The Magic Bullet (Angel)
|"The Magic Bullet"|
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||Jeffrey Bell|
|Written by||Jeffrey Bell|
|Original air date||April 16, 2003|
"The Magic Bullet" is episode 19 of season 4 in the television show Angel. Written and directed by Jeffrey Bell, it was originally broadcast on April 16, 2003 on the WB network. While Jasmine settles in at the hotel with her followers for a mysterious gathering, Fred is forced to flee Los Angeles while the rest of the gang hunt her down, with assistance from most of the populace, who are also under Jasmine’s enchantment. Fred learns that Jasmine’s blood is the key to seeing her for what she really is and plots to free Angel and the gang from Jasmine's influence.
Thanks to the events of "Shiny Happy People," everyone in L.A. is happy and cheerful. The first scene opens with the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn't It Be Nice?” playing behind a montage of harmonious street scenes of pedestrians and drivers in the city, until Fred runs into a car at an intersection and the music stops. She’s pursued by Wesley and Gunn, but Fred eludes them by hiding out in a sewer under a shopping center. Back at the Hyperion, Lorne has to turn away people who have come to the hotel to see Jasmine. She makes time to talk to many of them, and Angel asks how Jasmine always knows exactly what to say to people. She tells him that she looks into their hearts, though sometimes what they need is right on their faces. She tells a man in Spanish that his mustache "provides [him] great strength and dignity." Wesley and Gunn return with the news that Fred escaped. Connor wants to kill her and bring her back, but Wesley reminds him that Jasmine wants her alive.
In the lobby, Jasmine invites a couple of people to go upstairs with her. Fred goes to the Magic Bullet Bookstore, which she apparently visited three days earlier to read up on mass hypnosis. Now she's looking for information on mind control. The shopkeeper, Ted (Patrick Fischler), says that he used to be obsessed with mind control, and though he still believes in it, he just doesn’t worry about it anymore because of Jasmine. The shopkeeper pulls out a gun (as well as a yoyo and a book called Making Mind Control Work for You) and says that he thinks Fred is trying to get the government to learn about Jasmine's love. Connor and Angel try to track Fred through the sewers; Angel learns that Connor has been tracking people since he was a kid. Holtz would tie him to a tree and then run away, expecting Connor to free himself and find Holtz. Angel is shocked that Holtz abandoned Connor like that, but Connor considers it good, since he learned to track. Angel and Connor both suddenly close their eyes, receiving a message that Jasmine wants them back at the Hyperion.
Jasmine explains that everyone is connected by love, and she wants to test that connection to see if they can find Fred. Everyone holds hands as Jasmine tells them to picture Fred and concentrate on finding her. Fred checks into a motel, where people around her start looking at her. Fred takes off running, passing a man who is fueling his car. Another car hits his car, which sets off a fire. The guy from the car gets out and, in flames, walks to Fred and tells her not to be afraid. Jasmine's hand starts smoking and burning as she takes the physical damage of the man; she adds that she saw Fred, and now that all of the Jasmaniacs know what she looks like, she can’t hide anywhere. Fred walks by the side of a highway and falls down a hill while trying to run from an SUV. She takes refuge in a cave where a short demon is also holed up. The creature assures Fred that he is vegetarian and won’t hurt her; it doesn’t seem to matter, since Fred makes sure he knows that she can handle herself. Back at the Hyperion, Lorne gives the "hourly Jasmine report," then announces that he has a surprise - open mic night.
A montage follows of various odes to Jasmine, including Lorne singing "Freddie's Dead" and Angel and Connor singing a revised version of "Mandy". The demon in the cave reveals that he’s hiding out because of "those freakin’ Jasminites and their demon jihad", but then he uncovers a bunch of human hands, revealing himself to be carnivorous, and attacks Fred, who is injured but fights back with an axe. Fred returns to the Magic Bullet Bookstore, luring a crowd of people outside. The shopkeeper tells Fred that she's famous now, and that he's not supposed to hurt her.
Jasmine arrives with Angel and Connor and, in exchange for the shopkeeper’s help, tells him that Lee Harvey Oswald worked alone in assassinating JFK. Fred says that she’s sorry, and Jasmine accepts the apology, but it turns out that Fred is talking to Angel. She raises the shopkeeper's handgun, aims at Jasmine, and fires. The bullet goes through Jasmine and then into Angel’s shoulder. Angel vamps out and attacks Fred, grabbing the gun and pointing it at her jaw. Crying, Fred tells him to look at Jasmine. He does, seeing the same decaying, maggot-infested flesh that Fred saw earlier. Jasmine realizes that it was her blood that released Fred and Angel and tells Connor that Angel is infected. Fred shoots Jasmine several more times before Connor stops her. Angel runs out with Fred and Jasmine keeps Connor from following them. Jasmine sees how much blood she's lost and tells the shopkeeper to burn the store down. In the hotel office, Jasmine explains that they've lost Angel to Fred: "by being loving to Fred, I opened the door to her hate. By trying to save Fred, I lost Angel. It won't happen again. We must eradicate their hate."
Fred explains that Jasmine's blood breaks the spell - she got it in her system when she washed Jasmine's shirt, and Angel got it after the bullet passed through Jasmine. Fred decides that they need to get more of Jasmine’s blood so that they can break the spell for the others. They hear people coming, and Fred kisses Angel to throw the people off, but they do have to run. Later they sneak not-so-stealthily into Cordelia’s room, where she’s still comatose. Angel apologizes to Cordelia, then starts to cut her arm with a knife. She grabs his wrist and he panics, thinking that she’s awake. Fred has to tell him that people in comas sometimes move or do things that don’t mean they’re waking up. Meanwhile, Jasmine tells Connor to keep guard in the hallway as she goes into her room with her chosen guests. She tells them to strip, and as they do, she heals her gunshot wounds. Connor stands guard outside Jasmine’s room; inside, green light shines. In the next act, the green light disappears from Jasmine’s room. Connor asks her where the people went, and Jasmine replies, "I ate them." "Cool," Connor says.
Angel and Fred succeed in "infecting" Lorne with Cordelia's blood to break the spell. Lorne lures Wesley and Gunn upstairs, grabs a baseball bat, and knocks them out so that Fred can administer the cure. When they come to, Wesley brings Connor in, and the others hold him down for the cure. After Connor calms down, Angel tells him they had to make him see the truth. "You understand why we’re here?" Angel asks. Connor nods and goes to the door. He throws it open and yells, "They’re here! Come quick!"
- Angel, Lorne, Wes, and Gunn are exposed to Jasmine's true visage.
- It is revealed that Jasmine eats people.
- Connor is revealed to be impervious to Jasmine's blood.
- At least a week had passed since Fred was exposed to Jasmine's blood in "Shiny Happy People"
The title of the bookstore and the episode itself is a reference to the Single Bullet Theory of the John F. Kennedy assassination. Jasmine confirms the theory when she tells the shopkeeper that "Oswald acted alone", thus implying that a single bullet struck two people, moments before the same thing happens to her.
- M., Deborah (2003-12-17), Jeff Bell - Cult Times Magazine Interview (28), Cult Times Magazine Special Edition
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