obtains information about Cordelia's "friend" Serena, who turns out to be the ringleader of a group of attractive young women hooking up with Wilson's group of well-heeled guys. When he gets to her apartment, Angel discovers that Serena is also heavily pregnant.

Meanwhile, in the clinic exam room, the doctor counts seven heartbeats and, trying to conceal his agitation under a professional demeanor, orders an amniocentesis. However, the syringe containing the amniotic fluid cracks and the spilled fluid quickly eats through the floor. Dr. Wasserman and the nurse flee in terror.

At Serena's, Angel sits with her, asking questions that could give him some clue to Wilson's current whereabouts. Serena explains that she gets dates for Wilson and a few others, and they ask her for girls who have no family and few friends in the city. She also mentions that the money the guys use literally smells.

Simultaneously, Serena and Cordelia double over in pain. Fading in and out of coherence, she tells Wesley that the babies are not human, and are trying to communicate with her. After Cordelia falls asleep, Wesley and Angel confer.

Angel searches the Yellow Pages for a cigar and gun club where Serena says the men hang out. As they walk past the kitchen, they see Cordelia drinking pig's blood directly from one of Angel's jars, without her registering how strange it is.

Finding Wilson down on the shooting range at his gun club, Angel confronts him about Cordelia. Angel sees Wilson is not a demon, but correctly guesses that the men act as surrogates for a demon in exchange for success in their careers and sex with the women. The rest of the guys show up, and Wilson shoots Angel, but Angel fights back and forces Wilson to talk. Wesley, in the meantime, discovers that Cordelia carries the spawn of a Haxil demon. When he shows her its picture and tries to comfort her, however, Cordelia bashes Wesley unconscious with the heavy reference book. Under the demon's telepathic thrall, she fiercely protects its young.

The sound of Angel's phone ringing brings Wesley groggily back to consciousness. He answers and it is Angel, calling from a phone booth while manually extracting the bullets from his own torso. Frantic, Wesley tells Angel that Cordelia has left, but Angel says he knows where she's going. Comparing notes, the two men determine that the spawn can't survive if the psychic umbilical the Haxil maintains with each of the hosts is severed. Listening to Wesley's catalogue of the Haxil beast's many strengths and few weaknesses, Angel suddenly has an idea and asks Wes if he can shoot straight. Meanwhile, Cordelia and many other women impregnated by the demon gather at an old refinery fronting the entrance to the cave where the demon resides. Dressing each other in flowing white gowns, the women slowly climb into a waist-deep pool of odoriferous liquid and stand in a circle, waiting. Wesley arrives and, reverting to Watcher mode, tries to scold Cordelia and the others out of the pool, but is interrupted by the thunderous appearance of the gigantic Haxil demon emerging from its lair. Sentient and English-speaking, the towering Haxil is about to remove Wesley and begin delivering its spawn when Angel cockily appears, rolling a huge white tank, his gift for "the baby shower," down the ramp in front of him. Hefting the tank, Angel whirls and launches it at the Haxil, who reflexively catches it. Before the Haxil can react to the liquid nitrogen label now visible, Wesley shoots a hole in the tank. The tank falls and sprays the escaping vapor over the demon, freezing it solid. In the tub, the women cry out as the spawn they've been carrying disappear with the broken psychic link. Cordelia climbs out, grabs a block and tackle from its anchor near his head, and swings the heavy missile directly at the frozen Haxil, shattering it to coldly smoking smithereens.

Two days later, Cordelia returns to the office, looking svelte and fabulous once more. She teases the boys mercilessly, then surprises and touches them both by growing sincere, letting them know how grateful she is to have two people she trusts with her life.



Writer Tim Minear says this episode is fundamentally about "body horror." Originally, it was written in a more comedic style, but Joss Whedon insisted the writers "should play [it] straight." Minear says this episode begins to show Wesley as being "more than he appeared to be on Buffy," as well as demonstrating that the members of Angel Investigations are forming a family.[1]

Arc significance[edit]

The bonds of trust and friendship deepen significantly among Angel, Cordelia and Wesley. When the bartender at La Brea asks if Angel is "the boyfriend," Angel replies, "No. I'm family." Cordelia later asserts that she trusts Angel and Wesley unconditionally with her life.


  • Cordelia becomes pregnant again in season four with Jasmine in "Apocalypse, Nowish". In between, Cordelia has a Skilosh demon spawn implanted in her head in "Epiphany" and is required to mate with the demon Groosalugg, considered hideous among his kind, to secure the succession to the throne in the Pylea demon dimension in "Through the Looking Glass".
  • Cordy is reluctant to introduce her dates to Angel because she doesn't want him to behave like a forbidding father and interrogate them as he did Pierce in "Bachelor Party".
  • This episode is the first time Dennis is seen to object to an unwelcome entity in Cordy's apartment, as well as the first time making caring gestures (e.g., offering a tissue, tucking up her covers) instead of annoying ones (e.g., sliding her soda when she's on the phone).
  • Having Cordelia file their problematic client, Mrs. Benson, under 'F' because she came from France also harks back to "Rm w/a Vu", where Angel despairs of Cordy's secretarial skills.
  • Wesley proves himself a good shot during his first L.A. encounter with Angel in "Parting Gifts", when, from a difficult angle and in the heat of battle, he shoots the berserker Kungai demon with a crossbow bolt.
  • In the conversation between Cordelia and Angel at the end of the episode, she lists what she learned from her impregnation experience: "I learned, um, men are evil? Oh wait, I knew that. I learned that L.A.'s full of self-serving phonies? Nope, had that one down, too. Uh, sex is bad?" Angel agrees, "We all knew that," referencing the loss of his soul following sex with Buffy.
  • Wesley is seen to be one of the few Buffyverse protagonists to use a firearm. A penchant which steadily becomes more prevalent as the series progresses.
  • This marks the second episode in the series in which Cordelia thinks she's being punished for her past actions. The first time being in the episode "Rm w/a Vu," where she struggles with the ghosts haunting her new apartment.

Cultural references[edit]

  • The Joker: When Cordelia accidentally smears her lipstick, she refers to the classic Batman villain.
  • Hugh Grant: Cordelia's friend Serena hits on Wesley, complimenting him on his "nice ax" and comparing him to the handsome British actor.
  • Buckingham Palace: Cordelia describes her new apartment as the home of British royalty, when compared to her old one.
  • Evita: When Dennis exhibits poltergeisty behavior, Cordelia threatens to punish him by playing the Madonna version of this musical around the clock.
  • David and Goliath: Wesley refers to this Biblical story when standing up to the Haxil demon.


  1. ^ Gross, Edward (August 28, 2000), ANGEL: Season One, Episode By Episode with Tim Minear - Part 3, TimMinear.net, retrieved 2007-09-17

External links[edit]