Five by Five (Angel)

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"Angel Borsa"
Angel Borsa episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 18
Directed by James A. Contner
Written by Jim Kouf
Production code 1ADH18
Original air date April 25, 2000
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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List of Angel episodes

"Five by Five" is episode 18 of season 1 in the television show Angel. Written by Jim Kouf and directed by James A. Contner, it was originally broadcast on April 25, 2000 on the WB network. In "Five by Five", guest star Eliza Dushku makes her first appearance on Angel as rogue Slayer Faith, hired by Wolfram & Hart to assassinate Angel in exchange for getting all criminal charges against her back in Sunnydale dropped. Though Faith agrees, it eventually becomes clear to Angel that she has plans of her own. The episode draws parallels between the flashbacks of Angel towards the part of his life that he felt the first guilt for his actions and Faith at the present time.


Angel tries to convince a witness for the prosecution to testify to convict a client of Wolfram and Hart. They don't take too well to this inconvenience, so when Faith Lehane arrives in Los Angeles they offer her the job of killing Angel.

Faith instead winds Angel up by attacking him ineffectually and then abducting Wesley, using him for anger management purposes (in that she tortures him mercilessly and brutally). When Angel arrives to save him he gets into a fight with Faith which lasts until Faith is too exhausted to present an obvious threat, at which point the point of Faith's efforts becomes obvious: she wants to be killed (She either doesn't have the courage to do it herself, or wants to reduce the amount of pity everyone feels for her when she dies).

Faith cries in Angel's arms and Wesley looking on in shock and feeling somewhat ignored since Angel's offering comfort to the person who was minutes ago torturing him.

Expanded overview[edit]

A guy runs into several very ugly demons on the street and they chase after him. Angel beheads a couple of the demons and rescues the guy who turns out to be a gangbanger needed to testify in court. Faith, the second Slayer, gets off a bus in L.A. then robs a guy of his coat, money, and keys. In Borsa, Romania, 1898, Darla leads a blindfolded Angelus to a young gypsy woman bound on the floor. With Darla watching, he morphs and bites her inner thigh. Angel talks some sense into gang member he saved from the streets.

At a club, Faith dances the night away with every guy within reach. A fight breaks out when Faith attaches herself to another girl's boyfriend. She continues her dancing, knocking down anyone that tries to stop her or get in her way. In a courtroom, Wolfram and Hart is just about to close a case, but Angel shows up at the last minute with the guy who is to testify against the demonic law firm's client. A couple of lawyers from Wolfram and Hart confront Faith about taking care of their problem, Angel.

Back in 1898, Darla returns to the house to find her Angelus is no longer the demon she made him. He's been cursed with a soul, and she is ready to kill him because of it. Faith works out a deal with the lawyers, and beating on one of them that dares to challenge her. While they're waiting for lunch with a prospective client, Faith shows up behind Angel and tries to shoot him with a crossbow. Angel catches the bolt and Faith runs off.

After checking with Giles in Sunnydale, Angel plans to go after Faith while Wesley and Cordelia are to lay low. That night, he checks out weapons, when he senses Faith's presence up in the office. She gives him the opportunity to shoot her, but the bullet is a blank. After she explains her plans to destroy him, she shoots him with a real bullet and leaves. Angel poses as a lawyer at Wolfram and Hart and sneaks into the office of Lindsey McDonald. Lindsey later arrives in the office and informs Angel that their high-tech security system has documented Angel's every move on tape.

Cordelia tries to get into her apartment, but Phantom Dennis won't let them in at first because she doesn't know Faith is in the apartment. They encounter Faith in the apartment who refuses to listen to reason and hits Cordelia. Wesley punches Faith in return, and Faith ends it by kicking Wesley across the room. In the past, Angel and his new soul try to find a meal on the streets. He knocks out several guys and then drinks from the woman they were with. His soul keeps him from killing her.

Angel finds Cordelia at her apartment, and Wesley gone. Faith has him tied up and is torturing him. Angel and Cordelia try to locate Faith before it's too late. Angel charges into the apartment, stopping Faith from continuing her torture on Wesley. A spectacular fight breaks out between Angel and Faith, successfully destroying the nicely decorated apartment. The two go flying out of a window and land on the streets, Faith somehow managing the upper hand on Angel. The rain starts to pour down outside as Wesley breaks loose and goes downstairs armed with a knife.

With Wesley watching on, Faith suddenly breaks down into tears, declaring that she is evil, and deserves to be killed.


Christian Kane returns as Lindsey in his first appearance since the pilot episode. "There's a lot of sexual tension between Lindsey and Lilah, and Stephanie being one of my really good friends in life, it really did kind of feel like it was us against the world," Kane says. "Everyone else was a series regular and we were fighting for a pole position and although we were against each other we were on the same team... I think that came off on screen."[1]


Producer Tim Minear says because writer Jim Kouf was used to writing scripts for "big feature films", he occasionally "writes scenes that are not producible for a TV show because he is used to working with much more money." Kouf indicated that it should be raining during the final fight scene between Angel and Faith, but Minear decided the rain was too expensive, the "one extra technical complication that’s going to make shooting impossible." However, the night filming began for that scene was "the first night of a big torrential rain storm that we had for several days," Minear says.[2]

Mike Massa, David Boreanaz's stunt double, explains that ratchets - wires that retract at high speeds - were used during Angel and Faith's fight scene to hurl the characters across the room.[3]

Arc significance[edit]

  • This episode marks the true beginning in Angel's fight against Wolfram and Hart during his courtroom intervention. Up until now, Wolfram and Hart have not posed a significant threat towards Angel and his friends. He will continue to fight them through the end of the season and pose a threat to them during Season 2.


  • Crossover with Buffy: Faith was last seen fleeing Sunnydale in "Who Are You". This episode will begin her rehabilitation in preparation for her return in the series' fourth season and to Buffy in its final season.

Cultural references[edit]

  • Five by five: The title of this episode refers to the radio operation phrase frequently used by Faith.



The Futon Critic named it the 10th best episode of 2000, saying "Her breakdown in the show's closing moments was painfully real and left one of the biggest impressions of 2000."[4]


  1. ^ Grimshaw, Sue, Return of the Spirit Boy: an Exclusive Spotlight on Christian Kane, archived from the original on 2008-01-12 
  2. ^ Gross, Edward (September 26, 2000), ANGEL: Season One, Episode By Episode with Tim Minear, Part 4, retrieved 2007-09-28 
  3. ^ Bratton, Kristy, Mike Massa: Stunt Double for "Angel" played by David Boreanaz, archived from the original on 2007-10-28 
  4. ^ Brian Ford Sullivan (January 4, 2001). "The 20 Best Episodes of 2000". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 

External links[edit]