Origin (Angel)

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Angel episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 18
Directed by Terrence O'Hara
Written by Drew Goddard
Production code 5ADH18
Original air date April 21, 2004
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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List of Angel episodes

"Origin" is episode 18 of season five in the television show Angel.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Gunn is still trapped in the suburban hell dimension, with no memory of his normal life, and doomed to suffer eternal torment at the hands of a torture demon. Marcus Hamilton, the new liaison to the Senior Partners, shows up and offers to remove Gunn from Hell in exchange for his soul. Gunn refuses to even listen to Hamilton's offer, and resumes his own torture at the hands of the demon.

The main storyline concerns Connor, who is now happily living the life of a normal teenager. Connor's adoptive parents, the Reillys, bring him in to Wolfram & Hart after a van hits him and he emerges unscathed; they are concerned for his welfare, and had heard of the law firm's reputation for solving odd cases. Angel, however, is furious at the idea that Connor might again be exposed to the supernatural, and initially refuses to help. However, when a trio of demons attacks Connor and his parents, Angel accepts the case.

Despite Connor's obliviousness to their connection, Angel enjoys seeing his son as a happy, prosperous kid, but the investigation into the demon attack leads Angel to an elderly and powerful demon sorcerer named Cyvus Vail—the man responsible for creating the new reality in which Connor leads the life of a normal teenager. Vail explains that the demon attack was supposed to fail, and its purpose was merely to attract Connor's attention. Vail reveals that his real motivation is an ancient prophecy that identifies Connor as the only person able to kill Vail's old enemy, the demon warrior Sahjhan (imprisoned in his urn since episode "Forgiving" in Season 3). Vail demands that Connor kill Sahjhan, and in return, he will allow him to resume his normal life.

Meanwhile, Wesley continues to study Illyria and her super abilities with Spike, who serves as Illyria's "punching bag" in an attempt to determine her weaknesses. Wesley explains to Illyria that Angel has earned their loyalty, but Wes begins to change his mind when he grows suspicious of Angel's seemingly odd behavior concerning the Connor Reilly case.

Wesley's investigation leads to Vail, and records indicating that he had been hired by Wolfram & Hart to cast a massive, reality-changing spell on the day that the law firm was taken over by Angel Investigations. Angel aggravates these suspicions by refusing to offer an explanation, and Wesley begins to theorize that Angel's behavior may be a result of guilt; specifically that Angel had sacrificed Fred in exchange for control of Wolfram & Hart, and then paid Vail to erase everyone's memories of the deal.

At Vail's house, Connor and Sahjhan engage in a fight to the death, as a helpless Angel is mystically prevented from aiding his son in the battle. Accompanied by Illyria, Wesley confronts Angel with his theory that Vail's spell is responsible for Fred's death, and destroys the magical box that contains the spell. As a result, Connor, Wesley, and Illyria (and presumably everyone else) all regain their lost memories of the previous reality. Connor, who had been losing his fight with Sahjhan, regains his fighting skills and manages to kill Sahjhan. However, despite a brief return to his old, defiant personality during the battle, Connor manages to retain the emotional stability created by Vail's spell.

Back at the office, Illyria mocks Wesley for accusing Angel of betrayal when in fact, Wesley had betrayed Angel by stealing his son thus causing the chain of events that ultimately compelled Angel to accept Wolfram & Hart's offers and resulted in Fred's death. Wesley is visibly shaken by this revelation but he is resolved to endure the truth. Connor returns to his adoptive family but not before he tells Angel that he learned to protect his family 'from my father', giving Angel a knowing glance.

Arc significance[edit]

  • Connor returns, having been absent from the series since Wolfram & Hart altered reality to have everyone forget him and gave him a "normal life". Wesley breaks the spell, restoring his, Illyria's, and Connor's memories of the events of the past two years and Connor's entire life. Connor does not directly reveal to Angel that he also regained his memories (which 'melded' with his own), but it is heavily implied. When Connor returns for the finale episode, "Not Fade Away", this is fully explained.
  • Spike and Illyria interact, sparring so that he can test her strength. This dynamic is further explored in the rest of the season and later in the canonical comic book series Angel: After the Fall's tie-in, Spike: After the Fall.
  • Cyvus Vail makes his first appearance, eventually to return in "Power Play."


  • The reasoning behind Sahjahn's grudge against Angel and motives towards killing his son are explored; he and Connor fight, and Sahjahn is killed. Knowing that Sahjahn, not Angel, is directly responsible for his plight in Quor'Toth and other related events gives Connor the strength to reconciles with his father in "Not Fade Away". In the canonical comic book series Angel & Faith, sees that the pair finally acknowledge each other as father and son.
  • Hamilton makes references to Angel and Eve's sexual encounter in "Life of the Party".
  • When Connor meets Illyria, he mentions he always had a thing for older women, to which Angel mutters under his breath, "They were supposed to fix that," thus revealing that part of Angel's deal is also had Wolfram & Hart to rid what he finds unpleasant socially on Connor but failed. This refers to Connor's relationship with Jasmine, who possessed Cordelia at the time.
  • This episode marks the only time Connor and Spike appear in the same scene together. In Angel: After the Fall and its tie-ins, revealing Spike's knowledge of Connor's parentage thus each other's relations in vampire bloodline, disclosing that Spike had learned about Connor at some point off-screen after this episode.

External links[edit]