Episode Report Card
Strega: B | 2 USERS: A
Angel's Past vs. Connor's Present

Gunn and Fred have taken Connor down to the beach to watch the tide come in. Connor says that Holtz described the ocean to him, but that he didn't realize how empty it was. Fred cheerfully insists that there's another world under the surface. Connor is lost in existential ennui, but Fred babbles to distract him: "I got lost once like you. When I came back, nothing seemed real." Connor simply says, "I don't remember being lost," and walks away, closer to the waves. Gunn and Fred watch from a distance as Connor stares out at the sea. Fred wishes that Angel were there, saying, "I just feel kinda guilty, keeping [Connor] busy and distracted." She asks what Angel is going to do, and Gunn says that "Angel will deal with Holtz in his own way." Connor turns back and stares at them, and Fred "uh oh"s. Gunn looks back at Connor with wonder as he insists, "He couldn't have heard us." "He did," Fred says. And then Connor suddenly runs away.

So, during this commercial break I accidentally started to tape that annoying Batman-esque Scooby Doo ad before I hit stop on the VCR. And then I rewound and cued up the tape again, but this is an old tape I've been recycling, so when there's no dialogue, sometimes I can hear the soundtrack of whatever was recorded before. Which is all set-up so that you'll understand this next bit. Cordy's closing up the office for the night, turning off lights and grabbing her coat, and on the soundtrack an announcer says, "He will be called upon yet again to save the world!" Hee. Maybe you had to be here. Cordy steps out into the lobby and sees a figure silhouetted by the door. "Angel!" she says wonderingly. "Do you know how happy this makes me? I asked you not to go and you didn't go!" She hurries over to the doorway, and only then realizes that it's Groo. Who looks at her as if she was saying, "Quick, we can have sex now while Groo is gone!" I'd feel bad for him if they acted like Cordelia was intentionally misleading him, but he's coming off like an over-possessive jerk.

Holtz puts a letter in an envelope at his desk. And then stares into space and asks, "Would you require an invitation for a place like this?" From the doorway, Angel gives his patented speech to the effect that he doesn't need to be invited into a "public accommodation." He steps inside, and Holtz turns, saying, "You'd think I'd have remembered something like that. It would have seemed important once." Holtz stands up, and Angel slams the door closed and shoves Holtz up against a wall. Angel growls, "You stole my son!" Holtz calmly replies, "I kept your son alive. You murdered mine." Angel does not say, "Well, okay, point, but still...." But oh my god, he's acting again! I'm not quite sure what his expression means, but he's definitely showing a reaction of some kind. Man, I'm starting to feel bad about picking on him again. I hate when that happens. He does seem to work harder when he's got someone threatening to upstage him, which is another thing that's winning me over to the whole Connor story. Angel gradually releases his grip on Holtz's neck and reluctantly concedes, "I was different then." Holtz says that he was, too, and notes that Angel can't express his remorse. Nope, he can only glower. Angel says that apologizing wouldn't mean anything, but Holtz says it would be something. Angel stares into space and finally says, "Then I'm sorry. For whatever little it might mean." Holtz wearily sits down as he explains that he believed that taking Connor would give him some justice, but that he was wrong. "It was vengeance," Angel finishes. Holtz verbally shrugs, "Well, maybe vengeance is what I do now." Heh. And then Holtz stands up again, and the blocking here is weird with all the standing and sitting, but I digress. Holtz tells Angel, "I'm an old man now. I have nothing to offer the boy. You can give him what I can't: his purpose. But every time you look upon his face, every time he calls you 'father,' you will be reminded of that which you took, and can never give back. And if that is vengeance, I find I have no taste for it." Holtz is such a scamp. He hands the envelope to Angel, explaining that it's a note for Connor that Angel is free to read. Angel asks why Holtz is doing this, and Holtz answers, "I love my son." Angel winces at that while Holtz continues, "And it's the only way to ensure that he'll go on loving me." He's so bad! I love it. Holtz wipes all the Cordy nonsense away. Angel takes the envelope and heads for the door. Holtz adds that Connor will try to find him, but he'll fail. Exit Angel.

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