Stephanie Romanov portrayed Lilah Morgan
|First appearance||"The Ring" (2000)|
|Created by||Howard Gordon|
|Portrayed by||Stephanie Romanov|
|Affiliation||Wolfram & Hart Special Projects Division|
|Notable powers||Standard perpetuity clause in her contract grants her immortality through un-death, which can only be rescinded by the Senior Partners themselves|
Lilah Morgan is a fictional character from the television series Angel, played by Stephanie Romanov. She is first introduced in the episode "The Ring," and appears in the show's first and second seasons. After Lindsey McDonald leaves Los Angeles, Lilah becomes the primary face of Wolfram & Hart, and figures largely into the Season Three and Four story arcs. She guest-stars in more Angel episodes than any other recurring character.
Lilah is a lawyer working for the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart. In her first appearance, she tries (and fails) to persuade Angel to work for her employers. She then works to kill Angel; she is co-architect of a plan to hire renegade Slayer Faith in order to do just that. Over time, Lilah and another lawyer, Lindsey McDonald, compete against each other for the favor of their bosses.
The vampire Darla is resurrected as a human by Wolfram & Hart and ultimately turned back into a vampire by Drusilla. Darla and Drusilla massacre a group of Wolfram & Hart lawyers in Holland Manners' wine cellar. Only Lilah and Lindsey are spared, and with only the two of them left on Wolfram & Hart's Special Projects Team, their rivalry reaches an all-time high as they start a power struggle for the vice-presidency of the team, as well as for survival. Eventually, Lindsey is offered the promotion, but he elects to leave the firm, disillusioned by the extent of its evil. He tosses his promotion to Lilah, effectively saving her life.
In the third season, Lilah ups the ante in her vendetta with Angel, and blackmails him into freeing a mysterious young man, Billy Blim, from a Hell dimension by torturing Cordelia Chase. In the episode "Billy," the effects of these actions come back to haunt Lilah. As it turns out, Billy is a half-demon misogynist, and has the ability to bring out primordial violence in men simply by touching them. He touches Lilah's newest rival, Gavin Park, causing Gavin to beat her severely. Lilah hides herself and her bruises in her apartment for a time, and refuses to assist Angel when he comes to her for help in sending Billy back to Hell. Later on, Cordelia also comes to ask for aid in ending the evil Lilah helped begin, and Lilah again refuses. "I am not Lindsey McDonald. I don't switch [sides] whenever it gets tough." In response, Cordelia calls her a "vicious bitch." Lilah shrugs. "So you know me." Cordelia responds no one deserving of the title of "vicious bitch" would allow Billy to get away with what he did, and Lilah eventually gives in and reveals Billy's whereabouts. The confrontation among Billy, Cordelia, and Angel takes place on the runway of a private airport, and Lilah arrives at the eleventh hour to fire the fatal shot, killing Billy and regaining her own sense of self-worth.
It is around that time she also receives a new boss, Linwood Murrow, who desires to kidnap Angel's newborn son, Connor. Lilah herself investigates the return of Daniel Holtz, an old enemy of Angel's. Holtz has broken away from his partnership with the demon Sahjhan, who wishes to eliminate Angel and Connor for his own reasons, and he seeks out Wolfram & Hart. Holtz brokers a deal with Lilah, who quickly abandons a similar deal with Sahjhan to do so, allowing Holtz to abduct Connor; when Angel confronts her at a bar about this, she delivers a speech explaining her actions and motivations:
"It's a survival thing. I made a lot of devil's bargains and I stuck to them. As a result, I live somewhat dangerously, and quite comfortably. My mother, who no longer recognizes me, has the best room at the clinic. I get up every morning, put on my game face, and do what I have to... We've spent so much time and money on you, you're so pivotal to the coming cataclysm, that I sometimes forget how dense you can be. The game face, the one I worked so hard to get, I became that years ago. Just like you've become simpering and good from yours. You're the new poster boy for human? Thank you very much, I don't want it... You think you can awaken some buried spark of decency in me? Is that the way you "help your helpless"? I'm not helpless. I'm glad you came along, because I was sitting here -- "what's it all about?" -- and now I know. It is all about making the rest of your eternal life miserable."
When, during a confrontation between all parties, Sahjhan opens a Quor-Toth dimension to threaten Los Angeles, Lilah is prepared to kill Connor, but Holtz absconds with him into Quor-Toth, a satisfactory resolution as far as Sahjhan is concerned. Lilah shrugs off the loss and leaves Angel to grieve for his son's loss.
At the end of the third season, Lilah begins sleeping with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce after his betrayal of Angel (which itself contributed to Holtz acquiring Connor) and ejection from Angel Investigations. She tries to convince him to join Wolfram & Hart, but he refuses.
In the first episode of season four, Lilah kills Linwood during a board meeting, thereby assuming his position. Her relationship with Wesley, which begins as a series of one-night stands, continues throughout the fourth season, through the emergence of The Beast and the destruction of the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram & Hart that results in the death of all employees present except for Lilah, who is able to escape with Wesley's help.
Lilah is killed shortly after the re-emergence of Angelus, stabbed to death by Cordelia (who is under the possession of the being later known as Jasmine) and left for Angelus to drink from. Wesley is forced to behead Lilah, as he believes she could rise again as a vampire. When Wesley prepares to decapitate her body, a haunting vision of Lilah appears. Wesley laments that he was unable to save Lilah from herself. Lilah suggests that she loved Wesley, but Wesley refuses to believe it, and with the decapitating swing of his axe, the vision, which herself claimed to be no more than a figment of Wesley's imagination, is gone.
As shown earlier in the series with Holland Manners, an employment contract with Wolfram & Hart does not terminate with death, and Lilah returns at the end of the fourth season wearing a scarf around her neck to hide the scar from Wesley's axe, having been condemned to Hell in the interim, presumably as a result of one of the "devil's bargains" she mentioned earlier. She presents Angel with a tempting offer: full control of the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram & Hart with all its resources. During a tour of the facilities intended to seduce Angel Investigations into accepting the offer, Wesley attempts to burn Lilah's contract in order to free her from Hell and give her peace. Though the contract cannot be destroyed, Lilah is touched by the act.
Angel takes Lilah's offer in an attempt to save his son Connor from a life of misery, and Lilah apparently returns to the Hell division of Wolfram & Hart. In the fifth season, Eve takes over as liaison for the Senior Partners, and Lilah is never seen on the series again.
However, Lilah does return in the sixth and seventh issues of Spike in 2011, in which she oversees the Senior Partners' plan to steal a spaceship and escape the universe prior to the impending Twilight apocalypse. She also returns in the concluding arc of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten, in which she approaches Xander Harris and Dawn Summers when they are stranded in a Hell dimension, offering to ally with them to reach Earth. Knowing this will show the Senior Partners the way back to their reality, Dawn and Xander refuse, but Lilah plants a tracker on them, enabling Wolfram & Hart to follow them. Once Wolfram & Hart is reinstated on Earth, Lilah approaches Buffy Summers and her new magic council with a view to forming an alliance.
Like her fellow Wolfram & Hart employees, Lilah is, as a rule, amoral, and due to the firm's frequent paranormal work, particularly unshaken by the supernatural. She is highly ambitious and competitive in the Wolfram & Hart corporate hierarchy, especially when it comes to rival lawyer, Lindsey McDonald. Lilah is shown talking on the phone with her forgetful mother (implied to have Alzheimer's), and later remarks to Angel that her high salary ensures that her mother receives "the best room at the clinic."
- Marcus Roscoe/Angel — When Angel's body is possessed by an old man named Marcus Roscoe, Lilah remains unaware. Marcus immediately becomes amorous and makes a move on her when she visits him at his office with the intention of providing Angel with information on her current rival Gavin Park and thus undermining his status in the firm. Though she resists at first, Lilah gives in and nearly has sex with him on a desk. They might have consummated the act had Marcus not sunk his vampire fangs into her neck (cf. "Carpe Noctem").
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce — Once Wesley is estranged from Angel Investigations, Lilah believes him to be a possible asset to the firm. Wesley immediately sees through her ploy, but allows himself to be seduced nonetheless. They continue to sleep together while hiding it from the people they know. Though Wesley believes she is incapable of love, even Lilah is moved by Wesley's selflessness, and grows attached to him despite herself. Wesley breaks up with her in the episode Habeas Corpses. He is later forced to decapitate her corpse when fearing she might become a vampire. As he does that, he states that she was not capable of loving him.
- Appearing in 35 episodes in total, Lilah appeared in the following episodes:
- Season 1 (1999–2000) – "The Ring", "Five by Five", "Sanctuary", "Blind Date", "To Shanshu in L.A."
- Season 2 (2000–01) – "Judgment", "Untouched", "Reunion", "Redefinition", "Blood Money", "Reprise", "Dead End"
- Season 3 (2001–02) – "That Vision Thing", "Carpe Noctem", "Billy", "Quickening", "Lullaby", "Dad", "Loyalty", "Sleep Tight", "Forgiving", "The Price", "A New World", "Benediction", "Tomorrow"
- Season 4 (2002–03) – "Deep Down", "Ground State", "Slouching Toward Bethlehem", "Supersymmetry", "Apocalypse, Nowish", "Habeas Corpses", "Calvary", "Salvage", "Peace Out", "Home"