At the Hyperion, Angel awakens cranky and only gets crankier as he comes downstairs to find Cordy and Wesley bickering like siblings. Cordy and Wes had apparently started off arguing about whether or not Gunn should be pulling in a cheque, and it degenerated into name-calling and hair pulled after the requisite 30 seconds. Angel snaps at them both, threatening to fire them, but Cordy defuses his black mood, claming he can't fire heshe's vision girl, and sticks out her tongue. Then vision girl lives up to her name, and Angel is off and running to save a terrified young woman in an alley in Hollywood from certain doom.
The bleeding and shaking damsel in question is being chased by two would-be rapists, one of whom is brandishing a knife as they corner her. However, as they close in on her, the sobbing girl glances at a 2 ton dumpster which suddenly hurtles toward the assailants at breakneck speed.
The girl can tune.
Angel arrives at the crime scene, immediately ducking under the "police line - do not cross" tape like a pro, and questions the beat cop who called it in. The cop, at first flustered, assumes that Angel is the detective he is passing himself off as, and informs him that the two dead guys have the general consistency of margarita mix thanks to being flattened against the wall. Angel bends down and sees blood on the groundblood that didn't belong to Frick and Frack. He wanders off down the alley just as the real homicide detective shows up.
Angel slips inside an under-construction warehouse and finds the girl form Cordelia's vision sobbing uncontrollably. He spooks her, and gets a re-bar through his torso for his pains. The girl dissolves into sobbing again, only to be shocked when Angel stands up and pulls out the length of steel protruding form his chest. He offers to help her, in case she needs a friend. She insists that she is staying with a friend. Angel points out that she can't hurt himand that may come in handy in the future. Though skittish, she does take his business card before fleeing. Once she's gone, Angel collapses to the ground, reminded once again why being impaled sucks. Bigly.
The young girl goes "home" to the friend she is staying with: W&H's associate Lilah Morgan.
Back at he Hyperion, Angel relates his adventure to Cordelia and Wesley. "Telekinesis," Wesley muses. "The ability to move objects with one's mind."
That's about all he knows.
Angel sets Cordy to finding out more about his mystery girl, having placed her accent as best he could (although he seems to believe Ohio to be the North East, and not the Midwest). Gunn arrives, with a nifty new axe that his kids made for him in arts and crafts, ready to do battlebut Angel's looking for legwork, since the squished guys were from his neck of the woods. He leaves, and Cordy reminds Angel to ask him about the salary sitch, but Angel blows her offhe's tired and is going to bed.
"You've only been up for three hours!" Cordy remarks, but Angel's on his way to dreamland where a corseted, coifed, and sexy Darla is waiting for him. In the real world, Darla is curled up in bed next to him, whispering sweet nothings in his ear, reminiscing about the very incident Angel is reliving in his dream, which apparently involved lots of vampire sex in front of a roaring fire when the bound and gagged serving girl looks on, squeaking in fear as only appetizers can...
Meanwhile, Bethany ahs apparently been invited out to L.A. by Lilah, who had been a speaker at her school back home. Lilah is doing her older sister act, trying to convince Bethany that she is special, and that Lilah can help her and to trust her. That night, Bethany has nightmares while Lilah looks onnightmares of hiding in the attic form her father, who takes her downstairs to "play". In her dreamand in her bedroomfurniture begins to rattle. Bethany wakes up to find Lilah standing over her and in a panic the lamp from the bedside table flies toward Lilah, sending her sprawling. Bethany freaks out and flees to the one person she can't hurtAngel.
Angel introduces Bethany to Wesley and Cordy, who gets a vibe off her. Wes may not have gotten the same vibe, but he does know something is up. At the W&H offices, Lilah is sporting a shiner and is being read the riot act by Holland, who nevertheless has faith in herthe kind of faith that comes with the note to not fail him or the firm. Or else. Lilah's pet project ahs the potential to be a great asset to the firm's client as an assassin, but only if she can be controlled. Lilah is certain that she can control herand find her. When he cell phone rings and it's Bethany, Lilah is smuguntil Bethany tells her where she is.
Wearing Cordy's borrowed clothes, Bethany and Angel chat in the hotel's courtyard. Bethany is still guarded and skittish, but Angel is patient and trying to be supportive. However, Bethany isn't opening up to himuntil Wesley comes out and pushes. At the mention of sending her back home to her father, Bethany flips out, sending Angel flying into the sun where he smolders a bit, and Wesley is knocked about a bit as well. But at least now they know morethat Bethany's gift is tied to abuse, something Wesley had suspected but needed to test to be sure. Angel thanks Wes, but sends him home to prevent another dangerous outburst.
Angel finds Bethany huddled in the topmost room of the hotelit clearly reminds her of the attic where she used to hide form daddy. Bethany admits that she's embarrassed and hiding from being embarrassed is even more embarrassing, but he's able to calm her down and promises to help her learn to control her gift any way he can. That night, as he dreams once more of Darla in the past, Bethany sneaks into his room. He wakes, the dream and reality doing a little shifting for a moment, and Bethany comes on to him. Angel's feeling a bit vulnerablemainly because Darla's little succubus routine has him a little too obviously "happy"but tries to gently let her know that he's not the type. Bethany insists she is the typeand he points out the irony of someone who can't stand to be touched wanting to "make love," an irony not lost on her even as she laughs at his old-fashioned romantic ideas about sex. For her, sex isn't anything even close to making love. Angel is disturbed by how thoroughly she has been abused, and it only strengthens his resolve to help her.
Meanwhile, Darla is lurking in Angel's room, and not pleased at being interrupted.
Holland once again calls Lilah in, telling her that her pet project is stepping on Lindsay's pet project, and that is unacceptable. Go get Bethany now. Lilah reluctantly agrees, trying to hang onto the shreds of her composure now that the bossman knows exactly where Bethany ahs been and with whom.
Back at the Hyperion, Angel is working with Bethany. In the past, her "gifts" have only manifested as instinctbut he's convinced she can learn to use them, and crank the power down from 11 to a 3 or so. Yoda's first lesson: lift a wispy scarf. Bethany is delighted when she is able to drape it around Angel's shoulders without throttling hima look Cordelia finds very appealing on Angel. Gunn calls with a lead on the not-quite-dead-yet rapist, and Angel takes off to check it out while Cordy and Bethany go to the pier for coffee and shopping and girl talk.
Cordy's idea of girl talk consists of a very frank warning not to messing Angel to the tune of any sexcapades. Nada. Bethany goes on the defensive, then relaxes a bit when she realises Cordy still wants to be her friend, but is just trying to protect her friend Angel.
Meanwhile, Gunn and Angel arrive at rapist guy's place. Angel waits outside, leaning against the invisible barrier that bars vampires from entering a living human's home. Gunn pokes around, and Angel screws up his courage and asks Gunn if he'd like to be paid. TO Angel's relief, Gunn is glad to have been asked. Rapist guy is apparently no longer on the critical list, as evidenced by Angel falling inside, the barrier dissolved. Hitting the speed-dial on his phone, Angel gets Wolfram & Hart's receptionist.
Meanwhile, back at Santa Monica's merry-g-round, Cordy and Bethany are accosted by hired goons. Cordy fends them off with hot coffee tot the face, but they have reinforcements who snatch Bethany. Angel and Gunn pull up just as the van containing drugged Bethany is pulling away, and Cordy tells them to "go fetch." With Gunn taking the wheel, Angel breaks into the van, and extricates Bethany. When Lilah learns Bethany has slipped out of her grasp yet again, she decides it's time to step up the timetable, and "pull the trigger."
Back at the hotel, Bethany is feeling utterly betrayed as Angel and Cordy inform her that he friend and benefactor Lilah is a black hat. She is on the verge of a breakdown when she opens the door to the attic room and there's daddy.
Every window in the top floor of the Hyperion hotel is blasted outwards.
As Angel and Cordy are slumped against the now shaking to pieces walls, Daddy tells Bethany to come back home with himthat Lilah can help her, and "everything will be like it was before."
That's the last straw, and Bethany goes all Vader. Angel and Cordy come to, and try and stop her. Angel tells Bethany that it's all up to her. She has the power. Bethany picks Daddy up and flings him out the window.
He stops and floats eight feet above the pavement.
Bethany has finally found her center. She goes back to Lilah's to pack her things, and Lilah's big sister act is no longer doing the trick. Angel gloats her form the doorway, which is just about the last thing Lilah needs.
"He's a vampire!" she says in a last ditch effort to get Bethany back on her side.
Bethany looks at Angel up and down. "Weird."
Frustrated, Lilah does get in one last parting shot as Angel and Bethany leave. "Sweet dreams," she calls down the stairs, smirking,
Review: There are not words for how much I loved this episode. All of the regulars had fantastic scenes, and the guest role was an increidble well-written part deftly performed by Daisy McCrackin. We got a great sneak peek into Wesley's mind as only he of the three could read Bethany well enough to know what button to push, and the Cordy/Gunn interaction in this episode was lightyears beyond First Impressions. The "Still saving my life?" "Every minute," exchange was a great moment of charatcer continuity, and this was the Charles Gunn I met and liked in Warzone. Stephanie Rominov as Lilah reminds fans that Lindsay McDonald isn't the only reason to keep W&H arc's going. But the core fo the epsiode are the Angel/Bethany scenes, which were powerful and excellent scripted and brought to life by Boreanaz and McCrackin. Fantastic first script from new Angel writer Mere Smith, skillfully brought to life by director Joss Whedon.
My rating: 10/10
Next week, Darla's not just dream walking any more...